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After/during WW2, my great-grandparents and grandma fled from their home in Wildenschwert-Hilbetten (now Ústí nad Orlicí) in the Sudetenland and trek'ed into Germany. They had with them my great-great-grandmother, who according to oral history was very frail. My assumption is that she died soon after they arrived what with the conditions and lack of food.

The rest of them ended up in Thuringia, where they settled. However, there is never any mention again of my great-great-grandma and she didn't die in the town where my great-grandparents eventually settled.

I had hoped that there was some sort of registration of these refugees, but it seems all there was is the Kirchliche Suchdienst, which focused on where they were from not where they were going.

Other than searching the Standesamt of every town along their likely route (which could be costly), is there any possible way to find where my great-great-grandmother died or at the very least where they were temporarily housed along the way?

I know it's a long shot, but perhaps someone has experience with this type of search.

  • Did they flee in 1945 or were expelled in 1946? Where did they start? I assume your great-grandparents did not necessarily settle in the village they primarily arrived in. Any oral tradition on this? – lejonet Nov 28 '19 at 12:04
  • she didn't die in the town where my great-grandparents eventually settled. Where is this info from ? – Bregalad Dec 2 '19 at 7:35
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Many of the displaced groups formed organizations after WW2, both regional (such as the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft) and parish or county. Those organizations (and the German Red Cross) maintained registers to help relatives and friends find out what happened to people and get back in touch with each other. They also published newletters periodically. People in the Russian zone had a harder time keeping in contact, but their names could have been added by relatives in contact by letter.

The Vereinigung Sudetendeutscher Familienforscher e.V. may know where such registers for your relatives are archived or published.

The Helmut Preußler Verlag has published Heimatzeitungen for over 60 years. 14 Sudetendeutsche Heimatzeitungen are still being published. Many libraries, both German and at the LDS, have Heimatzeitungen in their collections.

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