A guest submission by Pablo von Köeller, whose German family still resides in exile today in South America:
Last year, my 39 year old brother, two cousins, my father (85) and I (50), traveled from South America to the polish occupied German territories to get in touch with our traditional roots in Pomerania (German: “Pommern”) . Many of our family houses are still there, but some are just ruins, while some others were kept by the polish government and are still standing, but in very poor condition.
After about one week of driving through different areas and visiting so many places that use to belong to my father’s family, as well as to my grandmother’s family, we made some very interesting and sad discoveries.
Firstly, the old German provinces had not been developed during the last 70 years, especially while under communist control. There are so many things still left as they were: the roads, houses, churches, forests, etc. But in every cemetery that we visited, there were no German Craves! Every German sign was absolutely erased from the Pomeranian soil! We even found that in our former Family Castle (Schloss Schönwalde), a set of stairs outside the house which someone had repaired with grave stones that still bear the letters of the people’s names, who used to lay there in that local cemetery, and in Schönwalde’s graveyard … NOTHING! Not one single German grave! And, our family cemetery has not existed now for many decades.
Notice that there is a space in the yard that is only grass. That means that there use to be German graves there, but today are completely erased!
In general, the Polish people are very friendly and some Germans have now invested there in Agriculture, but it seems there is a very ‘lost generation’ of Polish people there now. Everyone older than 40 in the little towns is jobless. They don’t speak German or English and very few of them could understand us either.
Below (in the slideshow) are some pictures from the trip, and some older ones for comparison. The first pictures are one of the most important houses of our family. The place was called Kantreck, but today nobody knows what the new polish name “Losznicka” means.
Ernst Matthias von Köeller, the former Ministry of Prussia and very close to the Kayser used to live there. The House is still there but completely abandoned and destroyed.
We found our Coat of Arms that is still inside the old Church that was built in a by-gone era by our ancestors Bogislav Henning von Koeller in 1708.
This used to be the entrance to our family crypt, but now there is no graves inside it, and it has been transformed into a Sacristy.
After this trip, I began to research what happened with our people in the northeastern part of Germany during the Red Army invasion….OMG! It made me sick!!! And now I understand why all of the people that belonged to my father’s generation, as well as the older ones, have always avoided talking about the war. The atrocities that the Red Army and the Bolsheviks committed against our people and our land is so far beyond horrors that anyone of us could hardly imagine. There are so many stories about Russian atrocities available on the Internet now, but unfortunately, the mainstream media never covers this information properly…guess why!
So, this is our time, to use what we have in our hands, SOCIAL NETWORKS! We need to spread the truth, and we need to take back the true sense of Patriotism and Pride, and to be proud once again of being a GERMAN!
Slideshow with approximately 40 pictures:
Old Map of Pomerania