Looking into the family history of a friend of a friend, I have brief details of two events for her mother, both of them from a birth certificate.

The mother (surname Stickel) was born in Warka (presumably Poland) in 1935; and gave birth to an illegitimate daughter in Himmelsthür (Germany) in 1953.

One possible explanation is that she was Volksdeutsche, and fled or was expelled from Poland in the aftermath of World War 2. She was too young before 1945 to be a forced labourer who chose not to return to Poland when it was under Russian control? Or is there an explanation I haven't thought of? I suppose it's also possible that she was a Jewish Displaced Person who chose to settle in West Germany.

How can I explore these possibilities further? Is there a 'Polish' equivalent of the sources described at Finding Heimatvertriebene in Germany?

  • How well do you know the family history? She could also have been a child of a forced laborer, women with young kids were also taken as farm hands (my family has cases like this).
    – skolima
    Jan 28, 2020 at 8:43
  • @skolima, I know nothing about the family history other than the information from the birth certificate -- it's interesting to know that she might be the daughter of a forced labourer.
    – user6485
    Jan 28, 2020 at 9:30
  • There were about 1 million Volksdeutsche category 1 & 2 and between 3 and 5.5 million Ostarbeiter. Statistically, there's bigger chance of them being a forced labourer. Volksdeutsche category 3 & 4 could still end up as forced labourers - that's a case from my SO's family..
    – skolima
    Jan 29, 2020 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


Assuming that Warka is the town in Poland with the same name today, this was not located in any part of the "German" parts of the Third Reich (i.e. areas considered part of Germany itself, not just occupied). So you will likely not find much through the refugee records from Silesia.

The best avenue I could suggest is going through the Meldeamt. All residents in Germany must be registered with the local authority and re-register when they move around. You can ask for those records from the city services in Himmelsthuer/Hildesheim ([email protected]). Those records will tell you when she moved to the city (assuming she lived there). That might give you an indication of whether she went there before, during or after the war.

Do note that those requests generally will need to be made by a descendant. I can help with e-mails and finding contact information on websites, etc.

  • Also, thank you for the offer of help -- I'll let you know if J (the friend of a friend) wants to take you up on it -- she is the daughter of the woman in question.
    – user6485
    Jan 27, 2020 at 11:59

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