Ethnic Germans emigrating by the thousands from Russia

March 31, 1992|By Ian Johnson | Ian Johnson,Contributing Writer

BERLIN -- Thousands of ethnic Germans from the former Soviet republics are emigrating to Germany each month.

Although Germany has put up $60 million to encourage them to stay in Russia, officials here privately concede that most of the 2 million ethnic Germans probably will leave the former Soviet Union by the end of the decade, further straining Germany's overburdened economy and stripping the struggling republics of qualified workers and farmers.

Germany's Constitution requires the country to pay for the repatriation of any ethnic German.

Last year 147,320 ethnic Germans left Russia and the other Soviet republics, about the same number as in 1990, despite tougher administrative procedures. In January of this year the number was 16,379, with another 500,000 applications in backlog.

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