SetschanfelD

Preserving the heritage of Setschanfeld and the people who lived there for future generations

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The Families

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The War, the Expulsion, and the Setschanfeld Internment Camp

 

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Banat History

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Church Records

 

Digitized copies of church books for the parishes of Gross Gaj and Zichydorf can be purchased through the Zichydorf Village Association (ZVA):

 

Zichydorf Church Books ($30): A four CD set that covers the years 1789 until the 1970ís

 

Gross Gaj ($25):† †††††††† Baptisms from 1832 to 1917

†††††††††††† †††††††††††† † ††††††††††† Marriages from 1832 to 1944

†††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† Burials from 1832 to 1945

 

Please mail your check to:† ††††† Zichydorf Village Association

†††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† 2274 Baldwin Bay

†††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† Regina, SK S4V 1H2

 

For questions on these CDís, please contact Glenn Schwartz at gschwartz@accesscomm.ca

 

 

Familienbuch

 

Helmut Kaiser built on Peter Nollís work to create a Zichydorf Familienbuch.† You can view older versions at these web stes: http://www.ortsfamilienbuecher.de/zichydorf/index_en.html and http://fb-zichydorf-kaiser.heim.at/index.htm.† The newest addition (2008), with updates, corrections, and a small amount of new information is available on CD.† This CD is available from the ZVA for $40.† See address and contact information above.

Village Books

 

Title: Sheltered in the Shadow of Your Wings
Author: Magdalena G
šrtner (nee Martin).
Original German version published in 2005.
Also available in an English translation.
Translated by Nicola Landry and Ruth Mandoli.
Soft cover; 175 pages; 115 photos

$25 USD and CAD

To purchase a copy of this book, please contact
Arlene Prunkl at
arlie272@gmail.com.


 

Book review:

Sheltered in the Shadow of Your Wings is a

beautifully written, sometimes heart-wrenching

memoir of Magdalena (nee Martin) Gaertner's

childhood in the Banat village of Setschanfeld. Mrs. Gaertner begins by describing a peaceful life filled with hard work and good times in Setschanfeld in the 1930s. She recounts how, at the age of nine, her life and the lives of her family and the other villagers were torn apart when World War II struck the innocent village. She describes the horrible circumstances as the village was first invaded by the Russian Allies, then taken over by the Yugoslav Partisans, and finally turned into a concentration camp for the ostracized Danube Swabians.

In the summer of 1945, "Leni" Martin and her mother managed to flee to a nearby working farm called Krakasch. A year later, they, along with a handful of others including my grandmother, Elizabeth Prunkl, made a daring escape from the tyranny of Communist Yugoslavia across the Romanian border. From there, they made their way through Austria to Germany, where they were reunited with Leni's father. Leni spent the subsequent decade in Germany, where she met her husband Michael Gaertner, before emigrating to Ottawa, Canada. Her parents followed after another decade. Leni never quite recovered from the death of her sister Eva in the Russian labour camps in the year after WWII ended.

The remainder of the book is devoted to the struggles and pleasures of beginning a new life in a foreign land, and how their Catholic faith kept them going. Like most Donauschwaben, Leni and Michael are survivors -- hardy, optimistic people who made the best of their situation -- and they and their two children prospered. Leni and Michael still live a contented life in Nepean, Ontario, Canada, near Ottawa. They have four grandchildren and have traveled extensively, including a trip back to Setschanfeld and Germany.

Leni's story is a fascinating, easy-to-read account of the struggle, survival, and ultimate triumph of a single family in the face of the Donauschwaben genocide during and after WWII. Highly recommended.   --Arlene Prunkl