12 May 2018

Our Story

"Forget not the place where your cradle stood, 
for you will never have another homeland." 
– German proverb

Finding your German village of origin is a goal most of us have. Knowing the the location of where our German ancestors lived opens up research possibilities that could take us back generations to where our cradles stood.

But for many people all over the world descended from Germans from Russia, our story isn’t a direct line from a place in Germany to the place where we stand today. There may be a century or more of family history and movement from place to place within the Russian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, all areas where German people settled and resettled between 1763 and the years leading up to World War II. By some counts, anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000 ethnic German colonies were established in the Russian Empire alone. And the area where these villages were located was vast. It includes modern-day, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

This project's goal is to locate every German village in Russia and pin them on Google My Maps to make it easier to find the places, the stories, and the people whose mass immigration and colonization changed history.

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