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.
From May 23 to June 2, 2006, the 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).
We will be at the Harvey Public Library on Friday, June 30 from 12
noon to 5 pm and Saturday, July 1 from 1 to 4 pm with our GRHC displays.
Dr. LaVern Freeh, author of "Child of the Prairie, Man of the
World," will autograph his book from 2-4 pm on June 30 at the
Harvey Library. Harvey, ND celebrates its Centennial for June 30-July
The Dakota Memories Oral History Project continues in 2006. Interviews
will be done in May in the Linton/Strasburg/Hague 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 area.
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.
Family names for these interviews include: Boschee, Brosy, Buck, Dewald,
Fercho, Fischer, Haerter, Hartmann, Herman, Heyne, Janke, Kasemen,
Kauk, Kleingartner, Klundt, Long, Meidinger, Mueller, Miller, Presler,
Schaffer, Schlecht, Schott, Wanner and Zimmerman.
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. 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 produced the DVD, "Germans from
Russia Food Pantry"
which 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"
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 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. I look forward to attending these
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, Dakota
Memories Oral History Project, donations to GRHC including books,
events, documentaries, CDs, DVDs, cookbooks and the May, 2007 tour,
contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND
58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: email@example.com; GRHC
May, 2006 column for North Dakota and South Dakota newspapers
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael