Here is the best information I have received in an email, it is from a chap in America,
explaining why it is very hard to track any more information back from what I already have.
And if you read it carefully you will see why it is very difficult to trace any further back.
I was very grateful for all this information that the American chap sent to me.
Best Regards Martin (alias Wabmo)
Martin, first, so that you know something about my own background: I am a New Yorker, but I lived over in Munich, Germany, for 15 years, and the first six of those years I spent engaged in postgraduate studies in history at the University of Munich. That's where my extensive knowledge of Germany in general and of German history in particular comes from.
The Schliewe family were from the city of Neustettin (pronounced: NOY-shteh-TEEN; translates as "New Stettin"), which was located in the eastern part of what was until 1945 the Prussian province of Pomerania (note the province's name in English), the capital of which was the city of Stettin (pronounced: shteh-TEEN).
In 1939, Neustettin was a city of about 19,000 people. Neustettin was also the seat of a Kreis
of the same name -- a Kreis, abbreviated Kr., being roughly equivalent to
a county. Make certain that the Schliewe family were from the city of
Neutstettin itself, and not from a town or village somewhere in the Kreis?
That's a vitally important question!
I'll tell you a bit about Pomerania:
First, you have to be aware that like the U.S. and Australia, Germany has always been made up of states. The state in question here is Prussia (in German: Preussen), the capital of which was the city of Berlin. Because of its vast size, Prussia was divided into provinces.
Pomerania (in German: Pommern) is located on the Baltic Sea
and was until 1945 a province of what was until 1945 the German state of Prussia
(in German: Preussen; capital: Berlin). As already
mentioned, Pomerania's capital was the city of Stettin
(pronounced: shteh-TEEN), which was also an important port.
Pomerania's German history stretches back more than 700 years!
Following the Second World War, almost all of Germany lying east of the Rivers Oder and Neisse was given to Poland (with the exception of the northern half of the Prussian province of East Prussia, which was taken by the Soviet Union). The territory ceded to Poland included most of Pomerania. The 12 million inhabitants of eastern Germany were thereupon expelled from their homes under absolutely horrific conditions, having to leave everything behind! More than 2 million of those people did not survive the ordeal. It was hell on earth! The Polish authorities then moved Poles in from various parts of interior Poland to repopulate those territories. So Martin you would find no Schliewe relatives in Neustettin today.
You also have to bear in mind that there was fierce fighting in eastern Pomerania during the final months of the war, so the people living there got a double dose of hell, you might say. Woe to any Germans who fell into the hands of the Red Army! The atrocities committed by the Russian soldiers against the civilian German population wherever they went were unspeakable! Knowing what would await them once the Russians arrived, many eastern Germans fled west during the bitter winter of 1944/45. By that stage of the war, there was no petrol available, so the only means of transport for all those refugees was horse and cart. Many eastern German refugees perished during the long and arduous trek west that winter. (Many people who lived near the Baltic were evacuated by ship. The sinking in the Baltic of the refugee ship Wilhelm Gustloff by Soviet torpedoes on 30 January 1945 resulted in about 9,000 deaths and thus ranks as the worst disaster in maritime history!) Then when the war ended, those eastern Germans who had made it west were all told that they would not be allowed to return home. Those eastern Germans who did remain behind were then, as mentioned, expelled from their homes in a most cruel and inhumane manner. It was horrible! The expulsion of the eastern Germans from their homes after the Second World War was one of the most horrendous events in history, but for whatever reason, it has always been swept under the carpet in other countries. The expellees, who arrived in western Germany with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, were referred to after the war as "displaced persons", or "DPs" for short.
That portion of Pomerania lying west of the River Oder remained part of Germany and forms one of the components of today's state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (in German: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). This portion of Pomerania includes cities such as Greifswald and Stralsund, as well as the island of Rügen. Pomerania's capital, Stettin, was included in the portion of Pomerania given to Poland. The cities of Stettin and Swinemünde were to have remained German because they lie west of the Oder, but the Poles wanted those two cities as well, and in the autumn of 1945, the Russians gave them those two cities -- just like that, without blinking an eye. Because most of Pomerania had been given to Poland and because the Allies then abolished the state of Prussia, West Pomerania (Vorpommern) would not have been viable on its own and thus the decision was made to combine it with Mecklenburg, but the people of West Pomerania (Vorpommern) have retained their distinct identity as Pomeranians.
"Vorpommern" actually translates best as "Closer Pomerania". That's the name applied to that portion of Pomerania west of the River Oder. Pomerania east of the River Oder is known as "Hinterpommern", which translates best as "Farther Pomerania", which is where Neustettin was located. The year 1945 marked the sad and tragic end of 700 years of German history in Hinterpommern. There are no more Germans living in Hinterpommern today, and, as mentioned before, you would thus find no Schliewe relatives there today.
Following the expulsion of the original German inhabitants in 1945/46 and the repopulating of eastern Germany with Poles, all the cities, towns, and villages were of course given new Polish names:
Stettin, Pomerania's capital, is now known by the Polish name Szczecin. Neustettin is now known by the Polish name Szczecinek. Swinemünde, mentioned above, is now known by the Polish name Swinoujscie.
So if you want to find Neustettin on a modern map, you wouldn't look for Neustettin on a present-day map of Germany, but rather, you would have to look for Szczecinek on a present-day map of Poland. It's all so very, very sad.
I'lI refer you to four maps:
Shows Germany as it was from its unification under Prussia's Bismarck in 1871 until 1918. The map shows Germany's states, including Prussia, Germany's largest state by far, and its provinces. If you look towards the northeast, you will see the Prussian province of Pomerania. Pomerania's capital, Stettin, was located at the southern tip of the lagoon southwest of the "P" at the beginning of the word "Pomerania". Neustettin was located about 100 miles or 160 km east of Stettin, southeast of the "a" at the end of the word "Pomerania", right near the border of the Prussian province of West Prussia. You will also note how vast Prussia was. It stretched from East Prussia in the northeast all the way to and including the Rhineland in the west. That's a distance of close to 900 miles or 1500 km! Berlin was Prussia's state capital, and from 1871, Germany's national capital as well.
Shows Germany's territorial losses following the First World War. You will note that Germany had to relinquish almost all of the Prussian provinces of Posen and West Prussia to the newly re-established independent Poland, creating the infamous "Polish Corridor", which separated the Prussian province of East Prussia from the rest of Germany. The seeds of the Second World War were thus planted.
Is a map of the pre-1945 Prussian province of Pomerania specifically. You will note Pomerania's capital, Stettin. You will see the city of Neustettin about 100 miles or 160 km east of Stettin. To give you an idea of size as you look at the map: The distance from Barth in northwesternmost Pomerania to Stettin is about 115 miles or 185 km. The distance from Stettin to Lauenburg in easternmost Pomerania is about 170 miles or 275 km. All of Pomerania east of and including the cities of Stettin and Swinemünde belongs to Poland today, the River Oder forming the new German-Polish border south of Stettin.
Shows Germany and its states today. Everything east of the Rivers Oder and Neisse is lost. Very tragic. Very sad. In 1947, two years after the end of the Second World War, the Allies declared the state of Prussia officially abolished. What was then left of Prussia's territory following the losses in the east was then broken up and new German states created.
Map 1: http://www.rootsweb.com/~wggerman/map/germanempire.htm
Map 2: http://wwwrootsweb.com/~wggerman/map/germany1920.htm
Map 3: http://www.gonschior.de/weimar/Preussen/Pommern/uebersichtskarte.html
Map 4: http://www.rootsweb.com/~wggerman/state.htm
Martin you might find the following websites informative:
I hope this has been of some help.
This page is within a frameset. View the entire genealogy report of Schliewe families.