In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo
I write this August column having returned from a memorable experience
in Bismarck attending the 37th Annual Germans from Russia Heritage
Society (GRHS) International Convention. I was most impressed with
the focus of developing interest with younger generations, including
the GRHS Youth Essay Contest.
The workshops I attended were excellent such as; Kenneth Vogele,
Homer Rudolf, Ronald Vossler, Sharon Chmielarz, and Alex, Nancy
and Michael Herzog. Merv Weiss of Saskatoon, SK, gave a heartwarming
and emotional speech on finding his long-lost relatives who presently
live in Germany. They were sent to Siberia in 1945 and experienced
a difficult life in the former Soviet Union.
The first joint convention of GRHS and the American Historical Society
of Germans from Russia will be at the Parkway Place Hotel, Casper,
WY, July 29-August 3, 2008. The 2009 GRHS Convention will be in
September at Rapid City and July 2010 at Bismarck.
Acacia (Jonas) Stuckle, GRHC Special Collections Associate, shared
her thoughts about the GRHS convention. “I met many people
from the German-Russian community during my first GRHS convention.
I also enjoyed finally seeing the faces of several people I have
corresponded with the past few years through email. The workshops
were very interesting and insightful. I am excited to continue working
with everyone in preserving the German-Russian culture and heritage.”
GRHC is pleased to announce the newest addition to our website.
Beginning in September, GRHC will host a blog at our website. Be
sure you check our website often to visit the blog.
The private archival libraries of Gwen Pritzkau and Walter and Alice
Riedlinger Essig were donated to GRHC in 2006. In honor of their
memory and dedication for genealogical and family research, these
two “special collections” are being displayed with a
visual exhibit during July 15 through October 1 at the Marie Rudel
Portner Germans from Russia Room, NDSU Libraries, Fargo.
Prairie Public broadcasts a new radio series, “Voices of the
Heartland: German-Russian Memories,” which is a collection
of fascinating life stories collected by the Dakota Memories Oral
History Project. North Dakota State Senators Tim Mathern and Robert
Erbele are doing the commentary for the series.
“Voices of the Heartland” will begin Monday, July 30
and air until October 8 every Monday (excluding Monday, August 27)
and Friday at 8:35 am, 3:55 pm, 6:30 pm, and 7:55 pm on Prairie
Jessica Clark says, “This series showcases the unique and
fascinating stories that the DMOHP preserves. Although the DMOHP
focuses on childhood memories, many narrators share important life
stories. This series features some of these stories–stories
about going to college, living through the Civil Rights Movement
and remembering the tragic events of 9/11.”
Radio broadcasts from Prairie Public Broadcasting are funded by
the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection and can be heard on
90.5 fm Bismarck, 89.9 fm Dickinson, 91.9 fm Fargo, 89.3 fm Grand
Forks, 91.5 fm Jamestown, 88.9 fm Minot, and 89.5 fm Williston.
The “Voices of the Heartland Radio Series” CD will
be available for purchase in the fall of 2007.
This summer the Dakota Memories Oral History Project is in its third
season of interviews. Cassie Ptacek and Tyler Simonson will end
the season by visiting Dickinson/Richardton August 1-10.
Jessica Clark is pleased with the success of their recent trip to
south-central North Dakota. “Will and I just spent a fabulous
week in the Edgeley/Lehr/Kulm/Wishek area. We’ve interviewed
some fascinating people - people who’ve shared their memories
of the Dirty Thirties, World War II, and the Korean War. We also
have been treated to some tasty platchenda and kuchen. This trip
has been simply wonderful.”
To contact Jessica Clark (Coordinator) call 701-231-8419 or email
Jessica.Clark@ndsu.edu. Also, visit the Dakota Memories Oral History
Project on the web at www.ndsu.edu/grhc/dakotamemories.
For further information about the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection,
Dakota Memories Oral History Project, Journey to the Homeland Tour,
and donations to GRHC such as family histories, contact Michael
M. Miller, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel:
701-231-8416; Email: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu; GRHC website: www.ndsu.edu/grhc).
August 2007 column for North Dakota and South Dakota newspapers.