Youth of the Compatriots Make a new Start in Würzburg:
Young Russian Germans Establish an Association
"Youth of the Compatriots Make a new Start in Würzburg: Young Russian Germans Establish an Association." Volk auf dem Weg, June 1991, 10.
Translation from German to English by Alma M. Herman
In our day a self-structured sense of responsibility prevails for
each day. This thought ran like a red thread through the discussions
at Federal Youth Day of the Germans from Russia. It took place in
Würzburg, May 3 to 6. One hundred delegates from various areas
of Germany, also from the new federal lands, gathered in the facilities
of Technical Hotels to establish a separate youth group within the
Countrymen's Association of Germans from Russia.
The first contacts with the young people, who showed promise of
proving themselves especially qualified for the work ahead, occurred
on the evening of their arrival. Work groups were formed the next
morning, each to take responsibility for establishing one the following
1. Political constitutions, the press and publicity
2. History of the Russian Germans, museum and ancestral research
3. Cultural and free-time planning
Under the combined guidance of co-workers in the Countrymen's Alliance,
federal director members and the energetic support from representatives
of the DJO (German Youth in Europe), the young people discussed
their future action and business. In lively debate they expressed
the wish that the best qualified representative among the youth
be accepted as a member of the Countrymen's Alliance and thereby
the existence of the Russland Deutsche Yugend (RDJ) a new alliance.
This action was clear proof of the affiliation of the younger generation
members with the Countrymen's Alliance. The new organization could
hardly have come about without such support. This was thankfully
After a taxing day's work the young people relaxed, danced and
engaged in spirited conversations. "I must admit," said
Alexander Dilger of Stuttgart, "this arrangement gets under
my skin mightily. Within a few hours I have found new friends and
gathered useful experiences." No wonder. The Recreation Room
was filled to the last corner. Songs rang out and not only Hopsapolka
(hopping polkas) and Kasatschoks were danced but also waltzes. Jokes
were told among new acquaintances.
Fear of being bored did not apply at any time. "I am simply
inspired," beamed Valentina Haag of Mannheim. Rita Schock of
Dresden added: "Now that we are going about founding the RDJ,
we can solve our problems together and much better master the difficulties
of getting memberships in the new homeland."
On the last day of the conference the new youth organization wrote
a constitution and elected officers. Rosa Schmidt, Reiskirchen/Ettingshausen,
was elected spokesman by a large majority. As deputies: Paul Ebel,
Frankfort; Irene Schmidt, Dresden, and Vladimir Eler, Stuttgart.
As treasurer: Lilli Walger of Karlsruhe.
In the name of the Federation officers, the business manager, Alexander
Rack, expressed hearty best wishes. As a gesture of goodwill and
unity in working together in the future, he announced that the Federation
would provide operating funds for 1991 amounting to 10,000 DM (German
Mark). This announcement was received with hearty approval.
Since close cooperation is maintained and assistance is given in
building up land, district and state locations connections is maintained,
Russian German Youth has accepted membership in the DJO.
The days in Würzburg were not only a heartfelt, open exchange
of thoughts but also the basis for the first steps in preserving
the traditionally rich and cultural inheritance, customs and practices
of the Russian Germans.
Our appreciation is extended to Alma M. Herman for
translation of this article.