The Russian-German's memory culture
It is not just individual persons that remember, no, it is the whole society that remembers the shared story. How this remembering works explains the expression "memory culture."
In Germany, the expression "memory culture" generally refers to the memory of the Holocaust and the victims of the National Socialism.
The memory culture of the Russian-Germans refers to the 20th century as well but is itself very different: during the 20th century the German minority in the Soviet Union was persecuted and deported. Russian-German families keep those memories internally alive.
Not every Russian-German identifies him/herself as a victim of the Soviet or Stalinist persecution. This differs strongly between generations and family histories. Nevertheless, every family can talk about similar experiences and stories.
Until today it is the responsibility of grandparents to keep those memories alive. It is they who experienced those times first hand. As time goes on they publish their memories and write down their memories - they talk about traumatizing experiences with the death of family members and friends, the breaking up of families and the inhuman conditions in the Stalinist labor camps.