Brunnental a German colony in Russia                             Repression

The Memorial web site, dedicated to the victims of Soviet political persecution, states:

"Through the extermination and the persecution of millions of people, the Soviet government attempted to conceal its crimes.  Who knows exactly how many victims of terror there were?  Where were the executed buried?  Where were the countless camps and what transpired behind the barbed wire?  Even the relatives of the deceased do not know the truth: “10 years without the right to correspondence” – this was the only information given about the fate of those convicted under Stalinism."

Perm labor camp

There is now documented evidence of political repression by the Soviet government against the German people living in Brunnental. The following is a partial list from the Memorial web site:

Below is a list of fifteen citizens of Brunnental that were politically persecuted:

1. Aschenbrenner Heinrich Georg, the birthplace is not known. Veins in Brunnental. Passed under the list accused in gangsterism. Of May, 1921 he was accused that has voluntary entered the name in gang Pjatakov, participated in fight. Business is stopped by session of the provincial revolutionary tribunal of area of Germans of the Volga region 22.04.1922 years. Archival criminal case number ОФ-31977.

2. Bekker Alexander Alexander, was born 19.07.1908 in Brunnental, a member of a collective farm. It is arrested 28.11.1937. It is condemned by 9.12.1937 “three” NKVD АSSR DV for anti-soviet propaganda for 10 years of imprisonment. It is rehabilitated by 30.06.1989 Saratov regional court. Archival criminal case number ОФ-25846.

3.Bekker Jochan Kondrat, was born 18.12.1877 in Brunnental, a member of a collective farm. It is arrested 28.11.1937. It is condemned 3.12.1937 for participation in the anti-soviet organization, realization of anti-soviet propaganda, the statement of terrorist intentions to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 9.12.1937 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 27.06.1989 Saratov regional court. Archival criminal case number ОФ-25608.

4. Bekker Jochan Peter, was born 4.09.1883 in Brunnental, a member of a collective farm. It is arrested 15.02.1938. It is condemned for realization of anti-soviet propaganda, the statement of terrorist intentions to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 3.03.1938 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 6.06.1966 Saratov regional court. Archival criminal case number ОФ-21371.

5. Bekker Jochan Jakov, was born in 1866 in Brunnental, the peasant. It is condemned by 13.05.1921 visiting session of the Field tribunal of area of Germans of the Volga region for participation in anti-soviet revolt by 5 years of imprisonment. 22.04.1922 business is stopped by the decision of the provincial revolutionary tribunal of a labour commune of area of Germans of the Volga region. Archival criminal case number ОФ-31977.

6. Bekker Kondrat Коndrat, the peasant was born in 1883 in Brunnental. It is arrested 11.05.1921. It is condemned 13.05.1921 to the maximum measure of punishment (conditionally) for participation in revolt. 22.04.1922 business is stopped. Archival criminal case number ОФ-31977.

7. Grinwald (Grunwald?) Heinrich Konrad, was born 29.05.1884 in Brunnental. Number 9 in city of Balashov of the Saratov area worked as the worker of a printing house. It is arrested 7.03.1938 Zelman by department NKVD. It is condemned 28.05.1938 for anti-soviet propaganda to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 21.06.1938 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 17.07.1989 Saratov regional Office of Public Prosecutor. Archival criminal case number ОФ-26349.

8. Grinwald Jochann Heinrich, was born in 1888 in Brunnental. Managing a facilities in hospital. It is arrested 6.02.1938. It is condemned 14.02.1938 for anti-soviet propaganda to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 21.02.1938 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 21.06.1965 Saratov regional court. Archival criminal case number ОФ-21085.

9. Grinwald Konrad Konrad, was born 2.04.1898 in Brunnental. Veins in village Gusenbach. It is arrested 6.02.1938. It is condemned 14.02.1938 for anti-soviet propaganda to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 21.02.1938 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 3.08.1964 Saratov regional court. Archival criminal case number ОФ-20835.

10. Grinwald (Grunwald?) Marta Jakov, was born 26.02.1902 in Brunnental. A vein in village Gusenbach. A member of a collective farm. It is arrested 2.03.1938. It is condemned 26.05.1938 for espionage to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 16.06.1938 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 2.10.1989 Saratov regional Office of Public Prosecutor. Archival criminal case number ОФ-28397.

11. Grinwaldt Emmanuil Georg, was born in Brunnental. Veins in village Ekgeim (Экгейм). Worked as the director of high school. It is arrested 4.04.1935. It is condemned 11.03.1936 for anti-soviet propaganda for 5 years of imprisonment. From 5.05.1936 business is stopped by definition of the Supreme court of Russia. Archival criminal case number ОФ-18042.

12. Groot Georg Jakov, was born 5.08.1876 in Brunnental. Worked as the watchman in a collective farm. It is arrested 3.08.1937. It is condemned 8.11.1937 for anti-soviet propaganda to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 10.11.1937 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 24.08.1989 Saratov regional Office of Public Prosecutor. Archival criminal case number ОФ-27131.

13. Groot Gotlib Jakov, was born 4.04.1886 in Brunnental. Worked as the watchman in a collective farm. It is arrested 28.11.1937. It is condemned 3.12.1937 for anti-soviet propaganda by 10 years of imprisonment. It is rehabilitated by 27.06.1989 Saratov regional Office of Public Prosecutor. Archival criminal case number ОФ-25608.

14. Gutman (Getman) Georg Nikolaj, was born 15.02.1878 in Brunnental. Worked in a collective farm. It is arrested 20.04.1937. It is condemned 11.10.1937 for counterrevolutionary activity to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 19.10.1937 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 20.02.1961 Saratov regional court. Archival criminal case number ОФ-19410.

15.. Wacker Avgust Andry (Alexander?), was born in 1878 in Brunnental. Worked as managing post office in Brunnental. It is arrested 25.02.1938. It is condemned 28.05.1938 for counterrevolutionary activity to the maximum measure of punishment. It is killed 21.06.1938 in Engels. It is rehabilitated by 04.07.1958 Military court Volga of military district. Archival criminal case number ОФ-16681.


All research work and translations from Russian to English have been prepared by Alexander Schreiber, Moscow.

A note on the meaning of "Rehabilitation" from the Memorial web site:

The technical definition of the term “rehabilitation” is as follows: the restoration of lost rights and privileges, the restoration of civil rights for the future, and also the elimination of restrictions of rights connected with illegal ascription of criminal responsibility, the deprivation of freedoms, the improper conviction of innocent persons, and the illegal application of forcible means of a medical character.

Beginning in 1987, Memorial conducted a struggle for the full rehabilitation of victims of political repression in the USSR. This included the public recognition of the innocent persons and a public apology to them from the state.

The process of rehabilitation, barely begun in the Khrushchev era, was soon gradually halted.  Social pressure brought about its resumption in substantial stages through the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in January 1989. After the collapse of the USSR, different laws and resolutions were created in the various countries of the former Soviet Union.  The Russian law was rejected by the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in 1990, but was passed soon after the failed putsch in 1991.  It became the model for many of the laws on rehabilitation in other parts of the former Soviet Union.  Modifications have been made several times to the Russian law.  The latest version of modifications and amendments, which defined more precisely the category of victims of repression and expanded their rights, was rejected by the communist majority of the State Duma in the autumn of 1998.


Learn more....

Read Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum. This book was awarded a 2004 Pulitzer Prize.

View the moving historical documentary A Light in the Darkness available from AHSGR or North Dakota State University (NDSU) Libraries.

Read more about the deportation of the Volga Germans on the Memorial web site.

Read The Dark Abyss of Exile: A Story of Survival written by Ida Bender available from AHSGR and NDSU Libraries.

Read an excellent article titled The Deportation and Destruction of the German Minority in the USSR has been written by J. Otto Pohl.

Read Samuel D. Sinner's book The Open Wound - The Genocide of German Ethnic Minorities in Russia and the Soviet Union 1915-1949  assembles the vast scientific statistical documentation on the mass death of the Russian Germans, but also puts a human face on the repression.   Samuel Sinner is a Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a specialist in modern history and languages.  This is the first full-length study published in America on the genocide of ethnic German groups in the Soviet Union. Available from AHSGR and the North Dakota State University Libraries.

View the award winning film Kolyma. This award winning documentary is based on eye witness accounts, archival records, surviving documentary footage and new footage of the remains of the Kolyma camps.

See the Forced Labor Camps on-line exhibition from the Open Society Archives.

Read an article titled: Christmas in a Soviet Slave Labor Camp.

Read Kolyma: The Arctic Death Camps by Robert Conquest, 1978, The Viking Press.

Read The Nation Killers: the Soviet Deportation of Nationalities by Robert Conquest, 1970, MacMillan and Co. Ltd.

Read Gone Without A Trace: German-Russian Women in Exile by Nelly Däs, translated by Brunnental descendant Nancy Bernhardt Holland, 2001, published by and available for purchase from AHSGR. A must read.

Read about the deportations at the Library of Congress web site.

 

Help preserve the history and heritage of the Volga Germans from Brunnental by sharing your knowledge, family information, stories and photographs on this website.

Contact Sherrie Stahl.