THE ZIMBELMANNS....ANCESTORS OF JOHN SR, JAKE, PETE, ANDREAS
Im Jahr 1809 verließ Jakob (Karl) Zimpelmann (das 8. Kind von Johann Jakob Zimpelmann und Anna Maria Tropf) Billigheim, Deutschland und emigrierte nach Rohrbach nähe Odessa in Süd Rußland. Hier beginnt die Geschichte wie wir sie heute kennen:Um 1760 warb Katharina die Große von Rußland Deutsche an um das wilde Land Rußland zu besiedeln. Sie versprach ihnen das Recht auf Ihre eigene Sprache & Verwaltung, keine Steuern für 30 Jahre, Geld für ihre Reise, Land mit Häusern, und Befreiung vom russische Militärdienst. Hunderte und aber Hunderte von Deutschen folgten diesem Ruf und gingen nach Rußland und siedelten entlang der Wolga. Die Familie Trupp ging auch während dieser Zeit (1766). Some refer to these folks as Volga deutsche. Katharina's Enkel, Alexander der Erste, sendete ebenfalls Anfang des 18. Jahrhunderts Werber aus, um deutsche Bauern zum Siedeln in Südrußland (jetzt Ukraine) zu bewegen. Er versprach Ihnen die gleichen Rechte wie seine Großmutter. So verließ Jakob (Karl) das Billigheimer Gebiet, welches in der Region Pfalz (jetzt Rheinland-Pfalz, in früherer Zeit Bayerische Pfalz)) liegt, nur 30 bis 45 Minuten von der französischen Grenze am Rhein gelegen. Dieses Grenzgebiet war ständig durch französische, deutsche, schwedische oder niederländische Truppen besetzt. Dies alles und eine Knappheit an neuem Ackerland war vielleicht der Grund, daß Jakob (Karl) sich entschloß zu emigrieren. Er war zu dieser Zeit 43 Jahre alt und er, sein Weib Catharina (38) und seine 8 Kinder im Alter von 1 bis 12 Jahren begann die Reise quer durch Deutschland, Polen und Rumänien nach Odessa an das Schwarze Meer. Catharine starb entweder während der Reise oder kurze Zeit später und Jakob (Karl) heiratete Anna Maria Kogler und hatten nach 8 Kinder miteinander. Sie siedelten in Rohrbach, ungefähr 66 Meilen nördlich von Odessa. Sie waren eine der 26 Familien, welche 1809 in dieser Gemeinde siedelten. 69 weitere Familien kamen im Jahr 1810. Christoph, der gerade 8 Jahre alt war als er die reise aus Deutschland machte, heiratete Anna Marie Schneck und sie hatten 13 Kinder. Daniel, ihr 6. Kind, heiratete Karolina Pflugfelder und sie hatten 9 Kinder. Ihr 4. Kind, Johann heiratete Katharine Sauter, die von einem Nachbarort Waterloo kam. Um 1889/90 verließen Johann, Katherine und ihre 3 Söhne (Johann, Jakob, Heinrich im Alter von 1, 4 und 6) Rußland und gingen nach Rio de Janeiro, Brasilien. Die Zwillinge, Peter & Andreas (mein Großvater), wurden dort geboren. Wir wissen, daß sie Brasilien vor 1893 wieder verließen, denn ihre Tochter Karolina wurde am 15. Februar 1883 in Rußland geboren. Was wir nicht wissen ist der Grund ihrer Emigration nach Brasilien und die Rückkehr. Agents of Brazil were recruiting people to settle their lands, so they may have intended to go and because of crop failure or climate, decided to return. We’ve heard stories that there was a shipwreck on the way to North America and a passing ship picked them up and this is how they ended up in Brazil. Another possibility is that at the port in Germany, ship captains were telling people they’d take them to America, but didn’t tell them it was South America until it was too late. We just don’t know. Maybe some day our research will uncover the ship they were on and we might have more of the answer. In June 1906 at the age of 23, the oldest son Johann with his wife, Elizabeth Muhlbeier, left Russia (while on leave from the Russia army - they were now forcing the Germans to serve) and came to the U.S. thru the port of Galveston, Texas. On the journey, Heinrich, was born at sea. John and Elizabeth & their infant son settled in Loveland, Colorado where their next son George was born. John & Elizabeth encouraged Elizabeth’s family to also come to U.S. So, in November 1906 on board the S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse were George & Elisabeth Muhlbeier and their other children, as well as 16 year old Peter Zimbelmann (Uncle Pete, the twin from me Grandpa). The day after leaving Bremen, Germany, the ship collided with a British steamer and 14 people were killed. Among these were George Muhlbeier and a Michael Zimbelmann. The dead were buried in Cherbourg, France and the remaining passengers boarded the S.S. York and continued to New York. In 1913 Jakob Zimbelmann (Uncle Jake) and his wife, Margaret Ackermann, and small daughter came to the U.S. Like his brothers, he settled in Colorado. Of the 10 children Johann & Katharine Sauter raised, only these 3 came to the U.S.: John Sr., Jacob, Pete. Four brothers and 3 sisters remained in Russia. Heinrich the third oldest son (born 1888), married Katharina Strasser and they had 4 children. During the 1930’s reign of terror, he was executed in Odessa (1937) as a suspected enemy of Russia. Andreas, the twin of Pete, born 1890 married Katharina Wiest and they had 2 children. His second marriage was with Margarethe Wiest and they had 2 children. The 6th child, Karolina, born 1893 married Eduard Moser and they had 2 children. Her second marriage was to Friedrich Moser and they had 5 children. The 7th child Friedrich, born 1895, married Rosalia Moos and they had 3 children. The 8th child, Christina, born 1897 married Henry Langjahr and they had 1 child. The 9th child, Kasper, born 1900 married Elisabeth Peter and they had 5 children. The 10th child, Anna, born 1903 married Jakob Karl Langjahr and they had 5 children. During WWII after the Germans had invaded Russia and occupied the German villages, Andreas & his family completed forms (EWZ records) that proved they were 100% German for at least 3 generations and were allowed to leave Russia and return to Germany. After the war, thru agreements Stalin had gained, the Russian Germans were returned to Russia and subsequently sent to Siberia & Kazakhstan for hard (compulsory) labor. Andreas and his family (with the exception of his 18 year old son, Woldemar), returned and were deported to Kazakhstan. Woldemar had refused to go by "hiding out" and later went on to marry and raise a family in East Germany. Uwe Zimbelmann, whom you met at the reunion in Loveland, is his son. We are still piecing together the stories of the other children. The daughter Karolina, who married a Moser, also lived in Kazackhstan. The youngest daughter, Anna Langjahr, was finally allowed to leave Kazakhstan and settle in Germany at an advanced age. She died in the 1990s. We learned that since about 1980 most of the children came back to Germany with the exception of one son, Fredrick, who lives in Austria. We can be thankful that our ancestors chose to come to the U.S. for those who stayed suffered many, many, unthinkable hardships before, during, and after WWII. Several books have been written by survivors of the deportation to Kazakhstan detailing these times. After reading some of these books, I couldn’t help but recall the movie Dr. Zhivago for the condition-- cattle cars, food shortages, blizzards, etc.-- were quite similar.
(Based on comments made by Robert Zimbelman at the
Zimbelman Reunion in Loveland, Colorado on August 13, 2000
and modified later by Uwe Zimbelmann)