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Chronology on the History of the Germans from Russia in the Former Soviet Union

Translation from German to English from the publication Information für Spätaussiedler aus der ehemalingen Sowjetunionn published by the Landsmannschaft der deutschen aus Rußland, Stuttgart, Germany, 1998.


1549 The travel reports Rerum moscovitarum commentarii (German, 1557, Description of Moscow) by the Freiherr von Herberstein appeared in Vienna. The book in which "German mercenaries" in Russian service were mentioned became the standard work for political background studies of Russia.
1652 Founding of the "German suburb" (Nemeckaja sloboda) in Moscow
1703 Founding of the city of St. Petersburg
1727 St. Petersburger Zeitung, the first German newspaper in Russia appears. (Banned in 1916. Started up again in 1991.
1763 22 July - Manifesto of Czarina Catherine II (1762-1796). Call on foreigners to immigrate to Russia
1764 19 March - Colonial codex: determining agricultural regulations in the colonies
1765 Founding of the Herrenhuter community in Sarepta/Volga
1773 Founding of the arch diocese Mogilev, residence St. Petersburg. Responsible for all Catholics in Russia
1774-92 In the two Turkish wars Russia acquires all of the coast land by the Black Sea between Dniester and Cuban including the Crimea (Taurien, New-Russia)
1789 July - Founding of Chortitza, first Mennonite colony in South Russia by the Dnieper. Was also called "Old Colony".
1793 Founding of the port city of Odessa
1800 6 September - Special privilege by Paul I (1796-1801) in favor of the Mennonites
1804 20 February - Manifesto of Alexander I (1801-1825). Invitation to Germans to settle in the Black Sea area
1804-1824 Founding of numerous colonies in the Black Sea area by immigrants from Southern Germany and Danzig-West Prussia
1838 9 November - Nikolaus I (1825-1855) confirms the colonists' privileges
1842 Codifying all prerogatives, responsibilities and privileges of the colonists and granting civil rights to the colonists in the Czar's Empire
1847 3 August - Concordat between Russia and the Holy See: Founding of the Catholic diocese Tiraspol with headquarters in Cherson/Saratov
1863 Founding of the Odessaer Zeitung
1871 4/16 June - Abolishing the colonial status of "foreign colonists" (among others things abolishing the colonists' autonomy)
1874 Introducing compulsory military service. For Mennonites service in forestry as an alternative. Beginning of immigration to North and South America
1879 7 October - German-Austrian agreement. Result: For Germans in Russia deterioration of the situation
1881 13 March - Assassination of Alexander II; afterwards ascension to the throne by Alexander III (1881-1894). Beginning of russification. 24 May - Dedication of the Catholic cathedral in Saratov
1904-1905 Russio-Japanese war. Defeat of Russia leads to partial liberation. New economic and cultural upswing in the German colonies because of it
1908 In the Kulunda steppes (Siberia) closed German settlement area
1914 1 August - Outbreak of WW I. 300,000 Germans serve in the Russian army. In spite of it, the "inner Germans" are declared enemies of the Russian Empire
1915 27 May - Pogrom against Germans in Moscow. Many shops are looted, 40 Germans wounded, three murdered. 2 February and 13 December - Liquidation laws. German land property in an area of 150 km in the West and by the Black Sea is to be liquidated. Later expansion to other areas as far as the Ural Mountains
1917 15 March - Abdication of Nikolaus II (February Revolution). Soon abolishment of the liquidation laws. 20 - 23 April - First German congress in the history of the Germans from Russia. Establishing a central committee of all German Russians. 7 November (25 October) - Bolshevist Revolution (October Revolution)
1918 3 March - Peace of Brest-Litovsk. Repatriation clause in favor of the Germans in Russia. 19 October - The Council of Volkskommissare in Russia approves the autonomy of the Volga German area ("workers' commune") in a decree
1923 16 May - Founding of the All Russian Mennonite Agricultural Society (A. M. A. S.)
1924 20 February - Founding of the Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic (ASSR) of Volga Germans. Capital Engels (Pokrovsk)
1921-1927 New Economic Politics (NEP). Temporary recovery in the German colonies
1927 Last new settlement by the Armur
1928 Start of collectivization. "Entkulakisierung" and closing of churches
1929 November/December - ca. 14,000 Germans and their families from all parts of the country set out to Moscow hoping to get an exit permit. After long negotiations 5,671 are accepted in Germany - only for transit (!) - from where they are transported to North and South America. The others are transported back by force and under inhumane conditions.
1938 Russian, i.e., Ukrainian as the official language is introduced in all German schools outside the Volga German Republic
1938/39 Dissolving all Rayons outside the ASSRdWD
1939 23 August - German-Soviet non-aggression pact. 1 September - Outbreak of WW II (1939-1945)
1941 22 June - Start of the German-Soviet war. As of July - Deportation of Germans from the western parts of the Soviet Union (Crimea, Caucasus, parts of the Black Sea area). 25 August - German troops occupy Dnepropetrovsk/Dnieper. The Germans west of the Dnieper escape exile to a great extent. 28 August - Beginning of deportation of Volga Germans to Siberia and Central Asia based on a decree of the same date
1943/44 350,000 German Russians are settled in the land of the Warthe where they get German citizenship
1944 10 April - Soviet troops occupy Odessa
1945 12 January - Start of Soviet winter offensive. Many Germans flee. 8 May - Unconditional surrender of the German army. Massive deportation of Germans from Russia from all occupied zones to Siberia and Central Asia
1948 26 November - Decree of the Supreme Soviet: Exile "forever", forced labor of up to 20 years when leaving the settlement areas without special permit
1949 23 May - Founding of the Federal Republic of Germany
1955 22 February - Naturalization of German Russians as a result of the war is adopted by a resolution of the German Lower House of the German parliament. 9 - 13 September - German chancellor Dr. Adenauer visits Moscow. 13 December - Decree of the Supreme Soviet Concerning the lifting of sanctions in the legal status of Germans and their family members who are in special settlements. However: No return of the property confiscated during exile and ban to return to the former colonies which were their home
1957 Neues Leben, first national German newspaper after the war, published in Moscow. Freundschaft as a daily paper for the Soviet German population in Kazakhstan follows (today Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung in Alma-Ata)
1958 8 April - German-Soviet agreement on family unification and collaboration with the Red Cross of both countries
1959 24 April - German-Soviet agreement on family unification
1964 29 August - Edict concerning partial rehabilitation of Volga Germans and revoking the deportation decree of 8/28/1941 (applies also to all other Germans in the USSR)
1966 19 December - International pact concerning civil and political rights: right to free emigration and protection of minorities guaranteed. Ratified by the USSR on 23 March 1973
1970 12 August - Settlement of the Moscow agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the USSR concerning mutual renunciation of force. Numbers of ethnic German emigrants increase
1972 3 November - Free choice of residence promised also to Germans per decree. However, the ukase is not published.
1975 1 August - Signing the KSZE-agreements of Helsinki. Further increase in the numbers of ethnic German emigrants is only of short duration (low point in 1985: 460 persons)
1979 Bogus attempt to establish an autonomy in Kazakhstan
1981 German language "drama theater" founded (first in Temirtau, today Alma-Ata)
1986 28 August - New law on entry and departure facilitates family unification. Afterwards continual increase in the numbers of ethnic German emigrants (1987: 14,488; 1989/98: 134; 1992: 195,576)
1989 Late March - Founding the German society "Wiedergeburt". Its highest goal: reestablishment of the Volga Republic. On the Volga, published protests against the return of Germans
1990 1 January - Immigration-assimilation-law (IAL). Considerable cutback in services for ethnic German emigrants and assignment of a temporary place of residence for two years. 1 July - Ethnic German emigrant-admission- law. Proceedings for admission can only be carried out from the country of origin.
1991 1 July - Restoration of the in 1938 dissolved German Rayon Halbstadt (Nekrasovo) in the Altai
1992 18 February - Supreme Soviet of the USSR decides on the founding of the German Rayon Asovo/Omsk area. 21 February - Decree of Russian president Yelzin of forming a German Rayon and a German district (Okrug) in the Saratov and Volgograd areas. 10 July - Protocol between Germany and Russia for the reestablishment of the Volga Republic in phases (4 to 5 years). Public opinion poll in the Saratov area results in a majority against autonomy of Germans (in rural areas up to 80%)
1993 1 January - Law Regulating Compensation for War-induced Losses. Setting a high admission quota of ca. 200,000 per year but some cutbacks in services
1993 26 - 28 February - 3rd congress of Germans of the former USSR decides: Forming an intergovernmental council of German Russians/Execution of a referendum/Election of a "Volkstag" of German Russians (as "Vorparlament")
1996 1 March - 2nd "Wohnortzuweisungsgesetz" (Law on the Assigment of a Place of Residence)
1997 22 Dec. - Changes in this law, valid until 15 July 2000

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