Argentinian Descent Tells not all Volga-Germans Settled
"Argentinian Descent Tells not all Volga-Germans Settled in America." Hays Daily News, 15 June 2007.
Daughter of Ralph Romig
One of the longest-distance speakers at the 38th annual international
convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
was Isabel Kessler, who came from Buenes Aires, Argentina.
A large crowd settled into the Cody Room at the Holiday Inn on
Saturday morning to hear Kessler, president of the Volga-German
association in Argentina for the past four years, speak about the
settlement of Volga-Germans in Argentina.
They were looking for land to grow wheat, which they found and
settled in Argentina, Kessler said through interpreter Luis Vasquez.
Vasquez, Lincoln, Neb., is one-quarter Volga-German.
From the year 1876, when Argentina put immigration laws into effect,
to 1980, almost 208,200 immigrants arrived. About 52,047 of them
were Volga-Germans, Kessler said.
They founded colonies in several provinces. The first colony of
Volga-Germans in Argentina was established Jan. 8, 1878 by a group
of 10 people.
Kessler said the faith, love of work and honesty of the Volga-German
people is part of the heritage of their descendants.
The Volga-German Association in Argentina was formed in 1978, a
year before the 100th anniversary of the first Volga-German immigrants
in the country.
The first settlements were in the Buenes Aires province. Today,
the descendants are involved in professional and city life as well
as agriculture, but the people maintain their connection to their
In the suburbs as well as out in the fields, you can find very
well-organized groups of Volga-Germans, Kessler said.
Kessler said the Volga-German association in Argentina, is about
1,300 members strong and has about 18 chapters around the country.
The organization formerly had about 4,000 members. Some of the number
reduction is due to death, but the organization is seeking to revamp
itself to be more appealing to younger participants, Kessler said.
The convention kicked off Monday and dismissed this morning after
an ecumenical worship service.
Reprinted with permission of the Hays Daily News.