Mai Lan

Mai Lan

Pavlo

Pavlo

Maryna

Maryna

Jürgen

Jürgen

Ismail

Ismail

Hubert

Hubert

Salaheldin

Salaheldin

Dimitrie

Dimitrie

Agnieszka

Agnieszka

Abdi

Abdi

Hubert Kühnel

Poland, Lower Silesia

1946

The first evacuation of the village of Hermsdorf took place in February 1945 into the nearby mountains. Hubert Kühnel, just 15 years old, was one of the drivers of the horse-drawn carriages. The father was in charge of the trek, which was repeatedly shot at by low-flying aircraft. For a time they lived in an inn. They decided to return to their hometown in May 1945. The frequent change of fronts in the region led to severe war damage. Many buildings were destroyed. In August 1946 he was expelled by the Polish government.

The village was expelled in three stages, we were part of the first stage. Luggage only what we could carry. Mother had made backpacks herself. winter coat fabric sewn into a pillowcase, towels were sewn together as straps […] All kinds of clothes were also worn, undershirt, long underpants, a suit, and on top of that the winter coat. You have to imagine, all of this in August.

However, a number of carefully packed pieces of luggage, money, securities, savings bank books were taken from the Germans during checks at the station. The journey in a freight car from the district town of Strehlen to the Prossen quarantine camp took seven days. After about three weeks, the family found their first accommodation in the hall of the Feldschlösschen restaurant in Pirna.

At the age of 16, Hubert Kühnel first became an agricultural assistant in the village of Wehlen and completed an apprenticeship as a lathe operator from 1949. He is involved in the homeland association and takes care of the preservation of customs and the regular exchange between the expelled Lower Silesians.


Lower Silesia

In February 1945, the province of Lower Silesia was occupied by the Red Army and east of the Oder-Neisse line was placed under Polish administration. The German-speaking inhabitants fled their villages or were almost completely expelled. As a result, Polish residents were settled in the villages, often with little experience in agriculture.

Winter in Hermsdorf, 1932

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