Youth of the Compatriots Make a new Start in Würzburg: Young Russian Germans Establish an Association

"Youth of the Compatriots Make a new Start in Würzburg: Young Russian Germans Establish an Association." Volk auf dem Weg, June 1991, 10.

Translation from German to English by Alma M. Herman

In our day a self-structured sense of responsibility prevails for each day. This thought ran like a red thread through the discussions at Federal Youth Day of the Germans from Russia. It took place in Würzburg, May 3 to 6. One hundred delegates from various areas of Germany, also from the new federal lands, gathered in the facilities of Technical Hotels to establish a separate youth group within the Countrymen's Association of Germans from Russia.

The first contacts with the young people, who showed promise of proving themselves especially qualified for the work ahead, occurred on the evening of their arrival. Work groups were formed the next morning, each to take responsibility for establishing one the following departments:

1. Political constitutions, the press and publicity
2. History of the Russian Germans, museum and ancestral research
3. Cultural and free-time planning
4. Sports

Under the combined guidance of co-workers in the Countrymen's Alliance, federal director members and the energetic support from representatives of the DJO (German Youth in Europe), the young people discussed their future action and business. In lively debate they expressed the wish that the best qualified representative among the youth be accepted as a member of the Countrymen's Alliance and thereby the existence of the Russland Deutsche Yugend (RDJ) a new alliance. This action was clear proof of the affiliation of the younger generation members with the Countrymen's Alliance. The new organization could hardly have come about without such support. This was thankfully acknowledged.

After a taxing day's work the young people relaxed, danced and engaged in spirited conversations. "I must admit," said Alexander Dilger of Stuttgart, "this arrangement gets under my skin mightily. Within a few hours I have found new friends and gathered useful experiences." No wonder. The Recreation Room was filled to the last corner. Songs rang out and not only Hopsapolka (hopping polkas) and Kasatschoks were danced but also waltzes. Jokes were told among new acquaintances.

Fear of being bored did not apply at any time. "I am simply inspired," beamed Valentina Haag of Mannheim. Rita Schock of Dresden added: "Now that we are going about founding the RDJ, we can solve our problems together and much better master the difficulties of getting memberships in the new homeland."

On the last day of the conference the new youth organization wrote a constitution and elected officers. Rosa Schmidt, Reiskirchen/Ettingshausen, was elected spokesman by a large majority. As deputies: Paul Ebel, Frankfort; Irene Schmidt, Dresden, and Vladimir Eler, Stuttgart. As treasurer: Lilli Walger of Karlsruhe.

In the name of the Federation officers, the business manager, Alexander Rack, expressed hearty best wishes. As a gesture of goodwill and unity in working together in the future, he announced that the Federation would provide operating funds for 1991 amounting to 10,000 DM (German Mark). This announcement was received with hearty approval.

Since close cooperation is maintained and assistance is given in building up land, district and state locations connections is maintained, Russian German Youth has accepted membership in the DJO.

The days in Würzburg were not only a heartfelt, open exchange of thoughts but also the basis for the first steps in preserving the traditionally rich and cultural inheritance, customs and practices of the Russian Germans.

Our appreciation is extended to Alma M. Herman for translation of this article.

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