[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Volhynia as Germans from Russia - Revisited

Richard Benert benovich at imt.net
Wed Sep 6 14:52:54 PDT 2006

Your point is well taken, Jerry.  It is quite amazing that Volhynian Germans 
are given no place in this account.  It's especially amazing in that a major 
point of the article was to emphasize the sufferings of Russia's Germans. 
They could have elicited yet more pathos by pointing out the Deportation of 
1914-15 from Poland and Volhynia, and the severe persecution of Volhynian 
Germans during the 1930s.   I suppose that Polish Volhynian Germans, born 
after 1920, might not consider themselves to be Germans "from Russia", as 
the Bundestreffen official told Edie, but I can't imagine that Soviet 
Volhynian Germans could ever forget where they came from, and it seems 
inexcuseable that the Landsmannschaft would be so ignorant of them.

Incidentally, I plead guilty to being a bit confused about what Jerry was 
saying in his earlier post.  I thought his point was that Volhynian Germans 
felt estranged from Germany because German writers in general had ignored 
them.  I see now that he meant only GR writers, and that their estrangement 
was from the GR Community in Germany, not from Germany itself.  I hope my 
long contribution of yesterday will still seem relevant to something or 
other.  In truth, Volhynian Germans have had cause to feel estranged from 
both Germany and Russia.  This has something to do, I think, with the title 
of Kate Brown's book about Volhynia, "A Biography of NO PLACE".

Dick B.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jerry Frank" <FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca>
To: <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 10:20 AM
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Volhynia as Germans from Russia - Revisited

> In a previous posting a week or so ago, I suggested that Volhynian Germans 
> were marginalized by the larger GR community in Germany.  I just finished 
> reading this translated article, originally written in Germany in 1993 and 
> revised through 1997:
> http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/history_culture/history/people.html
> This clearly supports my contention.  The article is 41 pages long and 
> purports to be an overview of Germans in Russia and the former Soviet 
> Union.  Although there were about 200,000 Germans in Volhynia at the turn 
> of the century, I found only two short paragraphs in this article devoted 
> to their existence plus some additional scattered sentences, much 
> repeating previous information.  The Volhynians are not completely ignored 
> but I think you can see what I mean by their marginalization.  I don't 
> think I'd want to participate in a group that pays so little attention to 
> me, genealogically, geographically, ethnicly, etc.
> The article makes a further error with regard to references to Poland. 
> Poland did not exist as an independent nation at the time of the 
> referenced migrations.  Perhaps this is nitpicking.  Perhaps it is a 
> problem with the translation.  However, it is important to consider that 
> the Germans in this region were NOT migrating from one country to another 
> but were rather migrating within Russia.  This is an important 
> distinction.
> Jerry Frank
> Calgary, AB
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