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The Germans by the Black Sea between the Bug and the Dniester Rivers Paperback – November 1, 2000
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Original Language: German
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Drawing on his first hand experiences and knowledge, Landau native John Philipps begins with a once-over-lightly history of the area above the Black Sea in which the German colonists settled. He recounts this history from memory, mixing major historical movements with lesser details. He includes the full text of "The Memorandum of the Secretary of the Interior Ratified by Alexander I," the February 20, 1804 document under which the Black Sea Germans entered Russia. It is interesting to see how this differs from Catherine the Great's manifesto which set the guidelines for the first Germans who settled along the Volga. (Catherine's manifesto does not appear in this book but will be known to many readers and is readily available elsewhere.)
About the first half of the book is made up of thumbnail histories of individual mother colonies. A difference from brief histories that one might find in other books is that Philipps brings the story of their development into the time of the Bolshevik revolution. He tells of the deterioration of the villages and what became of the village and/or villagers. Brief essays in the book bear titles such as "Expansion and Founding of Daughter Colonies," "The Barges of Ulm (Ulmer Schachtel)," "The 100th anniversary of the Beresan colonists in Landau," "The College for Girls, During the Soviet Period `Agrotechnikum," "The Educational system," "The St. Raphael Church Built in 1863," "The Immigration of the Beresan Colonies," and "The Development of Agriculture."
On page 110, about the middle of the book, essays titled "Phases of the Deprivation of Rights," and "World War I and Its Results," move the reader into the era when things begin to deteriorate for the German colonists.Read more ›