By Johannes Philipps
Published in the German language by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, ND, 1996, 85 pages, German langauge
Johannes Philipps reports his experiences as a native of the former colony of Landau. While studying agriculture at the Agrotechnikum of Landau, Beresan Enclave, the agricultural division of the district sent him as a student specialist to Speyer to further educate about agriculture.
After he graduated in 1937, he obtained a position as an agronomist at the MTS of Waterloo; later the community of Speyer became his district for which he was responsible. Philipps became acquainted with the village of Speyer, beyond the career vocation, to contact knowledgeably with the village families and made many friends. He continues to correspond with some families even today.
The author provides a historical overview, before then describing the maturing prosperity of the colony of Speyer. Also, he does not omit the economic and political development, especially occurring from 1917 to 1941.
In this 85 page narrative with numerous pictures and maps, he describes the lives of the ethnic German farmers when they were still independent with their lives in the colchose. He reports in detail the phases of deprivation of "colonist" rights and about the bureaucratic persecution from the Soviet Empire.
At the end of his chronicle, he describes the disintegration of the colony of Speyer, and before their resettlement to the Warthegau (Poland). Meanwhile, he lists families going back to 1944.
Philipps comments about his memoirs, "So, now dear book, enter into the world archives and acquaint all the descendants of Speyer, wherever they are, and inform them about the heritage and history of their grandfathers and their grandmothers."
About the author
As a German Russian, Johannes Philipps has experienced all the sorrows shared with his countrymen. His youth was overshadowed by poverty and hunger, despite he came from a well-to-do farming family. He experienced the deprivation of citizen rights and brutal deportation of his family; fortunately, he was captured by the British troops and finally classified as a homeless person. Thus, he petitioned his emigration to the United States of America.
Philipps arrived in New York in 1952, where he adjusted in transition to a new life. In 1955, he re-located to California, where he accepted U.S. citizenship and was grateful to start a more stabilized life in this country. He based his book's authority on his own knowledge of East European history, interjecting his experiences which he had witnessed while living in the former Soviet Union.
Speyer im Beresaner Tal der Südukraine: 1809/1810 - März 1994 heute Pestschanyi Brod
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