Editorial and assignments: Sights and sounds of Marienfeld
Moldova vs Germany
German-style houses built on solid brick cellars, water wells everywhere, a church and a few hundred souls. This was Marienfield 70 years ago - more than a village - a community inhabited solely by German colonists in the South of Moldova. In 1940 this stylish village is deserted.
All families who lived here were sent back to Germany under an agreement between Hitler and Stalin. Immediately after their departure, Soviets settled down. First step to erase history was to change the German "Marienfield" to Russian "Pervomaisk" (1st of May).
For everyone, this place was a gift. Germans left a tidy legacy. People moved in households with virtually everything and even more: houses, livestock, furniture, agricultural tools. This "heaven" was however lost in time.
Over the years, new residents came in and new houses were built. Today it is almost unbelievable that Germans once lived here.
Horst Köhler, former President of Germany has origins in Bessarabia. His parents, Edward and Elisabeth Köhler, originally lived in Northern Bessarabia. In 1940, like many other Germans, they were ordered to leave.