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 Germans from Russia
as an important part of the northern plains culture.
On May 23 to June 2, 2006, our 12th Journey to the Homeland Tour
group will leave for Prague, Czech Republic; Odessa, Ukraine; and
Stuttgart, Germany. Tour members are from California, Idaho, Minnesota,
North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon and Washington.
Tour members will be visiting the former German villages including:
Friedentstal in the Crimea; Bergdorf, Glueckstal, Hoffnungstal,
Kassel and Neudorf (Glueckstal District); Baden, Elsass, Kandel,
Mannheim, Selz and Strassburg (Kutschurgan District); Berlin, Franzfeld,
Gueldendorf and Neuberg (Liebental District). We will also travel
to Alsace, France to visit the villages where many Germans left
around 1804 for South Russia (today southern Ukraine near Odessa).
The Dakota Memories Oral History Project continues in 2006. Interviews
will be done in May in the Linton/Strasburg/Hague/Zeeland area.
and in July in the Rugby area of North Dakota. A grant was received
from the Embassy of Canada to complete interviews in July of German-Russians
in central Saskatchewan with family roots to North Dakota. Saskatchewan
locations include Allan, Regina and the Tramping Lake/Luseland/Unity
We designed this project to document the heritage and culture
of the German-Russians. This project focuses on childhood memories
and family relationships, specifically, what it was like growing
up German-Russian on the northern plains. For further information,
go to library.ndsu.edu/grhc/dakotamemories/index.html.
The 2005 interviews are available from GRHC on DVD. They include
31 interviews, including more than 60 hours of video. For more information,
go to: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/dakotamemories/order/index.html.
GRHC has published this historic new book, "The Centennial
of St. Andrew's Catholic Church, Zeeland, North Dakota and the Spiritual
Heritage of St. John's Catholic Church, Rural McIntosh, North Dakota",
authored by Father Andrew Jasinski.
Father Andrew writes: "Telling the story of St. Andrew's necessarily
involves telling the story of the Germans from Russia and of St.
John's the Baptist Church, which one stood five miles north of Zeeland,
the first Catholic Church in North Dakota to serve the Germans from
Russia." This book is the story of the courage of a people
who came to the New World, bringing with them a faith deeply rooted
in their history, supporting them on their journey, and which continues
to be nurtured among their children. This book is but only one story
of the Catholic faith uprooted, replanted, and bearing fruit, in
order that it be transplanted to other places and people."
The Zeeland, ND, area was heavily settled by German-Russian immigrants
from the Catholic Kutschurgan District villages, today near Odessa,
Ukraine - Baden, Elsass, Kandel, Mannheim, Selz and Strassburg.
Contact GRHC to secure this book or go to library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/nd_sd/zeelandnd.html.
Prairie Public Broadcasting has announced a new DVD, "Germans
from Russia Food Pantry"
which brings combines three award-winning public television favorites
that have been broadcast throughout North America. Enjoy "Schmeckfest:
Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia" and "Recipes
from Grandma's Kitchen: Food Preparations and Traditions of the
Germans from Russia, Volume I and II". The DVD documentary
and performance CD, "A Soulful Sound: Music of the Germans
from Russia" are available.
Also, Prairie Public Broadcasting has produced a DVD which includes
these two award-winning documentaries: "The Germans from Russia:
Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie" and "Prairie
Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains."
The Festival of Germans from Russia will be Saturday, April 22,
at the First Baptist Church, 267 Mills Street, Lodi, CA; the Germans
from Russia Heritage Society Convention (www.grhs.org)
will be July 12-16, Airport Holiday Inn, Portland, OR; the American
Historical Society of Germans from Russia Convention (www.ahsgr.org)
will be August 13-19 at Lincoln, NE; and the Festival of Germans
from Russia, October 13-15, Leader, SK. Join us for these festive
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, Dakota
Memories Oral History Project, donations to GRHC including books,
events, documentaries, CDs, DVDs, cookbooks and tours, 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).
April, 2006 column for North Dakota and South Dakota