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Questions for my German friends

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I foolishly agreed to translate a German piece into English, without realizing that the piece would be 13 pages long, with a many unfamiliar geo-political terms, as well as many Russian names. The piece is a history of Volgadeutsch settlement. in a place called "Jagodnaja Poljana."

There are many descendants of the Volgadeutsch in the U.S., and the man who asked me to do this translation is one of them. I've run into a couple of terms for which I can find no meaning in my dictionaries. One of them is "Werst," which seems to be a term of measurement--"Sie war 52 Werst in nordóstlicher Richtung von Saratow entfernt."

Any idea what "Werst" means?

Also, there's an abbreviation whose meaning I should know but have forgotten. "bzw."

Can anyone fill me in on these?

I undoubtedly will have more questions as I proceed. I thank you in advance for your help.

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