|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.
GRHC information tables and display will appear at the following
North Dakota centennials: 1) Strasburg: June 27-29, 10 am-5 pm,
Strasburg High School classroom; 2) Zeeland, July 5-6, 10 am to
5 pm, Zeeland High School classroom; and 3) Flasher, July 19-20,
10 am-5 pm, Community Credit Union Meeting Room.
I look forward to my visiting with folks at Strasburg, Zeeland,
and Flasher this summer and in sharing the history and culture of
the rich heritage of the Germans from Russia. It will be another
homecoming for me graduating from Strasburg High School. Join us
at these centennials where families will have a chance to review
the award-winning videotape documentaries, photo displays, maps,
books, and other materials.
A new videotape, "Germans from Russia on the Canadian Prairies
Than and Now" is now available. There are wonderful segments including
music, medicinal remedies (Brauche), cookery, games, religion, and
other Germans from Russia folkways. Germans from Russia carried
their traditions, culture, and language across two continents and
an ocean, breaking sod on the Canadian prairies. More information
is available at this web page: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/tapes/canadianprairies.html
or by contacting GRHC.
The videotape, "Recipes from Grandma's Kitchen: Germans from Russia
Food Traditions & Preparations", continues to be well received.
The NDSU Libraries and the Germans from Russia Cultural Preservation
Foundation has produced this videotape.
The videotape includes these persons cooking in their kitchens
while 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.
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.
GRHC's latest book is now in its third printing since February,
2002: "German Food & Folkways: Heirloom Memories from Europe, South
Russia & the Great Plains", by Rose Marie Gueldner, Anamoose, ND.
The book is available at this website: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/cookbooks/gueldner.html
or by contacting GRHC.
Dr. Timothy J. Kloberdanz, NDSU, writes: "Although there are German-Russian
cookbooks currently on the market, this one is quite unusual because
of the way it interweaves background history, ethnic heritage, and
so many mouth-watering Old Country recipes. If the German-Russians
have a Martha Stewart anywhere in North America, it may very well
be Rose Marie Gueldner"!
Brother Placid Gross, German-Russian folklorist, Assumption Abbey,
Richardton, ND, writes: "This book is the crowning achievement of
all cookbooks. It is a great and wonderful tribute to our pioneer
mothers who knew how to hold body and soul together with hard work
and creativity to make a banquet with the simplest of basic ingredients".
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 contact
The next Journey to the Homeland Tour to Odessa, Ukraine and Stuttgart,
Germany has been announced for May 20 - June 2, 2003. The tour includes
visits to the former Bessarabian, Black Sea and Crimean German villages
in southern Ukraine near the Black Sea.
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, donations
to the Collection including family histories, books, videotapes,
cookbooks, and tours, 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).
June, 2002 column for North Dakota and South Dakota newspapers.