Stalin’s Black Sea Farmer Victims

”If we do not analyze the history of our own times, we’ll have no chance in the future.”

Kampen, J. "Stalin’s Black Sea Farmer Victims." Volk auf dem Weg, March 2010, 37.

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

Dr. Anton Bosch placed the above statement by Johannes Rau, the German federal president between 1999 and 2004, at the very beginning of his latest book. Stalins Bauernopfer am Schwarzen Meer [Stalin’s Black Sea Farmer Victims] is based on Bosch’s dissertation the author presented on the general topic “The Downfall of the German Russians in the Odessa/Nikolayev Settlement Region under the Soviet Regime up to 1939” in fulfillment of requirements for his doctorate at the Friedrich-Alexander University at Nuremberg. It was accepted, and since 2008 the now seventy-five-year-old, who is  not only a historian and certified engineer who for several decades has been among the absolute top leader of our Landsmannschaft, but may now also be addressed as Ph.D.

One or the other German Russian may perhaps envy him for his success, but anyone who would delve deeply into the history of his ethnic group will, by merely leafing through the 272 pages of this book (in large format), be definitely  taken with the immense effort behind the book.

From the nineteen chapters of the book, each with ten or more subtitles, the reader can gather systematically what he/she is looking for. Even though this is not a book one can “devour” in one sitting, it is, rather, long-term reading matter for an entire life of a German from Russia, and it is a valuable reference for everyone. A look at a few selected chapters demonstrates that Anton Bosch also illuminates events far removed from his own former home in the Black Sea region.

            Chapter 4: “Times of Occupation. Civil War and Famine”

            Chapter 5: “The New Economic Policy” [the well-known “NEP” of Lenin – Tr.]

            Chapter 6: “The Kulaks”                

            Chapter 11:”Farmers in the Gulag”

            Chapter 14: “Power Struggle in the Kremlin”

            Chapter 15: “Mass Terror 1937/1938”

Bosch is one of the more recent contemporary witnesses of Soviet State terror, and in his careful research in numerous archives in the East and in the West he has analyzed innumerable documents to confirm or to correct the memories of his youth. His leadership role in the “Historical Research Association for Germans form Russia” also served him very well in this effort.

The book Stalins Bauernopfer am Schwarzen Meer may be obtained directly from the author himself, Dr. Anton Bosch, Schwimmbacher Str. 9, 90453 Nuremberg; tel,: 011-49-911-6329782.

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

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller