| In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) 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
as an important part of the northern plains culture.
The GRHC website has an attractive new design and format: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc.
May I invite you to review the web pages.
The Glueckstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA) 2004 Bicentennial
Committee met in Fargo in July to review plans for the book, videotape
and CD projects. In 1804, seventy-three families left Wuerttemberg,
Germany, for the Glueckstal District mother colonies (Bergdorf,
Glueckstal, Kassel, and Neudorf), South Russia (today in Moldova
and Ukraine near Odessa). In 1809, 104 families left Germany and
settled in the Glueckstal colonies. Many Glueckstalers settled in
the central Dakotas.
Homer Rudolf, Richmond, VA, committee chairperson, a native of
Wishek, ND, writes: Our goal is to produce a book, videotape
documentary, and a CD-ROM that will include information about the
Glueckstal mother and daughter colonies, a comprehensive look at
the historical, political, cultural, and religious life of these
German-Russian colonies in South Russia, as well as the Glueckstal
settlements in the United States and Canada. We consider this the
last real opportunity to gather much of the information relevant
to these people, especially their photographs, diaries, documents,
and letters. For more information, go to the GCRA website:
or contact me.
Reservations are now being taken for the Journey to the Homeland
Tour (May 26-June 7, 2002) sponsored by the NDSU Libraries. The
tour will include Odessa, Ukraine and the nearby former Bessarabian
and Black Sea German villages; Stuttgart, Germany, and Alsace, France.
GRHC has published two important books that unfold the tragic story
of the Germans who stayed in South Russia (today Ukraine), the famine
and suffering that they experienced. Well Meet Again
in Heaven: Germans in the Soviet Union Write Their American Relatives:
1925 - 1937," written by Ronald J. Vossler, shares a dramatic
The new biography published by GRHC, Why are you still alive?:
A German in the Gulag by Georg Hildebrandt, Heidelberg, Germany,
writes his life story and the suffering by the Ukrainian Germans.
Many Germans died in Siberian detention camps during Stalins
dictatorship. Hildebrandts biography revives this story first
published in 1993 in the German language. His biography is a shocking
document of the Germans in the former USSR. He documents what happened
with amazing memory and precision. Hildebrandt celebrated his 90th
birthday in July, 2001.
Well Meet Again in Heaven, includes many letters
translated from German to English including these family names:
Boschee, Dockter, Eckman, Feiger, Goehring, Graf, Heupel, Hochhalter,
Ketterling, Kirschmann, Kramer, Lang, Morlock, Opp, Rudolf, Rueb,
Schauer, Speidel, Stock, Viel, and Wanner. Ron Vossler writes The
family names clearly show a direct link, one of old love and also
of family ties, between the Dakota pioneers and those unfortunate
family members who remained behind in Russia.
The award-winning documentary videotapes The Germans from
Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie (1999),
and Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia
(2000), continue to be well received throughout North America. To
secure the videotapes, contact Prairie Public at 1-800-359-6900.
The videotapes include 20 minutes of bonus video footage, not shown
in the one-hour documentary. See many interesting pages about the
documentaries at the Prairie Public Broadcasting website: http://www.prairiepublic.org.
For further information about donations to the Collection, including
family histories, outreach programs, videotape documentaries, GCRA
2004 Bicentennial projects, Journey to the Homeland Tour (May 26-June
7, 2002) for Odessa, Ukraine and Stuttgart, Germany; German-Russian
cookbooks; GRHCs publications including recent books, Streeter,
ND book; The Germans by the Black Sea Between Bug and Dniester
Rivers; Marienberg: Fate of a Village, and The
Dark Abyss of Exile: A Story of Survival; and German-Russian
heritage, contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599,
Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu;
GRHC website: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc).