Yagodnaya Polyana  before WWII

While the Volga German area is a naturally formed historical area where the Volga Germans had been living since their arrival in Russia in the late 18th century, the Volga German Republic was created in the 20th century supported by political motivation and was officially an administrative territorial part of the Soviet Russian state, the USSR. The Volga German area has never had strict borders and the process of its formation continued throughout the 1920s when new, formerly unoccupied lands were acquired leading to new Volga German settlements being started here and there in the region. The Volga German Republic, on the other hand, had strictly appointed borders, which were set in stone by various official documents and were shown on the administrative-economic maps of the region.

As an administrative-territoral quantity of the Soviet Russian state, the ASSR NP existed for 23 years and never totally included all of the historical Volga German area. Some of its larger territories were parts of the then Saratov and Stalingrad Regions, such as the Yagodnaya Polyana aka Berry Meadow district of the Saratov Region that despite being intermixed with other territories, was a part of the ASSR NP for a short period of time during the years 1932 through 1935. During the period of its existence some areas bordering the ASSR NP were never officially included into its territory and some were even substracted from it. For instance, the village Neu-Frank and khutor Neu-Walter, which were situated in the vicinity of the villages Frank and Walter in the Frank canton, were extracted from the territory of the ASSR NP in 1927. 

In another case, a considerably large area on the north-eastern border of the Repubic that was predominantly inhabited by Volga Germans was not included into its territory. Also, in the early 1920s an attempt was made to found Alexanderfeld rayon, a Volga German county on this territory and then subsequently add it to the Republic´s territory. Moreover, some official publications had already included this county as being a part of the Volga German Republic*). However, the area was never officially made part of the Volga German Republic. Later on, it was included in the Yershovskiy county of the Saratov Region. Also not included were numerous little settlements in the Nikolaevskiy, Frolovskiy, Olkhovskiy and other counties of the then Stalingrad Region (Stalingradskaya oblast), now Volgograd Region.

Source:  rusdeutsch.ru, Alexander Spack in wolgadeutsche.net. Photos from CVGS
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