Providing Opportunities - Taking Advantage of Opportunities by the Landsmannschaft
Chancen Schaffen - Chancen Nutzen!
"Providing Opportunities – Taking Advantage of Opportunities by the Landsmannschaft." Volk auf dem Weg, March 2007, 2-3.
This translation from the original German text to American
English is provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado
For the 29th Bundestreffen, which is to be held May 26, 2007 in
the Rhein-Main Halls of the Hessian State capital, Wiesbaden, the
Landsmannschaft has chosen the motto "Providing Opportunities
- Taking Advantage of Opportunities."
This guiding idea the Landsmannschaft sums up its work on behalf
of Germans from Russia. Not in the least is this motto applicable
to its efforts on behalf of the [formerly] increasing number of
Aussiedler that, as a consequence of the immigration law which became
effective January 1, 2005, has sunk to by far the lowest point in
nearly twenty years.
In a position stated by the Landsmannschaft, more than anything
else, it is the requirement for a language test that has led to
the drastic reduction, and we shall continue to point out that any
loss of German-language skills is an essential ingredient of the
collective postwar fate, one that all significant parties in the
German Bundestag continue to acknowledge.
In this context we shall also point out that we continue to worry
about the fact that the matter of immigration of spouses and offspring
of Spaetaussiedler remains to be unregulated, and we worry even
more about the separation of family remembers that must be therefore
expected. (On pp. 4-5 in this issue, we state our detailed position
on this matter).
Our suggestions toward improvements in the work on behalf of Germans
from Russia, which we shall be able to present to the broader public
during the 29th Bundestreffen, are by now well defined. The national
chair of the Landsmannschaft, Alfred Fetsch, and his vice-chairs,
Adolf Braun and Waldemar Axt, on February 26, 2007 were able to present
these suggestions to a small circle of experts within the context
of the working group "Integration of the Aussiedler" of
the federal government.
|Along with the Hessian Social Minister,
Silke Lautenschlaeger, main speakers for the Ceremonial Hour
at the Bundestreffen will be Parlamentay State Secretary Dr.
Christoph Bergner (above), the federal government's representative
for Aussielder, and Adolf Fetsch (below), national chair of
the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland
In order to be able to improve the conditions for integration efforts,
we urge the appointment of Aussiedler representatives by each of
the Bundeslaender, especially in the newer ones, where problems
faced by our countrymen during the initial years after immigration
are more serious than in the western Laender of the country.
Such offices must also be complemented by full-time people who
are Germans from Russia, to operate in all Bundeslaendern as coordinating
points between their countrymen's needs and the offices and authorities
of these states.
In order to find a way out of the difficulties that our work on
advice and care have incurred due to funding cuts in this area,
the following three governmental measures are of primary importance:
- Expanded financial and institutional support.
- Increased recognition of the special qualifications of workers
from the Landsmannschaft, who may not always satisfy the wished-for
requirements, but have in practice proven to be very useful.
- Adoption of the forms and content of sensible integration efforts
that have been experienced by our own workers.
We shall also point out that for us, the Landsmannschaft, efforts
in the cultural arena, especially on a broad basis, are an indispensable
ingredient of any work on behalf of and with Spaetausssiedler. Support
of this work would contribute considerably toward increased acceptance
of our countrymen by the native population - by depicting the cultural,
social, and political background, as well as presenting their cultural
heritage, which is what preserved them throughout those fateful
and difficult years and has brought them to Germany.
Two suggestions should be mentioned here as representative of a
series of concrete suggestions in the area of public efforts, ones
we shall elaborate on in detail during the Bundestreffen:
- Immediate reaction by those with political responsibility in
the face of untenable statements made about Spaetaussiedler. It
must not be that - for whatever reason - the topic "Spaetaussiedler"
becomes a taboo subject or is simply left to the arena of tendentious
- Making sure that the topic "Germans from Russia" is
a natural part of the curriculum in German schools.
Finally, we shall also make statements concerning possibilities
for supporting of social and cultural matters, as well as the improvement
of living conditions for Germans still residing in the successor
states of the former Soviet Union. This task is gaining increasing
significance, but considering the current actual situation, new
and substantive points of emphasis are required.
Ceremonial Hour, Heimat-Evening, and much more
Volunteers and employees of the Landsmannschaft are of course still
engaged in preparations for the Bundestreffen, so at this time we
can provide you with only an overview of the program that awaits
you in Wiesbaden.
The traditional highlight is the Ceremonial Hour, during which, in
addition to the Hessian Social Minister, Silke Lautenschlaeger, whom
we introduced previously, the Aussiedler representative from the federal
government, Dr. Christoph Bergner, and our own national chair, Adolf
Fetsch, will make formal addresses. And at the conclusion of the hour,
we shall pay honor with great dignity those of our ethnic group who
died as victims of persecution in a state without justice.
through Integration! Our postwar fate
continues" was the motto for the 27th Bundestreffen that
took place in Stuttgart on June 2, 2001
A second highlight of the program, as ever, is the Heimat-Evening,
which will provide attendees with a good picture of the broad range
of our musical and performing talents.
For many, however, the "secret" highlight will be getting
together at the settlement area tables with friends and neighbors
from the past, and during these meetings the time will definitely
pass very quickly.
A great deal of space will be taken up by various exhibits prepared
and cared for by our own employees:
- The traveling exhibit "Volk auf dem Weg. Geschichte
und Gegenwart der Deutschen aus Russland [A People on the Road.
History and Present of the Germans from Russia]" is complemented
by an expanded documentation on the history of the ethnic group.
Under the heading "The Landsmannschaft Presents," placards
provide information on the history and the present of the association;
and in that context, our state, local, and county organizations,
as well as various integration projects currently in operation throughout
the country, will be presented to the attendees. Furthermore, there
will be exhibits of works by German-Russian artists, and tables
at which books from the Landsmannschaft and other publishers will
In our upcoming issue we shall inform you in more detail on the
topics touched on herein, and we shall inform you on what is being
done in the cultural and social areas on behalf of youth and German-Russian
groups who have traveled from the former Soviet Union and from overseas,
as well as all other areas of efforts on behalf of Germans from
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation
of this article.