Orenburger Kosaken
Orenburger Kosaken
Kosakenfrau aus der Region Orenburg in Tracht um 1870
Kosakenfrau from the region Orenburg in Tracht around 1870

Kosaken were, body-own Russian and Ukrainian farmers originally escaped and defected to act arene, since that the 15. Century in the southRussian quilts own settlements and communities based and to military farmers became,against the frequent assaults of asiatic Reiternomaden to defend had. In 18. Century were partly independent they of the Russian Zarenreich. Then they were integrated gradually first as free rider federations into the Russian army. Main settlement areas of the Kosaken were the Urals, the Don -and the Dnipro - area. Traditionally the Kosaken is hierarchically organized under Atamanen or Hetmanen. The Urals and Orenburger Kosaken were considerably involved in colonizing Sibiriens.

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emergence of the Ukrainian Kosakentums

Orenburger Kosak
Orenburger Kosak

starting from that 15. and 16. Century was the Ukrainian areadivided into the Polish and litauische realm. From the remainders of the golden horde/hurdle, which had contributed to the fall of the Kiewer Rus, the Krimtataren separated as independent national thing, which controlled the entire Ostukraine.

There was very few fastened points and a defenselessBorder administration. The area of the Ostukraine was soon strongly depopulated by the attack courses. The inhabitants of the border areas had to ensure even for their protection, militaryful farmers were a used picture at this time. East and southeast the litauischen/Polish Vorposten Kaniw and Tscherkassy only those lay neverthelessuninhabited, but fruitful, fish and wild-rich Ukrainian quilt.

This situation attracted courageous and determined humans. In order to be able to meet the act arena grasps, one united to armed groups (Watagen), those the frost-protected season on the banks of the Dnipro - tributaries with huntand fishery spent, their yield then for example in Kiew sold and finally in the fastened settlements such as Kaniw or Tscherkassy wintered. This life made from the men experienced Krieger, for their number to end 15. Century had strongly increased. They received „Kosaken to the names “.

To in 16. The Kosaken a special social layer , it did not form century defined itself rather by its activity; both noble ones and farmers and citizens were Kosaken.

Already soon some by them into the service Polish/litauischen border administration were placed to that, these set them forsmaller campaigns and for the protection of the frontier districts. Admits became for example the star east of Tscherkassy, Ostap Daschkewytsch, which could advance by its close co-operation with the Kosaken several times up to the Krim and also 1532 could withstand a FE storage of its city.

To a PolishNational heroes became later the German Schlesier Bernhard von Prittwitz (“terror Tartarorum “, † 1561), that in the years 1530 - 1550 first than royally Polish ride master, later (1540 - 1552) than star east (district captain) of bar successfully with its Kosaken Reiterscharen extremelyact arene fought. Its at that time new defense and combat equipment were copied later and taken over by all Kosaken. Prittwitz was one of the first large Kosaken leaders. Ukrainian Kosaken is still many years later in their war songs „the frights of the Tartaren “besungen to have.

The Saporoher Kosaken and the Sitsch

Die Saporoher Kosaken (Gemälde von Ilja Repin, 1880)
the Saporoher Kosaken (painting of Ilja Repin, 1880)

in the 50's 16. Century built the prince Dmytro Wyschneweckyj allied closely with the Kosaken a fortress on the Dnipro island Mala Chortyzja, around a base for attacksto have on act arene. It was supported both of the litauischen and by the Muscovites authority. This fortress served the Kosaken from this time on as model for the Saporoher Sitsch and further fortifications. These fortresses formed a turning point in consciousness for thatKosaken, since they had now a center independent of the administration. Here developed the picture of the rough, drinking bouts man company, which both mönchische (because women did not have an entrance to the Sitsch) and knightly courses were angedichtet. Indeed the Kosaken achieved a certain independence nowof the Polish litauischen government, which was also confirmed by this the Turks and act arene opposite, if from that side complaints came over the attacks. Toward end 16. and at the beginning 17. Century was organized and in its position strengthened the Kosakentum. Attempts thatPolish kings Sigismund II. August I. and Stephan Báthory to take the Kosaken into their service were only passing and reduced successful. The Kosaken formed its own conditions with independent iurisdiction and authority at this time. They remained economic however both by the Polish andalso dependent on the Russian state. The Kosaken received for its services as defenders of the Russian southwest, and/or. the Polish southeast border food and money, on which they were dependent. This economic dependence on the one hand and political independence on the other hand led pretty often to arguments with thatitself strengthening States of Russia and Poland Lithuania around rule right and obligations. Up to the center 17. Century the Polish state had succeeded in, large parts of the Oberschicht of the Kosaken into the Polish aristocracy integrating the Szlachta. Thus it came to internal social arguments. The simpleKosaken saw themselves more and more cut in their rights. They were usually military farmers and arrived into a ever deeper dependence on Polish large basic owners. In addition that the Polish state undertook attempts, the orthodox Kosaken came to the catholic faith to bekehren. The contrasts Polish kosakisch, orthodox--catholic, great land owner-simpleFarmer became intending for the development of the myth around the Kosaken.

In the year 1648 the Hetman of the Saporoher Kosaken, Bogdan Chmelnizki sat down (Ukrainian: Хмельницький/Chmel'nyc'kyj), to the point of a large Kosakenaufstandes against the Polish litauische rule. Its Gefolgsmänner plünderten far parts of the Polish litauischen realm, howit under participation of the there Christian population to heavy excesses against the Jewish population came. The Jews one subordinated, they would stand under the special protection of the Polish king. This Pogrome possibly cost up to hundredthousand Jew the life. Chmelnicki also today still becomes in thatUkraine as a kind national hero regards. In order to escape the defeat against Poland Lithuania, the Kosaken looked for a strong ally and finally found these in Russia: 1654 carried the Kosaken out with Chmelnicki at the point on the Kosakenrada of Perejaslaw the Muscovite Zaren the oath of loyalty.

The Kosaken for the Zaren had to draw long time as easy Reiterei into the war, and their being able became v.a. by their occurrence in the Napoleoni wars legendarily. They belonged to the last riders of Europe, who controlled the difficult fight with the lance still perfectly.Sometimes they fought in addition, served with Feuerwaffen.

Nebenartikel: Hetmanat

Russian Kosaken

Kosaken Mitte des 19.Jhdt
Kosaken in the middle of the 19.Jhdt

1577 was created at the Terek in the Caucasus a Kosakenheer; to the end 16. Century created Kosaken in west Siberia the cities Tobolsk, Beresow, Surgut, Tare, Obdorsk and Narym.

Beginning 17. Century reached Russian Kosaken the eastSiberian river Jenissej. During the rule Michael Fjodorowitschs, the first Zaren from the dynasty Romanow, opened Russian Kosaken east Siberia and created the settlements Jenissejsk, Kusnezk, Krasnojarsk and Jakutsk. They reached the Ochozki sea (Pacific ocean).

1645 investigated the Kosake Wassili Pojarkow the river Amur and discovered the north coast of the island Sachalin. 1648 reached the Kosake Semjon Iwanowitsch Deschnew from the delta of the river Kolyma in the Arctic ocean the delta of theRiver Anadyr in the Pacific and discovered the road between Asia and America.

From 1697 to 1699 the Siberian Kosak Vladimir Wassiljewitsch Atlassow investigated the peninsula Kamtschatka.

Kosaken in the Soviet time

short before the revolution gave it to about 4.5 million Kosaken. Inwhereupon a large part of the Kosaken on the side of the tsarist “white ones “took part the following Russian civil war. Under Lenin (1920) and afterwards Stalin the majority of the Kosaken was pursued therefore collectively as anti Bolschewisten. In addition, there were Kosaken on sidesthe Bolsheviks; one of their most famous representatives was Semjon Budjonny. The novel „the quiet Don “of Mikhail Scholochow urgently describes the attitude of the Kosaken during the revolution. It gave many Kosaken, which changed the sides more frequently.

Kosaken inThe Kosaken

appeared the Second World War as during the revolution during the war on both sides, whereby a large part preserved open sympathies for the National Socialist Germany, which they regarded as bulwark against Stalin due to their antibolschewistischen attitude. Thus the Kosakenführer Iwan Poltawez Ostrjanyzja congratulated Hitler already 1933 too its chancellor shank. In the advance of the German armed forces one believed to recognize a possibility of receiving old rights and privileges again and/or. to be able to celebrate their orthodox religion again openly. Therefore they offered their services to Hitler. This struck first the offerout, he regarded her according to the National Socialist race ideology nevertheless as “Untermen “. There were therefore even efforts, their nationality not the Slawen to add but the Teutons. Thus Poltawez Ostrjanyzja explained that the Kosaken was in reality descendants of the Goten. Thus it came in April 1943then also to the list of the 1. Kosaken division under German command. This federation, which should anwachsenen in the course of the war to an army corps, consisted of kosakischen Freiwilligen, who had taken shelter to the German armed forces, because they hoped, with the help of the German armies their homeland of the bolshevismrelease to be able, from which they had suffered since the October Revolution for decades.

Operational area for the 1. Kosaken division, the later XV. Kosaken Kavallerie corps under the German lieutenant general Helmuth von Pannwitz, became however Yugoslavia, where the Kosakeneinheiten far from her homeland within the framework extremelycruelly running guerilla warfare were used. In the course of the partisan fight it came on both sides to atrocities, of which also the Kosaken did not back-frighten, if the civilian population were suspected to stand on the side for partisans. To lieutenant general promoted to the Helmuth of Pannwitz was subordinate finally starting from February1945 the XV.Kosaken Kavallerie corps increased in the meantime to the army corps. On operation of Himmler the corps still at the end of of 1944 should be integrated into the weapon SS. To 26. August 1944 came it to a relevant conversation between Heinrich Himmler and Pannwitz. The chance for better equipment and armament leftPannwitz assure, the Kosaken units regarding supply and supply to subordinate including the supply of heavy weapons, purely administratively the weapon SS. An actual SS-integration, as it wanted to intersperse Himmler, was not no more carried out however in fact up to the end of war. A complete transfer into the weapon SS failedat the rejecting attitude of general of Pannwitz and its officer corps, which wanted to protect a large self-sufficiency as a troop unit of the armed forces.

Under the retreat of the armed forces soon also the families of the Kosaken saw themselves forced to leave their homeland. After months-long erring ways became that Kosaken Stans under its from the Zarenzeit famous leaders, like the Atamanen and generals Krasnow, Kulakoff, Skuro, the Sultan Klytsch, or Vasilieff and Domanow, new settlement areas in the upper-Italian province Friaul, in the area of Tolmezzo in Karnien, asa new “Kosakia “, assigned by the German realm Reich. Under the pressure of Italian partisan movements and around itself with the Kosakeneinheiten of the Kosaken Kavallerie corps avoiding to Austria to combine, the Kosaken Stans in enormous Trecks with horse and car fled northward into the area of Oberkärnten and Osttirol, where they should be caught up by the collapse of the German Reich.

„Lienzer Kosaken “

the forthcoming defeat of Germany got the Kosaken as a fighter on sides of Germany in bad trouble. Stalin regarded it as Nazikollaborateure and a traitor and threatened it with thatDeath. Over not in shank of the Red Army and/or. the Titoarmee to arrive, the Kosaken Stans at the beginning of of May 1945 over the Plöckenpass fled, where they became to receive Odilo Globocnik, as “SS and police leaders” the German cockpit (“operation zone Adriati coastal country”) from the high SS-functionary was subordinated to which,in that the Kosaken had be before. From here arrived it further into the area of Oberkärnten and Osttirol. In Lienz headquarters and in the meadows and forests around the dolomite city was broken open stored approximately approx. 25,000 men, women and children, thatMajority of them consisted of members of the combat units. In addition came still more than 5,000 horses, which ate the meadows bald within short time. This explains the reserved and fear-fulfilled admission by the native ones, which often threatened felt by the presence of the Kosaken.

Against different phrasedPromises shipped the British, after the Kosakenoffiziere had been already separated some days before by a fictitious conference in Spittal to the Drau from the remaining Stan, the Kosaken and Kaukasier by force on LKWs and railway trucks. One appointed oneself to the contract of Jalta,in that among other things the feedback of all Soviet citizens into the Soviet Union agreed upon was, which to end of war in allies were shank. The British government feared that Stalin, which could retain freed British prisoner of war with the advance by the Soviets as security so long the Kosakeneinheiten not repatriated would be. The same applied also to ten thousands of Yugoslav citizens and soldiers, who - particularly in the numbers of the fascist Croatian Ustascha federations - had confessed on German side.

In the camps around Lienz and Oberdrauburg shaking played themselves in the course of the distributionScenes off. Mothers jumped with their children in suicidal intention into the flood-prominent and ice-cold Drau. Men shot or erhängten themselves. The events entered as „tragedy to the Drau “history.

The majority of the Kosaken and the Kaukasier became in Jew castle the SovietTroops hand over. Many survived the summer 1945 no more. Others took themselves from fear of pursuit by the Soviet organs the life and/or. their children killed and used or survived the transportation into the camps not. Officers usually became after short processesexecuted, general v. Pannwitz became to 16. January 1947 in Moscow with five further Kosakengeneralen and Atamanen executed. To 23. April 1996 took place its (few years later again waived) rehabilitation via the prosecutor general of the Russian federation in Moscow. In the document at that time for reason was calledit: “No proofs are present that from Pannwitz or it subordinated units Gräueltaten against the Soviet civilian population and the taken prisoner Red Army soldiers certified have.” Today it is assumed that a further reason for the distribution of the Kosaken the feedback of the weapon SS division „Galizien “been itscould, because Churchill of their employment in the arising cold war of advantages had expected itself (Lit.: Sanders et. aluminium, S. 86f. and S. 92f.).

In Lienz today the Kosakenfriedhof reminds in the Peggetz and Gedenkstein for the general Helmuth of Pannwitz and thatXV. Kosakenkavallerie corps in tristung to the tragic happening at that time. There commemoration ceremonies of the survivors and the descendants take place annually, who scattered the fate into the whole world. The James bond film „golden Eye “refers to this episode at the end of the Second World War: ThatOpponent bond explains itself as a son of a Lienzer Kosaken (in the German-language version falsely spoken of „Linzer Kosaken “). Only 2005, 60 years after the events, the topic of coworkers of the Innsbrucker University of (Harald Stadler became; Karl C. Berger; Martin Kofler) in one - howeverpartially as “revisionistic” criticized - exhibition regenerated.

The evaluation of the combat mission of the Kosaken at the page of Hitler Germany and their “Repatriierung by force” by the British give to today cause for controversies. While the distribution of the Kosaken 1945 an important role in the right-wing extremist historical discourse (revisionism) it plays, by other side is criticized that in the stress of the victim role consciously the aspect is faded out that the fight of the Kosaken at the side of the German armed forces meant in fact that they took part in Hitler's war of extermination. Completely independently of the question of theiroriginal motivation, since they applied from view Stalins since the October Revolution as enemies of the Soviet system and were pursued of this in their majority as anti- Bolschewisten. From therefore it they did not have choice during the war, from their view as itself together with the Germans approximatelyTo place Stalin, if they wanted to survive.

Wiedergeburt of the Kosakentums

  • 1990 totalRussian Kosakenbund again-based
  • today gives it zirka to four to five million Kosaken

groups of Kosaken

  • Schwarzmeer Kosaken, among other things Saporoher Kosaken (Saporoher Sitsch)
  • nose Kosaken
  • Amur Kosaken
  • Don Kosaken
  • Transbaikal Kosaken
  • Caucasus Kosaken
  • Terek Kosaken
  • Astrachan Kosaken
  • Kuban Kosaken
  • Orenburg Kosaken
  • Semireche Kosaken
  • Siberian Kosaken
  • Urals Kosaken (before times Jaik Kosaken)
  • Ussuri Kosaken
  • Manyas Kosaken, settled at the lake of Manyas

acquaintance Kosakenführer


  • Shashka = Kosaken sword
  • Nagaika = twisted whip of the Kosaken
  • Stanitsa = Kosakensiedlung, in addition, unit of the Kosaken
  • Kasatschok (also Cossachok) = dance of the Kosaken
  • tradition uniform = Tracht of the Kosaken, come of to the Tracht that Tscherkessen


  • Jana of citizen: Bohdan Chmel' nyc' kyj and the Kosakenmythos in the post office-Soviet Ukraine. In: Yearbooks for history of Eastern Europe 50 (2002), H. 1. S. 62-86.
  • Andreas Kappeler: The Kosaken Aera as central component of the construction of a nationalUkrainian history: The example of the magazine Kievskaja Starina1882-1891. In: Robert O. Crummey, cross-beam Sundhaussen, Ricarda Vulpius (Hg.): Russian and Ukrainian history of 16. - 18. Century. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz publishing house 2002 (research to Eastern European history, Bd. 58). S. 251-262. ISBN 3-447-04480-2
  • Stefan Karner: To the distribution of the Kosaken to the Soviets 1945 in Jew castle,in: Johann Andritsch (Hg.): Jew castle 1945 in eye-witness reports. Jew citizen museum writings XII. Jew castle 1994, S. 243-259.
  • James D. Sanders - Marks of A. Sauter - R. Cort Kirkwood: Soldiers OF Misfortune. The Cold was Betrayal and Sacrifice OF American POWs. New York 1994, S. 86f. and 92f.
  • Carsten Kumke: Leader and leading with the Saporoger Kosaken. Structure and history of kosakischer federations in the Polish litauischen borderland (1550-1648). Berlin; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1993 (research to Eastern European history; Volume 49). ISBN 3-447-03374-6
  • Susanne Luber: The origin of Zaporoger Kosaken 17. Century after family names. Berlin:Otto Harrassowitz (Wiesbaden), 1983 (publications of the department for slawische languages and literatures of the institute for Eastern Europe at the free University of Berlin, Bd. 56).ISBN 3-447-02381-3
  • Harald Stadler, Martin Kofler, Karl C. Berger: Escape into the hopelesness. The Kosaken in Osttirol. Study publishing house, Innsbruck vienna Bozen 2005 ISBN: 3-7065-4152-1
  • Günter Stökl: The emergence of the Kosakentums. Munich, Isar publishing house 1953 (publications of the institute for Eastern Europe Munich, Bd. 3).
  • Andreas Hilger/G.Wagenlehner: Soviet military tribunals, Cologne, Böhlau 2001

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see also: Military farmer, Kosakenchöre, historythe Ukraine, history of Russia, Tschetnik

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