My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Family history

I have always had an interest in old things: books, diaries, photo albums, furniture. Recently I started compiling information on my maternal ancestors. It has been a long-time plan of mine to put together a family history scrapbook.
We have quite a lot of information about my ancestors on my maternal grandmother's side. Fortunately these birth and marriage certificats dating back to about 1700 - which had to be compiled under the Nazi regime - did not get lost during WWII. Most documents and pictures from my maternal grandfather's family however got left behind when his parents fled Breslau in now Polish Silesia.
Therefore I was really exited yesterday when a recently discovered relative from that part of the family (his grandfather and my great-grandfather were brothers) emailed my the results from his several years of hunting for family information: a family tree dating back to 1703. (I just found out that I have relatives in the Church of Latter Day Saints in Utah.)

I wonder if I still have some distant relatives living in Poland. I know that it is was not easy living in Poland after WWII if you were of German descent. The high school I went to had a boarding school for boys from German Polish and German Russian families who emigrated to Germany. They hardly spoke any German which they told us was due to the fact that for a long time in Poland it was not allowed to speak German openly. They could only speak it in secret in their homes.
On my list of things to do a trip to Poland ranks rather high. Silesia is said to be beautiful and it will be extra special to visit knowing that part of family has lived there for centuries.

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