Image of the Evacuees
"Image of the Evacuees." Volk auf dem Weg, June 1991, 16.
Translation from German to English by Alma M. Herman
The influx of evacuees of German origin from the Soviet Union
and Poland has up to now caused fewer problems than the NRW government
had predicted earlier. Examination by an Institute for Social Research
presents a different picture of these people. They hold to the motto:
“The main thing is work." They do not wait for help from
the Labor Exchange or depend on the authorities.
"Surprisingly quickly,” says Labor Minister Hermann
Heinemann, "most of them found places to live." And to
think that these people, in spite of adversities, possess unshakable
optimism is obvious to the state authorities, but not understandable
is their belief that here everything is better than in their former
homeland. Such an attitude does not coincide with the thorny spirit
of the “Miesepeteerigkeit” (miserable age of separatism)
in many parts of our land. But for the Russian Germans it is a fortunate
fundamental experience for Germans to live among Germans and not
have the burden of being set apart for their often strong religious
Yet most of these people are nevertheless widely isolated from
their German environment. Perhaps that explains the fact that in
reality a positive Inquiry Report in Düsseldorf aroused such
great astonishment. There are communocation difficulties and hostilities
toward strangers who no longer want to make a difference between
people of German descent and so-called "Asylanten" with
self-interests in business. No wonder that many emigrants seek neighborly
relations with each other and that the Russian Germans for decades
have wanted to build up the German communities barred from Rumania.
Minister Heinemann said yesterday that he has to leave this problem
to the planners. The emigrants leaving the UdSSR will hardly wait
Yesterday the socalled "New Fugitive Politic" of the
NRW government quietly collapsed in Düsseldorf. So Minister
Heinemann sincerely declared that considering the deteriorated situation
for Russian Germans, he can no longer try to induce them to remain
in the Soviet Union. It is no longer a question of paying money
to keep the people where they are. About half a million Russian
Germans now have approval'-for departure; more may follow. The real
problems still lie ahead.
Picture by J. Bayer -To the image of the emigrants belongs also
their child kingdom -provision for the future of Germany.
Our appreciation is extended to Alma M. Herman for translation of this article.
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