Danzig-Wonneberg / Gdansk-Ujescisko
This is a private page of nostalgia, which
has nothing to do with mathematics.
||I spent my first eight years from 1937 to 1945 at a small village south
of Danzig/Gdansk with the name Wonneberg/Ujescisko (Stare).
My father came as a young teacher and organist to this village in 1930
and started a family.
We left in January 1945 (see left side).
I returned to Ujescisko as a visitor in 1970 and 2006.
In September 2008 I got connections to
two inhabitants of Ujescisko, Tomasz Zukowski and Jacek Kalinowski, with
help of the web site http://www.ujescisko.com, which disappeared
in meantime (May 2012).
They were interested in the German history before 1945. So I looked
back and made this page.
of Wonneberg / Ujescisko top
||Surrounding villages in German and Polish.
Map of 1784
||Wonneberg is a very old village.
It is already drawn on a map of 1784.
You can even go back to the 14th century:
You can read on the page Preußische Regesten (Regesten=collection
of documents) about 1341:
PrUB 3.423 — [1338-1341]
"Der Komtur von Danzig Winrich von Kniprode verleiht dem Konrad Münzmeister
als Schulzen das Dorf Wonneberg (Kreis Danziger Höhe) mit 38 Hufen
zu kulmischem Recht."
Map of the time before
Wold War II
||Wonneberg before 1945
Map of the time after
Wold War II
Wonneberg on Google
||This is special: Wonneberg was an Angerdorf.
A main and a side street formed an island, the Anger (yellow).
(Originally it was a public meadow.)
There were three of the official buildings of the village, the shop/pub
(14), the school (15) and the smithy (16).
Then there were a small and a big pond, a meadow and the pump house
Most of the people took their drinking water from there. This was the
place to meet and to talk to each other.
There were five farms (5000 ha altogether) on the right-hand side,
the workers lived on the left-hand side. Most of them worked on the farms.
The church (13) was outside the Anger on the main crossing of the village.
Usually the church was also situated on the island of an Angerdorf.
Inhabitants of Wonneberg top
We succeeded in finding the names of about 40 families, who lived in
Wonneberg before 1945.
Many names came from my two elder brothers, who where 15 and 16 at the
end of World War II. Many names also came from James Smith of the Lademann
family living in the USA. He had procured them as a microfilm from the
Mormones' "Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah". The numbers
with two digits is the number of the 76 picture files he sent me. The families
with xx are missing in the collection, but we knew them.
66 von Dühren, Artur (Wirt)
67 von Dühren, Felix (Bauer)
43 Mirau – Sielaff
There are also family names from Neu-Wonneberg, which we don't know
with the exception 75 Herrmann. Then there is a card of the innkeeper of
Hölle, 14 Puttkammer, and the one of my first teacher 02 Miss Tschiersky,
who taught in Hölle, but lived in Danzig.
||The names were collected by the "Heimatortskartei für Danzig-Westpreußen
(1936-1963)". Obviously nearly all inhabitants got in touch with this place
in Lübeck and sent their datas in handwriting.
We can't remember this process in the 1950s though it was shurely well
known all over Germany.
This organisation is closed, the datas were integrated into the Mormone
You find them with "Wonneberg - Zwirngasse -
FHL INTL Film [ 444604 ]"
Sometimes there is another card with the wife's and children's names.
||My father's card was also among them. You can passably read it. The
quality is often bad, because words written with ink were copied.
It is a pity that many other families' datas can hardly be read.
The card gives informations about
Day and place of birth, religion, family
Last residence before 1945
Addresses after 1945
Houses before 1945
The attempt follows to assign the families to houses.
There is a gap between 2 and 3. This was the ground (1ha), which belonged
to the teacher.
03 Farmer Hering, Mrs. Schwarz
04 Farmer Groddeck, Lehre
05 School 1st to 4th year (Ms. Schäfer).
06 Farmer Taube
07 Farmer Arthur von Dühren
08 Farmer Prang
09 Sielaff, Mirau
11 Worker's' houses:
Konrad, Domrös, Pawlowski, Dombrowski, Rosalewski, Ziehm(?).
|12 Mrs. Rösner
13 Parish priest house Hoffmann, Church
14 Shop and pub von Dühren
15 School 5-7 Köller
16 Smithy Archut, Liesandt
17 Pump house
18 Workers' houses - Splanemann, Mahlau, Hansekowski / Grocholl, Flissikowski,
20 House owned by the village - Sieg, Lademann and the policeman Krüger.
21/22 Cozch, Lischnewski, Hübner, Ziebarth, Krönke, Richert
||We found the residences of 22 families.
We know 34 families, but we couldn't read many names of the towns on
The residence is marked by a red point. The letters are the first ones
of the family names.
This is sure:
The families spread out all over Germany after the War.
The name Wonneberg was replaced by the Polish name Ujescisko (Stare)
I tried to draw a map of today.
We recognized the red houses mostly built in red bricks.
The church was burnt in 1945. The ruins of the cemetery were still
there in a small wood.
You could not recognize the farms. Some of the main houses were destroyed
The small pond disappeared, also the pump house. There are a transformer
house and the bus station now.
The buildings of the smithy and the shop/pub were old and replaced
by new houses.
The houses of Wonneberg lay around the
Dorfanger. Today the village as a part of Gdansk has grown in all directions.
There are also many new settlements on the way to Lostowice (Schönfeld)
and Szadólki (Schüddelkau). So the traffic was dense
in 2006. We could hardly cross the streets.
Leaving Wonneberg top
The priest's and my family left the village before conquered by the
Russian army, also the Grocholl and Krüger family later than we. The
other German inhabitants had a hard summer and were sent away in 1945.
Attempt of Using the Train
||We wanted to go westward by train.
This is the ticket written in 1945, 27 Jan.
||But the train had to return to Danzig after several hours. The Russian
army stood in front of Stettin and the rails were not free.
Over the Baltic Sea
||Only the seeway was open. We found the ship Emsstrom, which stayed
in the harbour of Neufahrwasser until a convoy assembled.
I found this statement about it on the internet:
"Am 1.Februar 1945 verließen die großen Passagierdampfer
Hansa (21.133 BRT), Hamburg (21.691 BRT), Cap Arkona (27.571 BRT) und weitere
Schiffe die Danziger Bucht und erreichten die westliche Ostsee."
1.5 millions of people were brought to
the western Baltic Sea on this way up to April 1945. - 3000 people
1937 and 1945
Germany lost 1/3 of its area. There were nearly seven millions refugees.
This was one price we had to pay because of our Nazi regime, which had
brought so much horror and evil to the world.
Old Pictures top
||Two village views come from a postcard, which my mother sent to her
cousin at Mülheim an der Ruhr in 1942.
The church was destroyed in springtime 1945.
Before 1942 and in February 2009
Before 1942 und in February 2009
I found this drawing on the internet on the web site
of a Polish newsgroup.
Hopefully there is no copyright on it. If there is, please tell me.
Entrance of the church, before 1945
||Former school (15) in 1930
||Former school (15) in 1939
The von Dühren family
Kirsten Mrosseck found this page on the internet,
because she knew that her grandmother was brought up in Wonneberg as the
daughter of the smith Paul von Dühren. She found a photo from
1918 (!) of her family in front of the smithy (Number 16 in my drawing).
||Farm Felix von Dühren before 1945
Rainer Köller sent me this photo.
The Heering family
Karin White, née Heering, discovered this
web page in November 2009. She is Franz und Dora Heering's daughter,
who owned a farm and a sandpit northwest of Wonneberg. The sandpit was
replaced by a large cemetery.
The buildings of the farm were destroyed during the fights around Danzig
in spring 1945.
When I visited the village in 1970, I only found the former administrator's
house. The beech tree on the left belonged to the former garden.
||You can see the position of the farm buildings with the help of the
1 dwelling, 2 cow shed and pigsty, 3 barn, 4 horse stable, 5 room
for carriages and smithy, 6 Administrator's house.
Karin sent me some photos.
Franz Heering, Frau Schwarz, and Dora Heering on their carriage
Franz Heering in front of the stable in 1932
Maybe the following two photos were taken in the village in former times.
This is a photo taken from the first floor of the dwelling. You see
the school with the two chimneys in the centre.
The spire of the church is just right beside the fir tree on the right.
The scattering of trees and the fountain on the left are unknown.
We have a better feeling in the interpretation of the following photo.
This is a view to the farm Prang with a chimney and to two willow trees,
which stood along the big pond.
Felix von Dühren's farm is on the very left.
The Mirau family
I contacted the grandchildren of the Mirau family
(9). There are still two old photos in their family.
It is unkown, how old they are and who are the
persons on the first photo.
The house of the von Dühren family (14) in the background,
the shop on the left, the pub on the right.
House of the Mirau family
This is history, too. You can still see the pump.
||View from the pump house over the small pond to the former school (15)
Hans-Günter Sielaff took it in 1965.
||This is the same place in 2006.
of places in the surrounding top
||Umgebung von Wonneberg/Ujescisko in Deutsch und Polnisch.
Estate Zankenzin, photo by Barbara Lewko, 1993
Estate Zankenzin, photo by Barbara Lewko, 1999
Estate Schönfeld, provided by Bartosz B.
Emaus und Hölle
Ruin of the school Hölle
provided by Bartosz B.
Old Stories top
Bruno von Stolzenberg
||A monument was erected in rememberance of the former cemetery in November
Inscription: ... Former protestant cemetery at Wonnenberg ...
This is a great gesture of the present inhabitants of Wonneberg/Ujescisko.
This brings back memories:
As a seven year old boy I watched the funerals from the street many
times before 1945. Schucker-Brunchen (alias Bruno von Stolzenberg)
stood in the focus. I could watch him from a safe distance. We feared him
in the streets. The older children teased him, so he chased all children
and waved his walking stick.
It was said that Schucker-Brunchen was a former priest. He was
a bit confused. He visited *all* funerals in and around Danzig/Gdansk and
gave condolences. He lived from the small money he received then.
Schucker-Brunchen became as Schugger Leo a character of
the world literature. He played an important underpart in the novel Blechtrommel
(The Tin Drum) by Günter Grass.
Grass: Near the end of World War II the number of funerals had increased
so much that even Schugger Leo lost the overview.
The big pond
If you look for Wonneberg/ Ujescisko on a map,
you orientate by the big pond. It is a characteristic of the village. -
Discussions in our family about old times often
deal with the pond. "My family" means my two elder brothers, who were 15
and 16 years old, when we left Wonneberg. They helped me to tell the following
The big pond had no inflow and no outflow and
was filled by the surface water (rain). It was only about 80 cm deep. It
was deeper in front of the street between the farmers Arthur von
Dühren and Prang, so that the horses could dip in for washing. - The
pond was the cattle watering tank. The horses were driven to the north
west corner every day in the morning, so that they could drink water.
They already were harnessed as teams to two or four. In the evenings the
cows came to the ponds for drinking, too.
The youth didn't swim in the pond very often. The ground was muddy and
the water became easily dirty. The children learned how to swim in a little
pond north of Wonneberg in direction Hölle. You can still see it on
the Russian map above.
The children had many more activities:
Obviously the pond was biologically in balance, because there lived
fish, especially crucian carps. They caught the fish with a special technique:
They opened an empty paillasse with two sticks and then two boys pulled
it through the shallow water. Later on, when the fish were fried, nobody
wanted to eat them. They were full of bones and the mud gave them a bad
The winters were hard and long. The big pond was frozen all winter.
Skating was the favourite sport.
The carrousel was favoured: The older children drove in a post in the
centre of the pond. They fastened one end of a long rope on the post. A
skilled ice-skater took the other free end and made wide circles with the
tight rope. More ice-skater hold fast to the rope and made circles with
smaller radii. If someone had to loose the rope, he glided over the ice
surface applaused by the others.
In January the slaughter from Emaus came to the pond and cut out rectangular
floes with an axe. He pulled them out of the pond, shred them to smaller
pieces, brought them with his lorry to his cellar and cooled his meat products
in warmer seasons. When the floes still lay in the water, running on them
was a favourite sport. Somebody jumped from floe to floe and had to hit
on the centre, so that the floe could carry for a moment. It was dangerous
to come under the ice surface. This happened once with a boy from Neuwonneberg,
who was rescued with difficulties. When the slaughter left back a free
water surface or during thaw, the children formed bigger floes and used
them as floats.
||When we visited Wonneberg/Ujescisko in March 2006, we found a children's
playground and some benches on the south east corner in front of the former
house of Mirau family (photo).
Before 1945 there was a fair with a roundabout and some other amusement
attractions every year on this place.
There was also the fire engine house.
This was the place , where the slaughter's lorry stood for transporting
That is new to us: Water lilies on the big pond (Photo by Jacek Kalinowski,
New Pictures top
Jacek Kalinowski sent me the following photos.
He combined four old photos with new ones.
There are many new houses south east and
south of old Wonneberg/Ujescisko.
This is the settlement "Sztery pory roku" (Four Seasons) in Zankenzin.
On the left and in the foreground there is a new school.
There is also the new catholic church St. Padre Pio.
The church is still under construction (December 2009). The spires
are 35m high.
on the Internet top
"Diese Website soll allen interessierten Historikern und Familienforschern
zur Verfügung stehen, sich ein Bild der Stadt Praust (Kreis Danziger
Höhe) und ihrer Einwohner zu machen."
Bund der Deutschen Minderheit Danzig
der Deutschen Minderheit Danzig / Zwiazek Mniejszosci Niemieckiej Gdansk
der Deutschen in Danzig nach 1945
Brunchen und Blum Antje, Eine
Erinnerung an Bruno (Schucker Brunchen)
Stadt Danzig, Ostgebiete
des Deutschen Reiches, Heimatvertriebener
City of Danzig, Former
eastern territories of Germany, Heimatvertriebene,
History Library (Mormon Church)
Gdansk (official web site)
Youtube by Jacek Kalinowski
Ujescisko - pokaz slajdów - 13.05.2008
i Ujescisko... - 23. Febr. 2009
/ Wonne-Berg - 24. Juli 2009
albumów mieszkanców Ujesciska - 25.07.2010
Zima - Ujescisko
Feedback: Email address on my main page
page is also available in German.
2008 Jürgen Köller