Glückstal, Neudorf, Bergdorf and Kassel
Memorial Erected by American Descendants of German Settlements Who Founded the Glückstal Colonies

Glückstal Colonies Research Association
May 2002

Monument Dedication in Moldova Remembering the Germans from Russia
The Village of Glueckstal by Elena Kammerer, student, Glinoye, Moldova

Former church in the village of Glückstal; today cultural center in Glinnoje, Moldova.

The museum and this monument are placed here in memory of "our people," the Glückstal Colonists. They were Lutheran and Reformed Protestants who sustained their large families as craftsmen and farmers on the rich soil of these valleys. They sang in their churches, toiled in their fields, and were buried in their cemeteries, leaving their children and grandchildren to carry on the rhythmic peasant life. For more than a century they lived peacefully alongside other ethnic groups. These German-speaking settlers called this place Glückstal - "Valley of Good Fortune" although it would not always be that. This monument is dedicated to those who once lived here and endured, and to their descendants wherever they are now scattered. May they always carry with them the good fortune of this valley - the best virtues of the people known as the Glückstalers.


1762, 1763: Czarina Catherine issues her Manifestos, which invite German speaking agricultural settlers into Russia. (Volga Germans)

1804: Czar Alexander I’s decree, reaffirming his grandmother’s Manifestos, which invite families of German-speaking farmers and artisans to settle in the general area of the Black Sea, in an area of Southern Russia called “New Russia.”

1804: First three families of German settlers arrive in Glückstal district. By 1818 they are joined by other settlers from Baden, Württemberg, Pfalz, Alsace, Poland and Hungary.
With help from the Russian government, four main villages-known cumulatively as the Glückstal Colonies—were established in the Odesskaya Oblast in the following years:

1809: Glückstal (Glinnoje, in Chornenko Valley)
1809: Bergdorf (Kolosovo, in Chornenko Valley)
1809: Neudorf (Karmanovo, in Chornenko Valley)
1810: Kassel (Veliko-Kumarovka, in Kumarovka Valley)

1858-59: Census shows Glückstal villages’ population increased in half a century by three to five times the original number of inhabitants:

Bergdorf: 1360 people; 168 houses.
Glückstal: 1875 people; 259 houses.
Kassel: 1637 people; 214 houses.
Neudorf: 1684 people; 219 houses.

1860’s: Glückstal Colonies buy or lease land from the Russian crown and develop “daughter colonies” in the vicinity, including Krontal, Kleinbergdorf, Neu-Glückstal, Marienberg, Sophiental, Friedenstal, and many others.

1871, 1874: Czarist decrees abolish “special colonist” status of German settlers, and institute conscription of German colonists, previously exempt, into Russian military.

1872-1914: One of four Germans from Glückstal villages emigrate to America.

1905-1918: Glückstal colonists serve in great numbers in Russian military during Russo-Japanese War and World War I.

March 1944: German settlers evacuated to Occupied Poland by German Army.

The Glückstal Monument dedicated on May 24, 2002.

Village Information:

The beginning of the settlement occured at the end of 1804 when three families of Württemberg immigrants who were directed by the government officials to the small Armenian village of Grigoriopol on the Dniester. Other Württemberg families who had arrived at Ovidiopol were likewise settled here in subsequent years: 67 families in 1805; 9 families from Warsaw in 1806; 24 families from Hungary in 1807; and 3 families from Germany in 1808/9. At the end of 1809 the German colony at Grigoriopol consisted of 106 families, numbering 525 souls (272 males and 253 females). The Grigoriopol families were resettled to the current location of Glückstal in 1809.

The immigrants who were originally settled here consisted of 68 families, with a total of 263 persons (136 males and 127 females). They came from the following countries: from the Kingdom of Württemberg, 35; from Elsass, 21; from the Grand Duchy of Baden, 4; from the Pfalz, 1; from Prussian Poland,1;from Hungary, 1; from Hamburg, 1; from Hesse, 1. The settlers arrived in 1808 and 1809 in parties, without leaders, under the privileges of the Russian imperial crown.

There were originally 100 families (259 males and 231 females). Twenty-eight families came from Württemberg, 37 from Alsace, 7 from the Palatinate(Pfalz), 11 from Baden, 2 from Saxony, 3 from Prussia, 11 from Hungary, and 1 from Warsaw. In 1814 eight more families came from Prussia and in 1815, 3 families arrived from Galicia. The settlers immigrated in 1808 and 1809 in groups, without leaders. Those who came in 1808 were billeted with the colonists of the Liebental district until the spring of 1809.

When these colonists arrived in the late fall of 1809, they were placed in winter quarters in the homes of the already established colonies of Glückstal, Neudorf, and Bergdorf. The following spring 99 families were settled in the Kumarovka valley - 60 families from Alsace (France), 12 from Baden, 9 from Rhine Palatinate, 6 from Württemberg, and 12 from the vicinity of Warsaw, Poland. They numbered 399 souls (205 male and 194 female). They did not arrive in organized parties conducted by special guides, but as individual families who joined regular transports. When Kassel was being established in 1810, the colonist Heinrich Heilmann of Glückstal served as guide and advisor.

View a map of Villages


Glückstal Memorial Monument Dedication sponsored by:

Glückstal Colonies Research Association
611 Esplanade
Redondo Beach, California 90277 USA

Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Website :

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