There is no Alternative to the Politics of the National
Waffenschmidt, Dr. Horst. "There is no Alternative to the Politics of the National Government." Volk auf dem Weg, July 1994.
Translation from German to English by Ingeborg W. Smith
The federal representative for resettler problems, the Parliamentary
State Secretary Dr. Horst Waffenschmidt, in his usual manner, laid
aside his written speech and gave an authentic extemporaneous speech.
At the same time, however, he soothed the Press on the scene with
the observation, that the text printed below could be considered as
having been delivered.
Dr. Horst Waffenschmidt
This (the large number or participants at the national convention;
comment or the editor) is an impressive sign or your feeling of
belonging together, which you have preserved in spite of your dispersal
after the beginning of the war into many parts of the immense former
Soviet Union. I hope and wish for you that you will also preserve
this solidarity into the next generation and the one following!
To all of you, those resettIers coming from the area of the former
Soviet Union, the guests from the successor states of the USSR and
the guests from Baden-Württemberg and from other parts of Germany,
I bring greetings and best wishes from the federal government. Your
chancellor, Helmut Kohl, sends particularly hearty greetings; in
the almost twelve years of his tenure in office he has always shown
an attentive interest in the Russian-Germans and has done a great
deal for them!
A meeting such as this national convention makes one think: A backward
look at that which was and a look ahead at that which lies before
In the Soviet census of April, 1989 more than two million citizens
made themselves known as being of German descent. Today we know
that many more would have done this, had not fear stemming from
the decades of the war and postwar era been so
deeply rooted in the Germans, that even almost 45 years after the
end of the war they would still be fearing serious drawbacks from
an open admission of belonging to the German people.
But even the two million Germans of the most recent census constitute
a large number: a larger number than have ever made themselves known
as German in any census since the Russian Revolution of 1917.
This spring, we have taken in the millionth Russian-German resettler
since the founding of the Bundesrepublic of Germany in 1949: during
the past year alone over 200,000.
However, the destinies of the Russian-Germans are much more impressive
than these figures. I know them not only since I became representative
of the federal government for resettler affairs. Far more than a
thousand Russian-Germans then lived in my little hometown in the
Rhineland, almost one-tenth of the population! One would prefer
to do justice to the destiny of each one, to try to smooth out one
by one a bit of the sorrowful path of almost all families. But unfortunately,
in view of the large numbers of resettlers and applicants in recent
years, this is only marginally possibly.
Personally I regret this very much. But I think one must see the
basics and parameters of our resettler politics, our politics for
When Russian-Germans come to us in Germany, they need housing,
jobs, training and many other things. At the moment, as you all
know, housing and jobs are scarce, but all those responsible are
striving for improvement. In spite of all the necessary economy
measures, the integration of the resettlers will continue to be
seen to. Because of leaner budgets the help for the individual is
no longer as plentiful as it could be a few years ago. The state,
like the private citizen, cannot spend more than it takes in. That
is the truth.
The federal government, in spite of the expenses connected with
unification, has consistently continued the essence of its policy
of help for the Germans in their present home and the taking-in
of resettlers, particularly with a view to the fate of the Russian-Germans.
There is no alternative to this policy.
Concerning the policy for those Russian-Germans remaining in the
CIS the Parliamentary State Secretary emphasized the responsibility
of the German Republic for these people:
No group of expatriate Germans in the whole world had less to do
with the National Socialist leadership in Germany, but no German
group had to suffer so much, so long and with so many consequences
from the results of the disastrous Second World War! Therefore,
the main thrust of our help for the Germans in the former Eastern
Bloc is towards the Russian-Germans, and here for obvious reasons
towards the Germans in the Russian Federation. Here the first two
national German Rayons originated, not by chance both in over one-hundred-year-old
settlement areas in West Siberia- Halbstadt in the Altai region
and Asowo in the Omsk area.
We need to catch our breath in our aid in the Volga region. In
1941 it required only two days for the brutal communist dictatorship
to deport the Germans in the Volga Republic. The Russian-Germans
have a moral right to this historic homeland, the land that they
had settled for almost 200 years. But a resettlement is difficult.
No Russian-German wishes to be responsible for a new unjust expulsion.
The land of the former Volga Republic, that was clearly larger than
the federal state of Hesse, is large enough for the approximately
600,000 present inhabitants and those willing to move there. Hesse
has more than five million inhabitants. It only means that it will
be necessary to provide housing and jobs for all of those who wish
to move to the Volga Republic. From Germany one can only make models.
We have begun this.
Let us go at it together, to make our Germany even more beautiful,
more attractive. And while we are at it, let us not forget those
who wish to improve their life in Russia,
Kasachstan, in the Ukraine, in Kirgistan or in some other place.
They belong to our linguistic and cultural community as do the Germans
in many other countries of the world. We remain tied to them and
we will help them. We mean for this message to go out from this
Let us go into the future together with a firm trust in God!
Our appreciation is extended to Ingeborg W. Smith for
translation of this article.