|... That you Have to
Prove Yourself now; Memories From German-Russian Lives
Walth, Richard H. "…That you Have to Prove Yourself now; Memories From German-Russian Lives." Volk auf dem Weg, July 2006, 38.
Translation from the original German-language text
to American English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado
A publication from the Projektbereich Ostdeutsche Landesgeschichte
[Project Area for Eastern German History] of the University of Bonn,
vol. 21, concurrently published by Historische Kulturstiftung [Historical
Cultural Foundation], edited by the Kulturstiftung der deutschen
Vertriebenen [Cultural Foundation of German Refugees]. 448 pages,
hardbound. 36 illustrations, 4 maps, Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-99557-214-1,
"Glueckstal," "Hoffnungstal," Freudental,"
"Gnadenfeld" - these names of
locales in the Odessa and Nikolayev areas reflect the great expectations
German settlers during the second half of the 18th and the first
half of the
19th Centuries placed in life in their new home country. However,
at the very
latest by the time of the Revolution of 1917, the era of suppression
German ethnic group had begun, and its climax occurred during the
deportations of 1941.
How differently and, at the same time, how interwoven the lives
German-Russian personalities developed is shown in this book, in
which Prof. Dr.
Richard H. Walth compiled and provided commentary for memories of
In addition to those of the editor himself, there are the life stories
secondary school teacher Rudolf Pfeiffer, school principal Friedrich
kindergarten teacher Amalie Wittmann, and farmer Arthur Schlecht
-- all born
between 1906 and 1924 in proximity of the Black Sea.
These vivid reports from lives that were marked with great deprivation
and suppression under the Communist system in the Soviet Union, on
perilous and meandering paths back to Germany. In each case, on the
difficult assimilation into Federal German society mirror in exemplary
manner the varied and, for the most part, tragic lives of the entire
ethnic group during the 20th Century.
|To all former students
who finished 10th grade at School # 32 in Karaganda: nearly
40 years have passed since then - are you interested in a reunion?
If so, call Ida Jobe at 0751-552840 or Johannes Pfund at 0751-43054
or Paul Baumstark at 08231-918261.
The editor precedes the reports with a taut overview of the history
German-Russians - from their settlement in the Russian Empire during
the 18th and
19th Centuries to the deportations of 1941, and life in the new
and he illustrates it all with a number of photos, documents, and
The text appears both in German and in English.
In his introduction, State Secretary Dr. Christoph Bergner, the
government's Representative for Aussiedler Matters and for National
describes the value of the book as "an impressive contribution
to the process
of integration ... It serves not only as a view into the past, but
that history very transparent and tears down prejudices, for it
is in the
transmission of knowledge of the past and of the fates of many that
on the part of the indigenous population in Germany can be improved."
The book is available from:
der deutschen Vertriebenen:
Tel.: [from the US:] 011-49-228-91512-0,
[from Germany:] 0228-91512-0
The book may also be ordered online via:
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation
of this article.