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A Survivor Story of a Russian Ukraine Slave Labor Camp
A twist of fate for a Donauschwaben-US Born Young Woman
In the wrong place - at the wrong time?

Rediscovered by Jody McKim Pharr, 13 Jan 2013    

I came across this story a few years ago, -while researching another  one.  Over time I collected an array of information, newspaper articles, passenger records and census reports to find out more about the family highlighted in this story.  What may be considered a heartwarming story to an uninformed reader, this story may have a totally different perspective for those who knew better. 

This is a bitter-sweet story about a Donauschwaben family, Adam Mohaupt and his wife Julia Mohaupt (geb. Nagy) both born in Bedora, Hungary (Banat Yugoslavia).  They had 2 boys born in Beodra, Joseph, b. 1917 and Adam, b. 1920.  In 1921 the family immigrated to the US and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1925, their little girl, Irma Mohaupt was born. They went back Bedora, as many families did back then, either for a visit, work or family illness; but the reason is irrelevant to this story. They were there, in October of 1944.

I read about some of the horrible events that happened in Beodra while working on a publication a few years ago for the DVHH; a translation by Henry Fischer, that would resonate in my mind in the forthcoming story; as it is almost impossible to understand the full impact of what this young woman shared otherwise.  The part about the village of Beodra is one of the smaller parts of this large publication, but it has a grater impact after being personalized by the story of the Mohaupt family. 

Post World War II Leidensweg / Extermination In the Yugoslavian Banat: Chapter 3: Genocide in the Yugoslavian Banat, translated by Henry Fischer - - The Northern Banat "Where the lust for murder raged"  - Beodra : "There were seventy-one Danube Swabian families that lived in Beodra. At the beginning of October 1944 the Partisans brought twenty-eight Danube Swabian men, mostly from other communities to Beodra. They were imprisoned in the stable of the police station and during the night they were hacked and chopped to death. In addition, ten of Beodra’s Swabian men and two women were taken from their homes and imprisoned in the jail and were abused and tortured for sixteen days and early in the evening of October 18th, 1944 they were shot at the community manure pile. The corpses were later buried. Other Swabians died as a result of individual acts of terror by the Partisans. The rest of the Swabian community was sent to the extermination camps at Kikinda, Betscherek and Rudolfsgnad. "

Was this family in the wrong place - at the wrong time? As fate would have it, we learn the destiny of this family, when on November 14, 1947, headlines newspapers across America featured the story about "Irma MOHAUPT" - "U.S. Born Girl Escapes From Red Prison Camp." (Was made a slave for nearly three years and escaped from Krlvoi-Rog, a slave labor camp in Russia Ukraine.)

As Donauschwaben descendants search for ancestors, we learn about the atrocities committed against our people.  Often asking, did Americans know what was going on in the distant corners of the world, to the ethic German people? And if they did, why didn't they do something!  Where was the public outcry!  This story was plastered across front pages of newspapers in 1947, and I feel this story must not be buried among the stacks.   - Jody McKim Pharr

U.S. Born Girl Escapes From Red Prison Camp 
(News - Poughkeepsie Journal FUERTH, Germany, (AP) & 1947-10-19 Galveston Daily News)

     Irma Mohaupt, 22-year-old American-born girl, told a-story today of escape after three years in a Russian work camp, how she walked until her feet were swollen and eventually reached freedom in the American zone of Germany.
     Now chubby and healthy, the girl's story began In Yugoslavia where she said her  German-born father was killed before her eyes by partisans, and where she said the saw soviet troops shoot six German soldiers on a dance floor — then held a dance on it.
     The five-year story was ended by her own efforts, she said, after the United States State department was unable to accomplish her repatriation.
     The young woman is waiting to sail from Bremerhaven Oct. 29 for New York. Her passage was arranged by United States consular officials acting on behalf of her uncle, Karl Mohaupt, of her native Cincinnati.
     Describing her experiences in the work camp In the Russian Ukraine, she said she carried rocks "up five flights of steps so they could repair a building," and did other hard work such as loading trucks with stone and material.
     "We walked six kilometers (3 ½ miles) to work and six back and there was no time off at all during the day," she said, adding that she saw other men and women waste away and die.
     She finally escaped, she said, by bribing the prison commandant and the doctor with 500 rubles which she had earned 'by sewing at night.


 

Irma Mohaupt (center), 22-year-old Cincinnati, Ohio, girl who told of escaping after three years in Russian work camp near Dnieper dam, is kissed and hugged by two Cincinnati cousins, Helen Hofman and Melvina Mohaupt (right), after Irma arrived in New York yesterday aboard the SS Marine Flasher. She had plenty to tell. (AP wirephoto.)

 

 


Girl Slave in Russia Says People Have No Time to Die 

1947 Nov 14: Tipton Tribune Indiana, Chester Times PA, and Lima News, Ohio were among the many newspapers whose headlines featured the story on Irma MOHAUPT, who escaped Krlvoi-Rog, a slave labor camp in Russia Ukraine.

Newspaper Editor’s Note: -Irma Mohaupt, a 22 year old American girl, born in Cincinnati, was living with her parents in Yugoslavia in 1944 when the Russians took over.  Over her protests the Soviets sent her to a slave labor camp in the Russian Ukraine.  Her knowledge of the Russian language and contacts with all walks of life in the surrounding towns enabled her to see and hear conditions at first hand. Miss Mohaupt, who returned to the United States Monday, after escaping into the American zone of Germany, tells the story of her grim adventures in a series of four articles of which the following is the first. 

HER STORY . . .

Part I - I WAS AN AMERICAN GIRL SLAVE IN RUSSIA
  - MY NIGHTMARE BEGAN IN OCTOBER, 1944
   
Part II - IRMA TELLS OF LIVING AND RIDING IN CATTLE CAR
  - LIFE IN THE KRIVOL ROG SLAVE-LABOR CAMP, NEAR THE DNEIPER DAM
   
Part III - GIRL SLAVE SAYS COMMUNIST REGIME OPPOSED BY MOST UKRAINE RESIDENTS
   
Part IV - GIRL SLAVE LABORER TELLS of FLIGHT to U.S.
   
EXTRA - Photos, news snippets
   
  - Sources and Research notes by Jody McKim Pharr


PART I

- I WAS AN AMERICAN GIRL SLAVE IN RUSSIA
- MY NIGHTMARE BEGAN IN OCTOBER, 1944

By Irma Mohaupt

       New York, Nov. 13 (INS) — I am free at last, but I will never be able to erase the memory of the terrifying horrors I went through as a labor slave of the Russians.
     For three years I was forced to work long hours at back-breaking jobs with a slave labor battalion of women in the Russian Ukraine, at Krivoi-Rog near the Dnieper dam.
     For three terrible years I endured-and miraculously survived – cold, starvation and filth. 
     While members of our labor camp group were suffering and dying at the rate of 17 a day, the Russian soldiers guarding us and the civilians in the neighboring towns were not faring much better than we. 
     Many of the guards told me they had nothing to eat most of the time, and were better off when the Germans were in their country. 
     The Russian soldiers and civilians I met in the towns said 95 percent of the country was against the Communist regime and cursed Stalin and other party leaders for their plight. 
     They told me how the five percent were kept in power by tight armed control.  Critics of the government overheard by spies were thrown into Russian concentration camps. 

Discontented Kept in Prison 

     There were more discontented Russians kept in a large prison on adjoining our camp than there were slave laborers from other countries. 
     At least 50,000 Russians were kept in the heavily fortified and guarded prison in our area alone. 
     When I arrived at Krivoi-Rog I weighed 130 pounds.  At the end of one year I was down to 90 pounds.
     Among the “walking dead” in our camp I knew of at least eight to ten other girls who claimed they were Americans also. 
     I have no reason to doubt them, but I have no proof of their identities or citizenship.
     One girl told me she was born in Chicago and described the tall buildings there. She said her name was Barbara Koling. 
     The separated the prisoners so often I couldn’t learn the other names. 
     I was so hungry, weak and miserable I didn’t even know my own name at times. 

Work, Work, Work 

     The Russians kept us so busy that we didn’t even have time to die.  It was always work, work and more work.  My plea that I was an American was always answered by the camp commandant with:  “We don’t care if you are an American.  You are here, and you will stay here until the day you die.” 

My nightmare began in October, 1944

     Russian partisan troops took over Belgrade in Yugoslavia and the little village where my parents, Hungarian-born, were living at the time.  At the age of 6, I had been taken from Cincinnati, where I was born, to Europe with my parents. 
     Our house, one of the largest in the village, was confiscated by the partisans as their general headquarters. 
     My father was taken by the secret police for questioning. 
     Later villagers told me they had seen the police take him to a cemetery where he was forced to dig his own grave. 
     They told me the police then threw him into the pit and shot him. 

Women are Registered 

     The Russians ordered all women in the village between the ages of 16 to 37 to register for work in Yugoslavia with the Russian army. 
     When we reported a Russian officer told us we would be used for only 14 days on labor details and then freed. 
     He warned us if anyone escaped, hostages in the village would be shot.  My turn to go came in five days before Christmas.
     Before they took me away I protested to the Russian secret police officer in command that I was an American citizen. 
     He asked whether I wouldn’t like to see Russian.  When I replied that I wanted to stay with my mother, he said: “We don’t care what you are.  We are going to send you off to Russia to help rebuild our buildings.” 
     I naively asked:  “Girls to build buildings?”  He replied: “Women do everything in Russia, and you will be one of them whether you like it or not.” 
     The Russian warned me to go peacefully, or I would disappear and never be seen again. 
     I tried to cheer my mother by telling her it couldn’t be so bad.  After all, I assured her, it’s only for 14 days.
     Fourteen days!  How stupid I was actually to believe the Russians would detain me 14 days and then free me. 
     It turned out to be three years of unbelievable night-mar of slavery. 
     Had I only known their plans then I would have run away. I would have run till I fell.  I would have gone through any pain or misery or even death itself to escape from the days and nights of horror that were to follow. 
     On the morning of Dec. 28, 1944, Russian soldiers with bayoneted rifles prodded us onto horse drawn wagons and took us to the nearby city of Kikinda where we were put to work for three days in a cheese factory. 
     On New Year’s Eve without any warning, we were ordered from the factory into the freezing streets. 
     The Russian commanded us to line up in columns of five, and marched us to a railroad siding, where a trainload of cattle cars were strung out as far as the eye could see. 
     They jammed us, in groups of fifty, into the cattle cars which had one heavily barred window and padlocked the door. 
     Three thousand slaves were starting the long trip into the land of the living dead. 

(Tomorrow, “Life inside a Russian slave labor camp.”) 


PART II

- IRMA TELLS OF LIVING AND RIDING IN CATTLE CAR
- LIFE IN THE KRIVOL ROG SLAVE-LABOR CAMP, NEAR THE DNEIPER DAM
Daily Journal Gazette November 13, 1947

(Editors’ Note: - A cattle-car trip through Russia and unending misery in a Soviet slave-labor camp are described in the following article by Miss Irma Mohaupt, 22, Cincinnati born American girl. Snatched from the home of her parents in Yugoslavia she was forced into the Soviet labor battalions where she worked for nearly 3 years before obtaining her release and making her escape to the United States. This is the second of four articles.) 

By Irma Mohaupt

     Cincinnati -- I rode and lived in a cattle car for 18 days.
     The new year of 1945 began for me when I was herded into the car along with 50 others near Belgrade in Yugoslavia.
     After we were inside the guards lock the door. For three days we had neither food nor water.
     There were of course, no sanitary facilities.
     We yelled and shouted. But the noise wasn't as bad as the overpowering odor that grew as the trip continued.
     There was no heat and the Frost grew until it was too fingers thick on the walls at night. We weren't dressed for the cold and we were crowded together to keep warm.
     On the fourth and the 10 days of few loaves of black bread were thrown into the car.
     The trip was held up many times because the tracks were blown up and we had to wait for repairs.
     When we stopped, all armed bands of Russians came out of the countryside and tried to break in. The guards fought them off with rifles as they would any other enemy. They had the responsibility for delivering us to the work battalions and we took no chances.
     We were lucky in my car. The raiders never broke in. But up and down the line I heard screams. I don't know what happened.
     On Sundays we worked cleaning the barracks, and we got only one bowl of the same sour soup and a slice of bread.
     The guards said: “You don't work today, why should you eat more?”

Life in the Krivol Rog Slave-Labor Camp, near the Dneiper dam

     At last the doors were thrown open. We were Krivol Rog near the Dneiper dam.
     They marched us into the shared care and to a shower area. They gave us a bar that felt like sand for so. Big bunches of us undress and we were prodded under the shower -- bitter cold or steaming hot. There was no in between.
     Some girls asked to have water adjusted. The Russians laughed. I saw the skin peel from some girls when they were forced under this old in water.
     The building was unheated. We stood nude for an hour while they said they fumigated our clothes. The clothes came back wet and there were lice all over them.
     We lived in a huge, four-story barracks that housed 3000. It was unheated like all the buildings.
     They woke us up at five o'clock in the morning and we marched 9 miles to the electric power building we worked on. After getting there we had breakfast. It was a watery grain soup made from sour tomatoes. That was all.
     At lunch we had another bowl of soup, sometimes with a little barley and one slice of black bread. There was sawdust in the flour and it was greedy with sand.
     Supper was the soup again -- or maybe nothing at all. We never knew why some nights we had no food.

     I don't know how we kept on living. Some people ate grass or leaves from the trees to add to their diet.  Everyone showed signs of malnutrition.
     Our bodies were bloated from lack of food and its bad quality. We were weak too. But every day I had to carry bricks weighing about 30 pounds to each load up five flights of stairs.
     I got weaker along with the rest. My veins stood out and I lost thirty or forty pounds, but still I was one of the healthiest in the camp.
     Some people got gangrene from working all day long un cold mud and water. They were shipped away somewhere because they were no more use.
     One strange result of power starvation was that heads of people seem to shrivel along with their bodies. Girls of 20 and 25 appeared no bigger than children of eight years old.
     One day I collapsed on the job. They carried me back to the camp hospital, but it was little different from my own straw pile. The doctor was a German prisoner and he just shrugged when I asked for help. He had no medical supplies.
     For 10 days I was delirious. When my temperature dropped to normal that ordered me back on the job.
     The next January -- that was in 1948 -- I feel sick again. I had red spots all over me and the other said I had scarlet fever. For 44 days I was in the “hospital” again.
     My skin peeled and my hair fell out. Still they did nothing. Finally they gave me some barley water and a wafer of bread. I don't know how I lived.
     It was then I started having nosebleeds.
     (Note: While dictating her story,  Miss Mohaupt had two such attacks.)  
     I determined then that if I got well I would escape no matter if I was killed.

     I kept telling the officials I was an American. But they said: “We won't send anyone out unless the American officials asked the ticket early for a certain person. How do we know that you are an American. It is easy to say that.”
     But how could the Americans find out I was there? For two years we were allowed to write letters.
     Then they got tired of hearing me say I was American. They said: “You’re here. And you'll stay here until you die.”
     After I got well I was put on the rock pile, breaking up stones and I worked there steadily until last November.
     I asked the camp commander to let me write a letter and he said if I worked harder he would try to get me permission. Then he asked me why I didn't get smart.
     He said all the smart girls got better food and looked better. They didn't even have to work yet.
     I asked him what I had to do. He grinned and pointed toward the barracks where the guards lived.


PART III

- GIRL SLAVE SAYS COMMUNIST REGIME OPPOSED BY MOST UKRAINE RESIDENTS
Lima, Ohio Nov 14, 1947 Lima News / Connellsville PA  Nov 14, 1947 Daily Courier

By Irma Mohaupt

(Editor's Note -- the average Russian is desperately poor, laughs with bitterness at glowing Soviet propaganda of better times to come and live in dread of the state police. That was what Irma Mohaupt says she found in stealthy trips across Russian homes from the slave labor camp where she was imprisoned for nearly 3 years. Her account of life in Russia as she found it is contained in the following third article of a series.)

(World Copyright 1947 by INS.)

     CINCINNATI, Nov. 14 – Ninety-five percent of the Russian civilians and soldiers I met my three years as a slave laborer in the Ukraine were against the Communist regime in power.
     They were helpless, they told me, because the minority in power maintained by the type of control and by putting sympathizers in concentration camps.
     The Russian soldiers on guard at our camp Krivoi Rog, near the Dnieper dam, didn't care if anyone escaped, so they let us let out after regular working hours.
    Many of the guards were friendly to me because they knew I was an American and I can speak their language. I sneaked out of the camp almost every night. I did so we were other chores for the people of the surrounding towns to make money so I could buy food.
     In this manner I saw and heard about conditions as they really were.
     Many of the guards at our own camp told me they had nothing to eat most of the time. They claimed they were better off when the Germans were in the country.
     If the Communist saw any nice cows they wanted, they sent troops to confiscate them.
     If the farmer complained, I was told he usually was shot  down, and the rest of his livestock stolen.
   All the population was poorly dressed and didn't have too much to eat.
     Practically everyone in the surrounding villages for American army green clothing and high heeled shoes. I never saw anybody wear anything else. The clothing came in big cases marked “USA.”
     The Russian food fare seem to consist mainly of a combination of wheat and barley put in water. When bald, it became a then, watery soup.
     The Russian civilians tell me they pray for the day America would come to their aid and they would have better times. They were grateful to America for sending them the close which they wore. Everybody thought kindly of the Americans.
     In the last year I was in Russia, I saw the civilian set up little churches for worship. They were set up in back rooms where the townspeople gathered to pray. The meetings changed each week to prevent secret police from arresting them.
     The thing that surprised me at first was that the women in the towns work at harder jobs than the men. They did see him at work, build roads and buildings and ran the train locomotives and drove heavy trucks.
     Only the top Russian city officials had good clothing and plenty of food.
     Radio Moscow always was broadcasting to the people that the American people have no food and were starving.
     The civilians always laughed when they heard those broadcast and asked: “how can the government be so dumb?”
     The broadcast told how everything in Russia was perfect and promised to end rationing by 1947. One of the broadcast I heard said that in America and England there was no bread or clothing for the people.
     Every week a representative of the Communist Party came to town and gave a pep talk to the villagers. He always ended his speech with promises that “things” will be better next year.”
     The laughed at all the programs. They don't believe the propaganda that the government gives out. And now the promised the government has been broadcasting is that by the first of the following month they would get white bread and sugar -- but the first never comes.
    There were frequent raids by the Soviet secret police on the anti-communist.
     They were in building surrounded by five rows of Bob Dwyer and machine guns were mounted everywhere. Many floodlights illuminated the scene and heavily armed soldiers were on constant guard.
     The Russian prisoners were more closely watched than we were. They always use 70 or 80 Russian soldiers to guard details of 30 anti-Communist who were given the dirtiest and most grueling work that could be found for them.
     The Russian prisoners had no privacy for a moment. They were guarded no matter where or what they were doing.
     And our camp the Russians used details of 37 men and women and eight hour shifts to watch over 3000 of us and we were allowed the freedom of the camp.

     (Next -- In conclusion Miss Mohaupt describes her escape from Russia.)


PART IV

- GIRL SLAVE LABORER TELLS of FLIGHT to U.S.
Nov 17, 1947 Syracuse Herald-Journal 

Nearly 3 years and a Russian slave labor camp came to a dramatic climax for American-born armor Irma Mohaupt when she was saved at the last moment from being returned to Russia after escaping into the American zone of Germany. In the following story Miss Mohaupt relates the story of her flight and how she gained freedom which she credits to open hearted Americans, some of them she did not even know. 

By Irma Mohaupt 

     Cincinnati, OH - My 22nd birthday was both the most terrible and wonderful any girl could have.
     That was the day I gained my final freedom. But only after I was very nearly snatched back into Russia where I had spent nearly 3 black years in a slave labor camp.
     The beginning of what I thought was the end came many weeks before.
     The Commandant of the labor camp at Krivoi Rog tell me that word had been received that I really was an American citizen and I was to be freed.
     I had hated that man for months and years because of the way I had been treated. But on that morning of June 20, 1947, when he told me I was going to be free I wanted to hug and kiss him.   I couldn't believe him at first. After so long, I had thought I never would leave the camp until I died. It wasn't until much later that I learned the many things my relatives and friends in the United States have done to help me. Some of the people I didn't even know.
     10 days after I got the news I was to be liberated, I was sent to a recuperation camp at Pirna in Saxony-the Russian zone of Germany.
     I was still wearing the patched rags that had served me since the day I was taken from my home in Yugoslavia at the end of 1944.
     After resting for a week or so the Russians told me I was free. But I wasn't. They didn't mean “freedom” the way I meant it. They said I wouldn't have to stay in camp. But that I would have to remain in the Russian zone of Germany.
     They got me a job milking cows on a farm.
     Here I worked regaining my strength in saving money until August 15. All the time I was planning different ways to escape into the American zone.
     There was a German girl who had been repatriated from Russia and both of us got a pass to the border city of Hof.
     At Blauen, about 3 1/2 miles from Hof we got off the train and hid in the woods until it got dark.
     We began walking through the forest. It was black. We only had to go a few miles but it took us 10 hours and when we finally cleared the trees are shoes were torn to ribbons, our faces swollen and bleeding.
     Almost as soon as we were in the open to Russian soldiers spotted us.
     They told us they would have to lock us up.

     
I had 500 rubles saved up and I told them I'd give them all of it if they would let us go across the border into American territory.
     The Russians took the money and waved us on.
     We've reached American territory and we grabbed each other and danced because we were free from the Russians at last. But we weren't.
     A kindhearted policeman in Hof gave us some money so we could get a train to Rodach where my friend had a sister.
     We got to Rodach on August 17 and just stayed indoors, resting and eating. The people all around were very kind. They brought shoes and clothes and food.
     I wrote to the American consulate at Munich and asked for help to get to America.
     On August 20 they took us to the nearby town of Coburg so we could register as refugees and obtain further rations.
     The German in charge wanted to see my papers showing always American. I had no papers. I had nothing. There was no way I could convince him. Without papers, he said I would have to go back to Russia.
     I've taken to let me tell my story to the American consulate. But he just turned his back and walked away.
     I ran out of the office, but there was no place for me to go except my friend’s house at Rodach. The Germans knew enough about me by that time the police came to get me the next day.
     They said they were taking me back to Hof on the Russian-zone border.
     That was the morning of my birthday, August 21.
     I was 22 years old that day, but I felt like a hundred. I just couldn't stand anymore. I've been fighting to live and get free for so long. And I'm worn out. And then here I was caught again. If I'd had a gun I would have killed myself.
     I remember even looking around the room for a knife, anything I could kill myself with.
     I hung back and the police pulled me out of the door.
     Then a miracle happened.
     The postman came to the house as they were taking me away. He had a letter for me. It was from John M. Kavanaugh, the American consul at Munich and a certified that I was American!
     Five minutes, perhaps even a minute later and I would have been gone. I might never have gotten the letter.
     The consul asked me to come and see him in a range for passage to the United States.
     When the man of the refugee office all the letter, the Germans released me.
     I wrote the consul that I had no money and he wired me some. Then, on September 9 I started for Munich.
     There I learned for the first time of the American friends and relatives who had enshrined to rescue me for years.

     I also learned that one of the many letters which had been smuggled out of the camp and reach the distant relatives somewhere in Romania. From there it had been smuggled to Yugoslavia to my mother who somehow got a letter of her own out to my cousin in Cincinnati.

     I stayed at a rest center in Munich until October 22 resting and eating. I gained 40 pounds.
     Then there was the trip to Bremerhaven for my voyage to America.
     I understand now why the Russians finally let me go from the camp. Had it not been for the wonderful way Congressman William E. Hess of Ohio; my cousin, Mrs. Helen Hofmann and two complete strangers -Mr. and Mrs. Chester A. Lathrop - work to get me free I would not be telling this story now.
     Now I can look forward to tomorrow. I don't have to look back in fear when I hear footsteps.

     I am free!    


EXTRA - - -

Girl Citizen Of U.S. Returns After Two Years As Reds’ Slave
Sandusky Register Star News, Sandusky, Ohio
November 11, 1947

     New York, November 11, 1947 (UP) – Irma Mohaupt, 22, blue-eyed and blonde, walk down the game playing on the SS Marine Flasher as a repatriated US citizen today after 2 1/2 years as a Russian slave laborer.
     She said: “Now I need not be afraid.”
     But when a bell clanged, Miss Mohaupt jumped and looked around and terror. When her name was called over the ship's public address system, she said “I must go now, I must go at once. They are calling me.”
     As she left the ship, she clung to the arm of Chester Lathrop, a Cincinnati druggist. She was weakening hysterically.
     Miss Mohaupt was born in Cincinnati of Hungarian parents and return to Yugoslavia when she was six years old with her father Braun's worker.
     Through her cousin, Miss Helen Hoffman, Cincinnati, and Mrs. Lathrop, she told her story and excited German.
     “It was December 20, 1944, when the Russians came into our village in Yugoslavia. They took all the girls off to work. They would not tell our parents where we were going. They took us first to the Ukraine, then to Moscow.”
     “We carried bricks and see men and drove trucks. The Russians drove us like wars is while they were rebuilding the cities the Germans had wrecked. There was no need to complain. There was no one to listen to us.”
     “They fed us thin soup. I can't remember what else. We worked all day and we didn't care much what we ate or where we slept.”
     “Sometimes we had to walk 3 1/2 miles to work in the same distance back again to our barracks. I saw old men and women waste away to skin and bounds in the labor camps, they fall and die.”
     Suddenly, last July, Miss Mohaupt was taken to the Russian zone of Germany and released.
     “I was in rags,” she said, ”I had no money. They tell me I was free to go anywhere I wanted, but I had no money. I borrowed some pennies and wrote my relatives in Cincinnati.”
     “A man came from the English zone and took me to a farm. My father's cousin, Karl Mohaupt, who lives in the British zone, took me to the American zone and turned me over to the American consulate.”


 

 

Trouble Brews For Stalin
Revolt Reported in South Ukraine; Eyewitness’ Story Of On Unrest Recalled

Binghamton NY Press 1948 (Jan 24,1948)

     New York-(INS) – The eyewitness story of Ukrainian unrest toll by Cincinnati born Irma Mohaupt was recalled today in connection with the report of a large South Ukrainian rebellion.
     Miss Mohaupt, 22 who returned to the US two months ago after three years in a Soviet slave labor camp, related her experiences in a series of articles for international news service.
     Ms. Mohaupt, who was a slave labor camp in Krivol Rog, in the south central Ukraine, explained that she and other prisoners were permitted occasionally to visit nearby towns she said: “The Russian soldiers and civilians I met in the towns said 93% of the country was against the calming his regime, and cussed Stalin and other party leaders for their plight.

WHIPPED INTO LINE

     “They told me how the 5% were kept in power by light armed control. Critics of the government, if overheard by spies, were thrown into Russian concentration camps.
     “There were more discontented Russians kept in a large prison adjoining our camp then there were slave laborers from other countries.”
     “At least 50,000 Russians were kept in the heavily fortified and guarded prison in our area alone.”
     Many of the guards at our own camp told me they had nothing to eat most of the time. They claimed they were better off when the Germans were in the country.”
    “The farmer who was allowed to keep one fat cattle was a rich man indeed.”
     “If the Communist saw any nice cows they wanted, they sent troops to confiscate them.
     “If the farmer complained, I was told he was usually shot down.”
     “All the population was poorly dressed and didn't have much to eat.”

FREQUENT RAIDS

     “Only the top Russian city officials had good clothing and plenty of food.”
     “There were frequent raids by the Soviet secret police on the anti-Communist.”
     “The Russian prisoners were more closely guarded than we were. They always used 70 or 80 Russians soldiers to guard details of 39 anti-Communist who were given the dirtiest and most grueling work that could be found for them.”


Research & Notes by Jody McKim Pharr: 

Story notes:

  • At the age of 6, I had been taken from Cincinnati, where I was born, to Europe with my parents. 

  • In October, 1944 Russian partisan troops took over Belgrade in Yugoslavia and the little village where my parents, Hungarian-born, were living at the time. 

  • Our house, one of the largest in the village, was confiscated by the partisans as their general headquarters. 

  • My father was taken by the secret police for questioning. Later villagers told me they had seen the police take him to a cemetery where he was forced to dig his own grave. They told me the police then threw him into the pit and shot him. 

  • camp Krivoi Rog, near the Dnieper dam

Irma MOHAUPT was born on August 21, 1925 and passed away at age 84 on Saturday, November 21, 2009.

Birth Information:
Name: Irma Mohaupt
Gender: Female / Race: White
Birth Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio
Birth Date: 21 Aug 1925
Father: Adam Mohaupt, Age: 36, Birth Place: Beedra, Banat, Hungary
Mother: Julia Nagy, Age: 29, Birth Place: Bedora, Banat, Hungary
FHL Film Number: 373167

1930 US Census (April 7, 1930) Home in 1930: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio
Name: Adam Mohaupt -Age 40, Birth Year: abt. 1890 - Birthplace: Hungary [Magyarorszag]
Parents Birthplace: Hungary. Immigration Year: 1921
Spouse's Name: Julia Mohaupt 33, b. Hungary Immigration Year: 1922
Joseph Mohaupt 13, b. Hungary Immigration Year: 1922
Adam Mohaupt 10, b. Hungary Immigration Year: 1922
Erma Mohaupt 4, b. Ohio

U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1
Name: Irma Birthelmer
Birth Date: 21 Aug 1925
Address: 230 Northland Blvd Ste 109, Cincinnati, OH, 45246-3609 (1993)
[692 Cedar Crest Ln, Cincinnati, OH, 45230-3723 (1985)] 

She was a resident of Hamilton County.

Member of: Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish
7820 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45255
513-388-4466 / E-mail: parish@ihom.org Website: www.ihom.org

BIRTHELMER, Ernst M; 74, 2001-5-22

 

NY Passenger Records, 10 NOV 1947, Ship: Marine Flasher, Port of Dep: Bremen. Mohaupt, Irma age 22, Destination: 2550 North Bend Rd., Cincinnati, OH.

Numbers handwritten over name: 0300-204559 

Footnote: Germany: Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Records, 1938-1945
Ir
ma Mohaupt born 16 Mar 1921, Nationality German; Flossenbuerg arrival 01 Sep 1944
Classification: Antisocial
Record Source: Reel 2, Image #: 128, Page #: 726
Lists of Inmates - Women » 51681 - 52510 » Page 10
Prisoner Number: 51974

Connecticut > New Haven > 1960 > New Haven, Connecticut, City Directory, 1960 > 661
Irma Mohaupt h. 798 Orange


[Published at DVHH.org by Jody McKim Pharr 13 Jan 2013]