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Twardogóra (formerly Festenberg)

Twardogóra (formerly Festenberg)

Posted: 1080161592000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1158770976000
Surnames: Kroehn
My great-grandfather Frederick Kroehn was born in Festenberg, Prussia, now Twardogóra, Poland in 1872. His father was a Lutheran pastor, and I am trying to find out if there is still a Lutheran church in the town.

Re: Festenberg, Kr. Gross Wartenberg, Silesia, Prussia

Robert T. (View posts)
Posted: 1080320093000
Classification: Query
Patricia, Festenberg was located in the administrative district (in German: Kreis) of Gross Wrtenberg in what was until 1945 the Prussian province of Silesia, the capital of which was the city of Breslau.

I'll tell you just a little bit about Silesia:

SILESIA (in German: SCHLESIEN) was until the 1740s a province of AUSTRIA. Following Austria's defeat by Prussia in the Silesian Wars, Silesia became a province of PRUSSIA and remained a Prussian province for 200 years, until 1945. As mentioned, Silesia's capital was the city of BRESLAU.

Following World War II, almost all of Germany lying east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers was given to Poland (with the exception of the northern half of the Prussian province of East Prussia, which was taken by the Soviet Union). The 12 million inhabitants of eastern Germany were thereupon expelled from their homes under horrific conditions. They had to leave everything behind. Many did not survive the ordeal. It was hell on earth. The Polish authorities then moved Poles in to repopulate these territories.

Only one tiny piece of Silesia lying west of the Neisse River remained part of Germany -- the city of Görlitz and environs.

FESTENBERG had a population of about 3800 people in 1939. The city of GROSS WARTENBERG had a population of about 3000 people in 1939.

Festenberg is about 30 miles northeast of Breslau, and about 12 miles northwest of Gross Wartenberg.

Following the expulsion of the original German inhabitants in 1945/46 and the resettling of these territories with Poles, all the cities and villages were of course given new Polish names:

Silesia's capital, Breslau, is now known by the Polish name WROCLAW. Festenberg is known by the Polish name TWARDOGORA. Gross Wartenberg is now known by the Polish name SYCOW.

As I'm sure you know, Patricia, the Polish people are Roman Catholic. So no, there is no longer a Lutheran church in Festenberg. Most of the Lutheran churches in Germany's eastern territories that now belong to Poland were converted into Catholic churches following the expulsion of the original German inhabitants and the resettling of the cities and towns with Poles. There are a few exceptions, because a very small minority of Poles are Protestant, but Protestant churches in Germany's former eastern territories are few and far between today.

I will refer you to three maps:

Map 1 shows Germany as it was from its unification under Bismarck in 1871 until 1918. You will see Germany's states, including Prussia, Germany's largest state by far, and its provinces. In the east, you will see the Prussian province of Silesia. Breslau, Gross Wartenberg and Festenberg were located pretty much in the middle of the province, around the second "s" in the word "Silesia". You will also note how vast Prussia was. It extended from East Prussia in the northeast all the way to and including the Rhineland in the west. That's a distance of more than 800 miles! Berlin was the capital of Prussia, and from 1871, of Germany as well.

Map 2 shows Germany's territorial losses following World War I. Silesia was divided into two provinces in 1919 -- Lower Silesia, with Breslau as its capital, and Upper Silesia, with the city of Oppeln as its capital. Germany was forced to relinquish a portion of Upper Silesia to the reestablished independent Poland at this time.

Map 3 shows Germany and its states today. Everything east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers is lost. Very tragic. Very sad. (In 1947, two years after the end of World War II, the Allies declared the state of Prussia officially abolished.)

Map 1:

Map 2:

Map 3:

Hope this is of some help to you.


Re: Festenberg, Kr. Gross Wartenberg, Silesia, Prussia

Posted: 1080331671000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1158770976000

Thank you for posting all of this information. It pulls together a lot of the "bits and pieces" that I found in my research. It's also helpful to know that I will not find a listing for "Lutheran Church" anywhere (I had suspected that this was the case).


Re: Festenberg, Kr. Gross Wartenberg, Silesia, Prussia

Betty A. Dols (View posts)
Posted: 1105915928000
Classification: Query
Gottlieb Niedenfuehr immigrated in 1849 from Prussia. He married Bibianna Apfeld in Minnesota in 1857. Her obit says she was born in Breslau. Is there anything about the name Niedenfuehr that would indicate his origin?
Posted: 1252551879000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Apfeld, Pechan
Do you have any more information about Bibianna Apfeld? I have a Catherine Apfeld in my tree that settled in Meeker county, Minnesota, and I don't have any more information on her family. She had a daughter Bibianna, but Bibianna Pechan was born about 1851 and I can not find any records for her after 1856. It just doesn't seem like Bibianna was a real popular name, so it just struck me as a possible connection since it does not appear that Apfeld was a very common name either.

Re: Festenberg, Kr. Gross Wartenberg, Silesia, Prussia

Posted: 1271726969000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Apfeld, Pechan
Betty, Could you send me the Obit you have for Bibianna Apfeld referenced in your post if you have it? I do believe that you Bibianna is a sister to Katharina Apfeld (wife of Simon Pechan). Katharina was daughter of Mathias and Caroline Apfeld and I have found the record when they came to the US in 1852 with other children. Katharina was married and came with her family about 9 months later in 1853.
Any help you would be able to give me would be much appreciated!
Angie (

Re: Festenberg, Kr. Gross Wartenberg, Silesia, Prussia

Posted: 1397701275000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Adam, Krancgosh
Hello, I know this is an old thread, but I hope I can get a reply. I need help on where to start looking for info about my grandma.

My grandmother, Rita Margot Adam was born in Festenberg 1/26/1929. She was the project of a sexual assault and tells me it was even in the newspaper, her father had to marry her mother or go to jail. They married.

Her father's name was Richard Adam (his parents Wilhelm/Susana Adam) and her mother's was Virginia Krancgosh (as my grandma remembers it being spelled). Her paternal grandparents were from Breslau. Her mother was from Oppeln. She grew up in Grossweigelsdorf.

Her father was in the service, Navy I think, and spent time in Russian POW coal mine during WWII. She had an older brother (different mother, unwed) in the navy who died in the war.

Any help I can get would be awesome!

Re: Festenberg, Kr. Gross Wartenberg, Silesia, Prussia

Posted: 1414786395000
Classification: Query
The civil registers of Twardogóra (formerly Festenberg) newer than 1909 should be in the local civil registry office:

Urząd Stanu Cywilnego Twardogóra
ul. Ratuszowa
56-416 Twardogóra

There could be more information obtainable about the birth of your grandmother and maybe about the marriage of her parents.

Were your ancestors Catholic or Lutheran? Many of the Lutheran parish records didn't survive WWII.

If I could be of further help, please let me know via e-mail to info(at)

Best regards
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