08 November 2017

Chutor Ishitskoye, Hoffnungstal, Odessa

Note: This post and the screenshots below have become a piece of history.  The current name is no longer Kirovo.  Google Maps has updated place names per the articles of the Law of Ukraine № 317-VIII "On the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) regimes, and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols."  It's current name is now Vyshneve.
9 January 2018 -SSP

Little is ever written about the chutors, or farmsteads, the smallest of German dorfs in Russia.  Maybe because there is so little documented about them.  There were chutors recorded and likely even more that were never officially part of the Russian government record. They were generally isolated summer farms with few buildings and often only populated, if you can call it that, during the growing season.  But some actually grew into colonies.

Chutor Ishitskoyetoday known as Kirovo, Odes'ka' Oblast, Ukraine.
Chutor Izshitskoye (also Itschietzki or Ishitskoye) was one of those.  Situated in the center of the Hoffnungstal colonies, Chutor Izshitskoye was a Lutheran colony and part of the Hoffnungstal parish. Not much else is documented about it other than it had a population of 80 souls in 1904.

The colony did not appear on a Stumpp map. Perhaps it never made it into the official register of colonies, but it was in the list of Hoffnungstal chutors listed on the Germans from Russia Historical Society website and was located by its historical name.

Today Chutor Izshitskoye still stands and is called Kirovo in Odessa Oblast, although the name Izhitskoye is still unofficially attached to the location according to the Geographic Names Database (GeoNames) from the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Recently, I ran across a document in the Roesch Family Germans from Russia Collection at the Northern State University Library & Special Collections in Aberdeen, South Dakota  that related to Chutor Izshitskoye.  The colony was still populated by Germans in 1922, and it was impacted by the Russian famine of 1921-22.  The famine was a result of many things coming together at once: drought, the collapse of the Tsarist rule, civil war post-Russian-Revolution and mass requisition of grain so there was not enough for food or for seed, Overall, there less agriculture production and failed harvests.

Map of the Famine Area of Soviet Russia in 1921 from Russian Information and Review magazine,
October 1921, v. 1, no. 1, pg. 3.  Source: WikiCommons. 

The document I found is a Russian Food Remittance form filed with the American Relief Administration (ARA) requesting food be sent to a family living in Chutor Izshitskoye in 1922.  Formerly called the United States Food Administration, the ARA was an American relief organization that provided supplies to war-torn European countries and later extending its operations to Russia in 1922 to help deal with the famine.  It ceased operations in Russia in 1923 once it found out that Russia was again exporting grain.  The American Experience documentary "The Great Famine" is a good overview of the impact of the famine and America's relief efforts in Soviet Russia.

The cost to the immigrant-American family sending the relief package was ten dollars. This was about $139 in today's U.S. dollars, no small sum back then.  Dated 7 September 1922, Fred Roesch of Hosmer, South Dakota paid ten dollars to have a food supplies delivered from the ARA to Mr. and Mrs. Christian F. Weiss of St. Zebrikowa, Chutor Ischietski, Tiraspol, Odessa. The Roesch family, according to a short history written by Roesch himself (also a part of the digital collection), indicated that they immigrated from Glückstal in September 1898 and lived near Roscoe, South Dakota. 

Russian Food Remittance form.
Copyright ©Beulah Williams Library Archives & Special Collections

The receipt for the order indicates that one package of food was received.  The stamp on the receipt indicates what was in the package: 98 pounds of flour, 25 pounds of grits (corn), 9 pounds of sugar and an indecipherable quantity of milk.

Receipt of food package from the American Relief Administration in Russia. 
Copyright ©Beulah Williams Library Archives & Special Collections

There wasn't anything else in the collection to indicate what happened to the Christian Weiss family, or how they were connected to the Roesch family.  But they lived in Chutor Izshitskoye in 1922, and were helped by family or friends in America at a time when they needed it most.  These scraps of paper saved for all these years serve as proof.

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