The Meiningers had set out for Russia seeking to improve their lives, to escape the political and religious turmoil often surrounding their otherwise picturesque German homes and villages. They dreamed of the faraway place awaiting them. They colored the soil beneath the vast steppe rich and black in their minds – ready to be tilled. And there would be a neat little house ready to receive them. In their wildest dreams, they could not have imagined what actually awaited their arrival. There were no houses, no fields – nothing but grass as far as the eye could see. It was almost evening; they were hungry, wet and cold and felt like orphaned children.
These German immigrants and their descendants civilized this bleak Russian frontier, converted the harsh steppe into fields of waving grain dotted with wind-driven flour mills, and in this isolated place, developed a culture that was uniquely their own. They survived savage attacks of marauding tribes, the unpredictable often harsh climate, and the vagaries of tsarist edicts. Sigrid tells the fascinating story of these remarkable people in The Volga Germans.
The Volga Germans is the second volume in Sigrid Weidenweber’s trilogy “The Volga Flows Forever.” Catherine, the first volume, brings to life the fascinating historical character of Catherine the Great who invited her native countrymen to settle the Russian frontier. In the final volume, From Gulag to Freedom, she follows the Volga Germans through the hardships of Soviet collectivization and deportation to finally immigrate to the San Joaquin Valley of Central California.
Published by the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University - Portland, Oregon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenweber remembers firsthand the horrific aftermath of fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under communism. Both of these totalitarian regimes left indelible marks on her psyche. After the Berlin Wall was built, she finally escaped this repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. Sigrid holds degrees in medical technology and psychology. Her first book, Escaping the Twilight, deals with aspects of medical anthropology in an Islamic culture. Her wide range of interests led to the writing of the trilogy, The Volga Flows Forever. In this first volume, Catherine, she brings to life a fascinating historical character. Sigrid and Don, her husband of 44 years, recently moved from Portland to the Los Angeles area to be nearer a pair of adorable grandsons.
For information about the author and her other publications: http://escapingthetwilight.com/