Anton Bosch
Bosch, Anton, 70 Years old...

Bosch Anton, 70 Jahre...

"Bosch, Anton, 70 Years old." Volk auf dem Weg, October 2004, 19-20.

Translation from German to English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

With this heading, Anton Bosch sent his "bio" to the editors of Volk auf dem Weg twenty years ago. The text also stated: "Fully qualified engineer, married, three children, Catholic, born in Kandel near Odessa."

From about April, 1974, Bosch quickly became one of the people of the future for the Landsmannschaft der Deustchen aus Russland. For a long time he was considered a legitimate successor for the national chairman from 1978 to 1991, Franz Usselmann. But that did not happen because of the "fateful election" in the Landsmannschaft of October 20, 1991, when the delegates decided, by a large majority, in favor of the experienced social expert, Alois Reiss. Bosch was considered to be rather a man representative of the culture and history of the Germans from Russia, and an expert on family reunification and human rights.

In these areas, he distinguished himself before and after his work within the national leadership of our Landsmannschaft. His straightforward approach to things took him from a series of leadership positions in local chapters of the Fuerth-Nuernberg area into the national leadership group of the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland (1977 - 1984 and 1984 - 1991).

In addition, Anton Bosch served from 1987 to 1991 as chair of the Cultural Council for Germans from Russia and was especially effective during those first contacts between the Landsmannschaft and Soviet officials during the glasnost and perestroyka eras. Thanks to his efforts, the "Question of Germans from Russia" met with much more consideration, on many levels, than ever before or after. For example, during the Vienna KSZE Conference of 1987, where Anton Bosch, along with his leadership colleague, Helmut Kremser, was not without success in his attempt to bring about awareness with representatives of the Federal Republic, the USSR, Great Britain, Canada, and the USA about specific hardship cases affecting specific members of German nationality in the Soviet Union eager to emigrate. German Bundestag members and CDU majority party members in Bonn followed his example during their October 1987 visits to Moscow.

Even after he left leadership posts of the Landsmannschaft, Anton Bosch remained very closely associated with his ethnic group via his contributions to VadW and via his active work in the Bund der Vertriebenen [Association for Refugees].

Considered perhaps his greatest achievement within recent years is the founding of the "Historischen Forschungsverein der Deutschen aus Russland [Historical Research Society for Germans from Russia]" in Nuernberg in 1999. He has been its chairman and driving force ever since. The Society has distinguished itself particularly through its publication of books and calendars on the history and the present of the Germans from Russia.

Anton Bosch is one of the multitude of German-Russians who are actually German-Ukrainians and who during the past century were governed and humiliated by various commissars. At the time of Anton Bosch's birth in 1934, Ukraine had just suffered one of its worst years of famine, which was followed by the horrendous state-sponsored terror under Stalin. In 1941 Hitler's troops arrived and introduced a new regime, which left the majority of ethnic Germans in the Black Sea region alone, but immediately thereafter caused them to be punished for every crime that had been committed in the name of Germany between 1933 and 1945.

For the Bosch family this first meant participation in the "Great Trek" to the Warthegau [Poland] in 1944, then further flight to Germany in 1945, then "repatriation" to Kazakhstan for mother and children without their father and a permanently separated family. Following several attempts, the Bosch family was able to return to Germany in 1974, that is, at a time when it was still a favorable thing for German-Russians to emigrate. The excellent employment situation in Germany at the time provided Anton Bosch with a position as an engineer -- his professional qualifications thus made it possible for him to take up outstanding positions in both Kazakhstan and Germany.

These days, Anton Bosch, who will be 70 years old on October 28, continues his activities with great and creative enthusiasm, thanks to strict attention to a medically ordered diet. After losing 12 kg [about 26 pounds] and shaving off his beard he seems more like a wiry athlete rather than a retiree. He does not show the years nor any minor aches and pains.

Volk auf dem Weg expresses its best wishes to its avid comrade-in-arms in matters on behalf of Germans from Russia, for good health and for good fortune in his remaining journey in life.

Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller