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Thread: The Germans from Russia

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    Lightbulb The Germans from Russia

    Some informations about the German colonisation of Russia.

    General History:

    1756 - 1763
    Seven-Year War, including clashes between Prussia and Russia.

    01.05.1762
    Death of the Tsarina Elisabeth I, her successor is Tsar Peter III, grandson of Peter the Great. He thereby extends the Romanov Dynasty into the purely German line of Romanov-Hostein-Gottorp (Silesia). In 1945, as the Duke Karl Peter Ulrich of Holstein-Gottorp (House of Olderburg), he marries the Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst.

    06.19.1762
    Peace agreement between Prussia and Russia.

    07.17.1762
    Peter III is murdered. His wife ascends the Russian throne as Catherine II.

    07.22.1763
    Catherine II the Great's Manifesto containing the call to foreigners to emigrate to Russia.

    03.19.1764
    Codex for the Colonies establishes the agricultural policies in the areas of colonization.

    1764 - 1768
    Mass settlement in the Volga region: the overwhelming majority of immigrants comes from Hesse.

    06.29.1764
    Founding of Nishnaya Dobrinka, the oldest Volga-German colony. Balzer founded in 1965.

    1765
    Followers of the Herrenhut Brothers Community, established in 1727 in Oberlausitz/Saxony, settle in Sarepta, near Zaryzin, their purpose being the mission to the Kalmucks.

    1765 - 1767
    Laying out of the "Northern Colonies" in the vicinity of St. Petersburg, by settlers from Hesse, Prussia, Wuerttemberg (Swabia) and Baden.

    1765 - 1766
    Founding of Riebendorf near Voronesh by Swabians, and of the Belovesh colony near Chernigov by Hessians and Rheinlanders.

    1782 - 1783
    German colonists from the Danzig area settle in the Black Sea area, near 1782 at Cherson, in 1783 at Yekaterinoslav (Dnyepropetrovsk).

    1786 - 1789
    founding of Alt-Danzig (1786), Fischendorf and Josefstal near Yekaterinoslav by Prussians and Swabians.

    1787 - 1791
    West-Prussian Mennonites found six settlements in Volhynia.

    June, 1789
    Mennonites emigrate to "New Russia" and establish Chortitza ("Ilitsbau") on the shores of the Dnyepr. About 17,000 Germans now reside in St. Petersburg.

    1794
    Establishment of the port city of Odessa.

    09.06.1800
    Act of Special ["Grace"] Privileges granted to the Mennonites; they then establish the Halbstadt Colonies and Gnadenfeld.

    1802 - 1859
    Nearly 110,000 Germans emigrate to the South of Russia (Black Sea region), the majority of them Swabians (Wuerttembergers) and Alemannen (from Alsace and Baden).

    1803
    Germans (primarily Swabians) settle in Odessa. Establishment of an Evangelical community. Grossliebental Colonies and Neusatz on the Crimean Peninsula founded by Swabians from Calw.

    02.20.1804
    Alexander I's Manifesto inviting immigration of Germans to the Black Sea region; exemption from military service.

    1804
    Settlers from Baden, the Palatinate, and Swabia establish the Prishib Colonies in Taurien near Halbstadt, and the Liebental Colonies near Odessa.

    1804 - 1810
    Settlers from Swabia, Baden, Alsace and Switzerland settle on the Crimean Peninsula.

    1808 - 1810
    People from Baden, Alsace and the Palatinate establish the Kutchurgan and Glueckstal Colonies in the Odessa region.

    1809-1817
    Beresan Colonies; Bavarians among the settlers.

    1812 - 1813
    War of the Fatherlands. Turkey forced to cede Bessarabia to Russia. Napoleon enters Moscow and is defeated shortly thereafter.

    1814 - 1815
    The Congress of Vienna ("Reform of Europe"); as King of Poland, Tsar Alexander I is given the area around Warsaw ("Congress Poland").

    1814 - 1824
    German settlements in Bessarabia. Immigrants are primarily from Swabia, the Palatinate, Bavaria, Mecklenburg, Pomerania, Silesia, Brandenburg, plus Germans from the Warsaw region, as well as Saxons. Establishment of Wittenberg (1814) and Leipzig (1815) [colonies].

    1816 - 1861
    Immigration to Volhynia from West-Prussia, the Rheinland, the Palatinate and Swabia.

    1816 - 1818
    Swabian separatists take up land in the South Caucasus.

    1822 - 1831
    Swabians establish colonies near Berdyansk.

    1823 - 1832
    Catholics and Lutherans, primarily from Swabia, establish the Plan, Grunau, and Mariupol colonies on the Northern shore of the Sea of Azov.

    1831
    Establishment of Neu-Stuttgart in the Caucasus.

    11.09.1838
    Tsar Nicholas I reaffirms the privileges granted to the colonists.

    1842
    Codification of all privileges, duties, and rights of the colonists; granting of rights of citizenship throughout the Tsarist empire.

    1853 - 1856
    Crimean War. Russia suffers considerable losses. Fall of Sevastopol in 1855.

    1854 - 1861
    Mennonits from WEst-Prussia establish colonies near Samara.

    1861
    Serfdom of Russian farmers is lifted.

    1863
    Immigration by Germans from Swabia and Warsaw to Volhynia. 100 years following Catherine's Manifesto, the wave of immigration of Germans to Russia is largely concluded.

    1867
    Second Slavic Congress in Moscow. Panslavist movement 9a term coined in 1826 by J. Herkel) strengthens under Russian leadership.

    1869 - 1873
    Establishment of Kronau--Orloff, daughter colonies of the Prishib and Halbstadt Mennonites.

    01.18.1871
    Bismarck establishes the German Reich.

    06.04.1871
    The government of Alexander II cancels the Colonists' [privileged] status. Cancels autonomous government in the German regions. Onset of wave of immigration to North America.

    1872 - 1873
    About 13,000 Mennonites emigrate to North America.

    01.13.1874
    Universal compulsory military service introduced. The Mennonites are offered substitute service in forestry.

    1874
    Immigration to North and South America on the upswing.

    1877 - 1878
    Russia-Turkey War. First political success by panslavism. Onset of German-Russian estrangement.

    1879
    Situation for Germans in Russia worsens as result of Germany's pact with Austria.

    03.13.1881
    Alexander III takes the throne. Russification efforts subsequent to Alexander II's assassination begin, via "Pan-Russianism" directed against Germans.

    1882
    German settlements (daughter colonies) near Pipshpek (Frunse) and Aulie-Ata (Dshambul) in Russian Turkestan.

    1884
    German settlements near Chiva, south of the Aral Sea.

    1885
    Establishment of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Tashkent.

    1887
    Alexander III's Manifesto: "Russia must belong to Russians."

    1891
    Russian is introduced as compulsory language of instruction in schools.

    1893
    New wave of "Russianism." Names of some German settlements are replaced with Russian names.

    1894
    The last Russian Tsar from the house of Romanov-Holstein-Gottorp ascends the throne. German settlements (daughter colonies) near Oranienburg.

    1895
    German settlements near Akmolinsk (Zelinograd) in the Kasachian Steppes.

    1897
    A census provides the following figures: 390,000 Germans living in the Volga region; 342,000 in South Russia; 237,000 in Western Russia; and 18,000 in Moscow.

    1901 - 1911
    Circa 105,000 German settlers emigrate from Russia to America.

    1903
    German settlement in Turkestan is prohibited. Pogroms against Jews in Bessarabia (Kishinyov).

    1904 - 1905
    Russo-Japanese War. Russian defeat leads to partial liberalization. Settlers stream into Siberian areas of Omsk and Tomsk.

    1906 - 1910
    Agrarian reforms by Prime Minister Stolypin (assassinated in Kiev on 09.18.1911).

    1906 - 1907
    German settlements near Ufa in Western Ural area (1906) and near Aktyubinsk in South Ural area (1907).

    1908
    Closed German settlement area near Slavgorod in the Kulunda Steppe.

    1909
    As a result of the Stolpyin Laws, onset of massive immigration by new settlers in West Siberia and North Turkestan, establishing daughter colonies (Pavlodar, Karaganda, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, etc.).

    1914
    A census puts the number of Germans living in Russia at 2,416,290. Excluding the Baltic area, Eastern Poland, and Volhynia, over 1,700,000 Germans live in Central Russia.

    08.01.1914
    Onset of World War I. The German Reich is designated as enemy of the Tsarist Empire. Still, about 300,000 Germans serve in the Russian army. Despite being Russian citizens, their land holdings are seized. German place names are replaced with Russian ones.

    02.02.1915
    Laws of liquidation: those Germans living within 150 kilometers of the border are to be resettled to Siberia. More than 50,000 Volhynia-Germans are deported to Siberia.

    05.27.1915
    Pogroms directed against Germans in Moscow. Many shops plundered. 40 Germans wounded, 3 murdered.

    03.15.1917
    Nicholas II abdicates during the February Revolution. Liquidation laws are lifted by the Provisional Government under Prime Minister Lvov.

    04.20-23.1917
    First All-German Congress in the history of Germans in Russia, in Odessa. Establishment of a Central Committee for all German-Russians (86 representatives from German settlement areas of 15 Governments). First Congress of Volga-Germans in Saratov; Second Congress of Volga-Germans in Schilling.

    11.07.1917
    Bolshevist October Revolution in Petrograd. Start of Lenin's Soviet dictatorship. Overthrow of the Provisional Government under Kerenski.

    03.03.1918
    Peace Agreement of Brest-Litovsk between Germany and Russia. Repatriation clause benefiting German-Russians. By request, residents of Germany may send Letters of Protection to ethnic Germans, but very few are aware of this provision, and only some individuals succeed in getting to the West. Russia cedes the Baltic area and Poland. Bessarabia is ceded to Romania.

    April of 1918
    Establishment of a "Commissariate for German Affairs on the Volga" under the direction of Ernst Reuter.

    1918
    According to a census 1,621,000 Germans live in Russia.

    07.16.1918
    Murder of the Tsar's family in Yekaterinburg.

    11.09.1918
    November Revolution in Germany. Removal of the monarchy, abdication by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Trotzki's Communist "Permanent Word Revolution" efforts fail in Germany.

    1919
    Bolshevists requisition the entire harvest. Rebellions in the Odessa region against the army of the new rulers. So-called "Red Massacre" of the farmers. Many men shot after military court ruling.

    1920
    Catholic seminary closed.

    1921 - 1923
    Heaviest failed harvest, famine caused by revolution, cicil war, and dispossession. Strong wave of emigration from the settlement areas. Population of Germans decreases by 26.5 percent.

    1921 - 1927
    New economic policies (NEP). Temporary recovery in the German areas.

    04.16.1922
    Rapallo Pact between the German Reich and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic by Rathenau and Tchitcherin. Mutual renunciation of financial demands, plus taking up of diplomatic relations.

    12.30.1922
    The First Soviet Congress announces the formation of the "Union of Socialist Soviet Republics."

    05.16.1923
    Establishment of the All-Russia Mennonite Agrarian Society.

    11.09.1923
    Renewed attempt by Sinovyev and Radek to continue the "World Revolution" in Germany.

    01.16.1924
    Establishment of the Autonomic Socialist Soviet Republic of Volga-Germans, with Engels (Pokrovsk) as its capital city.

    1926
    According to another census, 1,238,539 Germans reside in the Soviet Union. Final attempts at emigration to America via Siberia China. The USA makes available ships in Vladivostok. Some of the refugees are halted on the way and resettled in the Omsk and Tomsk areas.

    1927
    Establishment of the German Rayon in the Altai region. German settlements on the Amur; these constitute the last foundings of new settlements.

    1928
    Onset of collectivization, deportation of dispossessed owners into the Far North and to Siberia. Churches are closed.

    Toward the End of 1929
    About 14,000 Germans from all parts of the country go to Moscow in hopes of receiving permission to emigrate. Subsequent to lengthy negotiations 5,671 are allowed to travel through, but only through Germany and handed off toward North and South America. The others are returned by force.

    1930
    50,000 Germans included in the first wave of mass deportations.

    1932 - 1933
    Second failed Soviet harvest, resulting from forced collectivization and dispossession. Untold numbers of Germans on the Volga and in the Ukraine die of hunger.

    1933 - 1939
    Wave of terror secures Stalin's dictatorship. The Moscow hotel "Lux" becomes a place of exile for German Communists from the fatherland.

    1935
    600 Germans are deported from Azerbaidzhan to the Karelian Republic.

    1936
    Establishment in Germany of the Society of Germans from Russia.

    1937
    All churches, without exception, are desecrated; not a single German pastor remains in his position.

    1937 - 1938
    beginning of the darkest prewar chapter for Germans in Russia. Numerous Germans killed during the Stalinist "cleansings."

    1938
    Russian or Ukrainian become the compulsory language of instruction of in all schools outside of the Volga-German Republic.

    1938 - 1939
    Dissolution of all so-called German Rayons outside of the Volga-German Republic.

    08.23.1939
    Signing of the German-Russian Mutual Nonaggression Pact by foreign ministers von Ribbentropp and Molotov.

    09.01.1939
    Onset of World War II. A census reports 1,424,000 Germans in primarily closed communities in the Soviet Union (95 percent name German as their mother tongue).

    1940
    80,000 Germans leave Bessarabia and resettle in the Warthegau [area in the Warthe River valley in Poland]. Bessarabia and the Baltic States are annexed into the USSR.

    06.22.1941
    Start of the German-Soviet war. During the summer German and Romanian troops occupy Odessa, and the Red Army leaves it behind after 69 days. Germans living in Crimea, the Caucasus and parts of the Black Sea area east of the Dnyepr River are deported to Siberia and Central Asia.

    07.19.1941
    Stalin takes over the position as the People's Commissar for Defense and, thereby, overall command of the Red Army.

    08.08.1941
    Romanian troops enter western areas of the Black Sea region. Churches are reopened.

    08.25.1941
    The German army occupies Dnyepropetrovsk. Germans living west of the Dnyepr River for the most part escape deportation [by the Soviets].

    08.28.1941
    The famous, infamous ukase by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union leads to the dissolution of the Volga-German Republic and to the deportation of the entire population to Siberia into the camps of the Trud Army. Within only ten days about 350,000 Germans are dragged off to the Eastern regions of the USSR.

    1941 - 1946
    Nearly a million German-Russians are affected by the fate of deportation. Untold numbers fall victim to this insanity. Families are separated.

    08.30.1941
    By agreement from the German Reich, the area between the Dnyestr and the Bug Rivers, including Odessa, are placed under Romanian administration. The region is called Transnistria. Included are the old German mother colonies of the Grossliebentalers, Kurschurganers, Glueckstalers, and Beresaners. Members of the German population receive papers attesting to their Germanness.

    10.05.1941
    The Red Army exits the left bank of the Dnyepr. Ukraine finds itself under German administration. Formation of the Reichs-Commissariate Ukraine under the leadership of A. Rosenberg.

    February, 1943
    Battle of Leningrad, turnaround on the Eastern front.

    1943 - 1944
    German-Russians of eligible age are inducted into the German Wehrmacht.

    March - April, 1944
    Because of the retreat of the German Wehrmacht, about 350,000 Germans from the Ukraine and Transnistria are evacuated and resettled in the Warthegau, some to the Sudentenland. They are given German citizenship.

    04.10.1944
    Reconquest of Odessa by the Red Army.

    September, 1944
    The entire population of newly naturalized men is drafted.

    01.12.1945
    Beginning of the Soviet Western offensive. Escape to the West. Arrival in towns in Saxony, Thueringen and Brandenburg.

    April, 1945
    American forces occupy all of Thueringen and a large portion of Saxony. Later, toward the end of 1945, they retreat and leave Saxony and Thueringen to the Soviets.

    05.09.1845
    Unconditional capitulation by the German Wehrmacht in Berlin-Kahlhorst.

    06.05.1945
    The "Berlin Declaration" by the four winning powers partitions Germany into four zones of occupation.

    08.02.1945
    Signing of the "Potsdam Agreement," including a deal allowing each occupation power to repatriate "its" own citizens into its country. Each former Soviet citizen of German nationality about to be deported has a sum of $200 placed on his head, as compensation for the Germans' debt due to the war.

    1947
    An economic crisis and the failed harvest of 1946 brings about a catastrophic famine within the USSR. Great numbers of German-Russians in the Trud Army fall victim.

    11.26.1948
    By decree from the Supreme Soviet, German-Russians are banished "in perpetuity;" leaving the places of resettlement without special permission is to be punished with up to 20 years of forced labor.

    05.23.1949
    The Constitution of the federal Republic of Germany is announced.

    09.21.1949
    Establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany; a day prior, the formation of the first federal government, under Chancellor Adenauer.

    10.07.1950
    Establishment of the German Democratic Republic.

    04.22.1950
    The establishment of a "Working Group for Resettlers from the East" is decided in Stuttgart, Archivstrasse 18.

    08.05.1950
    "Charter for German Displaced People" presented in Stuttgart by the Landsmannschaften of refugees; among the singers: Dr. Gottlieb Leibbrandt, spokesman of the "Working Group for Resettlers from the East" (as of August, 1955 it would be called the Landsmannschaft of Germans from Russia).

    10.15.1950
    First countrywide meeting, with constitution, in Kassel. Its first country president, Dr. Gootlieb Leibbrandt. Further important persons of those first days were: Superintendent Johannes Schleuning, Pastor Heinrich Roemmich, Academician Dr. Karl Stumpp, Gertrud Braun, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Unruh and Prof. Wilfried Schlau.

    Toward the End of 1950
    12.2 millions of refugees now live in Germany, among them 8.1 millions in the Federal Republic, but only 70,000 Germans from Russia, that it, less than 1 percent, among those; there are 4.1 million refugees in the DDR [German Democratic Republic], but only 5,000 Germans from Russia among them.

    December, 1950
    Appearance of the first edition of "Volk auf dem Weg," monthly paper of the Landsmannschaft, at the time still subtitled "News from the Working Group for Resettlers from the East," with its headquarters in Stuttgart.

    05.12.1951
    The very first federal (countrywide) convention of Germans from Russia (Resettlers from the East), in Stuttgart.


    Source

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    Post AW: The Germans from Russia

    Map of German colonies:

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    Last edited by Oswiu; Wednesday, January 17th, 2007 at 10:17 PM. Reason: map

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    Post AW: The Germans from Russia

    Detailed .pdf map of the German settlements in Bessarabia (Black Sea region).

    Map of German settlements in Bessarabia (PDF)



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    Post The Volga Germans

    What about ther Germans who live in Russia and Kazakhstan?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volga_German

    http://www.lhm.org/LID/lidhist.htm

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    Wolgadeutsche: The Germans of Russia

    A Brief History of Volga Germans

    Original Mother Colonies

    In 1763, Catherine the Great issued a persuasive manifesto inviting foreigners to settle in Russia. Because of the impoverished conditions in Europe due to the Seven Years War, and the aggressive campaign of immigration agents, many Germans answered the call to "paradise." During the four years from 1764 to 1767, Germans colonized 104 villages in the desolate Volga Valley of Russia near the city of Saratov. Of these, 44 were on the West side, the hilly side (Bergseite) of the Volga River and 60 villages were on the East side, the meadow side (Wiesenseite). The villages ranged in population from 225 to 250 people each. The emigrants numbered a total of of more than seven thousand families, an estimated 25 thousand people. The majority came from Hesse Germany, with southwest Germany well represented and less coming from other countries. Separate religious affiliations were of primary importance and interdenominational villages were extremely rare. With few exceptions, all of the villages were Lutheran, Reformed or Catholic and later Mennonite.

    German Isolationism

    Divorced from their fatherland, the Germans turned inward to form an isolationist attitude that would characterize their behavior for years to come. No farmer lived isolated and alone on their farm but they resided in a village where they enjoyed communal amenities in conjunction with the church and school. The church was the center of community life. The Germans maintained their way of life and had minimal interaction with the Russians. For the most part they only spoke German and did not learn the Russian language except for essential government and business dealings. They built German schools, practiced their German religion, Lutheran, Reformed or Catholic, and only married other Germans, usually from their own village.

    Early Hardships

    The first problem for the immigrants was houses. The emigrants had been promised that these would be ready upon their arrival, but in most cases the newcomers found neither house nor lumber to build them. The settlers were shown how to make themselves mud huts, Russian style, in which they had to live sometimes for as long as two or three years before their houses were ready. Other needs of the settlers were not met. Domestic animals were in short supply; the farm implements furnished were crude, the seed grain was always late. There were shortages of clothing, so essential in the cold winters and even shortages of food. Russian officials profiteered at the expense of the immigrants.

    Nature was also against the newcomers. After the bitterly cold winters, came the spring floods to wash away their mud huts and make them flee to the hills. The summers were hot and dry and crop failure followed crop failure. Ignorance of the qualities of the soil and the kind of cultivation it required were difficulties that could only be overcome with experience. Not until 1775 did the colonist harvest their first good crop and finally became independent of government help.

    More destructive than the thievery of local robber bands was the Pugachev rebellion which broke out in the Volga region in 1773. Pugachev was a Don Cossack who posed as Peter III who gathered an army of malcontents with the purpose of unseating the empress. Even a few disgruntled Germans joined his forces. In 1774 Saratov was captured and many of the German villages on both sides of the Volga suffered extensive damage. Finally in 1775 Pugachev was captured and executed.

    The most fearful terror of all was the Kirghizs to the east. They resented the German colonists on their grazing grounds. In 1771 the Kirghiz attacks started on the east side of the Volga, particularly those on the Great Karaman. These raiders robbed, destroyed and killed without mercy. They carried off hundreds of captives to the slave market of the East. In August 1774, the most destructive attacks occurred along the Karaman. From Mariental alone 200-300 people were carried off into slavery. A brave band of 150 colonists set off in pursuit of freeing the captives but they were also captured and tortured. In early September 1774 a force of 600 of the Russian army followed the Kirghiz eastward and managed to liberate 811 of the captured colonists. Later raids occurred on villages in the Tarlyk River region. Two villages, Keller and Leitsinger were so devastated that no effort was made to rebuild. Villages in this region had to become armed camps. As late as 1784 and 1785 there were more attacks on villages along the Karaman. Two more villages, Caesarsfeld and Chasselois were abandoned also.

    In all, 5 of the 104 villages were abandoned in the early years, all on the Wiesenseite: Bern, Leitsinger, Keller, Caesarfeld and Chasselois. Three new villages were founded from 1772-1802 by re-settlement of some of the colonist, bringing the total number of villages back to 102. Northwest of Saratov, near Yagodnaya Polyana, the village of Pobochnoye was founded in 1772, and Neu-Straub founded in 1802. Neu-Kolonie was founded in 1776 on the eastern shore of the Volga.

    Following 20 years of extreme hardship and population decline, the population of the Volga villages began to climb in 1785 and the situation began to slowly turn around.

    Land Division and Daughter Colonies

    As the population grew, the original farm land was divided equally among the men every 10 years. A consequence of this subdividing was that each male's portion grew smaller and smaller until it sank below the level of subsistence. Russia set aside new land for the Germans in 1797 and 1840. In 1834 the population of the Volga had risen to 108,000.

    The land grant of 1840 was predominately south east of the Volga settlements. People moved to new villages for new farm land. The first Wiesenseite daughter colonies (colonies derived from Wiesenseite villages) were founded in 1848 and by 1860 there were 25 or more. The first ten Bergseite daughter colonies were founded in the years 1852-1853 in the Kamysin region. Then from 1855-1861 25 more colonies were established along the Jersulan River area. The last 3 colonies of the 1849 land grant occurred in 1863. Altogether the Volga colonists founded 68 daughter colonies in the years 1848 to 1863.

    By the 1860's, when the last of the daughter colonies was being established, the population was double that of 1834 (216,000). By 1865 there were 170 German Volga villages. Single families and small groups moved out into the steppes east of the Volga, where they bought or rented land from Russian landowners, dotting the whole region with German family farms and small hamlets. Ten small Mennonite colonies were founded from 1854 to 1875 by immigrants who came directly from Prussia.

    Broken Promises

    A century after the first Germans had settled in the Volga region, Russia passed legislation that revoked many of the privileges promised to them by Catherine the Great. The sentiment in Russia became decidedly anti-German. Russia first made changes to the German local government. Then in 1874, a new military law decreed that all male Russian subjects, when they reached the age of 20, were eligible to serve in the military for 6 years.

    For the German colonists, this law represented a breach of faith. In the 1880s the Russia began a subtle attack on the German schools.

    Emigration

    Just when Russia was abridging the privileges granted to the Germans in a an earlier era, several nations in the Americas were attempting to attract settlers by offering inducements reminiscent of those of Catherine the Great. Soon after the military service bill became law, both Protestant and Catholic Volga Germans gathered and choose delegations to journey across the Atlantic to examine settlement conditions in the United States. In following years the same occurred in Brazil, Argentina and Canada.

    So in the 1870's small groups of Volga Germans immigrated to the United States and Canada in North America. In South America they settled primarily in Brazil and Argentina. In their new homes overseas, the Volga Germans initially continued their pattern of introverted closed German communities. The people of individual villages tended to travel together and settle together in their new homeland. It was not uncommon to find hundreds of Volga Germans from one village in one location in the new world: Norka in Portland,OR; Yagodnaya Polyana in Endicott, WA; Bangert, Stahl, Kukkus, Laube, Jost and Laub in Fresno; Norka, Beideck, Dobrinka in Globeville, CO; and Reinwald and Schaefer in Sheboygan, WI. There was also immigration to North Caucasus in Russia where a number of colonies were established. In the 1890's when land became scarce there, migration was diverted eastward to Siberia. In spite of the large emigration, the Volga German population increased to 345,000 by 1897 and to over 500,000 by 1914.

    Communist Rule

    Following WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Russia experienced mass starvation from 1920 to 1924 caused largely by a government policy of forced grain requisition. When the Volga Germans resisted, they were completely stripped of all grain and mass executions were carried out. More than thirty percent of the Volga German population was deliberately starved before relief was permitted. Starting in 1921, the Volga Relief Society in America, raised money and bought supplies for the starving Volga Germans.

    In 1922 John Hermann returned to Sheboygan, Wisconsin and told his story of survival and escape from Russia. His story was published in the Sheboygan Press.

    For a more recent history of all Germans from Russia, go to A People on the Move: Germans in Russia and in the Former Soviet Union: 1763 - 1997. Published by the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland e.V., Kulturrat der Deutschen aus Russland e.V., Stuttgart, Germany, 1997.

    A 7 part series of articles, Wanderings: The Germans from Russia Today, discusses the Germans from Russia and their travels from Germany to Russia and back to Germany and America.

    This site is a really indepth resource for information about these people, as well as maps, village info, population census', ship ledgers, examples of Parochial Certificates, archives, and plenty of links to other sites.
    "Nature! We are surrounded and embraced by her:
    powerless to separate ourselves from her, and powerless to penetrate beyond her.

    Without asking, or warning, she snatches us up into her circling dance, and whirls us on until we are tired, and drop from her arms." - Goethe

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    A map of German settlements in Eastern Europe:

    Tolerance is a proof of distrust in one's own ideals. Friedrich Nietzsche


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    I think I had posted this link before:

    Volksdeutsche Landsmannschaften
    Die Intellektuellen von heute versuchen, den Nationalismus als eine Sünde gegen die Menschlichkeit zu brandmarken. Sie versuchen, uns glauben zu machen, daß dem Wort Nationalismus eine Infamie anhängt. Aber sie verkennen, daß der Geist des Nationalismus aus der schöpferischen Tiefe der menschlichen Seele stammt. Daß er aufsteigt von dort als das gewaltige Verlangen der Menschen, frei zu sein, frei von fremder Herrschaft, und sich nach eigener Art selber zu regieren! Herbert Hoover

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    Post Re: The Volga Germans


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    Wolga-Deutsche karte/Volga-German map

    Map showing the location of the former German settlements in the Volga-German republic.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    German villages in South Russia (now the Ukraine).

    The Kutschurgan district.

    The Grossliebenthal district

    The Gluckstal district.
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