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Society for German American Studies Newsletter, volume 21, number 2, June, 2000

Samuel D. Sinner, The Open Wound.


The Genocide of German Ethnic Minorities in Russia and the Soviet Union, 1915-1949 and Beyond. Der Genozid an Russlanddeutschen 1915-1949 (Fargo, ND: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, 2000), 145/143 pp., ISBN 1-891193-08-2. Following an impressive scholarly preface by Eric J. Schmaltz in the Department of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and one by Gerd Stricker of Zollikon Switzerland, we already have delved into the vast documentation that underpins this entire volume. However, the meat and potatoes of this great tome come in Sinner's chapters on World War I when Slavophilism laid its mark of cain on the German element living in the Black Sea and Volga regions. Decimated by massacres, atrocities and holocausts following the War, the Germans faced devastation through starvation until about 1925, exacerbated during the collectivization of the 1930s, only to face deportation and the Trudarmiya [labor army] during the whole of World War II and beyond. With its wide-ranging Russian, English and German-language backup material, the tome sets something of a high-water mark of investigation into the fate of the Russian Germans in the 20th century. Although two separate volumes and studies, they come in one Newsweek-sized softcover publication. Order for the collection at Box 5599, Fargo 58105.

Reprinted with permission of the Society of German American Studies Newsletter.

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