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Odessa Book of Mourning - 2

Trauerbuch Odessa - 2

"Odessa Book of Mourning - 2." Volk auf dem Weg, January 2008, 13.

This translation from the original German-language text to American English is provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado


Memorial Book for more than 10,000 German Victims of Soviet State Terror

The "Odessa Book of Mourning" [translated title] deals with the Stalinist measures of terror against Germans in the areas of Odessa, Nikolayev and Cherson (Ukraine) during the years 1918 - 1953. For this book, authors Anton Bosch, Anton Bertsch and Michael Wanner spent ten years doing research, searching for and collecting information.

Soon after the publication of the first edition of "Trauerbuch Odessa" [Odessa Book of Mourning] the response was so strong that a second edition was urgently needed. So toward the end of 2007 the "Trauerbuch Odessa - 2" was published, an edition that was expanded via lists of names of victims from Odessa, Nikolayev and Cherson, corrected and completed.

This edition contains the names of more than 10,000 persons who were victims of repression during the time span of 1928 to 1953. For each person, the following eight items of information are listed [as available]: last name, first name, father's name, year of birth, place of birth, date of arrest, date of sentencing, and the terms of punishment.

Preceding the extensive listing are articles on the time of persecution in the colonist districts of Grossliebental, Glueckstal, Hoffnungstal, Kutschurgan, Beresan, Nikolayev and Odessa - including tables, statistics concerning numbers of victims, as well as photos that provide insight into the conditions of the time. This opus is intended particularly for those for whom the true history of Soviet State terror remains important in the form of a memorial book.

As early as the time of glasnost the authors began collecting and analyzing responses of the Soviet authorities on the rehabilitation of repressed family members. The publication in 1991 by "Neues Leben" (Moscow) of lists of names of German-Russian victims in Odessa (1200 names) gave strong impetus to activating the research work. As of 1994, searches in Ukrainian archives also became possible. Other documents included in the work were those that arrived after an appeal in issue 05/2002 of VadW.

Thus various remittances, with documents from government registries, states' attorneys, departments of the Ministry of the Interior and memorial associations in the successor states to the Soviet Union, made it possible for the authors to glean the names of 2,000 additional persons and to include them in the "Trauerbuch Odessa - 2" as well.

However, due to the lack of sometimes reliable information, places of birth and other data of numerous repressed persons could not be clarified completely even in this edition. Also missing in this book are the names of thousands of persecuted Germans who were dragged from their homes without a sentencing decision by a troika [therefore largely undocumented - Tr.]; many of these found their death or submerged in other cultures.

For these reasons the search continues for further information, which will become part of a third edition.

Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

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