A new Dimension was Opened up for the Landestreffen
der Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Rußland
"A new Dimension was Opened up for the Landestreffen der Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Rußland." Volk auf dem Weg, October 1993.
Translated from German to English by Brigitte Von Budde
On August 7, 1993 at the fourth Landestreffen der Deutschen aus Rußland
the presiding officer of the Landesverband Niedersachsen, Wendelin
Jundt, introduce the public to a proud display of more than 7,000
participants. That is the largest number achieved at a Landestreffen
thus far, and it would have even honored the earlier meetings of the
Landsmannschaft. As a rule, 2,000 participants, at the most, were
figured to be at an average Landestreffen. With this record attendance
it became clear that it will no longer be possible to direct everything
from Stuttgart. The tasks of the Landsmannschaft will inevitably be
switched over to the states on which the well-being of our new residents
depends as much as on headquarters.
W. Jundt presented a large number of honored guests, among them
supporter of the event, leader of the opposition at the Landtag
of Niedersachsen, Christian Wulff (CDU), the mayor of Hannover,
Hannelore Kunze (SPD) and top representative of the factions of
CDU and SPD, churches, BdV, the Landsmannschaft and many more.
Jundt referred to the good support which was bestowed on him on
the part of many during the arrangements for the meeting and he
mentioned at the press conference as the only Wehrmutstropfen the
fact that it was not possible for the Prime minister, Gerhard Schröder,
to take care of the arrangements for the meeting himself and to
speak to the Germans from Russia. Volk auf dem Weg is far from threatening
with the party-political "club" in the name of the Germans
from Russia but [he] believes that it is absolutely necessary for
both parties to recognize that the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen
aus Rußland is, by virtue of the charter, a non-party representation
of all Germans from Russia regardless if they vote for, like or
dislike CDU, SPD, CSU, FDP, Green or something else. Prime Minister
Schröder was extremely well represented by his Minister of
Public Worship and Education, Prof. Rolf Wemstedt. He referred to
the many problems in the country on the first day of school as well
as to the problems in the schools but "we would have more problems
without the children of evacuees". And turning to W. Jundt,
"You should tell [this to] others everywhere especially to
people who see this differently. And if you, Mr .Jundt, emphasize
that your people have preserved their culture throughout centuries,
then I have to say, this is my culture. "
Christian Wulff emphasized mainly the position of the governing
body in Bonn. We are pleased that we have you in Germany as Germans
among Germans, and loud and clear the door has to stay open in the
future. He insured the evacuees idealistic and political support
for cultural activities.
The presiding officer of the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus
Rußland, Alois Reiss, opposed the statement that the Landsmannschaft
tried to persuade the Germans from Russia to leave. "We don't
send anyone back. Whoever wants to stay, is allowed to stay. And
the door to the Federal Republic has to stay open.” He demanded
not to make the assimilation more difficult and also a law for compensation
which brings an acceptable balance for damages suffered due to dispersion.
(Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung vom 9.8.1993)
Among numerous guest speakers, Michael Miller from the USA took
care of the atmosphere in the hall with his Black Sea German language:
“I come from America and I am a proud German Russian from
Kutschurgan, born in America but learned English only at the age
of six ...learned fluent German and a little English! But you know
Russian ...There are 5 million Germans in America who come from
Russia but, turning to the politicians in the hall, you don't have
to be afraid that they come back…”
A. Reiss added easily to the opening of M. Miller by acknowledging,"
I, too, come from Kutschurgan".
The choirs at the meeting received added applause; Hannover in
grün with many known folksongs, Wolfsburg in Weiß for
more difficult songs and Nienburg in Red for familiar songs of the
20s and 30s. In the afternoon music played for dancing in three
rooms and songs were sung whereby Jakob Fischer continued with songs
which had almost been forgotten.
Our appreciation is extended to Brigitte von Budde
for translation of this article.