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Comparison of Perceptions of Residential Satisfaction in Hannover, Germany: Ethnic Germans from Russia Versus Native Germans

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Disciplines
  • Political Science
  • Religious Science

Abstract

Over 200 years ago, Catherine the Great invited Germans to populate and cultivate the Volga Region of Russia (Levykin, 1995). With a few notable exceptions such as periodic demands for military service, they were generally treated as privileged citizens and by World War I, a total of 1.5 million Germans had moved to Russia (Lutheran Church Services, 1995). However, with the German invasion of Russia in 1941, Stalin declared the ethnic Germans traitors and conspirators (Downey, 1993 p1038). He had them all deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan within 24 hours, separating many families in the rush (Brauer, 1995 p22). Despite the dispersion, after the war many families settled near one another, continuing to speak German and practising the Lutheran religion in their home. With the easing of the Cold War during the 1970s, ethnic Germans in Russia began to re-immigrate to Germany. There were few re-immigrants at first, but since 'The Wall' fell in 1989, there has been a large influx. Today the German government sees its immigration policy for these people as a way to compensate them for the dispersion they suffered as a consequence of World War II (Child Welfare Services, 1995).

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