Germans of Paraguay

Germans of Paraguay

Infobox Ethnic group
group = German-Paraguayan

poptime = 450,000
popplace = Asunción and Boquerón Department.
langs = Paraguayan Spanish, German
rels = Christianity (mostly Roman Catholic and Protestantism), Judaism
related = German, German-Chileans, German-Argentinians, German-Brazilian

The German minority in Paraguay came into existence with immigration during the industrial age.

Notable Paraguayan Germans include the former president of Paraguay Alfredo Stroessner. Paraguay and South America in general was a popular place for German leaders accused of war crimes to retreat after the second World War.

The "Nueva Germania" colony was founded in Paraguay in 1888; though regarded as a failure, it still exists despite being abandoned by many of its founders in the 1890s.

Russian Mennonites

Another big group of Germans that immigrated to Paraguay are Russian Mennonites, Germans who immigrated to Russia under the rule of the ethnic German Czarina Catherine the Great. Russian Mennonites are different from another German-Russian group, the Volga Germans, through religion and reasons of immigrating to Russia. Russian Mennonites are religious Mennonites while the Volga Germans are religious Lutherans and Roman Catholics. Russian Mennonite went to Russia for freedom of worship, while the Volga Germans went for economic reasons and land.

The situation for Germans change when the Communist came to power, Germans were being persecuted by the new Soviet Government. Some Russian Mennonites saw Paraguay to be a perfect place to settle because it looked isolated. The government of Paraguay wanted settlement in the Chaco region, which was disputed with its southern neighbor, Argentina, and its western neighbor Bolivia. The move to Paraguay was difficult for the Russian Mennonites, because they were new to the climate. Some Russian Mennonites left Paraguay to neighboring Argentina where they met many Volga Germans, who decided to settle in Argentina to leave the persecution in Russia. The situation changed and the Russian Mennonites began to prosper in Paraguay.

The Russian Mennonite settled in the Boquerón Department in Paraguay. They established the Fernheim Colony, Neuland Colony, and the town of Filadelfia. The descendants of the Russian Mennonite immigrants continue to live these colonies.

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