|Birth: ||Mar. 31, 1900, Germany|
|Death: ||Feb. 14, 1996|
Margarete Goertz, Lutheran, 96, born Mar 31, 1900 at Schattern, Kreis Memel, East Prussia (Ostpreussen), Germany, a Lithuanian speaking and the Northern-most village in Germany at the time, to teacher Julius and Johanna (Pichler) Schukat (both deceased in East Prussia); died Feb 14, 1996 at Hogarth Westmount Hospital in Thunder Bay, ON, Canada; interred at Leeper Cemetery near Nolalu, ON, Canada. Her mother felt lonesome in Schattern, this non-German speaking village, and wanted to move.
In 1903 - 1909 Margarete grew up at
Steinort, Samland, a fishing village on the Kurisches Haff coast where her father, a graduate of the Tilsit Lehrerseminary (c.1884 - 1887), was transferred to teach at a one-room school (He retired from teaching in 1916 for health reasons, TB, and moved to Gowarten where he had inherited a Wirtschaft from his father Daniel). She learned horseback riding there which she practiced for many years. Her father sent her ("Lehrersch Jretke") to a boarding house (Pension) in Königsberg in Prussia to attend a lyceum (girls' highschool) where her studies included French and piano at Kühn's Conservatory of Music of Französische Straße for seven years (1909 - 1916). She nearly died during the great influenza (Grippe) pandemic in 1917. She remembered seeing the coffin wagons passing in Gowarten almost daily. Her weight went down to 70 pounds. A Russian POW in WWI named Alexander who came twice a week to work remarked each time: "Grete, Du nicht sterben, wir beide nicht sterben."
After her father died in 1918 of Tb, she tutored her siblings. In 1925 she studied piano at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music. Her Königsberg matura certified her as home tutor and pianist. She tutored in Kassel and in East Prussia (1925 - 1926). Her peers in school called her Punkt because she never exceeded 146 cm in size.
On June 16, 1927, she was married by pastor Emil Händiges in the Mennnonite Church of Elbing, West Prussia, Germany, to Landwirt and Gutsbesitzer Paul Gerhard Goertz, Mennonite (1887 - 1945), of Domäne Langenau, Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia (Westpreussen), of Gut Schwetz, Kreis Graudenz, West Prussia and of Rittergut Arnstein, Kreis Heiligenbeil, East Prussia. Paul Gerhard was enamored by her piano playing. They had four children: Adalbert (born in Langenau) of Waynesboro, PA, USA; Ida Laschuetza (born in Langenau) of Freiburg, Breisgau, Germany; Peter (born 1934 in Powarben, Kreis Königsberg, East Prussia, deceased 1992 in Thunder Bay, ON); Johann (born in Powarben) of Nolalu, ON. She was one of millions of Germans forced out of their homeland in 1945 after the allied forces invaded and occupied Eastern Germany.
In 1946 she ended up with her children in a refugee camp at Rantum, island of Sylt. There she was organist for the Sunday church services in camp. In 1953 - 1958 she lived in Frankfurt where son Adalbert attended university. There she played her piano accompagnying singer Heinrich Rausche. She migrated from Enkenbach, Pfalz, West Germany, where she lived in a house built by PAX, to Canada in 1959 to be with her sons Peter and Johann who had migrated to Manitoba in 1956. She had eight grandchildren (Claudia of Knoxville, Maryland; Dirk-Uwe Paul of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Elke M. Pritchard of Kingston, Pennsylvania; Frauke I. of Weed, California; Hans-Peter A. of Goshen College, IN; Margarete Silvey of Thunder Bay, ON; Matthew and Paul of Thunder Bay, ON) and ten great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband Paul Gerhard in 1945 (presumably murdered by the Soviets), three Schukat brothers (Herbert, 1906 - 1919; Gerhard, 1908 - 1932; Heinz, 1910 - 1927) and three sisters (Anna Schukat, 1901 - 1962; Alice Schukat, 1903 - 1906; Ella Schmidt Saeckl, 1904 - 1983). One brother, Siegfried Schukat, 1912 - 1996, of Bochum, Germany survived her by afew weeks. Everest Funeral Chapel in care of arrangements.
(Deutsches Geschlechterbuch, vol. 133, Starke-Verlag 1964, p.263)
From her Eichmedien diary and from
"Life of a Country Lady in East Prussa"
Check also here
A Goertz photo collage
Adalbert Emanuel Goertz (1928 - 2011)*
Plot: near Nolalu, ON
Created by: Tom Crago
Record added: Mar 28, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18660939