Challenges in Soviet Bloc Cases
WW II hardship Most of the fighting in World War II was on the Eastern Front, in the Soviet Bloc. 37 million Soviets died. Germany sent millions of Soviet citizens to forced labour camps, prisoner of war camps, and extermination camps. Millions became refugees and/or emigrants because their homes, cities, and economies were destroyed.
WW II emigration The above events divided many families. Even when survivors knew where their family members were, some chose to never contact them again. When asked about the war, many survivors refused to talk about it because the memories were too painful. Many of today's senior citizens whose Soviet Bloc parent survived the war know little about that parent's family.
The division of families prevents inheritance and makes inheritance genealogy necessary.
WW II death Soldier or civilian war death can also cause a rift in a family preventing inheritance. In one of our cases a German soldier who had a wife and 6 year old daughter died in the Siege of Stalingrad, Russia. His wife remarried and his daughter was raised by her step father. The soldier also had a sister, but she had no contact with the soldier's widow and daughter after the soldier's death. 42 years later, in 1984, the sister died in Leipzig, East Germany, leaving valuable coin and stamp collections. Her unknown next of kin was her niece, the soldier's daughter. The case was unsolved for 36 years.
Results: To solve this case EEH discovered that three years prior to his death the soldier had been in the French town of Pas-de-Calais, in the 13th Waffen SS Handschar - 1st Croatian Division, consisting mainly of Bosnians. This led us to German military records in Bosnia, which showed his daughter. We then secured her unknown inheritance (heritage) for her. She had never heard of the soldier or his sister.
Holocaust Most of the six million Jews killed by the Germans were from the 19 Soviet Bloc countries.
← Bełžec Death Camp