Wanderings: The Germans From Russia Today

Introduction and History

Wood, Carter. "Wanderings: The Germans From Russia Today." Grand Forks Herald, 4-10 July 1994.

"Wanderings: The Germans from Russia Today" is a series of seven newspaper articles that appeared in the Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, North Dakota, July 4-10, 1994. The articles were written by Herald staff writer Carter Wood. Special appreciation is extended to Carter Wood, to Michael Jacobs, editor, to Mark Boswell, staff artist, and to the staff or the Grand Forks Herald for providing an informative and valuable series of articles.

The journey to Odessa, Ukraine and the former Black Sea and Bessarabian German villages took place June 3 - 13, 1994. The American delegation included Dr. Shirley Fischer Arends, formerly of Ashley, ND, and author of the book The Central Dakota Germans: Their History, Language, and Culture, Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Bibliographer, NDSU Libraries, Fargo; and Carter Wood.

Germans from Russia Series Schedule

Monday, July 4, 1994 Germans from Russia are on the move again
Tuesday, July 5, 1994 A crowded Germany wants immigrants to stay home
Wednesday, July 6, 1994 Soviet-style communism remains alive
Thursday, July 7, 1994 Labor camps and Siberia - The story of Paul Krueger
Friday, July 8, 1994 Religion remains a vital force for Germans from Russia
Saturday, July 9, 1994 Reuniting with relatives
Sunday, July 10, 1994 Connecting North Dakotans to the Old World

A History of the Germans from Russia

1763-65 Catherine the Great invites foreigners to settle in Russia. First German community founded in Volga region.
1774-92 Russia conquers Black Sea region from Ottoman Empire. Odessa founded.
1804 Alexander I invites Germans to Black Sea region, promising free land and political privileges. Numerous Germans from southern Germany and West Prussia establish colonies.
1873-1874 First German from Russia families settle in Dakota Territory, in Yankton. Russia introduces universal draft. Emigration to North and South America escalates.
1881 Czar Alexander III assassinated. Russification impinges on German settlements.
1914 World War I breaks out. Russian army includes 300,000 Germans, but ethnic Germans are declared enemies of the empire.
1917 Russian and Bolshevik revolutions, leading to temporary improvements for Germans from Russia.
1928 Collectivization begins, along with famine-driven campaign against wealthy peasants, including Germans. Churches closed.
1938-39 Stalinist purges. Russian Ukrainian replace German in schools. German-Soviet non-aggression pact. World War II breaks out. Bessarabian Germans evicted, resettling in Warthegau in German-occupied Poland.
1941 Germany attacks Soviet Union. Soviets begin deporting Germans from western regions to Siberia, Central Asia.
1944 Soviets recapture Odessa. About 350,000 ethnic Germans retreat to resettle in Warthegau.
1945 War ends. Ethnic Germans forcibly repatriated to Soviet Union and deported to Siberia and Central Asia
1955 German chancellor Konrad Adenaur visits Moscow, Supreme Soviet restores civil rights to ethnic Germans. Confiscated property is not returned, Germans forbidden to return to their original homes.
1964 Deportation order of 1941 lifted.
1970 Moscow Treaty between Germany and Soviet Union leads to rising emigration of Germans from Russia.
1986 New law eases reunification of families, and emigration to Germany increases.
1992 Supreme Soviet allows creation of ethnic German region in Omsk. President Boris Yeltsin agrees to allow formation of autonomous Volga Republic.
1993-1994 German law limits immigration of Germans from Russia to 200,000 annually. Despite German efforts to discourage ethnic Germans, immigration of another 200,000 is expected.

Reprinted with permission of the Grand Forks Herald

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