Dr. Wolfgang Kagel, Berlin, Germany
History of the Germans From Russia on the Internet

Stern, Rita. "History of Immigrants on the Internet." Europa-Express, 14 October 2002.

Translation from Russian to English by Rick Rye, Lincoln, Nebraska

German historians have expressed interest in the history of Germans from Russia. The organization "Die Linde e. V. (Bildungsverein fuer Volkskunde in Deutschland) finished work on a project "The History of Germans from Russia on the Internet. We met with the director of Die Linde e. V., historian, Dr. Wolfgang KAGEL. Mr. Kagel, where has interest in the history of Russian Germans come from?

First, the interest is purely professional. The history of Germans in Russia is full of drama. The research work continued for four years. As a result, we issued a compact disk and reliable information about the history of Russian Germans appeared on the internet. It can be found at web page www.russlandeutschegeschichte.de. The history is presented for what period?

The material consists of four divisions: Immigrations of Germans from Germany to Russia from 1763 to 1820; Germans in Russia from 1820 to 1917; Russian Germans and Soviet power from 1917 - 1955; and the fourth part analyzes the history of the mood of the "deportees" from 1955 to the present. In addition, we proposed a series of actual interviews with Germans from Russia who reside in Berlin. From these interviews you can clearly imagine how these people lived and how they live now, and what problems they have. Did the immigrants become closer to you after this extended work? You know, yes. The fate of a people who have survived a prolonged tragedy during Soviet times became clearer and closer to me and to our research group. There are only German historians in our group.

Now the immigrants have problems connected with their move to their historic homeland. The local Germans cannot imagine how Germans who were born and resided in Russia have suffered just because they belonged to German nationality. Having realized how these people suffered, our group related to them better and warmer. The resident, and he is a resident of Germany, makes this approximate judgment: "We don't have work, and an unlimited number of foreigners are accepted into the country." I think that becoming acquainted with the history of German Russians by means of the most accessible mass media, the internet, will allow the Russian Germans and local Germans to become closer, and will alleviate, to a certain extent, the integration of the immigrants. Through our web page on the internet, it is possible to learn just who the Russian Germans are, why they were in Russia, and why, now, they have returned. Yes, they speak "kitchen German," but they are Germans. Yes, they are different, but they are Germans and a part of German history. Thank you for the warm words on behalf of the immigrants, your support and understanding of their needs. One last question: your plans? Work will continue in this direction - we will first collect material for an "Encyclopedia of Place Names of Germans of Russia before 1941," (Ortslexikon).

Therefore we would ask readers of Europa-Express to tell us about their places of residence, if they were German colonies in Russia. There are probably people who remember a great deal. They can reach us at Die Linde e V. by telephone: (030) 29 66 92 38, or at this address: Markgrafendamm 24, 10245 Berlin, Germany. Our email address is: DIE.LINDE@t-online.de

Our apprecation is extended to Rick Rye for translation of this article.

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