This book traces the history of ethnic Germans in Russia from the eighteenth century to the present day, concentrating on their World War II deportation, their life in exile in special settlements in the 1940s and 1950s, and the longterm consequences of deportation for Germans in the Soviet Union. Though historians often talk about deportation in the singular, Germans’ is the story of not just one but many deportations conducted among numerous, diverse Germanic communities that then existed in the USSR. The ancestors of these Germanic settlers came to Russia at different times from many places in Central and Western Europe for a variety of reasons – to escape religious persecution, to seek better economic opportunities, or a combination of the two. Other German communities, such as the Baltic Germans, did not emigrate to Russia but found themselves absorbed into the expanding Russian Empire. Russia’s Germans lived in different areas of the country in particular communities, and they played decidedly dissimilar roles in Russian society, politics, and culture, ranging from high positions in the tsarist regime occupied by the Baltic German nobility to the German farmers in the southern parts of the Russian Empire.