Blinova A., Smirnova T., Shlegel E. Post-Soviet Identities of the Germans of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine: Ethnonyms, Language, Symbols

A. Blinova
Omsk laboratory of Archeology, Ethnografy and Museology
Institute of Archeology and Ethnography SB RAS
Omsk, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0001-8284-7042
E-mail: anblinova@mail.ru

 

T. Smirnova
Dostoevsky Omsk State University
Siberian Branch of the Heritage Institute
Omsk, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0001-7533-5364
E-mail: smirnovaTB@omsu.ru

 

E. Shlegel
Dostoevsky Omsk State University
Omsk, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0002-5972-0120
E-mail: shlegelEA@omsu.ru

 

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ABSTRACT. The identities of Germans in the post-Soviet territory represent a multifaceted and fluid phenomenon. On the basis of field research, ethno-sociological survey, and Internet sources, the article examines the mechanism of constructing the German ethnic identity in the context of the emergence of new political realities associated with the collapse of the USSR and the Germans’ residence in different states. This process has led to the fact that the “ethnic Germans of Kazakhstan”, or “Kazakh Germans”, and the “Germans of Ukraine” came to replace the “Soviet” and “Russian” Germans in the former Soviet republics. Today, the main factors affecting the identities of Germans in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine include the national policy of the state of residence, the policy of support and assistance pursued by the German government, the historical memory of the tragic events of the Soviet period (experienced in different ways in the three countries), the state of ethnic culture and language, and the activities of public organizations. The article pays special attention to the dynamics of linguistic processes in the post-Soviet territory, the authors pointing out the diminishing role of language as the main ethnomarking attribute. At the same time, the importance of the other components of ethnic identity increases, first of all, that of the shared historical past and culture. The key moments in history for the Germans are deportation, mobilization into the labor army, and the special settlement regime. The authors of the article analyze the forms of presentation and maintenance of the memory of these events. Ethnic culture is still the most important resource for the construction of identity. The most stable ethnic markers include elements of national cuisine, as well as wedding and calendar rituals.

 

 KEYWORDS: identity, postSoviet space, Germans, ethnic history, markers of ethnicity, language

 

DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2021-4(14)-249-271
УДК 316.752

 

 

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