A new Dimension was Opened up for the Landestreffen
der Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Rußland
"A new Dimension was Opened up for the Landestreffen der Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Rußland." Volk auf dem Weg, October 1993.
Translated from German to English by Brigitte Von Budde
On August 7, 1993 at the fourth Landestreffen der Deutschen aus Rußland the presiding officer of the Landesverband Niedersachsen, Wendelin Jundt, introduce the public to a proud display of more than 7,000 participants. That is the largest number achieved at a Landestreffen thus far, and it would have even honored the earlier meetings of the Landsmannschaft. As a rule, 2,000 participants, at the most, were figured to be at an average Landestreffen. With this record attendance it became clear that it will no longer be possible to direct everything from Stuttgart. The tasks of the Landsmannschaft will inevitably be switched over to the states on which the well-being of our new residents depends as much as on headquarters.
W. Jundt presented a large number of honored guests, among them supporter of the event, leader of the opposition at the Landtag of Niedersachsen, Christian Wulff (CDU), the mayor of Hannover, Hannelore Kunze (SPD) and top representative of the factions of CDU and SPD, churches, BdV, the Landsmannschaft and many more.
Jundt referred to the good support which was bestowed on him on the part of many during the arrangements for the meeting and he mentioned at the press conference as the only Wehrmutstropfen the fact that it was not possible for the Prime minister, Gerhard Schröder, to take care of the arrangements for the meeting himself and to speak to the Germans from Russia. Volk auf dem Weg is far from threatening with the party-political "club" in the name of the Germans from Russia but [he] believes that it is absolutely necessary for both parties to recognize that the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Rußland is, by virtue of the charter, a non-party representation of all Germans from Russia regardless if they vote for, like or dislike CDU, SPD, CSU, FDP, Green or something else. Prime Minister Schröder was extremely well represented by his Minister of Public Worship and Education, Prof. Rolf Wemstedt. He referred to the many problems in the country on the first day of school as well as to the problems in the schools but "we would have more problems without the children of evacuees". And turning to W. Jundt, "You should tell [this to] others everywhere especially to people who see this differently. And if you, Mr .Jundt, emphasize that your people have preserved their culture throughout centuries, then I have to say, this is my culture. "
Christian Wulff emphasized mainly the position of the governing body in Bonn. We are pleased that we have you in Germany as Germans among Germans, and loud and clear the door has to stay open in the future. He insured the evacuees idealistic and political support for cultural activities.
The presiding officer of the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Rußland, Alois Reiss, opposed the statement that the Landsmannschaft tried to persuade the Germans from Russia to leave. "We don't send anyone back. Whoever wants to stay, is allowed to stay. And the door to the Federal Republic has to stay open.” He demanded not to make the assimilation more difficult and also a law for compensation which brings an acceptable balance for damages suffered due to dispersion.
(Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung vom 9.8.1993)
Among numerous guest speakers, Michael Miller from the USA took care of the atmosphere in the hall with his Black Sea German language: “I come from America and I am a proud German Russian from Kutschurgan, born in America but learned English only at the age of six ...learned fluent German and a little English! But you know Russian ...There are 5 million Germans in America who come from Russia but, turning to the politicians in the hall, you don't have to be afraid that they come back…”
A. Reiss added easily to the opening of M. Miller by acknowledging," I, too, come from Kutschurgan".
The choirs at the meeting received added applause; Hannover in grün with many known folksongs, Wolfsburg in Weiß for more difficult songs and Nienburg in Red for familiar songs of the 20s and 30s. In the afternoon music played for dancing in three rooms and songs were sung whereby Jakob Fischer continued with songs which had almost been forgotten.
Our appreciation is extended to Brigitte von Budde for translation of this article.