Pobochnoye, a Protestant village with both Lutheran and Reformed (Calvinist) sects. This village was on the "Bergseite" or hilly side of the Volga and lay 35 mi.NNW of Saratov City in Saratov Province. It was founded in 1772 by people from an unknown location in Germany. Pobochnoye was founded on a small river c. 10--15 mi.S of Yagodnaya Polyana, founded in 1767; it was sort of a "step daughter" colony of Y.P. The Lutheran pastor of Y.P. also served Pobochnoye. There was a lot of intermarriage between the settlers of these two villages.

Family names in Pobochnoye included: Brack, Daubert, Felker, Haas, Heinz, Herdt, Koch, Krom, Lamm, Miller, Ochs, Ott, Popp, Rudy, Rupp, Schlegel, Schneider, Wagner, Wilhelm, Wittig and others.

In 1857 an official Russian census was taken. The previous census was 1850. But c. 1854, huge tracts of "new land" was opened By the Czar for settlement by German colonists. Approximately half of the Pobochnoye population "re-settled". Some 1,100 persons set out to found new villages, Schoendorf, Schoenfeld, and Schoental, on the "Wiesenseite" or meadow side of the Volga. It was hotter and drier steppe land, and life was to be harder and more challenging there.

In September 1941 all the German people of Pobochnoye were ordered "deported' by Stalin, for "security reasons". Hitler's German troops had invaded Russia in the north. These blameless people were stripped of all their possessions, loaded on trains and sent on a two week box car ride to Kazakhstan and Siberia. Little has been heard of them since.

During the years 1994-1998 Pobochnoye has been visited by a few Americans. Only one house remained, occupied by Ukrainians. The German cemetery no longer had crosses or tombstones; some mounds were still visible. Nothing else remained.

Village Coordinator
Laurin Wilhelm

Volga Villages