Flotsam of World History: The Germans from Russia Between Stalin and Hitler

By Dr. Richard H. Walth

Published privately in Germany
English translation by Alex Herzog and Michael B. Herzog, 1996, 296 pages, softcover.

Richard Walth was born to ethnic German parents in Neu-Glückstal/Ukraine. He attended the Pedagogical Institute in Selz, Ukraine and studied extensively in Germany after World War II, obtaining a Ph.D. in political science. He has written two other books and is still among the leadership of organizations for Germans from Russia in Germany. The final stages of the war between Germany and the Soviet Union abruptly ended his education in the Ukraine. Before that, the Germans had taken over the Ukraine in 1941.

A great number of ethnic Germans, descendants of settlers who had been lured there by Catherine the Great and Tsar Alexander I, lived in the region adjoining the Black Sea. Official Germany had lost contact with these Germans and now, firmly in control between July, 1941 and the early months of 1944, set out to discover as much information about these ethnic Germans as possible. Dr. Karl Stumpp, a very well-known figure among Germans from Russia, headed a special army command charged with gathering demographic and genealogical information about as many villages with German settlers as possible. His people prepared the so-called Village Reports that carried standardized sections of data concerning the make-up and origins of these ethnic Germans, as well as economic, educational, and religious conditions before and after the German take-over of the Ukraine.

Dr. Walth summarizes the Village Reports masterfully. In addition to a brief, but excellent history and fate of the German settlers in the entire Soviet Union, his book also includes his own personal observations, an extensive bibliography, numerous appendices, as well as historical pictures and documents. The German original of the book is now in its second edition and has been translated into Russian and into English.

"It is fitting that Richard Walth is publishing this investigation, promoted via the project area 'History of Germans in Eastern Countries' at the University of Bonn, in German, Russian, and English. He thereby provides an important contribution to the current discussion of the fate of the Germans from Russia, by making available better, more source-data-based, and more objective information. This work will be gratefully welcomed not only by descendants of the Germans from Russia in America, but it should - considering the fact that there are decisions to be made - be carefully considered by the international scientific and political public as well." --- Dr. Udo Arnold, Professor of History at the University of Bonn, Germany

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