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.

  1. An Introduction to Martin Bonneß
  2. Childhood and Years of the War
  3. My Parents, Family, and the Flight and Expulsion

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.

  1. A-1- Deckblatt
  2. A-1- Kindheit – Kriegsjahre Neu
  3. B.1 – Kindheit Meine Eltern, Familie Flucht und Vertreibung
  4. A-2- Deckblatt
  5. A-2- Neubeginn n.d.Vertreibung 1947
  6. A-3- Deckblatt
  7. A1 -3- -Meine Schulzeit 1 + Geändert
  8. A2 -3- -Meine Schulzeit 1 + Geändert
  9. A-4- Deckblatt
  10. A-4- Meine Kindheit+Jugend
  11. A-5- Deckblatt
  12. A-5- -Jugend+Ausbildung
  13. 1.1 Deckblatt.
  14. 1a. Ursachen + Gründe meiner. Flucht
  15. 1.3 Chronologie m. Flucht
  16. 1. Fluchtversuch -1
  17. 2. Fluchtgedanken ü.d. CSSR
  18. 2. Fluchtversuch -2.1
  19. 2. Fluchtversuch -2.2
  20. 3. gel. Flucht -3
  21. Flucht aus der DDR Diktatur
  22. A -1.Chronolgie – Berlin – Görlitz
  23. B -1.Chronologie – Probstzella
  24. C -1. Chrono. Saalfeld
  25. D -2. Chrono. Gera
  26. E -3. Chrono. Dresden MP
  27. F -4. Chrono. Löbau
  28. G -5. Chrono. Stasihaft Bautzen
  29. H -6. Chrono. Dresden Bautzener Str
  30. I -7. Chrono. Halle
  31. J -8. Chrono. Torgau J.Wh.
  32. K -9. Chrono. Torgau-Fort Zinna
  33. L . Chrono. Rostock
  34. Teil 4,1 Start in der BRD
  35. Teil 4,2 Start in der BRD
  36. 1 Die Sowjetisierung Mitteldeutschlands
  37. 2 Die Ostgebiete des Deutschen Reich unter fremder Verwaltung seit 1945
  38. 3 Die Entwicklung in Polen seit 1945
  39. A .4.3 + 4.4 Reise in die DDR – 1980 +1987
  40. A. 4.5 Reisen in die DDR – 1987
  41. Hochzeitsfoto von Ida Martha Maria Bonneß und Otto Albert Gustav Maaß
  42. 7.1 Familie meiner zweiten Ehefrau, Gabriele Werner: Vorfahren von Gabrieles Vater
  43. 7.2 Familie meiner zweiten Ehefrau, Gabriele Werner: Vorfahren von Gabrieles Mutter

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