The Kutschurgan enclave or district is named after the Kutschurgan River which is a tributary of the Dniester River. The Kutschurgan River flows along some of the villages of the Kutschurgan district. The six colonies in the Kutschurgan district are Baden, Elsass, Kandel, Mannheim, Selz, and Strassburg. All six colonies were Catholic colonies. The colonies were founded in 1808. The colonists came from Elsass, Rhein Pfalz, Germany; Wuerttemberg, Rhein Pfalz, Germany; and Baden, Germany. They were under the guidance of Russian travel agents who were in Germany recruiting the settlers. All of the colonists were given funds to sustain themselves until their arrival in the Kutschurgan district.
The colonists had copies of an agreement signed by the German and Russian governments that outlined their rights and obligations. This agreement contained six guarantees:
Every family was to receive 60 dessiatins, approximately 162 acres.
They would be allowed to settle in their own colonies, founded by themselves, and to maintain their own churches, schools, and institutions.
The Russian government would not interfer in their religious practice.
They would elect and maintain their own local government. Each Head of Family or single adult could cast one vote. After the first year of settlement, the Russian government reserved the right to tax the colonists. However, at no time would the tax levied on the colonists be greater than or smaller than the tax levied on other Russians.
The German colonists, although full citizens of the Russian Empire, would never be conscripted into the Russian Military Service.
They could move from their colonies, enjoy all the rights of a Russian citizen, attend universities and trade schools, and hold any political office in Russia.
Baden is situated south of Strassburg and north of Selz and is 4 kms. from the Kutschurgan rail station and 65 kms. northwest of Odessa.
Elsass is located 50 kms. north of Odessa and 8 kms. from the Teremejewka railway station.
Kandel is located south of Selz and is located 64 kms. northwest of Odessa and 10 kms. from the Kutschurgan rail station.
Mannheim is located 45 kms. north of Odessa and 9 kms. southeast of Elsass. It was first named Maria Helf but changed to Mannheim in 1810.
Selz is located 63 kms. northwest of Odessa and 7 kms. from the Kutschurgan railway station.
Strassburg is located on the main route to Odessa from Tiraspol.
Kandel and Elsass are located on relatively level land. The other villages have to contend with rolling hills. The entire Kutschurgan district has excellent black soil and four of the villages have a mixture of black soil and light sand.
1908 Odessa Zeitung Article on the 100th Anniversary of the Kutschurgan Colonies
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