NDSU Libraries published new bibliography & reference guide on Germans from Russia

November 15, 2002

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce the publication of this landmark and important new book, An Expanded Bibliography and Reference Guide for the Former USSR's Ethnic Germans: Issues of Ethnic Autonomy, Group Repression, Cultural Assimilation, and Mass Emigration in the Twentieth Century and Beyond, by Eric J. Schmaltz, a recent Ph.D. history graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

With 246 pages in length, the book is dedicated to the Germans from Russia diaspora community. The project took several years to complete and grew out of the author's dissertation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, "Reform, Rebirth, and Regret: The Early Autonomy Movement of Ethnic Germans in the USSR, 1955-1989", and related research projects.

In the new millennium, this easy-to-read, but comprehensive, compilation should serve as a welcome and useful addition for the Germans from Russia community. In North America, it stands as the first such reference guide to come out in a generation. This study has taken advantage of the information explosion concerning the group since the end of the Cold War and the opening up of many Soviet archives. The 1990s were marked by the growth and advances in new information technologies, the breakdown of old political and ideological barriers, and the rise of the ethnic group's autonomy struggle in the former USSR and mass emigration movement to Germany.

This impressive research tool is appropriately designed for scholars, students, and general enthusiasts interested in the subject of Germans from Russia, especially themes connected with autonomy, repression, assimilation, and international population movements. It contains hundreds of sources and entries in three languages (English, German, and Russian), including hard-to-find materials. To assist readers, the bibliography is accompanied by a very detailed chronicle of events for the ethnic group in Russia from 1914 to the present. The compilation also provides an extensive list of abbreviations, a short list of defined technical terms in the bibliography, and a brief explanation on the bibliography's form and content of entries.

A detailed, 60-page bibliographical-historiographical essay supplements the 150-page bibliography. With numerous extensive endnotes, the essay incorporates materials coming out since Gorbachev, including a survey of ethnic-German newspapers and periodicals in the former USSR. The essay outlines the general research trends taking place in the former Soviet Union, Germany, and North America. At the same time, it distinguishes the major features of some of the bibliography's significant primary and secondary materials treating the ethnic group's present cultural and political standing. It also sheds light on the recent history and current status of the Russian Germans" predominant publishing groups, cultural associations, heritage societies, and academic circles here and abroad, and even offers some insight into the prospects for this global network of ethnic organizations--especially with respect to the Internet, the so-called "electronic village" or "digital town square" for this significant diaspora community. Equally pertinent, it recommends several potential topics for further study in North America on the history of cultural and political autonomy for Russian Germans.

As a bonus, the volume contains two appendices of original translations of the "Charter of Germans Expelled from Their Homelands" (written in Stuttgart on 5 August 1950) and the "Declaration on the Charter of Germans Expelled from Their Homelands from 5 August 1950" (composed in Stuttgart on 6 August 1960).

In this vast compilation, the author has utilized the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) archives and the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC), North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, along with the Internet and other major academic
institutions and private collections. In a concise layout, the bibliography is organized into 24 sections interspersed with brief annotations. The categories include: addresses of ethnic organizations worldwide; suggested Internet archival materials and electronic information sources; almanacs, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, and lexicons; research tools and bibliographies; published autobiographies, diaries, essays, letters, memoirs, novels, and poems; published compilations of documents and speeches (source books); unpublished documents or declarations; unpublished letters; films and videos; audio recordings; booklets, special reports, and published interviews; newspaper articles in Germany; North American newspaper articles (in English and German); ethnic-German newspaper articles in the USSR and CIS, including the Soviet-era Russian press (in German and Russian); publications sponsored by the German government; books (general works); books (specialized studies on the Russian Germans and Aussiedler); articles in books; journal and magazine articles (periodicals in English, German, and Russian); newsletters; posted Internet publications; important public electronic-mail exchanges; theses and dissertations in North America; and unpublished miscellaneous materials and manuscripts.

Dr. William Wiest at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, writes: "In a word, this is a `MUST HAVE' book for any serious scholar of the history and current status of Germanic peoples who trace their ancestry to or currently reside in Russia and the former USSR; for the rest of us, this book will be an equally important part of our personal libraries as we struggle to understand the broad sweep of complex and often tragic events that have shaped the lives of "unsere Leute'".

The price of the book, An Expanded Bibliography and Reference Guide for the Former USSR's Ethnic Germans, is $45 plus $4 postage payable to NDSU Libraries. Mail orders to: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, An Expanded Bibliography Guide Book, NDSU Libraries, P.O. Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599. Website book address: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/general/bibliography.html

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Libraries
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-6128
Last Updated:
Director: Michael M. Miller
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