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Brody, Ukraine in March 1944

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by pullnshoot25, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. pullnshoot25

    pullnshoot25 recruit

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    Hey everyone, just looking for some information on what was going on in or near Brody, Ukraine in 1944. I have recently become interested in the genealogy and history of my family and I am trying to piece together what happened right around March 1944 until my grandparents left Germany in 1950.

    A primer on geography... Brody is a city in the L'viv oblast in NW Ukraine. Koniushkiv (in the story it is spelled Koniuszkiw) is a city a few miles North of Brody. Berlyn is about 2.5 miles West of Koniushkiv.

    Here is the story. This is a transcribed version of my grandpa's diary written through my dad's hand.

    10 March 1944 the Bolsheviks arrived. (my dad was a man of few words).

    The Bolsheviks quickly learned that my dad was the town secretary (or had been) (of Koniushkiv) and that he knew the town's inhabitants on the tips of his fingers. That same day the Bolsheviks came to him and told him that our house would be the Red Army Headquarters and that they had to vacate within a few days. Another Bolshevik with a lot of badges on his chest came to my dad and told him that they needed him to produce a list of the names of all the men in the village ages 18-45 for conscription purposes. A man in the village who was learning to be a cantor from my dad (he was shadowing my dad) told him that he would be killed by the townspeople if he produced the list and if he didn't the Bolsheviks would kill him (and the family). My dad wondered what he should do. The person simply said to him 'the forest is large'.

    My dad went home and told Olga to wake up my mom and Myrosia and they started to set out to the German held village about 3 miles away with another couple (Berlyn). That couple decided to return to their house to get boots (my mom said it was to get bandages) and they were never seen again. In 1992, after visiting the Ukraine, Olga wrote to an acquaintance there and asked what happened to that couple. The lady wrote back that upon coming back to their home the Bolsheviks were already there and immediately shipped the man, Stepan, to Siberia and he never returned (this was not an unusual event).

    About ½ way to the German-held village my mom and dad and sister saw their house go up in flames (myrosia was 3 at that time and did not utter a sound the entire way – my mom told me that when they reached the German-held village they had to pry Myrosia from my mom's arms because her arms had stiffened as she held Myrosia tightly in place hoping she would not make a noise and give away their position). They continued on following the direction of the tracer bullets they could see during the continuing battle between the Nazis and the Bolsheviks until they came upon a creek with a German soldier on the other side. They waved a white piece of cloth and said in German 'Russians not good'. The soldier understood. They found a footbridge (maybe a plank) and crossed over and the soldier let them pass safely.


    My questions for the interested members of this board.

    1) What was going on at that particular area in March 1944?
    2) Where were the German/Russian lines?
    3) Anyone know specific units operating in the area?
    4) Has anyone done any extensive digging/excavations/other history recording in that area?
    5) Is there anywhere I can look to see a list of village death tolls in the area from either the Russians or Germans?
    6) Where can I find some good articles/books on what happened in Brody in 1944?


    Any help that I can get on this would be most appreciated. I know I posed a lot of questions but I am really, really curious.

    Below is map of the Brody area in question written in Polish in 1924. The Koniushkiv/Berlyn area is right up from Brody.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Henryk Bezpietka

    Henryk Bezpietka recruit

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    I am a survivor of the massacre of Hucisko Brodzkie in the vicinity of the city
    of Brody. I have written my account of the massacre on Sunday, Feb 13,1922 so that my now grown children will have the true version if they do as you are now doing and choose to research further. I had left the town during the morning that day to attend a catholic church function - as we were returning to the town we could see the massacre taking place - My father, mother and brother were in the town and my mother and brother had been sent by my father to the center of the town and they were hiding in the basement of a house there. Thank God my father, mother and brother were among the survivors and my father told me some horrible things that were done by the Ukranians -
    The Germans temporarily stationed in the town where we had gone to church were requested by the priest and others to help prevent the total anihilation of the entire townspeople of Hucisko Brodzkie and they did move in with tanks with machine guns -
    My mother and brother were next in line to be taken out and murdered - but they were saved. I have tried over the past few years to get further information and only was able to obtain several articles regarding Hucisko Brodzkie and several other towns who also were attacked. I have been unable to find any information as to what happened in these towns afterwards. My father moved us back to Germany after the massacre and the towns were being burned. I am now almost 82 years old and would love to talk with anyone else who was a survivor of these massacres. I hope someone out there can be of help to me in putting this all together. I am still haunted in my mind by the events there in Hucisko Brodzkie . I was 14 1/2 at the time and my brother ( now deceased) was about 20 yrs old. We came to the US in April 1950. Since coming to the US I am now HENRY BENNET, Gastonia, North Carolina.
     
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  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Welcome to the site Henryk, and thank you for this sad story. Ive only read very little about that battle so know almost nothing about it. If you have the time? i'd like to hear more of your memories. As is known, im a big (for lack of better words) fan of Eastern Front Battles.

    Take care abd best regards--Carl.
     
  4. gensiorek

    gensiorek recruit

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    What a sad story. My family "Gesiorek" came from the village of Hucsiko Brodzkie. Your name dose not look Polish, is it??
    I would like to hear from you.Thanks
    Josephine
     
  5. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I think "Brody" is the German spelling for it? I dont know but I have read something about it mentioned in a couple of German written books and that was how it was spelled in it.
     
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  6. Pelekys

    Pelekys Member

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    Brody was a city near the borders.
    Also, a very big and energetic Jew community lived there and this also could be another magnet for problems.
    Due to these two factors, very often, historically, the city suffered serious problems.

    Especially for the question above, you can find some info at the Ukranian and Canadian research centre: http://ucrdc.org/HI-BATTLE_OF_BRODY.html
    Also at chapter 6 of the below link.
    http://ucrdc.org/Film-Hitler_annotated.html

    The 14th Grenadier Division Galicia took part in the fight, maybe this is the explanation that the family and others crossed easily the German lines. This division was from Ukrainian volunteers.
    Maybe some info also at the following book.
    Ostfront 1944: Tscherkassy, Tarnopol, Krim, Witebsk, Bobruisk, Brody, Jassy, Kischinew (ISBN: 9783895551017)
    by Alex Buchner /Bookseller:
    AwesomeBooks (Berkshire, BE, United Kingdom).
     
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  7. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    and of course you know full well any of the Galacia Division captured by the Soviets were terminated.
     
  8. gensiorek

    gensiorek recruit

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    Hi Henry
    I would really like to hear from you regarding Hucisko Brodzkie as that is where my family came from. I haven't seen any more posts from you so hope you are well.
    Josephine genshorek (Gesiorek)
     
  9. gensiorek

    gensiorek recruit

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    I would like to get in touch with you because my family came from Ponikwa, Hucisko Brodzkie.
     
  10. gesiorek maga

    gesiorek maga recruit

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    Hello, my name is Grzegorz, I live in Poland, Trzebnica. Josefa Gesiorek is my grandmother, she was born in 1924 in Hucisko Brodzkie and she survived in the massacre on Feb 13, 1944. Sometimes she backs in her memory to this sad days. If you would like to I can describe her memories about this ukraine attack on the people of Hucisko and theirs live before that in Poland after the II War.I have some photos of Hucisko Brodzkie and pictures of Hucisko's cementary (Hucisko doesn't exist ). Grzegorz Gesiorek
     
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  11. gensiorek

    gensiorek recruit

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    Hello Grzegorz
    I have done much research on the Gesiorek name from Hucisko Brodzkie, Ponikwa area.
    I am not abe to get any information after 1899 on any births, deaths, or marriages. I have about 200 Gesioreks in my geneology. I have my line going back to Adalbertus born 1767 married to Rozalia Medelska 1792. If you would give me the names of you mother, her husband and thier parents i might be able to make a connection to myself and your family. Is your mother a Gesiorek or did she marry a Gesiorek.
    I have seen stories of the sad massacre in H.B. and also pictures. I am friends with a Joseph Zeglinski who also is related to the Gesioreks through the marriage of Alfonzyna Gesiorek and Jozef Pryszczewski. Enough for now. Waiting to hear from you
    Josephine
     
  12. gesiorek maga

    gesiorek maga recruit

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    Hello Josephine
    nice to meet you and I 'm giving you an answer on your questions: My grandmother maiden name is Gesiorek, Józefa . She was born in Hucisko Brodzkie in 1924.

    Her parents were Jan Gesiorek and Rozalia Bernacka.
    The parents of Jan Gesiorek (my grandmas father) were Józef Gesiorek and Maria, but we don"t know her name.
    Jan Gesiorek (my grandmas father) had two brothers : Michał and Mikołaj.
    Jan Gesiorek (my grandmas father) went to his cousin to Canada and worked there a couple of weeks/years.


    The parents of Rozalia Bernacka (my grandmas mother) were Ignacy Bernacki and Agnieszka Wierzbowska.
    Rozalia Bernacka (my grandmas mother) had two brothers: Antoni and Mikołaj and sister Maria.
    One brother went to Canada.All members of family lived in Hucisko Brodzkie.

    My grandmother remember the family of Pryszczewski form Hucisko Brodzkie and Pereliski and remember where in Hucisko Brodzkie was Żeglinski's house.

    I'll give you more information if you woud like to, and I'm glad to help if I can.
    Grzegorz
     
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  13. jeanne

    jeanne New Member

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    relatives hucisko brodzkie
    bernacki is my maiden name
     
  14. jeanne

    jeanne New Member

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    mikolaj bernacki was my father and agnieszka was his mother. he and helena bonkowska were married and lived in hucisko till the germans took them to germany for slave labor in 1944 where I was born. please contact me any relatives. mikolaj had 2 sisters rozalia and maria.
     
  15. jeanne

    jeanne New Member

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    gesiorek was my grandmothers last name agnieszka gesiorek and my father mikolaj was born august 25,1900
     
  16. jeanne

    jeanne New Member

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    brody 1944 my parents were taken by the Germans and we are in Canada and I am looking for genealogy and relatives
     
  17. jeanne

    jeanne New Member

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    Bernacki Mikolaj from Hucisko Brodzkie was my father. any family please contact me
     
  18. jeanne

    jeanne New Member

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    Brody means beards in Polish and refers to Brody being a major Jewish Hasidic teaching center.
     
  19. jeanne

    jeanne New Member

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    my family fr Brody also left Germany in 1950. coincidence? we were in Germany from 1944 to October 1950.
     
  20. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    Welcome to the forum Jeanne and thank you for reviving this thread.

    Doing exactly what you did, by inserting the full names of people involved in this story,
    means that you should check in here occasionally for years to come.
    People doing family research searches will come across your posts and revive this time and again from its long deep sleep.., just as you did.

    Thank you for your input. Nicely done.
     

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