Problems of Education in the German colonies of Azerbaijan in the 1920s–1930s

Problems of Education in the German colonies of Azerbaijan in the 1920s–1930s

Ikiram Kerim oglu Agasiev
Full text:
The article is devoted to the problems of education in the German colonies of Azerbaijan in the 1920s–30s. Regional and national features of the organization of education in the German colonies of Azerbaijan during the period under review are identifies on the basis of analysis of numerous documents from the collections of the State Archive of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the State Historical Archive of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Central State Archive of the Republic of North Ossetia and the State Archive of Krasnodar Krai, which are introduced into scientific circulation for the first time, and on the basis of results of the author’s research into the history of school affairs in the German colonies of Azerbaijan and some other regions of the Caucasus.
The author analyzes the causes of these specific features and shows that the German colonies that existed in the territory of Azerbaijan for more than 120 years achieved great success in their socio-economic, socio-political, and cultural life, which was greatly facilitated by skillful organization of national education.
The article briefly describes the stages of formation and development of schools in the German colonies of Azerbaijan in the period from the early 19th century to the end of the 1930s. The evolution of methods of school work in the colonies is retraced, and it is been established that the German schools in Azerbaijan went a difficult historical path. It is noted that before the 1920, that is, before the establishment of Soviet rule, the problems of German schools were mostly of a material nature. In the 1920s and 1930s these problems were partially solved, and it can be stated that in material terms, the German schools of Azerbaijan reached the highest level in their development during these years.
The article notes that the Soviet government financially supported German schools, but in return the colonists’ schools went under the constantly growing ideological control the purpose of which was to turn schools into centers of Bolshevism propaganda. It is established that the main role in the sovietization of German schools was to be played by teachers who were to pursue the policy of the party and the government and fight against the church, the colonist community, and the family, which were bastions of Germanism in the view of party functionaries.
Based on the analysis of archival documents, it is shown that at the end of the 1930s, the German schools in Azerbaijan did not comply with the desired level of sovietization. The process of training pro-Soviet teachers from among the Germans was slow, and in 1941, after the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, it was terminated. The national schools of the German colonies ceased to exist in the territory of Azerbaijan, and the entire German population was deported.
Ikiram Kerim oglu Agasiev
Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor
A.A. Bakikhanov Institute of History, Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan
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For citation:
Agasiev, I.K. “Problems of education in the German colonies of Azerbaijan in the 1920s–1930s.” Historia Provinciae – the Journal of Regional History, vol. 6, no. 2 (2022): 629–85,

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