WWII Refugee Ships

This page is dedicated to the captains and seamen of the refugee ships who saved millions of German lives. It is also a memorial to the thousands upon thousands of German lives lost while fleeing from the Russian invasion between the end of January 1945 and the middle of March 1945.

I thank the German artist Klaus-Rainer Forst for letting me show photos of his oil paintings on this page. Klaus-Rainer Forst has made it his life’s ambition to paint the refugee ships.



All paintings shown on these pages are original artwork by German artist:

Klaus-Rainer Forst
Weimarer Str.10
32584 Loehne


Passenger ship, used as refugee transportation 1945

Oil on Wood
55cm x 65cm

The “Ubena”, an old African steamship, was pressed into service in the beginning of 1945 to ferry pregnant women from the Bay of Danzig (Gdansk) to Kopenhagen, Denmark. Many gave birth to their babies while on this ship. The captain of the Ubena made out the birth certificates and logged in every newborn’s name. To each first name, he added “Ubena”. That is the reason why a number of adults now have the African middle name of Ubena. Should any of the guests to my website have the middle name “Ubena”, you now know where it came from…



Oil on Wood
60cm x 70cm


In Kiel, end of war 1945

Oil on Wood
50cm x 60cm

Refugee Ships Page 2
Refugee Ships Page 3