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Die Verschleppung (the Kidnapping) 1945, by Stefan Jäger
Deportation to Russia

It is winter. The huge sky, filled with masses of snow, is hovering heavy and grey over the little village. It is gloomy and cold in the snow-covered streets. That is the landscape-related space that the artist choose for his tragic composition. At the centre of the painting is a diverse group of people. Men and women in their best years are being escorted out of the village. Some are walking with grim and sad expressions, while others are sobbing and trying to internalize their tormenting pain. A few country policemen [schwowisch: Schandare; NT] are flanking the tightly-wound group, which is growing from the internal centre of the painting, forward in the width, and almost in the depth of the space. Far in the background, a few old people and crying children are left behind.  This is how Jäger sees the deportation to Russia. A tragic fate that the war imposed on our people. When will they return?" [Submitted by Alice Spande - Translated by Nick Tullius]

* * *

Olga Katharina Farca,- wrote a book, "Allein die Hoffnung hielt uns am Leben." On the cover of the book, the same picture is used, (Oil painting by Stefan Jäger,) The title of the picture is, "Die Verschleppung 1945."

The story is about a 17 year old girl, from Molidorf, attended school in Temeswar, in 1944. She says, when the Russians came to Temeswar, they packed their suitcases and went home to Molidorf, where her father came from. This does not indicate, the picture is from the village of Molidorf, the picture on the cover of the book, was used to related to the action that took place in 1945. Viewing the background on the picture, the hill side, the bridge, it is hard to say if this picture is from the village of Molidorf or not. I've never been there.

As for being escorted by Russian Soldiers? I don't think they are Russian Soldiers. We are witnessing, the soldiers are wearing Romanian Uniforms, whether they are Romanian Soldiers or not, is another question. They could be local or from a neighbour village, dressed in Romanian Uniforms, so they could not be identified. Uniform of a Romanian Soldier; - the soldier's cap is different from a Russian or German Soldier. The Romanian Soldiers, never wore boots, - please take notice, the legs are wrapped with narrow green cloth, from the ankles to the knees.

As Nick, described, the people from villages were taken to a larger village; Alexanderhausen were taken to Perjamosch. Knees, Hodon, Baratzhausen, etc... were taken to "Vinga." They went by train in cattle cars to the Romanian border. Because the railroad tracks in Russia, are a bit wider than in Romania, they had to change trains. While changing trains, they (Donauschwaben) were stoned by Romanian and Gypsy, bystanders.

(The meaning behind the picture, that's what counts).

Alex Lee, 12 Aug 2006

[Photo located, text imposed on image and Published at DVHH.org by Jody McKim Pharr 11 Aug 2006]
 

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