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Johann Georg Krug (abt. 1726 - bef. 1798)

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Johann Georg (Georg) Krug
Born about in Germanymap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died before in Grimm, Saratov, Russiamap
Profile last modified 25 Feb 2019 | Created 31 Jan 2012
This page has been accessed 338 times.


Biography

Volga German
Georg Krug is a Volga German.
Georg Krug has German Roots.

Family #49 in the 1775 census.

History of the Volga Germans

On July 22, 1763, Catherine the Great issued a Manifesto inviting Germans to come settle in her country. The Empress of Russia’s invitation came at a time when the provinces of Germany were ravaged by the Seven Years War, famine and crippling poverty.

Catherine’s offer was difficult to refuse: generous acreage, free relocation expenses and supplies, no taxes for thirty years, freedom to practice their religion, no conscription in Russia’s Army, local self-government and more. German settlers were promised loans to help them buy livestock and equipment with no interest and a reasonable repayment plan.

The alternative was going to the Americas, but this option was a pay-as-you-go opportunity. For people who were already poor and couldn’t support their own families, buying tickets for passage across the Atlantic was nearly impossible. It seemed an easy decision to choose an old established country like Russia over North or South America.

Because of her German heritage, German citizens believed the Empress would be fair to them. Instead, she used her heritage as a way to manipulate hard-working people to help settle the wild, untamed areas of her adopted country. They failed to realize that Catherine was a ruthless leader who gained her power by deposing her husband, Peter, Tsar of Russia, and claiming the Russian throne for herself. Later she had him murdered.

The Empress knew many Germans were desperate to provide for their families and would jump at the opportunity to improve their lives. Germans already had a reputation as hardworking and industrious, so if anyone could help the Russians tame their desolate frontier, she believed it would be them. Thousands of Germans accepted Catherine’s offer and moved their families to Russia. Many settled in small villages along the Volga River.

Life was far different from what they expected. These new Russian citizens were forced to remain in hostile territory plagued by unpleasant weather patterns, rocky soil, vermin and disease. The earliest settlers battled with nomadic Kazakhs from China and Mongolia, and as a result, many Germans lost their lives. Still they persevered.

In 1874 the government enforced conscription on all men, including the Germans along the Volga. This was a serious breach of promise to the settlers who were strong pacifists. Many Germans in Russia moved their families to America to avoid being forced to join the military, while others stayed behind, hoping their government would re-exempt them.

Many of these Germans immigrated to North and South America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. For those who stayed in Russia, life remained harsh as they were ranked near the bottom of the country’s class system and routinely treated poorly.

By the early 1900s, those still living along the Volga River still considered themselves Germans, not Russians. Socialization with other native Russians was minimal. Intermarriage was considered taboo.

After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, all of Volga Germans were considered enemies of the state. They lost their citizenship and were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia. The weak, the elderly and those attempting to resist resettlement were shot. Many died before reaching their final destination.

Note: The historical commentary above was originally used in the preface of book I wrote called Braha (copyright 2014). Although the book is about fictional characters, it was based on the real events that led to the immigration of Germans to Russia, and the eventual disillusionment of these Germans that led to many immigrating from Russia to North and South America. ~ Julie Miller Mangano

Sources

  • Stump, Karl, The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763 to 1862 (Lincoln, Nebraska: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Third Printing 1993).
  • Mai, Brent Alan, 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga, Economy, Population, and Agriculture, Volumes 1 & 2 (Lincoln, Nebraska: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Second Printing 2005).
  • Beratz, Gottlieb, The German Colonies on the Lower Volga, Their Origin and Early Development (Lincoln, Nebraska: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Translation Copyright and Printing 1991; Originally published as Die deutschen Kolonien an de unteren Wolga in ihrer Entstehung und ersten Entwickelung in Saratov, Russia in 1915 and reprinted in Berlin Germany in 1923).
  • Kloberdanz, Timothy L., The Volga Germans in Old Russia and in Western North America: Their Changing World View (Lincoln, Nebraska: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Second Printing 1997; First Printing Anthropological Quarterly, October 1975, Volume 48, Number 4).
  • Jim Holstein, firsthand knowledge. Click the Changes tab for the details of edits by Jim and others.
  • The 1775 and 1798 Census of the German Colony of the Volga Lesnoy Karamysh, also known as Grimm; Published by the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Published date: 1995.


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Categories: Grimm | German Roots