Volga Immigration to Argentina

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Volga Germans
Volga German area.gifVolga German cities and settlements


Following the elimination in 1874 of the last vestiges of the promises that had enticed the Germans to settled on the Volga in the 1760s, immigration began to North and South America. A group of approximately 200 families settled in southern Brazil intending to continue raising wheat as they had in Russia. While many found the soils there fertile, they were unsuitable for wheat.

In Argentina, President Nicolás Avellaneda signed the Immigration and Colonization Act (Law No. 817) on 19 October 1876. While it did not nullify opportunities for spontaneous immigration, it created a system whereby land could be equitably distributed to specific groups of European immigrants who were willing to work the virgin lands of the expanses of sparcely populated land in Argentina.

In August 1877, four representatives of the group that had settled in Brazil (Andreas Basgall, Jakob Lechmann, Johann Berger, and Adam Weimann) traveled to Buenos Aires where they met with Bernardo de Irigoyen, the Minister of the Interior. Mr. Irigoyen proposed a guarantee for up to 50,000 immigrants to be allowed into the country. The Volga German representatives, however, were more interested in reinstating some of the privileges that they had enjoyed earlier in Russia. In addition to good soil for wheat cultivation, the final agreement provided the colonists with exemption from military service, freedom to worship as they chose, and freedom to educate their children in the German language. Following ratification of this agreement by the Argentine Congress, immigration began.

On 24 December 1877, the first group (8 families and 3 single men) arrived in Buenos Aires. They arrived by train in Azul, southwest of Buenos Aires, and then proceeded by ox-drawn carts another 35 kilometers to Hinojo Creek where they arrived on 5 January 1878. There they founded the colony of Hinojo in the Olavarria Partido (District).

Another group that arrived only a few days later settled in Entre Ríos Province, and yet another group that arrived in 1878 settled in Santa Fe Province. By the end of 1878, there were 1,003 living in the Entre Ríos Province, 379 in Buenos Aires Province, and 152 in Santa Fe Province.

The colonies have remained largely inhabited by Volga Germans through the years. Even in 2005, approximately 90 percent of the inhabitants of these Volga German colonies are descendants of the original colonists.

The Centro Argentino Cultural Wolgadeutsche (C.A.C.W.) estimates that there were 2 million people of Volga German ancestry living in Argentina as of 2007. Many of these people now live in the larger towns and cities of Argentina.

Provinces of Immigration

Buenos Aires


History The first group of Volga German colonists to arrive in Buenos Aires Province in 1878 founded the colony of Hinojo. The second group established a group of colonies in 1887 south of what is today the town of Coronel Suárez.
Primary Settlements

Algarrobo (Juan Cousté)



38°53' S 63°08' W


In the early 1930s, following several years of drought, Volga German families who had settled earlier in the rural areas of La Pampa Province resettled to more promising areas like Algarrobo in search of work.

Estación Algarrobo was established when a train station was located there on 31 August 1897. The town of Juan Cousté which was officially founded on 13 December 1909 is serviced by the Algarrobo train station, and the Volga Germans have used the name of Algarrobo to describe this area in which they settled.

Volga German Families

The following Volga German families are known to have settled in Algarrobo:

Beratz Blattner from Köhler Bohn Brost from Volmer Eberling from Preuss Gassner Haberkorn Holzmann from Preuss Jungblut from Preuss Kern Kessler from Louis Kronenberger from Dehler Masson from Dehler & Brabander Mildenberger from Dehler Ramborger Rudel Ruppel Schroh from Volmer Schwab Schwalje Sewalt Stalldecker from Brabander Swenzel Weingart from Rothammel Weisbeck from Hildmann Wesner from Volmer Zimmermann from Seelmann

Sources Minetto, José Francisco. "Por la señal de la cruz: Inmigración y Colonias de alemanes del Volga en La Pampa."

Nestor Haberkorn

Obituaries published in Argentinisches Volksfreund

Arroyo Corto



La Torinesa


37°30' S 62°19' W


The town of Arroyo Corto (Short Creek) was founded on 15 April 1884 by Juan Biga and Benigno Gossetti. Its first inhabitants were from the Italian city of Torino, and it became known as "La Torinesa." Over the years, many Volga German families moved there. The expedition of the Stoessel brothers (Adán & Andrés) to travel by car to New York started in Arroyo Corto on 15 April 1928.

Volga German Families

The following Volga German families are known to have settled in Arroyo Corto:

Aman from Hölzel Berg Braun from Brabander Burghardt Dietrich from Volmer Dietzel Eberle Förster from Kamenka Fuhr from Dehler Geist from Hildmann Gerk Gertje from Brabander Gerling Gottfridt Graff Günther from Dehler Haberkorn from Semenovka Hammerschmidt Heiland from Preuss Helbert Herbstsommer Hipperdinger from Hölzel Kern from Brabander Kessler Kihn / Kühn from Kamenka Kisner Kriger / Krieger Maier from Kamenka Martel Martin Melchior from Kamenka Molleker from Brabander Ostertag Philipp from Preuss Redel from Hölzel Reser Roppel Roth Rückert from Preuss Rudel Ruppel from Dehler Sauer from Volmer Schechtel from Josefstal Schell from Dehler Schmidt Scholl from Dehler Schwindt from Kamenka Stoessel from Dehler Wagner from Hölzel Weht from Hölzel Weigel Wesner

Volga German Congregation

There is a Roman Catholic church in Arroyo Corto that serves the faithful there.

Sources Obituaries published in Argentinisches Volksfreund




37°17' S 62°18' W


A train station was established at Cascada on 2 November 1910, inaugurating the first settlement of the area.

Although there were once about 1,400 people living in Cascada, today it is mostly a ghost town. The church and school are still active, but most other buildings in this rural community are abandoned.

Volga German Families

The following Volga German families are known to have settled in Cascada:

Becker Betzler from Hölzel Brendel from Preuss Christiani from Dehler Duckart from Husaren Dumrauf from Hölzel Fuhr from Dehler Graf from Volmer Hall from Preuss Hipperdinger from Hölzel Hoffmann from Hölzel Karp from Preuss Nowak from Kamenka Redel from Hölzel Rekovsky from Semenovka Sommer from Pfeifer Stoessel from Dehler Wagner Weth from Brabander

Volga German Congregation

A Roman Catholic church was built in Cascada.

Sources Obituaries published in Argentinisches Volksfreund

CVGS Resources

Gonzales, C. A. (2001). Germans from Russia in Argentina : their history and culture.

Miller, M. M., Garske, Andy, Reeves-Marquardt, Dona B., Michaels, Dan, Dambach, Bob, & Prairie Public Broadcasting. (2015). We (never) don't forget : Germans from Russia in South America. Fargo, N.D.: Prairie Public Broadcasting.

Riffel, J. (1928). Die Russlanddeutschen Insbesondere die Wolgadeutschen am La Plata (Argentinien, Uruguay und Paraguay). Festschrift zum 50-jährigen Jubiläum ihrer Einwanderung (1878-1928).

Graefe, I. B., & Wolfram, Richard. (1971). Zur Volkskunde der Russlanddeutschen in Argentinien. Wien: Verlag A. Schendl.


Göttig, Jorge Luis. Los primeros contingentes de Alemanes del Volga en la Argentina: Una aproximaciórica.

Göttig, Jorge Luis. 1881 Census of Colonia General Alvear

Ley Avellaneda de Inmigración y Colonización

Centro Argentino Cultural Wolgadeutsche

External Links

We (Never) Don't Forget: Germans from Russia in South America (GRHC at NDSU)

Alemanes del Wolga en Argentina (The Volga Germans in Argentina - Spanish)

Centro Argentino Cultural Wolgadeutsche (Spanish)

CEMLA - Latin American Study Center for Migration (Spanish)

German Argentine (Wikipedia)

Ley Avellaneda de Inmigración y Colonización (Spanish)

Passenger Lists of Volga Germans going to South America, 1876-1894 (Gerardo R. Waimann)