Günter Ratke is a German citizen who enjoys genealogy. His mother's family is from Woltin, a village very near Kortenhagen. He has made many trips to the area, including one in July 2002 when he took this photo. The following information comes from correspondence with Herr Ratke:
When the Pagels lived in the village of Kortenhagen, most people lived in very small cottages or in a barn if they were farm workers. They practiced the Lutheran faith. "Pagel" is the Slavic form of "Paul" and the first people in this region were indeed Slavic. Kortenhagen was nestled amongst rolling hills covered by woods and farmland. The people who emigrated from there were usually those who did not own their homes or farmland. Businessmen in Berlin and Hamburg organized travel to America.
Before World War II Kortenhagen had eighty houses and 385 inhabitants, although residents had begun to leave the area. Many farmers were bankrupt and left to find work in the cities of Berlin and Stettin.
Much of Kortenhagen was destroyed during World War II. As the Russian front approached in early March 1945, the villagers moved west, deeper into Germany. Church and civil records that would help us learn more about our Pagel ancestors were either destroyed during the war or taken to Russia along with anything of value. After the war when the area was given to Poland and the former German residents were banished, they were replaced by people from Eastern Poland, the area that is now Biello Russia and Ukrainia. Until 1990 most of the buildings were owned by the Polish government. The current Polish inhabitants are small farmers with little income, so there is no money to rebuild or repair the village which is now known by the Polish name, Kartno.