“ What you from a twilight call now? “ Day of national grief of the Russian Germans ofthe Grief often unites people. Pulls together regardless of a nationality, age, religious beliefs, level of cultural development. So had to happen to the Soviet people at treacherous attack of nazi Germany to the USSR. However the ruling power solved differently - divided citizens of one state on personal and others`. “ Strangers “ in particular, there were Volga German.
There passed 70 years since one of terrible tragedies in the history of Russia - mass deportation of Volga German to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Most of the victims of this state action is already dead: many of them died even in deportation process, in “ trudarmeysky “ concentration camps, “ special settlements “. They died often disgraced, with a shameful brand “ fascist saboteurs and spies “. And in this article I would like to honor, first of all, by means of memories of the incident light memory of these innocent people.
About deportation of Volga German long time was suppressed, and we knew about it only thanks to stories of eyewitnesses of events. Today acts, documents on deportation, certificates are published, memoirs of victims, many historical works and literary works are written. But still in the majority of the Russian textbooks on national history deportation is called necessary and quite natural solution of the government, leaving the off-screen endured sufferings and deprivations of the German people.
In my opinion most fully, brightly and authentically the political scientist, the public figure Gerhard Voltaire who died in 1998 describes deportation of the Soviet Germans. It in the book “ Zone of absolute rest “ carefully generalizes what was seen personally during resettlement of his family from Donbass to the Akmola region in September, 1941, and heard about deportation from ten tribesmen, and also meticulously states contents of deportatsionny acts. As a result Voltaire manages to recreate a complete picture of an event.
Genocide or not?
Decree of Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR “ About resettlement of the Germans living in the Areas of Volga region “ of August 28, 1941 not only liquidated the Autonomous Republic of Germans of the Volga region and laid the foundation of general deportation of Germans from the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, but also, according to some modern historians, led to genocide on a national sign. At least, according to the signs formulated in the article II “ Conventions on the prevention of a crime of genocide and punishment for it “ the accepted UN 9. 12. 1948 and ratified by the USSR 18. 03. 1954 - the genocide of the German population does not raise doubts.
However opponents draw as argument an analogy to deportation of the Japanese citizens in 1941 - 1942 in the USA from the West far inland and by that they bring to thought that nothing extraordinary, as a matter of fact, happened to the Russian Germans. At the same time, however, usually forget to note that American Japanese guilty though guiltless nobody deprived of an opportunity to return to places of former accommodation many decades after completion of World War II and that, unlike the Russian Germans, them compensated the burdens brought then long ago and wholly.
Tell much about advantage of preventive measures, and it would be possible to agree with it: during war not to a sentimentality. State security demanded “ reinsurances “ and even the illusory possibility that Volga German will give support to fascist troops forced the power to apply so severe measures. Deportation did not surprise her contemporaries - all remembered repressions of the Soviet power and regular “ cleaning “ enemies of the people. All Soviet people hard worked in the back, endured the hardships and deprivations. The human death became a norm. However it is unfair not to speak still about the facts of rise in patriotic forces among the Germans who joined voluntarily ranks of the national rebels going to the front. More than two thousand statements came from the population of the republic of the Volga region to a military registration and enlistment office with requests for their inclusion in ranks of Red Army men.
The opinion expressed in literature that deportation of Germans of the Volga region was the act of blind rage and revenge for defeats at the front in the first months of war, hardly has under itself the basis as and after completion of war deportation was not is cancelled, finished. Volga German on initial places of eviction as they were begun to be transferred to other areas where living conditions and work were often even worse did not manage to recover. So, in Kazakhstan the deported Germans were moved deep into lifeless steppes, and from the southern Areas of Siberia repeatedly moved to Far North for use on fisheries where people in large quantities perished, and generally it were the German old men, women, teenagers who did not get to a trudarmiya.
Most likely, after catastrophic defeats of the first months of war the Stalin mode was in great need in an image powerful “ internal enemy “ on whom the Soviet leaders could cast blame for anything. Besides, the deported hardworking Germans became gratuitous “ rabsily “ for a hard labor in Asian part of the USSR. Since the beginning of 1942 in a trudarmiya (on official terminology - “ working columns “) on a hard work on buildings, a tree felling, the industrial enterprises and mines, it is frequent behind a barbed wire, the main part of the Russian Germans of working-age was directed. In the beginning took away the deported Germans - men, then and the German women. The number of the victims of a trudarmiya is precisely unknown.
After end “ trudarmeysky “ epics Volga German of 10 more years had to live in “ zones “ special settlements, as a rule, dragging poor existence under the power of petty tyranny of chiefs of special commandant`s offices.
Therefore when today some call descendants of Volga German “ rats from the sinking ship “ who ran away during reorganization to Germany, it is necessary to look for the reasons in the history of our country before without grounds drawing conclusions and to offend people.
Deportation of Germans affected in the most pernicious way all people and is concrete on each deported person because all Soviet Germans were accused in “ civil unreliability “ many guilty though guiltless died during the transporting, accommodation in new conditions, on a hard labor in a trudarmiya, the German families lost all property, the majority lost related touches and had no opportunity even to speak the native language.
Brand “ fascist “ pursued the deported Germans up to 1960 - x years until from insulters did not begin to take a penalty.
Officially Russian authorities recognized deportation of one of sad pages of our history only in the person of the Russian President B. Yeltsin who, acting in Federal Assembly on February 24, 1994, apologized on behalf of the Russian Federation to all citizens of Russia and their families affected by dispatch. And on it all. Though is not present, there were still scanty payments for the lost property, mockeries at the German people, rather similar to continuation, than on real compensation of the state which realized the fault.
The hand of support to the former citizens was given by Germany - allocated money to the deported Germans and their children, invited to return on the historical homeland. And after opening of the Iron Curtain the Russian Germans accepted the invitation. They were frightened not of reorganization though all know that worst of all to live during an era of changes, and often just remembered everything that was transferred to them secretly by parents.
Historical the people held sketchy, but bright and emotional memories of the deep tragedy of the Russian Germans in remembrance. Therefore there is a wish to change a few words of a preamble of the Constitution of Russia famous for all: “ We, distressful people of the Russian Federation “.
And just in Day of national grief - on August 28 to remember the victims of deportation: as about those who are not present any more, and about those which will celebrate this date too. To remember the Russian Germans who endured deportation and found forces to tell us of how it was. For example, about the famous writer Victor Klein who died in 1975 which dared to write to one of the first about deportation of Germans of the Volga region in the story “ Last sepulchral hill “; about Voldemar Gerdta who described deportation from the Volga region in the poem “ Volga, cradle of our hopes “.
And there is a wish to finish article with the poem of other German poet which was only four years old during deportation, Victor Schnittke (from Katya Schnittke`s archive) who managed to transfer all pain in a rhyme:
The tree is familiar to me it since the childhood
without name. There is no set of names,
which disappeared on a whim among wanderings vital and flight.
And I did not know many. What you
from a twilight call now? Too late. I remain
Ya. My way - only a gloom starless
and field dead where sows only death .