Wildflecken DP camp



Information about Polish emigrants that might have died or have been born in the "Displaced Persons Camp Wildlfecken" can be obtained at the City of Wildflecken, Germany mail address:

Gemeindeverwaltung Wildflecken
Rathausplatz 1
D-97772 Wildflecken

E-mail: info@wildflecken.de

official homepage of the "Marktgemeinde", the City of Wildflecken

Inara Bush of Australia has supplied us with these photos of Wildflecken. If you see your family in these photos, email her to receive higher 1200 dpi images: inite@live.com.au

    Aug. 17, 2007, Inara writes: Most of the photos were taken by my father, Arvids Buss (1909-1999). I am grateful that he was an avid photographer. He had kept many rolls of negatives from our DP years and most of the images are scanned from these. I cling to my childhood memories of roaming the beautiful surrounding countryside, gathering flowers and wild berries.

    Click to enlarge photos

    wild 200

    My mother, Alise Buss (pronounced Bush), my elder sister, Anita, and I, Inara, were evacuated from Riga by ship in July 1944. The Soviet Army re-occupied Latvia in October 1944. My father, Arvids, a soldier in the Latvian Army, remained in Latvia. He tracked us down in the hamlet of Hermannsried some weeks after the war ended on May 8, 1945. We lived in DP camps in Windischbergerdorf, Bamberg, Wildflecken and Delmenhorst until we boarded an IRO ship at Bremerhaven in 1950, bound for Australia under its DPs Immigration Scheme.
      wild 201
    wild 202   wild 203
    We were assigned the upstairs part of this house with two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. One room was my parents' bedroom by night and mainly kept for 'best' in case of visitors. Anita and I slept in the other, smaller room which becomes the living room during the day. 1949   My mother at one of the dormer windows. 1949
    wild 204]   wild 206
    Inara at the entrance porch. Winter 1949/50.   My mother, Anita and I playing ball on the patio topping the garage at street level, while waiting for my father to come home. 1949
    wild 207
    The house we lived in during 1949/50, photographed during a visit to Wildflecken in 1970.
    wild 205
    wild 209
    Outside the porch. My father on the right with friends who were work colleagues. 1949
    Schnee, Feldmanis and my father stepping out.
    wild 208
    wild 209
    Anita, my mother, my maternal aunt and I setting off down our street. 1950
    At the entrance to one of the other houseson our street.
    wild 210
    wild 212.1
    The view from our use in Wildflecken. 1949
    Our house at the end of the row photographed from the opposite hills.
    wild 212
    Wildflecken township on the right. 1949
    wild 214
      wild 215
    My mother embroidering, sitting on the bed which came with us from Bamberg Baltic camp. Wildflecken1949   Anita and I Christmas 1949. Wanting a Christmas tree for our room, I used my pocket knife to cut down the little tree from what I thought was the edge of the forest. It was actually in the grounds of the IRO administration building known as the White House. My mortified father went to apologise.
    wild 216
    wild 217
    My father (seated) at his workplace. Wildflecken 1949    
    wild 218
    wild 219
    Wildflecken Food Service administration office.
    Wildflecken 1949. The poster on the right advertises Australia.
    wild 220
    wild 221
    My father on the left with Kitchen Supervisor and Head Chef Schnee.
    My father on left with some of the food service staff.
    wild 222
    wild 223
    Assembly line, preparing food for ? number of people
    wild 224
    Administrative staff party in 1949. My father and mother in back row, 2nd and 3rd from the left.
    wild 227
    wild 228
    IRO colleagues in Wurtzburg. 1949
    Visitors on the road from the main camp.
    wild 229
    wild 231
    Mother and I walking along the railway line which ran along the hill opposite our house.
    Mother and I, Winter 1949/50
    wild 230
    My mother and I with our row of hourses behind us and the main camp buildings barely distinguishable at the top of the hill.
    wild 238
    My mother, my sister, my visiting maternal aunt and I, with Wildflecken township behind us. Summer 1950.
    wild 232
    A soccer match inWildflecken. Winter 1949.
    wild 233   wild 235
    wild 234
    wil,d 238.1 Click to enlarge
    Termination papers. Food Supervisor is leaving for Australia. Click to enlarge
    wild 239   wild 240
    Immigration identification papers for the Buss family.
    wild 242  
    wild 243
    Wildflecken train station platform on 28.6.1950 as we waited for the train to take us to the transit camp in Delmenhorst to avait a ship for Australia. Our row of houses in the distance.  
    Wildflecken departure photo with friends 28.6.1950.
    wild 245
    wild 248
        Anita, Alise and Inara on the right with friends. The year in Wildflecken was the happiest of my childhood. Being taken away from there was a painful wrench. Apart from Latvian customs, nothing felt familiar again for many years.
email logo


Premature and other early deaths of post-war DPs children:
Children's Cemetery Wildflecken
Following from John Guzlowski's blogspot 'Lightning and Ashes'
Submitted by: Alan Newark, May, 2008
'A lot of the babies in those DP camps were sickly and many of them died. My sister and I got sick and dehydrated and feverish, but we survived. Years later, my mother was telling me about this and she said, „I thought you were a goner.‰ It was like this all over, I guess. At one of the DP camps, the one at Wildflecken in Germany, there‚s a Polish cemetery where you can see the graves of 427 babies born right after the war. Kathryn Hulme was a UN administrator at this camp and wrote about her experiences in The Wild Place.'

June 25, 2008

My name is Adam Seipp.  I am an Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M
University, specializing in modern German history.  

Currently, I am working on book, provisionally titled "Strangers in the Wild
Place: Americans, Refugees, and Germans, 1945-55," that deals with the town,
community, and camp at Wildflecken as a way of understanding broader trends in
Central European and international history.  I have recently returned from a
visit to the area, and had the pleasure of a tour of the base with Heinz
Leitsch.  Heinz was kind enough to pass on your contact information as an
authority on the camp and the network of former Wildflecken residents in the
United States.

I have done research in archives in Germany (in Wuerzburg and Wildflecken) and
the United States (chiefly the UN archives in New York and the National Archives
in Maryland).  This fall, I will travel to Minnesota to use the extensive Polish
immigration archives in St. Paul.

I would be very interested in discussing with you any thoughts you might have on
materials, resources, and potential interview subjects in the U.S. and Europe.  
If you need references or any other material, I would be happy to provide those
as well.

Best wishes, and I look forward to being in touch in the future.

Adam Seipp      

Adam R. Seipp, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of History
Texas A&M University
(979) 845-1737

Wildflecken Links

Search this site powered by FreeFind