Germans formed the nobility and gentry of the Baltic provinces acquired by [[TsaristRussia Russia]] under UsefulNotes/PeterTheGreat. (This is one reason why the city of St. Petersburg has a Germanic name). Under UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat (born a German princess), a large number of Germans emigrated to a region around part of the Volga River, becoming known as the Volga Germans. Between 1795 (the third partition of {{UsefulNotes/Poland}}) and 1919 (the re-creation of Poland), Russia shared a border with {{Prussia}}/Germany. And then, you have all the Russians who moved from the SovietUnion to EastGermany, and who are now citizens of a [[TheBerlinRepublic united Germany]]. Meanwhile in 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/WorldWarOne and the UsefulNotes/GreatPatrioticWar tends to colour Russian perceptions of Germans, as can be seen by Communist propaganda. Whereas Americans may be depicted as fat capitalists, Germans don't even get to be human. 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. [[note]]YMMV on that. 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") as this one from Ilya Ehrenburg from 1942 (emphasis added): "Slavers - they would like to enslave our people. They take some Russians home, mistreat them, make them lose their wits by hunger, to the point that they eat grass and worms, and then a repulsive German with a stinking cigar can philosophise: "Are these perhaps human beings?" We know everything. We remember everything. We have understood: ''Germans are not human beings''. Henceforth the word German means to us the most terrible curse. From now on the word German will trigger your rifle. We shall not speak any more. We shall not get excited. We shall kill. ''If you have not killed at least one German a day, you have wasted that day.'' If you think that instead of you, the man next to you will kill him, you have not understood the threat. If you do not kill the German, he will kill you. If you cannot kill your German with a bullet, kill him with your bayonet. ''If there is calm on your part of the front, if you are waiting for the fighting, kill a German before combat. If you leave a German alive, the German will hang a Russian and rape a Russian woman. If you kill one German, kill another - there is nothing more amusing for us than a heap of German corpses. Do not count days; do not count miles. Count only the number of Germans you have killed.'' Kill the German - this is your old mother's prayer. Kill the German - this is what your children beseech you to do. ''Kill the German - this is the cry of your Russian earth. Do not waver. Do not let up. Kill.''" To be fair, Ehrenburg took flak from some Soviet officers on that and was denounced in ''{{Pravda}}'' just as the war was ending, possibly to try and downplay the excruciatingly bad PR that the USSR took on their mistreatment of the Germans in Berlin and elswhere.[[/note]]

Unrelated to CommieNazis.

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

* ''Literature/CrimeAndPunishment''
* The doctor from [[Creator/NikolaiGogol Gogol]]'s play ''The Revisor'', who can't even speak Russian.
* 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).

* 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.

* 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).
* 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, settled in Germany for the rest of her life. She had good relationships with UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler and Joseph Goebbels, but she was rumored to be a Soviet spy.