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From: Sooz <>
Subject: [KEIL] Neu Straub from Lillian Larwig
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 09:43:04 -0800 (PST)

This is a translated letter, from German to English, from Alwina Maiber now
in Germany. Alwina is in touch with Elizabeth Meyer in CA. and Elizabeth
has been kind enough to ask Alwina some questions about NeuStraub.

Alwina's story:

First, I made quite a few telephone calls to all the people I know to confirm
(my memories). the village Neu-Straub is very familiar to me because my
Grandmother's Mother's side of the family was from this village and also the
name Straub was an honor/respect of her grandfather's, I have already
wirtten a bit about it in my book, "Fremde Heimat"

The village Straub (this is OUR NeuStraub,Lil) was situated 12 kiilometers
from Yagodnaya Polyana and 45 Kilometers from Saratov. It was at the
slope of a mountain and was called earlier and also after World War II
Nowoskatowica (this is a Russian name that means slope) In order to
understand it better, I'll give a small tour! The village Yagodnaya
Polyana was the mother village and NeuStraub and Pobotschnaya
were the neighboring villages. The three villages were closely tied to
each other and also closely related, they shared one faith--Lutheran--
and the same customs and havits, they only differed a little bit in spoken
dialect. The village Straub had a slightly higher level of culture. It was
that way from the beginning because of more wealthy people and there-
fore more people could get an edjcation than was the case in Yagodnaya.
The village Straub was a rather larger village, but somewhat smaller than
Yagodnaya. There was a wide long main (middle) street and another
10-12 streets. In 1858, many traveled to the meadow side (wiesenseite)
of the Volga River and they founded the village Schoental, Neu Jagaodnaja
but the name Straub was not duplicated. During the famine years,
many traveled to Siberia and there was fertile land and also the government
was more lenient there, this was the Siberian back country. In the
European part of Russia the Germans had already been persecuted during
World War I, during the October Revolution, the Civil Was, the Communist
Was, the Famine, the forced collectivization, and the Terror of thirty years
of Stalin's cleansing. All this was the basis for moving away or flight.
Now I would like also to note that the inhabitants of NeuStraub did not use
the name "Straub" for a new location, but rather they used the Russian
name "Nowoskatowka" so history shows that in Siberia there was a
New Yagodnaya, Schoental later Nowoskatowka. The village
Novoskatowka in Siberia was in 2006 a hundren years old. So one
can come to the conclusion that the Yagaders and Straubers were on
very good terms, (friendly). Many marriages--where the husband was a
Yagader and the wife a Strauber and vice versa, and that is still true today.
The village Straub was a clean (orderly) German village. Before wartime
in 1941, there was also a Mill there but in the last years they didn't use
it any more. There was a large warehouse-shops, groceries, ready-made
clothing-all this was in the warehouse building. The village Straub had
its own Lutheran church also, but the church was destroyed during the
1930's and was rebuilt as a school which Frau Larwig also saw--the ruins.
German was taught at the school--seven grades. After those grades,
(some) children went on to higher grades in Yagodnaya. The village
was divided into two Kolkholzes (collective farms). 1. Rosa Luxemburg
2. Spring (Quelle) exactly as in Yagodnaya. Each Kolkholz had its
own blacksmith ship(station) and its own carpentry shop, which was
simpler" In Yagodnaya. This means that the mechanism (I'm not
certain of her handwritten on the previous word) was more modern. The
Kolkholzes were employed with agriculture and cattle farming. Before the
war there were approximately 300 homesteads-houses. There was not a
hospital in Straub, but they maintained a maternity home with a midwife
and also a first aid station, otherwise they sent to Yagodnaya or Saratow.

The final destruction of the Germans including Straub was 1941--
displacement (resettlement/banishment) to Siberia. All were loaded into
cattle wagons like animals and were taken by uniformed soldiers with
attack dogs to Kazakhstan, Siberia and the very far north.

Now about my relativesl

My grandmother Marilis--Maria--was born in 1864. She was born a Straub
and had 10 brothers, there was only one daughter. Her husband, my
grandfather was a Hollstein born in Yagodnaya. One of my grandmothers
brothers--Phillip--visited my Grandmother in Yagodnaya during the 1930's.
but such was the case in Saratov and almost everyone was affected by the
Terror--the cure by means of the ax, etc. I can not exactly say with whom
Phillip Straub (the brother of my grandmother) was married. I would
dearly like (to see) the letter Frau Larwig has from this time. Perhaps it
would be clearer (more obvious) to me. Elizabeth, I think I will with that
end the letter. If there are remaing questions I am ready to search. Many
greeting to Frau Larwig and I would like to get to know her better.

Once again with greetings,
Your Frau Maiber October 30, 2003
********** ********** ********** ********** **********

This is my observations: Lillian

On my visit to Neu Straub, the road sign to NeuStraub had a very long
word. Perhaps, Nowoskatowica. Our tour guide hired a van but we got
a school bus, similar to the very old yellow school busses we have here.
It had rained the day before. The road to N.S from the highway, and I use
that word loosely, was a dirt lane. Two ruts in the dirt. It seemed a long
way from the highway but approximately a mile, we came to a building.
We continued on. Then, to the left on a very muddy road? were several
houses. The bus driver jumped out of the bus, surveyed the road ahead,
and said the bus could not continue. So he backed up a bit and turned
to the right to go over a culvert and then a hill or rise was ahead of that.
Could not see above this 'hill'. The bus got stuck. I asked the Russian
interpreter to go with me. We got out of the bus, walked up the muddy
hill and there were several houses. Three on the left and one on the
right. A very wide street, as Alwina mentioned. Makes sense now.
Anyway, a lady was near the houses on the left and when the interpreter
spoke to her, she disappeared into one of the wooden gates to a house.
A lady was working in a yard on the right side. Galina spoke to her and
she raised up and said something. Galina said we should meet her at
the gate. A very loud barking dog would have kept me from entering.
The lady was very friendly, put the dog away, asked us inside the gate.
very small yard with a shed. Walked thru the shed to view the other side
of the property. In the distance, about a block, was this building which
Alwina said was the school, former church. It looked like a school building
to me. Then Galina and I were invited into the house. By this time I was so
emotional that I don't remember much. Good that I had my small tape
recorder and took photo's. The house was a typical German house of the
1800's. German built houses had very ornate window trim on the outside.
Small porch with a slanted roof over it, entered a "mud Room" where the
people usually left their shoes. Our hostess did remove her shoes and then
we entered the house. Can't remember the floor covering. but on the right
side at the other end of the room was an oil or butane stove. Across from
that was a very small oblong table with 2 chairs. Our hostess, immediately
put water on to boil to make us coffee or tea. I told Galina, we didn't have
time as others were waiting for us to continue our trip. Galina asked the
questions I posed to her. Our hostess said there were no Germans living
in this village since 1941. The rest of this very clean house: A doorway
lead to a living/bedroom. A bed with a beautiful large doll sitting on it--white
bedspread, in the middle of room was a square table, (every house I was
in, had the same style table) flowers on table, china cabinet on the far wall
had pretty dishes in it. Again, the same style cabinet in every house
I was in. TV and a stuffed sofa. This room was about 14x16 foot in size.
The kitchen was about 16 by 10 foot. No inside doors. floral curtain hung
on the door ways. To the left of the entry, was another doorway but I
couldn't see what was in it. Dark, either no windows or drawn shade.
Then as we left, I looked at the area outside where the dark room was, and
it was like a lean-to with thatched slanting roof. Perhaps, an add-on and
used for bedroom. Very primitive according to our standards but as I said
very clean, no clutter. By the time we finished visiting, the bus had been
pulled out by a truck that was in the village. I don't know any details
about that except, when we got to the bus, they were ready to leave. I
stopped at the cemetery just outside the village and Galina and I went
to see if any German names. She said no. This, too, would be correct
as the Russians tore down many tombstones to build other buildings.

Then we went to Yagodnaya Polyana. According to our N.S. hostess,
Yagoda was a big city center--to her. It was a larger village. In what I
will call the middle of the village, is a spring fed stream. This is the
lowest part of village, then each side slopes up. Really a big hill, not a
mountain, but a big hill. As we came in, the houses were all the way
up from the stream. New houses, mostly, Near the stream, were the old
houses. Found a 'shop' open and I bought a piece of lace curtain. They
had very little in the shop. Few canned goods, mostly tea and coffee.
used clothing hanging on a nail, for sale, a bit of candy. The cash
register was a hoot!!! I bet it was the first one made but it worked. The
gas lines to the homes were iron pipes standing about 6 feet above the
ground. Very strange looking to me. Most houses in the 'stream' area
were old houses. Few new ones built of colored blocks.

I shall stop for now. There is so much to tell about these villages. So sad
to see former churches used for storage or a barn, and in very bad
structural shape. You could tell that at one time, they were stately.

Hope you enjoyed our trip to Russia today. Let me hear from you. Are
there any questions you'd like Alwina to answer? She gives no names
so far, but she was related to Straub. In her first correspondence, she
said her grandfather Straub founded N.S. Perhaps, I misunderstood, but
I shall try to find out more. Lillian

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