Take me back to the Oral History landing page.


Gustav Speder - Immigrant Stories

Gustav Speder is a West German immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1956. He was born in 1941 at a transition camp in Rummelstein, Germany (now part of Poland). Originally from Lithuania, his family was forcibly moved to a transition camp when their home was sold by Germany to the Soviet Union. Gustav's father was drafted into the German Army in 1943 and sent to the Eastern Front, from which he never returned. After the war, his family lived in poverty in East Germany until they were able to escape to West Germany, and later to the U.S.

Interview Links

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Speder’s early life in Germany during WW II

Interview Session 02 (Audio0

Review of life in Germany, and adjusting to his new life in Illinois

Transcript

Photos

Caption

Johann Speder (far right), father of Gustav Speder, as a young man with friends at unknown time and place.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Wedding picture of Anna Fressdorf Speder and Johann Speder, Gustav’s parents, circa 1935.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1935

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Rummelsburg transition camp in Germany was where the Speder family was forced to go in 1941 after their homes in Lithuania were sold by Germany to the Soviet Union.

Where:

Germany

When:

1941

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Johann Speder, Gustav’s father, in 1940.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1940

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Gustav Speder as a baby being held by his mother with his brother, Walter Speder. 1942.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1942

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

These two Speder households in Sintauten, Lithuania, were sold to the Soviet Union pursuant to a pact between Hitler and Stalin.

Where:

Sintauten, Lithuania

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder, about age two, standing on chair next to his mother with brother, Walter.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1943

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav, on left, at age 9 with his mother and brother Walter, in Burgsteinfurt, Germany.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

age 9

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder, seated on ground in front, with classmates at TB sanitarium, Senne I, in Germany.

Where:

Germany

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

[

]

")

Caption

Gustav Speder in 1952 with fellow patients from TB sanitarium visiting the Hermanns-Denkmal Memorial commemorating the victory over a Roman Legion.

Where:

Hermanns-Denkmal Memorial

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder, front row, second from left, with group of fellow patients at TB sanitarium, Senne I, near city of Bielefield, Germany.

Where:

Bielefield, Germany

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder at age 14 standing with his mother in front of home on Graf-Ludwig Street in Burgsteinfurt, Germany.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

age 14

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder in 1955 standing in front of rented home on Graf-Ludwig Street in Burgsteinfurt, Germany.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

1955

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder at age 14 visiting war memorial in Burgsteinfurt, Germany, with his mother and grandmother in the background.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

age 14

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav, on left, in Burgsteinfurt,with his mother and brother, Walter. 1956.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

1956

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder (back row, third from left, holding shovel) in Burgsteinfurt, Germany, participating in confirmation class project digging for underground crypt in church cemetery.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Confirmation class in Burgsteinfurt, Germany, preparing to dig for underground crypt in cemetery at Grosse Kiriche. Gustav is standing in the middle of three students holding shovels up, back middle right.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav is in the doorway of the family’s home in Burgsteinfurt, Germany with his mother and grandmother, standing outside.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

Group of friends in Burgsteinfurt, Germany, who called themselves the Lehmloch Band. Gustav is standing on fence in back in the middle. About 1955.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

About 1955

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Classroom in Burgsteinfurt, Germany in 1956. Gustav is in third row at desk on the left.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

1956

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav’s confirmation class outside the Luther House in Burgsteinfurt, Germany. 1956.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

1956

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder’s confirmation class at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois. The minister is Pastor Meyer. Gus is the tallest one in middle, back row. 1957.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1957

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Tony Ramanauskas, Springfield sponsor of Gustav Speder and his family, allowing them to enter the United States.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The home of Tony Ramanauskas, where the Speder family first lived after arriving in Springfield, Illinois in 1956

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1956

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav in his army uniform, was home on leave in 1965.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1965

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Wedding picture of Gustav and Katherine Speder, July 16, 1965, in Springfield, Illinois at Emmanuel Lutheran Church with Dr. Naumann presiding.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

July 16, 1965

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav’s aunt, uncle, wife and mother in Schrebergarten in Burgsteinfurt, Germany. Circa 1969.

Where:

Burgsteinfurt, Germany

When:

Circa 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder, a teacher at Springfield High School, stands in front of the school in 1969 with his first group of students who signed up for a tour of Germany.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gustav Speder’s family in Springfield, Illinois in 1995. Left to right: Greta, Katherine, Gustav, Gus and Andrea.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1995

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

[



Social Links