Our Identity

Unsere Identitaet

Deibert, Franz. "Our Identity." Volk auf dem Weg, March 2007, 27.

This translation from the original German text to American English is provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

I agree with many statements regarding our identity, but some I decidedly reject. One of those says: "With Russia in the Heart, with Germany in the Mind."

Let's stop and look back: over two hundred years ago, the wave of emigration to Russia was taking its course. Why did our ancestors emigrate? Examples of reasons given were the Napoleonic wars, poor economic conditions. etc. I simply say: times for our ancestors on German lands were just pathetic. They emigrated to Russia not out of love for that country. No, they succumbed to temptations and promises offered by the Russian government. And all of these promises would be broken, from a historical perspective, in the shortest time.

Our ancestors emigrated to South Russia. But where did they finally end up? In Siberia, in Kazakhstan, and in who knows which border region of the Soviet Union! Barely any German settlers remain in South Russia, and the German names of their settlements have been erased. Well, at least Russia did allow us - albeit with great delay - to return to Germany.

We did not wish to continue living in Russia, otherwise we would not be here in Germany, our home country. In Russia we were suppressed, persecuted, and decimated. Nevertheless, there still are those incorrigibles and discontents whose hearts retain strong ties to Russia!

I am very happy that the Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic country. I would urge those who are unable to identify with Germany to emigrate from here. They can then live in the country to which their heart is tied, and there their souls will finally find bliss. But spare the rest of us those superfluous and pathetic discussions about Heimat.

It was we, after all, who made applications for emigration [to Germany], it was we who in those applications pointed out our German ancestry. Finally, a bit of gratitude toward this Federal Republic is permissible!

Franz Deibert

0snabrueck, Germany

Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

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