This page was first developed on 25 and 26 June 2001 --rak. All the pictures that follow are thumbnails; click on them to enlarge them.
The journey to Kutter convinced me I was right back in central Kansas! There was the first view of a small town with its huge grain elevator, the endless plains, and the boundless sky! In addition, along the road way were the ever-present "Russian" thistles, and the "Russian" olive trees growing in the carefully planted shelter-belts. The light colored tree in this picture either now grows all over the Kansas plains, or its twin does! Here is another view of several of these trees growing outside a shelter-belt in a ravine near Galka. In addition, we saw Cottonwood trees. The one shown here is in the city of Saratov, but it was so covered with cotton, it was begging to have its picture taken!
Present-day Kutter is quite large. My guess is over 3,000 people. The village is in three parts. One third is seen in my first picture just to the left of the grain elevator. Behind the elevator are the railroad tracks. Another section is just beyond the railroad and to the right. The third section is on beyond the second, divided from the second by the river, which I take to be the Great Karamysh.
In the next picture, part of the third third of the village, the part below the river appears on the left. In the next picture, part of the third third appears on the right side, part of the second third appears on the left and you can just barely make out part of the first third, immediately to the right of and beyond the elevator. In the next picture, you get a better view of the third third, the part beyond the river. All three thirds are larger than what is shown here and as densely built up.
I talked to three German families here, and my drivers used my camera to take pictures of us, but managed not really to take a single one! As best these people can remember not a single German who was born here or born to people born here managed to come back here after 1941.
Many of the houses are said by the current inhabitants to have been German-built. Here are three: A church is still standing but has been in use for years for grain storage. The interior is divided into large bins. I came across a building that had burnt and took these two pictures to show some idea of the construction methods: On my way out of town we stopped for lunch at the edge of a wheat (I think!) field and I took a picture of the soil. As you can see it is quite rocky, but the rock is mostly a soft marl, which is more like hardened clay than most anything else. Looks like pretty tough farming!
While we were waiting with several other cars at the railroad crossing on a train to go through, a horse cart was patiently waiting too. So long, Kutter!
To go to the main Kutter page, click it.
To go on to reports of visits to other villages, click here.