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Germans from Russia Military Records

Germans from Russia
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Alexanderwohl Church.jpgAlexanderwohl Mennonite Church in Goessel, Kansas
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Military records identify individuals who served in the military or who were eligible for service.

One of the incentives for colonizing Russia was the promise of exemption from Russian military service. Some Germans chose to move to Russia with this promise in mind in order to avoid military service in Germany. Part of the German colonists in Russia belonged to churches such as the Mennonites and Hutterites that taught their members to avoid military service for religious reasons. When Russia changed its policy, beginning in 1874, to include the German colonists in required military service, many members of these religious groups left Russia.

The Mennonites received a special exemption from military service from the Russian government between 1881 and 1917 in which they were allowed to participate in forestry service for four years rather than complete military service. For example, in Crimea the Mennonite forestry service was created to combat the infestation of phylloxera which were destroying the vineyards.

For details about available military records for Germans who served in the military in Russia, see the Russia Military Records Wiki page.