I was recently contacted by a Günter Waschke…whose family bought my great-grandparents home in Berlitt in 1945. It means so much to me that so many people have reached out to me after completing my dad’s documentary. Here’s part of my interview from overseas.
“What can you tell me about my great-grandparents Helene & Richard Pein?
“I was 4 years, so I do not remember much. Helene loved me as little Günter because her son Günter was killed in the war. From Richard, I have no rememberings. As he was the mayor of Berlitt he was regarded as bad Nazi by the upcoming Communists. They forced him to move to Granzow on his second farm. His farm in Berlitt was expropriated and divided into small farms distributed to refugees from East Germany like my mother and me. The same process was conducted with the big farm of Earl/Graf Königsmark who had committed suicide visiting the Russians. You have seen his castle near the church of Berlitt.”
“Thanks so much for the information. Why did your parents leave the farm? My dad thought our old farm was purchased by a polish couple who worked for my great-grandparents.”
“No polish workers bought the farm. He was expropriated and the farm was divided into small pieces which were given to German refugees. The political idea was “Junkerland in Bauernhand”. If there were polish workers as prisoners of the Nazis they moved back to Poland after the end of the war.”
“What else can you tell me about that time period and our old house?”
“My mother and I fled from our original home in the near of Posen/Poznan ln January 1945 by foot and took only what we could carry. I cried because I forgot my doll called Ria. We lived after the war in the right part of Pein’s house, seen from the street side, until 1950. Then my mother and I left Berlitt because my father who was a prisoner of war was set free and moved to West Germany. Additionally, it was better to go to the west because Berlitt had become part of the communist German Democratic Republic under the goodwill of Stalin. Last year I have been in Berlitt visiting my cousin who lives still there.”
Growing up my dad told me an intriguing story about my great-grandfather Richard Pein who was at one time the mayor of Berlitt. A well-respected member of the community, Pein allegedly buried gold coins worth millions of dollars beneath his pig barn shortly before the Russians invaded his small community at the end of World War II. Now, 73 years later I’ve finished a journey my ancestors couldn’t make and return to the home of where the treasure was allegedly buried. Click on the link above to see how the story unfolds.
Growing up my dad told me an intriguing story about my great-grandfather Richard Pein. A well-respected member of the community and head of the local bank, Pein allegedly buried gold coins worth millions of dollars beneath his pig barn shortly before the Russians invaded his small community at the end of World War II. Now, 73 years later I’m finishing a journey my ancestors couldn’t make, to go back to the house and see if our buried treasure is still there.