Dr. Anton Bosch Turns Seventy-Five

Kampen, J., “Dr. Anton Bosch Turns Seventy-Five." Volk auf dem Weg, December 2009, 6.

Translation from the Original German-language text to American English provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

On October 28, 2009, Dr. Anton Bosch celebrated his 75th birthday in Nuremberg amidst family and friends. He is among those of our countrymen whom would have been entrusted more than others twenty-five years ago to lead the Landsmannschaft  on the path its founders had envisaged.

Dr. Anton Bosch

That things did not happen as expected lay in the fact that, for decades, that “older” Landsmannschaft had to pay much more attention to social services than to cultural matters and research, for which the name of the celebrant is synonymous.

Still, it has been and remains an admirable fact how much time Anton Bosch was able to dedicate to voluntary service on behalf of his countrymen when he had serious responsibilities regarding his family and as a certified engineer working in a noted electrical firm.

Anton Bosch is among those of our countrymen who had to endure and manage through repeated evacuations and deportations. Born in Kandel near Odessa, the ten-year-old of 1944 would set out on a long odyssey starting with the evacuation of the Black Sea Germans to the Warthegau [in Western Poland] and was followed only a few years later by a first family separation. Father was mired somewhere in Germany while mother and the children were being banished to Asiatic Russia, a process euphemistically called “repatriation.”

As our readers are aware, special military oversight and control over the Germans in the Soviet Union was not lifted until 1955, and one can certainly debate about how much this formal act benefitted them in concrete terms. In any case, Anton Bosch became an electrical technician and, in 1958, a certified engineer.

Still, just like most Germans in the Soviet Union under Stalin’s legacy, he was being drawn to go west. While some were dreaming of German autonomy near the Volga or in the beautiful fields of Ukraine, Bosch as among those who did not think anything of empty promises and who saw their future only in Germany.

Following his sojourns in the Black Sea area, the Wartheland, Saxony, the Urals, and Kazakhstan, he called the Moldavian SSSR his home for just a short time. In the 1970s this republic constituted an effective springboard for thousands of German Russians desiring to get out. There one found fewer impediments than in Kazakhstan, where the authorities were holding on to Germans due to the need for developing new land tracts. By 1974, the Bosch family was able to emigrate. For Germany this was a gain, for the Bosch family an opportunity, and for the Landsmannschaft a stroke of fortune. Additionally, the new home town of Nuremberg provided a good platform for career and volunteering. By 1977 Bosch became a member who entered the national board, where, with few interruptions, he was in charge until 1991 of the area of family reunification. During the same time he served for many years as the chair of the Fuerth/Nuremberg chapter, between 1987 and 1991 as chair of the Cultural Council for Germans from Russia. During that same period he also participated in the CSCE Conference in Vienna (1987), one that was very decisive for the Germans from Russia; he lectured about German Russian matters at the University of Nottingham (England, 1988); and he provided interviews to newspapers and other media.

Following retirement from his job, Anton Bosch seriously rolled up his sleeves once again. He became deputy chair of the Nuremberg district chapter of the BdF [Association for Refugees] , and in 1999 he founded the Historical Research Association for Germans from Russia ([German acronym:] HFDR). For two years he studied Latin, also took courses in history and Slavic studies, and in 2001 he received a Masters or Art from the University of Erlangen. Finally, in 2009 he received a Ph.D. from the Friedrich-Alexander University at Erlangen, writing his dissertation on the topic “The Decline of the German Russian in the Odessa-Nikolayev Region under the Soviet System up to 1939.”

Numerous publications on the Germans from Russia carry his signature. Among the most importance are “Entstehung, Entwicklung und Auflösung der deutschen Kolonien am Schwarzen Meer [Establishment, Development and Dissolution of the German Colonies in the Black Sea Area] (available among book offerings by the Landsmannschaft) as well as a series of volumes published by the HFDR in recent years.

On the occasion of his birthday jubilee, the extensive community of his friends hereby wishes Anton Bosch, most especially, good health and continued enjoyment of his work.

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