Part 1: Preparing for the Resettlement of the Buchenland Germans in Berlin
From the Website of Willi Kosiul
Posted with permission of the author’s son, February 13, 2021
As early as 1939 there were assessments from Czernowitz to Berlin about the insufficient viability of the German ethnic group in the Bukovina and also the thoughts of the necessity of their resettlement in the former German Reich. When the resettlement of the Wolhynia Germans and the Galicia Germans between Berlin and Moscow was agreed in the autumn of 1939 and was then carried out at the end of the year, the resettlement of the Buchenland Germans became more and more acute and topical. The Soviet occupation of the Romanian northern Bukovina on June 28, 1940 triggered the resettlement of the Germans from the northern Bukovina and then also from the southern Bukovina, which also happened in the autumn of 1940.
As early as August 1940 in the German Reich, by the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle in Berlin, the entire area of North Bukovina was divided into 13 local areas (in Bu 1 to Bu 13) and then the resettlement of these Germans from North Bukovina to the German Reich was prepared and carried out.
The designation “Bu” meant northern Bukovina, the first digits after “Bu” determined the respective local area and the digits defined afterwards in Bukovina were the personal data assigned to the respective resettlers. This area and place designation and the subsequent identification for each person accompanied each resettler during resettlement in the German Reich, during the smuggling through and naturalization as well as during his settlement and also with his further fate until 1945.
In the summer of 1940 a resettlement commando for the resettlement area of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina was formed in Berlin from SS men . For this purpose, a preparation camp was set up in Berlin-Stahnsdorf, in which these recruited SS forces were barracked, trained, trained and specifically prepared for their upcoming deployment . This enabled these emergency services to do an independent, careful and reliable work on site in their area of operation .
After long negotiations between the German government and the government of the USSR in Moscow, the contract on the resettlement of the German population from Bessarabia and northern Bukovina to the German Empire was concluded on September 5, 1940 . According to this German-Soviet resettlement agreement, the resettlement of Germans from Bessarabia and northern Bukovina could begin immediately and had to be completed by November 17, 1940.
When the German-Soviet resettlement agreement was signed in Moscow on September 5, 1940, this preparatory course in Berlin-Stahnsdorf was ended immediately and everything was prepared for the immediate departure of the German resettlement command to the Bessarabia and northern Bukovina area.
The head of this German resettlement command for Bessarabia and northern Bukovina was SS-Standartenführer Hoffmeyer (in rank like Colonel), who officially called himself “German Chief Plenipotentiary”. This head with his resettlement command and his staff had his seat in the Bessarabian German town of Tarutino. There was a regional command for the northern Bukovina area with its headquarters in Chernivtsi. On September 9, 1940, this resettlement unit then drove in two separate special trains from Berlin-Lichtenberg station via Krakow, one to Bessarabia and the other to northern Bukowina.
On October 22, 1940, a German-Romanian agreement was signed in Bucharest, according to which the Germans from southern Bukovina and Dobruja could be resettled in the German Reich. The resettlement of the Germans from the Romanian southern Bukovina was to take place – according to this agreement – in special trains via Cluj-Napoca – Budapest – Vienna and that of the Dobrudscha Germans on ships on the Danube upstream into the German Reich , which was then also carried out.
The resettlement of Germans from the Romanian southern Bukovina was also prepared in the summer of 1940 – by the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle in Berlin – and the seat of the regional command for the small town of Gura Humora was determined. The area of South Bukovina was divided territorially into two resettlement areas (Radautz and Gurahumora) and these were divided into a total of 19 subordinate local areas (from Sbu 1 to Sbu 19) and the seats of the respective local representatives were determined. Here, too, “Sbu” meant South Bukovina and the number was the respective local area.
As soon as the German-Romanian resettlement agreement was signed in Bucharest on October 22, 1940, the German resettlement command for the Romanian southern Bukovina and the Dobrudscha , which had already been prepared , was transferred from Berlin to Romania .