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by Ruth Muth Grenard


I have received from the AHSGR a copy of Memories of Kazakhstan by Berta BACHMANN. Her family lived in the Ukraine and her father and two brothers were taken and placed in a work camp and never heard from again. Berta, her mother and siblings were later taken north by rail and Berta found out later that her father and brothers were probably conscripted into the "Trudarrny" that built the rail line they were traveling on. They went to the Ural mountains, across the mountains, and finally ended up in a kolkhoz near Sverdlovsk. After being placed in some other carnps, Berta was reunited with her mother and siblings near Akmolinsk (Tselinograd), after her family moved from Kbersonovka, in a newly established state farm.

"Podkhoz", 18 kl from the city.

Berta married Eugene BACHMANN, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheraan Church in Tselinograd. The BACIfMANNs obtained documents of registration from the government in Moscow so the church would be "officially recognized." and this was the only recognized congregation in Russia. Their church served a very large area and they visited small groups of Germans which had been settled in the areas north of ' Moscow. A translated letter of February 25, 1930 from Jacob SCHMIDT, nephew of my grandfather. George Peter MUTH, indicates SCHMIDT and his family were to have been sent to Archangelstki (Arkhangel'sk) with 60 families.

This is all very interesting to me in that in some of MUTH letters which have been translated there is the following information:

In the letter of August 28. 1931. from Katarina MUTH BECHTOLD and Alexander BECHT0LD (daughter of the one I refer to as Friedrich No. 2. the son of Town Father MUTH, they indicate that Friedrich No 3 (the grandson of Town Father MUTH) was in Akmolinsk and his father was. 200 "werst" farther, but a few days before they got the "usual" news. Friedrich No 3 had written that their father (Friedrich No2) had died in sadness and misery; that thousands are detained and stand before the court of justice, and have to work very hard to receive food; that Friedrich No 2 and his "wife "K" and his five children also had to leave. They had fourteen days' confinement in the penitentiary for being of another nationality, and that therefore they were taken away to be with their own nationality. Katarina's brother, Friedrich No.3, wrote to the BECHTOLDs that Friedrich NO.2 and his familv had been at their place one day, but then had to go 120 (?) more and the children appeared so pitiful that he hardlv knew them. Katarina said that her mother had to leave with Friedrichís family. Katarinís sister, Annlis, was living with Katarina and her husband; that Annlis didnít have to leave. They had no news from Wiesenmuller

The interpreted letter of September 19. 1931, from Friedrich No 3 to Alexander BECHTOLD, his brother-in-law, also states that their father had been "laid to rest" and that his (Friedrich No 2) wife, Olinda had been had been ill. He stated their houses were made of stone, covered with metal and that 18,000 people were to be settled in one village: "Our place is 20 kl from the station." Friedrich NO.3 indicated he "was to be sent to Acakopobn to work. He asked the BECHTOLDs to come and get the children -- they were starving: "take them to your place."

It seems that perhaps the MUTH family may have been members of the congregation of the Lutheran Church in Akmolinsk (Tselinograd).