Bessarabian German Association
The Bessarabiendeutsche Verein is a registered association based in Stuttgart. Have come together in him Bessarabia German who Bessarabia have left for resettlement in 1940, and their descendants. The aim of the association is to preserve the culture and values of the Bessarabian Germans, whose ancestors emigrated to Bessarabia in Tsarist Russia at the beginning of the 19th century . In addition, since 2008 the association has represented the Dobrudscha Germans and Bulgarian Germans who were previously united in the Landsmannschaft der Dobrudscha and Bulgarian Germans.
Seat and organization
The association's headquarters are in Stuttgart in the house of the Bessarabian Germans . In Hanover , the North Office was operated, which was previously the seat of the Aid Committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church from Bessarabia . The club's chairman was Ingo Rüdiger Isert from the time it was founded in 2006 to 2011. Brigitte Vornemann has been chairwoman since 2019. Deputies are Renate Nannt-Golka, Erika Wiener and Egon Sprecher. The board of directors includes 15 assessors and the federal managing director Günther Vossler (as of 2020). In the individual federal states there are 65 elected delegates, depending on the proportion of association members. Baden-Württemberg is represented by far the strongest. The delegates elect the 20-member board of the association. According to its own information, the association had around 1900 members in 2018.
In the House of the Bessarabian Germans , the association runs the local museum of the Bessarabian Germans . In 2009 another exhibition location was added in the former Bessarabia. It is about the Edwin Kelm Museum in Friedenstal . Edwin Kelm , the long-standing federal chairman of the Bessarabian German national team, bought his grandparents' former farm there in the mid-1990s. He had the courtyard restored and the farm buildings, which had been demolished in the meantime, the summer kitchen and the fountain rebuilt. This resulted in the Bessarabian German Village and Farming Museum under his name. The farm complex with its agricultural implements on display represents a typical form of agriculture for the German population before they left the country in 1940 after the occupation by the Soviet Union. In 2009 Edwin Kelm donated the museum to the Bessarabiendeutscher Verein.
Arnulf Baumann , former deputy Association chairman
Foundation through merger
The association was created in 2006 through the merger of the previous Bessarabian German associations:
- Country team of the Bessarabian Germans
- Local history museum of the Bessarabian Germans
- Aid Committee of the Ev.-luth. Church from Bessarabia
Although the association merged in 2006, the date of the foundation of the auxiliary committee on June 17, 1946 was taken as the foundation date of the association. The also Bessarabian German Association Alexander-Stift (Diakonische Altenpflegeeinrichtung) was founded because of its economic power by its sponsoring association, the previous auxiliary committee of the Evangelical Lutheran. Church from Bessarabia , released into independence.
With the merger, the descendants of the ethnic German group from Bessarabia bundled in a large association. The group of people who were born or lived in Bessarabia up until the resettlement in 1940 is steadily decreasing.
In September 2008 the majority of the members of the country team of the Dobruja and Bulgarian Germans decided to join the Bessarabian German Association. The reason for the connection is the disintegration of the country team, as many of its members from the experience generation have now died. Both German ethnic groups from Dobruja and Bessarabia are closely connected by their origins. The Dobrudscha Germans were largely formed from Bessarabian Germans who had emigrated to the neighboring area in search of farmland in the second half of the 19th century.
The association offers its own activities and facilities:
- House of the Bessarabian Germans with party and conference rooms
- Local museum
- Library and picture archives
- Family studies
- Faith and women work
- Cultivation of culture and tradition
- Travel to the former Bessarabia and settlement areas in Poland
- Support to hometown communities
- Monthly newspaper Mitteilungsblatt with a circulation of 3000 copies (2009)
- Annual publication of the yearbook of Germans from Bessarabia
Purpose of the association
According to the statutes, the purpose of the association is:
- Care of the community among the Germans from Bessarabia and their descendants
- Continuation of the cultural, social and religious values and traditions of the Bessarabian Germans
- Preservation of Bessarabian German history and culture
- Promotion of journalistic work through own press organ and books, media
- Represent the Bessarabian Germans in public
- Contacts in the former homeland of Bessarabia with the support of the local residents
- Maintaining the memory of the presence of the Bessarabian Germans in the former Bessarabia by erecting memorial stones and creating local museums
Historical appraisal of the time of National Socialism
In 2009, the association set up a Bessarabian German Historical Commission to deal with the time of National Socialism under scientific standards. It includes seven recognized personalities ( Arnulf Baumann , Horst Eckert, Heinz Fieß, Edwin Kelm , Werner Schäfer, Cornelia Schlarb, Ute Schmidt ) from the association. Individual time periods were examined, such as:
- 1930 in Bessarabia with the coming of Germany National Socialism and its effects
- 1940 with the resettlement and the naturalization process , the conditions in the resettlement camps and the recruitment of Bessarabian Germans for the Waffen SS
- from 1941 with the settlement in Wartheland and in Danzig-West Prussia in occupied Poland
- Post-war period in Germany with the aftermath of the Nazi era and the takeover of former leadership elites
- Christmas 2009 of the Bessarabiendeutsche Verein
- Bulletin of the Bessarabiendeutschen Verein e. V., issue 11, November 2008.
- Bessarabiendeutsche Historische Kommission - report on previous work