Das Heimatbuch 2004
"Heimatbuch 2004." Volk auf dem Weg, December 2003, 5.
Translation from German to English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado
You should have probably received a copy of the new Heimatbuch 2004 at about the same time as this issue of Volk auf dem Weg. This is the 28th volume in our yearbook series, which has been going on for roughly fifty years.
As for previous issues, the editors have placed strong emphasis on a balanced mix of articles of a more academic kind and articles related to personal histories. Thus, under the headings "Verfolgung, Flucht und Vertreibung [Persecution, Flight, and Expulsion]," "Geschichte der Volksgruppe [History of our Ethnic Group]," "Lebensbilder [Pictures of Lives]", "Kultur und Brauchtum [Culture and Customs]," and "Auf dem Weg in die Gegenwart [Moving toward the Present]," you will find treatises by the German-Russian historian Dr. Viktor Krieger ("Personen minderen Rechts. Russlanddeutsche in den Jahren 1941 - 46 [People with Reduced Rights. German-Russians between 1941 and 1946]"), or perhaps an article by Prof. Egon Andris ("Die meisten kamen freiwillig [Most came voluntarily]"), as well as contributions that deal with the fate of individuals (Nelly Wacker's "Wemut [Bitterness]" or Elisa Schneider's "Meine Erinnerungen [My Memories]").
The tone of this volume is set by the very first item, "Der siebte Treck [The Seventh Trek]," in which its authors, Waldemar Schwindt, Viktor Schaefer and Eduard Stephan -- during this anniversary year for Germans from Russia -- remind the reader of their flight toward Germany during World War II. This is followed by the longest item, "650 Namen der in Tomsk, Sibirien repressierten Deutschen [650 Names of Germans Oppressed in Tomsk/Siberia]" by Hilda Riss, in which the author succinctly summarizes the lives and deaths of victims of Stalinism.
The volume builds a bridge toward the present via essays by Nina Paulsen, Norbert Ruetsche, Peter Peters, Karl Wahl and others. You will not find expressly literary pieces in this particular Heimatbuch. These are being reserved for the "Cultural Yearbook" of the Landsmannschaft, still in the planning stage, but representing a regular, serial publication to begin this year.
The Landsmannschaft and it members can justly take pride in the fact that their Heimatbuch is still being issued at a time when there is no longer such thing as assistance from public sources of cultural projects. Our members' readiness -- exemplary as ever -- to donate moneys is what makes the publication of this 28th Heimatbuch possible without any contributions whatever from the outside. We are very grateful and view each donation as a mandate for continuing our Heimatbuch series.
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.