Making my way north towards Cammin, Hackenwalde was one of the first places I drove through in Pomerania. In hindsight, Hackenwalde’s village is a great example of pre-war Pommern. The church, while renovated on the inside, boasts traditional small-town church architecture. Houses are also typical of the previously small farming communities. One of the highlights was seeing the ornately carved wooden church door.

It struck me as odd when the residents refused to speak to me. It did not set the pace well. By this point, I had already traveled through Neumark territories, Stargard, and Greifenhagen. I had the perception, as I’m sure many reading this do, that the culture in the area is not very welcoming. While it created a little anxiety until I continued to other villages, it must be said that the cold attitude towards me from a few locals here were not typical of my earlier nor my later visits to various villages. It could also be attributed to reflection before daily mass or one of a dozen other explanations that I just had not been able to understand. I must highlight that despite this experience in Hackenwalde, my travels were overwhelmingly positive almost everywhere in Poland.

One of the main reasons for visiting this village was that I had thought a part of my family may have originated here. That, however, is still under debate. (For those wondering, I went because of Dorothea Sophie Nass, wife of Martin Friedrich Christian who immigrated to Lebanon, Wisconsin. Again, I’m still unsure of where she originated from, though I do know the Christian family should have been from Alt Damerow in Kreis Saatzig. It seems at this point rather unlikely that she came from Hackenwalde.) My wife’s Krutzikowsky side came from the nearby Gollnow parish and some of the offshoots of that branch of the tree lived in the Hackenwalde/Kattenhof parish.

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