In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at the NDSU Libraries
in Fargo reaches out to prairie families and former Dakotans. In
various ways, it affirms the heritage of the Germans from Russia
is an important part of the northern plains culture.
Prairie Public Broadcasting and the NDSU Library are pleased to
announce the premiere showing of the new documentary, The Germans
from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie,
on Tuesday, February 9, 1999 from 7 pm to 8 pm (CST). Executive
producer is Bob Dambach and videographer is Dave Geck both of PPTV;
scriptwriter is Ron Vossler, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks
and Wishek, North Dakota native; and narrator is Steve Bergeson,
NDSU, Fargo. The documentary is copyrighted by Prairie Public. Dambach,
Geck and Vossler filmed in the former German villages and in Odessa,
Ukraine in June, 1996; and May, 1997 and 1998 to prepare for the
documentary. It is a dream come true and a powerful visual of global
importance for the community of Germans from Russia worldwide. I
highly recommend you secure a copy of this videotape. For further
information, call toll free to Prairie Public at 1-800-359-6900.
This is an historic and important partnership between Prairie Public
and the North Dakota State University Library.
The initial idea for this Germans from Russia video documentary
was begun in 1994 when Dr. Shirley Fischer Arends, an Ashley, North
Dakota native (author of the book, The Central Dakota Germans);
Carter Wood, former Grand Forks Herald writer (now working
in the office of North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer); Peter Hilkes,
East European Institute, Munich, Germany, and myself traveled to
Odessa, Ukraine. We explored the possibilities of future tours and
a film video documentary. The first Journey to the Homeland Tour
became reality in June, 1996. The documentary becomes reality in
Prairie Public Television is seen on North Dakota stations: KBME/2/Bismarck;
KDSE/9/Dickinson, KJRE/19/Ellendale, KFME/13/Fargo, KGFR/2/Grand
Forks, KSGR/6/Minot; KWSE/4/Williston, and Winnipeg Cable Channel
3. Later the documentary will be shown on other Public Broadcasting
Service stations (PBS) throughout the United States, including the
central and northern plains. For 35 years, Prairie Public Television
has supported the prairie community through broadcast and technological
services. PPTV has the largest square mileage of television coverage
of any PBS station in the United States. The Germans from Russia
documentary is part of Prairie Public's new Heritage Series. In
1997, PPTV produced "Mennonites of Manitoba".
The NDSU Libraries and Prairie Public will sponsor events in California
and Arizona premiering the documentary. On Sunday, February 28,
from 1 pm-3 pm at Westlake Village Community Room, 571 Hampshire
Road, Westlake Village, California, the one-hour documentary will
be shown, followed by commentary from Michael M. Miller. Limited
space is available for the event! Persons wishing to attend are
requested to contact Randy Boschee (Tel: 805-685-4609; E-mail: Boschee@aol.com).
Our thanks to the Ventura Chapter of the American Historical Society
of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) and the Glückstal Colonies Research
Association for hosting the California event.
On Saturday, March 6, from 9:30 am to 12 noon, at the Civic Center
Library, 3839 Civic Center Blvd., Scottsdale, Arizona the documentary
will be shown. Local contact person is Larry Haas, Sun City (Tel:
602-583-2040; E-mail: email@example.com).
Our thanks to the AHSGR Sun Chapter for hosting this event. Both
Westlake Village and Scottsdale events are free and open to the
The North Dakota Picnic will be on Sunday, March 7, from 10 am
to 3 pm at Pioneer Park, Main Street, Mesa, Arizona. The NDSU Library
will sponsor information tables at the picnic where books and the
new Germans from Russia videotape will be available.
For further information about the collection, the future Germans
from Russia television documentary, the Arizona and California events,
the Journey to the Homeland Tour to Odessa, Ukraine for May 17-31,
1999, and German-Russian heritage, contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU
Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416;
GRHC website: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc).