[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] germans from russia from ukraine and so on

Beth Burke mackzie at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 11 05:29:29 PST 2011

Would this be a good topic for a convention session?  It seems to have
caught the attention of quite a few people online, so maybe it's something
worth covering by one of SGGEE's experts.

Just a thought....

Beth Burke
Verona, WI

-----Original Message-----
From: ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org
[mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org] On Behalf Of Dave
Sent: Friday, February 11, 2011 1:49 AM
To: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] germans from russia from ukraine and so on

Interesting discussion on how to refer to Volhynians, although I think it is
important that we don't get too bogged down in too much detail on the basic

The ethnic Germans living in Volhynia can be called Germans from Russia, or
Russian Germans, or German Russians, and so on. I also agree with Jerry
Frank when he says that context is important. To that end, when we talk
about Volhynian ancestry, we should note that about 98 per cent of the old
Volhynia gubernia is in present-day Ukraine. The German families in Volhynia
were German Russians, living in what is now Ukraine. Simple. 

Beyond that, I think there are some other generalizations that should be
avoided. It cannot be said that Poland or Ukraine did not exist in the 19th
century; they did. They came under the Russian Empire, and were not
independent countries as they are today, but there can be no doubt that they

In the same way, when I visited the Soviet Union in 1985, well before
Ukraine became independent, Kiev (now Kyiv) was the capital of Ukraine, as
it is now -- although now, Ukraine is a country on its own. I have been to
Volhynia a half-dozen times since independence, and every time, it's been in
Ukraine. It would be wrong to talk about Volhynia without telling people
where it is. Context matters.

Also, the statement that Volhynians were Polish citizens between the wars is
not correct. Western Volhynia came under Poland, eastern Volhynia came under
the Soviet Union.

Dave Obee

Ger-Poland-Volhynia Mailing List hosted by
Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe http://www.sggee.org
Mailing list info at http://www.sggee.org/communicate/mailing_list

More information about the Ger-Poland-Volhynia mailing list