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A List of Volga German Refugees

Village Coordinators - 

Denise Grau

Kevin Rupp

Colony Movement


Who arrived at Frankfurt on the Oder
From Minsk on December 9, 1922

  --Emma Schwabenland Haynes

Population of the Village

n the year 1921, Russia suffered a widespread drought, which was especially severe along the Volga River. Ordinarily a large amount of grain had been on hand for such an emergency, but the country had just gone through a terrible Civil War, and all of the food had been requisitioned by marauding armies. As a result, deaths from starvation began. Many inhabitants of the Volga Region left for the Black Sea area or the Caucasus, in hope of finding something to eat. Others traveled to Minsk near the Polish border, hoping to go to Germany and continue from there to North or South America.

Late in 1922, the German Red Cross signed an agreement with the Polish authorities allowing refugees from Minsk direct transit across Poland. As a result, 889 Volga Germans arrived in Frankfurt on the Oder on December 9, 1922. Practically all of them had relatives or close friends in North or South America, who would presumably help them to journey to the New World. The majority of these emigrants had come from the Wiesensite (east side) of the Volga, with Marienburg, a Catholic colony, heading the list with 83 emigrants. It is interesting to note that such Bergseite colonies as Balzer, Bauer, Kamenka, Kolb, Messer, and Norka, had no representatives in this group. After their arrival, the refugees were placed in a camp at Frankfurt on the Oder, where Dr. Valentin Rothermel, himself a Volga German, took care of their needs.

The names of these refugees were printed in a supplement to the first issue of 1923 of Der Wolgadeutsche, a weekly newspaper then published by Volga Germans living in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Rothermel brought a copy of this list to Chicago, Illinois, where he lived in 1924. Years later, the list became the property of Mr. Gottfried Gross of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. In 1979 it was photocopied by Mr. And Mrs Gottfried Heinze of Orange, California, who, realizing the importance of the document, sent a copy to AHSGR headquarters. Gottfried Heinze is No. 151 on the list. He was an eleven-year-old boy when his parents arrived in Germany in 1922. Hi family's original home had been in Dreispitz Chutor on the Wiesenseite of the Volga, rather than Dreispitz as is shown on the document.

The list (first part) appeared in the AHSGR's Spring 1982 issue, and concludes in a summer issue.

Other Villages included in this list are:





Additional refugees arriving at the Heimkehrlager at Frankfurt on der Oder in 1922

The Spring 1988 Journal of AHSGR contains another article listing refugees arriving at the Heimkehrlarger at Frankfurt/Oder in 1922 (p.35). Edward R. Gerk compiled the list from the German publications Wolgadeutsche Monatshefte and Heimkehr and grouped them by their home village.

Below are the refugees from Mariental.

Refugees from Mariental
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