deutschen Bauern am Schwarzen Meer
By John (Johannes) Philipps
Published in German language only by the Germans from Russia Heritage
Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, ND,
1994, softcover, 122 pages, German Langauge
The author writes: "My life does not differ from that of thousands
of my countrymen who lived in this era. My experiences are closely
tied to the village and to the farmers" ... "I have attempted to
give a good representation to the culture of German farmers in the
steppes of Southern Ukraine..." He succeeded in this. German farming
practices and German life on such a farm estate (chutor) in South
Russia, especially the areas of Odessa and Nikolajev with his memories
are the topics for this book.
First, the author gives an historical overview and then describes
the beginning of the Speyer colony (1917-1941); with unique emphasis,
he does not omit aspects of economic and the political development.
He covers the good and the bad times. Later he describes in great
detail: agriculture and its methods, machinery and equipment, customs,
climate and soil conditions, etc., as well as the agricultural development
in an historical context.
Philipps points to interesting aspects in the lives of these people
and makes them come alive through personal experiences and Russian
terminology so that the reader participates vicariously in an earlier
century and in the heritage of this prosperous South Russia. Life
in a family home with dumplings, marchorka (Tobacco), Kvas (a drink),
and homemade bread add tangible recognition through a strong work
ethic of the German Russian cuisine in this paradise region. Such
a heritage is to be share with the descendants of Speyer families.
About the author
As German Russian, John (Johannes) Philipps has experienced all
the sorrows of his countrymen. His youth was overshadowed by poverty
and hunger even though he came from a well-to-do farming family.
He experienced the deprivation of citizen rights and wrenching deportation
of his family, was captured by British troops and, finally, uprooted
and without a country, petitioned for emigration to the United States
of America. After he had conquered initial difficulties, he arrived
finally in New York, in 1952. He moved to California in 1955, where
he accepted U.S. citizenship and grateful to establish a new life
in North America. This book is based on his own personal knowledge
of history and on the authority of his own experiences which he
witnessed while earlier living in the former Soviet Union.
Die deutschen Bauern am Schwarzen Meer
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