In response to Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22nd, 1941, Stalin ordered the deportation of millions of ethnic Germans residing near the Eastern Front into Central Asia. This decision represented a swift change in the Soviet Union’s treatment of the sizable German population that had lived in Russia since the reign of Katherine the Great. Simultaneously, as Nazi Germany expanded its territory, Hitler’s regime had to deal with a massive influx of Soviet citizens into the Third Reich. This paper explores the change in treatment of ethnic Germans living in the USSR (commonly referred to as Soviet Germans) during the Second World War. This treatment is compared to the changes experienced by Soviets under Nazi rule over the course of the same time period. In order to better understand the effects of policy changes towards the two groups, this study considers the aspects of Soviet German and Soviet identity that developed as a result of their unique situations. This research contributes to the body of knowledge that is available about two unique groups of people that experienced drastic changes to their lives during the 20th century.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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