Amazing family history.....just wondering, do your grandfather’s memoirs give any insight to the thoughts of the day concerning communism? I mean, did he/they realize how bad it was going to be? I often think about my granddaughters about 50 years from now, wondering why their grandpa didn’t do something. After all didn’t he see how bad it was going to be?
Unfortunately, no. He was (I think) 18 or 19 at the time and just reflected on the privations of being a POW. He was an excellent machinist and, in order to survive, collaborated with the Russians in village where he was held prisoner by machining parts for them. He escaped and walked back to Germany. He was lucky to walk across Poland between the end of WW I and the beginning of the Soviet-Polish war which started in 1919.
He passed when I was 18 years old. It’s such a shame that our ancestors pass too soon and we cannot talk to them as adults. I have so much I would love to discuss with him.
My grandfather left for the US with him family in 1927 during the Weimar Republic disaster. His father (my great grandfather) owned battery factories in Danzig which is now Gdansk, Poland, and stayed behind. (Danzig was a German eastern outpost on the Baltic from 1200 onward) The family home was in the Langfuhr district, very close to where WW II started. The Russian communists arrived in 1945, knocked on his door, and gave my great grandfather until sundown that day to leave. He and his sister walked back to Germany as part of the huge diaspora. There was a huge slaughter of Germans headed back to Germany after the war, so he was very lucky to survive. He died penniless in 1951 in Cologne, the year I was born.
I remember about 1960 that my Dad helped my grandfather with attempts at getting compensated by the communists for the factories that had been confiscated 15 years earlier, but no luck. The family fortune was all gone, wiped out by communism.
So even though I didn’t have the chance to talk to my grandfather as an adult about communism, I know exactly what he thought about it.