My preparation had included a brief look at the 5th floor Library and Archives
but because I did not plan on working there, I only perused it. I highly recommend studying the details of doing research on the fifth floor while planning a research trip.
The final day of research at the Holocaust Memorial Museum will be the subject of the next several posts.
The volunteer at the Survivors and Victims Resource Center thought I should explore the academic and scholarly aspect as well as the genealogical perspective of my investigation: information about the Germans in Lithuania who did not immigrate. So he wove his way with me in tow to the Fifth Floor Library and Archives where the scholarly and academic research was done.
He suggested I use the term Volksdeutsch which our 2013 guide had told me meant the German people. In 2014 I learned that this was a specific term related to the German peoples in WWII, not widely used 75 years later.
The archivist assured me that they had material that would adequately cover my search. Himmler’s Auxiliaries came to his mind first, so I planned to start with that book.
So I mined the website with the search term Volksdeutsche and similar terms in the online catalogue.
By the end of the day I had
- pertinent pages of 4 books scanned, attached, and sent to my e-mail.
- 1 article from “an obscure Polish Journal” which I received as an e-mail attachment through my own public library and Interlibrary loan within a week of my return.
- 1 thesis on my thumb drive on the subject of five different policies various governments developed related to refugee status post WWII
The following posts will provide quotations, paraphrases, and summaries that apply to those researching in Suwalki Province with possible origins in East Prussia.
Post 7 Germans, Poles, and Jews
Post 8 Himmler’s Auxiliaries Part 1
Post 9 Himmler’s Auxiliaries Part 2
Post 10 Orderly and Humane
Post 11 “The Resettlements of Germans from Lithuania during World War II” by Piotr Lossowski from Acta Poloniae HIstorica article Part 1
Post 12 “The Resettlements of Germans from Lithuania during World War II” by Piotr Lossowski from Acta Poloniae HIstorica article Part 2
Post 13 Thesis: The Illusion of Peace: The Fate of the Baltic Displaced Persons, 1945-1952. By Victoria Marite Helga Eastes Introduction and Abstract
Post 14 History of the Three Baltics
Post 15 DP Camp Experience
Post 16 America and the Baltics
I thought I had pretty well covered the topic of what happened between 1941 and 1950 to Germans who lived in Lithuania. This effort might help me determine what happened to Anna Spurgatis and Emil Hutop and provide a direction for future research, the subject of a future post.
The research trip to the Holocaust Museum was a life-changing event. It just shows that you never know what discovery might be around the corner. I expected to find Spurgats. I did not. I found Hutops instead. I was able to get two of my three questions answered in ways I did not expect: extraordinary volunteers and an opportunity to work in a world-renown library and archives to discover more information. What more could anyone ask for in three days?
The success of this this research was more easily accomplished by my being able to stay with a close relative and easily get to the museum via the metro. The opportunity to see my 99 year old Spurgat aunt was a dual but equally important purpose. It was fortuitous as she died only 12 days later, the last of a generation.