I’ve gone back to mapping the path of my Dad’s wagon train through Ukraine and then the train rides through Poland and Germany. My grandmother mapped out a possible path on the Rand McNally map in the picture below but I’m certain parts of it are incorrect. In a previous post, I’ve used Google Maps to map out part of the journey but it is sometimes useless because of the changes that have taken place in government and politics since then.
One town that has been in question was Exin, Poland. Both my grandmother, Susanne and my Dad’s cousin, Otto mention this town in their writings but we couldn’t find it anywhere. We first thought it was Szczecin, Poland but the city of Szczecin was previously Stettin. Stettin was renamed after the war was over, so wrong city. Looking around a little more, I found that the city of Kycnia, Poland had a German name, Exin. Bingo! The city of Kycina/Exin was part of Germany for one year only, 1944, the year my Dad and his family lived there. Plus, it is in the right spot. This brings up another mystery, though. My grandmother mentioned walking to her parents’ place each weekend (or every day depending on who is telling the story). They purportedly lived in a town called Schneidemühl (or Piła, Poland as it is now called). Considering that Exin and Schneidemühl are over 45 km (28 miles) apart, I don’t believe that this is the correct place. It matters in the story so it is another mystery yet to be solved.
As a result, I bought the new map pictured below! A map to find cities laid out by Neufeld which now have different titles. Note that the large, green portion in the upper left of the map is Germany which includes Austria, Czechoslovakia and part of Poland. I have found one from 1942 and one from 1944 (one I hope Exin is on) that I may buy as well depending on how the sellers answer my questions. All the maps are Rand McMally so they also show the roads that were there during that time.
I love maps. Keep you posted. Below is a Google map of walking from Piła to Kycina.