A New Village, Rosenfeld
By Walter and Irene Wahl Neuharth, Long Beach, California
We began to locate a village, Rosenfeld, as we ran out of time
to see it on Monday. Tuesday morning the driver, Valentin, and guide
translator, Galina Moochan, joined us in a travel van for Rosenfeld.
The guides reminded us that it was possible the village may no longer
be there, and they were uncertain as to the location.
Walter had the map from Dr. Stumpf's book and showed the guides
where our village was. So when we returned from touring on Monday
evening, we were heartbroken because we had not found our village.
Elvira of Intourist and Michael Miller decided to send us with a
driver and guide to attempt finding Rosenfeld.
We drove near the location where the village was supposed to be
on the map, stopping along the road for more information on Rosenfeld.
In the first two villages, the persons we asked did not know about
At the third village, we found an elderly lady who said, "Yes
the village is just ahead". You can't imagine how elated we were
to find Rosenfeld, where my grandfather, John Dietrich, was born
and later imigrated to America.
The church was pulled down six years ago, while the cemetery behind
the church was bulldozed for planting an orchard. There was an old
water well built of stone, which was originally located at the church,
so I found two sentimental stones to remember my grandfather.
We requested the guide to view a German home, before we went to
tour the kindergarten there. The kindergarten principal asked us
to come to her home, as she lived in a historic German house. First
they brought a table into the yard and served us coffee. Then we
were invited into their house and served us champagne. The husband
taught music at an Academy and his wife was a kindergarten principal.
We had left a bag of school supplies at her school.
Our hosts were a wonderful Ukrainian family with a daughter, son-in-law
and grandmother 90 years old. The husband and wife had not received
wages for 18 months. Their daughter directed a cultural center,
where she was paid. The entire family lived on her salary. This
village is a Communist loyalist populace, where elderly people voted
for the communes as a better living choice. This family cared for
a cow, geese, ducks, chickens and a garden. We were given six prime
ripe tomatoes as gifts. The husband is doing all carpentry work
of remodeling this house.
Grandmother told us that a family named Jelinsky had previously
lived in this house, before they were taken to Siberia in 1944.
The grandmother and I thoroughly enjoyed each other. She spoke Ukrainian
and I spoke German, while we smiled gladly at each other. The guide
remarked later that it appeared we understood each other perfectly.
They told us that the national State directs that every loyal
Ukrainian volunteer their time to hoe by hand in corn and bean fields
two hectares during two days. There were 10-20 people hand-hoeing
in these fields with no mechanized machinery in sight.
The husband brought out his accordion for musical fun. I started
to sing, "O Du Liber Augustine", as he picked up the tune with his
accordion. He also played a portable piano, when they sang Ukrainian
songs. This delightful time was a wonderful experience of sharing.
They gave us two poetry volumes written by T. BOPH, BABOX TOMAX
and the other volume by I. BAH, APPAHKO, T. BOPH BAROX TOMAX. They
feel complimented that we have traveled to learn more about our
ancestors who had lived there. We enjoyed a wonderful day of satisfaction
to find grandfather John Dietrichs' ancestral village.