Right up until 1943, Germans were found right across Eastern Europe - and not just as Order Police or Wehrmacht troopers. They lived there as naturalised citizens. One consequence is that when reading accounts of the North-Eastern (Polish/Baltic) and South-Eastern (Belorussian/Ukrainian) Fronts of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI it is nigh-impossible to tell which side a general is on based just on their names. For instance, on the one side you might have General Paul von Hindenburg and on the other, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (or, as was the case during the disastrous--for the Russians--invasion of East Prussia by the Russians in 1914, German general Hermann von Francois--a descendant of French Huguenots who settled in Prussia, itself worthy of a trope--opposing his Russian counterpart, Paul von Rennenkampf, a Baltic German).

Much of this ethnic mix-up dates back to the time of UsefulNotes/PeterTheGreat, who recruited a great many German artisans and nobles to as part of his plans for modernizing [[UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia Russia]]. They also formed the nobility and gentry of the Baltic provinces which he conquered from the Swedish Empire (This is one reason why the city of St. Petersburg has a Germanic name[[note]]wich though was originally Dutch Sankt-Piter-Boerch but soon changed a bit[[/note]]). (Incidentally, the Baltic Germans predate the rise of Russian Empire by centuries--many German merchants, mercenaries, and crusaders settled in the Baltic regions from high Middle Ages on). Since the direct line of Romanovs was finished on Peter's daughter Elisabeth Petrovna, Russian throne was occupied by descendants of his other daughters married into Germany, who were effectively ethnic Germans (UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat was born as a German princess); with their encouragement, a large number of Germans emigrated to St. Petersburg and made colonies in other parts of Russia, including a region around part of the Volga River (becoming known as the Volga Germans) and, later on, modern Southern Ukraine (Novorossiya). Between 1795 (the third partition of {{UsefulNotes/Poland}}) and 1919 (the re-creation of Poland), Russia shared a border with UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}}/Germany. And then, you have all the Russians who moved from the [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet Union]] to UsefulNotes/EastGermany, and who are now citizens of a [[UsefulNotes/TheBerlinRepublic united Germany]]. Meanwhile in UsefulNotes/WestGermany, the laws made it relatively easy for Russians to gain citizenship there too, provided that they were able to prove German descent (like e.g. the aforementioned Volga Germans). The situation in today's united Germany is similar.

It is therefore not surprising that German characters appear a fair bit in Russian literature, especially from the earlier periods.

These characters are often portrayed in the stereotypical German manner - [[GermanicDepressives humourless]] and [[GermanicEfficiency efficient]] - but there are exceptions.

After this time, UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Great Patriotic War]] tends to colour Russian perceptions of Germans, as can be seen by Communist propaganda. Whereas Americans may be depicted as fat capitalists, Germans are imperialistic brutes and monsters. Surprisingly ([[RussianGuySuffersMost or maybe not]]), this was strictly limited to wartime media, and even in WWII official propaganda encouraged differentiating between ThoseWackyNazis and Germans as a people--as Stalin said in 1945, as his armies were marching into heart of Germany, "Hitlers come and go, but the German people go on forever." Germany's ''Vernichtungskrieg'' to totally annihilate the Soviet peoples disinclined Soviet citizens to actually go along with that, however, as in their anger many found it difficult to remind themselves that there was a difference between the inherently genocidal Nazis and [[PunchClockVillain the genocidal-for-now ordinary Germans]] [[note]] Official Soviet policy seemed to go back and forth, but there were some widely-published-by-the-official-Soviet-propaganda-ministry "gems" (for varying values of "gem") such as a number of ''[[http://rense.com/general75/ehr.htm extremely heavy-handed]]'' pieces from Ilya Ehrenburg from 1942. To be fair, Ehrenburg, being Jewish, has had [[UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust his own bone with the Germans]], and he actually took flak from some Soviet officials on that, and was denounced in ''Magazine/{{Pravda}}'' just as the war was ending, possibly to try and downplay the excruciatingly bad PR that the USSR took on their well-documented mistreatment of the Germans in Berlin and elswhere.[[/note]]

Unrelated to CommieNazis.


[[folder: Fan Works]]
* Mello from ''Manga/DeathNote'' is said to be this in some fanworks, based on his real name [[spoiler: Mihael Keehl]], although [[NonspecificallyForeign no one is sure of]] his ''exact'' ethnic background.

* Hoffman, an old bum from the Peterburg's graveyard in ''Film/{{Brother}}''.

[[folder: Jokes]]
* An old one, going as far back as UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars, inquires:
--> Why could Napoleon never conquer Russia?
--> Don't you know? A Frenchman could never be a Russian Tsar! The Russian Tsar could only be German![[note]][[DoNotExplainTheJoke The joke here being]] that ever since UsefulNotes/PeterTheGreat the Romanov dynasty begun to Germanize increasingly fast, and by the times of Peter III and UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat, both full-blood Germans, there wasn't a drop of Russian blood in a dynasty's veins.[[/note]]
* Another one, less politically correct:
--> Russia and Germany has nothing to divide. Except Poland.
* And yet another, this time slightly risque:
--> When the court historians informed Alexander III that he's most probably descended not from Peter III, but from on of UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat's numerous lovers, Count Saltykov,[[note]]Catherine II's son and heir, Paul I, greatly resembled Saltykov in appearance.[[/note]] he proclaimed:
--> Thank God, we're Russians!
--> When the competing bunch of historians refuted that claim, The Tsar bellowed:
--> Thank God, we're lawful![[note]]As in "not bastards".[[/note]]

* ''Literature/CrimeAndPunishment'' has the Marmeladov landlady Amalia Ivanovna Lippewechsel with her FunetikAksent and generally petty and obnoxious personality.
* Andrey Karlovich Stolz from ''Literature/{{Oblomov}}'' (a very positive example).
* Ivan Arnol'dovich Bormental from Mikhai Bulgakov's ''Literature/HeartOfADog'' (positive example too).
* Literature/ErastFandorin, his surname being a corruption of [[TheVonTropeFamily von Dorn]]. Somewhat similar to the name of the 18th century writer Denis Fonvizin, originally von Wiesen.
* In Creator/AlexanderPushkin's novel ''The Captain's Daughter'' there is an old general, a German in Russian service, who speaks with a thick German accent, presumably for comic effect. When Catherine II appears in the story, her dialogue is rendered in proper, unaccented Russian.
** [[TruthInTelevision Truth in Literature]]. The first thing Catherine did after coming to Russia is learning proper Russian.
** A joke persists, nevertheless, that she managed to misspell щи (''shchi'', a kind of soup); the punchline asks how it is possible to make eight spelling errors in a two-letter word. (In German, this word would be transliterated ''Schtschi''.)
* Hermann, VillainProtagonist in "TheQueenOfSpades". His friends mock him for never gambling, instead spending his nights watching them play cards for hours, and call him a typical German when he says that he doesn't want to risk the little money he has.
* Several of the important characters in the Book/mini-series ''Series/{{Centennial}}'' are of this stock (having imigrated to the US in the late 19th century).
* ''The Commissar'' by Creator/SvenHassel. The protagonists pose as a special unit of Volga Germans when sneaking behind Soviet lines.
* [[{{Ubermensch}} Von Koren]] from "The Duel" by Creator/AntonChekhov.
* In Solzhenitsyn novel ''August, 1914,'' the protagonist wonders what the nationality of the Russian Army invading East Prussia really is, noting that it is led by a bunch of generals with German names like von Rennenkampf.
** Of course, their antagonist, the commander of the German forces opposing them, was von François, a descendant of French Huguenots in German service.
** When the protagonist comes face to face with General von François, the German asks whether the former is in fact Russian (with implication that the latter thinks he might be (ethnic) German).
* ''Runaways in Novorossiya'', novel by Danilevsky: many characters are German businessmen.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the German police series ''Series/{{Tatort}}'', Münster Kommissar Frank Thiel's assistant Nadezhda Krusenstern is from a German-Russian family that emigrated to Germany after 1990.

* The doctor from [[Creator/NikolaiGogol Gogol]]'s play ''Theatre/TheInspectorGeneral'', who can't even speak Russian.

* Alexander Herzen.
** And for that matter, Peter III (Duke of Holstein-Gottorp before ascending to the Russian throne) and UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat (born in Stettin, wife of the former, had him murdered and took the throne herself).
*** Between Peter the Great and Paul I, succession did not go by consanguinity; the czars had the right to name their own successors regardless of it. Thus Peter the Great was followed by his widow, Catherine I (born Marfa Skavronskaya, a commoner). Peter III was a grandson of Peter the Great (son of his daughter Anna).
** When you get down to it, due to the Romanovs marrying German nobility almost exclusively, Nicholas II was only something like 1/256th Russian.
* Alfred Rosenberg, leading [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi]] executed at Nuremberg, was a Baltic German.
* Heinz Erhardt, one of [[GermanHumor Germany's greatest comedians]], also was a Baltic German, born in [[{{UsefulNotes/Latvia}} Riga]].
* Poet, satirist and artist Robert Gernhardt was born in Reval (Talinn).
* Creator/AlisaFreindlich, Soviet and Russian actress.
* Baron UsefulNotes/UngernSternberg
* Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp, the formalist who invented ProppsFunctionsOfFolktales was born to a German family, studied Russian and German philology and was a college teacher of German.
* Olga Leonardovna Knipper-Chekhova, actress and wife of Creator/AntonChekhov was from a German family settled in Russia
** Her niece Olga Chekhova (she was married to Chekhov's nephew Mikhail, an actor) was an actress herself, spent in Germany most of her life. She had good relationships with UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler and Joseph Goebbels, but she was also rumored to be a Soviet spy.
** Lev Knipper was Olga Knipper's nephew and Olga Chekova's younger brother. Je was a gifted composer, who famously wrote Polyushko Pole (also know as Meadowlands), one of the most popular Russian folk song.
* Alexander Schmorell from the German Anti-Nazi student group known as White Rose. Schmorell was born in Orenburg, Russia from a ethnic German father and a Russian mother. After the revolution his family moved to Germany and he grew up cosindering himself as both German and Russian. He was even baptised in the Russian Orthodox Church and now glorified as a Passion bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
* German pop-star Helene Fischer was born in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia by a family of ethnic Germans who moved to Germany after the end of USSR. Her paternal grandparents were Volga Germans deported to Siberia in 1941 as stated by Stalin during the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Great Patriotic War]].
* Swiss optician Theodor Schwabe, who settled in Moscow in mid-19th century, is commonly credited with jusmpstarting the Russian optical industry, and his workshop, after more than a century and half of transfers, mergers, acquisitions and restructurings is now known as a Urals Optical-Mechanical Plant and is a core of the Russian precision mechanics conglomerate named after the man himself, the Schwabe Holding. This enormous company is active in the fields as diverse as aircraft engines, robotics, baby incubators and othe medical tech, not to mention their core business -- optics.