“There Once Was a Town,” by Roger P. Minert, PhD., A.G.
There simply must be something left – a foundation, broken bricks, cobblestone, something. The search for his friend’s family (Fred Froehlich of Logan, Utah) in the Bavarian village of Silberhof was challenging. Records were not available. Extensive searching of various maps indicated where the village had once existed.
The German government had ordered evacuations of the 40 square mile area so the U.S. Army could establish a training area in 1938. The Wildflecken Training Range was occupied by the Army as part of their South German occupation zone and used as a gunnery range until 1994.
The Wildflecken Training Area is located directly north of Bad Bruckenau and immediately west of Wildflecken. It is 30 miles east-northeast of Frankfurt/Main, 25 miles north of Wurzburg, and 14 miles south-southeast of Fulda. The area measurers 7.08 miles north-south and 6.92 miles east-west at the widest points. The official location of Silberhof is 9 degrees, 52 minutes East longitude and 50 degrees, 22 minutes North latitude.
Towns within the Widflecken Training Area include; Altglashutten, Borrenberg, Ebertshof, Kippelbach, Neuglashutten, Reussendorf, Rotherain, Schmelzhof, Silberhof, and Werberg.
Apparently the phenomenon of disappearing villas was common. Fortunately in most cases the records of parish churches or civil registrars in those towns still exist and the work of compiling family histories can continue.
A list is being compiled of towns, villages, and settlements in the Federal Republic that have been removed from the maps – literally destroyed without a trace
Dr. Minert details his consultation with experts at the FHL, libraries around the U.S. and Germany and numerous publications.
Germanic Genealogy Society, PO Box 16312, St. Paul, MN 551116-0312
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