This page was started 20 June 2001 -- rak. The photos are all thumbnails, so click on them to enlarge them.
I visited Doenhof on 20 May 2001. The first picture is the first view we had of the village. As was noted on the Doenhof page, it sits on a hill overlooking the Gololobavka stream shown here. The stream was quite small but the bridge was quite large indicating they had high water to deal with in the rainy season. In the center of the village a small brick church had been converted into a granary. On the end that is to the right of the first picture you can still see some crosses. Those I met say that only one German family which had come from Doenhof ever came back here and they are now long gone to Germany. No one could remember their family name. The handful of Germans now in the village all came from distant points and are all trying to get to Germany as quickly as they can. This family who gave us a magnificent tea with all the trimmings are soon on on their way to Germany. The granddaughter has one of my gift pens in her hand. She announced that she was a school girl and the pen would be very useful -- then she was happy to distribute more to her older and younger brothers. The grandparents in this picture whose parents were Germans originally from the Ukraine who were sent to in 1941 to slave labor in Kazakhstan. These people returned seven years ago. They are very family-oriented and have photos of his parents and of each of their 8 children on two walls of the living room at ceiling height along with pictures of Jesus and Mary on one of the opposite walls. Their eldest intends to stay in Kazakhstan but everyone else either has immigrated, or is hoping to immigrate, to Germany. Their youngest son has a real problem -- he does not know German and has no skilled trade -- so he may not get to go. For years now he has been refusing to marry saying if he does marry a Russian girl all hope of Germany will disappear.
The village had many old German houses still in use by Russians. Here are three, with a window detail from the first one. The little Russian girl in the third picture kept trailing along with us as we took pictures clearly wanting her picture taken too. She was delighted when it happened! One of the old stores still had the sign of its German owners on it. Unfortunately I can't see it clearly enough to read it now and did not make notes at the time on what it said...
Horse carts were in every village. As we left Doenhof, I could not resist taking a picture of this guy at his ease. It was lunch time and I suspect his driver was home for lunch! There was a house just beyond the fence.
To go back to Doenhof, click it.
To go on to reports on other village visits, click here.