Stalin Sends Volga Germans to Siberia
"Stalin Sends Volga Germans to Siberia." Southern California Chapter Newsletter, Fall 2001.
Russian government has directed that 390,000 persons of German
extraction be moved from the Volga autonomous republic, designated
as (2) in this map, to various parts of Siberia. Moscow says the
move is necessary because there are tens of thousands of German
agents in the region. The Volga residents will be given land in
the Omsk, Novosibirsk and Altai mountain areas (3). Meanwhile,
Moscow announced the entire battle front (1) from Leningrad through
Gomel, Kiev and Odessa was in ferment with bitter clashes raging
in all sectors. Germany said Leningrad was surrounded with Lake
Ladoga as the only way out for the defenders.
Removal of Germans on Volga presents real problem to Reds
With shortage of Rail Equipment and the Bitter Russian Winter
Setting In, 2,000-mile Trek to Siberia Will Be Great Event in
The decision of the Soviet government to uproot some 390,000
people of German extraction from their homes on the lower Volga,
and start them off in a mass migration movement to Siberia must
rank among the most extraordinary military operations of its kind
Moscow explains that this action was necessitated by the presence
of "tens of thousands" of fifth columnists among the
population of the German Volga territory. The government charges
that the people of this little republic have been harboring these
saboteurs who were all set to start operations against the Reds
when Hitler gave the signal.
The imagination bogs down in trying to envisage this trek across
the great Russian steppes and through the Ural mountains for some
2,000 miles to new homes. That's a mighty lot of people to move--more
than the populations of Indianapolis, Rochester, Louisville or
Seattle--about as many as live in Kansas City.
Order shows Reds will fight to finish
Even under the best of conditions this would present a gigantic
task. And now the fierce Russian winter is about to close in.
The Soviet is short of rolling stock for its railroads, and how
it is expected to move this great army is a mystery, not to mention
transportation of household effects and farming implements.
If the operation is to be undertaken over snow-blocked roads,
in the face of blizzards and devastating cold, we shall have such
a story rarely has been told. Perhaps, however, the Bolshevists
do figure on moving the people and their effects by train.
However that may be, this gives a fair determination of the Reds
to fight the Nazi invaders to a finish--though we need no further
proof than has been given already in the great defense offered
by Soviet armies and civilians. It also is a striking example
of the alertness of the Muscovite government and its thoroughness.
We have seen the Bolshevists destroy whole cities and great engineering
works as they retreated before the enemy, and now we find them
moving a vast population--not 100 or 500 miles, but 2,000.
The presence of large numbers of spies in the German Volga republic
presents a grave threat to the Russian...strategic area. If you
will look at your maps you will see that it straddles the Volga
river only about 300 miles north of the Caspian sea.
Now the Volga is likely to be one of the main Red defensive lines,
if they get pushed back that far. It provides a powerful position
and it is, of course, vital that it shall not be infested by a
swarm of Hitlerian fifth columnists.
Before the Germans reach the Volga, there are other rivers, notably
the Don, which also afford strong protection, and it might be
disastrous to have these Nazi saboteurs on the Volga busy back
of the Red army. By cooperation with the German parachute troops
they might even put a sizable fighting force into the field to
attack the Reds from the rear.