We have just updated our Pommern Database with entries from the Archiv für Innere Kolonisation from Rützow in Kreis Kolberg-Körlin. This list gives the names of early owners of the colony in Rützow in 1911 and the amount of land they owned on their Rentengüter (the word “Güter” here denotes large farms).

Currently, the Archiv für Innere Kolonisation is no longer in print. Copies in the United States are difficult to come by and cannot easily be checked out from libraries due to their fragile age. The information obtained for this indexing project was sourced from digitized microfilm copies of the former German journal. This selection was taken from the third volume and is the first from the publication to include a list of people.

The Archiv für Innere Kolonisation was the official journal of the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der inneren Kolonisation to promote German settlement of its sparsely populated interior lands rather than seek colonization in other lands. It is one of the primary sources of Robert L. Nelson’s Germans, Poland, and Colonial Expansion to the East. It is a worthwhile read and greatly explains the interior movement of German populations within its territories, especially those in the east. It maintains a very unbiased outlook, showing multiple perspectives for why settlement of lands was undertaken.

Of the reasons mentioned was to fight the Polonization of “German” lands by attempting to resettle Germans into places so the German identity could persist and the Slavic identity would wane. This, however, was not always the case with every colony or settlement.

In each entry, underneath the “Additional Information” column, one can find the number for the Rentengut. This number corresponds directly with the Roman numerals found on the map above. From land records, however, these numbers are not indicative of the “Blatt Nummer.” My great-grandfather’s property, for example is not listed in the Grundbuch, though many of the entries are contained in a similar ordering, occasionally skipping known owners of the land from this list. As of the time of this publication, it is unknown whether the entries exist in later land records or if they have been lost altogether.

This list is an important source of information for researchers in this area, as all church records were lost at the end of the Second World War. My hope is that this list can bring hope to others trying to find their ancestors from this village. I will be continuing to try to obtain obscure and difficult-to-find sources to try to help others in their genealogical endeavors.

Updated June 22, 2018:
The Pommerscher Greif recently posted a companion article to this, giving a link to numerous digitized copies of the Archiv für Innere Kolonisation that are available to the public through the Silesian Digital Library. To read the full article on Rützow, see the third volume.

Updated September 25, 2018:
A gallery was added above to view what the village looked like around 1910.

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