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

Dave Obee daveobee at shaw.ca
Fri Feb 11 08:19:44 PST 2011

I did a session on 'Where the heck is Volhynia' in Calgary in 2007. It covered this ground and more. So yes, I think it is a good topic!


----- Original Message -----
From: Beth Burke <mackzie at earthlink.net>
Date: Friday, February 11, 2011 5:29
Subject: RE: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] germans from russia from ukraine and so on
To: 'Dave Obee' <daveobee at shaw.ca>, ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org

> 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 
> somethingworth 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
> Obee
> 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
> points.
> 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
> existed.
> 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
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