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.
On Saturday, February 23, 2002, beginning at 1 pm, I will be in
Sacramento, CA, to speak at a Germans from Russia gathering at the
First Christian Church, Folsom Blvd and 39 Street. On Sunday, February
24, 2002, beginning at 2 pm, I will be in Lodi, CA, to also speak
to a German-Russian gathering at the First Baptist Church, 19 South
Central Avenue. Use the Oak Street entrance.
Joining me at the Lodi and Sacramento events will be Bob Dambach,
director of programming and productions, Prairie Public Television,
Fargo. John Philipps, Merced, CA, author of the book, The
Germans by the Black Sea Between the Bug and Dnjestr Rivers,
will attend the events and autograph his book.
GRHC and the Germans from Russia Cultural Preservation Foundation will
sponsor the Arizona Premiere of the new videotape documentary
series, Recipes from Grandmas Kitchen: Germans from
Russia Food Preparations and Traditions, Volume 1. The event
is Saturday, March 2, 2002, 9:30 am-11 am, at the Civic Center Library
Theater, 3839 Civic Center Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ. All are welcome
The North Dakota Picnic is Sunday, March 3, 2002, 10 am-3 pm, at
Pioneer Park, Mesa, AZ. Contact me for further information regarding
the Scottsdale and Mesa events.
The Recipes from Grandmas Kitchen videotape is
available in January 2002 from 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,
Traditional foods, savory recipes, and folk memories are important
in the history and culture of the Germans from Russia community.
The videotape includes vignettes of culinary memories that feed
the soul and warm the heart.
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
the German villages of Bessarabia, Crimea, Dobrudscha, Beresan District,
Kutschurgan District, Liebental District, Mennonites, and Hutterites.
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.
GRHC co-sponsors the Cultural Heritage Tour: Germany, Switzerland,
Austria, and Alsace, France, September 12-23, 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 Octoberfest. To receive
tour information details, contact me. Limited space is still 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 Alsace, France.
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. 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. Each
videotape includes 20 minutes of bonus video footage not shown in
the one-hour documentary. To purchase the videotapes, contact PPTV
at 1-800-359-6900, or the tapes may also be purchased by contacting
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, donations
to the Collection, including family histories, Arizona and California
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).