The Volga Germansby Sigrid Weidenweber
The Meiningers had set out for Russia seeking to improve their lives, to escape the political and religious turmoil often surrounding their otherwise picturesque German homes and villages. They dreamed of the faraway place awaiting them. They colored the soil beneath the vast steppe rich and black in their minds ready to be tilled. And there would be a neat little house ready to receive them. In their wildest dreams, they could not have imagined what actually awaited their arrival. There were no houses, no fields nothing but grass as far as the eye could see. It was almost evening; they were hungry, wet and cold and felt like orphaned children.
These German immigrants and their descendants civilized this bleak Russian frontier, converted the harsh steppe into fields of waving grain dotted with wind-driven flour mills, and in this isolated place, developed a culture that was uniquely their own. They survived savage attacks of marauding tribes, the unpredictable often harsh climate, and the vagaries of tsarist edicts. Sigrid tells the fascinating story of these remarkable people in The Volga Germans.
The Volga Germans is the second volume in Sigrid Weidenweber's trilogy The Volga Flows Forever. Catherine, the first volume, brings to life the fascinating historical character of Catherine the Great who invited her native countrymen to settle the Russian frontier. In the final volume, From Gulag to Freedom, she follows the Volga Germans through the hardships of collectivization and deportation during the Soviet years to finally immigrate to the San Joaquin Valley of Central California.
- Center for Volga German Studies
- Publication date:
Meet the Author
Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenweber remembers the closing days of World War II. She grew up under communism in East Germany and escaped from East Berlin with the help of a French pasport shortly after the Wall was erected.
Sigrid has a degree in medical technology from Wuerzburg as well as a degree in psychology from Portland State University. It was in Wuerzburg that she met Donald, her husband of 38 years. During her time at PSU, she fell in love with anthropology, a subject she still pursues with coursework, as well as on her own time.
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A thoroughly enjoyable read. This is the second book in a trilogy and I can't wait to red the third. School books should put history in readable forms like these books instead of making students just memorizing dates. I love following the stories on a large map to get a perspective of the countries.
From the,"hardships of collectivization and deportation during the Soviet years to finally immigrate to the San Joaquin Valley of Central California,",The Volga Germans by Sigrid Weidenweber, is a rich filled story about the lives of the Volga Germans, under the rising rule of Stalin. Filled with a trademark eye for historical research and depiction, everyday characters that capture the environment and setting of their story, and peppered with the customs, food and language of the people, readers who enjoy historical fiction, will be captivated by the little told story of the Volga Germans who, in the process of trying to build a richer life, found themselves, discovering survival, faith and persistence in trying times. With the ability to show different eyes, and centering on the rich history of Russia, Sigrid Weidenweber, captures the time, the ambiance and feel of the era, that is being written on and for people who may enjoy historical fictions that blend history with a rich story or know of friends and family who enjoy reading such books, "The Volga Germans" is one of Sigrid Weidenweber, best books of the series. I found, "The Volga Germans" interesting and for those who are looking for light reading, be prepared that all of the "Volga" series are very in depth that I would suggest if you have an e-reader, it would be best to get the books in that format, but you'll find yourself, unable to put the book down, particularly if you are a big fan of books that are filled with obviously time spent on research.