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Trunz/Milejewo East Prussia (close to Elbing/Elblag)

Brieg/Brzeg Lower Silesia (between Breslau & Oppeln)

Mitau/Jelgavpils Kurland (Latvia)

Jakobstad/Pietarsaari Osterbotten/Pohjanmaa (near Uleaborg/Oulu)

First thing about eastern europe, everything has 3 or 4 names.

The terrritories lost by Germany after the 2nd World War, and where Germans were a minority further east & northeast, are where all of my ancestors hail from.

The first Trunz received his landgrant from Hermann von Salza, the Grandmaster of the Teutonic Knights, in the early part of the 13th century. From the family homestead you could see the church, which amazingly survived the Soviet whirlwind of '45. There's several pictures on the ostpreussen website. A Trunz has been at almost every major battle fought by Prussia through its long history. This branch of the family has significant Polish and Lithuanian blood. My grandfather spoke fluent Polish, as well as Russian...and English.

Bergstrom/Brieg originally hailed from a Swedish enclave (Eastern Bothnia) in Finland, and had some German blood also. Settling in Brieg during the 30 years was when King Gustavus Adolphus lead a Swedish army in that war through the Holy Roman Empire.

Jews that spoke german, from Mitau. One of the two Jews to win the Knight's Cross in the 1st World War, is my namesake- Kurt Wolff. My paternal grandmother was his younger sister. This branch became Prussian soldiers during the time of Fredrick the Great, who was the 1st monarch to emancipate the serfs, and opened the army and civil service to Jews, with a forbear joining up and first fighting at the Battle of Mollwitz in 1741.

No wonder i ended up on this side of the Atlantic!

Vertrieben, totally ignored outside Germany/Austria.

'Bund der Vertrieben'

League or Federation of Expellees (and now their children & grandchildren)

Very little in English on this subject.

Eastern Europe was a melange of languages & cultures for centuries, see the german lingustics map above and the Polish below.

The Volkdeutsch of eastern europe were far more numerous before the war, and paid a horrendous cost at the end of world war two and after, whether directly involved in atrocities or not. There are still residual communities. The end of communism has allowed a small breath of life to happen for the survivors of this group. 'Drang nach Osten' the drive to the east.....

Here's a recent article with some little known information on this subject.

"A leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (2002-2013) and of the National Liberal Party (2014), Johannis was a high school teacher and school inspector before entering politics as the mayor of the city of Sibiu in 2000. He was re-elected in a landslide in 2004, 2008, and 2012. He turned the city of Sibiu into Romania's number one tourist destination, voted the European Capital of Culture in 2007. Johannis, fifth President of Romania, assumed office on December 21, 2014.

President Johannis is a Transylvanian Saxon, a German minority who settled in this part of Romania in the 12th century. He is the fourth president of German origin from Eastern Europe in the post-communist era, after Slovakia's Rudolf Schuster, and Hungary's Ferenc Mádl and Pál Schmitt. Johannis' parents, sister, and niece have moved to Würzburg in 2014 but he chose to stay in Romania where his ancestors had moved to 850 years ago. A graduate of Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca in Physics (1983), Johannis taught high school Physics in Sibiu at the famous Samuel von Brukenthal Gymnasium, the oldest German speaking school in Romania. Johannis and his English teacher wife, the former Carmen Lăzurcă, have no children, and are members of the Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania, a German-speaking Lutheran church in Transylvania."

Here's another article, focusing on the region my father's family came from.

"For the first time Poland’s tiny German minority is allowed to vote in German elections. The freedom stems from a decision last year by Germany’s constitutional court allowing Germans living outside the country to vote, even if they were not born there.

The decision has been gratefully received by Poland’s German community, estimated to be around 350,000 strong. Living almost exclusively in Lower Silesia—an area of Poland that formed part of Germany until 1945—they escaped the fate of westward deportation that befell most of the German population, often by claiming Polish citizenship. Since then, and despite the war’s bitter history, they have lived in relative obscurity with their Polish neighbours."

Pre World War Two Poland, a graphic of the languages spoken. Many of the poles originally  from what is today Belarus and Ukraine fled '44-'50. But there's a substantial polish minority around the Wilna area even today. A note to history, Marshall Pilsudski was born there. Counterpoint to Hindenburg born in Poznan, it was called Posen at that time, 1847.

A very simple outline of the postwar expulsions, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech/Slovak, and German, in revenge and to appease Stalin. IN THOUSANDS

A picture postcard drawn from the front steps of the original manorhouse in 1910, (now destroyed, in ruins, amid a copse of trees), the mill is long gone. My aunt saved it all these years & gave it to me. Compare this with the picture of the church from current day Millejewo on this website. "Greetings from Trunz" "Mill and Church"

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