|Approaching History With Increased Objectivity: Historical
Research Association Takes Stock
Geschichte mit Mehr Objektivitaet Entgegentreten: Historischer
Forschungsverein zog Bilanz
Paulsen, Nina. "Approaching History With Increased Objectivity: Historical Research Association Takes Stock." Volk auf def Weg, December 2005, 10.
Translation from the original German text to American
English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado
|The newly elected Board
of the HFDR, along with its Chair, Anton Bosch
Building cultural bridges and approaching with increased objectivity
230-year-old history of the German-Russians -- these are to continue
as the main
focus of activity, now and in the future, of the Historische
Forschungsverein der Deutschen aus Russland (HFDR) [Historical Research
from Russia], emphasized the new chairman, Anton Bosch, at the annual
meeting 2005 in the Haus der Heimat (HdH) in Nuremberg.
Members took stock and discussed various topics and perspectives.
Via its many publications and groundbreaking projects, the Society
has succeeded in attaining recognition and respect. The HFDR has
been received into the "Social Archive" of the City of
Nuremberg, and for its Project "The Archangelsk Cemetery Memorial"
it received a Certificate of Honor from the Robert-Bosch Foundation.
In the preface to his most recent Almanac, "Russland-Deutsche
[Contemporary German-Russian History]," with its critique of
developments in German-Russian history primarily after World War
II, Anton Bosch
writes: "Paradoxically, sweeping surface arguments given during
twelve years of
failed developments have apparently caused even 200 years of German-Russian
history to be ignored or even silenced." The Research Society
aims to take up
with increased vigor those topics that have been treated with silence,
relativized, or have been presented with too many gaps. History
treated with complete facts, says Bosch.
The Society considers not only the positive presentation of the
our ancestors as being of great value, but with its contributions
successful integration in this country [Germany], it attempts to
negative image the general public seems to have of the Aussiedler
seems also to have taken hold in research circles.
The foremost activity of the Society continues, as ever, to consist
working on the history of the Germans from Russia and on popularizing
German-language publications. Within the past six years, several
have appeared, among them -- [Most or all titles appearing hereafter
will be in
translation. AH] -- "The German Colonies in South Russia"
by Konrad Keller,
"The German Colonies on the Volga" by Johannes Kufeld,
the "Handbook of
Germans from Russia" (including a village index covering former
regions) by Ulrich Mertens, as well as "The Germans in Siberia"
(2 volumes) by
Viktor Bruhl. An important role has been assumed by the Almanacs
"Russland-Deustche Geschichte [German-Russian History],"
a series of which the
was published in 2005. Books by the HFDR are available in all libraries
in numerous universities of the Laender Bavaria, Hessen, and
Ever since 2000, calendars have been published containing highlights
topics concerning the history and culture of the Germans from Russia.
central theme of the calendars, "To discover and build bridges"
is to be carried
into the future. These calendars enjoy good sales and are acquired
not only by
Aussiedler, but also even by native Germans and in other countries.
entire supply of the 2006 calendar is practically exhausted.
Additionally, the Society attains recognition via its groundbreaking
boundary-breaking projects and initiatives, especially the international
of 2004 "Archangelsk Cemetery Memorial" (Nuremberg and
Archangelsk), which is
dedicated to the contributions by Germans in that region between
and 19th centuries, and to the victims of political repression during
century (see this topic represented in the month of May in the 2006
Society members Lilli and Reinhardt Uhlmann made the project "Traditional
Folk Dress of the Germans from Russia" a reality. Another project
is a gallery
of portraits of Germans from Russia painted by Johannes Niederhaus
Paderborn. It encompasses around 30 portraits, among them those
Cornies, Konrad Keller, Boris Rauschenbach, Friedrich Falz-Fein,
Samuel Contenius, Barbara von Kruedener, Elisabeth Kuhlmann, and
Schnittke, to name just a few.
With its work in the public arena, the Society also tries to popularize
history and accomplishments of our ancestors. Under the topic "200
Immigration of Germans to the Black Sea Region," exhibits covering
German-Russian personalities were staged in 2003 in Nuremberg-Langwasser
Herzogenaurach. With its presentation on the role of Baroness Barbara
Kruegener in the mass resettlements of the Chiliasts into the Black
region, the Society participated in a historical-scientific conference
Odessa. Numerous presentations on the immigration of Germans to
the Black Sea
region, on the history of German-Russians in Russia/USSR and the
the expulsion of the Germans in Russia during WW II, and on the
Germans from Russia within Germany, were given in various forums
various cultural events.
Durign the coming year the research work on the "Odessa Book
will continue. It will contain documentation for German victims
of the terror
years of 1937/1938, including 9,000 names. Also to be continued,
collaboration with the Haus der Heimat in Nuremberg, is the project
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation
of this article.