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Papers of Ida Hettinger

Identifier: MIDH

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Ida Hettinger consists of documents dated 1993 to 2002. The bulk of the papers consist of letters written by Ida Hettinger to family in Colorado, Nevada, and California. All of Ida's letters are in German; many include an English translation provided by Harold Stoll. The letters were passed around to various members of the family so some files also include notes that accompanied the letter and translation from one family to another. Because the letters were often passed on, photocopies of the letters as well as copies of other letters can be found in the files. In some folders the original letter from Ida is not included. The files are maintained in the original order.

Many of Ida Hettinger's letters contain information about herself, family, and distant family relations from the Doenhof region. A few photographs, or photocopies of photographs, were included with a couple of the letters. There are only a few return letters to Ida in the collection.


  • Creation: 1993-2002
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1993-1997


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Ida Lichtenwald Hettinger was born and raised in the Volga region of Russia after her family emigrated to the area from Germany. Hettinger was part of the forced deportation of Russian Germans to Siberia in 1941 and continued to reside in this area of Russia until she emigrated to Germany in 1997.

Ida Lichtenwald Hettinger was born in Doenhof, Russia on January 26, 1920, to William and Katherine Miller Lichtenwald. She married Emanuel Hettinger in March 1940. In September 1941 all residents of Doenhof were deported by the Russian government to Krasnoyarsk, Russia (Siberia).

In 1942, Emanuel Hettinger was assigned to work in the Russian Trud-Army in Perm where he worked in a logging camp. An accident at the camp in which improperly loaded logs fell and crushed Emanuel Hettinger's legs resulted in his death. The camp did not have any medical facilities and a Russian soldier shot Emanuel after the accident. Ida was not informed of her husband's death until another man from the camp told her the story two years later.

In 1943, Ida was assigned to work in the Trud-Army in a coal mine in Kemerovo. Her role was to lay railroad track, until she injured her back and was reassigned as a seamstress. After World War II ended, Ida lived in Kemerovo along with her brothers William and Henry and their mother. In 1958, Ida moved to Frunze, Kirgisia (now Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) and continued to work as a seamstress. Ida's mother later also moved to Frunze and died there in 1964.

After retiring in 1980, Ida returned to Kemerovo in 1989 where her two brothers still lived. William died in 1992 and Henry in 1995. Upon William's death his family emigrated to Germany. In 1997, Ida moved permanently to Germany, settling in Tuttlingen, about 75 miles south of Stuttgart. Ida Hettinger died on September 3, 2003 in Tuttlingen, Germany.

In May 1993, Robert and Sally Hahn took a trip to Russia to visit their ancestral village Doenhof. While there they placed an ad in the Neues Leben newspaper looking for relatives of the Hahn and Miller families from Doenhof. Ida Hettinger answered the ad and began a 10-year correspondence with Robert and Sally Hahn, as well as Harold and Emma Stoll, Herman and Gloria Hahn, and other family settled in the United States.


1 linear foot (2 document cases, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials




Ida Lichtenwald Hettinger was a Russian German who was part of the forced deportation to Siberia in 1941. The collection contains original letters written between 1993 and 2002 to distant family in the United States, which she located through answering an ad in Neues Leben. Much of the content of the letters is about her extended family and personal history. The original letters are written in German; many of the letters have an English translation provided by Harold Stoll.


The collection consists of 2 series in 2 document cases:

Series 1: Ida Hettinger letters, 1993-2002

Series 2: Map, 1994


The Papers of Ida Hettinger was donated to Colorado State University Archives and Special Collections by Robert and Sally Hahn in 2013 via Cheryl Glanz.

Online Materials

Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.

Related Collections

The University Archives holds the Sidney Heitman Germans From Russia Collection. The Manuscripts Collection holds the Collection on Germans from Russia, Collection of Genealogical Research on Germans from Russia in Northern Colorado, and the Records of the Northern Colorado Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.


Processing was completed in January 2014. Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Letters that were still housed in their original mailing envelope were removed from envelope and the envelope was placed behind the letter.

Inventory Note

Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed.

Guide to the Papers of Ida Hettinger
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Karen Spilman
Copyright 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA