Danube Swabian History
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Survivors of slave labor in Russia for four years.
The story of Peter Fedrich & Marie Ingrisch deportation to Russia.

Remembered by their niece Sister Suzanne Kullowitch, 2003

Mari's mother Maria Ingrisch Fedrich [1919-2002],
she was called Tante Mari, married to Peter Fedrich [1911-1986].

Grandpa Jacob Ingrisch came to New York and was manager of a shoe factory, Grandma Susanna worked in a canteen. I believe that they married in New York and when Grandma was 8 months pregnant with mom they returned to Romania. One of their children was Maria Ingrisch, who married Peter Fedrich.

Aunt Maria and her husband Peter were awakened at 2am with Russian soldiers ordering them to get out. All the German people from the villages were hustled into trucks. It was all the young people between 20 and 40 (not sure as it differed for men and women.) They were driven to St Andreas where they had to be shoved into freight trains heading for Russia for slave labor. Since the train wouldn't move until later in the morning all the parents hustled to St Andreas to bring them clothing, food and etc.

Men and women were separated. All that was left behind was the children and grandparents. Aunt Marie worked in the Russian coal mines at first. Maria said that the Russian people had pity on them and would often sneak them bread when they passed by. Peter worked on a farm and later escaped by crossing 3 borders. His own daughter Maria did not recognize him but the dog did. Maria went to her grandma in the garden and said a man was there. Later, her mother was freed after 4 years of slave labor.

One day Peter was in Timisoara and saw a train come in. It became customary for everyone there looked to see if there were loved ones getting off the train. Many had died of starvation and those who came home were not far from it. He recognized his wife Marie and brought her home.

Grandma fainted when she saw how she looked. She set her down to eat but took the food away after she ate a little. Many came home and just ate and ate and then died because their bodies were not use to it. When Maria was in captivity, my parents were able to get the address and they sent a package. She never got it. She got none of the letters that Grandpa sent nor those of my parents. The only letter she received was the one telling her that her Dad had died. He died of a broken heart.


[Published at DVHH.org by Jody McKim Pharr]


 

 

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