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Germans in Colorado
In northeastern Colorado, between the towns of Brighton, Fort Collins, and Sterling, you’ll find the region colloquially referred to as the “Krautburger Triangle.” The region is named after the beef and cabbage filled bread pockets that were a staple item of the German immigrants living in the region. Such as with the German immigrants that settled in the northwestern United States, the Germans in Colorado did not come directly from Germany. The Volga Germans were actually living for many generations in Russia prior to immigrating to the United States. However, while living in Russia, this immigrant group never lost their German language, culture, or traditions. After immigrating to the United States in the early 20th century, they were able to maintain their culture and heritage for some time in Colorado as well. Initially, after settling in the region, the majority of Volga Germans worked as farmers in the sugar beet industry. However, over time they have dispersed into various other industries and have to a large degree culturally and linguistically assimilated.
For those interested in learning more about this fascinating immigrant group, the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia has a chapter in Northern Colorado. In Windsor, just outside the “Krautburger Triangle,” the society hosts meetings four times a year. The meetings allow attendees to explore the history of Volga Germans as well as meet their descendants. In addition to various historical societies, the German American Chamber of Commerce also hosts an incredible Christkindl Market in Denver every year. The markets offer an artisan marketplace, authentic German cuisine, Bier, Glühwein, and live music. If you’re lucky enough to be in Denver during the Christmas season, it is a must-see – however, don’t forget to head northeast for a Krautburger on your trip as well.