About 3.5 million people with roots in the post-Soviet space live Germany. This is not an official figure, just estimates based on a micro-census conducted by the Federal Statistical Office in 2016. Most of this post-Soviet diaspora, mostly Russian-speaking, RussiaKazakhstan and Ukraine. The current war in the second country has put this important migrant minority in an uncomfortable situation between the two countries.
About 2.5 million of the Russian-speaking inhabitants of the Federal Republic also form a community with a special status: the ‘Russlanddeutsche’ (Germans from Russia), descendants of German-speaking settlers who settled in the late 18th century and early nineteenth century in the Volga River basin and the Black Sea. Territories under Russian siege on the northern coast of , then part of the Russian Empire, and today southern Ukraine.
These German colonies responded to the invitation of Empress Catherine II and Emperor Alexander I, who aimed to fill the empty spaces of their Empires. As the Federal Center for Political Formation explains, the settlers promise of benefit: free land, tax benefits, exemption from military service and religious practice, administrative autonomy, and the right to return to their origins at some point if they wish.
wave of complaints
With the victory of the Russian Revolution in 1917, the German ethnic minority even had its own republic within the USSR: the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The outbreak of the First World War, the Second and the Stalinist purges put the German minority into a corner.It is possible that he was collaborator with the Nazis. Descendants of Germans in Russia gradually returned to their places of origin before and after the end of the Cold War.
Even today, Federal Republic authorities grant German citizenship to descendants of settlers who settled in the Russian Empire two centuries ago. These latter people take the adjective ‘spätaussiedler’, which was used to designate returnees from the post-Soviet region during the 20th and 21st centuries. The concept of Russlanddeutsche, who in most cases does not speak German or speaks with a Russian accent, may have meaning today. pejorative connotation in GermanyA phenomenon highlighted by the war in Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the Russian occupation, the German authorities have 1,700 war-related crimes, mostly hate crimes, verbal aggression, threatening graffiti, and even physical violence. The Russian-speaking minority is the main protagonist of these events in the role of victim or aggressor. The organization Mediendienst Integration, which specializes in migration issues, confirms an increase in reports of attacks on the Russian-speaking community in Germany. At this point, the Russian embassy in the Federal Republic does not miss the opportunity to condemn a country. The rise of Russian phobia.
It is difficult to get an idea of what the dominant position regarding the war in Ukraine is among this Russian-speaking minority. this fear of revealing themselves publicly and being identified as a follower Putin undoubtedly plays an important role. A visit to the Treptow Park Soviet Memorial in Berlin on May 9 is therefore a golden opportunity: the day Russia celebrates its victory over Nazi Germany, it becomes a pilgrimage site for citizens of Soviet descent. About 5,000 Soviet soldiers who died in World War II are buried here.
The incident has been charged with tension this year. Berlin authorities took a precaution specific to Süleyman. Avoid clashes between Russian and Ukrainian nationalists: ban all kinds of national symbols of both countries, as well as the former USSR. But Igor, Artur and Alex raise the flag of the Russian Federation in front of the imposing monument representing a liberating Soviet soldier with a collapsed swastika at his feet and a girl on his arms.
This Russian group of Kazakh origin comes every year to celebrate May 9, this time it is especially important: they say they are tired of the criminalization of their country of origin. Referring to the blocking of RT and Sputnik in the European Union, Alex said, “If the press here is telling the truth, why are they banning Russian media?” he asks. “The war is not against the Ukrainian people, but against the Ukrainian people. fascism. And this is half of Ukraine” assures Igor. Everyone listened to President Vladimir Putin’s speech before arriving at the monument. They all support it. Putin just wants peace, they say,” he added to El Periódico.
“I live in Germany. I am a German returning from Russia. But actually, we are children of the soviet union and it’s holy,” says Vladimir, wearing a T-shirt with the USSR’s Cyrillic initials. I’m a Soviet, a communist, and I don’t like that Soviet times are dirty, the same everywhere.”
Ludmila holds a photograph of her father, Andrei, a Soviet military hero defending Stalingrad and Moscow. She is here today to honor the memory of those who fell by doing the same with her daughter Svetlana. Originally from Moldova, they deny suffering from Russophobia in Germany, deny the war in Ukraine, and claim they are helping Ukrainian refugees. To scare away the specters of the Third World War, Ludmila clings to the divine: “I hope God gives wisdom to the presidents of both countries and the war between Ukraine and Russia will end soon.”