"History is the memory of things said and done."
 - Carl L. Becker

Danube Swabian History
  1800's   1900's   2000's
DS History 101 Ethnic Cleansing 1944-48 Displaced Persons' Camps Atrocity Books Maps

Contact Registry

Subscribe to DVHH-L email list.


The Power Of Hope

by Sue Vitou, 21 Dec, 1996, Staff Columnist - The Gazette
Published at DVHH.org 21 Jan 2013 by Jody McKim Pharr

Article about Maria Ruck, born in Ridjica, Ukraine labor camp survivor.



Submitted by Helga Kiely  

Came across this the other day while attempting to clean out this office stacked with books and papers.  It should have been a Christmas Story as it takes place at Christmas time.

My father's cousin (my 2nd) was interviewed by a journalist in Ohio and printed her little story. 

Mary was born in Ridjica but married and I believe moved to Gakowa.  The article is in small print and does not describe the labour camp in the Ukraine, but nonetheless, interesting.  When Mary was in the labour camp in the Ukraine and her husband in the German army, her son was in a concentration camp with her mother and father.  Both parents perished and the little boy was taken into a home for orphaned children.  He died of starvation as well and buried in a mass grave.   

After her release and reaching Germany she learned of the fate of her family (all but the fate of her husband) and became reacquainted with a good friend from Batschka.  This friend kept remarking that a little boy in the hospital where she worked looked remarkably like her son.  Finally one day Mary went to the hospital to see this child.  He happened to be the young son of her husband.  Both Mary and her husband thought that each other had died.  Mary decided that he should stay with his son and she would move on.  She came to the U.S. a few years afterwards.   

I think the story is very inspirational.  The print is a little on the small side, but if you want to use it, you may.

Take care,



Last Updated: 03 Feb 2020

DVHH.org 2003 Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands, a Nonprofit Corporation.
Webmaster: Jody McKim Pharr
Keeping the Danube Swabian legacy alive!