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Many baby boomers remember their family building little communities around their nativity, Christmas tree, or train set at the holidays. Our family had at least two very small sets that were probably postwar, but apparently the best sets were made in the 1930s. It turns out that many German-Americans used the term "putz" the way we might use the term "putter." As in "Are you going to quit putzing around with those light strands and decorate the tree already?" During Christmas, many families "putzed" around with the Nativity display and the makeshift community around it right up until Christmas day.
According to one collector, Ted Althof, cardboard houses made to be filled with candy were around in the early 1900s.
At first there was no glitter to speak of - evidently it took the cardboard houses a few years to evolve into the glitter-covered buildings most of us remember today. On that note, I have noticed that some of these structures had flat roofs with "parapets." I suspect that the designers thought they were imitating Bethlehem architecture to attract nativity-minded customers. Ted has also tried, unsuccessfully, to find out who was designing all of these wonderful structures in pre-war Japan.
Putz houses are becoming recognized collectibles (some of the unique buildings are in high demand). In addition, several folks besides my friend Howard Lamey are building replicas for families and friends.
If you have photos of your glitterhouse collections or projects that you would like to share with our readers, please contact us, and pass along as much information about your houses as you can. Building a Glitterhouse - A detailed primer on starting your own glitterhouse hobby, including free downloadable plans and detailed instructions for making simple houses and churches. Building the Little Charmer - A new glitterhouse project that is a step up from our beginning glitterhouse. Building the Union Station - This original project by designer Howard Lamey is inspired by two traditions - the cardboard Christmas houses that were popular in US homes between 1928 and 1965 and the Lionel station that was popular for most of the 20th century. Building a Bay Window House - Bay windows were popular in Europe for centuries; they were also popular in the mid-20th century in North America.
Winter Trees from Floral Picks - A quick and inexpensive way to add interesting textures to your putz or Christmas village.
Free Scenery Set Pieces - Add a vertical dimension to your Christmas village or railroad for little or no investment. Welcome to Spook Hillâ„¢ - Howard has designed a whole, family-friendly, Halloween community built in the vintage "putz-house" style. Cardboard Christmas - A new resource about collecting and making glitterhouses, including cross-reference links to many hard-to-find, but useful articles, as well as a free forum for asking questions and sharing discoveries. Building from Scratch - "Papa" Ted Althof has collected tips and photos from other glitterhouse builders including Tom Hull and Ted Howard. Repair and Restoration - "Papa" Ted Althof publishes Tom Hull's tips for restoring damaged antique glitterhouses. Making "Flocked" Windows - Tom Hull's method for making "fuzzy" windowframes on celophane, with additional tips by author and glitterhouse collector Antoinette Stockenberg. Putz House Patterns from the 1960s - After commercial cardboard Christmas houses got hard to find, Earth-friendly magazine Pack-O-Fun published free plans and instructions for making your own cardboard Christmas village from recycled materials. Catherine Henry's Glitterhouses - The proprietor of the "Not Your Average Sock Monkey" blog has built several our glitterhouse designs, mostly with a few modifications you may find interesting.
About Nativities - Describes how German-American Nativity displays grew into communities and landscapes that included pasteboard, glittered houses and even electric trains. Visit any of the links below to see quality collectible Christmas gifts and decorations that have been popular with our readers.
The main goal of this strategy is raiding villages for their resources, but it can 3 star a base with ease too!
This strategy uses Giants and wall breakers to take out the air defenses first, then you deploy the healers and let the Giants take out all the splash damage. Search for villages with lots of resources and low level air defenses that are placed in the outside of a village and can be easy taken out. This step is very important, with air defenses active your healers have no change of surviving. Now it is time to deploy your barbarians, archers, goblins or wizards to take down the rest of the village and raid all the resources.
If you have done everything correct you should haves raided all resources and have at least 2 stars.
Landing on the coast of France under heavy Nazi machine gun fire are these American soldiers, shown just as they left the ramp of a Coast Guard landing boat, June 6, 1944.
Parachutes open overhead as waves of paratroops land in Holland during operations by the 1st Allied Airborne Army. Soldiers of the 55th Armored Infantry Battalion and tank of the 22nd Tank Battalion, move through smoke filled street. Corsair fighter looses its load of rocket projectiles on a run against a Jap stronghold on Okinawa.
A Marine dashes through Japanese machine gun fire while crossing a draw, called Death Valley by the men fighting there. Ominous – is the word that comes to mind, imagining what these men had felt at those exact moments.
When the pictures are from a time period with such atrocities, many of which were carried out by the Japanese, Jap works just fine. We don’t have to be apologetic about calling Japanese who straved and tortured our men,then they were Japs. If it’s really the 1st Airborn Division then the date of the picture must be September 17th 1944.
Don’t change the remark in picture 11, they were called japs back then and the picture is from that era, no need to be politically correct now. For over 50 years Japan has been faithful to a constitution written by an American (Doug MacArthur).
My Dad fought the Germans in Germany (Army) and the Japanese on their own soil (Air Force).
To tell the truth, though, I wish these photos did not exist because I wish the war had not happened.
IT WAS FAB I LOOKED AT IT AT SCHOOL AND ITS SOOOOOO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The picture of the paratroopers dropping over Holland was likely taken on September 17th 1944 during an operation called Market Garden. The Army and Navy combat photographers who took these photos were amazing people who carried cameras instead of guns into combat. Also, it is important that historical documents reference the language used during the time of the events. Historical racial terms are not pretty, but if they are removed from our history, how will we learn about not using them again? Truly a time of courage, honor, sacrifice, and service to the country, and more importantly, the people of that country. I do know that these pictures really help me and others to understand just part of what this must be like. I would like more information about picture #13 as I have my grandfathers photo album and this picture is in it. Who do we speak to for permission to use some fotos on promotional material informing veterans of their benefits? I just ran across your collection while searching for photos related to the March 9~10, 1945 firebombing of Tokyo. The courage of fighting men in War and their Equipment is astounding and must be Respected! This map shows the present day countries and the 1700's & 1800's German settlment areas stretching across eastern Europe. Russia obtained her first large German colony when Peter the Great annexed the Baltic lands in 1721. Beresan Map - All the known Beresan District villages are listed alphabetically with grid map locations and religious orientation.
Kutschurgan Map - Map of the German-Russian Kutschurgan District just north of Odessa, South Russia.
Volhynia Map - View a large map of the towns in the Volhynia District, now known as west Ukraine, just above Romania.
Banat is an ethnically mixed historic region of eastern Europe; it is bounded by Transylvania and Walachia in the east, by the Tisza River in the west, by the Mures River in the north, and by the Danube River in the south. The German-Russians were fervent Christians and were comprised mainly of Lutherans, followed by Catholics and to a lesser extent, Mennonites and Evangelical Baptists. The first German settlements started in the 13th century, when colonies were established along the Baltic littoral. In the mid 1700's, Russia acquired territories along the Volga and in Ukraine from the Tartars and from the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
The first good harvest of the Volga Germans appeared in 1775, and by 1940, the Volga Saratov region had in fact become Russia's bread basket. When the Bolshevik Revolution broke out, the Germans were divided as to whether to support the Reds or the Whites. During Stalin's brutal collectivization in the 1930s, many Germans were exterminated as "counter revolutionaries". The Volga Germans made a success of the Catherine the Great's German settlement program, trekking eastward to the Volga and colonizing new land. The German immigrants came to Black Sea region by the thousands, mainly from the southwestern German states of Wurttenberg, Baden, the Palatinate, the Hessian, and Alsace (now France), where the Napoleonic Wars had the greatest impact.
In spite of many hardships of the early years; crop failure high mortality rate among children, sickness among animals, the Germans were relatively happy in their adopted land.
It is important to know that the Communist persecuted Russians as well as other ethnic groups.
After WWII, the Soviet government began a denationalization program, whereby Germans were denied the opportunity to maintain their language and culture.
Since the beginning of Russian President Gorbachov's reforms in 1985, the possibility of establishing a German Republic in the Volga region has been discussed.
Southwestern Siberia Distribution: Altay Republic, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Tyumen, Tomsk oblasts, Krasnoyarsk kray and Republic of Khakassiya. There is an excellent research article, "The Deportation and Destruction of the German Minority in the USSR" by J. The material conditions of the labor army often lacked even the most basic standards of hygiene. The poor sanitary conditions, lack of food, and exhausting physical labor the Stalin regime intentionally imposed upon the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans in the labor army killed a large portion of them. At the Bogoslav labor camp, more than 12,000 out of 15,000 (80%) Germans in labor army battalions sent there in February 1942 perished before 1943.
The intent of the Stalin regime to partially physically destroy the German-Russians through deportation and toil in the labor army can be inferred from the deliberate imposition of deadly conditions upon them.
The deportations to deadly conditions and mobilizations under starvation rations were not accidental. The intent of the Stalin regime to assimilate the surviving German-Russians into Russian culture is also clear from its actions.
The ethnic Germans of the USSR no longer lived in compact traditional all German rural settlements. The Soviet government eliminated all German language education and publications in the USSR after the deportations. The lack of sufficient German language media and educational programs continued throughout the Soviet era. Moscow never contemplated a program to rescue the ethnic Germans of the USSR from cultural dissolution by reintroducing real cultural autonomy for the German-Russians. The deportations, special settlements, and labor army succeeded in fulfilling Stalin's goal of physically eliminating a large percentage of the Soviet Union's ethnic Germans and traumatizing the surviving remainder.
NKVD data on the group's population is incomplete, contradictory, and may in some cases be inaccurate. One clue to the scale of the demographic loss of the Germans is a report on the 1948-1949 re-registration of all special settlers.
This report gives the number of each nationality originally counted at the time of the deportation, the number discovered living in special settlements at the time of the recount, and a column of notes. For most of the nationalities the number of recorded deaths is close to the difference between the number originally deported and those found in the recount.
In 1948, there were 450,034 North Caucasians in special settlements, a difference of 158,715.
The actual number of special settlers missing from the NKVD figures is thus nearly 400,000. The problematic issue of natural deaths that would have occurred absent the deportations further reduces the number of deaths directly attributable to Stalin. The NKVD recorded 23.7% of the exiled North Caucasians perishing in special settlements between 1944 and 1948.
Despite the mass mortality resulting from the deportations, conditions in exile, and the labor army, most deportees physically survived these travails. Even today the ethnic Germans of the former Soviet Union have been unable to return to the areas from which Stalin deported them, primarily the Volga and Ukraine. Only a little over 1,500 Germans have returned to Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The descendants of those who survived Stalin's deportation have lost much of their German culture as a direct result of government policies aimed at eliminating a German ethnic presence in the USSR. Dispersed amongst much larger Slavic and Turkic populations and deprived of even the right to publish and receive education in German for decades, the ethnic Germans of the former Soviet Union have undergone considerable assimilation into the larger Russian culture. By 1979, 47.5% of all married ethnic Germans in the USSR had non-German spouses, mostly Russians and Russified Ukrainians. The rapid assimilation of the German-Russians into Russian culture is most evident in Soviet census data regarding language ability. Many German-Russians with poor German language skills may have identified German as their native language out of a sense of ethnic solidarity.
From July 1990 to December 1997, 65,000 Aussiedler (literally "settlers from abroad", the term refers to ethnic Germans from the former USSR and Eastern Europe) took the federal German language test. Between 1987 and the end of 1997, more than a million and a half Germans from the former Soviet Union emigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany.
The assimilation of these Spaetaussiedler (late settlers from abroad) into modern German culture is an official policy of Berlin.
The Germans remaining in the former USSR will undoubtedly continue to assimilate into Russian culture at an even more rapid rate as the number of ethnically conscious individuals continues to decrease through emigration, natural attrition, and assimilation of newer generations.


In several years the ethnic German population of the former Soviet Union which once numbered more than two million people will be negligible due to the combined forces of emigration and assimilation.
The success of the Soviet regime in destroying the German-Russian as viable national minorities is not unique. The deportations, experiences in exile, loss of native language media and education, Russification, and persistent discrimination all contributed to the disintegration of these ethnic groups and the absorption of their members into the dominant Russian culture of the USSR. This result is perhaps not surprising given the extreme nature and lengthy duration of national repression these groups experienced. The Stalin regime subjected eleven national groups to deportation in their entirety with the result that large numbers of them died from the deadly conditions in their places of exile. Despite never possessing a national territory and remaining scattered across the former USSR, in the 1989 Soviet census 91% of the Ahiska Turks listed Turkish as their native language. The reason for this difference lies in the comparatively weaker national cohesion of the extra-territorial minorities prior to their deportation.
They preserved this pre-national mentality along with their traditional culture in their isolated settlements.
The preservation of this culture depended largely upon the compact and isolated nature of the settlements. Nor did the settlers think of themselves as part of a greater cultural entity beyond their local villages. The lack of a single historical national territory inside the USSR with a compact homogenous population meant that the various German minorities of the Soviet Union had a considerably weaker ethnic identity than the Karachays, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Crimean Tartars, Kalmyks, and Ahiska (Meskhetian) Turks.
They have both reconstituted strong and culturally vibrant nation-states in the territory of their ancient homelands. The Russian-Greeks, Russian-Koreans, and Russian-Finns as well as the Russian-Germans are all in danger of disappearing as distinct cultural groups. Microsoft has announced today that a new update for Minecraft feature more gameplay elements is coming out soon.
Gold Strike Village is located off of Highway 49 just North of San Andreas, (Calaveras County), California. San Andreas is at the intersection of Highway 12 and Highway 49, California's Mother Lode Highway. The seed Dovahkiin generates an NPC village very close to spawn at (x=135, z=145) and inside the Blacksmith's chest are 4 diamonds amongst other items.
But the "breakthrough" came when Japanese-made pasteboard houses started coming with colored celophane windows and a hole in the back for electric Christmas tree lights, which were just becoming available to most families.
Ted has catalogued an amazing variety of these things and attempted to narrow down which kinds were made in which years. He did learn that the factories were very cruel places to work, a sad, ironic, footnote to this history. This one includes unique features such as a sand finish and picture window that reveals a "Christmas scene" Includes free downloadable plans and directions.
Her "Adirondack" house came after she had made several traditional glitterhouses and wanted to try modeling a real building. All information, data, text, and illustrations on this web site are Copyright (c) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 by Paul D. Once the splash damage buildings like the mortar and wizard towers are destroyed you sent in the rest of your troops. They come with the official NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) descriptions. In the lower background is the smoke of battle as Marine units move in to follow up with a Sunday punch. 40mm guns firing aboard USS HORNET on 16 February 1945, as the carrier’s planes were raiding Tokyo. A correction though for the NARA description of the second last pic, the place is HAKODATE not HOKADATE. Would have liked to see something from the home front – maybe women in the UK or USA working on the ammo as there were some really iconic shots there too. My Grandpa was a soldier and I know he would appreciate these photos being displayed for our generation to see. I was slightly dissapointed there was nothing that included Britain but is, in a way, nice to see a totally different angle from what I am used to. There are many things I like about the US (such as your inventions, music, movies, cities, etc), but what I adore the most is the tremendous respect you show your servicemen (ie.
These astounding photographs have brought the reality much closer to home, and thus had great impact.
The German Teutonic Knights, the remnants of the crusades, settled the Baltic area, now known as Estonia and Latvia. German workers emigrated to Russia in order to work in the new 1880 industrial centers of Russian Poland and Volhynia. In the mid-16th century, Banat was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, who retained it until 1718, when Austria acquired it (Treaty of Passarowitz). By the 1000th century, Russia had already been converted, with the assistance of the Czars, to Christianity by the Greek Orthodox church. A fourth German-populated area acquired by the Soviet Union was north east Prussia on the Baltic coast (today Kaliningrad oblast), which Stalin annexed in 1945. The area was controlled by knightly organizations until Sweden and Poland eclipsed them in the 15th century. The Russian government wanted to colonize these areas quickly, and Russian agents were sent throughout overpopulated Germany, soliciting settlers.
In the Baltic provinces, where most of the Germans were merchants and landholders, they generally supported the Whites, whereas in Russia proper and the Ukraine, a majority supported the Bolsheviks who promised land and peace.
The most important event in shaping their Soviet destiny, however, was the Nazi-German attack on the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. Therefore, an identical program was used by Czar Alexander to encourage German immigration into the Ukrainian areas of Volhynia, acquired from Poland in 1772, and to areas along the Black Sea, acquired from the Ottoman Empire in 1804.
The Czar himself and his Minister of Interior, Count Kotchubey, took a very personal interest in the matter.
Probably the most significant factor to the German migration came about when Napoleon Bonaparte ascended on the scene. Many historians fail to recognize that the absolute majority of the people killed during the repression years were RUSSIAN! The Catholics settled in Olgino, Otradnoe, and Barskoe, and the Lutherans lived in Novenkoe, Kruglenkoe, Podsosnovo and Prishib.
In 1942 all Germans, both men and women, were taken away from the villages and sent to army labor camps. The Germans in the labor army worked long hours with meager rations under dangerous conditions.
In April 1942, the labor army contingent in Tagillage received only 3% of their normal rations of vegetables and potatoes.
Overcrowding and the lack of clean linen and other basic sanitary measures led to repeated outbreaks of typhus, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases.
The Soviet government consciously engaged in acts that it knew would inevitably result in mass mortality among its German minorities. The deaths that inevitably occurred as a result of these actions must thus also be regarded as having been intentionally inflicted.
The physical destruction of the traditional communities of the ethnic Germans and their dispersal across the USSR made them extremely vulnerable to cultural assimilation.
Instead they lived scattered among a variety of peoples across a vast state whose common language of communication as well as the language of prestige and advancement was Russian.
Russian-Germans could not even speak German in public for fear of persecution during the 1940's and early 1950's.
The Soviet government never re-instituted schools using German as the primary language of instruction. Both the Soviet government and many ordinary Russians viewed the disappearance of the ethnic German minorities in the USSR as a desirable outcome.
The total excess mortality among the ethnic Germans during the 1940's is difficult to determine exactly. NKVD data on the population dynamics of the ethnic Germans is extremely sparse for the years 1942 through 1944.
In this third column most of the deported nationalities have a notation on the number of deaths recorded among them in the special settlements up until 1 July 1948. The NKVD recorded deporting 608,749 Karachays, Chechens, Ingush, and Balkars in winter of 1943-1944. Instead they have a notation that the number of German special settlers increased by 210,600 in 1945 due to the forced repatriation of many of those who had earlier escaped to Germany.
Not all of this loss, however, can be attributed to deaths due to the deportations and labor army.
Samuel Sinner concludes on the basis of much statistical work on this question that the excess unnatural mortality of the group for the years 1941 to 1949 is between 200,000 and 300,000 (14%-21%). Most ethnic Germans in the former USSR speak Russian better than German and many know very little or no German at all. A large factor in this assimilation is the high rate of intermarriage between ethnic Germans and Russians in the last fifty years. Removed from the all-German rural communities of their ancestors, the increasingly urban and industrialized Germans found themselves a small minority in a Russian dominated society. The failure of Wiedergeburt and other ethnic German organizations in advancing the goal of political and cultural autonomy for the German-Russians has prompted most ethnically conscious Germans in the USSR to emigrate to Germany. This policy combined with the assimilationist pressures inherent in a modern capitalist society are already having an effect.
Unlike Hitler's attempt to eliminate the Jews as a people which failed, Stalin and his successors' policy of eliminating the German-Russian as a people has been largely successful. Other extra-territorial national minorities in the USSR subjected to similar patterns of repression have also lost much of their cultural vitality as a result. But, there is a reason these groups proved so susceptible to assimilation in the wake of the deportations and others did not.
It then sought to dissolve the cultural identity of the surviving portions of these groups. The North Caucasians, Kalmyks, Crimean Tartars, and Ahiska (Meskhetian) Turks retained their native languages and cultures despite the traumas of exile and subsequent Russification.
The dividing line between those deported nationalities that experienced high levels of assimilation and those that did not is between extra-territorial minorities and nationalities native to the USSR. The various German settlements that established themselves in the Russian Empire from 1763 to 1861 did not think of themselves as part of a single German-Russian identity.
Germany did not yet exist as a national state during the founding of the German colonies in the Russian Empire. The various German settlements possessed different local identities based upon the local culture of the region of Germany they came from at the time they emigrated to the Russian Empire. The fairly recently arrived pre-national Germans generally had no deep ties to the land itself.
Rather they viewed themselves first as part of their local communities with their distinct cultures and folkways. German cultural autonomy in the USSR during korenzatsiia depended upon the Soviet authorities. This much weaker ethnic identity was for less able to successfully resist the assimilationist pressures of dispersal, Russification, and modernization. Usually the victimized group manages to out-survive the perpetrator regime and reconstitute its national existence. Not since the 19th century elimination of the Tasmanian aboriginal peoples and several native groups in California have whole ethnic groups been successfully destroyed. Minecraft Overworld Update is going to be released for both the Windows 10 Edition and Pocket Edition by the end of this month. So, when you visit his site (the link is listed below), be certain to check his history pages.
But if you know anything about the Japanese designers, please contact me or Ted and help us give credit where credit is due.
The key here is to wait… This is sometimes difficult but wait until the defenses are taken down. Maybe I am too much of a WW2 fanatic, but every time I look at those images, my mind starts to analyze every tiny detail in the picture. Looking at these photos reminds us of American ingenuity and our determination to win no matter what. An enemy nation(s) with distinct boarders and unique millitary insignia using traditional tactics attacked us and were clearly defeated to unequivocal surrender.
Chance Phelps, Randall Shughart, Gary Gordon, Alvin York, Frank Luke, Audie Murphy, Lafayette Pool, Richard Winters, etc). It was almost more interesting and telling of Humanity today as the pictures were telling of Humanity in the WWII era. Thank you for the possibility, and honour to those on both sides, who fought and lost their lives… or the quality thereof.
Maybe when you post the shots of the Bataan Death March, or of American fliers being beheaded by Jap officers in the South Pacific they’ll stop being so PC? If you took that mentality to everything why not just call black people the n word because that’s what they USED to be called.
My wife’s mother, a lovely lady, survived that inferno to become a refugee for the next 15 months. These Baltic Germans were descendants of both the Teutonic Knights and the Hanseatic traders of the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Towns that were in eastern Galicia are now in the Ukraine and towns that were in western Galicia are now in Poland. Under Austrian military rule, the region was organized as the Temeser Banat (or Banat of Temesvar).
The King of Hungary offered Teutonic Knights land in an attempt to create a barrier between Hungary and the Turkish invasions. During the Baltic Crusades, between 1096 and 1221, the north Germans and Scandinavians, through the institution of knighthood, christianized and settled in the Baltic region, now the modern countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Greek Orthodoxy was the official church of Russia and they severely limited the growth of other Christian faiths through government laws and decrees.
Towns with large German communities, principally traders, were 1) Baltics: Helsingfors, Riga, St. German culture in the Nordic Baltic flourished under Swedish rule, but in 1720, at the conclusion of the Northern Wars, these lands were ceded to Russia.


In 1918, the "Autonomous Communes of Volga German Workers" was established, and by 1924 it became the first autonomous ethnic region of the Soviet Union, the "Volga German Autonomous Republic" as part of the RSFSR. Instructions were issued to the Governors and other Crown officials in the South regarding the reception that was to be accorded to the German immigrants, financial support that was to be given them the areas in which they were to be settled, and other pertinent details.
During the early 1800's the Rhineland and southwest German states, were subjects of Napoleon. The hardship of journey and the first months in the new land were beyond the endurance of many. The Stalinist regime was not chauvinistic, it was simply anti-national and ethnic origin meant little to the regime.
By then, their situation had already started to improve, however, as Khrushchov began to loosen the old Stalinist restrictions.
Germans of Kazakhstan have later made a demand to create an autonomous republic of Kazakhstan to substitute the Volga Republic.
The basic reason of German resettlement in Altai was land (high cost in Privolzje and the Ukraine), and starvation. In 1929 there was a new attempt to emigrate, Some managed to leave for America and Canada, but the majority of the emigrants had to return.
Frequently they worked 14 hours a day felling trees, mining coal, extracting oil, building industrial complexes, and other physically demanding tasks.
The Stalin regime actively sought to further the natural Russification inherent in such conditions by banning the German language from public expression in the USSR.
The loss of German language education and media greatly promoted the loss of German language competency among the descendants of those who survived the special settlements and labor army. Instead they only allowed a few token German language newspapers and German as a foreign language classes. Hence those years with the highest mortality rates for the Germans also have the least available statistical information from the Soviet archives.
The NKVD initially deported 228,392 Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians, Armenians, and Greeks and recounted 185,707 in 1948 for a loss of 42,685. The total number of Germans originally deported plus those later repatriated to special settlements is 1,235,322.
The NKVD recorded the release and escape of over 50,000 Germans from the special settlements during this time.
Nevertheless, the huge loss of life suffered by the ethnic Germans certainly serves to categorize the deportations, special settlements, and labor army as crimes against humanity.
The dispersal entailed in the deportations permanently destroyed the traditional communities of the German-Russians and their ability to maintain their culture and ethnic identity. The damage caused to the German-Russians as a distinct and viable cultural group by Stalin and his successors appears at this point to be irreparable. Ethnic Germans were thus far more likely to seek mates outside their nationality after the deportations than they were before the dispersal. A 1995-1996 survey by Barbara Dietz and Heike Roll of Aussiedler arriving in Germany from the former Soviet Union from 1990 to 1994 clearly showed the effects of Russification on this group. Another survey concluded that only 57% of the Aussiedler from the former USSR spoke fluent German. This recent emigration thus represents a significant majority of the German population of the former Soviet Union. It is doubtful that the unique cultural characteristics of the Spaetassiedler acquired from life in the Russian Empire and USSR will survive more than a few generations. Ethnic Koreans, Greeks, and Finns have all experienced rates of linguistic assimilation into Russian similar to that of the Germans. The destruction of the cultural identity of the deported peoples was very successful in the case of extra-territorial minorities.
Despite remaining dispersed in exile without full rehabilitation for a period of time equal to that of the Germans, both the Crimean Tartars and Ahiska Turks underwent very little assimilation into other cultures. Indeed, they did not think of themselves as being part of a greater German identity prior to settling in the Russian Empire.
German life and culture in the colonies remained frozen in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The creation myths linking the origins of a particular people to the particular piece of territory they inhabited common among many cultures obviously had no counterparts among the German settlements in the Russian Empire. Hence individual ethnic Germans in the USSR often had no ties beyond their own immediate communities and a misplaced sense of loyalty towards the Soviet government. Both the Armenian genocide (Aghed) and Holocaust (Shoa) failed to eradicate the victimized peoples. Ted was a train collector who came across as set of these a few years ago and wondered if anybody had ever bothered to do serious research on them. We don’t use words like that anymore BECAUSE they were used in the past and what they have done and how they affect people. Beginning in 1762, German agricultural colonies were established in the Volga, Ukraine, Crimea, and Caucas areas. Later a civil administration took control of the northern part of the area, and the Austrian rulers encouraged the settlement of colonists from the Rhineland (Germany), Lorraine (France), and Luxembourg.
Today, the Russians (Slavic race) are a minority in Estonia, and some say they are suffering from "blatant nationalism" backed by Estonian authorities who want to create a small mono-ethnical state dependent not on Russia, which is in decline, but on Germany, which is in its prime. Catherine II issued a manifesto, which granted Germans religious freedom, self-government, local control of schools, and freedom from military and other state services. Duc de Richelieu was given the task of buying up suitable agricultural land in the given areas of Odessa region.
These districts were required to furnish men for his armies, give extensive financial support, and required to quarter the French troops.
The journey by boat and wagon and often on foot, took from two to five months, and often meant wintering on the way. The Germans were thrifty and were able to buy up land all over the countryside from Russian Nobles.
In 1964, Khrushchov abolished the decree by which Stalin declared the Germans to be a fifth column. The restoration of German national districts within some of Russia's 89 federation subjects has also been discussed.
The mass resettlement to Siberia began at the end of 19th, and the beginning of 20th, centuries. Altay Mennonites basically came from the earlier based affiliated colonies of Orlovo-Zagradovskoi, Ufa, Samara, Orenburg, and the Crimeas. In 1930, a significant portion of the inhabitants moved to the Far East, and there, whole villages, due to winter across-freezing in Amur, left for China, and from there to America.
Till 1956, Germans who came back from army labor were under supervision of a special commandant's office.
This system linked the food rations of members of the labor army to their fulfillment of fixed work quotas. The loss of these institutions ensured that the assimilationist trends set in motion by the deportation remained unimpeded. The figure does not include the approximately 226,000 Germans already living in the Urals, Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia in 1941. This leaves 350,000 ethnic Germans missing from the statistics of the special settler count in 1948.
A briefly lived movement to reestablish German autonomy in the Volga led by Wiedergeburt (Rebirth) from 1989 to 1993 was unsuccessful and largely collapsed due to internal strife.
Children of such mixed marriages usually ended up being raised in households more Russian than German. According to the survey, only 8% of the Germans from the former USSR in Germany lived in exclusively German language households.
The more heavily Russified Germans remaining in the USSR have even worse German language skills. These emigrants are immersed in a German culture very different from the one that existed in the Russian Empire and USSR for more than 200 years. They emigrated to different regions of the Russian Empire at different times from different German states. The immigrants from the various German states to the Russian Empire left Germany during a pre-national era. The German colonists received their various rights and privileges from the Russian government beginning under Catherine II. Despite the massive destruction of human life and cultural artifacts involved in both these events, neither the Armenians nor Jews are in danger of cultural extinction today.
They unfortunately share this fate with several other extra-territorial minorities in the former Soviet Union. There were already more than 100,000 Germans in southwestern Siberia and Kazakhstan, as a result of migration during the tsarist period. The Governor of Taurida was instructed to find land in the Crimea for the experienced wine-growers among the immigrants. In addition they were heavy taxes to be paid, together with inclement weather, made conditions so unbearable for the peasants that many were eager to leave for Russia. Upon arriving at the border the immigrants had to face a quarantine period and then lived in primitive barracks for weeks or months before the settlement site was ready.
Soon the Russians became jealous and pressure was brought to bear on the government to withdraw the special privileges, which had been granted to the settlers. Deportations of minorities are terrible acts of atrocity, but we should not forget that Russian people suffered like all others.
In 1972, the Germans were allowed to return to the Volga-region, but no mass migration took place.
A difficult issue is the question of establishing a German Republic in the Kaliningrad oblast.
A transfer law was passed on September 19, 1906 in the Altay district for settlers from the European part of Russia, In November 9, 1906 there was a land reform decree.
In 1950's the amalgamation of collective farms began, which liquidated many German villages, and their inhabitants were moved into larger collective farms. During 1942 and 1943, bread rations ranged from 300 to 800 grams a day depending on how well they fulfilled these quotas. During 1942 and 1943, these conditions defined and frequently ended the lives of the Germans conscripted into the labor army.
The NKVD also confined these Germans to special settlements, but they are not counted among those "deported" in the document under scrutiny. One of the fundamental weaknesses of the recent ethnic German political movements in the former Soviet Union is their lack of an ethnically conscious mass base.
The percentage of native speakers refers to those Soviet citizens who identified German as both their nationality and native language. In many cases, the only thing that identifies them as being of German rather than Russian descent is their surname. This dependence upon the Russian government greatly shaped German-Russian attitudes to the central authorities. In the 1880's, the industrial growth of Russian Poland led to a large influx of German industrial workers into the Poland and Volhynia areas. After World War I, the victorious Allies divided it by the Treaty of Trianon (June 4, 1920). Kontenius was to supervise the subdivision of the land, the establishment of the newcomers in their village sites, the distribution of support money, and the acquisition of livestock and farm implements. Eventually the government complied with the wishes of Russian people and in the spring of 1871 the colonists were informed by the Ukase of the imperial government that their privileges were gone except for religious freedom. This idea was supported by the 1990 Convention of USSR Germans in Moscow and various German organizations in Russia. In the Kuludinskaja steppe (prairie) the government allotted 60 thousand dessiations of land for settlers.
In 1916, one more volost was formed with Xorise as its center, which completed the formation of German settlements in Altai.
Now the German villages of the Altay territory are experiencing a period of heavy emigration to Germany in masse. The Volga-German Republic was established in 1918, and at the time, was home to half a million Germans. Hungary retained the district of Szeged, Romania acquired the large eastern section, and the remainder went to Yugoslavia. In 1767, the Germans became serfs in all but name, as a law was enacted that forbade them to engage in any craft other than agriculture. Facilities for the foreign settlers was still far from ready before the end of 1803 when eight transports of more than 200 families, well over 1,000 people led by Ziegler had arrived in Odessa. Despite restrictions, the German population in Kaliningrad is rapidly increasing (from 200 in 1989 to 4,000 in 1993). Settlers received an allowance and loan, were released from having state duty for three years, and from taxes for five years. Many German "Kulaks" were deported to Kazakhstan during the communist collective period of 1927 to 1933.
The name banat has its origin in a Persian word meaning lord, or master, and was introduced into Europe by the Avars; it came to mean a frontier province or a district under military governorship.
By 1959, in spite of massive hardships, the German population managed to increase to 1.6 million.
In 1809, German settlers began arriving in the Beresan Valley, about 80 miles northeast of Odessa.
Now they were required to give up their culture, language, and deliver their sons to the Russian army and to become Russians.
With the presence of free and inexpensive land, and the privileges, many settlers were enticed to move to Altai. Be sure to look at previous years' pages to see other buildings, accessories, and arrangements. The Russian government's failure to deliver seeds on time each spring, harsh winters, and torrid summers, Tartar raids, and general homesickness, made their hardships even tougher.
When they arrived in Russia and saw the horrible conditions there, some of the families returned to Germany. Deep down in their hearts they knew that eventually they would also have to surrender their religious freedom.



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