Kisser T. S. Ivan Kronevald and national movement of the soviet germans' (.pdf)


The article offers an overview of the life and work of Ivan Kronevald, the leader of the Soviet Germans' national movement in the Urals. He was born in 1919 in Saratov, received a degree in History at the local university, and was deported to Kazakhstan and later to the “labor army” in Nizhny Tagil where he lived until his death in 1995. He continued the study of history, defended a thesis focusing on the problems of the Soviet German diaspora and extensively covered the subject in his publications. Kronevald sent several letters to the government authorities requesting greater attention to the Soviet German diaspora. Main problems faced by the Germans in the USSR, accordingto his point of view,were related to the lack of autonomy, uncertain position of the Soviet Germans, and the language problem. From 1965 to 1989, Kronevald together with the delegationsof the German diaspora activistsvisited the Kremlin several times, where they discussed issues of rehabilitation and restoration of the Volga Germans' republic. The result of those discussions was the establishingof the Soviet Germans’ society “Vozrozhdenie” (Revival) in 1989. The main aim of the society was the restoration of the Volga Germans' republic. Heinrich Grout was the leader of the society. In the early 1990s, Kronevald gradually went away from public activism concentrating more on academic research. “Vozrozhdenie” ceased to exist in 1993; its goal was not achieved and most of the society's activists emigrated to Germany. Kronevald's heritage includes research papers, as well as active involvement in public and political life on both regional and federal levels. His views and organizational initiatives are maintained in a new and updated form by his successors.


Key words: Ivan Ivanovich Kronevald (1919–1995), the Soviet Germans, delegations to the Kremlin, the national society “Vozrozhdenie” (“Revival”).


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