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.
Thanksgiving Regards to each of you. We are blessed and should
be thankful that our ancestors immigrated to the Dakota prairies
from South Russia (southern Ukraine). I was reminded about our good
life in the Dakotas when I visited Odessa, Ukraine and the former
nearby German villages in May, 2003. Life in these villages is very
difficult economically with high unemployment and poor health conditions.
We have prepared a listing of items of highly recommended books,
maps, videotapes, and cookbooks on the subject of Germans from Russia.
The list provides valuable items suggested for families, schools,
and libraries for research and reading. We can send you this listing
or you can go to this website page: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/files/recommended.pdf.
If you have family collections for donation, we invite you to contact
GRHC about these materials.
GRHC staff will have a booth at the following Pride of Dakota Holiday
Showcases events: November 8-9, ND Fairgrounds, Minot; November
15-16, Alerus Convention Center, Grand Forks; November 22-23, Centennial
Hall, Civic Center, Fargo; and December 6-7, Convention Hall, Civic
Center, Bismarck. Saturday times are 10 am - 5 pm and Sunday times
are 12 noon -5 pm. Kristi Krebs Brink, Michael M. Miller, and volunteers
will handle the booth. Visit us at the GRHC booth for the 2003 Holiday
GRHC has published a new cookbook, "Sharing Our Best Recipes:
Members and Friends of United Methodist Churches, Medina and Tappen,
North Dakota." A German-Russian ethnic section includes recipes
for: Fleisch Kuechla, Knoepfla soup, Holapsie (pigs in the blanket),
Borscht (vegetable) soup, Ribble (milk) soup, Strudels, hot German
homemade noodles, dumplings, Spaetzle (tiny egg noodles), cheese
buttons, Kuchen, Baska (Easter bread), Pfefferneuse, Blatschinda
(pumpkin pockets), and much more. Recipes come from the kitchens
with these family names: Bitterman, Bittner, Eisenbis, Enzminger,
Falk, Guthmiller, Harr, Hillius, Hofmann, Hoersch, Ketterling, Kinnischzke,
Kuck, Mayer, Messer, Mittleider, Moos, Moser, Reich, Roemmich, Roesler,
Schmallinger, Schlecht, Sprunk, Staiger, Wasmuth, Wolsky, and Zimmerman.
The cookbook is available by contacting GRHC or at: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/cookbooks/sharing.html.
German Food & Folkways: Heirloom Memories from Europe, South
Russia, & the Great Plains (2002) by Rose Marie Gueldner continues
to be one of GRHC's most popular books available and is now in it's
GRHC has recently published, "Escape by Troika: The World
War II Chronicle of a Bessarabian German," by Oskar Zimmermann,
Anaheim, CA. Mr. Zimmermann has many Zimmerman relatives in south-central
North Dakota. The book is available at library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/general/escape.html.
Prairie Public's award-winning "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 other
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 is a story.
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
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, donations
to GRHC including books, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org;
GRHC website: library.ndsu.edu/grhc).
November, 2003 column for North Dakota and South Dakota