Russian German News Summary
"Russian German News Summary." Volk auf dem Weg, November 1999.
Translation from German to English by Alice Morgenstern,
Since 1989, about two million Aussiedler have come to Germany.
During the first years they were welcomed and their integration
caused no problems. Since the middle of the nineties, however, increasing
difficulties can be noticed. The changes are due to the following
- The shortage of work is a disquieting factor in Germany.
- The acceptance of people from other countries has decreased,
they are often seen as rivals on the working market.
- Russian Germans, especially young Russian Germans, are often
rated as "aliens" because of their language deficiencies. Most
of them speak Russian, especially when they come from families
with one Russian parent. And the German language test, when they
immigrated, does not really reveal proficiency in German.
- Their disillusion, lack of orientation and frustration in Germany
may lead to dangerous reactions: to alcoholism, hooliganism, vandalism,
to taking drugs and committing crimes.
- Conditions get worse, if they live crammed in certain surroundings,
in parts of the city where they experience a sort of "ghetto situation."
It is necessary that measures have to be taken by combined efforts
of the communities and various organizations, such as the Churches,
institutions for social and educational work, sports clubs, etc.
A network of supporters must be set up.
But first and foremost language courses with efficient teaching
must be made available for families and specially for the young.
The education at schools and in classes must be intensified and
help to give perspectives to people who have lost their old German
family culture in Russia.
The situation of the young Russian Germans is focused in their
relations to the young Turks who form a considerable minority in
There are parallels between the two groups: Both feel that they
are outsiders and not really accepted. Both realize that it is harder
for them to find work than for the Germans. Both feel the need for
a group identity and tend to turn up in gangs.
But the Turks have a definite identity, where as the young Russian
Germans feel that they don't belong anywhere. In Russia the fact
that they were Germans had to be concealed, but in Germany they
are seen as Russians and often they consider themselves as such.
Most of the young Turks have grown up in Germany and speak German
fluently. This advantage is made felt to the tongue-tied "Russians,"
when they are jeered by the Turks.
Fights between gangs are the consequence.
So ways must be found to deal successfully with this problem.
A conference in Bonn in September with German, Turkish and Russian
German representatives tried to find ways for more tolerance. Some
helpful proposals have been made, e.g. for organized meetings of
young Turks and young Russian Germans.
The Ukrainian German section of the society of "Wiedergeburt"
("rebirth") in Donezk, Ukraine, is described in it. Many young members
of this society try to preserve their German heritage. They carry
out plans with regard to this aim. There are eleven German Sunday
schools in the Ukraine. Special groups have traveled to the Black
Sea Region in order to find relics of the German past, they collect
histories of Russian German during and after the Second World War.
They practice German music and they are interested in German poetry.
Of, course, they need support and would be grateful for small
The address is:
Dr Alexandr Dynges
Teatralny PR. 9
340055 Donezk, Ukraine
Our appreciation is extended to Alice Morgenstern for translation of this article.