Golden Pin of Merit Presented to Anton Bosch
Goldene Ehrennadel Fuer Anton Bosch
From the Calendar 2004 by the HFDR
Nach dem Kalender dees HFDR 2004
"Golden Pin of Merit Presented to Anton Bosch." Volk auf dem Weg, January 2004, 24.
Translation from German to English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado
The Golden Pin of Merit Award is presented to Anton Bosch (center) by
Dr. Arthur Bechert, President of the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus
Russland, with Michael Wanner (right).
For special achievements and contributions to the exploration
of the history of our ethnic group, and for cultivating the culture
and traditions of the Germans from Russia, the Landsmannschaft has
awarded the Golden Pin of Merit of the Landsmannschaft to Anton
Bosch, the chairman of the "Historischen Forschungsverein der
Deutschen aus Russland [Association for Research on the Germans
Anton Bosch experienced in person the suffering and misery of his ethnic group. In 1944, the barely ten-year-old was forced to leave his home village of Kandel near Odessa on the Black Sea via horse and wagon. In the Warthe region [of Poland], where these [expatriated] Germans from Russia were naturalized by the German Reich, he lost his sister, and soon after that, following yet another escape toward the West, to Pettstadt, his twin siblings also died.
The end of the war marked the second major phase of war-related suffering for those Germans from Russia. More than 250,000 of them were transported in railroad cattle cars to Siberia and the steppes of hunger. Anton would never see his father again.
He grew up in a forced-labor camp in Udmurtien (Western Ural region). Prior to his emigration, his work involved being an electrical mechanic, a director of an electric power plant, and chief engineer responsible for energy supply in Karaganda.
In 1974, via the transition station of Moldavia, the then nearly 40-year-old and his family arrived in Germany. For another 23 years he worked in an electric company in Nuernberg. Anton Bosch took it as a consuming interest to work toward the full integration of his fellow ethnic people. For a while he served the Landsmannschaft as volunteer speaker on social concerns, and for many years he served as the chair of the society's local and county chapter of Nuernberg-Fuerth. With few interruptions, from 1977 through 1991 he was also a member of the national governing council of the Landsmannschaft, chair of Cultural Council of Germans from Russia (1987 - 1991), as well as vice chair of the Federation of Refugees in Nuernbeg-Fuerth.
In 1987, he traveled to Vienna and, via a press pass, gained access to the concluding session of the KSZE (Konferenz fuer Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa [CSCE - Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe], where he presented to the Soviet delegation a list of 1,400 German-Russian hardship cases. A year later those people, as part of a measure toward reunifying families, had arrived in Germany. Bouyed by this success, Anton Bsoch repeated this action the following year, putting himself on the line for 2,600 further people in trouble in the Soviet Union.
Following retirement from his occupation, Anton Bosch, who had since childhood been very interested in history, fulfilled a long-held dream of his: he became a student again and for two years diligently studied Latin, after which, in 1991, he successfully gained a masters in history, Slavism, and recent and current history from the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg.
The main focus of his transnational research concentration is cultural and church history during the Stalinsit years, particualrly in the 1930's. By dedicating himself to the cultivation and research of the history of his own ethnic people, this father of three daughters attempts to shed a little light into the darkness of the history of the Germans from Russia.
Golden Pin of Merit of the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland awarded to Anton Bosch (center). Also pictured: on the left, Dr. Arthur Bechert, member of the national governing council of the Landsmannschaft, and Michael Wanner on the right.
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.