The Supreme Soviet decreed the first evacuations, which were really expulsions, as the inhabitants were never allowed to return.Action to deport every ethnic German from the Crimea began on 15 August 1941.
Although the mass deportation of the kulaks was based on social and not ethnic criteria, the German Russian settlements probably suffered more than any other communities.Although the decree stated that old people would not have to leave, everyone was expelled, first to Stavropol, and then to Rostov in southeastern Ukraine, near the Crimea, but then all were sent on to camps and special settlements in Kazakhstan.Given only three or four hours to pack, the deportees were not told where they were going, how long they would stay there, or how much food to take.) were ethnic Germans who left their homelands in the 18th and 19th centuries, and settled in territories off the north coast of the Black Sea, mostly in the territories of the southern Russian Empire (including modern-day Ukraine).
They were distinct from similar group of German settlers (the Bessarabia Germans, Crimea Germans, Dobrujan Germans, the Russian Mennonites, and the Volga Germans), who were separate both geographically and culturally, although all moved to the Russian Empire at about the same time and for the same reasons.
The 45,000 Germans in Crimea (along with other Black Sea Germans) were forced into exile in Siberia and Kazakhstan, many into forced labour camps.