21 December 2018

Stille Nacht

For this Christmas season, the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations has compiled a collection of Kirchen und Weihnachtslieder – Churches and Christmas carols.  
The churches once stood in former German colonies across the Imperial Russian Empire. They are paired with traditional German Christmas hymns still sung today. The sources for the photos are indicated on each, and while most do not have dates, the majority are from the early 20th century, all prior to WWII when most of the churches were defaced or completely destroyed by the Soviets. Many of the hymns became popular in the 19th century and found their way from Germany to our German ancestors living in Russia. Descendants of Germans from Russia still sing them today.

Wherever your ancestors may have lived, from Volhynia to the Black Sea, from St. Petersburg to the Volga, from the Caucasus to Siberia, long ago they gathered in these churches and sang these songs on Christmas. When you look at these images and perhaps play this music, maybe, just maybe, you'll hear their voices.  

Fröhliche Weihnachten!