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Exodus Questionnaires/Forms Index- Introduction

Copyright 1997, Dale Lee Wahl


This is an introduction to a collection of 31 films held in Bismarck ND in the GRHS library and the index to these films.


Individual films may be ordered by contacting,

Bundesarchiv (attn: Frau Schleicher)

Postfach 320

56003 Koblenz Germany



From Catherine to Khrushchev, The Story of Russia's Germans
by Adam Giesinger (on page 299 - Chapter XVI "Liquidation")  -  we can study the history of our German Russian people during the early stages of the preparations for setting of the stage for World War Two in Europe, and the resulting removal of our people from Russia.


The many different geographic German Russian groups came under various routines at differing times throughout Russia.  Knowing what happened to the Bessarabian German Russian people, the Odessa German Russian people or the Volga German Russian people, does not give you complete insight into the whole of the subject.  The information contained in this chapter will drive this point home for the reader.


It is strongly recommended that this chapter be studied by those using the data from these exodus questionnaires/forms. Portions of this chapter are provided here in edited form so as to provide some abbreviated preliminary history that will be a quick overview of what is contained in the book.  Again, it is highly recommended that you not stop with this overview but read the whole of the chapter for yourself.


"... on August 23, 1939, Hitler and Stalin suddenly became friends. Publicly they merely signed a non-aggression pact; secretly they agreed on a division of eastern Europe between them. ..."


"... One of the secret clauses of the treaty of September 28, 1939, provided for a large-scale population exchange between Germany and the Soviet Union. ..."


"... All persons of German ethnic origin, living in areas that were to be annexed to Russia, were to be permitted, if they desired, to re-settle in Germany or German-controlled territory, with full protection of their property rights. ..."


"... Several groups of Germans who lived in border areas of the old Russia, in provinces that had broken away after the revolution, who had therefore never been subject to the Communist government, now came back into the picture briefly. Such were the Baltic Germans, the Germans in Polish Volhynia and the Bessarabian Germans. As a result of the Hitler-Stalin deal, their homelands were now to return to Russia, but they themselves, if they preferred not to become Soviet citizens could choose to be re-settled in Germany. Almost without exception, they chose to "come home" to the Reich. ..."


"First in line were the Baltic Germans. On October 15, 1939 a German arrangement with the Estonian government and on October 30 another with the Latvian government (the Soviet government was technically not as yet involved) provided for the transfer of the Baltic Germans to the Reich. ..."


"... On November 24, 1939 it was announced to the Germans of Polish Volhynia, now annexed to the Soviet Union, that the German and Soviet governments had reached agreement for their repatriation to the Reich. ..."


"... A few months later a third group felt the effects of the Hitler-Stalin deal. This time it was the 90,000 Germans who lived in southern Bessarabia. On June 28, 1940 the Soviet government issued an ultimatum demanding Rumanian evacuation of Bessarabia within four days."


"The Rumanian government, not geared for war, had no real option but to comply. Among the German colonists this sudden development created extreme consternation. They knew well the experiences of their kin across the Dniester and desperately feared the future. They were soon reassured, however, when the news came through that the government of the Reich was taking an interest in their plight and was planning to take them to Germany for resettlement. ..."






Our GRHS library in Bismarck is now the proud owner of 31 films containing much data about some of our Bessarabian and Dobrudscha people.


These Bundesarchiv films from Koblenz were brought to our attention by Ted Becker (thank you Ted), and the BOD authorized the procurement.  This data is re-settlers' questionnaire information that was filled out by the villagers when they were brought out of Russia at the beginning of WW II.  The data contained on these forms will provide new information for many researchers.  Already people are putting together missing links that have been elusive in the past! ... It should be noted that this is  not  the same forms we who use the "Christian Fiess" films are used to seeing.


It would be nice to be able to loan these films out to the VCs, but the cost and demands that will be placed on them will not allow such a privilege.  It may well be that some of the individual VCs would like to procure their own copy(s) of their village data.


Let us take this space and share a little of the profile of the 31 reels' [RL] contents;


RL  1st Village   Last Village    Includes                                          

1   Alexandrowka  Albota          Alt Elft, Akkerman                                

2   Alexanderfeld Alt Posttal     Arzis, Altoneschti                                 

3   Alt Posttal   Bergdorf        Andrejewka, Annowka, Basyrjamka, Bender,          

                                  Benkendorf, Beresina                              

4   Blumental     Bratuleni       Borodino                                           

5   Brienne       Eichendorf      Brinseni, Baijusch, Balaktschelly, Balmas,        

                                  Belzy, Dennewitz, Ebenfeld                        

6   Eigenfeld     Friedenstal     Eigengut, Eigenheim, Emmental, Friedensfeld        

7   Friedenstal   Hantscheschti   Friedrichsdorf, Fuerstenfeld I,                   

                                  Fuerstenfeld II, Fuerstenfeld III, Fundu,         

                                  Glueckstal, Gnadental, Halle, Hannowka             

8   Helenowka     Katzbach        Hirtenheim, Hoffnungsfeld, Hoffnungstal,          


9   Katzbach      Kloestitz       Jakobstal, Jargara, Jekaterinowka, Josephsdorf,   

                                  Kahul, Kamtschatka, Kaschpalat, Ketrossi,         

                                  Kischinev, Kisil                                  

10  Kloestitz     Kulm            Kolatschowka,Kongas, Korntal I, Korntal II, Krasna

11  Kurudschika   Leowa           Leipzig                                           

12  Lichtental    Mansyr          Lunga, Luxemburg, Mannsburg                       

13  Manukbejewka  Mathiuldendorf  Maraslienfeld,Marienfeld, Mariental,               


14  Mintschuna    Neu Kloestitz   Mischeny (Meseni), Neu Alexandrowka, Neu          

                                  Annowka, Neu Arzis, Neu Borodino, Neu             

                                  Dennewitz, Neu Elft, Neufall, Neu                 


15  Neu Kloestitz Paris           Neu Mathildendorf, Neu Odessa, Neu Oneschty,      

                                  Neu Paris, Neu Posttal, Neu Sarata, Neu           

                                  Strymba, Neu Tarutino, Nusstal, Oloneschti,       


16  Paris         Sarata          Parauschowka, Powlowka, Plotzk, Popasdru,         

                                  Raskajetz, Reulingen (Reiling), Rischkanowka,      

                                  Romanowo, Romanowka, Rosenfeld, Sangerowka        

17  Sarata        Seimeny         Sarjari, Schabo, Schabolat, Scholtoi              

18  Sofiental     Tatarbunar      Sofijewka, Saroki, Stanhopka, Strassburg I,        

                                  Strassburg II, Strimeni, Tamurka (Amara),         


19  Teplitz       Other Bess      Tschemtschelly, Utter Albota, Wischniowka,         



-23 Bukovina



-31 Dobrudscha    (alphabetical by name, mixed villages)



Next, let us spend a little space here and discuss a few things regarding these films and the data contained on them.


These films appear thinner than most films we use, and they also have a lot of film on each reel.  The films are also negatives.


The data is organized first by the villages as reflected above, and then within each village by an alphabetical sorting of the head-of-household's last name.


The forms themselves provide data for the husband and wife, their children and their parents and ancestors data.  Of course, not all of the data is always filled in.  The degree of completion of the form will vary from form to form. There will be some cases where multiple forms are included for the same couple. Some of these forms will even be typed for us - making it easier to read.  The handwriting as usual varies from the very difficult to the very easy to read.


Of course we will have to understand as we use the data contained on these forms, the folks who were filling them out were in an environment not conducive to filling out family data.  We must be very careful in our use of these data.


We will find people reflected as Evangelical-Lutheran, Baptist, Orthodox, Catholic, Reformed, etc.


We will also find that there are people from many places other than where they were living in 1940.  We can note in the Bessarabian films, that there are many families from the Odessa area of Grossliebental, Alexanderhilf, Neuberg, Worms, and the Glueckstal colonies.  There will also be a few from Rohrbach, Peterstal, Freudental, etc.


We should note that we cannot depend 100% on the sorting by name.  We can also note roman numeral I, II etc along with the names, and these should not be confused with normal "Jr" and "Sr".


We can note spelling variances like we have not seen in earlier records.  We see some "b" and "p" exchanges, some tsch - tch exchanges, some sch - tch exchanges. We will see some very different ways of spelling some of the names than what we have noted in the past - so be prepared when you use the films.


There will be many instances that challenges any theories one may want to consider - but there is no telling in which village you may find which families . . .    while the films would tend to indicate that a person whose families came from village A - should go to village A to find those families . . .  and in most instances, you may find traces of that family in that village while the majority of those particular families are scattered around in other villages records.There seems to be no reasoning one can apply to where one might find the families they seek! 



It should be noted that the book, From Catherine to Khrushchev, The Story of Russia's Germans, by Adam Giesinger is available in many library systems in the USA and Canada, AND it is sold by the GRHS.