The history of Russian Germans (Russlanddeutsche) is one of intensive mobility across space and time. Today, the descendants of eighteenth-century German-speaking settlers in the Russian Empire live on four continents: Europe, Asia, and North and South America. In this volume, authors from the fields of history, sociology, cultural studies, and sociolinguistics analyze key issues of the history and present of this globally connected diaspora group from an interdisciplinary angle. Contributions address the institutional regimes and networks that shaped—and continue to shape—the mobility of Russian Germans on a global scale, the impact of war and violence on the history of this group during the “Age of Extremes,” and the language shifts that accompanied their multiple global moves. Its interdisciplinary and geographic diversity makes this volume a unique contribution to research on migration, global diaspora, transnationalism, and practices of belonging. By analyzing the multiple pathways of migration, entanglement, and belonging of people designated as “Russian Germans” in past and present, its chapters provide fresh insight into the making and unmaking of a global diaspora.
Anna Flack is executive assistant of academic affairs at TU Dortmund University.
Jan Musekamp is visiting associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
Jannis Panagiotidis is historian, migration scholar, and currently the scientific director of the Research Center for the History of Transformations (RECET) at the University of Vienna.
Hans-Christian Petersen is research associate at the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE) and lecturer at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg in Germany.
Introduction: Russian Germans on Four Continents, Anna Flack, Jan Musekamp, Jannis Panagiotidis, and Hans-Christian Petersen
Chapter 1: Russian German History as Global History: Beyond Ethnonational Frames, James Casteel
Part I: Regimes of Migration and Belonging
Chapter 2: Navigating Global Color Lines: Volhynia’s German Speakers on the Move, Jan Musekamp
Chapter 3: ‘Canada Needs Us’: An Analysis of Transnational Russian-German Migration through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, Anna Kozlova
Chapter 4: How Germany Determines what “Being German” Means in the Post-Soviet Space, Concha Maria Höfler
Part II: Networks
Chapter 5: Transatlantic Diaspora Activism and Völkisch Heritage: Karl Stumpp and the Russian Germans, Hans-Christian Petersen
Chapter 6: The Transnational Exchange of Ideas: The Russian-German Dissident Emigration Movement’s Impact on Soviet Domestic and Foreign Policy (1972-1987), Eric J. Schmaltz
Chapter 7: Entrepreneurial Networks of Russian-Speaking Germans across the Eurasian Space: From a Family Store to a Transnational Supermarket Chain, Tetiana Havlin
Part III: War and Violence
Chapter 8: The Deportation of Russian Germans to Kazakhstan in 1941 and their Subsequent Fate, J. Otto Pohl
Chapter 9: Pacifists and Nazi Sympathizers? Narrating the Canadian Mennonite World War II Experience in the Local Cultures Project, Matthias Kaltenbrunner
Part IV: Language
Chapter 10: Volga Germans in Entre Ríos, Argentina: Global Changes, Language Maintenance and Shift, Alicia Cipria
Chapter 11: “I don't know where this comes from that they call us Russian Germans”:
The Role of Linguistic, Ethnic, and Confessional Labels in the Former Colônia Guarany (Brazil), Lucas Löff-Machado
About the Contributors