Historical Volga German Photo

Eurich, David. "Historical Volga German Photo." Volk auf dem Weg, January 2014, 43.

Translation from the original German-language text to American English is provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, CO, with editorial assistance from Dr. Nancy Herzog.

This photo was taken in 1930 in Schwed on the Volga soon after the collectivization of agriculture. It shows a brigade of farmers ready to work on the spring seeding. Judging from the many cheerless faces, it appears that the people on the photo are not exactly filled with  enthusiasm.

In the background we see a farmstead typical for Volga German villages. We can be fairly certain that its [onetime] owners were dispossessed, their property now serving as the seat of the brigade leadership.

Shown on the platform is the management of the kolkhoz [collective] and, of course, a portrait of Lenin must not be lacking. The fence is covered with written directives and regulations. Clearly legible on the placard is the following: “Schweder Kollwirtsch ‘Neue Bahn,’ ‘Brigade Nr. 2.’”  [See note below.]

At the upper left one can make out two uniformed men. Did they really have to be there, too? Except for my uncle Gottlieb Eurich (far left, third from the left), I recognize no one else. When we were deported in 1941, I was just four years old.

I hereby ask anyone who recognizes any of these older Schwed residents to call me at 011-49-7031-272491.

David Eurich

Translator’s Note: My source in Germany indicates that Kollwirtsch is very likely a contraction from the German term Kollektiv-Wirtschaft (collective farm; Schweder means “Schwed’s” or “of Sched”); Neue Bahn means “A New Course;” and Brigade Nr. 2 is “Brigade # 2.” 

Appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translaiton of these articles.

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