Origin, Development, and Disintegration of the German Colonies near the Black Sea, with the Example of Kandel from 1804 to 1944
Review by Michael M. Miller
Bosch, Anton and Josef Lingor. Entstehung, Entwicklung, und Auflösung der Deutschen Kolonuen am Schwarzen Meer am Beispiel von Kandel von 1808 bis 1944. Stuttgart, Germany: Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland, 1990.
This book is scholarly yet easy to read. The German authors, who were born in the village of Kandel, Kutschurgan Enclave, researched historical material thoroughly and wrote in-depth about the German colonies by the Black Sea. This academic work adds new dimensions, viewing the colonist villages in South Russia within the context of Russia and world-wide immigration. New discovery of information reveals the reasons why 1) some emigrants traveled the land route vs. the way by the Danube River, 2) the use of American horses for breeding purposes, 3) how the Black Sea region and its colonists were perceived beyond the 'borders' of present-day Ukraine. Such details and insights makes reading interesting.
Anton Bosch and Josef Lingor begin by tracing geographical history almost 2000 years back, thereby giving a clearer insight defining this land and its people. They describe in detail the geography, soil condition, and agricultural customs of this region so vividly the reader can imagine himself vicariously there in that historic era.
Industry and trade, as well as a brief history of Odessa, do not disappoint either. They outline a very interesting chapter on the water supply. The economic achievements of the German colonists are emphasized again and again. Their prosperity allowed many Germans to hire Russians or Ukrainians as a labor force. This relationship provided mutual benefit for both sides, but none foresaw events of today.
The book includes chapters on the religious life and on the dialect which was able, in spite of many adversities, to survive to this day. Some short stories traditionally told on long evenings are included to compare the peculiarities of the dialect language. One letter of correspondence expresses:"...awwer bei uns hat der ärmscht Kolonischt meh als der reichste Landwert bei eich d'haam..." Some rare or unusual photographs, maps of how the refugees fled, and maps of village plats are also included.
Anton Bosch and Josef Lingor have authored a major scholarly publication in the German language to the literature of the Germans from Russia. Since his retirement in 1996 in Nürnberg, Anton Bosch continues his studies in Germany for his doctorate specializing on East European history and the Germans from Russia. He is an active member of the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland, Stuttgart.