Huck Prior 1941
A letter with some descriptions of Huck prior to 1941, from Adam Kindsvater
Dear Countrymen (Landsmann)
Dear Dennis with your family,
Katharina Urbach forwarded your dear letter to me, the one with the many questions she was asked to answer. Katharina informed me that she is not able (capable?) of answering the questions. She is after all four older than I. I am with my 84 years already a little wobbly and forgetful but still able bodied.
I begin with the first question.
1. Describe what is remembered about the village Huck and what it and the buildings looked like.
Of the village of Huck and its farmer economy (or household establishments – Wirtschaft) there is not much to report. The residence was separated from the farm buildings and stood mostly on the “streetside.” (Many times a barn or chicken coop was under one roof with the house in Russia.) The residence consisted usually of three rooms, seldom were there four rooms. The big room (also called the bedroom or living room), the little room (was used mostly by the grandparents), and the kitchen (sometimes also was the dining room).
At the entrance to the house there was usually a portico. If there were three or four married sons in the house, then there were four matrimonial beds in the big/living room, one in each corner. That is the way it was in my Grandfather’s house. The family stayed together until the Grandfather was no longer in the house.
2. Describe the church before it was changed by the Communists.
a. was the bell tower on top of the church or a separate tower?
b. how many bells were in the tower?
c. how tall was the bell tower? (one story, two stories, three stories?)
d. how big was the church (how many persons could worship at one time)?
e. what was the shape of the church roof? Did it have an “onion” shape?
f. was there an organ or piano for music in the church?
g. were musical instruments used to accompany church singing?
- if so, what was used?
The church was a wooden structure without an “onion” dome. The three bells were next to the church on the bell tower. The bell tower was a wooden structure three stories high. At the top there was a little lookout house. There was an organ but other instruments were not used.
Because the wooden church could not be heated in winter, a church was built in the middle of the village (also called a Prayer House) three stories high and made out of brick. This was appropriated by Stalin in 1928 and closed. How much seating there was in the old, as well as in the new, church, is unknown to me. I had never been in it. It was then used for other purposes. It was used for schools in which I also studied from first grade to the seventh class
3. How many mills were in the village and who owned them?
a. were the mills powered by water or wind?
b. who operated the steam mill and what was it used for?
There were only windmills in the old times before 1889. In the year 1889 the first “Feuermühle” (= fire mill) was built by Ostwald Frick, the Grandfather of my Mother. In 1909 it was inherited by the three sons: Jakob, the father of my Mother, Georg and Philipp. In 1910 it was rebuilt and enlarged and a work building (or business building) added for each son, which I as a child still saw. In 1928, it was appropriated by Stalin and the owners exiled. After the appropriation, it was taken apart (broken down).
For the citizens of Huck no choice remained but to have their flour milling done in Norka. In 1941 there no more windmills and only one family remained living on the windmill hill mountain, Schwabauer who at one time had owned a mill.
4. Did Pastor Pfeiffer live in Huck or live in Norka?
In Huck no pastor ever lived there. All pastors who served Huck lived in Norka.
5. Are any of Katharina’s children still living in Russia? If yes, what are their names?
Katharina Urbach has all her children here in Germany. There are no more Germans in Huck. A few families did settle there when they predicted there would again be a German Republic, but they all moved back to Germany again.
6. List what is remembered about the following family groups in Huck during the 1941 evacuation – (father, f; mother, m; children, k; grandparents, gf and gm)
Pohl (or Bohl)
The family names/surnames that you listed are all from Huck except Fuchs. Who can supply information – the names of Father, Mother, children or what were they called? Most of the people who have come to Germany do not even know the names of their Grandparents. Still, Germany wants to know everything – whether they are really Germans. I myself was the first from Huck who came to Germany. I have already had to be the witness for that over 100 times.
7. Which Huck family groups were sent to the same camp in Kazakhstan that Katharina and her family were sent to?
These questions I cannot answer for Katharina. For my family I can tell you the following – we arrived at a train station in Kazakhstan. The village that was to receive us sent carts (wagons?) to pick us up. In our case, 20 families were requested, more than the village could host. I will name here some of the families: Kindsvater, Waker, Weigand, Zitterkopf, Scheich, Schultheis, and others.
8. Which Huck family groups have returned to Germany that Katharina is aware of?
a. what are their family names?
b. where do they now live?
c. their relatives in the US would like to communicate with them
A. will they answer letters from relatives in the US?
B. if the answer to A is yes, what is the name and address of the family?
This question is difficult to answer. According to my knowledge today there are more descendants from Huck than those who lived in Huck in 1941. At that time there were supposed to have been more than 6000. Most of those from Huck have relatives in America. Also I from Father’s side, as well as Mother’s side, with some I am in correspondence.
9. Ask Katharina to fill in the names she can remember for the houses on the map I send. Adam Kindsvater drew the map but I don’t know what year it represents. I think before 1915 because of the several Zitterkopf houses.
Since I myself put together the Huck village plan, I also can report about many of the houses. Let’s take the first Zitterkopf in Huck. According to my knowledge as of today, the old Zitterkopf in 1767 lived in house 141, which in my village plan is listed as Knaub.
Knaub is the son-in-law of the last Zitterkopf who has ever lived there. His neighbors on the side were Kindsvater and on the other side Hemel (probably Hempel). The last thing in this house was a chicken-breeding (incubation?) station. Knaub is a born Balzerer (he probably means from Balzer).
So far for today. If you want to know more, I will answer every letter.
Your countryman (Landsmann)
9 of August 2005
(translated by Frieda Nickel)