Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic

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Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic

 

a Soviet autonomous republic of the Volga Germans within the RSFSR that existed from 1918 to 1941. The Volga Germans were descendants of colonists who had settled along the lower Volga in the 18th century. On Oct. 19, 1918, a decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR established the Labor Commune of the Volga Germans, also known as the Autonomous Oblast of the Volga Germans. Under a decree issued by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee the oblast was reorganized as an autonomous Soviet socialist republic. The republic covered an area of 28,200 sq km and was bounded by Saratov and Stalingrad (present-day Volgograd) oblasts and the Kazakh SSR. The capital was Engels. According to the 1939 census, the republic had 605,500 inhabitants, of whom more than 60 percent were Germans.

After fascist Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the republic was abolished by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued on Aug. 28, 1941. The German population was resettled in other regions with state aid and was allocated land. On Aug. 28, 1964, a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR rescinded the sweeping accusation, unjustly made in 1941, that the Germans living along the Volga had collaborated with the fascist German invaders.