Journals of J.E. Dietz (May-August 1909)

Journals of J. E. Dietz (May-August 1909)

Original handwritten manuscript transcribed by Elisaveta Erina
Edited by Igor Pleve
Translation by Yulia Tsymbal
Published by AHSGR 2013

We recommend to AHSGR membership and all who are interested, a new publication that is now ready for purchase, Journals of J.E.Dietz (May-August 1909), edited by Igor Pleve. This publication is unique for several reasons.

Jacob Egorovich Dietz is well known to AHSGR members as the author of History of the Volga German Colonists. He wrote this history while serving time at Kamyshin prison for signing an Appeal against dissolution of the First State Duma. The experience of these dramatic events was described in his Journals.

The Journals were written in 1909, but published more than a hundred years later, in 2010. The work literally “fell through the cracks” of dilapidating buildings that housed archives in the Soviet Union. Luckily for all of us, after several moves, it ended up at the State Archive of the Volga Germans in Engels. It was discovered there in the middle of the 1980s, as part of the Jacob Dietz archive.

We first heard about the Journals in September 2009 when a group of AHSGR Board members were visiting Engels archive. Elisaveta Erina, a former director of the archive and our good friend (and AHSGR Life Member), at that time was transcribing the original handwritten manuscript of the Journals. She told us the whole story of this unique work. She was among those who had found Dietz’s materials, and it had been her dream to make them available for the reading community.

The idea of translating the Journals seemed absolutely unreal at that moment. But less than four years later, it became a reality. In 2010 the Russian edition was published by Saratov State Technical University. In the spring of 2011, after several months of negotiations, AHSGR received permission to translate, and exclusive rights for the English addition of the Journals from Engels archive. It took Yulia Tsymbal, AHSGR translator, less than a year to complete the translation. And, due to all these fortunate circumstances, AHSGR members will now be able to purchase and read the new AHSGR monograph book by this outstanding Volga German.

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