Immigration of Germans to Russia

I was reading the information at I saw the mention of a possible train route from Tiraspol through Kischinew and I remembered seeing something about the journey which was passed down to me. I looked it up and all it said was "They crossed the Tilgulskij Liman on flat boats as the bridge was no more. They started out from Odessa on a train, rode 24 hours to the border of Austria. Then to Berlin. A day or two later they got to Brennen, Germany where they stayed 2 days. The ship "Herman" stopped at south Hampton, England to take fuel. They landed in Baltimore 14 days from Brennen. (the year was 1872 - this was the Heinrich Kiehlbauch family from Neusatz)

Message of response from Thomas Stangl, Sterling, Virginia

Thanks for the story, which I found rather interesting--it gives a much different route from Odessa to Bremen than I would have expected.

If they boarded the train in Odessa and travelled to Austria, they would have passed through Tiraspol [the only way across or around the Dnestr Limon in 1872]. BUT, instead of continuing west to Jassy in Romania, they apparently turned south at Bendery and took the route through Galatz. After that there are several ways to go to arrive at the Austrian border [probably at or near Vienna]. But I suspect that the route led through Bucharest, Craiova, Timisoara, Budapest and Bratislava. From Vienna [they may not actually have gone into Austria, but may have stayed on the Slovakian side of the border], they probably went north through Brno, Prague, Dresden and then Berlin. To get from Berlin to Bremen, they could have gone through Hamburg or stayed south through Hannover.

I know that many who left from the areas to the north of Odessa, did NOT take the above route. There is the major rail line going north from Odessa which branches near Rasdelnaje [one branch goes west to Tiraspol]. The north line continues through Kotovsk [Birsula] and NW through Lvov [formerly Lemberg], and on to Warsaw. From Warsaw one would travel west through Posen [Poznan], Berlin, and then to either Hamburg or Bremen.

Another route was to continue northwest from Kotovsk [Birsula], but south of Vinnica there is a rail line which goes north through Zitomir [Shitomir] west of Kiev, to Minsk, then through Vilnius to the ports in Lithuania. The port of Libau [now Liepaja] was heavily used by Germans emigrating from Russia to America on Baltic steamers through the North Sea to England. These folks usually landed on the east coast of England or Scotland, took a train across to Liverpool or Glasgow, then on to America on transatlantic vessels.

Unfortunately, most immigrants never bothered to write down, or tell their descendents, the route that they took to America. It would be nice to "collect" the stories that DID survive, and publish them on some of the LISTSERVS or the websites of the various Germans from Russia organizations.

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