26 November 2018

Current Event in the Context of Ancestral Villages

Often I search the maps on this site when I'm reading articles about Germans from Russia history to give me an idea of where the events took place, where the mentioned villages were, how close they were to each other, etc. The whole point of the maps on the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations is to bring current context to historical locations, specifically our German ancestral villages in Russia.

This past weekend (25 November 2018), I was using the maps to look at a current event – Russia's attacks of Ukrainian ships at the Kerch Straight between the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

There have been several graphics from news organizations in the past 24 hours showing where the attacks occurred, but I thought some context in terms of where our Germans from Russia ancestors lived....and where some of our relatives still live...might be helpful.

And overview of the area of the conflict. Source: Map4News. Graphic by Jiachaun Wu, NBC News.

This is the same area as shown in the NBC News graphic with German ancestral villages in what was Imperial Russia at the time most were founded, but today span across (left to right) Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. 

This is a close up showing the Kerch Straight, the Sea of Azov and the city of Mariupol.

Keep in mind that you can search the map for any place, whether or not it's a historical German village, using the magnifying glass icon in top right corner of the legend on the left of the screen. At the bottom of the items listed, you'll see other suggestions such as "Move map to" or "From Google." It will drop a pin on the map, perhaps amongst our ancestral villages.

This is a good example of why the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations project is a living document and why it's not just published and put on a shelf.

Things can change in a weekend.


06 November 2018

Death of Catherine the Great

Painting of Catherine the Great by Fedor Rokotov (1763, Tretyakov gallery). Source WikiCommons.

Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst
Born: Slettin, Pomerania, 21 April (2 May) 1729
Died: Saint Petersburg, Russia, 6 (17) November 1796
Reigned: 1762-1796

Empress Catherine II died on this day, 6 November 1796 (17 November according to the Gregorian calendar), of a stroke in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  She was 67 years old.  Without her rising to the position she held for 34 years and her famous manifesto issued in 1763, there would be no Germans from Russia.  She brought Russia "from the mindset of the Middle ages into the modern world of the 18th century" and was the last ruling Tsarina of the Imperial Russian Empire. 

The grand opening of the monument honoring Catherine the Great in Odessa, Russia in 1900.  Source: WikiCommons.

The moument honoring Catherine the Great in Odessa, Ukraine as it stands today.
Photo by Dennis Bender, May 2017.