02 Jan Nikolai Ottovich Rosentreter
Nikolai Ottovich Rosentreter
[Gramps ID I2875]
Many thanks to Daniel Rosentreter (Grandson of Nikolai) for researching and providing this story.
Nikolai’s life was significantly affected by the major events of 20th century European history.
He was born in Moscow into a wealthy family, his father (Otto Fedorovich Rosentreter) had a transportation business and dealt in German medicines and German toys.
Originally this part of the German speaking family originated from Goldingen, Kurland (now Kuldiga, Latvia) where they settled (according to family lore) after leaving Germany many centuries ago. Nikolai was incredibly proficient in languages. At his home in Moscow, they spoke French and he had a private teacher for English.
He was educated at the institute of Oriental Studies (where he learned Arabic) and worked as a translator in Moscow for the Tzar’s government.
He was also a cadet at Aleksandrov Military School. Initially in the first days of the October Revolution in 1917, the cadets and officers of the Aleksandrov school drove the insurgent Bolshevik Militia out of the Kremlin that they had occupied. This was called the White Guard – the first time this term was used. After some fierce battles the Red Army/Bolshevik revolutionaries recaptured the Kremlin. They tore away the shoulder straps from the cadets, took away their weapons, and let Nikolai and the others go home. https://www.rbth.com/history/326473-under-fire-moscows-kremlin-1917
In the meantime, his brother, Boris fought in the Russian Civil War in the White Army under General Wrangel. He managed to return to Moscow in 1920 for his little brother (Nikolai) and they left for the Crimea peninsular. From the Crimea peninsular Nikolai and his brother Boris were evacuated on ships with the remainders of the White Army and other civilians to Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evacuation_of_the_Crimea
Arriving in Constantinople in 1920, Nikolai and Boris had very little means to make a living. Nikolai found a job and worked as a truck driver on the border to Persia and later as a chauffeur for the German embassy. He and in his brother lived together under very poor circumstances in an empty garage for a while where they also repaired transistor radios to make a living. Eventually the stateless two received a grant from the Swedish government for 10 US dollars (a fortune in those days) which allowed Nikolai and Boris to continue onwards to new destinations – Boris and his family left to Orthodox Athens, and Nikolai left to Germany, from where this part of the Rosentreter family left centuries ago for Goldingen, Kurland and then Moscow. https://www.dailysabah.com/feature/2017/07/07/tsarist-russians-in-istanbul
He moved to Berlin where he married Irmengard Reul, the daughter of a pharmacist. He studied and became a professional translator (Diplom Dolmetscher) and lived at Markgraf Albrecht Strasse 13 until the final years of WW2.
Nikolai found work as a translator for the German foreign service (Auswärtiges Amt) and his two sons Konstantin and Frank were born in 1931 and 1939.
He joined the NSDAP and during the final years of the war, was sent to Fürth in Bavaria to serve as a translator to the Russian forced laborers in the Nobel Dynamit weapons factory.
His wife Irmengard and the two children Konstantin and Frank were evacuated from Berlin in 1942/43 to a friend with a rural estate in Posen, Warthegau, Prussia (now Poland) to escape the immanent bombing of the city of Berlin.
The family visited their father in Fürth for Christmas 1944. During that visit, the family witnessed the fire-bombing and totally destruction of the nearby town of Nürnberg on January 2, 1945. The destruction of the railway and train station made a return to Posen for the family impossible, so they stayed in Fürth. http://www.revisionist.net/nuremberg-bombing.html
At the end of the war, Irgmengard had to evacuate again to a small town Dörfles in the Fränkischen Schweiz, Bavaria where she and her two sons lived in a single room at a poor farmers house who provided for them. At the same time, Nikolai was arrested by the Allied forces and then locked-up in a camp for denazification for about 21 months (Entnazifizierung). He joined his family in the single room in Dörfles where Frank attend school in the nearby town and helped the farmer on the fields while Konstantin managed to work for the American allied forces as a translator to also provide food and substinance for his family.
After a hard time in Dörfles, they moved to Puschendorf, where Nikolai had a friend that he met during his time at the deNazification internment camp. The friend in Puschendorf was a wealthy farmer and renovated the former chicken house for the family to live in.
In Puschendorf, Nikolai initially found some work as a translator for a business with connections to the Middle East. During retirement he continued to teach Arabic and Russian in Fürth at the Volkshochschule (adult education school) well into his 80s. He could speak seven languages fluently including German, Russian, Arabic, Persian, French, Turkish and English.
He died in a house fire, 7. October 1980 in Puschendorf, Bavaria.