The German Volga Republic was a former autonomous republic of the USSR, formed in 1924. It was located along the lower Volga River of southwestern Russia. The population was mostly German, due to the German colonists that were invited to settle there by Catherine the Great in 1762.
When Hitler broke the non-aggression pact and invaded the Soviet Union, the republic was dissolved and the entire German population, which numbered in the area of about 440,000 people, were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia. The Volga Germans also had their citizenship taken away, and they did not regain their civil rights until after the death of Stalin.