In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Library, Fargo
As I write this May column, I prepare to leave for the
14th Journey to the Homeland Tour to Odessa, Ukraine
and Stuttgart, Germany from May 20-30. We have tour
members coming from California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois,
Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon and South Dakota as
well as Alberta and British Columbia.
While in Odessa from May 22-26, tour members will
visit their ancestral Bessarabian and Black Sea German
villages including: Rohrbach, Speier, Worms (Beresan
District); Baden, Elsass, Kandel, Mannheim, Selz,
Strassburg (Kutschurgan District); Grossliebental
(Liebental District); Bergdorf, Glueckstal, Neu Glueckstal,
Neudorf, Kassel (Glueckstal District); Hoffnungstal;
Beresina, Leipzig, Peterstal and Wittenburg (Bessarabia).
While in Stuttgart, we will visit the Germans from
Russia society museums and take a one-day trip to
Alsace, France. Here we will visit towns where German
families lived before immigrating to South Russia
from about 1804-1810 (today southern Ukraine and Moldova).
On June 1, I will be attending the Bessarabian Bundestreffen
at Ludwigsburg, Germany, where Horst Koehler, President
of the Federal Republic of Germany will be the featured
speaker. President Koehler is of Bessarabian German
The dates for the 15th Journey to the Homeland Tour
to Odessa, Ukraine and Stuttgart, Germany are May
The Dakota Memories Oral History Project continues
with the fourth season of interviews. We will conduct
interviews of Germans from Russia in these areas:
Eureka, SD (May 14-23); Richardton, ND (May 27-June
5); Beulah, ND (June 9-18) and Edgeley, ND (June 21-30).
Jessica Clark, coordinator, states "We are excited
to continue this important project for the fourth
season. We anticipate adding more than 40 wonderful
interviews with Germans from Russia on the Northern
Plains. Plus, we are also excited to make our first
venture into South Dakota. If you are interest in
participating or supporting the project, please contact
Acacia (Jonas) Stuckle at 701-231-8416 or firstname.lastname@example.org."
For further information, please visit www.ndsu.edu/grhc/dakotamemories.
An impressive new children's book available from
the GRHC is German Immigrants in America: An Interactive
History Adventure. Chapter 3, titled "Homesteading"
features the Germans from Russia in the Dakota Territory
of McIntosh County, ND and Menno, SD. The author,
Elizabeth Raum, writes "Perhaps this book will
introduce a new generation of readers to the history
of the Germans from Russia."
Elizabeth Raum spent 15 years in North Dakota, and
during that time she became fascinated by the story
of the Germans from Russia. Raum hopes that children
reading this book will get a taste of the courage
and determination the German immigrants needed to
make their way in America - where they settled in
Texas, Wisconsin or the Dakotas.
The GRHC has published Church Book: Evangelical
Lutheran Hoffnungs Gemeinde 1904-1944, compiled
by Orion A. Rudolph, Ashley, ND; German script translated
by Dorothea (Bergstedt) Ziegler, Dickinson, ND. The
Hoffnungs Church is one of seventeen Evangelical Lutheran
congregation churches in McIntosh County, ND. The
book contains baptismal registers, meeting minutes,
communion registers, death registers, offerings, member
registers, marriages and burials. As a special enhancement
for the book, Rudolph photographed all of the tombstones
at Hope Cemetery (the cemetery at the Hoffnungs Church
site). Rudolph also compiled all dates and had the
The GRHC has also published Memories of Friedenstal
in Bessarabia 1949. This work is a translation
from German to English containing many impressive
village photographs, the names of men who died in
wars and a Register of Names of residents in the community
of Friedenstal, the parish of Arcis, Bessarabia.
For further information about the Germans from Russia
Heritage Collection, Dakota Memories Oral History
Project, Journey to the Homeland Tour and donations
to the GRHC (such as family histories), contact Michael
M. Miller, NDSU Library, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599
(Telephone: 701-231-8416; Email: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu;
GRHC website: www.ndsu.edu/grhc).
May 2008 column for North Dakota and South Dakota