Wednesday, March 6, 2013

There's a Nazi in the Family

Well, technically, no.  Albert Hildebrandt was a German soldier, but there is no record that he ever joined the Nazi party. But you can't let the truth ruin a good headline!

Albert Hildebrandt was the youngest son of Ernestine Schalin and August Hildebrandt. He was born in Nikolajewka, Chassafiert in the Causcasus area of Russia in 1916 -- during the time German families were forcefully moved there for three years during World War I. The family was allowed to return to Volhynia, Russia (now Ukraine) in 1918. Albert grew up in Korist, Volhynia, Russia.

His family was again uprooted in 1939 and moved to a farm in the Wartegau area, which is west of Lodz, Poland. Shortly after their arrival, Albert was conscripted into the German army and sent to the Russian front.

Albert Hildebrandt in his Germany army uniform (Courtesy of Lucille Fillenberg Effa)
On 01 Mar 1945, Albert was taken prisoner by the Russians near Warsaw. He was not released until 1949. He spent more than six months at his sister, Adina's home, recovering from illness.

In 1952, he married Ida (Lehman) Stelter, who was a young widow. Her first husband, Reinhold Stelter was killed in Droutheim, Norway in 1944 while serving in the German army. Reinhold and Ida had one daughter, Edeltraud. She was two years old when her father was killed.

Albert and Ida (Lehman) Stelter Hildebrandt (Courtesy of Lucille Fillenberg Effa)
In 1954 Albert, Ida and the children emigrated to Winnipeg, Canada.

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