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.
Two persons of German-Russian heritage are serving important positions
during this challenging time in American history: 1) U.S. Senate
Majority Leader, Senator Tom Daschle, a native of Aberdeen, SD,
who had ancestors to the German village of Kleinliebental; and 2)
Lt. Gen. Charles Wald, a native of Minot, ND, who had ancestors
to the Kutschurgan villages, all located today near Odessa, Ukraine.
Lt. Gen. Wald was assigned to the Pentagon in 1997. He is commander
of the 9th Air Force, which covers some two dozen countries from
East Africa across the Arabian Peninsula to Pakistan.
GRHC and the Germans from Russia Cultural Preservation Foundation will
be sponsoring the Arizona Premiere featuring the new
videotape documentary series, Grandmas Recipes: Germans
from Russia Food Preparations and Memories. The event is Saturday,
March 2, 2002, 9:30 am-11 am, at the Civic Center Library Theater,
3839 Civic Center Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ. The North Dakota Picnic
is Sunday, March 3, 2002, 10 am-3 pm, Pioneer Park, Mesa, AZ. Contact
me for further information.
Grandmas Recipes videotape is available from
the GRHC. See these persons cooking in their kitchens and reminiscing:
Millie Doll Hauck, Dickinson, ND; Helen Gefroh Fischer, Hague Cafe,
ND; Bernadine Lang Kuhn, Owatonna, MN; Erica Lang Wangler, Bismarck,
ND; and Alma Janke Schott, Gackle, ND.
We have two new, re-designed, color-coded 11 by 17 inch laminated
maps of the former German villages of South Russia. These maps include
German villages of Bessarabia, Crimea, Dobrudscha, Beresan District,
Kutschurgan District, Liebental District, Mennonite, and Hutterite.
Ancestors of the Germans from Russia community in the Dakotas immigrated
from these villages in South Russia. For further information, contact
GRHC or visit: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/maps/maps3.html.
The two maps were completed in 1999, with revisions in 2001. These
maps have been popular at GRHC outreach events clearly identifying
locations and names of the homeland villages.
The GRHC co-sponsors the Cultural Heritage Tour: Germany,
Switzerland, Austria, and Alsace, France, September 1223,
2002. Tour members will visit the ancestral area of many German-Russians
in Alsace and southern Germany. The tour includes: Stuttgart, Strasbourg,
Lucerne, Salzburg, and Munich including the Oktoberfest. To receive
tour information details, visit the website at http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/outreach/journey/tours/culture.
Limited space is available 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,
Black Sea, and Crimean German villages; Stuttgart, Germany, and
In the new biography published by GRHC, Why are you still
alive?: A German in the Gulag by Georg Hildebrandt, Heidelberg,
Germany, Hildebrandt writes about his life story and the suffering
endured by the Ukrainian Germans. Many Germans died in Siberian
detention camps during Stalins dictatorship. 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.
GRHCs new book, Well Meet Again in Heaven: Germans
in the Soviet Union Write Their American Relatives: 1925 - 1937,"
by Ronald J. Vossler, 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. 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. Each
videotape includes 20 minutes of bonus video footage, not shown
in the one-hour documentary. To secure the videotapes, contact PPTV
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, donations
to the Collection, including family histories, Arizona events, videotape
documentaries, tours, German-Russian cookbooks; and GRHCs
publications including books, 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).