New book published on Black Sea Germans
December 15, 2000
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo,
has published the new book, The
Germans by the Black Sea Between the Bug and Dnjestr Rivers,
written by John Philipps, Fallbrook, CA.
It was the desire of the author, John (Johannes) Philipps, "to
portray the former German colonies of South Russia, for example
Landau (Beresan District), historically, geographically and statistically
as a German portrait of the southern Ukrainian steppe ..." "I wanted
to raise the awareness in the descendants that their fathers and
forefathers were not unskilled sod busters, but rather diligent,
reverent, well-to-do farmers and that they have reason to be proud
of their ancestors."
Philipps presents first a brief, historical overview as well as
a description of the geographical location and climatic conditions.
Philipps includes historical notes and maps of the mother colonies
of the Beresan, Glueckstal, Kutschurgan, and Liebental districts,
South Russia (today near Odessa, Ukraine). Many of these German-Russian
immigrant families homesteaded in the Dakotas and the western Canadian
prairie provinces. For example, immigrant families from the Kutschurgan
villages settled in Emmons, Logan and Pierce counties of North Dakota
and Saskatchewan. Many immigrant families from the Glueckstal villages
settled in McIntosh and Logan counties of North Dakota as well as
McPherson and Campbell counties of South Dakota. Many immigrant
families from the Beresan villages settled in the Dickinson, Mandan
and Richardton areas of North Dakota, and near Regina, Saskatchewan.
Numerous drawings and maps as well as old original photos from
the time during the war (WW II) as well as more recent photos (1996)
characterize this book. The writer goes into agricultural development
as well as political and historical development since the era of
expropriation until the escape to the west and the islands of the
archipelago gulag. A list of German executed colonists with their
date of birth and the day on which they had been executed concludes
In addition to the German edition published in 1999, five indices
have been added: Map Index, Personal Name Index, Picture Index,
Place Name Index, and Subject Index.
The map of "German settlements and land owned by Beresan colonists
until 1918" has been greatly improved in detailed color format,
such as religious affiliations of villages and detailed explanations
which makes it very valuable to anyone researching the Germans from
Russia. Place names have been carefully verified.
As with his earlier publications in the German language, Speyer
im Beresaner Tal der Südukraine (1994), Die
deutschen Bauern am Schwarzen Meer (1996), and Die Deutschen
am Schwarzen Meer zwischer Bug und Dnjestr (1999), John Philipps
takes his own experiences as foundation for this literary work.
As German-Russian, John (Johannes) Philipps was born in the Beresan
colony of Landau and grew up in a farming family who, however, was
already expelled early from their home. He studied agronomy and
later worked at the MTS-Waterloo. His youth was overshadowed by
poverty and hunger even though he came from a well-to-do farming
family. He experienced the deprivation of citizen rights and wrenching
deportation of his family, was captured by British troops and finally
uprooted without a country, petitioned for emigration to the United
States of America. After he had conquered initial difficulties,
he arrived finally in New York, in 1952. He moved to California
in 1955, where he accepted U.S. citizenship. John Philipps experienced
Stalins destructive politics and after World War II, Philipps came
to America where he could build a new home in a new homeland.
The price of the book is $35 plus $3 postage payable to NDSU Library.
To order the book, write to: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection,
John Philipps Book, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599
(Tel: 701-231-8416; book web address: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/general/philipps3.html).