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Some became Polonized, however, and their descendants remain in Poland.After World War II, many of those who retained their German language and customs were forcibly expelled by the Russians and the Poles, with the loss of all their property.By 2002, the population fell by half to roughly one million.597,212 Germans were enumerated in Russia (2002 Russian census), making Germans the fifth largest ethnic group in that country.The western Posen region again became part of Prussia, while what is now central Poland became the Russian client-state Congress Poland.
Eventually, Prussia acquired most of the Vistula's watershed, and the central portion of then-Poland became South Prussia.
German colonies in the lower Volga river area were founded almost immediately afterward.
These early colonies were attacked during the Pugachev uprising, which was centred on the Volga area, but they survived the rebellion.
It placed the new arrivals outside of Russia's feudal hierarchy and granted them considerable internal autonomy.
Moving to Russia gave German immigrants political rights that they would not have possessed in their own lands.