07 August 2017

On This Day, 7 August 1767

The location of Kratzke on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)
The Volga Mother colony of Kratske was founded on this day, 7 August 1767, as a Lutheran colony. Some sources state that it was settled as early as 1766.  The Center for Volga German Studies has an excellent history of Kratske, so instead, I'll share another recollection of the colony from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia village files.

These are excerpts of stories of life in Kratzke from Heinrich and Magdalena (Mai) Lock, as told by their daughter-in-law, Ethel Lock. Henrich was born in Kratzke in 1899 to John Jabob and Anna Elizabeth Lock, and Magdalena was born in Chutor Prischin to John George and Katharina Elizabeth (Dietz) Mai, both of Kratzke. Both families immigrated to Kansas.

[Note: Watermelon is arbuz or арбуз – listen to it here. I wasn't able to find a translation for toilet that sounded like nush-nick. -SSP]  

Location of the Volga colony Kratzke, known today as Podchinnoye, Volgograd, Russia.

The satellite image above the original village to the south of the currently populated part of town. The square at the bottom surrounded by trees is the cemetery. Zoom in on the village in Google maps to have a closer look.

Learn More: 
American Historical Society of Germans from Russia village files
Center for Volga German Studies – Kratzke
Volga German Institute – Kratzke

2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg. They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.

 # # #