The following is the true story of a man who was born during World War II in Kreis Kolberg-Körlin. While it has been difficult to find many personal accounts of the flight and expulsion from Pomerania, especially in Hinterpommern, Martin Bonneß was willing to share his life’s story.
During the war, a large number of his family members perished. If that wasn’t bad enough, his family endured the Russian front pushing through. They would not leave with the mass droves of the expulsion during the first years and would endure mistreatment by the Polish. He survived the years of abuse.
If the expulsion didn’t wear enough on his soul, Martin would be imprisoned for trying to escape the DDR dictatorship in East Germany. His story tells the true experience rarely recorded in this much detail. He writes this, “To commemorate the generations of our parents and grandparents but also to our children and grandchildren.” As Martin so elegantly puts it: “Against the forgetting.”
My goal in helping him share his story with the readers of My Pomerania is to bring people to remember the atrocities that occurred after the war. As a student in Berlin, I learned that the Germans were not only the perpetrators of the Second World War; they were also the victims of the largest forced mass-migration in modern history. Countless families were destroyed, separated, and torn apart. As the Poles were resettled by the Russians, so too, were the Germans forcibly removed. The rapes, the murders, and all of the unspeakable things hardly taught in American classrooms must be remembered. In the coming weeks, I will do my best to translate pieces of his memoir from their native German into English as truthfully and faithfully to their original text as possible.
If you are able to understand German, Martin’s original texts can be read below. They have been posted with his permission and all rights are retained by Martin Bonneß.
- A-1- Deckblatt
- A-1- Kindheit – Kriegsjahre Neu
- B.1 – Kindheit Meine Eltern, Familie Flucht und Vertreibung
- A-2- Deckblatt
- A-2- Neubeginn n.d.Vertreibung 1947
- A-3- Deckblatt
- A1 -3- -Meine Schulzeit 1 + Geändert
- A2 -3- -Meine Schulzeit 1 + Geändert
- A-4- Deckblatt
- A-4- Meine Kindheit+Jugend
- A-5- Deckblatt
- A-5- -Jugend+Ausbildung
- 1.1 Deckblatt.
- 1a. Ursachen + Gründe meiner. Flucht
- 1.3 Chronologie m. Flucht
- 1. Fluchtversuch -1
- 2. Fluchtgedanken ü.d. CSSR
- 2. Fluchtversuch -2.1
- 2. Fluchtversuch -2.2
- 3. gel. Flucht -3
- A -1.Chronolgie – Berlin – Görlitz
- B -1.Chronologie – Probstzella
- C -1. Chrono. Saalfeld
- D -2. Chrono. Gera
- E -3. Chrono. Dresden MP
- F -4. Chrono. Löbau
- G -5. Chrono. Stasihaft Bautzen
- H -6. Chrono. Dresden Bautzener Str
- I -7. Chrono. Halle
- J -8. Chrono. Torgau J.Wh.
- K -9. Chrono. Torgau-Fort Zinna
- L . Chrono. Rostock