Erna Knitter

Copyright: Georg Büschges

Here rests in God our

dear daughter

Erna Knitter

* 26.12.25 † 28.5.27

Rest gently

At the west end of the cemetery, near the edge of the woods is the grave of Erna Knitter. She was the daughter of Max and Anna Knitter, née Beyer. The couple had six other children.[1] The family lived for rent in the house of Adam Synowczyk.[2] There was a well, a stable and a barn on the property, but no running water or electricity. The family itself had a pump installed in the house. The rent was 300 Reichsmark per year.[3] Max Knitter was a worker in a sawmill, and his wife Anna occasionally worked as a harvester on Adolf Pissowotzki’s farm to supplement the family’s income.

Their daughter Erna died in 1927 at the age of only one and a half. The parents suspected that the girl had poisoned herself on berries during a joint excursion into the forest.

The family did not own any land or livestock. In the face of the ever-approaching front, they left Wilken as early as 1944 and were able to evacuate to Schönwalde in Pomerania.[4]

[1] Residents list for Wilken, Bundesarchiv Lastenausgleichsarchiv (BA LAA) OSTDOK 3, Nr. 153, sheet 211.

[2] Lastenausgleichsakten Adam Synowczyk, BA LAA ZLA 1/10512236.

[3] Ibid.

[4] On the family’s circumstances, Erna’s death and the evacuation see Georg Büschges u.a.: Wilken/Wilkenhof – Dorfgeschichten eines Friedhofs, in: Znad Pisy. Wydawnictwo poświęcone ziemi piskiej 27 (2021) – in print, no page given.