Pillau Branch, Königsberg District

Roger P. Minert, In Harm’s Way: East German Latter-day Saints in World War II (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009), 309-10.

The East Prussian town of Pillau was a very small port on the Baltic Sea. With a population of about ten thousand, it was a short ride on the train from Königsberg, eighteen miles to the east. The branch of Latter-day Saints in Pillau was quite small when World War II began.

Pillau Branch[1]1939








Other Adult Males


Adult Females


Male Children


Female Children




The Pillau Branch held its meetings in the Prawitt home at Predigerstrasse 10. With two elders, the branch at least had sufficient priesthood leadership to perform the normal functions of a small Church unit. One of those elders was Branch President Arthur Prawitt.

By early 1943, the meetings of the Pillau Branch had moved to Schmiedestrasse 5. The location was likely that of a family residence, but the records do not give the name of a family or an individual as a host.[2]

Due to a lack of eyewitness testimony nothing more is known about the Pillau Branch during the years 1939–45.

The members of the Pillau Branch most likely suffered the same fate as those in other branches in the Königsberg District—either they fled the advancing Red Army or were expelled from East Prussia when the territory was ceded to Poland after the war. In any case, the Pillau Branch would have ceased to exist by 1946. The name of the town was changed to Baltiysk.

In Memoriam

Only one member of the Pillau Branch did not survive World War II:

Otto Sawatzki b. Schackeln, Ostpreussen, Preussen 4 Jan 1912; son of Julius Sawatzki and Auguste Heinrich; bp. 11 May 1931; ord. teacher; m. Fischhausen, Ostpreussen, Preussen 1 Sep 1934, Gertrud Anna Charlotte Bagdon; 2 children; d. 10 Apr 1945 or MIA Breslau, Schlesien, Preussen 1 Apr 1945 (www.volksbund.de; FHL Microfilm 245257, 1935 Census; AF)


[1] Presiding Bishopric, “Financial, Statistical, and Historical Reports of Wards, Stakes, and Missions, 1884–1955,” CR 4 12, 257.

[2] East German Mission, “Directory of Meeting Places,” (unpublished, 1943); private collection.