Iskarty/Iskartai

The descendant who made contact with me in November 2009, the great-grandson of August  Spurgat, who now lives in Germany, had told me the background of the following story:

Iskarty was the home of the August Spurgat family for 3 generations. August, born in 1875, half-brother of Adolf and brother of Josof, lived at a Jewish landowner’s property until the 1930s. Two grandsons of August were born here: Waldemar in 1927 (died 02 January 2009 in Husum, Schlewig-Holstein, Germany) and his half-brother Richard in 1936.

At first August Spurgat and his family lived at a Jewish landowner’s property in Iskarty (the place exists no more.)

 All named persons [great-grandfather August Spurgat, grandmother Berta Spurgat, and father Waldemar Spurgat] lived in the end of the 1920s as a great family with other members on an estate in Iskarty or on the estate Iskarty.

My father told to me this: His grandfather August in 1941 was resettled by the Nazis from Iskartai to Preußisch [Prussian] Stargard close to Königsberg, Prussia, where he lived in a camp called Umsiedlungslager. Later he was allowed to go back to his homeland.

Out family history tour guide said that the above information is inconsistent with Lithuanian history. The Soviets came in June 1940. (From what I have read the German people were relocated back to Poland and Germany for one year and then were allowed to return home when the Germans had forced a Soviet retreat. The people thought that the Germans were winning. When the Soviets forced another German retreat in July 1944, 90% of the Germans fled and were gone permanently.)

The sign to Iskartai is right on the outskirts of Zielonka/Zalioji

The sign to Iskartai is right on the outskirts of Zielonka/Zalioji

This road leads to the former Iskarty Manor.

This road leads to the former Iskarty Manor.

We stopped to talk to some local people who had gathered outside. One man went next door to get his neighbor, even older, to see if he could provide any information. The man knewthere were Germans named Gruber and Kratz in the area. No one today knew of any names which ended in –at. They thought that 7% of the population was German before WWII, about 50,000 Germans.Nothing is left of the Iskarty/Iskartai Manor. Iskarty/Iskartai is now part of Zielenka/ Zalioji.

The local people in Iskarti thought it was unusual that Anna Raudonat Spurgat was buried in Virbalis as it is too far from Gudkaimas which is near Kibarty/Kybartai. Perhaps if she had been born in Virballis, she might have been buried there.  (Anna was born in Szelwy, close to Dydwiże, Didvyžiai, which gives credence to the story told by the local residents.)

Before going on to Iskarti/Iskartai we stopped at a cemetery with graves of German soldiers from WWI. This cemetery is still being used and there were a few people tending the graves, a common site in this country.

 On the way to our local guide’s home, we passed a cemetery where French soldiers were buried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About suwalkigermans

I started family research in 1993. My first two books focused on my maternal grandparents. Both families came from Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia, to Big Rapids, Michigan. I left the Spurgats from Wylkowiszki in the Russian Empire as the third book because of the difficult and challenging research it required. After I published the book in 2010, I wondered what to do next. I thought I might try to share some of my research with others and maybe at the same time, by going digital, someone would find me. When you read the comments, you will see that happened. The best part of all this is helping others.
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