BANAT-L ArchivesArchiver > BANAT > 2005-08 > 1122928258
From: "Linda McKenna" <>
Subject: Re: [BANAT-L] AKdFF membership
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 16:30:58 -0400
A very thoughtful writing.
Am curious though about the comment of German Americans not being sent
to the Atlantic Theatre. My father and uncle and most of their "Banat"
descendent friends were indeed sent to fight there. My grandparents
emigrated here in 1907 and 1909. Grandpa from Kowatschi and Grandma from
They had relatives that remained in that area. Most of whom contact was
----- Original Message -----
From: "ron gretz" <>
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 12:06 PM
Subject: Re: [BANAT-L] AKdFF membership
> This is an informative topic about our cousins across the big pond surely.
> I have discovered over a half dozen distant cousins through the banat-l
> myself over the past decade as well as have received much appreciated help
> from researchers in Germany. So I am going to add my own two cents worth
> regarding my ancestors and how the immediate family perceived them.
> Alot of information is shared on this list with regard to what happened to
> the area post WW2, but we all tend to forget that the majority of our
> Donauschwaben heritage emigrated either pre or post WW1. Pre WW1, the
> and Batschka areas were very hard. Disease outbreaks combined with the
> of what we take for granted as modern sanitation took its toll on
> Additionally, forced conscription into the Austrian Hungarian army for
> aged 18 added its own mortality rate as well.
> My own grandfather was born in Pennsylvania about 6 months after his
> emigrated in late 1907. He was the number 8 child and only 1 of 2 that
> actually lived past the age 14. He didn't speak much about Apatin for a
> couple of reasons; most notably his mother taking him back there with his
> twin and older brother in 1921 (for what ended up being 8 years). Post
> was not particularly easy for what is now Serbia and I am sure his life
> there in the 20s as an apprenticed shoe maker were not memorable,
> the death of his twin brother there in 1923 from a bladder infection.
> his older brother Karl survived WW1, he didn't live past 1930; passing on
> the same village where he was born with no surviving children.
> During WW2, grandfather (as the stories from my uncles and father tell),
> very unhappy and agitated with what was going on in that area of Europe.
> much so, that after he left his employment each day with Wilson Sporting
> Goods as a shoe maker, he worked a second job in the evenings in an
> ordinance factory for the US Government. Granddad even had two first
> brothers who were killed 4 days apart on Iwo Jima. It is easy to forget
> that as our government tended to not send Japanese Americans to fight in
> Pacific during the war, the government also tended to not send German
> Americans to fight in Europe. When granddad was notified after WW2 that
> had inherited the family business that remained in Apatin, his only remark
> was that he wanted no part of that heritage connected with the war in
> and signed some sort of release giving everything to a distant cousin that
> had survived the war. He never spoke of it afterwards.
> I try to remind myself that for those of us in North America, WW2 tends to
> be looked at more like geography and history than real life due to our
> removal from the ancestral home. My distant German cousins however, lived
> that history in many instances. So I try to be very sensitive to those
> questions and discussions reminding myself that while it did happen; it
> happened "over there" to them and not "over here" to us. Accordingly, I
> respect that they may simply not want to talk about a period of time that
> was extremely harsh in their families lives.
> Ron Gretz
> Memphis, TN
> > Subject: Re: [BANAT-L] AKdFF membership
> > I have enjoyed this discussion very much. My son is studying German and
> > going to start my daughter in it too (we homeschool) so I was wondering
> > you, Dave, can give us the address for signing up to the German Banat
> > Dave, you mentioned that the North American Listers are more chatty than
> > German cousins. Do the folks there avoid it because it is annoying or
> > it unmannerly in Europe? I would love to connect with family in Europe.
> > think we in the US and Canada feel like a big family , at least I do. I
> > related to a number of folks on the List and I enjoy seeing everyone's
> > thoughts and what they have found. Pbear, in another message on this
> > said that his folks avoided discussing the Banat. I found this to be
> > case in my family. Based on names and cities, I believe that a fair
> > of my relatives died in the camps during the ethnic cleansing after
> > I am sure that my people did not mention this because it was just so
> > painful.
> ==== BANAT Mailing List ====
> No part of these messages nor the archives file containing them may be
published or redistributed in any form by a "FOR PROFIT" or commercial
organization. All publication requires the permission of each message
> Search the US Census Collection. Over 140 million records added in the
> last 12 months. Largest online collection in the world. Learn more: