Volga Germans- Background
The Volga Germans (German: Wolgadeutsche or Russlanddeutsche, Russian: Povolzhskie nemtsy) were ethnic Germans living along the River Volga in the region of southern European Russia around Saratov and to the south. Recruited as immigrants to Russia in the 18th century, they were allowed to maintain German culture, language, traditions and churches. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many Volga Germans emigrated to the Midwestern United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and other countries.
After the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 during World War II, the Soviet government considered the Volga Germans potential collaborators and transported them wholesale to labour camps, where many died. After the war, it expelled some ethnic Germans to the West. In the late 1980s, many of the remaining ethnic Germans moved from the Soviet Union to Germany.