Karras (North Caucasus)
Alexander I approved the establishment of the colony of Karras on 25 December 1806, to be located 10 kilometers north of Pyatigorsk. It's original settlers were Scottish missionaries from the Edinburgh Missionary Bible Society who had arrived in the area in 1802, and the name of the colony was actually "Scottish Colony" from 1806 to 1835.
In 1809, the missionaries were joined by German settlers from Sarepta and Anton who brought the total population to 39. The Germans had a difficult time adjusting to the lifestyle established by the Scottish missionaries, and many left to form the new colony of Mykolayiv in 1819. By 1835, only 2 Scottish families remained in the colony and its name was changed to Karras - after a Crimean Tatar sultan whose sons lived several versts north of the colony. By the end of the nineteenth century, there were about 1,500 residents in Karras.
The area around Pyatigorsk was a resort destination known for its mineral springs and was popular among Russia's nobility for its healing waters. In 1894, the family of Ivan Dmitrievich Inozemtsev (1843-1913) settled to Karras. Inozemtsev was the construction manager for the Vladikavkaz Railway which was completed to the area that year. The arrival of the railroad brought with it an influx of new visitors to the resort. In 1893, there had been 6,000 visitors to the mineral springs. By 1899, this number had climbed to 13,000 annually, and by 1913 to 37,000 annually.
The deportations of 1941 emptied Karras of its ethnic German inhabitants which represented about 90% of its population at the time. In 1959, Karras and its neighboring village of Nicholas were combined and renamed Inozemtsev in honor of the man who had brought so much development to the area. In 1983, Inozemtsev came under the jurisdiction of the neighboring city of Zheleznovodsk as a suburb. Its population is about 40,000, although very few are German.
*Of whom 123 were German.
There was a Lutheran parish located in Karras. A Lutheran church was constructed in 1856.
The Pyatigorsk-Karras parish served 6 of the German colonies in the area. Among the pastors serving were:
1823-1840 Jakob Lang*
1828-1830 Friedrich Gottlieb Jordan
1841-1845 Johannes Huppenbauer
1845-1855 S. König
1863-1865 Richard Walker
1866-1873 Bernhard Deggeler**
1875-1890 Rudolf Johannes Frackmann
1871-1901 Karl Gottfried Treufeld
1891-1902 Emil Friedrich Bonwetsch (Probst)
1902-1908 Juri Martensen
1908-1912 Rudolph Johannes Frackmann
1915-1930 Woldemar Jürgens (Probst)
1916-1917 Ludwig Siegfried Jakob Steinwand (Assistant)
1929-? Emil Friedrich Bonwetsch
1928-? Pastor Fritzler
1933-1934 Woldemar Jürgens
*Served in Karras from 1835-1866.
**Served in Karras from 1860-1866.
There are two sons of the Lutheran Parish in Karras who were called into the ministry:
Isaak Theophil Keller
The following Volga German families lived in the colony of Karras:
Holmgren from Kutter
Pankratz from Gnadenfeld
Schwagerus from Grimm
- Braddeley, John F. The Russian Conquest of the Caucasus (New York: Longmans, 1908): 40, 46.
- Dietz, Jacob E. History of the Volga German Colonists (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2005): 213, 302.
- Germans in Russia Encyclopedic Dictionary, 2006.