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The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the Present Paperback – January 11, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press (January 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0271019336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0271019338
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,062,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fred C. Koch, who came to the U.S.A. from the Volga German colony of Kolb at the age of five, has spent his entire career on newspapers in the State of Washington: in Wenatchee, Cashmere, Spokane, and Seattle. During World War II he served with the Office of War Information in London, the Office of Psychological Warfare in Paris, and military government in Frankfurt and Berlin. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and is active in the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By fkloster12@aol.com on March 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In a moving yet analytical narrative Fred Koch dispenses historical recounts of life for those brave and weary Germanic settlers looking for a new life in a strange and untamed land. This book tells of the faith and ingenuity that early German settlers invoked to survive the harsh realities of their new and very foreign home.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Diana L. Croissant on January 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book and the one entitled Wir Wollen Deutsche Bleiben are essential reads for anyone who comes from a family of Germans from Russia. This ethnic group is discussed almost never in American History books, and indeed, it is a group of people who often took more pride in fitting in to the United States rather than talking about their struggles when they first arrived.

But as a grandchild whose four grandparents arrived as teenagers from Russia but who were German and not "Roosian" (as they pronounced it), I found this book to be an excellent source for understanding my heritage and providing me all the more reason to be proud of my people.

Koch's research is very thorough. Read it if you are a German from Russia and want to know your heritage. Please read it if you are not, simply because it describes a group of people you may have never heard of before but people you should know as part of the tossed salad or melting pot (whichever metaphor you prefer) of the United States.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Furman on April 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always known my mother's family came over to the States from the German Frank Colony, but I knew nothing else. This book has supplied me with such a wealth of history about my ancestors. When and why they left Germany for Russia, when and why they left Russia for the U.S., how they lived, where exactly they lived. All of these questions are answered for my ancestors' colony and for the other Volga Germans as well. This book is a treasure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne E. Schmidt on December 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent source of history for those with Volga German backgroud. My Father-in-law came
to America as a twelve year old from a Volga River Village with his Mother and Brother, to escape Russian persecution,in 1923. I am writing his story about his life in Russia, as told to me by him and this book really gives me an insite as to the total picture of the Volga Germans place in history.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a youth growing up, even until I reached 37 years of age, my mother was convinced she was German. Then, after her own mother died two days previously, my mother learned, on her last night on Earth, that her mother actually was born in Russia. Mom died unaware of her Volga German heritage.

It would be seven years before I became aware of the initial 104 towns that pioneered the southern border of Russia in Catherine The Great's scheme to bolster her adoptive country's hold on the frontier wrested back from China.

The first book I found pertinent to the Volga Germans was Wireless Wollen Deutsche Bleiben: The Story of the Volga Germans by George J. Walters. That book led me to this, The Volga Germans in Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the present.

Fred C. Koch documents much more about he spiritual and religious thoughts and practices than did Walters. But, of greater importance, Koch gives us understanding and documentation regarding the Volga Germans emigration to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and other countries opt the New World.

For me, since my Mother's grandfather hailed from the Volga German Republic but he fathered Mom's dad in Argenntina, this aspect was a key importance.

Another nice feature of Koch's book is, 'A Roster of the German Colonies on the Lower Volga.' This feature should be a nice aid to genealogical researchers.

Overall, I rate this 360-plus page, 'The Volga Germans: In Russia and the America's from 1763 to the Present,' as a five star for anyone interested in the Germans who emigrated first to Germany, thence to the Americas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Schwabauer on August 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. If you are descendant of Volga Germans then you will find this a very intriguing book to read and will help you to understand what your ancestors went through and the journey from Germany to Russia and then to the America's
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Rosenow on January 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written and contains valuable information for anyone interested in the history of the Volga German people - how they came to be, what possessed them to leave Germany and immigrate to Russia.
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