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Soviet Union


About 2 million Germans lived in the Soviet Union in 1989. The Kazakh Republic had the largest concentration of Germans (over 956,000), followed by the Russian Republic (841,000) and the Kirgiz Republic (101,000). Prior to World War II, many Germans lived in their own autonomous republic on the Volga River and were referred to as Volga Germans. Stalin ordered their dispersal into Soviet Central Asia and Siberia when Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941. Unrepatriated German prisoners of war further increased the German population in the Soviet Union. Since World War II, however, a considerable number of Germans have returned to German territory. In 1989 only 49 percent of the Germans claimed German as their first language.

Data as of May 1989