Cultural Council and Landsmannschaft

Kulturrat und Landsmannschaft

"Cultural Council and Landsmannschaft." Volk auf dem Weg, December 1993, 5.

Translation from German to English by Ingeborg Wallner Smith, Western Springs, Illinois

The new election of the Cultural Council of the Germans from Russia, Reg., of October 17, 1993 (VadW 11/93, page 3) has moved several readers to inquire as to the relationship between it and the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland. For example, Mrs. Käthe Kick from Bielefeld asks “Is the Cultural Council a part of the Landsmannschaft?”

“Technically” the answer to this question is “No.”, as the Cultural Council of the Germans from Russia, e.V. (registered organization) is a separate organization with its own by-laws, its own members and its own budget, with the aim of grasping and securing the cultural wealth of the Landsmannschaft, of pursuing scientific research as well as transmitting the cultural wealth and the results of this research to its compatriots and to the public.

The Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland e.V. also pursues these goals, but over and above these yet many other, above all in the area of social service and integration of the Germans from Russia.

The Landsmannschaft and the Kulturrat (Cultural Council) of the Germans from Russia, however, do not pursue their goals at cross purposes, but in harmony, by means of articles of association in which both associations emphasize the extreme closeness they have with each other. The articles of association also provide that currently a member of the governing body of the Landsmannschaft be represented on the executive committee of the Cultural Council (at the present time this is the substitute national chairman, Abram Klassen), and conversely a member of the Cultural Council be represented in the governing body of the Landsmannschaft (at the present time Dr. Herbert Wiens, head of the Cultural Council). It is only natural that this arrangement produces “problems of competence,” but one gets together – in good times and bad, somewhat as in a marriage.

That the equality is not complete is explained by the fact that the Cultural Council, in contrast with the Landsmannschaft has fewer members (the ratio is about 1:200) and depends on the financial support and the personnel of the Landsmannschaft. The members of the Cultural Council work solely as volunteers, whereas the Landsmannschaft, in addition to many volunteer workers has its national headquarters in Stuttgart, where Kristina Teppert, the chief cultural expert for the Landsmannschaft and the Cultural Council has her office.

The members of the Cultural Council are almost entirely also members of the Landsmannschaft. The pay an additional membership fee of, at the moment, 24,- DM per year. In order to become a member, one must send a (formless) application to the head of the Cultural Council. If you direct the application to the headquarters of the Landsmannschaft, Raitelsbergstr. 49, 70188 Stuttgart, things will certainly work out.

Why don’t you try it!

J. Kampen

Our appreciation is extended to Ingeborg Smith for translation of this article.

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