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.
The NDSU History Department and GRHC are pleased to announce the
Theresa Mack Germans from Russia History Assistantship. The recipient
will be enrolled in NDSU graduate doctorate program in History beginning
with the 2004-2005 academic year.
Theresa Mack Wald, Grand Forks, ND, writes: "My gift for the
assistantship is to preserve the heritage and culture about the
positive aspects of the Germans from Russia. I want to provide a
living legacy for the scholarly study of my heritage of which I
am very proud. My parents, John G. Mack born in 1888 and Katherina
Deringer born in 1890, lived in the Catholic Black Sea German villages
of Elsass and Neu Schloessel, Kutschurgan District, South Russia
(today near Odessa, Ukraine). My father was 14 years and my mother
was 24 years when they came to America."
Two excellent popular and highly recommended books are: 1) "North
Dakota: Every Town on the Map and More: A Pictorial History"
documenting 700 location on film from Ashley, Wishek and Venturia
to Balta, Orrin and Rugby; 2) "North Dakota Place Names"
chronicles the stories of more than 3,000 towns identifying origin,
anecdotes and folklore.
"The Way It Was" series of five books about North Dakota
continues to be popular. The series includes: 1) The Sod-Busters;
2) Norwegian Homesteaders; 3) The Cowboy & Ranchers; 4) Germans
from Russia Settlers; 5) Native People. These North Dakota books
are available from GRHC. The "Germans from Russia Settlers"
includes these family stories: Franz & Margaret (Thomas) Baumgartner;
Johannes & Margaretha (Braunagel) Baumgartner; Jakob & Helena
(Ripplinger) Fischer; August & Christina (Rieker) Flegel; Minnie
Sperling Freitag; Johann & Rosina Opp Gutschmidt; Simon Hille;
Gottlieb & Christina (Beich) Isaak; Max & Julianna (Webber)
Keller; Adolf Klebe; Gottfried Kurtz; George & August Leitner;
Christian Maier; Johann Miller; Philip & Eva (Meyer) Mosbrucker;
Balzar Thomas; and Morris & Nellie (Winchel) Weisgarber. These
North Dakota books are available from GRHC.
GRHC has published its fifth book by Ronald J. Vossler, UND, Grand
Forks, a native of Wishek, ND, "Dakota Kraut: Collected Notes
on How I Learned to Love My Accent and Ancestry, 1983-2003."
This new book is a must read for anyone interested in evocative
writing about ethnicity, memory, and a small-town prairie past.
"Dakota Kraut" is available at this website page: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/nd_sd/vossler3.html,
or contact GRHC.
GRHC has published an important new cookbook, "Cookbook for
the Germans from Russia", by Nelly Daes, translated from German
to English by Alex Herzog, and edited by Janice Huber Stangl who
writes: "This book contains not only recipes, but also humorous
and heart- wrenching anecdotes from the German Russian diaspora.
It is essential addition to every household." The new cookbook
is available at: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/cookbooks/das.html,
or contact GRHC.
The award-winning documentary videotapes, "The Germans from
Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie" (1999);
"Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia"
(2000); and "Prairie Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses
of the Great Plains" (2002) 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.
Prairie Public Television will be filming for the 2005 Germans
from Russia documentary of these four concerts open to the general
public and free of charge: 1) Jamestown College Concert Choir &
Alive Gospel Singers - March 20, 2 pm, Basilica of Saint James Church,
Jamestown; and March 25, 7:30 pm, First Lutheran Church, Harvey;
- 2) University of Mary Concert Choir and guest artists: April 3,
2 pm, Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Strasburg; and April 4, 3 pm,
Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel, Bismarck. The choirs of Jamestown
College and the University of Mary will perform original German-Russian
music. This music documentary will be the fourth program of PPTV's
Germans from Russia Series.
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).
March, 2004 column for North Dakota and South Dakota