Waltraut Markowski

Copyright: Sabine Grabowski


Here rests [in Go]tt

Our dear daughter 



*12.6.[]†[1 ]31

Rest gently

The grave of Waltraut Markowski is located in the first row of the cemetery on the right side. The gravestone is well preserved, but the original black glass plate on it is badly damaged and shattered into many pieces. The inscription can still be partially reconstructed. Only little is known about the Markowski family. The worker Fritz Markowski came together with his wife Elfriede, née Weihs, and their son Dieter [1] to Holstein after fleeing in 1945. Fritz’s mother died during the escape, she must have been about 80 years old at that time.[2] The death of the old Mrs. Markowski is also found in the escape diary of Elma Rattay, née Losch, from Wilken:
“Yes, on that day old Mrs. Markowski, mother of Mrs. Krebs, also died. Unfortunately, she could not be buried from our trek, because the cemetery was so very far away from the village. She remained lying on her little wagon, even with the horse in front of it. It was very sad, but there was no way around it.”[3]

The Mrs. Krebs mentioned is probably Berta Krebs, who had lived as a tenant in one of Adolf Pissowotzki’s insthouses[4] in Wilken.[5]

Whose daughter Waltraut Markowski is and how old she became remains unclear from today’s perspective.


[1] Dieter Markowski is listed in the Wilken name list at the same address in Holstein as his parents, cf. Wilken residents list, Bundesarchiv Lastenausgleichsarchiv (BA LAA) OSTDOK 3, No. 153, sheet 212. However, in 1968 there was a search ad for him in Das Ostpreußenblatt. Cf. Johannisburg, search reports in: Das Ostpreußenblatt, years issue 19, nr. 2, Jan. 13, 1968, <https://archiv.preussische-allge-meine.de/1968/1968_01_13_02.pdf> (last accessed July 15, 2021), p. 12.

[2] Cf. list of names Wilken, BA LAA OSTDOK 3, no. 153, p. 212.

[3] Elma Rattay: …denn wir waren nicht zu Hause… Tagebuch der Flucht 1945 von Wilkenhof/Kreis Johannisburg in Ostpreußen nach Holstein, <http://www.staaks.de/index.php?1> (last accessed 24.05.2021). Direct link to the diary not possible, it can be found in the top left navigation under “Wilkenhof 1945: Tagebuch der Flucht aus Masuren / Ostpreußen”. Also printed in Gerhard Wydra (ed.):Wilken. Die Geschichte seiner Geburt und seines Todes sowie Tatsachen in Aquarellen, Gedichten, Geschichten und Sagen aus dem Kreis Johannisburg, [Hamm an der Sieg] 1985, pp. 14 – 28, entry dated 02.02.1945.

[4] Instleute were people who earned their money as day laborers on someone else’s farm. Cf. Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch Online, entry: instmann, instleute: <https://drw-www.adw.uni-heidelberg.de/drw-cgi/zeige?index=lemmata&term=Instmann> (last accessed 04.07.2021).

[5] Cf. Lastenausgleichsakten Adolf Pissowotzki, BA LAA ZLA 1/7138447.