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Bessarabia: German Colonists on the Black Sea

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By Ute Schmidt

Translated by James T. Gessele

In 1813 Czar Alexander I invited German settlers to make their home on the Black Sea as colonists. Within five to six generations, these immigrants, most of them coming from Prussia and Southwestern Germany, established a prosperous, organized community. They lived among Moldovans, Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Jews and other groups in peaceful neighborhoods as a small minority in a colorful variety of ethnic and religious communities. In 1918 the region came under Romanian rule. The resettlement of the Germans in autumn 1940 signified the end of a full 125-year settlement history.

The book describes the origin and form of settlement of the Germans in Bessarabia, their local autonomy and their rural culture steeped in Protestant ethics as well as the coexistence with other nationalities. The author closes with observations about today’s Bessarabia that in part belongs to the Republic of Moldova and to Ukraine.

Hardcover.  448 pages.

 

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