Johann Kampen Is Awarded the Augsburg Medal of Merit

The Editors, “Johann Kampen Is Awarded the Augsburg Medal of Merit." Volk auf dem Weg, January 2010, 15.

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

Dr. Kurt Grible, mayor of Augsburg, presents Medal of Honor to Johann Kampen.

Johann Kampen, editor for Volk au dem Weg for many years now, was one of ten volunteers who were honored on December 10 in the Princes Room of the Augsburg Rathaus, receiving the Medal of Merit “For Augsburg.”

Augsburg’s Lord Mayor Dr. Kurt Gribl, who handled the award ceremonies, called the engagement of these “quiet heroes” a sign of their natural attitudes toward the city and their fellow citizens. For each of them it is a matter of course to support their fellow human beings in need. They had by their very efforts merited the grateful recognition of Augsburg and the entire Federal Republic.

Johann Kampen, who was born on May 30, 1921 in the German colony of Rosenthal in Ukraine, was honored explicitly for his many years of accomplishments on behalf of Germans from Russia. For the last thirty years he has been among the most active volunteer workers of the Landsmannschaft. Between 1978 and 1980 he was the chair of the county and local chapter of Augsburg, and in 1981 he was a co-founder of the Cultural Council of Germans from Russia, which is active on a nation-wide basis. Additionally, he was often the one to document matters on  local, state and national levels of the Landsmannschaft, and social advisor in Augsburg (until 2004).

In March of 1982, when the leadership of the Landsmannschaft came to him with the request that he take on the editorship for Volk auf dem Weg, he dedicated himself, in addition to his family and his occupation, exclusively to the work of his ethnic group.

In 1997, at the age of 76, he resigned the editorship of Volk auf dem Weg and limited his work to social advising and to articles and translations for publications of the Landsmannschaft. Besides Volk auf dem Weg, his work was mostly on behalf of the Heimatbücher published by the Landsmannschaft. He was involved in more than a dozen of German Russian books and in chronicling the history of the Landsmannschaft from 1951 to 2000 under the title Heimat und Diaspora [Homeland and Diaspora].

To this day countrymen from the former Soviet Union like to visit the three-room apartment in Augsburg where, with coffee and cookies, they might receive from the Black Sea German Johann Kampen and his Volga-German partner Emma Bayer advice for the present or well-grounded information about the past.       

Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of these articles.

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