Trip to the Frank Kanton by Alexander Spack in May 2009
German Lutheran church in Kratzke, now Podtchinniy.
The Volga German colony of Kratzke was founded in 1766. Back in 1913 the village had 188 households and 2,435 inhabitants. During the Tzars' reign its official Russian name was Podtchinnoe. Later on, during the time of the Autonomous Republic of the Volga Germans, the village carried its original German name of Kratzke. In the years before the WWII the village had more than 200 households and around 1,500 people. The settlement was known for their textile productions which lead to the "Fortschritt" textile factory being established here after 1917. After the deportation of the local Germans, the village was yet again officially renamed; it has been called Podtchinniy ever since. Today there are only about 200 people living there.
The German church building was used as a community center and cinema during the Soviet time.
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