Norka Banner

Norka, Russia was founded on August 15, 1767 by colonists who primarily originated from the Hessen area of present day Germany. The colony was located on the unsettled Russian steppe near the west bank of the Volga River, about 65 kilometers southwest of the city of Saratov. Norka grew from a fledgling settlement to become the largest and one of the most prosperous German colonies in the Volga region.

Windos of a home in Norka, Russia

Window of home in Norka. Photograph courtesy of Steve Schreiber (2006).

These pioneers shared a rich life based in German culture and traditions that were influenced by their Russian neighbors and the environment.

Today, those born in Norka and their descendants have migrated to many parts of the world including Canada, the United States, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. Many remain in European Russia, Kazakhstan and Siberia.

Explore this site to learn more about the people and history of Norka, a German colony in Russia.


Notable Norkan: Phillip Lofink, Jr.

Phillip and Anna Lofink Family

Notable Norkan: Bruce F. Pauley

Nicolaus and Anna Katharina Yost Family

"Is My Name Schreiber or Becker?" by Steve Schreiber

Christmas Traditions in Norka

From Norka to Glory Hills by John Althouse

Can you help provide information about Louie and Anna Seder?

Unidentified photo from Nedra Brill

Please contact the webmaster if you can you identify anyone in this photo which was likely taken in Portland in the 1920s. The photograph may be connected to a Brill family from Norka. Photograph courtesy of Nedra Brill.

View the History of Norka Presentation that was made at the 2012 AHSGR Convention (7MB PDF).

Dr. Russell C. Schnell Co-Recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Obituaries for people born in Norka. This list was compiled by Debbie Persinger. Please contact Debbie if you have questions on any person in included in this list.

Population Statistics (1767 to 1941)

Hand drawn map of the Norka Parish ( - Russian website)

1864 History of the Norka Reformed Church from "Geschichte der Reformirten Kirche in Russland" by Hermann Dalton (published in 1868)

History of the Norka Parish from "The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Russia: Bergseite"

The First Christmas in Norka, Russia

List of colonists who died in 1909 (includes several Norka people)

1957 Photograph of Neu-Norka showing the school and prayer house (Bethaus)

The 1834 and 1857 Census Lists for Norka and Neu-Norka are available

Listen to audio interviews Quicktime IconWindows Media icon

Famine Letters of the 1920s

Famine Letters of the 1930s

The History of the 1928 Norka film by Heinrich Wacker

Notable Norkans