In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo
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.
From May 15 to June 10, I will be traveling to Ukraine and Germany.
Our 9th Journey to the Homeland Tour is May 20 to June 2. We will
tour in Odessa, Ukraine from May 21-26. Some of the former German
villages, which tour members will visit include: Alt-Posttal, Borodino,
Hoffnungstal and Teplitz, Bessarabia; Landau, Beresan District;
Selz and Strassburg, Kutschurgan District; Karlstal, Liebental District;
Friedenthal, Heilbrunn, Neustatz, Sudak and Zurichtal, Crimea. Tour
members with German-Russian ancestry are from West Fargo and Devils
Lake, ND; Orem, UT; Gladwin, MI; Sutherlin, OR; St. Louis Park,
MN; Seattle, WA; Greenwood, CO, and Toronto, ON. We will bring needy
items, quilts, and school supplies for the Orphanage and Boarding
School in the former German village of Landau. Further information
about the Orphanage is available at: www.grculture.org/humanitarian.html.
The next Journey to the Homeland Tour is scheduled for late May/early
We are pleased to announce the "Recipe Index Search"
available for use at the GRHC website. The search includes recipe
titles from a variety of ethnic backgrounds,such as Bessarabian,
Black Sea, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Mennonite, Hutterite, Volga,
Crimean, and the Northern and Central Plains of the USA. The cookbook
title, recipe category, recipe name, page number, and person who
submitted the recipe are available through this search.
GRHC has recently published, "Twelve German Tales from Russia:
Twelve Tales of Fantasy and the Supernatural", by Samuel Sinner,
with illustrations by Melissa Sinner, Lincoln, NE. The book includes
twelve full-page illustrations. Only one thousand copies of this
limited edition book will be printed. Gathered from a variety of
older written and oral sources, the reader will find memories of
ancient, vanished beliefs, and practices come to life again. These
tales of fantasy and the supernatural will be continually enjoyed
by older and younger readers alike.
GRHC has published this new book, "South Dakota Pioneers:
And So It Goes: As I Remember", by Gottlieb (Bud) Bieber, who
was born in 1919 on a farm near Eureka, SD. Gottlieb shares his
story beginning with the 1920s writing of farm life, weddings, country
school, and holidays. In the Forward, Ronald Bieber writes: "Even
though he kept quite busy just e-mailing friends and family, there
was lurking in that fertile brain an author waiting to come out.
The fruits of that endeavor resulted in this book, a labor of love
and a legacy to be treasured for years and generations to come."
The book is available by contacting GRHC or at: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/nd_sd/bieber.html.
GRHC has published this new book, "Gottlob Lerch: A Story"
By F.B. Urban, translated from German to English. Gottlob Lerch
was a simple, hard-working man who immigrated from the Kuban Region
of the Russian Empire to the plains of North Dakota to make a new
life for himself and his family.
GRHC has published its third new book by Ronald J. Vossler, freelance
writer and a faculty member at UND, Grand Forks: "Lost Shawls
and Pig Spleens: Folklore, Anecdotes, and Humor of the Germans from
Russia". The book is a companion to, "Not Until the Combine
is Paid and Other Jokes from the Oral Traditions of the Germans
from Russia in the Dakotas", published by GRHC in 2001.
In cooperation with the Germans from Russia Cultural Preservation
Foundation (www.grculture.org), a new videotape, "Reflections
with Monsignor Joseph Senger" is available. A native of Orrin,
ND, Monsignor Senger, Minot, shares his childhood, farm life, and
religious life, as a son of German-Russian immigrants. He shares
his story of the emotional and unforgettable visit in May 2001 to
southern Ukraine and his ancestral German villages.
Prairie Public's "Prairie Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses
of the Great Plains" is receiving a terrific response from
viewers. Be watching for this third documentary of PPTV's Germans
from Russia series on PBS stations in 2003. Iron Crosses stand as
sentinels on the prairie landscape, framed by vast expanses of grass
and sky. Although they stand silent, behind each cross there is
Now in GRHC's fifth printing since February 2002: "German
Food & Folkways: Heirloom Memories from Europe, South Russia
& the Great Plains", by Rose Marie Gueldner, Fargo, a native
of Anamoose, ND, is available.
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 draw much viewer interest, and have been shown
on many PBS stations. Each videotape includes bonus video footage
not shown in the one-hour documentary.
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, donations
to the Collection including family histories, books, notecards,
videotapes, cookbooks, tours, and the new Recipe Index Search, 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).
May, 2003 column for North Dakota and South Dakota