1. History of German settlements in Azerbaijan
Local history up to 1941
In 1816, the first Swabian families begin their journey to the South Caucasus. On September 21 1817, 31 families meet in Tiflis and found the colony Marienfeld. In 1817, 1,300 families begin to follow, 449 of which reach the South Caucasus in fall 1818.
On Easter 1819 the “mother colonies” Annenfeld, Helenendorf and Alt-Katharinenfeld are officially founded in today’s Azerbaijan. Alt-Katharinenfeld has to be abandoned and is re-founded in what is today Georgia, but Annenfeld simply moved to slightly healthier, more elevated area and survived.
These “mother colonies” spawn “daughter villages”: Georgsfeld/Tschinarly, Alexandersfeld/Hasansu, Eigenfeld/Irmaschly, Grünfeld/Vurgun, Traubenfeld/Tauz and Elisawetinka/Chatai. Starting in 1909, German-Swiss cheesemakers settle in Todan.
From 1915-1917 and again in 1938, the “mother colonies” have to change their names: Helenendorf (Elenio) becomes Chanlar (until 1998), Annenfeld (Annino) becomes Schämchor and, after 1991, Schämkir.
After about 25,000 Germans were deported from Azerbaijan to Kasachstan in October 1941, the “daughter villages”, too, were re-named in June 1942.