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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53384
Doc. No:TL23338
Call number:‭3199685‬
Main Entry:Ruth A. Nielsen
Title & Author:The Volga Germans: A continuing sagaRuth A. Nielsen
College:Drew University
Date:2005
Degree:D.Litt.
student score:2005
Page No:241
Abstract:Catherine the Great, the Czarina of Russia, wished to populate her eastern lands along the Volga River. She invited the German survivors of Europe's Seven's Year's War to come to these lands and farm. She promised them aid, freedom from military conscription and tax deferments for up to thirty years. They could settle wherever they wished and practice their own religion. In truth, they were required to settle along the west and east banks of the Volga. They became victims of the thievery of the Kalmyks and the Cossacks, and endured the enslaving massacres of the Kirghiz. They survived the killing cold of the winters and the droughts of the summers. Through their hard work and strong Christian faith they were able to survive and in many instances, prosper. They lightened their burdens with music and celebrations. They accomplished Catherine's goal of peopling the steppes and developing the land, and established mills and factories as well. Yet, there were forces working against them. The anti-foreign tide of 19th century Russian Slavophiles, the decreasing land and the loss of military exemption, caused them to disperse to other regions in Russia, as well as to other lands in North America, such as the United States and Canada, and to Argentina and Brazil in South America. To these areas they carried their characteristics of hard-work and deep faith, their music and their humor. They now plowed the prairies and the pampas and tried to keep alive the culture and language, which distinguished them. To those who stayed behind in Russia, life would become a bitter struggle. They would suffer through World War I, the Bolshevik Civil War and its political famine. They would endure a barbarous exile in 1941 and almost be exterminated. Decades later they would emerge from the frozen wastes of Siberia and labor camps of Kazakhstan to try to reclaim their Germanness and return to Germany, or establish a new life in their place of exile.
Subject:Social sciences; Exile; Germans; Russia; Volga River; European history; History; Minority & ethnic groups; Sociology; 0582:History; 0335:European history; 0631:Sociology; 0631:Minority & ethnic groups
Added Entry:J. Pain
Added Entry:Drew University