Our ancestors had not only good but also very difficult times full of suffering in Katharinental. The year 1919 belongs to the years of horror.
My great-great-grandfather Lorenz Janzer (1874-1919) died already at the age of 45. I have found references to the cause of his death in the Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Russland, Jahrgang 2001/2002 on page 192.
Michael Hörner reports in the mentioned article about Katharinental and then lists 42 (!) persons who were shot by Bolsheviks in Katharinental in 1919. There is also a list of farms burned during the October Revolution of 1917.
Both lists were also published by blackseagr.org at https://www.blackseagr.org/pdfs/Katharinental-hoerner.pdf
(for all languages except German: the following names might be distorted when using the Google translator, you can see the original names at the top of the listed categories)
Farms burned down during the October Revolution of 1917:
BERNHARDT → Johann, Leo St., Lorenz, Nikolaus, Rafael
BOEHM → Josef Jos.
BULLINGER → Adam, Konrad
BUTSCH → Eduard Seb., Hieronymus, Hieronymus J., Josef Jos., Leo J., Rochus, Rosa, Sebastian
DEIBELE → Aloisius Ad. DEIBELE, Hilarius St. DEIBELE, Ottilie
DILLMANN → Georg Jos. DOLL, Stefan
FITTERER → Eugen
HAAF → Elisabeth, Johann Sim.
HAMMEL → Josef Joh., Peter
JANZER → Lorenz, Thomas
JOCHIM → Alexander G., Emanuel, Franz
KLEIN → Gabriel, Hilarius Fr.
KRIEGER, Georg G.
KUNZ → Johann
MACKERT → Adam Jos. MACKERT, Aloisius
MAIER → Bernhardt
MILDENBERGER → Josef
RUNG → Hilarius
STEINER → Stanislaus
STROH → Jakob I, Jakob II, Jakob Joh.
ZENTNER → Josef
Persons shot by the Bolsheviks in 1919:
BOEHM → Franz, Stefan
BULLINGER → Adam, Jakob K., Karl
BUTSCH → Aloisius, Anton, Bernhard, Elisabeth Th., Franz, Sebastian
DEIBELE → Christian St., Leo St.
DILLMANN → Georg St., Johann Georg
FITTERER → Egitius, Franz Kas., Pauline, Pauline (Mutter), Thomas Mart.
FLINK → Franz St.
HAAF → Adam, Ludwig, Michael
HAMMEL → Johann A.
HOERNER → Josef Gottfried, Josef Josef, Leo Josef, Ludwig
JANZER → Lorenz
JOCHIM → Georg sen., Georg sen., Georg Georg, Leo Georg, Stefan
KASTNER → Christian Josef, Georg Josef, Josef Josef
KLEIN → Franz Seb., Georg Seb., Hilarius Fr., Peter Joh.
There are also shocking reports from this time about Katharinental and the neighboring colony of Karlsruhe, which show how much the people had to suffer at that time.
The first report can be found at http://www.remmick.org/GRHistoryInLetters/Page49.html
In the „Dakota Free Press“ (a newspaper for Russian-Germans who had fled to the USA) appeared on July 2, 1920 a report about the time of terror in 1919/1920 in the colonies of Southern Russia. Katharinental is also mentioned here. An excerpt:
Report on the condition of the colonies in the Odessa district in the Summer of 1919
„We just received a letter from a representative of our Central Committee in Odessa, Mr. H. Thauberger. However, the letter was dated October 5, 1919. The reports in it deal with the time of the second Bolshevik terror and the ensuing government of Deniken. It provides a sad portrait of the Summer of 1919. Exactly what occurred in the Winter of 1919- 1920, during the third Bolshevik regime, is still unknown to us. Hopefully it is not too bad. The letter reports as follows:
The Bolsheviks have caused horrible damage in the colonies around Odessa. In Kleinliebental and Grossliebental, about 50 men were killed, in Selz 88. Those are only a few villages. On the other side of Odessa, over to Nikolajew, it was just as bad. The worst of all was in Rastatt, where 78 houses were burned and 39 men were killed. Muenchen suffered little damage. Worms suffered much, and 33 houses were destroyed, including the schoolhouse, the pastor’s quarters and the community building. Thirteen persons people were killed, including 3 women. Great losses were suffered in the wealthy district of Landau. Landau itself had 14 victims, Speier 4; both had little damange to their buildings. In comparison, Katharinental and Karlsruhe were heavily damaged. In Katharinental 62 houses were destroyed and 70 men were murdered, in Karlsruhe 55 houses — out of about 200 — were burned and 58 men were killed.
The bands that passed through, as well as the surrounding farmers, looted the farmsteads, businesses, and houses, usually without exception. Whatever was moveable was carried off. The people live in empty dwellings, and there is nothing left to purchase. The people are waiting in hunger for supplies. The shortage of food and clothing has made the prices rise. A pair of draught-horses costs 100,000 Rubels. We have attempted to speed assistance for those in need in various ways, but by ourselves we can cover only a small portion of the damage that has been suffered by businesses everywhere“
The second report is not less appalling. This was published by the GRHS at https://www.grhs.org/chapters/bdo/newsletters/bdo42.pdf
John Renner reports here how on October 27, 1919, the neighboring colony Karlsruhe was attacked:
„October 27, 1919, 1:00 p.m.; the village of New Karlsruhe with 33 homes was surrounded by about 500 men bandits on horse and foot. The shooting and hollering brought great fear to the people. At first they thought it was just a robber band going by. The people thought they were more intent on goods than killing, therefore the people didn’t flee but hid in their houses. But they soon found out that this hellish brood did not come to rob, but to organize the people against the army of Dinikins, so they should not fear. And all the men should go to the school right away. As always our father was the leader and first in the schoolhouse, and trusted the devilish band. By and by almost all the men came to the school. The the hellish work started. First, they demanded that all the money be brought in. The demand was obeyed. When the robbers had the money, they made the men undress to the underwear, locked them in the schoolroom and locked it from the outside, and shot them through the windows. To the number of those unlucky ones belonged also our dear father and two of my brothers. The second oldest and the youngest were to be shot but through God’s intervention they both lived. The oldest was saved by a small favor of his wife. The youngest was saved in a wonderful way by the death of his father and that happened this way. Before the beginning of the shooting, father stood in the corner of the room between the door and the window. My young brother and Uncle Frank Joseph Lanz kneeled behind the stove and prepared to die. But when the shooting began father wanted to join the two behind the stove. He got barely to the corner of the stove as a bullet went through his head and silently he fell on the other two knelling ones, and covered them as a blanket with his lifeless body. The shooting finally ceased. The robbers looked the place over and all lay in a bloodbath, looking dead to them. So they left the school and went to rob the homes. Meanwhile the two under the dead body of father took the opportunity to flee. Seventeen men were shot that day in New Karlsruhe.““
The year 1919 was probably one of the most terrible years for our ancestors from Katharinental!