Catholic Diocese of Tiraspol Historical view.
Also, a Historical View of
Transnistria and other parts of New Russia, Bessarabia, Bukovina, Dobrudscha
and their German Inhabitants

Bessarabia is the territory between the rivers Prut (west) and Dnestr (Nistru)(east). On its southern boundary is the lower Danube river and the Black Sea. It represents the eastern half of Moldova, under Russian rule. The Bugeac Steppe is ranged in the south from the Nistru to Prut Rivers reaching down to the Black Sea. It’s the biggest steppe in Bessarabia, with towns and villages mostly founded by colonists, who came at the beginning of the XIXth century to the south of Moldova: Germans, Gagauzians (a Christian Turkish population), Bulgarians, Czechs, etc.

While the villages like Akkerman are in Bessarabia, Odessa is outside Bessarabia, in a region called by the Romanians Transnistria, bordered by the rivers Nistru (west), Bug (east) and the Black Sea (south).

Dobrudscha, (Romanian: Dobrogea) with the districts Tulcea (Germ: Tultscha) and Constanta (Germ: Konstantza or Konstanza) is a province mostly in Romania. It is bordered by the Danube River on the western and northern side, by the Black Sea on the eastern side, and Bulgaria on the southern side. Main city: Constanta. Dobrudscha has an extension, now in Bulgaria, called Cadrilater, with two districts, Darstor (Silistra) and Caliacra (Germ: Kaliakra).

Northern of Dobrudscha, lies Bessarabia. They are separated by the lower Danube River and the Danube Delta.

The Crimean (Krim) Peninsula, is far east from Bessarabia. Also Nikolaiev and Cherson are eastern and outside Bessarabia and Transnistria.
See a map of the Black Sea shores of southern Bessarabia, Transnistria and eastern side of the Kherson province.

940-965: First documentary mention with regard to an urban medieval settlement on the Moldovan territory: Akkerman (Cetatea Alba), under the name of Maurokastron (the ancient Greco-Roman walled city Tyras).
1394: Roman I, the prince and ruler of the feudal principality of Moldova, conquered Akkerman in July of this year and enclosed the Bugeac steppe inside its boundaries, setting the eastern limits of the historical borders of Moldova on the Nistru river. This Nistru boundary would be, in the future, the eastern boundary of Bessarabia.

1484: The Turkish empire annexed the Bugeac Steppe. The remaining part of Bessarabia, was still in Moldova.

1634: From the four major groups or hordes of the Nogai Tartars (Bugeac, Edisan, Jambulak and Edishkul), reunited since this year under the rule of the Crimean Tartars, the Bugeac (Budzak, Bujak) horde was already settled in the south-eastern part of Moldova, reaching to the Black Sea and the Nistru river, known as the Bugeac steppe and the Edisan (or Jedisan) horde was settled in the southern part of Transnistria, between the rivers Nistru and Bug.

1648: The Catholics of Dobrudscha were assigned to the diocese of Nicopolis.

1711: After loosing the battle from Stanileshti against the Turks, Peter settled many allies from the Moldovan army in Russia and he invited Balkan Slavic peoples of orthodox denomination to settle to the new lands to help secure them for Russia.

1715: After the See of Sofia was left vacant, the administration of Walachia was transferred to the Bishop of Nicopolis.

1727: The Serb Hussar Regiment was formed to defend Russia’s borders. It was based in Bakhmut (Artemovsk), in the region called Slavyano-Serbia.

1753: Governmental Senate on the 29th of March, the 1st of April and 29th of May issued a decree concerning settlement of free lands on the right bank of Donets between Bakhmut and Lugan rivers by Serbians, Bulgarians, Hungarians and other Balkan countries by birth of orthodox denomination. This decree was based on a new concept, the military farming community. Settlers were united in companies, the latter formed two hussar regiments. The territory settled by the regiments, named Slavyano-Serbia, was not a province, but it was directly subordinated to the Senate and High Board.

1754: Another Serbian military colony, Novo-Serbia, was created on Russian land to the west of the middle Dnepr river (south of right-bank Ukraine) with the arrival of Serb retired colonel Ivan Samoilovich Khorvat-Kurtiz, who came with 218 of his countrymen. They founded a military farming community around the St. Elizabeth fortress, which later grew into the city of Elizavetgrad (Kirovograd). The fortress was founded by Russian general Glebov on orders from Russian Empress Elizabeth. Greek, Moldovan and Serb immigrants, Russian runaways and Old Believers from Poland and the Chernigov province came to settle this region. It was never part of the Ukraine.

1763, July 22: Catherine II the Great's Second Manifesto entitled "On Permitting All Foreigners Moving Into Russia to Take Up Residence in Several Gubernias of Their Choice and granting Them Rights" containing the call to foreigners to emigrate to Russia. The Second Manifesto promised ten special privileges for German colonists, among them: the right to settle in any part of Russia, payment of travel expense, freedom of religion, freedom from taxes for 30 years and from military service, internal self government and the right of a free return to their homeland. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, from around 500,000 Germans settled in Russia during the following century, approximately 180,000 were Catholics. Approximately 300 mother colonies were founded throughout Russia during the settlement years and numerous daughter colonies followed. Eventually there were more than 3,000 ethnic settlements in Russia.

1764: For the first time the "New Russia" province (gubernia) was mentioned officially. It is currently located in the south of the Republic of Ukraine. It stretched from the Nistru river on the west to the Donets river on the east and here the empress Catherine the Great settled many German colonists. To the west was the principality of Moldova. To the north were "Slobodskaya Ukraina" centered in Kharkov, the historic Ukrainian lands known as "Malorussia" or "Little Russia", (encompassing the provinces of Kiev, Poltava, and Chernigov), and the "West Russia" (encompassing the provinces of Podolia and Volhynia). Eastward was the Territory of the Don Cossacks.
Slavyano-Serbia became the Donetsk uezd of Ecaterinoslav region, ruled by New Russia's governor-general. Both regiments were united in one, named Bakhmutsky hussar regiment with common numeration of companies, which were 16. The settlers from Moldova and Walachia gained with oddments of 9-th military-agricultural company of Slavyano-Serbia, would derivate a sloboda (military place) named "Gosudarev Bayrak". Gosudarev Bayrak was one of the largest populous villages of the Bakhmut district, included in the area of the present day industrial city of Gorlovka.
The Novo Serbia (Elisavetgrad) colony was included in the Kherson region of New Russia.

1763-1767: Catherine II called for 27,000 people to come to Russia, ordering them to settle to the South of Saratov.

1769, December 15-1774, September: Moldova was occupied by Russia (de facto from 1769, October 8).

1770: In southern Bessarabia, the Buceag steppe, territory of the Bilhorod Horde, or Bugeac Horde, was under the military occupation of Russia and soon after this horde was dispersed, together with a part of the local Romanian population, through resettlement in the Azov steppe. From there its remnants emigrated to Turkey during the Crimean War and they were replaced by colonists.

The former inhabitants of the southern Bessarabia (Bugeac) and southern Transnistria (territory of the Jedisan horde) were Romanians (Moldovans) and Tartars. The Tartars belonged to the Bilhorod Horde (or Bugeac Horde, or Bugeac Tartars) and, respectively, to the Jedisan horde. These Tartars were members of the Nogay Tartar hordes that lived as a protectorate of the Crimean Khanate and Turkey. In the 17th century they migrated from the Caspian steppes to the steppes adjacent to the lower Nistru river and the Black Sea. The Bilhorod Tartars (20,000-30,000) were nomadic herdsmen. They made forays for slaves and loot into Bessarabia and Transnistria.

1787: Organized settlement of the region known as New Russia (Novorossiya) by foreign immigrants began.

1788, October-1792, March: The principality of Moldova and the southern part of the natural region of Transnistria, territory of the Jedisan horde, were occupied by Russia. Moldova was divided in a northern region (military administrator: the general count Suvorov), and southern region occupied by Austria (to 1791, August 4).

1792: By the Treaty of Jassy, Turkey ceded the region between the Nistru and the Bug rivers (Jedisan) to Russia. Jedisan was added to the territory of New Russia, that reached now its maximal size.

1792: The foundation of Tiraspol by the Russian general count Suvorov, in place of an old Moldovan settlement from Jedisan, burnt to the ground by the Turks in 1787.

1792-93 Bishop Paulus Dovanlia of Nicopolis (1777-1804) transferred the seat of his diocese to the Franciscan monastery in Bucharest; since then the bishops of Nicopolis have resided in Bucharest, the current capital of Romania.

1794: Odessa was founded.

1800: The Emperor (also called Czar or Tsar by the Russians) approved "Instructions for the Guardianship Office of New Russia Foreign Settlers". These Instructions determined the basic functions of the Guardianship Office. Its purpose was to carry out the general management of all foreign colonies in the territory of South Russia and was unchanged until 1818.

1802: The New Russia Province was divided by order from the Emperor Alexander I (see map) into the Nikolaev (Kherson from 1803), Ekaterinoslav, and Tauride Provinces. The Kherson province had an area of 70,600 sq. kms.

1803: The Czar appointed the French Duke Emmanuel O. Richelieu as Governor of Odessa; arrival of more than 2,990 German emigrants to Odessa area. The Russian officials didn't provide newcomers suitable quarters for winter and the heating was insufficient, because there are no forests in the area. The colonists, who arrived before October, could prepare for winter and had comparatively easy life. Those who arrived later often fell ill and died. A total of one sixth of them died in the quarantine stations, located in the border towns Dubossary and Ovidiopol, and consisting of three or four huts built of mud. Both sick and healthy immigrants were packed together in overcrowded rooms, while others had to camp outdoors for several weeks. The governor tried to help them to find jobs during the winter in the city, because he wanted to settle them in areas close to the city, in order to supply its inhabitants with fresh vegetables and fruits.

1804, February 20: Manifesto of Alexander I (1801-1825). Invitation to Germans to settle in the New Russia region. However, not everyone was accepted. The new settlers needed to bring with them a certain amount of money and to demonstrate their expertise as agricultors, artisans or craftsmen.

1804-1806: Grossliebental colonies were founded. Forty four families arrived in the first year in Klein-Liebenthal and 116 persons in Josephsthal.

1805: Duke Richelieu was appointed governor general of New Russia, the area between the Nistru River and reaching close to the lower Don River.

1808 - 1810: People from Baden, Alsace and the Palatinate established the Kutchurgan (six villages) and Glueckstal (four villages) colonies in the Odessa region. The Kutschurgan colonies were all catholic.

1810: Russia discontinued all financial assistance to the new immigrants. However, the immigration would continue until 1842 and, after a sporadic wave in 1858-1861, it would come to an end.

1812: The word "Bessarabia" appeared for the first time, in order to designate the eastern half of Moldova. It was actually a shrewd diplomatic move to circumvent the Tilsit Treaty which committed Russia to evacuate both Walachia and Moldova. Since the Treaty did not mention "Bessarabia" the Russian troops could remain there.

1812: Due to the imminent invasion by Napoleon, Russia agreed to annex only the eastern half of Moldova (Bessarabia with Bugeac) after it won the Russian-Turkish war from 1806-1812. As a result of Bucharest Agreement concluded in the year of 1812, the nomadic Muslim Tartar population from Bugeac, who already fled in front of the Russian army, were forced to evacuate Bugeac and new colonists were brought after the war. The Christian Romanian population from Bugeac, the central and northern Bassarabia remained. The capital was established in Chisinau. Now "New Russia" reached its maximal size, with the provinces of Bessarabia, Kherson (including Odessa), Tauride (including Crimea) and Yekaterinoslav.

1814 - 1824: German settlements in Bessarabia. By 1816, over 1500 German families moved into this area. Immigrants were primarily from Swabia, the Palatinate, Bavaria, Mecklenburg, Pomerania, Silesia, Brandenburg, plus Germans from the Warsaw region, as well as Saxons. From the initial 25 German colonies, located in the Malojaroslawetz district and in the Kloestitz district (later became the Akkerman, Izmail and Bender districts), only Krasna was catholic.

1815, September 15: After Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo and sent into exile, the Duke Richelieu was appointed as prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of France.

1818, April 29: Establishment of the Bessarabean oblast: for the first time, the territory known as Bessarabia obtained a separate political entity.

1820: The Jesuits were forced to leave the Catholic colonies and Russia itself.

1825: In the Black Sea region lived 51,014 German colonists, divided in 7,866 families. In the new created Odessa county alone, with 34 settlements, there were more Germans (5 percent) than Ukrainians (0.5 percent). They had 19 churches and 23 schools. In Bessarabia, there were 17 colonies with 12 schools.

1828, Feb 29: Bessarabia became a province of the Russian empire.

1842: Codification of all privileges, duties, and rights of the colonists; granting of rights of citizenship throughout the Russian empire.

1842: Some 6,000 German colonists from Bessarabia emmigrated into the principalities of Moldova and Walachia and founded Jakobstal near Braila.

1845: 1845 Pope Gregory XVI visits Czar Nicholas I.

1847, August 3: In order to address the religious needs of the German colonists, a concordate between Vatican and the Russian empire is signed. The German Catholic minority comprised about a fourth to a third of those who had immigrated to Russia. The colonies were located in the central section of the Volga between Saratov and Zarizyn, on the North coast of the Black Sea (between the estuary of the Danube and all the way to the Crimea) and deep into the Caucasus. One of the provisions was the foundation of a catholic diocese in Russia.

1848, July 3: Foundation of the catholic diocese Tiraspol based in Cherson. It included at that time the governments of Saratov, Samara, Kherson, Yekaterinoslav, Tauride, and Bessarabia. The reason why Tiraspol was chosen as name for this new diocese, was that Tiraspol had been the See of the old diocese of Kherson, which existed in the 14th Century. A suffragan bishop was appointed as the spiritual leader in Saratov assisted by two bishops, another without a designated seat and a fourth one.

1850. Helanus Kahn becomes the first bishop of the Tiraspol diocese.

1852, September 18: In accordance with a papal writ, the headquarters of the diocese were moved to Tiraspol.

1856: Following the Russian defeat in the Crimean war (December 1855) the south-western corner of Bugeac (Ismail, Cahul and Bolgrad counties) were given back to the principality of Moldova (capital: Yassy or Iasi, now in Romania).

1856: Bishop's arrival in Saratov. Changing the headquarters at Tiraspol was not possible due to the Crimean war. On his arrival in Saratov, this city numbered 45,000 residents, but there were only 500 Catholics.

1857: Catholic seminary established in Saratov, Russia.

1857: The Ottoman Empire issued the Refugee Code (Muhadrin Kanunnamesi), granting plots of state land to immigrant families and groups. They were given exemptions from taxes and conscription for six years if they settled in Rumeli (the European part ) and for 12 years if they opted for Anatolia. They were to cultivate the land and not to sell or leave it for 20 years and they had to became the subjects of the sultan, accepting his laws and justice. They had freedom of religion, whatever their faith, and were allowed to build churches if none were available.
News of the decree spread widely through Europe and met with a ready response from various groups unable to find land or political peace at home. However, the resettlement in the Ottoman Balkans, based on this decree, of the Muslim Circassians driven out by the Russian imperial expansion from their native area, located east of the Black Sea, eventually caused the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878.

1859: The principality of Moldova joined after free vote, the southern principality of Walachia, populated also by Romanian speakers, and in 1862, they proclaimed a new state, Romania.

1859: There were a total of 153 German colonies in the region of New Russia with a total of 106,123 people.

1860: Approximately this year, the government of the Ottoman Empire invited the German colonists from Bessarabia and South Russia to settle in Dobrudscha.

1862: The counties of Ismail, Cahul and Bolgrad are a part of Romania.

1864: Bishop Kahn dies. Lipski becomes administrator, but the see remained vacant until 1872.

1869: Central School established in Grossliebental.

1871, June: The government of Alexander II canceled the colonists' privileged status in all over the Russian territory.

1872: The rectory of the seminary, Franz Xaver Zottmann (b. at Ornbau in the Bavarian Diocese of Eichstatt in 1826), is appointed bishop.

1874: Colonists subject to a universal, compulsory 6-year military service.

1875, May 5: Bishop Dr. Alexander Frison, Apostolic Administrator of Odessa, was born at Baden, Kutschurgan District, Odessa.

1877: Karl Smidt, of German origin, born in 1846 in Balti, won free elections and became the mayor of Chisinau, the capital of Bessarabia.

1877, April: The Russian emperor Alexander II in Chisinau. At the parade of the Russian troops, Alexander II proclaimed war against Turkey and blessed his army for the defense of his country and the sanctity of his majesty.

1877-1878: Russia took Romania as an ally and it started a new war against Turkey. Following this war, won by the two countries, Russia did not take territory in Europe from Turkey, but it took back the counties Ismail, Cahul and Bolgrad from its weak ally, Romania. Russia gave Romania the province of Dobrudscha (the province of Tulcea, with the districts of Chilia, Sulina, Mahmudia, Isaccea, Mãcin, Babadag, Hârºova, Kunstendje and Medgidia by the treaty of San Stefano; the islands in the Danube Delta, the Serpents’ Island and the Mangalia district were added by the treaty of Berlin 1878) as a compensation instead. Dobrudscha was a part of Walachia until 1417, when it was conquered by the Turkish empire and given back in 1878.

1877-1903. Karl Smidt won free elections for the mayoral office every four years. His 25 years of tenure were marked with a general improvement of life in Chisinau. German architects took an active part in constructing some of the popular architectural sites of Chisinau, among them were G. Zetzner, L. Scheidevan, N. Mertz, R. Kurt and even Bernardazzi who had German roots.

1880, April 25: Bishop Markus Glaser was born in Landau, capital of the Beresan District, Odessa.

1882: Bishop Zottmann is the first Russian Catholic bishop to pay homage to the pope.

1883: The territory of Romania was separated ecclesiastically from the Diocese of Nicopolis and the bishop Ignatius Paoli was named Archbishop of Bucharest.

1884: The diocese of Yassy was founded for the catholics from Moldova, Romania, by the pope Leon al XIII-lea through the letter entitled „Quae in christiani nominis incrementum".

1885: The beginning of Catholic emmigration to Canada and the USA.

1888: On account of illness, bishop Zottmann resigned in 1888, and died in his native city on 12 December, 1901. He was followed by bishop Anton Zerr, who came from a German colony near Odessa, and had been educated at the Tiraspol seminary.

1891: Russian is introduced as compulsory language of instruction in schools in all over the Russian Empire.

1893: New wave of "Russianism." Names of some German settlements were replaced with Russian names.

1897: According to a census, 342,000 Germans were living in South Russia. Same census showed that of all the nationalities in Bessarabia, the Germans had the highest percentage of persons able to read and write-63%. In the Tauride gubernia of New Russia (it included the Crimean Peninsula) the Germans made up 5.4% of the population.

1901 - 1911: Approximately 105,000 German settlers emigrate from Russia to America.

1902: Bishop Zerr resigns. Baron von der Ropp, (1851-1939) becomes the fourth bishop of Tiraspol.

1904: Joseph Kessler, Volga German, becomes the fifth bishop of Tiraspol, after Bishop von der Ropp was transferred to the see of Vilnius, to take over as the top spiritual leader of all Roman Catholic faithful of Russia.

1905: Bishop von der Ropp effectively prevented a pogrom prepared by the Tsarist authorities against the Jews from Vilna.

1905, April 28: The Edict of Toleration of Nicholas II formulated the basic criteria to regulate relations between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church in the Russian Empire. However, the period of toleration was too brief to allow a platform for collaboration to be worked out. The German language was permitted again in the private schools.

1907: Central School established in Landau.

1911: During a religious persecution, Baron Eduard von der Ropp, Bishop of Vilna, was obliged to resign his see by the Tsarist authorities and to retire to the province of Perm.

1913: The second Balkan war was concluded by a Romanian intervention on the side of Greece, Serbia and Turkey. Bulgaria lost territory and it gave Romania the southern part of Dobrudscha, called Cadrilater. Cadrilater had two counties: Dristor and Kaliakra.

1914: A census put the number of Germans living in Russia at 2,416,290.

1914: The Tiraspol diocese comprised 350,000 Roman Catholics, of whom 90% were Germans, with 100 pastoral offices and 179 priests. It was one of the largest dioceses in the world, with an area of 462,504 square miles, and covered the governments of Saratov, Samara, Kherson, Yekaterinoslav, Tauride, and Bessarabia. The bishop lived at Saratov, the capital of the government with the same name. The ecclesiastical institutions were, besides the cathedral chapter, the seminary for priests at Saratov, which had a rector, an inspector, a spiritual director, and five professors; there was also a seminary for boys at the same place, with three professors. Religious orders were not permitted.

1914: Following the start of the WWI, the German place names were replaced with Russian ones. Despite being Russian citizens, the land holdings of the German colonists were seized.

1915: Pogrom against Germans in Moscow. Businesses plundered, 40 Germans were injured, three died.

1917, March 17: The Central Rada was founded in Kiev on the initiative of the Society of Ukrainian Progressives with the participation of other political parties. Mykhailo Hrushevsky was chosen in absentia as the chairman of the Rada.

1917, April 20-23: First All-German Congress in the history of Germans in Russia, held in Odessa, established a central committee for all Russian Germans.

1917, May 1: The Russian troops from Yassy found out that a Russian revolutionary, named Christian Rakowsky, who was also a Romanian citizen, was in jail. They demonstrated together with some local elements in front of the prison and the Romanian Government was forced to free him. Rakowsky left immediately for Odessa. After some time he went in St. Petersburg.

1917, July 13: It was proclaimed the autonomous territory of Ukraine within Russia and a provisional government was formed by the Central Rada. In mid July, the Provisional Government from Petrograd sent a delegation, led by Aleksander Kerensky, to Kiev to negotiate. But weakened by the disastrous failure of its offensive in Galicia, the Russians were forced to recognize five Ukrainian provinces (Kiev, Poltava, Podilia, Volhynia, and Chernihiv) to the authority of the Rada.

1917, September: By this time existed an Odessa Moldovan Executive Committee, and a Council of Soldiers and Officers of Odessa and the Romanian Front. One of the members of the former was St. Holban. Rakowsky came back from St. Petersburg and he started a newspaper in Odessa with the motto: Peace without annexations or indemnities.

1917, October 20: A congress of the Moldovan Soldiers from the Russian army set the provincial Diet of Bessarabia, under the name "The Council of the Country". From 120 initial members, 36 belonged to the minorities, 2 of them being Germans.

1917, November 7: The Bolshevik Revolution. Shortly afterward, the church property is confiscated. The Catholic clergy under leadership of the former bishop of the Tiraspol diocese, Baron von der Ropp, refused to sign the contracts of transfer of church property and they were convicted. Ever since the beginning of the persecutions of Catholics shortly after the Russian Revolution, the diocese of Tiraspol has not been a functioning entity.

1917, November 20: The Central Rada refused to recognize the Bolshevik Government and it proclaimed the Ukrainian People's Republic with nine provinces: Kiev, Podolia, Volinia,Chernigov, Poltava, from the territory of the historic Ukraine, Kharkov, and Ekaterinoslav, Kherson (with Odessa) and Tauride from the New Russia's territory. The territory of New Russia was claimed by Ukraine for the first time and it did not have Russia's agreement.

1917, December 2/15: Moldovan Democratic Republic proclaimed by the Council of the Country (Sfatul Tzeriy). Bessarabia was declared the independent Democratic Moldovan Republic, federated with Russia. The Russian Bolshevik government recognized immediately the independence of Moldova. Armistice between Russia and the Central Powers.

1917, December 12: The first all-Ukraine Congress of Soviets was held in Kharkov which declared Ukraine a Soviet Republic and formed the first Soviet government of the Ukraine.

1917, December 25: Proclamation of the Ukrainian People's Republic (Bolshevik; independence from Russia), it encompassed only the historic Ukraine and included the provinces of Kiev, Poltava, Zhitomir, Vinnitsa, Pereyaslavl and part of Chernigov, the approximate boundary of the Ukraine according to the Belotserkovsky Treaty of 1651. This Soviet republic encompassed theoretically all the Soviets of Ukraine, everyone having established their own subrepublic.
In the New Russian provinces, separate Russian Soviet republics were formed, the Donetsk-Krivorog Soviet Republic (stated separation from Ukrainian People's Republic on January 30, 1918 and merged with Russia at the second All-Ukrainian Soviets Congress on March 17, 1918 encompassing the Ekaterinoslav province of New Russia and the Kharkov province of Slobodskaya Ukraina), the Odessa Soviet Republic (lasted January 16 to March 10, 1918) and the Tavria (Tauride) Soviet Socialist Republic (Crimea and central section of New Russia) that lasted between March 10-April 18, 1918. Yielding to pressure from Bolshevik leaders V.I. Lenin and Sverdlov, the remaining structures of all three New Russia's Soviet republics were forced by October 1918 to join the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and its Bolshevik party in order to attract more Ukrainian nationalists to Bolshevik ideals. This was the first time ever that the province of New Russia became part of the Ukraine with Russian agreement, and there were no votes or referendums involved in the process.

1917, November-1918, March: Odessa was under the rule of a Bolshevist government, named Romcherod (full name: Central Executive Committee of Councils of Workers', Soldiers' and Sailors' Deputies of Romanian Front, Black sea Navy and Odessa Region), that proclaimed Transnistria as an entity separated from the independent Ukraine. At the beginning of the month of January 1918, Rakowsky came to Odessa after he adhered to the Bolshevik party, that made him its representative with full powers for the South Russia, having the title of Commissar for the Sovnarkom (the Soviet of People's Commissars, or the Bolshevik Government, headed by V.I. Lenin) of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Rakowsky had come down to Odessa to form a High Commission to fight Romanian and Ukrainian counterrevolution; this supplemented the Romcherod-Soviet of Soldiers and Workers, presided by Vladimir Grigorevich Yudovsky, (born in 1879 or 1880 at Novodmitrovka, Kherson, and deceased in 1949 in Moscow),which was nominally the chief authority even yet in Odessa. He became the chairman of this commission, called the Supreme Autonomous Collegium and a member of Romcherod (the Central Executive Council of Romanian Soviets). Under his supervision the Romanian personalities who took refuge at Odessa, like a former vice-president of the Romanian Parliament, were arrested and Romcherod threatened to assasinate them in order to obtain high sums of money from their families and the evacuation of Bessarabia by the Romanian troops. Some Romanian speakers (Moldovans) from Transnistria, looking for self-determination of their province, supported this government.

1918, January 1/14: Front Committee of Romcherod proclaims itself the supreme power in Bessarabia.

1918, January 15/28: Establishment of the Red Army.

1918, January 18/31 - February: Ukrainian (Ukrainian People's Republic) intervention in Transnistria and Bessarabia. It thought to make Bessarabia its tenth province.

1918, January 19/February 1: Patriarch Tikhon anathemizes the Bolsheviks and calls for the defense of the Church.
Romanian occupation of Bessarabia.

1918, January 22/February 4: An independent non-Communist Ukrainian state is proclaimed at Kiev. It claimed the territory of the historic Ukraine (5 provinces) and all the territory of New Russia, including Bessarabia (other 5 provinces).

1918,January 24 : Introduction of a new calendar in Russia, by the Bolshevik Government. According to the new calendar, this day became February 6.

1918, January 24 (same as January 24/February 6): The Council of the Country proclaimed the independence of the Moldovan Republic with the capital at Chisinau; the situation of Bessarabia, between two independent states, Romania and the Ukraine, necessitated this action.

1918, January 27 - 1918 March 1/14: Soviet Russian occupation of Ukraine. Kiev is occupied on January 28.

1918, February 9: Despite being left without territory the delegation of the Rada (parliament) of the independent non-Communist Ukraine continued to be recognized as a valid participant at Brest-Litovsk and it signed a separate peace agreement between the independent Ukraine and the Central Powers. Rada maintained that Ukraine is composed of nine provinces: Kiev, Podolia, Volhynia, Chernigov and Poltava from ther territory of the so-called historic Ukraine and Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav, Kherson and Tauride from the territory of New Russia (South Russia).

1918, January-March: Romcherod troops fought against both Romania and the independent Ukraine. At the end of February the Romanians, at the insistence of the French mission, crossed the Nistru (Dniester), occupied Rybnitsa (a city on the eastern bank of the Nistru, in Transnistria) and they attempted to advance further so as to occupy the whole of Bessarabia and the area around Odessa, but they were defeated and forced to withdraw behind the Nistru (Dniester). Five days later, the Romanians allowed the Germans through.

1918, March 3/16: The Brest-Litovsk treaty with the Soviets was signed. It had a repatriation clause benefiting German-Russians. Russia surrendered Poland, the Baltic provinces, Transcaucasia, Finland, and the Ukraine. Eventually, Russia lost 32% of its land, 34% of its population, 54% of its industry and 89% of its coal. New Russia was recognized to Ukraine. Following the Sovieto-German treaty from Brest-Litovsk, the Germans entered Ukraine and expelled the Soviets. Both Romania and the Central Rada of Ukraine supported this intervention, which ended the rule of the Bolshevist Romcherod government led by Rakowsky and of the other two Bolshevist states from New Russia, the Tauride and the Donetsk-Krivorog Soviet republics.

1918, March 10/23: The Canadian mediator sent by the Romanian Government from Yassy, colonel Joseph Boyle, handled to Rakowsky a signed treaty concerning Bessarabia. The Romcherod government, led by Christian Rakowsky, unexpectedly left Odessa by sea during the night, taking all the valuables of the Romanian prisoners, abandoned to a military corp called "The Death Batallion", made up mainly from criminals. After an adventurous odissey in South Russia's ports at the Black Sea, colonel Boyle brought the prisoners alive in Romania on April 1 and he was decorated by the king of Romania.

1918, March 13/26: The German troops, coming from the north along the left bank of the Nistru river, entered Odessa. Thus Bessarabia was separated geographically from Russia.

1918, March 14/27: In front of an imminent German and Austrian occupation, allies of the non-Communist Ukraine, the supreme authority from Bessarabia, named "The Council of the Country" voted to join Romania in order to protect itself against neighboring Ukraine, that asked at Brest-Litovsk to take some parts of the Bessarabean territory. Romania, who fought on the side of the Anglo-French allies, had an armistice with Germany and a peace treaty was pending. The German minority, appreciated to represent 3 % of the Bessarabean population, sent two representatives, Philipp Almendingher, a 50 years old farmer from Akkerman, and Alexander von Loesch, who participated in the debates. The latter stated that their group would abstain from voting, since they had no authorization to take any such step; they would call a congress of Bessarabian Germans, and bring the matter before them. This Congress was soon held, under the chairmanship of Rev. Dr. Haase, later a representative in the Romanian Parliament, and the union with Roumania was sanctioned.

1918, March-November: Austrian military occupation of Khotin, the northernmost district of Bessarabia.

1918, March to December: Odessa was under Austrian occupation. Military commanders: Eduard Freiherr von Böhm-Ermolli (1856 - 1941) succeeded since May 6 by Alfred Krauss (1862 - 1938).

1918, April 8: Decree published by the Bolsheviks on the division of the Republic into eight military districts and establishment of commissariats at vol ost, uyezd, province and district levels.

1918, May 31: Decision by the Council of People's Commissars of Russia and its appeal for the organisation of armed grain-procurement detachments. Widespread abuse against the peasants.

1918, October 17-22: The Second Congress of the Ukrainian Communist (Bolshevik) Party. The Crimean party organisation, together with all other party organizations from New Russia, were already subordinated to the Ukrainian Communist (Bolshevik) Party structure as provincial party organizations at the initiative of Lenin and Sverdlov and they sent delegates at this congress. This little known initiative set the frame of the merger between New Russia and Ukraine, because after the Civil War, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's territory will be constituted along the borders of its provincial party organizations.

1918, December 18: French forces from the Balkans occupied Odessa. They also occupied all the Southern Russia north of the Black Sea. Governor of Odessa: the French general Borius. Also Polish and Greek troops participated in the occupation.

1919, January 6: The founding of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Between January 29 and December 17, 1919 and 1920, February 19-1923, July 15 it was headed by Christian Rakowsky, as the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars.

1919, January 23-31: The Bessarabean district of Khotin was occupied by an adventurous Bolshevik partisans detachment, who proclaimed an ephemerous Khotin Soviet state independent from Romania, headed by a Directory presided by the Bolshevik commissar Voloshenko-Mardaryev.

1919, April 8: Bolsheviks expelled the French from Odessa and they occupied Transnistria, the territory on the left bank of the Nistru river. A couple of days later, an ultimatum was given to the Romanian Government to retreat its troops that helped the French from Transnistria.

1919, April: Only during this month, in Ukraine were 93 separate peasants' uprisings against the Bolsheviks; during one of these uprisings, a massacre was inflicted by the Bolsheviks on the Russian German farmers of Kandel, Selz, Baden and Straßburg.

1919, April 19: Eduard von der Ropp, archbishop of Vilna, is arrested by the Soviet authorities, and later is sent into exile.

1919, May 5: Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government of Bessarabia founded (in exile) at Odessa.

1919, May 11: Bessarabian Socialist Soviet Republic proclaimed at Tiraspol as autonomous part of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

1919, August 8: General Denikin's army captured Odessa.

1919, September: The Bessarabian Socialist Soviet Republic was abolished by "White" Russian forces.

1919, September 6: An All-German congress in Romania stated the adhesion of this minority to the Romanian state and its aspiration to organize as a united nation of the Germans from all the Romanian provinces: Old Kingdom (western Moldova, Walachia and Dobrudscha), Bessarabia, Transylvania, Banat and Bukovina. They wanted schools in German language, the right to use their language freely in administration and justice and the right for the churches to be organized after ethnic criteria.

1919, Nov. 3-5: The election for the Constitutional Convention of Romania brought out 78.9% of the voters; 78 Romanians, 4 Bulgarians, 3 Germans, 2 Ukrainians,, one Russian, one Greek and one Jew were elected from Bessarabia.

1920: The closing of the catholic seminary. Bishop Kessler leaves Russia.

1920: The United States census recorded 303,532 citizens who spoke German and listed Russia as country of origin.

1920: The first school census, of 1920-21, showed a total of 1747 schools in Bessarabia, of which 1233 were Romanian, 200 Ukrainian, 120 Russian, 78 Bulgarian, 73 German, 38 Jewish, 3 Polish.

1920, December 28: After driving the Poles out of the Ukraine, the Bolsheviks conclude a treaty with the Ukrainian Soviet Government, recognizing the latter's independence. However, by 1921 the jurisdiction of Ukrainian government became limited to domestic matters only; all foreign affairs were taken over by Moscow.

1921: The catholic parishes from Bessarabia are incorporated in the Yassy diocese from Romania, under the bishop Alexandru Cisar. Yassy is the historic capital of the whole Moldova, which includs Bessarabia.

1922, December. The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was proclaimed. Ukraine was one of its republics. Seven German national districts, where Germans represented more than 70% of the population, emerged in the `20s in the Ukraine.

1923: The Soviet registration of all churches. In March, during a show trial, the new spiritual leader of the German-Russian Roman Catholic Church, Zepljak, and Deacon Budkewitch, were condemned to death and the other priests to varying of prison sentences. Bishop Zepljak was later exchanged for a high-ranking Communist from Poland and thus eluded execution. Deacon Budkewitsch was shot by the Tsheka. However, even without a spiritual leader, 130 Catholic priests were still tending their German Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Tiraspol.

1924, October 11: Moldovan statehood emerged in the Nistru left-bank regions in 1924 for the first time under Soviet rule, with the creation of an Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, with the capital in Balta, proclaimed in central Transnistria by the Kharkoff Council of Commissioners of the People (the supreme authority in Ukraine) led by its president Tchubar (Ciubar). It was a constituent of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine and included the towns of Tiraspol and Balta and a part of the Balta district, Odessa region (gubernia). The boundaries of the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic were: on the northwest, the boundary line of the village land of Grushky and Ocnitza, in Velico-Koshnitza, county of Tultchin, province of Podolia; then along the boundary of the sector of Kamenca, county of Tultchin, province of Podolia, leaving to one side the village of Bolgan and the market-town of Zagnidkoff, continuing through the villages of Pisarevca and Petrovca, sector of Crut, county of Balta, province of Odessa, then passing through the station of Borshti and the villages of Ghiderim, Poshitzel and Ossipova. On the east, along the eastern boundary of the village of Mikhalovca, through the town of Ananieff, Valea-Gutzului, Antonovca, Elenovca, Novo-Alegandrovca, Sloboda Ploscoe, Gradinitza, the town of Tiraspol, Hutori Slobozia, then along the lake of Kutschiurgan past Ploscoie to the village of Troitzca. Along the south and southwest, the boundary is that of the Federation of Soviet Socialist Republics. The first president was Gregory Ivanievitch Borissoff (called Starai-Moshneagul), an avowed Communist since 1901. Later on, until 1926, a number of other populated localities were incorporated in the republic.

1925: Bishop Mihai Robu heads the Yassy diocese from Romania, including Bessarabia, until his death on September 27, 1944.

1926: Erection of Apostolic Administrations without the formal abolition of the dioceses they supplant and secret appointment and consecration of their bishops. Within Tiraspol:
-Odessa (AA, for the southern part of Diocese of Tiraspol) - (Soviet Union) Ukraine. Bishop: Alexander Frison
-Caucasus(AA) - (Soviet Union) Russia
-Tiflis and Georgia (AA) - (Soviet Union) Georgia
-Volga (AA) -(Soviet Union) Russia.

1926, September 29: The All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee adopted a decision "On border delimitation of the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic". In two years its territory grew by nearly two hundred square kilometers (or 23.7%) and reached the figure of 8,429 The population number reached 572,000.

1926, December 17: The All-Union population census showed for the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic the constant presence of representatives of 45 ethnoses. Based on the criterion of self-consciousness, there were registered 172,400 Moldovans (30.1%), 277,500 Ukrainians (48.5%), nearly 49,000 Russians and Jews each (8.5%), 10,500 Germans or 1.9%, etc. Two-thirds of all the Moldovans living in the Ukraine at the time were inside its borders. According to the mother tongue criterion, the number of Germans was 10,739. Migration processes: Germans were resettling outside the republic of their free will due to rural overpopulation and insignificant dimensions of their land plots. In 1926, 27 Germans left the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic for Canada (25 persons) and for Germany (2 persons). In 1927, 10 Germans from this republic emmigrated abroad and 4 Germans from Neudorf village, Grigoriopol district, were refused legal emigration.

1927, May 10: The Concordat between the Holy See and Romania.

1928, Aprilie: The law concerning the religious denominations from Romania. The religious freedom was granted to nine religoius denominations, including the Romano-Catholics (Latin, Rus' Greek-Catholic and Catholic Armenian).

1928-1940: Stalin's collectivization (1928-1929): land is seized by the government, forcing Germans onto collective farms at near starvation wages.

1929: The capital of the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was moved from Balta to Tiraspol.

1929, November 27: Retired to a cloister in Zinnowitz on the Baltic See, bishop Kessler resigns from his position as bishop of the Tiraspol diocese.

1929: Bishop Frison, appointed as apostolic administrator of Odessa is arrested.

1929, April: The "Law Concerning Religious Communities" , began the complete annihilation of religious life of the German-Russian Catholics, turning their churches into clubs, cinemas etc.

1929-1931: Deportation of priests and intellectuals.

1932: Bishop Zerr dies in Kandelin the house of Emma Reiger. who later emmigrated to Minot, ND, USA.

1932-1933: The great famine in Ukraine. Six to ten million peasants died of starvation. Among them, 150,000 were Russian Germans. Only in Kandel, Odessa, at least three hundred Catholics died of starvation.

1933: In Ukraine were 541 German language schools with 55,623 students, and 14 German language newspapers. Subsequently these schools merged with the Russian language schools until 1938 and the newspapers ceased their apparition.

1933: Bishop Kessler dies in a monastery in Prussia.

1934: Sham trials of the priests in Landau. The church in Kleinliebental is closed by the Soviet government. It was the last one in the Grossliebental district to be closed.

1935: The 16 regions initially created in Crimea five years earlier were reorganised, with two Tatar regions, six Russian and one German region remaining.

1937 All churches, without exception, are desecrated and the German priests and pastors are forced out of their position. Bishop Frison is executed in a Moscow prison on June 20. Eventually, extremely few Russian German catholic priests from the Tiraspol diocese survived the stalinist reprisals.

1937-1938: During the Odessa mass executions campaign, whereas the Germans represented only 8.3% from the population of Odessa, they represented 28 % from those executed for different reasons.

1938: Russian, and/or Ukrainian as the official language was introduced in all German schools outside the Volga German Republic.

1939, January 17: The All-Union population census recorded 599,156 residents in the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Of these 124,012 urban dwellers and 475,144 rural ones. The Moldovans constituted 170,982 persons (28.5%), Ukrainians - 303,825 (50.7%), Russians - 61,278 (10.2%), Jews - 37,037 (6.2%), Germans - 11,947 (2%), Bulgarians - 7,355 (1.2%), Tartars 333 (0.05 %). Between the two censuses (1926 and 1939) was remarked a more rapid increase in the number of the German population in the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic compared to other nationalities. The same census showed for the Crimean peninsula a number of 51, 299 Russian Germans, up from 40,000 in 1923 or 4.5 % from the whole population (down from 6.6 % in 1923).

1939, August 23: A pact of non-aggression between the Soviet Union and Germany, known as the pact Ribbentrop-Molotov, was concluded. In a secret annex, the countries between were assigned to the signataries: Bessarabia, eastern Poland and the Baltic States were given to the Soviet Union, while Poland was given to Germany. Hitler agreed to this deal on the precondition that Stalin would agree to repatriate the German minorities living on these territories immediately after the Soviets would start the occupation.

1939, September 28: The Foreign Minister of Germany, J.von Ribbentrop, and his counterpart V.Molotov, the Foreign Minister of the USSR, signed a secret protocol regarding German emigration from territories within the Soviet sphere of influence. The Nazi/Soviet alliance - which outlined a territorial division between Germany and the USSR - thus became a pretext for population transfer agreements intended to permanently secure the stipulated boundary revisions. It required 128,000 Germans to leave Soviet-occupied territory, and the relocation of many Russians from German areas. This ethnic cleansing was of course made in the attempt to create a tidier German/Slav division in the region.

1939, October 30: A special treaty was signed between Germany and Latvia concerning the emigration of Baltic Germans and the liquidation of their educational, cultural, and religious institutions. Between the end of 1939 and the beginning of 1940, more than 51,000 Germans left Latvia on German ships. However, approximately 10,000 Baltic Germans chose to remain. Latvia will be integrated into the Soviet Union in 1940.

1940, June 25: In a note transmitted to his Soviet counterpart, in order to show support for the Soviet intentions to annex Bessarabia, the Germany's minister of foreign affairs J. von Ribbentrop showed that in Bessarabia lived approximately 100,000 ethnic Germans and he stated that he wanted an agreement like the one that permitted the evacuation of the Germans from Volhynia, after this province entered in 1939 under Soviet occupation.

1940, June 28: Following an ultimatum, The Soviet Union (allied with Germany) annexed Bessarabia (including Bugeac) and northern Bucovina from Romania. It was included in the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Great, sudden wave of refugees from Bessarabia to the old Romania.

1940, August 2: Creation of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic as a constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, also known as the Soviet Union, by joining Bessarabia and a part of the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic's territory. While its status was upgraded to a full member of the Soviet Union, the territory decreased, because nearly half from the initial 53,000 square kms was given to the Soviet Ukraine. It comprised only six of the nine Bessarabian counties and six from the left bank of the Nistru River Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic's 14 districts. Current area: 33,700 square kms.

1940, September 7: Under German diplomatic pressure, Romania ceded Cadrilater to Bulgaria. The population transfer between the two countries was mandatory on the whole territory of Dobrudscha, with Romanians from the two Cadrilater counties (Dirstor and Kaliakra) moving to the two counties from the Romanian Dobrudscha (Konstanta and Tulscha) and the Bulgarians from Dodrudscha moving to Cadrilater. The Germans were not required to move, but shortly afterward Germany signed agreements with both countries and it repatriated the German colonists from both Dobrudscha and Cadrilater.

1940, September 5: Germany and the Soviet Union signed an "Agreement between the Government of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics and the Government of Germany concerning the evacuation of persons of German nationality from the territories of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the territory of Germany". The German Resettlement Commission arrived in Soviet-occupied Cernauti (Czernowitz) on September 9 and by September 27 the first thousand transferees had left by rail to the West via Galicia. By November 17 about 45,000 people from northern Bukovina had departed for Germany, concluding the transfer. Thousands of members of other ethnic groups: Romanians, Ruthenians (i.e., Ukrainians), Poles and many relatives of German families attempted to register for resettlement. Thus, a much higher number of individuals applied for evacuation than had previously registered as German in the 1930 census.
As a whole, from the former Romanian territories of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina, ceded to the Soviet Union, were transferred to Germany over 124,000 Germans. They took 22,613 horses and other goods admitted in the Agreement, leaving approximately 150,000 acres of land, 22,425 houses, over 5,000 horses, near 16,000 in cattle, 59,700 sheeps, 2,000 pigs, 147,000 poultry and an important amount of agricultural tools.

1940, October 13: Departure of the final group of men and teenage boys from Krasna (a village of catholic German colonists from Bessarabia).

October 22, 1940: Agreement between the German government and the Kingdom of Romania about the resettlement to the German Reich of the ethnic Germans of southern Bukovina and the Dobrudscha. From mid-November until shortly before Christmas almost 48,000 Germans had opted for resettlement with about 7,000 remaining in southern Bukovina. Approximately 15,000 from the Dobrudscha were resettled in Germany along the Warthe river.

1941, July: Following the break-up of the pact between Hitler and Stalin, Romania took back Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. Romanian troops entered the western areas of the Black Sea region. German churches were reopened.

1941, August: By agreement from the German Reich, the region between the Nistru (Dnestr) and the Bug Rivers, called Transnistria, including Odessa, was placed under Romanian administration. In all, Transnistria had two municipalities, fifteen townships, and 1261 rural communities and an area of 39,733 square kilometers. The northern border was following roughly the northern border of the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (approximately the Kamenka-Savran'-Pervomaisk line); a northward expansion which included the areas of Mogilev-Podos'ski, Zhmerinka, and Tulchi was added in September 1941. In Transnistria, about 125,000 "Volksdeutsche" were living in rural communities, mostly in the surroundings of Odessa, the districts of Berezovca and Golta, along the River Bug. Others were located in the regions of Dubasari, Tiraspol, and up to the northern part of Transnistria. Approximately 7,500 lived in 1942 in Odessa. They were belonging to the old German mother colonies of the Grossliebentalers, Kutschurganers, Glueckstalers, and Beresaners. Members of the German population received papers attesting to their Germanness. Some of their old rights, like having a German-style local administration, were restored.

1941, August 28: Deportation decree was issued by the Soviet Union, announcing the "transfer" of Germans to Novosibirsk and Omsk provinces, the Altay, Kazakhstan and other neighbouring localities, as a precautionary measure. Due to the rapid advancement of the German troops, the German colonists from the western bank Ukraine (the western half of Ukraine, on the right bank of the Dniester river) escaped deportation, but those living in eastern bank Ukraine were deported to Siberia and Central Asia, in terrible conditions. Before the end of this year, were deported 799,459 ethnic Germans to the so-called "special settlements".

1941, October 22: The establishment of the municipality of Odessa. Mayor: Gherman Pantea. Four or five deputy mayors, one of them being Vladimir Gundert, a Volksdeutscher architect, who quite competently, it seems-directed reconstruction in the city.

1943: Bishop Glaser appointed apostolic administrator of Transnistria.

Markus Glaser
(1880, Landau-Odessa
1950, Iasi-Romania)

1944, March - April: Because of the retreat of the German Wehrmacht, about 350,000 Germans from the Ukraine and Transnistria were evacuated and resettled in the Warthegau region, some to the Sudentenland. They were given German citizenship.Kleinliebental was the last village of the Grossliebental district that was evacuated on March 30. In September 1944, all were drafted in the German army.

1944: The Soviet Union reoccupied Bessarabia and the northern Bukovina. Most of the territory of the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, including its former capital Balta, was given to Ukraine. The remaining Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, from western Transnistria, added the central two thirds of Bessarabia and western Bugeac (only Cahul county), left the constituency of Ukraine and became the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova, with an area of 13,012 square miles. Its capital was moved to Chisinau. The northern Bukovina, the northern Bessarabia, most of Bugeac and most of Transnistria, including Odessa, were in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine.

1944, September 27: Bishop Mihai Robu dies. Bishop Markus Glaser is the new apostolic administrator of the Yassy diocese.

1945, August: The Potsdam Protocol declared that: "The Three Governments American, British and Soviet...recognize that the transfer to Germany of German populations...will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner". It is impossible to give exact figures, but it is estimated that nearly 12 million Germans were cleansed from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia after World War II. About 2.1 million of these died from a combination of war, hunger, cold and disease.

1945: Soviets deported 250,000 German refugees to Siberia, 80,000-100,000 escaped to Germany.

1947: The peace treaty from Paris recognized the borders settled by the Soviet Union after the Second World War.

1947, October: Anton Durcovici is the new bishop of the Yassy diocese from Romania, until he is arrested in June 1949 and dies in prison in 1951.

1948, July 17: The communist Romanian government cancels the concordat with Vatican.

1948, November : By decree from the Supreme Soviet, German-Russians were banished "in perpetuity". Leaving the places of resettlement without special permission was to be punished with up to 20 years of forced labor.

1949, June: The last two Catholic bishops from Romania who have remained in their posts, Áron Márton and Anton Durcovici, are arrested and imprisoned.

1949, June 26-1950, May 25: Bishop Markus Glaser is the apostolic administrator of the Yassy diocese.

1949, May: Louis Boga and Markus Glaser, the apostolic administrators of the last 2 catholic dioceses recognized by the Romanian Communist regime, are arrested.

1949: Excommunication of Communists by the Pope.

1950, May 25: Bishop Markus Glaser, probably the last Catholic Russian German active into priesthood, dies after being tortured in a Communist prison in Yassy, Romania. The Catholic Church from Romania is left leaderless.

1964: Kruschchev granted amnesty, without reparations, to the deported German Russians in the slave labor camps.

1964: A report published by the House of Representatives showed that: "The fate of the Catholic Church in the USSR and countries occupied by the Russians from 1917 to 1959 shows the following:
(a) the number killed: 55 bishops; 12,800 priests and monks; 2.5 million Catholic believers;
(b) imprisoned or deported: 199 bishops; 32,000 priests and 10 million believers;
(c) 15,700 priests were forced to abandon their priesthood and accept other jobs; and
(d) a large number of seminaries and religious committees were dissolved; 1,600 monasteries were nationalized, 31,779 were closed. 400 newspapers were prohibited , and all Catholic organizations were dissolved."

1973: Individual families were allowed to move to the Ukraine from Kazakhstan and Siberia. However, they were not allowed to return to their original settlements. Rather, they settled in the so-called neighboring areas or neighboring rayons.

1974-1977: 2,000,000 Soviet Germans in USSR.

1990: Germans in Russia begin coming back to Germany.

1990, September 2: Tiraspol became the capital of a self-proclaimed Dniester Moldovan Republic that emerged inside Republic of Moldova, headed by a Soviet nostalgic, encompassing the western Transnistria and the city of Tighina (Bender) from Bessarabia, with its surroundings. Area: 4,163 square kms (12.4 % of the Republic of Moldova). It is ruled by a Russian-speaking majority.

1991: After the break-up of the Soviet Union, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine became independent states, inside the borders established by the Soviet leadership after the Second World War.
Current Ukrainian map of the territory of the former Grossliebental and Kutchurgan districts west and north of Odessa

1991: Last year the Apostolic Administrations of 1926 are mentioned in the Annuario Pontificio and erection of Apostolic Administrations without the formal abolition of Tiraspol or Vladivostok dioceses (although the Mohilev diocese was reduced to the Belarussian territory)

1992: According to the national census, 70,000 Catholic Germans lived in Romania.

1993: Set up of the Apostolic Administration of the Catholic Church in Moldova, covering the whole territory of the Republic of Moldova. The city of Tiraspol belongs to it. Bishop: Anton Cosa.

1999, November 23: On the feast day of St. Clemens, who was the patron saint of the Diocese of Tiraspol-Saratov, the new Catholic diocese of Russia-South was established within the old boundaries, and with the bishop's seat in Saratov. The same day, Vatican presented to the public its martyrology of the 20th century, under the title of "Witnesses for Christ", where were mentioned 73 of the catholic priests murdered during the stalinist reprisals. .

2000: The first full accounting of the genocide of Germans in Russia was published by the American historian, Dr. Samuel Sinner of Lincoln, Nebraska. He calculates that more than a million Germans in Russia (over 50 percent) were exterminated.

2002, February 11: Change of status of the structures of the Catholic church and the establishment of a ecclesiastical province in Russia. Raising of existing four Apostolic Administrations in Russia to the rank of permanent dioceses. In Saratov is now based the Diocese of St. Clement, whose bishop is Clemens Pickel.

2002, May 4: The diocese of Odesa and Simferopol was created by the Holy Father John Paul II. According to the Vatican's estimations, about 3,000 Catholics live on the territory of the newly established diocese, which constitutes 0,04% of the regional population. Its jurisdiction extends to structures of the Roman Catholic Church in Crimea, Kherson, Kirovograd, Mykolaiv and Odesa. The Ordinary bishop of Odesa anf Simferopol is Bronislaw BERNACKI, born in Marafa of Vinnytsia Region in 1944. It is one of the seven dioceses created in Ukraine in 2002 and it covers most of the places were once lived the German colonists from Bessarabia and southern Russia.

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