Tip 9, Researching the Journey from Galicia to Germany
In 1939 Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union as a result of the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement. One of the terms of this agreement was that German ethnics were to be relocated from the Russian area to the German area.
The main wave of Germans returning to the homeland from Galicia was just at the start of World War II. Many thousands of German settlers in Galicia and elsewhere were resettled back to German controlled parts of Poland or to Germany itself. Most went to what was called Warthegau or Reichsgau Wartheland (taken from Poland) and described in this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichsgau_Wartheland. This was a rushed resettlement and our ancestors experienced serious hardships in this transition.
The Germans, as usual, kept meticulous records of this resettlement. These records were captured by allied troops in Berlin at the end of the war. They are known as the "EWZ" records and are housed in the US national archives (NARA). They are available for viewing at NARA offices around the USA. Follow the instructions on our help page to see more information about these EWZ pages and how to view the original documents.
There was a separate migration from the Warthegau (returned to Poland) at the end of World War II back into Germany. This was another period of suffering for our ancestors. If you know about records dealing with that migration, please contact