The story of the Volga Germans as a distinct ethnic group begins in the mid 1760's when they were actively recruited by the Catherine the Great's government. Russia's goal was to entice skilled farmers and craftsmen to colonize their eastern frontier along the lower Volga River.
This site will help you learn more about where these people originated in Europe and why they migrated to Russia before deciding to move again to the New World beginning in 1875.
Like many immigrants in North America, some Volga Germans were lured to the Western frontier. Many chose Portland, Oregon as their new home and settled as a close knit community in the Albina area beginning in 1881.
The impacts of two world wars, changing demographics, government policy decisions and assimilation would ultimately dissolve this enclave, leaving few recognizable reminders.
Although most current residents know little about this ethnic group, the Volga Germans have become a successful and integral part of the the Portland community.
Last updated February 16, 2018.