Bessarabian-German Organizations Merge
Bessarabiendeutsche Vereine Fusionieren
Schaefer, Werner. "Bessarabian-German Organizations Merge." Volk auf dem Weg, April 2006 11.
Translation from the original German-language text
to American English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado
The Societies of former Germans in Bessarabia that were formed
post-War times on behalf of the Germans from Bessarabia were on
March 10 merged
into a single one, which at a session in Stuttgart was named
"Bessarabiendeutscher Verein" [Bessarabia-German Society].
After WW II, Germans formerly of Bessarabia formed three separate
the Landsmannschaft of Bessarabia-Germans with its seat in Stuttgart;
Assistance Committee of the Ev.-Luth. Church from Bessarabia, with
its seat in
Hannover; and the Heimatmuseum of Germans from Bessarabia, in Stuttgart.
These Societies successfully worked on behalf of the needs and
integration of their members and, in our Heimatmuseum, preserved
the culture and traditions of their ancestors in their various facets
in order to be able to pass them on to coming generations.
The original Bessarabian-Germans consisted mainly of immigrants
Wuerttemberg, those who, following the Napoleonic wars, for economic
reasons, had emigrated to South Russia north of the Black Sea. For
and in over 150 villages they lived there, mainly as farmers.
A provision of the Hitler-Stalin Pact caused almost all Germans
Bessarabia, 93.000 persons in all, to be resettled into German-occupied
1940. In 1945 they again fled, this time from the approaching Russian
and, after a multitude of problems and much chaos, for the most
part landed as
refugees in their original home regions of Wuerttemberg. Over 50
the city of Stuttgart assumed official sponsorship of the Germans
Bessarabia. Note, for example, that the parents of Horst Koehler,
German President, had been among those who come back from Bessarabia.
Since the Bessarabian-Germans integrated fully into society, many
problems no longer needed to be addressed for them. This is the
that moved the leaderships of the three Societies to create a single
organization and to prepare for merger.
During the meeting of March 10, 2006, a large majority of the members
approved the merger contract and the requisite bylaw changes.
The Bessarabiendeustche Verein has its headquarters at Florianstrasse
17 in Stuttgart, where the always well-attended Heimatmuseum, including
its archives and library, is also housed. Hanover is the site for
a branch office for the Northern and Eastern German regions.
The Alexander Foundation, part of the organization and located
in Rems-Murr County, had already been separated into an autonomous
society in December, 2005. It continues its work on behalf of the
elderly and also its social work involving nine community care homes.
Added by election to the previous board members Ingo Ruediger Isert
(national chair, Bietigheim-Bissingen), Pastor Arnulf Baumann (Wolfsburg),
Schaefer (Bempflingen) were Erika Wiener (Hanover) and Dr. Hugo
Esslingen. Also, 15 further members were elected to an extended
On June 18, 2006, the 37th national conference of Bessarabia-Germans
held at the Forum in Ludwigsburg -- with the motto "United
we are stronger."
Over 2,000 former Bessarabia-Germans and their descendants are expected
take part in the conference.
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation
of this article.