Numerous German colonies appeared in the Volga region in the mid-1760s, and in Novorossiya in the 1780s in the course of implementation of colonization policy and economic development of the suburbs and recently incorporated territories. The process of migration to Russia took place in different historical conditions, which resulted in formation of special legal norms for various groups of German population. Further, it had a significant impact on the economic development of the Volga and the Black Sea Germans. By the end of the 19th century the high standard of living of the German colonists in different regions of the Russian Empire gave rise to the notorious “German issue”, and its solution was associated with implementation of prohibitive legislation and elimination of German land ownership. All of that induced a dynamic discussion in Russia and forced addressing the history of emergence of the German colonies. The paper considers the historiographical analysis of publications of the Russian authors, resorting in the 1860s – 1917 to studying of the German colonization history in the Russian Empire of the second half of the 18th century. Academic interest in this problem arose as a response to the publicistic papers of anti-Kraut focus. For convincing argumentation of their own positions, the authors of the research started to address not only the regulatory acts of the times of Catherine the Great and Paul I, but also the current records remained in the archives, as well as statistical materials and memories of the first settlers. They have contributed heavily to reconstruction of the initial period of the Russian Germans and had a beneficial effect on reduction of anti-Knaut sentiments.