Paris in Bessarabien: Chronik der Gemeinden Paris
und Neu-Paris in Bessarabien (Paris in Bessarabia: Chronicles of
the Colonies Paris and New Paris, Bessarabia)
Review by Arnold H. Marzolf, Professor Emeritus, NDSU, Fargo,
Suckut, Arthus. Paris in Bessarabien: Chronik der Gemeinden Paris und Neu-Paris in Bessarabien (Paris in Bessarabia: Chronicles of the Colonies Paris and New Paris, Bessarabia). Eigenverlag des Verfassers, Germany: Waiblingen-Hegnach, 1986.
German language only
This book is a fascinating history of Paris (and New Paris) in Bessarabia,
situated about 150 km north and a little west of Odessa on the Black
Sea in Russia.
Paris was one of the oldest and largest German settlements in Bessarabia,
founded in 1816. This prairie land (Bessarabia) first became a part
of Russia in 1812, was annexed to Romania from 1918-1940 when it
became a part of Russia again. During the years from 1941 to 1944
it was annexed to Romain again. Since 1944 it has been part of Russia
known as the Moldavian Republic of the Ukraine.
Paris in Bessarabia tells about the very early inhabitants
of this area, why so many Germans left Germany (wars, poverty, persecutions,
etc.), and why they went to Russia (new opportunities, exemption
from military service, free land, religious freedom, etc.).
The people who founded Paris came from several parts of German,
Poland and Prussia. Originally some of them may have been Huguenots
from France (thus the name, Paris). They spoke various mixed languages
and dialects, among them Kaschbian, Schwabian and mostly Plattdeutsch.
This book described Paris, types of governments, village organizations,
businesses, trades, customs, social life, transportation, factories,
farming, plants, animals, trees, etc. Great emphasis is given to
the building of the Paris “Cathedral,” to personalities
(pastors, priest, teachers, political leaders and other professionals)
who made a worthy contribution to the development of this settlement,
to the founding and creation of New Paris, to the great contributions
made women, to educational practices, to church organization, and
to life in general in this area of Russia.
About one half of the book deals with the problems, sorrows and
opportunities involved in the Repatriation of 1940, the long trek
to freedom, the great “flight” out of the East in 1945
to Stuttgart, a return trip to Paris in 1983 by a few people who
once fled, memories of citizens who lived in Paris, a list (15 pages)
of repatriated citizens, and the names of 181 soldiers of Paris
who died in the Two Great Wars.
Paris in Bessarabia is well written, has beautiful pictures
and is an interesting book. It contains a wealth of information
that can be of use especially to those whose ancestors once lived
in the Paris of Russia.