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Volga German ASSR (Soviet Union, 1918-1942)

ASSR der Wolga-Deutschen / ASSR Nemcëv Povolẑhâ

Last modified: 2016-03-14 by zoltán horváth
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ASSR der Wolga-Deutschen / АССР Немцёв Поволжья

flag of 1937-1941:

2nd Flag of Volga German ASSR
image by M. V. Revnivtsev and António Martins, 05 Jun 2007
See also: Other sites:contributed by Santiago Dotor, 28 Feb 2002

Presentation of the German ASSR

The Volga German ASSR existed 1924-1941: Established as Labour Commune of Volga Germans or Volga German AO within Russian SFSR on 19 october 1918. Transformed into Volga German ASSR on 19 december 1924. Abolished on 28 august 1941.
Mark Sensen, 11 Nov 1996

The official state name was: Autonome Sozialistische Sowjet-Republik der Wolga-Deutschen (in English: Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic of the Volga-Germans); abbreviation: «A.S.S.R.W.D.». In Russian: Avtonomnaâ Sovetskaâ Socialistiĉeskaâ Respublika Nemcëv Povolẑhâ | Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика Немцёв Поволжья
Jens Pattke, 23 Jun 2001

The city of Engels is the former capital of Volga-German Republic.
Victor Lomantsov, 07 Oct 2000

The first Germans settled the region starting in 1763 at the invitation of Catharine the Great. Three webpages with summary histories of the Volga germans are:

Ned Smith, 27 Feb 2002

Some informations, I found in: Rudolf A. Mark Die Völker der ehemaligen Sowjetunion, 1992:

2,039 million Germans were living in former Soviet Union in 1992. Half of them are living in Kasachstan. The rest is scattered around in all the other states of the former Union. Nearly all are the descendants of settlers from Hesse, Palatinate, northern Bavaria and the Rhineland, which moved into the Russian Empire in the second half of the 18th century. The first big treks followed the call of Katharina II of Russia in 1762 and 1763. They arrived at the Volga in the area of Saratow in the same decade. In the following decades, other settlers from Danzig and West Prussia entered into the areas between Dnjeper river, the southern part of Bug river and the coast of the Black Sea. Germans from Württemberg, Alsace and other regions followed. Other German settlements were founded after Russian conquer in Northern Kaukasus. More in Bessarabia (Moldova) after 1812 between Dnjestr and Pruth.

The Area of the Germans at the Volga were declared to a German workers community in Okt.1918 after revolution, in Feb.1924 it got the status of an ASSR (autonom socialistic soviet republic) of the Volga Germans with the capital of Engels (1929: 27.152 km²). The ASSR had 600 000 inhabitants in 1939, 2/3 were Germans. Further, there were 16 national counties evrywhere in the USSR, 8 of them in the Ukraine. All were eliminated in 1939.

After 1941 and the German attack to USSR, 1 million of 1,5 million Germans in USSR were deported to Western Sibiria, Kasachstan, Kigisia, Tadshikistan and the Altai area. 300 000 of them died and 100 000 were sent into the working army (Trudarmija) till 1947. The Germans in the occupied areas were called to police like organizations, some were settled in the Wartheland. When Red Army striked back, many Volksdeutsche moved in direction of Germany in big and small treks. They were gathering most time outside of the borders of the German Reich and were deported to Sibiria and central Asia by red army in 1945. The deported Germans were kept in working camps till 1950, and were not allowed to move back to their old settlments.

Germans got full civil rights back in Nov 1972. In 1991 Germans got special national rights in the Altai area (German Rajon) at the city Halbstadt. Some Germans are resettled in Ukraine near Odessa, Cherson, Nikolajew and Saporoschje. Many hundred thousands Germans came back to the Federal Republic of Germany since the 1970ies.

J. Patrick Fischer, 28 Feb 2002

Flag of 1926

1st Flag of Volga German ASSR
image by Jens Pattke, 23 Jun 2001

First known flag of the republic was adopted in 1926, red flag with golden letters (abbreviation of the name of state) in german.
Victor Lomantsov, 07 Oct 2000

The first flag was adopted togheter the decree of fundation of the republic 19 December 1924 and was red with inscription. This flag was in use until adoption of new constitution 29 April 1937. (Source: personal communication from Lucien Philippe; his source was personal communication from Ottfried Neubecker, 1973).
Jaume Ollé, 03 Jul 2003

Flag of 1937-1941

2nd Flag of Volga German ASSR
image by M. V. Revnivtsev and António Martins, 05 Jun 2007

Adopted in 1937 (or in 1938), red with insciptions in Russian and in German: "RSFSR. ASSR of Volga-germans".
Victor Lomantsov, 07 Oct 2000

Incorrectly reported first version

[Flag version with German text above Russian text.] According a document in the public library Pompidou in Paris [*], new flag was adopted in 29 April 1937. William Crampton obtained the exact design and comunicate it to Philippe in August 1974. Was in use at least until 1938. The flag in real use was slighty changed in next months changing order of the inscriptions (russian first). (Source: personal communication from Lucien Philippe.)
Jaume Ollé, 03 Jul 2003

(* Bibliothéque Publique d’Information, located in the Centre National d’Art et Culture Georges-Pompidou, in Paris.)
Ivan Sache, 04 Jul 2003

Oleg Tarnowski communicated that the modified version dated 1939, in use until 28 August 1941 (personal communication from Lucien Philippe).
Jaume Ollé, 03 Jul 2003

No. I do not think, that it is the real information. In the State Historical Archive of Volga Germans in the Engels-city (where I live), in documents of the Supreme Council and of the Council of People’s Commissioners of the Volga Germans ASSR and in newspapers of ASSRdWD of 1937-1941 there is no document on change of a flag of 1937 of ASSRdWD. Absolutely authentically.
Mikhail Revnivtsev, 25 Oct 2006

On flags of autonomous republics (ASSR) in structure of the RSFSR there could not be inscriptions on the national languages located above of inscriptions in Russian language. Absolutely authentically.
Mikhail Revnivtsev, 25 Oct 2006

Volga Germans community flag

Volga Germans community flag
image by Jens Pattke, 09 April 2014

This flag was posted by Ronald-Jan Rieger as a quiz on FOTW-fb and identified as "Volga Germans community flag". The implication is that is used by the people today.
"Territorial Association of the Russian Germans" shows a flag with the same shield.
Rob Raeside, 06 April 2014

The Volga Germans (Wolgadeutsche) were Germans living along the Volga River in Russia. As immigrants to Russia in the 18th century they kept their culture, language, traditions, and Lutheran and Catholic churches. Many Volga Germans later emigrated to the North and South Dakota and other western states as far south as Kansas to escape persecution. Others immigrated to Canada, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. During World War II, the Soviet government considered the Volga Germans undesirables and sent them to work camps in Siberia and other points east to die. After the war years, many of the remaining Volga Germans moved from the Soviet Union back to Germany.
This flag is shown as the national flag of the living descendants of Volga Germans living in Russia and Middle Asia. See: 
According to this website: "The flag of the Volga Germans is a more  recent creation It has nothing to do with the flag of the former Soviet  Republic of the Volga Germans. It shows the colours of Germany, three  horizontal stripes in black, red and gold, and in the center a golden bordered black scutcheon with a golden wheat in the middle. The flag  embodies the German nationality, and the rural working and living way, followed by the majority of the Volga Germans."
Pete Loeser, 07 April 2014

Correct present flag is published (in Russian).
Jens Pattke, 08 April 2014

The Territorial Association of the Germans from Russia (LMDR) is an organization that represents the interests of Germans who were expelled from countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Altay, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and immigrated back to Germany in the decades following the Second World War. The Territorial Association was founded in August of 1955. It  replaced the "Arbeitsgruppe der Ost-Umsiedler" (Club of the Eastern Ethnic Resettlers) whose membership first consisted of Russian emigrants living in Western Europe in exile. (Former Russian nobility, anti-communists, monarchists, former prisoners of the Russian "Vlasov" Army, Tatars and Caucasians, who served in the Wehrmacht, and fell into Western Allied hands).
The mid-1970s saw the first Volga German exiles from the Soviet Union arrive in numbers in both the Federal Republic of Germany and in the German Democratic Republic. With this increased presence the Territorial Association of Germans from Russia was turned into a political homeland association. In the 1990s, this organization expanded its goals. It supported the efforts of the Germans from Russia (and Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan), to integrate into German society. These settlers had great pride in their German ethnic origins, but they also valued their Russian traditions. Later many Russian Jews who immigrated to Germany also found a new home in the Territorial Association, joining not for religious reasons, but from longing for their old country in the former Soviet Union.
The actual colors of the Territorial Association flag was black-white-yellow. The organization's coat-of-arms was placed in the center. The coat-of-arms shows a golden ear of corn on a black background. The coat-of-arms symbolizes the Chernozem (Black Dirt) of the old country in the Volga Territory. In the mid-1990s, the flag's stripes were placed in the color sequence of the Russian Empire. The colors black, white and yellow were reminiscent of the Empress Catherine II (Catherine the Great), who came from Germany. She encouraged many Germans to settle in the fertile region on the Volga River. This territory included Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, which later became part of the Soviet Union.
The modern flag with the coat-of-arms of the Territorial Association and the German colors, black-red-gold, is actually a decorative composition, but some local groups of the Territorial Association are using it as a flag variant. It is not an official flag of the Territorial Association of the Germans from Russia/Landsmannschaft der Deutschen von Russland (LMDR).
Above image is a decorative composition of a flag of the Volga Germans ethnic group; no official use of the "flag".
Flaggenkurier Nr. 22
References (Fotos):
Jens Pattke, 09 April 2014