|Dr. Horst Waffenschmidt Answers Questions From the
German Eastern Services (DOD)
Dr. Waffenschmidt Antwortet auf Fragen de Deutschen Ostdiennst
Waffenschmidt, Dr. Horst. "Dr. Horst Waffenschmidt Answers Questions From the German Eastern Services (DOD)." Volk auf dem Weg, November 1993, 2-3.
Translation from German to English by Ingeborg Wallner
Smith, Western Springs, Illinois
Question: Why is the support for the Germans in Poland
so much less compared with the efforts for the Russian-Germans, in
spite of the fact that the relevant government means would be more
easily monitored there and could also more surely be put into action
for the long term, while the on-going political development in the
CIS cannot be monitored?
|Dr. Horst Waffenschmidt,
Government Representative for Emigration
Waffenschmidt: Aid to the Germans in Poland cannot
be compared with the help we have given the Russian-Germans. The
results to date are too different. In Poland one can demonstrate
to the German minority that they have better prospects for themselves
and their children in their hereditary homeland.
In large areas of the CIS, due to political, ethnic and religious
tensions, many of the Russian-Germans living there can no longer
look forward to any sufficient prospects for a better life. This
is particularly true in the central Asiatic republics of the CIS.
In order to be able to provide these people with a homeland in their
traditional settlement areas in the Volga region, the West Siberian
region and in southern Ukraine, stronger measures must be taken
in these places. Tens of thousands wish to settle in these settlement
centers; these are unambiguous figures.
Question: How can the demonstrably greatly diminishing
life prospects of the German-Russian in central Asia be ensured
solely be means of the settlement of some 10,000 Germans instead
of through resettlement in the Altai region and some thousands of
Germans near Saratow, and do not the 100,000 pending emigration
application from the area under Polis control combined with a very
high proportion of rejections , show that the Germans there also
see their life prospects as critical?
Waffenschmidt: In your question you misjudge the
great importance of the main centers of the German settlements in
the Omsk area, in the Altai and on the Volga. At the present time
about 100,000 applications of Russian-Germans for settlement there
have been submitted and the number is rising. These main centers
were set up with the consent of the Russian-Germans, with Dr. Heinrich
Groth a their head! Besides that Russian-German organizations in
the CIS speak of five to six million Russian-Germans, including
The application from Poland being considered federally and in the
states for approximately 75,000 people (not 100,000) have been mainly
taken care of in the part years. While about 67,000 people submitted
application in 1991, in 1992, only 29,000 and in the first eight
months of this year only 7,801 persons did so. The percentage of
rejections derives from the fact that, in particular, the countries
with jurisdiction, in accordance with the law concerning the German
expellees, no longer recognize a fate caused by the war.
Question: Is there not a danger, that because
of a further escalation of at the present over 60 conflicts in the
area of the former Soviet Union, suddenly a large number of several
thousand or even tens of thousands of Russian-Germans must be evacuated
into Germany, and is the government actually prepared for those
sorts of measures?
Waffenschmidt: Basically one cannot avoid, according
to the law concerning expellees and refugees (BVFG) an examination
of the local conditions. At the present time applications from the
civil war areas of the CIS are being quickly dealt with by both
the federal government and the states. The federal office has even
installed subject areas for applicants from crisis areas, in which
these applications are immediately attended to. Furthermore, the
BVFG offers the possibility of acceptance in hardship cases in accordance
with #27 P.2 BVFG, for applicants that find themselves in Germany.
It would also be possible, in cases of particular need, for employees
of the federal administrative office on the spot to undertake the
necessary examinations in order to accept the applicants on the
basis of previous decisions by the states. In addition, for example,
the German circles in West Siberia are prepared to take up tens
of thousands of Germans.
Question: In the politics of the federal government
regarding the Russian-Germans, what role does the point of view
play that Germany with at present a dwindling German population
is oriented to a particularly large immigration of Russian-German
Waffenscmidt: The German government accepts those
of German blood from the areas of emigration because these people
have suffered from the results of the war in a particular manner
and some of them are still suffering. In the law concerning the
expellees it is stated, that each year up to about 225,000 emigrants
may be taken in if they fulfill the legal requirements. The belated
emigrants with their overwhelmingly young families and children
contribute to a more even population structure in Germany. The proportion
of those over 65 year old is considerably smaller in the case of
the resettlers than in the general population. Also from a demographic
point of view the belated emigrants are most certainly an asset
to our people.
Question: Considering the civil wars and persecutions
in the former Soviet Union and the instability in the Polish sphere,
is the contingent number sufficient, without the persecuted having
to wait yet another several years for their emigration?
Waffenschmidt: Yes. The regulations of #27 P.3
of the law concerning expellees are the result of a substantial
compromise that is above party. The present development of the entry
of evacuees and the receipt of entrance applications, keenly followed
by BMI and the federal administration, does not lead one to expect
that the number of belated emigrants, spouses and descendants to
be admitted, named in the above-mentioned regulation, would even
be reach. In addition, the strong reduction in applications, even
from the CIS, is particularly noteworthy.
Question: How does the Federal Government judge
and support the settlement of Russian-Germans in northern East Prussia?
Waffenschmidt: In the matter of the aid for the
Kaliningrad/ East Prussia it is a question of an expanded humanitarian
aid. This encompasses in essence medical support of individual hospitals,
agricultural support in the development of machinery – and
consultation – communities as well as community-furthering
measures, in which these should not only benefit the Russian-Germans
but also the rest of the population.
So, for example, the German Red Cross implemented with means provided
by the Ministry of the Interior, a medical emergency relief system,
in which 45 hospitals were equipped. Further, using means provided
by the government, the Foundation Königsberg (Essen) built
the central meeting place “German-Russian House” in
the city area Kalingrad/ Königsberg for the Russian-German
cultural society “Eintracht”. This meeting place was
dedicated on March 12, 1993 and is meant to provide opportunities
for cultural organizations, educational and continuing education
seminars, as well as language courses for the Russian-German living
in the area and for their Russian neighbors.
In addition the German Agricultural Society in cooperation with
the Rural Adult Education Department in Lower Saxony, using local
funds, is providing agricultural emergency assistance in the Rayons
Nesterov, Ozersk, Cernjachovsk and Bagratinovsk with the aim of
supporting the establishment of private family businesses in machinery
– and consultation – communities by providing agricultural
technical information and seed in addition to supporting consultation
on the spot.
At the third session of the German-Russian Governing Committee
in Bonn, April 5th and 6th, it was agreed with the Russian government
to continue this medical, agricultural and community-strengthening
The influx of Russian-Germans into this area can develop in the
framework of the laws and freedom of domicile governing all Russian
citizens. Prof. Matatschkin, the present Russian head of the territory
and member of the Russian Constitutional Convention, described the
situation in a German television interview on June 20, 1993 as follows:
“They can come as ordinary citizens. And I repeat immediately,
that we are against an organized mass resettlement.” I mean,
for this countryside of Europe, rich in opportunity, the German-Russia
cooperation should be particularly fruitful. For this reason I am
emphatically in favor of the speedy provision of a German Consulate
Question: Of these means, how many flow exclusively
to what number of Germans for their personal use, for gaining livelihood,
for acquiring assets, for speed, for providing their own shelter,
and also for legal help against widespread attempts at confiscation?
Waffenschmidt: In accordance with the arrangements
of the German-Russian Government Commission, in the region Kaliningrad
(East Prussia) the federal government supports agricultural businesses
that are mainly carried on by German families, with seed and with
agricultural equipment. The value of this expanded humanitarian
aid for the year 1992 and 1993 consists of in round numbers 5.6
Our appreciation is extended to Ingeborg Smith for translation
of this article.