We are not long back from Europe where we spent six lovely days in Lienz(where I was born) and were fortunate to participate in the Commemoration of the 'Tragedy on the Drau'-65th Anniversary of 1st June, 1945. There were many cossacks in Austria at that time and unfortunately many died there or were forcibly handed back to the Russians against their will by the British.
Thank you for your offer of help as I still have a lot of personal research to do.
Take care and keep in touch,
I am writing from Australia. How old were you when you left Kellerberg and where did you go?
There is a lot of information on the various camps plus photos on the website dpcamps.org and they also include the contact details of the many people who are also looking for information and lost relatives. Good luck!.
Did your grandparents experience the tragedy of Lienz-I was born in Lienz and was two and ten months when we arrived in Sydney Australia in June of 1949.
Whereabouts in the States did you settle-I know my godmother went to the USA (Rochester) near New York I believe but I only know her maiden name and have not been able to trace her or any of her family-she would be very elderly now or possibly even deceased.
Hope you are successful in finding others who remember or know of Kellerberg.
Did your grandparents, uncle possibly have any connection with the former Yugoslavia. Yes, many took to the mountains until it was safe to come back. We met in Lienz with the now Ataman of the All Cossack Association outside Russia-Alexander Pewnew, also of New Jersey and are you aware that the people of Lienz have started an Association to preserve longterm the commemoration of this Tragedy and are in the process of planning the building of a Museum. I guess your story would also be a long one with many twists and turns-not a wonder that those who managed to survive the events of that period focused so whole heartedly on their new freedom and re-establishing in their new 'homelands' and sometimes choosing to never talk about the past. Such tenacity and strength of character.
I was not successful on this website in connecting with Nicholas (above) but we have exchanged emails now and are corresponding.
My home email address is:
I would love to know your story-my brother and sister were born in Novi Sad and their father was in the Russki Corpus there.
Thank you for your interest in my book and sharing your story. What I find striking about our parents is that despite the horrors of war and its aftermath, people survived and continued to be loving, happy, caring people. Our parents left their homelands so they could give us a better life—they were heroes and that is why it is important to preserve their stories. Our place in history is unique; having lost everything, we rebuilt our lives and that is another striking story – I am amazed that, despite starting with nothing, the vast majority of the DP children have become highly successful, productive people, contributing to the betterment of humanity. We didn’t wallow in self-pity or demand that our adopted countries bend to our wishes. We never felt entitled to anything – it was the other way around: we wanted to contribute to our new homelands, grateful that we were here.
It would be nice if there could be a reunion of the children born during one of the most tumultuous times in world history. We have many stories to tell and legacies to leave. We have a common bond and are the last of the DP generation. I hope we can have a reunion of all children born in the DP camps, as a way to have closure to the era when we were all waiting to know what would become of us. If you know any former DPs that are interested in a reunion, please have them contact me.
Best wishes to you in all of your endeavors.
The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back
From: Bernie & Nadja [email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 12:08 AM
To: 'Mari Sutton'
Subject: RE: DP Camps
Thanks for your kind message and I apologise for not replying sooner. It always strengthens my hope of eventually filling in the blanks when I hear from someone who has been able to do just that. I have been told by ‘Santa’ that your book will be under the tree this Christmas and very much look forward to reading your story.
My brother (80 next year) lives with his own memories and shares what he can but has said that there are some things he just cannot share with anyone. Hopefully with time, it may surface. Over the last 12 years I too have accumulated a wealth of information thanks to my husband (chief researcher) and the many contacts we have made. People are very generous with their information and help and we have been able to re-unite a couple of our internet friends with their lost relatives here in Australia, quite by chance. We have been lucky to visit Lienz in Austria a couple of times for the 1st June commemorations there.
With the grace of God all my findings will become my own legacy to the memory of my family (my Mum, brother and sister) and our Australian generation, my own children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Again, many thanks, Nadia.
From: Mari Sutton [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, 10 November 2012 7:05 AM
Subject: DP Camps
I came across your message on the DP Camps website and wanted to let you know that I was born in the Altenstadt DP Camp in 1948. My father disappeared shortly after my birth in war-torn Germany and it took me 43 years to find him. I wrote a book about it, The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back.
There is quite a bit of unknown information about WWII, forced labor, and the DP Camps in the book. I receive emails from people throughout the world who were born in the DP camps and one of the common themes is that their parents refused to talk about those times. Fortunately, in her later years, my mother did reveal the secrets of the DP camps, and they are in the book. Many reviewers and critics have stated my memoir is an important and compelling story. One of the reasons I wrote the book is that I came to the realization that I had no family history to give to my children and great grandchildren. During the search for my father, I found that history and can now leave the family stories for my children and my children’s children. My book is available in libraries, local bookstores, B&N, and can also be found on www.Amazon.com by searching for “Maria Sutton The Night Sky.”
Best wishes to you.