There have been several reports on small German communities in different parts of Europe and Central Asia. Most of them migrated during the Second World War or some of them are grandchildren of German soldiers. However, in Kyrgyzstan, long before even the First World War, relatively small German community has begun to be formed after official invitation from local authorities in 1800’s.
Germans came to Kyrgyzstan for the first time in the second half of 19th century after The Governor of Turkistan Kaufman invited them. Experienced rapid demographic growth, the German community in Kyrgyzstan has contributed remarkably to agriculture, industry and construction sectors.
With the aim of commemorating German contributions to the country, an exhibition was organized in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek’s National History Museum. Called as ‘Germans in Kyrgyz History’ the exhibition provides a comprehensive outlook to Germans’ adventure in the heart of Central Asia.
The exhibition is sponsored by several institutions including Roza Otunbayeva Initiative, The Council of Kyrgyz Germans, and German Embassy in Bishkek, Goethe Institute, Konrad Adeneur Stiftung.
The first piece presented in the exhibition is a map showing Germans’ travel from Germany to Kyrgyzstan via Russia. After Russian Czarina Yekatarina II offered German people in 1762 to settle the area between Siberia and Volga River, thousands of German began to move to Russia. In 19th century, Germna communities went to today’s Kyrgyzstan where at that time a province of Turkistan. They were employed in agriculture, construction and industry.
Composed of 40 families, German community in Kyrgyzstan experienced a hike after forced migrations during the Soviet era. However, after the collapse of Soviet Union the population went down to 10 thousand.
Along with pianos, watches, clocks and family photos that reflect Kyrgyz Germans’ daily life, their activities in several sectors are also represented in the exhibition.
German well-known artists who live in Kyrgyzstan have a special place. Ornaments designed by
Valeriy Ruppel and well-known painter Teodor Gersen’s illustrations on Epic of Manas, pieces made by wood of sculptor Yakov Vedel are some of the examples.
A part of the exhibition is allocated to Council of German People, a non-profit organization formed by Germans in Kyrgyzstan. Photos and other stuff to introduce the foundation is presented to the visitors.
National German dresses and books on the history of Germans in Kyrgyzstan meet with the Kyrgyz people. One of the stunning part of the exhibition is the one which aims to tell the forced migration applied to German minority in Soviet Union during Stalin era.
Kuzey News AgencyLast Mod: 09 Kasım 2014, 11:39