NDSU Libraries publishes German-Russian who survived Gulag in Siberia, Russia

Media Release
November 1, 2001

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to publish this most important and dramatic biography, "Why are you still alive?: A German in the Gulag". The popular book was published in 1993 in the German language, Wieso Lebst du Noch?: Ein Deutscher im Gulag. Georg Hildebrandt was 90 years of age in July, 2001.

Many Germans died in Siberian detention camps during Stalin's dictatorship. As Germans, they were declared as public enemies and after 1941, they were accused of collaborating with the Fascists. Georg Hildebrandt's biography revives this story. He documents what happened with an amazing memory and precision. His biography is a shocking document of the Germans in the former USSR.

Dr. Erich Franz Sommer writes in the preface: "Testimonies were only rarely given by German camp inmates; more rarely yet, by those German colonists who experienced themselves forced collectivization in the Volga region, in the Ukraine, and in the Caucasus, and on the Crimean peninsula, and who have survived decades of resettlement in Siberia and Central Asia.

That is why this biography and the report of suffering by the Ukrainian-German, George Hildebrandt, are of documentary value. He speaks not only for himself, he speaks also vicariously for those who cries and prayers in prisons and in detention camps fell silent without finding an ear. George Hildebrandt's report, which I can confirm from my own experiences, recalls a chapter of the Soviet Union's past with which people are still trying to come to terms and, as far as this is possible, the Kremlin cannot be indifferent towards revising it."

Price of the book, "Why are you still alive?" is $35 plus postage payable to NDSU Libraries. Mail order to: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Georg Hildebrandt Book, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599. Website address for book: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/general/hildebrandt.html.

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