German colonies in Siberia at the end of the Nineteenth to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

Monograph by Peter Wiebe and Ivan Krott

Russian Germans, Germans from Russia… Much has been written about this socio-ethnical group that was formed more than 250 years ago when Catharine the Great invited foreigners to settle on the outskirts of the Russian Empire; about this people’s tragic destiny and today’s problems.  To understand the Russian Germans phenomenon, in addition to socioeconomic, political, and socio-cultural analysis of their situation, the knowledge of their history is essential. The causes of many of current issues of Russian Germans and Germans from Russia lie in the past; it is not possible to understand the modernday processes without uncovering these causes.

Parallel to immigrating to America and Canada, Germans started migrating within the Russian Empire. By the 1860s the existing economic, religious, and demographical contradictions in the original “mother colonies” in the European part of Russia paved the way for the hike in migration and emergence of “daughter” colonies in different parts of Russia, including Siberia.

The scope of the research is German settlement areas in Siberia. Before the 1917 Revolution they were in Tobolsk, Tomsk and Yenisei gubernias and Omsk uezd of Akmolinskaya oblast. After administrative and territorial changes in the first decade of the Soviet power, they became part of Omsk, Altai and Yenisei gubernias and later of several districts of Siberia Krai. The overwhelming majority of German colonists lived in the two main areas of the German colonization in Siberia, Omsk and Altai. This is why these two areas were given the most attention in the authors’ research.

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