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Research Paper

Publication Date



Advanced Research Winner 2019:

Immigration has been controversial for centuries, as it is not always successful; the relationship between the host country and immigrants can become tense and even disastrous. This was the case for the Volga Germans in the Russian Saratov region, an immigration experiment gone wrong. It is important that the story of the Volga Germans be told, as it is suspected of being an experience of ethnic cleansing and genocide. In this project, I will investigate the Volga Germans in the Russian Saratov region, analyze the relationship between the Germans and their Russian neighbors in the early 20th Century and answer the question of what went wrong in this experiment. My research will reveal that the events surrounding World War I, the Russian Revolution and the 1921 Russian Famine collectively weakened the Volga German state and led to a dramatic reduction of Volga Germans, leaving very few to remain today.

Through resources at the Lied Library, I will utilize databases including WorldCat, JSTOR, Historical Abstracts and Periodicals Archive Online, as well as the physical book stacks, online resources, interlibrary loan, and microfilm. This paper will include journal and diary entries from individuals living in the Volga region or visiting for relief purposes, letters from Volga Germans, newspaper articles describing major events in the Volga region, as well as maps and photographs from the time. This paper will also include works from historians and scholars investigating the story of the Volga Germans, in the form of books, journal articles, speeches, and maps.


Volga Germans; Immigration; Genocide; Russia; Germans; World War I; Russian Revolution; Russian Famine


Education | European History | Holocaust and Genocide Studies | Political History | Social History

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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