Jakob and Maria (Zimmerman) Spiess


In 1998 I hired Laurence Krupnak, a professional genealogist, to search the Einwandererzentralstelle (EWZ), or German Immigration Center films at the National Archives in Maryland for me. Here he found many 'resettled' Spiesses from Romania, but I have not been able to prove any connections. The most promising seems to be Jakob Spiess, who was born in Tulcea, Romania, 8 years before my grandfather William, who was also born in Tulcea! I just have to believe there is a connection.

The EWZ files are an amazing collection of research data. Click here to read more from the AHSGR. This is the link to the National Archives. Also, doing an internet search of EWZ will bring up hundreds of pages!

The EWZ files tell quite a story. They are written and typed in German, so I've had to do a lot of translations. With my limited knowledge of German, and with some assistance from Bablefish and Google Translate, here is the story I have gleaned:

Jakob, Maria and the six youngest children arrived at Lager (resettlement camp) Asten-Enns in the Upper Danube near Linz (Linzmanntstadt) Austria. I'm not sure of the date they arrived, as there seems to be some paperwork missing from their series. The copies I received from Laurence do not include Jakob's Stammblatter, or family group sheets, therefore I don't know who his or Maria's parents were. There also was not an application for naturalization. Most of Jakob's series contains typewritten letters to the Central Office. Apparently there was some question as to his being ethnic German; one letter states he was denied naturalization because of 'a case of mixing'. But the next letter says that he appealed this decision, and it was overturned and he was granted citizenship, but there is not a certificate included in the copies I received. The next few letters are handwritten by Jakob pleading for land, as the job he had as a butcher did not pay enough to sustain his large family. One letter is asking to go 'East', where "he has a daughter". This obviously was not granted, because throughout all of this correspondence, his address remained Lager Asten, Post Enns. The last letter is dated 1943.

Andreas and Eva, the two oldest children, somehow arrived at Lager Königsberg-Mainfranken on November 11, 1940 from Tulcea. The last document in their series is dated August 19, 1943, and they are at Lager Asten, finally reunited with their parents. Their series does include the naturalization applications and certificates, but no family group sheets. They do reference Jakob as being their father, listed with his EWZ number.

I have so many questions! Why, if Jakob or Maria's ethnicity was being questioned, isn't there more family history? Why did Andreas and Eva end up in Königsberg separated from the rest of the family? Is Zimmerman a Jewish name, therefore raising the issue of 'mixing'? Where did they go after 1943? I have searched the internet for references to these 'resettlement' camps, but the only references I have found are the the Jewish concentration camps in these same areas.

I did find a web site published by the GRHS about the resettlement of ethnic Germans from Romania back to Germany. Evacuation from Bessarabia and Bukovina, 1940 (A. Konrad) It's long, but VERY interesting.


Update! 2/12/2003 - I found Jakob and Maria in the index of the Exodus films, and will order these files soon.



HUGE UPDATE! - In February 2003 I wrote to The German Red Cross asking them where the people from Lager Asten went after the war. They found Karl Spiess (Jakob's son) living in Germany, and I received the first email from the family in February 2004. I am going to Berlin in a few weeks, and will meet the family! Watch for more...... 



Here is a link to the BRIEF version of my trip. It was wonderful!

Berlin Photos


     BIRTH:  27 Mar 1890         PLACE: Tulcea, Romania
     DEATH: 12 May 1965        PLACE: Lawitz, Germany
     WIFE    Maria Zimmerman
     BIRTH:   15 Aug 1896        PLACE: Tulcea,Romania
     DEATH: 19 Feb  1984        PLACE: Lawitz, Germany
      1. NAME: Mathilde SPIESS
          BIRTH: 01 Apr 1915    PLACE:
          DEATH: 30 Aug 1993    PLACE:
      2. NAME: Andreas SPIESS
          BIRTH:  16 Nov 1916     PLACE: Tulcea,Romania
          DEATH: 1945                 PLACE:
      3. NAME: Euduchia (Eva) SPIESS
          BIRTH:  02 May 1920     PLACE: Varna,Bulgaria
          DEATH: 03 Jul 1999
      4. NAME: Jakob SPIESS
         BIRTH:  11 Jun 1922       PLACE: Tulcea,Romania
         DEATH: 1942
      5. NAME: Christine (Christel) SPIESS                                               
         BIRTH:  LIVING          PLACE: Tulcea,Romania
      6. NAME: Lorenz SPIESS                                             
         BIRTH:  14 May 1930     PLACE: Tulcea,Romania
         DEATH: 16 Feb 2002
      7. NAME: Karl SPIESS                                                
         BIRTH:  LIVING      PLACE: Tulcea,Romania
      8. NAME: Eugenie (Jenny) SPIESS                                             
         BIRTH:   8 Mar 1935       PLACE: Tulcea,Romania
         DEATH: 26 Dec 2003
      9. NAME: Maria SPIESS                                             
         BIRTH:  LIVING      PLACE: Tulcea,Romania

Maria, Jacob, Kurt, Renate, Maria and Eva


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 HomeSpiess Family History

Descendants of Johann Spiess | Family of Conrad and Anna (Putz) Spiess | Family of  Frederich and Ecaterina (Trollenberg) Spiess

Family of William and  Mayme (Flamme) Spiess | Various Spiess Family Photos | Miscellaneous Photos

Jakob and Maria (Zimmerman) Spiess - (a mystery no longer!) | Berlin Story | Berlin Photos | Guestbook

Philipina Spiess (the next mystery!) | Martin Area North Dakota Cemeteries