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Germans from Russia Heritage Society
Tape 18, Dr. Vern Rippley, Speaker

GRHS Convention
Bismarck, North Dakota, 15 July 1995

Transcribed by Marcie Franklund
Edited by Linda Haag


Announcer: And then we will probably have something to eat…first all presidents of the International German Russian Heritage Society will meet on the stage when the banquet is finished tonight, we will meet up here to take a picture for Heritage Review, all presidents. [?4] will have more books tonight and tomorrow in the courtyard, the Dakota Pioneer chapter wants to take a picture in the courtyard immediately after the banquet, also four [?8] wants to take a picture too. The chairman Erik Ballman was hoping we would have 700 people at this convention and the goal has been met. One more announcement, choir practice tomorrow morning at 8:30 in this room, this is being made by [?13] the director, tomorrow morning at 8:30.

Now, good friends, because not all these prayers are always the same, I am going to read this prayer, in German and then we will pray it together, there is a difference between saying it and praying it, here it is [?17-18] amen. Let us pray. [?18-20] amen. [?20]. Memory Lane singers from New Light and [?21] and they are ready to come on the platform.

Choir Director: If you would like to sing with us, you are most welcome…[singing-America the Beautiful].

The song we would like to sing now takes you back to 1902, and we know back then our ancestors were either staking claim, planning to come over. They were rolling up their sleeves for the mighty hard work, and those were called the “good old days” so when the mercury goes up, this is the song you must remember...[singing].

For our next song, this is a song that was dated in 1902 in the good old summertime… [Singing-Good Old Summertime].

We are so very thankful that our fore fathers founded a beautiful spot called North Dakota and have our temperature tree from high to low for we feel that deep down the [?82] that at this time the North Dakota dance is in our heart…[singing].

We now have a series of three songs that will take you back in time, the first one is from the 1920s made possible by George [?103] “Someone to watch over me” and the second is in memory of those that are going to the fair this year, it is one of our favorites, you’ll love it too, and we’re concluding with one from the 50s called “Sincerely” and we sincerely speak each of you…[singing].

For this next series, we’re putting you all in saddles, we are going out on the prairie for a midnight ride under the full moon, you’re visiting the Dakotas, you haven’t [?178] you are out to see the prairies at night.
In Russia it was so memorable to see that there was still buildings and columns up and I thought they had all been torn down, and I just marveled at the people that had been there because they just kept saying, oh that [?244] home, and yet the [?245] kept saying, but oh, you should have seen it when the Germans were there and that’s where I feel they set a priority for us, for when they’re gone, I hope we do such a good job they [?247]. We have three left in series to sing and we enjoy being here so very much and we hope this will also take you back, in time and in your memories… [singing—You are my special angel].

This will be our final song, I guess by the girls not being here they didn’t realize that I should have mentioned that these people usually have [?295-297]…[singing]

Announcer: All right, let’s give this group a big hand. It’s already a quarter to 8 so we’re going to have to move right along if we want to get out in time this evening so will you please bear with us up here first we have two more announcements to make and I’m going to ask the president Al [?333] to make them.

President: The first is that the North Star chapter of The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia will be holding a 1996 [?337] June 10-16 in Bloomington, MN we would like you to celebrate the odyssey [?340] as we have fun and fellowship and celebration as we [?342]. This is also a chance for you to visit the famous Mall of America; nobody would want to do that. Then Ralph [?344] you are asked to meet Mrs. Dorothy [?345] up here she’d like to meet you after the meeting.

Announcer: Now it’s my privilege to introduce you to the people at the table, I will give you their names but please hold your applause until each of them has been introduced: On the right we have Al and Dorothy Fi[?355], Karen [?356], Francis Fi[?357], Mr. And Mrs. Leroy Overlander, Dr. A[?359], and Elaine Bower, and Irene Fredrick. On the left Dr. and Mrs. Lavern Rippley, Mr. And Mrs. Tom Wense, Mr. and Mrs. Curt Schultz, Clarence and Meredith Bowerman, and now will you give them a hand?

We have a little bit of a program to get out of the way in terms of giving out certificates and so forth and we thought we could do this while you are still eating your dessert, so will you please try to, as we German-Russians do, eat quietly.

I welcome all of you here this evening, we are glad to see you, we’re also glad to see some young couples this year again and even some young people. Some time ago a mother complained about her youngster and cried, “By the way you act, how will you ever get past St. Peter in heaven?” and her son, Jonathan replied, “I’ll run in and out and slam the door so hard that St. Peter will say, ‘get out or stay in’ and I’ll stay in.” We hope that you’ll stay with us in the program in tonight. We also hope you’ve been treated well so far at this convention. I learned that in a hospital in Fargo this past week someone complained and said, “This hospital treats us like dogs.” And what did he reply? “No we don’t, just shut up and turn over.” And that’s about all I want to do here too, I don’t want to be rough, I just want to say to R[395], don’t smoke, listen and danka shane.

I also want to tell you that it has recently been discovered that insanity is hereditary; some professors get it from their students. I once asked one of my students, “How long do you think a person can get along without a mind?” and he looked at me and said, “I don’t know, how old are you?”

We have some awards to give out tonight. First of all family history book award, Judy Walker, will you please come forward to do this.

Judy Walker: In preserving the heritage of the geneology of our Germans from Russia ancestry, seven years ago, the public relations committee agreed to sponsor an award for three of the most outstanding family history books from those submitted each year. This year we had 40 entries to choose from and again the task was not easy.

You may wonder how the people judging these books are considered to be qualified for this honor. The committee finds 4-6 people who have compiled and published one or more family books, maybe a community book or authored other significant publications. These judges have been recipients of this award in the past and are indeed enthusiastic about preserving our German-Russian heritage. The judges this year were Mike M[?426], [?427], Dorothy Pike, Carl Rogers, and myself. If you were present at the luncheon today, you may recall that Carl Locket received the Joseph Pike Literary award for his articles published in the Heritage Review.

This year the judges have chosen the following family’s history books to receive this award; there was a tie for third place, the descendents of Adam Fare and the descendents of Yohan Peter [?434], is he here? Is anybody from the Fare family here? The second place award went to the Johan Car [?438] family by Lloyd Car [?438], is Lloyd Car [?439] here? The first place award went to the Fred and Caroline Punch family history book by Larine Corader. Is she here? Is anyone of that family here? We will mail them, thank you.

Announcer: Tilly Lindimin will give the award for scrapbooks.

Tilly Lindiman: Every [?466] our chairman was unable to present the award tonight, his wife, [?469] and I think they had to go home. As suggested in the guidelines several chapters made an extra effort to use a silver theme in commemoration of our 25th anniversary. We had a total of 16 scrapbooks from 25 chapters, this is the largest number ever and we thank you for that. Scrapbooks are an excellent history of the chapters and we commend all of you who are so dedicated to the scrapbook projects in their chapters.

Now will a representative from Fugit Sound come forward please for the third place ribbon and the Dakota Pioneer, Louise [?487] will you please come forward.
Announcer: Take care of the drawing of the raffle and ask questions about the oldest male and female and the people who came the furthest distance. Rueben H[?497] are you here?

Ruben H[?495]: Have some certificates here to be awarded or given away and from The Germans from Russia Heritage Society and to congratulate the oldest male in attendance. Now how are we going to determine this?

Announcer: Start with 100.

Ruben H[?495]: Start with 100, yeah, and go down. Is there anybody here, no there’s nobody here that’s 100, how about 95? Anybody 95? 94? 93? 92?

Announcer: There’s a Rev. Shultz, who’s 93.

Rueben: Rev. Shultz is he here?

Announcer: He was today.

Rueben: Yes, he was.

Announcer: Let’s move on.

Rueben: Okay, how about 91? 90? 89? Any man here who’s 89? 88?

Announcer: We’ve got a man here who’s 89.

Rueben: Oh okay, okay … Rapid City, SD…93? 92? That’s as far as it goes a [?535] plus a pillow. And the last one we have, the individual who traveled the farthest distance, now that would be someone from the east coast or Virginia or something—Germany, Germany would be first, well perhaps [?546], well good enough, she is what, 93? Okay if you will. Do you want to say something Grandma?

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??: There are many people in our society that are life members, and for those of you who are, I’ll give you an opportunity to stretch a little bit right now. Would all of you who are life members of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society would you please stand? See, there are quite a few. Status of our life membership is [?5], status of our life membership has changed over the years.

Today a life membership can be obtained at a cost of $400, will the following people please come forward to accept their membership certificates, if you are here please come forward. Carol Wilderbooth Eckhaven, Lawrence and Della Veast, William J. Thomas, Robert and Delores Shoe, Gerald J. Ox, Catherine Fox, these are the people who have during the past year have purchased life memberships. This completes the [?14].

We are proud to present a charter to, I think this is out 29th or 30th chapter, although this will only be our 25th active chapter, the Northern California chapter. I’m going to have Gene Whitebak and Joe Armbruse come forward to present the charter. They are the chairpersons of our new chapter committee. Northern California chapter, that are here, please come forward, [?22] is their president, will all of the rest of the members please come forward.

Northern California Chapter President: Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here because I was born and raised [?25] and a lot of residents from there, so it gives me a lot pleasure to be the president of the new Northern California chapter. I’d like to introduce the members, beginning on my right, your left: Elaine Debore from Rocklake, CA; Helen [?27]; Eunice Fredrick from Lowdie; Ralph Rust from Backaville; Wilma Odannen from Stockton; Hilda Schafer from Lowdie; Vern and Ernie Zezler from Stockton; Evlen [?31] and Sara Pierce, taking a picture of us.

??: On behalf of GRHS, I would like to present you this chapter as being formed a new chapter of Northern California.

Announcer: Let’s get to the main part of our program. As we know we are celebrating president’s night. You also know that some past presidents were generally very healthy when they were elected, but some of them were not so well by the time they left. Now with preachers they are a different breed of cats, they are always well. Some of them even rehearse their sermons during the week by reading them over and over again. That’s called practicing what you preach.

One boy asked his minister one Sunday morning, “Why do you always bow you’re head when you get up there on the platform?” And the preacher said, “I ask God to give me a good sermon.” And the boy said, “Why doesn’t he do it then?”

There was a church that was dedicating some plaques on a Sunday morning in memory of members who had died in service and one disgruntle old member got up and said “Died in service? Which service? The morning or the evening service?”

And then there was this kind old woman who appreciated and loved her minister, and asked him, “Do you realize how much your sermons meant to my dear husband after he had lost his mind?”

We have a German-Russian Board member who needed a – or needs – a brain transplant and he was told by his doctor that he could have a preacher’s brain for a thousand dollars, he could get a doctor’s brains for ten thousand, a lawyer’s for fifty thousand, and he’d have to pay a half million dollars for the brains of a congressmen. And when he asked why, the answer was: it’s as good as new; it’s never been used.

We have always loved our presidents and they are all different; they have their own peculiarities and exceptional good qualities, I won’t have mentioned just 3 of the past presidents, they show you how brilliant they are. Our beloved former lady president, Karen Resloff once said to her Sunday school class, “Children, always remember the story of Adam and Eve. We know that God created Adam first, and then he took a good look at him and said, ‘I can do better than that.’ And he created a woman.”

When Clarence Bowman was our president, he had to interview a lady who had made an application for job as secretary for the office at the German-Russian Heritage Society. After having gone over her application carefully, he asked the lady, “Say, I see your birthday is listed on the tenth day of July, can you tell me which year?” And she equally replied, “Every year.” And Clarence hired her immediately.

And some years ago our beloved president and still president Al Feist, had to go see a doctor and after the doctor had meticulously examined him, he called Dorothy out into the hallway and said softly, “You know, I don’t like the looks of your husband.” And Dorothy said, “I don’t either but he’s been good for the children, so I kept him.”

Mark Twain has a little story that I think is useful for us, he came to town one day as a boy and found a farmer who was selling watermelons on the back of a buggy. So he stole one, went out into the ally and cracked it open. And then he said a terrible feeling came over him, terrible feeling. So he put the thing together again brought it back to the wagon, and got a ripe one.

That probably isn’t quite as bad as these two German-Russian farmers out here in North Dakota who were always competing with each other. When one got a new car, the other got a better one. When one got a house, the other built a better house. One got a tractor, the other got a better tractor and so on. Finally one of the farmers, to get ahead, died and he put these words on his tombstone: “As snug as a bug in a rug.” So the second farmer dies and he has these words put on his tombstone: “Snugger than the other bugger.”

One of our good old German Russians needed a hearing aid, his wife finally talked him into getting one and one day in church someone said, “How do you like your hearing aid?” He said, “Oh, I like it, it works well. I’ve already changed my will three times.”

Then there was this German Russian widow whose late husband had a Porsche, a brand-new Porsche and she advertised it for sale for ten dollars. Someone came to look at it and said, “Ten dollars? There must be a mistake here somewhere.” And she said, “No, there is no mistake, my husband’s will simply said, ‘sell the Porsche and give all the money to my secretary.’”

Then this other German Russian [?112], “I spent all my money before I got it.”

I think we should have one Norwegian story. This wonderful young Norwegian asked his fiancé, “Why won’t you marry me? Is there someone else?” And she looked at him and said, “There’s got to be.”

And finally, this German Russian couple walked into a bar he was carrying a shot gun and she said to the bartender, “Please, don’t worry, he won’t get drunk, he only came in here to shoot the banker who foreclosed on the farm.”

Well, I’m here to introduce the speaker and we’re coming along very nicely and we want to give him plenty of time because some of us know what a wonderful speaker he is. Sometimes when masters of ceremonies know very little about the speaker they say, “Our speaker for this evening needs no introduction.” And that is especially true of our speaker for this evening because we do know so much about him and because we know him well and we appreciate his abilities, his knowledge, his contributions to our society, and his thought provoking speeches.

I just want to remind you that Dr. Rippley is not a German Russian, he only looks and acts like one. He is a German and a German professor at the prestigious college at North Field, Minnesota, St. Olalf College. Dr. Rippley has made many intellect contributions to our society and to our Heritage Review and he has spoken to us many times before. We all remember that one of the things, Dr. Rippley was the co-translator with Dr. Armon Bauer of one of our most popular books, Celts, German Russian German Settlements in the United States. He has also written a book or two. Besides teaching German at St. Olath’s, Dr. Rippley also teaches a course on German Russians, a field in which he has done a good amount of research.

He also is a rather wealthy capitalist. And likes to talk in his class about certain isms. I’ll just illustrate: one day he said, “under communism, if you have two cows, you give both to the government and then the government sells you some of the milk. Under socialism, if you have two cows, you give both cows to the government and then the government gives you back some of the milk. Under Nazism, if you have two cows, the government shoots you and takes both cows. Under fascism, if you have two cows you milk both of them and give the government half of the milk. Under newdealism if you have two cows you kill one, milk the other and pour the milk down the drain. And under capitalism,” which he likes, “if you have two cows, you sell one cow and buy a bull.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to present Dr. Rippley who will speak on Islands of Hope, the Federal Republic; the Federal Republic provides for the Germans from Russia, let’s give him a good hand.

Dr. Rippley: Thank you very much, it’s a pleasure to be back here, I’ve been here, as he said, before, and I hope I don’t bore you as much as I did then. I’m give you a talk that is somewhat egg-splicit, you eggs, a lot of them mixed up omelet, they used to say you had to break a few eggs to make an omelet, well I had to stir a few eggs to get this piece together, and so being egg-splicit, you want to remember, we use eggs all the time don’t we. A nice guy is a good egg, a smart guy is an egg head, the bad guy is a rotten egg, and if you f[?173], you’ve laid an egg, and when your scoreless, it’s a goose egg, and when you’re embarrassed, you’ve got egg on you face, and if you’re cautious, you’re walking on eggs, and if you lost a good deal, you killed the goose that laid the golden egg, and if you got extras, it’s like having egg in your beater.

So I want to do tonight, the omelet, and I’ll tell you the upset, we can’t do everything in 20 minutes. Four things you can’t do: one is climb a fence that’s leaning toward you, kiss the girl that’s leaning away from you, convince your wife she looks fat in a mink coat, and you can’t tell the whole Russian German story either. I’m going to give you a little outline, eight points, and I’ll tell you when we’re going from one to the next. {Counter at 187}
1) The Background.
2) Autonomy. Autonomy means self government; self government in Russia then and in Russia now.
3) Church and State aid.
4) Siberian housing plans that keep Germans at home—at home meaning in Russia.
5) Job training and infrastructure that also became German.
6) Model islands of hope, in this case the town of Opiskotch. There are all kinds of Opscotchs all over Russia, Opscotch means “half a city”, half a city usually meant a village, the villages was where [?7-8 194-195] as they are here.
7) Efforts going on on the Volga.
8) [?10 197] from the islands of hope.

So to begin, a background. Now let’s sort of look at this little panel up here, I’m going to be talking about areas, and if were going to be looking way over there where my finger is, that would be St. Petersburg. And in here would be Moscow, up in this corner would be the Volga, down in this corner would be the Black Sea, coming on down through middle would be the Urrle Mountains, and somewhere over there equal distance would be the town of O [?19 206].

O[?20 207] is both a city and you might call it a state or region. They use the term [?20 207] somewhat equitable for state or own county and then farther out east, [?21 208] will, which is in the vicinity of [?22 209]. Now remember, this [?23 210] Russia to this day has 11 time zones, we’re not talking here the distance from Boston to Los Angeles; we’re talking from Hawaii to the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Nine time zones—11 time zones—and so we’re jumping time zones here big time. So let’s go: background.

Since the virtual collapse of the once mighty Soviet Union in August 1991, the republic of Germany has been working feverously to slow the rate of migration of the Germans in Russia back to the father land. Measures taken include: facilities where Germans can readily gather for social encounters with each other, German language newspapers and magazines in Russia, radio and television programs broadcast in German in Russia, small business and agricultural start-up funds, especially medical supplies, hospital facilities and clinical personnel, the construction of apartments; temporary and longer term houses, and plans to establish self-governing German territory, possibly in the southern Ukraine, but at the moment only over here in Siberia, construction of 57 states of Germans in Russia especially we hope someday back on the Volga, according to a protocol signed July 10, 1992, and finally the establishment of German independent states in western Siberia—not just counties now, but states in western Siberia, where some 500,000 Germans could continue their lives.

Regions in the Black Sea area where there has been some success includes that area north of Odessa, [?45 234]. On the Volga, moderate success was reported near [?46 235]—these are counties—[?47 236] and in western Siberia the major improvements are in [?48 237] more of a state-sized territory where we have [?49 238] county, by the way I showed a video tape of this last year if anybody here saw that. And including especially [?50 239] in the county of H[?51 240] near by [?51 240]. In K[?52 241], advances have occurred in [?52 242] and German-derived Vietminese various regions is mixed. Television and radio stations now function for at least several hours each day [?55 244]. Also at [?56 245], these two territories I mentioned over there and [?57 247] as well as [?58 247]. We’re moving to the next point: Autonomy.

Efforts to establish autonomist regions in states where Germans might once again live on cultural islands and have their own government has been s[?61 256] by mainly three organizations, 1) called the [?62 257], 2)[?62 258] and 3)[?63 259] with all these acronyms and little names and of course English translations. The largest of these is [?64 260] which means “re-birth/re-born” with some 175,000 members, who for several years now have been holding conferences with delegates from many of the CIS states. With the result that all three organizations presently share the common goal of restoring the Volga Republic and founding other German counties in a number of Russian districts, where the Germans would live in compact town and govern themselves.

Petitions to bort the [?70 266] resolved as of now, entire county size German settlements have been established in two areas: the county of H[?72 267], we said that was over here by B[?72 269] and [?73 269] a little farther west. [?74 269] in the counties of [?75 270] about which we will talk later, but it’s been largely unsuccessful in implementing them as of this day.

According to the 1992 protocol the regions were to be established over a five year lapse of time but to date, in the Volga region and in the Ukraine, very little has been accomplished. However, as we said, in Siberia both at [?80 275] they are operating with a [?81 276] of independence. On the Volga [?81 277], a recent questionnaire delivered to local inhabitants revealed that at least 80% of the native Russian people living there in the area now, oppose any [?84 279] for the Germans and thus any efforts for atoning in this area are proving very difficult to implement.

Promises and plans that spark hope, however, and it slowed somewhat movement of the Germans back to the federal republic. Some of the slow down is due of course also to the German 1993 decision to limit re[?88 284] of German [?88 284] Russia to a quota of 200,000 per year. We’re moving to number three: Church and State aid.

As of now, a hundred German villages have sprung to life in the county of O[?93 279], a state of Om[?93 289], where about 150,000 Germans still live and work, county governor, Bruno [?95 291] said he is now prepared to begin accepting and will eventually take at least 50,000 more Germans who are expected to migrate from [?97 293] or outlining western Siberia to this particular region.

Here the vast majority of Germans belong to the Lutheran Church under Nicolas Schneider, their bishop, who has been instrumental in procuring ample facilities for worship. He is currently courting a lot of aid from the German Evangelical Church in the federal republic, particularly the dynasties [?103 299]. Most aspects of support come from Germany for German in Russia is coordinated through a so-called [?104 301] in Moscow, which is elected by the congress of Russian Germans to represent Germans not only in contemporary Russia, but also those in the CIS—the Confederation of Independent States—including [?107 304] and Ukraine. Special consulates to handle the problems of Russian Germans have also been set up, notably recently in [?109 306] in east Russia. To the supervisory personnel at these consulates enormous sums of money are being expended by the federal republic in support of the Russian Germans, 4 billion day mark in 1994 alone. Remember a day mark is about a $1.25, so change that to three to four billion dollars that are contributed by the federal government alone, not counting what some individual states, communities, in particular German churches, are contributing.

Aid packages, likewise, not included in the 4 billion day mark figure include: the six month of free language instruction, which all Germans receive when they arrive in Germany, [?121 318], not that this expenditure is unwarranted. According to several economic studies in Germany it takes only three to four years before a hard-working returnee German from Russia has earned back the costs of repatriation. Such return on investment not with standing, the long term plan of the German federal government now is to build major concentrations of Germans in Russia. As we said the one and only in western Siberia, another hopefully this summer will go up, but currently on hold and a third either in the vicinity of St. Petersburg where Germans could operate so-called project N[?130 327] with large agricultural units that would supply food to the 6 million inhabitants of St. Petersburg. And the one as we mentioned, that will also go near Om[?131 330].

What the St. Petersburg project is too, a little more than a h[?132 331] the popular term for these plans has collectively been put as “Project Islands of Hope”, in hence the title of my piece this evening. Before we move to number four: Siberian housing projects to keep Germans at home, I should tell you this little story, no, I’ll give you this little question: Why doesn’t a German bicycle made by a German from Russia not stand alone? Just like us now, it’s just too tired. We’re moving on, point four.

Siberian housing projects keep Germans at home. One device use to attract Germans to settle in the St. Petersburg district was to popularize the reality the [?148 347] for the Lutherans living in Russia had always been in St. Petersburg. And others are the Society for Technical Cooperation, which focuses especially on delivering the pre-fabricated housing units with the popular umbrella name: “container program”. This method of housing has been implemented mostly in central Asia mainly in the Om[?152 351] region but also north of Odessa.

Another device is the [?154 353] kind of credit union for the coordination of loans and development pr[?155 354] that go to the Germans who remain in Russia from [?155 354] from the funds of the federal republic. Taken together, the German government in one way or another supports in Russia some 225 German kindergartens, 550 grade schools, 30 universities, the ladder of course being much limited to the area of teachers and learning materials.

Some reports show that about 200,000 Germans who left Russia in 1993 had only rented their property instead of selling, namely in the belief that someday they might find conditions in Germany unpleasant and they might want to return. So there are little islands of hope being generated and created and the housing projects seem to have some promise.

Many more measures are being taken, especially in western Siberia to ensure ever more Germans remain in Russia. In the general region of [?167 367], the federal republic in 1994 elected 2,000 apartments for Germans and established 30 million day mark fund from which Germans in Russia can draw up to 6,000 day mark each to purchase or build their own houses in Siberia. Likewise both the Om[?170 371] regions have been competing with Germany itself to attract Germans from the m[?171 372] republic, especially K[?172 373]stan.

Currently, quite a few Germans are migrating to Siberia instead of pushing on from the Muslim regions of former Soviet Union, straight to the federal republic. Bruno Writter at Om[?175 376] and Joseph [?175 373] counties affirm independently that for every two Germans who leave their region today, three Germans arrive from one of those middle Asian republics. Likewise those who leave western Siberia permanently are now able in the general rule to dispose of their property and houses to other Germans coming in from the Islamic republics. K[?181 382] and other Muslim state Germans want to move into orthodox Russia in order to achieve a more culturally tolerable living situation. In other words the 600,000 Germans still in the O[?184 385]-Siberian region, might even increase over time. I’m going to my next point, five. Remember we only got eight to go; we’re on five, we’re through half.

Job training and infrastructure. The next city expected to attract increasing numbers of Germans from middle Asia is N[?190 391]. East of Om[?191 392], and north north east of O[?191 392], near the sh[?192 393]. Currently some 60,000 applications are being processed to allow Germans elsewhere in the CIS to resettle in these two regions in Siberia. If the two settlements of German life succeed, the federal republic of Germany tries to add amenities.

These amenities, in general, enhance the notion of role models or called “island of hope”, which they offer for all the Germans in former Soviet Union. For example the [?199 399] funds for job creation, especially by furthering the production of agricultural machines and spare parts, companies that offer job training for example, especially the forest industry. Expansion of infrastructure, especially road networks, moderation of the telephone system, water, sewer systems, central heating supply centers, and better delivery of electricity. Often these improved facilities [?204 406] the lives, it is important to remember, not only of the 20,000 or so Germans living in the 100 villages which are being improved in [?206 408], but also for the nearly one million sold non-German Russians living in the region this last district, this in turn significantly has improved prospects for Germans living in outlined regions of the whole territory of Siberia.

[?211 414]stock, is considered one of the most promising contemporary “islands of hope” for an independent German Russian autonomous state. While not the former center for Germans in Russia like the Volga or the Ukraine, the settlement did begin there already in the late 19th century. Therefore, [?215 418] is not the result of the Stalinists deportation of 1941. Called [?218 420], when first established, in 1893 by the newcomers from the Volga, it soon became one of the wealthiest villages in the [?219 422] Steppe. Because the 1890s settlers were successful many others joined them over the next quarter century. By 1927, there were 57 German villages in the vicinity of [?222 426], which even back then acquired county-like status as well as their own administrative and cultural economy that was permitted back in those pre-Stalinist times.

Out of the 360,000 Volga Germans who were deported there following the August decree of 1941 approximately 95,000 or 1/3 were scattered among these [?229 433] villages. However for the decade since 1941 until 1993, they were not permitted to cultivate either their German language or their heritage openly. When the county in 1991 reverted to German national status, 16 of the former villages accounted for the bulk of the German population in the area.

We’re on to number six, and because it must be getting kind of tedious listening to all of this I’ve got another little anecdote for you, you can try this one: What is the American national flower? It’s of course the carnation, well why is it the carnation? Well, everybody knows that America is the “car”- nation. {Counter at 248 451}

We’re on to number six, the model island of [?2 454]. Because Holgstock had a prior [?3 455] German designation, even before the August 1991 [?4 456] the German government has been especially interested in projects of Hope for Holgstock. By mid 1994, the villagers had constructed a county courthouse for the ordinary administration of the territory, which houses also a German sponsored development organization for the region. Also with assistance form the federal republic of Germany, Holgstock in 1994, not only constructed about 100 dwellings but also an asphalt plant, a cement factory and a telecommunications network, gas stations and improving electrical lines.

The areas largest company and farm, [?15 466] was privatized into a stock company, a new dairy concern was built to handle milk products from 3 neighboring commune farms as well and flour mills as well as [?17 470] bakeries have been equipped with the latest imported German production devices. Germany has also supplied proven pedigree bowls to improve local dairy strains as well as specialized equipment for growing and processing oil seeds especially the native sunflowers. Agricultural machinery engineering cooperatives have been established with the exchange of professors from Germany at the agricultural schools, cooperating especially at [?26 479]. In response to medical and social needs Germany has outfitted 10 hospitals in the region with modern equipment and a supply of local German language newspapers with the latest office and printing devices. And I should add no Russian is forbidden to take advantage of and use these facilities created general good will in the reason.

A similar story is unfolding in the Ob[?33 487], 4 hours east of Moscow, but [?34 488], a region of about 140,000 square kilometers, that is to say twice the land surface of Ireland. Lying along the banks of the [?37 490] River, Siberia’s largest, and is con[?38 491] with the Om, hence the name Om[?38 493]. Of the 2 million people who live in the state of Om[?39 493], ½ are in the city, an important weigh station on the trans-Siberian railroad. Long ago, late in the 19th century, Germans had already arrived in this region to help construct the railroad line from Moscow to B[?43 497] and they have stayed on to break the land, today there are some 134,000 Germans living in this state, about 30,000 in the city itself. The largest German concentration however, is in Osovo County, or by own, as we use the term in Russian, where plans call for the development of about 103 German villages.

In 1992, Osovo was declared a semi-independent German county, and at that time it was officially decided that the German portions of the five additional counties in the region would be permitted to ban together to form a new German oblosqe, consisting of about 1400 square kilometers, having a population around 30,000, 60% of whom were German and controlling about 100,000 hectares of land. A hectare is about 2.5 acres. An important economic achievement here is the German sponsored cheese plant in Polochino. More important for the cultural and religious development of the Germans are the church and cultural center, completed in August 1994, with assistance from the FMW Lutheran Church in Germany. This structure offers worship for 500 persons and functions also as a youth center.

In Holgstock our soloist projects include: infrastructure instillation, temporary villages to use as containers, and longer range housing projects. The La[?69 524] bakery, a sawmill, new roads, and a cement and tile factory. That administration specialist from the [?71 527] has sent in student assistance to establish county level and even some state administrative teams. We’re up to number 7, which is: Efforts on the Volga.

On the Volga we have been less successful; there are no county-size projects on the way. Although several towns in the states of [?80 536] have achieved considerable improvement with the help of the federal republic. Local governments of four states voiced willingness to further cooperation and thus, the Volga region too has its “Islands of Hope”. In the state of Saratough, the village of Borbee, in Engles County, some 70 kilometers east of the river and the village of [?86 545] in Marques County, some 107 kilometers east of the river has had the greatest success today. Roads, small factories, allotted housing but also small businesses like bakeries and butcher shops have come into existence. Somehow things also have been offered things in the city of Saratough itself, especially for Transian Germans seeking rural sites for a settlement.

The village of [? 96 555] in contrast to the 2 I presented previously was not one of the original Volga colonies, it was established only in 1992 and particular to accommodate resettlement back to the Volga. Plans for 100 additional families, one or two story houses with backyard gardens to accommodate the traditional German Russian farming style. Each family having a barn with a few domestic animals have already been constructed. In B[?105 564] village, a community center is under construction, intended for films, celebrations, family gatherings, where kitchen facilities open onto the ground floor and the second floor abides a library

{End of tape, counter at 111 568}

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