(This interview includes some comments from the interviewee
about life on the prairies when the settlers first came here
as well as his own experiences from youth to adulthood. The
lengthier narratives are at the beginning and at the end of
the tape. In between Mr. Quartier was asked to demonstrate the
Katchubish dialect (Platt) by restating expressions posed by
the interviewer. I spelled the dialect words phonetically so
that the reader could have some idea how the dialect sounded.
I make no claim to accuracy nor consistency. MLH)
AS: My name is Allen Spiker and today is July 17, 1979. I am
speaking with David Quartier now in Bismark, but formerly from
Wishek and Danzig.
DQ: Fon Vishek un Danzig un vie yenge int kircha acht mile
zuede fon Vishek, do vaere Baptishte (?) settlement, Katshibishe
en dor gehnt vie int kirch haerig vie unzer praediger. And,
meen grosfoder waer dor, meene grosmutter un meen fother un
meene mutter. Vell, vere da Pietz (?), do vere da Bahrens un
Mattheis un do vere yo andra ook, andra da leebet vere half
un half, da veret half Kachubeh und halv Schwoabeh un von what
ek kann bedenke do vare fael Kachubeh un, well, (laughs) stop
for a minute. Ek denk det kahne schlachtet yur zenne. Det nich
feel regen un der zommer war zo zemlich haetze, nich, un do
vare fael hei gemocht krieche un de aernt vor nich zo zehr goat.
Zenne, det yore vie, det wart enne schmalle aernt un we war
molle ent krake, vee vare nich so viel yelt haba ..................un
det kann ja schlacht varre. im (laughts) and der vinter, det
kann yo vielleicht zehr kult varre. Un da kann ya von aena von
yores ende ......................do muste dae veet int schtaat
fora venn se , venn ze int schtaat fora Kulm ver dae vell............................Ellendale,
und Eureka, Vishek vaer nicht dor. Vishek kam in existence in
1896 oder somewheres in there, '96 or '98, you know, it came
in there. And faere yora de, de vinter vaere kalt, sheae vere
daep un ven many faeled no leed na Ellendale vor de kolen zach
zum yete un was zum brenne, det nam, eh, oh bout na ganze veak
oder lenger vie daat. Un manche mol den schmage den schlierde,
det nam an extra dach, oder so .....
(Note about translations: The transcriptions and translations
of the lengthier parts are at best approximate. There are several
reasons for it. The voice of the interviewee was accompanied
by a large amount of recorder noise. The interviewee spoke very
rapidly, did a lot of experimentation with words often resulting
in disjointed and overlapping expressions. Further, it was a
mixture of Kachubish, High German, English words pronounced
in dialect as well as plain English words. Some parts were undecipherable.)
(Translation: Yes, I was from Wishek and Danzig. We went to
church eight miles south of Wishek. There was a Baptist settlement,
Kachubish, and we went to church to hear the preacher. My grandfather
was there, my grandmother and my father and mother. There were
the (Pietz's or Dietz'), there were the Bahrens and Mattheis
and there also were others, others that lived there. About half
and half, there were half Kachubah and half Schwaben, and from
what I can remember there were many Kachubah and well, (laughs)
stop for a minute (The sense seems to be: I think that there
were also bad years.) There wasn't much rain in the summer,
very hot, eh, and every year we made (harvested) a lot of hay,
received, and the crop was not very good. Ten years, it was
that we had small crops ...........and therefore we didn't have
very much money.......that how bad it was (laughs) and that
winter, that one was perhaps very cold. And then before the
end of the year........you had to haul the wheat into town,
and that was to Kulm, where they........Ellendale and Eureka.
Wishek, you see was not yet there. Wishek came in to existence
in 1896 or somewheres in there, '96 or '98 you know, it came
in there. And for many years the winters were very cold and
when they ran out of fuel they went to Ellendale for something
to eat and for coal to burn and that took, oh, maybe about a
whole week for doing that. And sometimes they had to go with
the sled and that took an extra day.)
AS: How do you say "This is the kitchen?"
DQ: "De ketch."
AS: And (how do you say) "Some houses have two kitchens?"
(I put a question mark after Spiker's phrases to reflect the
unstated, "How do you say....?")
DQ: "Manche heese ha'n de haabe twae kitye, on sie hat
AS: "The stove is in the kitchen?"
DQ: "Da ofa iss in da kitch."
AS: "We have two stoves in our house?"
DQ: "Vee habe twae ova in unseerm hoos, in aena kit in
aena un im andera room."
AS: How do you say "Light the fire?"
DQ: "Schtekk det feer ahn."
AS: And "The wood is in the stove?"
DQ: "Da poat iss im ovae."
AS: And "They burned all the coal?"
DQ: "Die habe je kola awl fabrennt, awlla, fabrennt."
AS: "The chimney is burning?"
DQ: "Det kameen iss ahn feer."
AS: "The oven is hot?"
DQ: "Der ova iss sehr haet."
AS: "The window is broken?"
DQ: "Det fenster is ye ferbroaken."
AS: "The kitchen has two windows?"
DQ: "Onser kik hat twae finstern."
AS: "Shut the door?"
DQ: "Makk der deer toa." That's easy.
AS: "Both doors are open?"
DQ: "Da deer da zint ye all.....makk ab der deer toa."
AS: "Both doors are open?"
DQ: "Alle zwae deere sind ya ..open."
AS: "The doorknob is broken?"
DQ: I tell you, the doorknob, that is Greek to me. I really
wouldn't know. Go the next one.
AS: If you were talking to Bill, and you said, "The doorknob
is broken," how would you say that? If you use an English
word, that's OK.
DQ: "Der deer yahaenka, der ish here ferbroaka."
AS: "The sink is in the corner?"
DQ: "De desh," I think we didn't call it sink, we
called it the "desh."
AS: What's a desh mean?
DQ: A vessel, you know where you.....you was the dishes in.
AS: OK. The sink is in the corner would be...
DQ: "De desh iss en em aack."
AS: OK. And "The faucet is leaking?"
DQ: And I tell you the truth, we didn't have any faucets, so
I wouldn't know what to do.
AS: OK. How would you say "Is leaking?"
DQ: "Desh yo a loch in dem thing, det haelt ye water nich."
AS: How would you say "Is leaking?"
DQ: You got me cornered there.
AS: "There are two faucets?"
DQ: "Da sint ya twae faucets."
AS: "This ceiling is high?"
DQ: "Der dach is sehr hoch." The ceiling.
AS: "Not all ceilings are high?"
DQ: "All the ceilings,....sind nich so hoch. Manche die
sind laegher un manghe sind so laecht detmer sich (?) yemacht,
wen mer ......" that you can maneuver around, you know.
You understand what I mean.
AS: I don't understand all your Kachubisch. "Where is
DQ: "Bring mich die schtoal here det ich meena faet kann
druf doane." (Bring me that stool so I can put my feet
on it.) The footstool you would call it. Now I don't know, at
that time we didn't use you know at that time we didn't use
AS: How would you say "Bring me?"
DQ: "Bring det haer."
AS: And how would you say "This is my chair?"
DQ: "Det ish meena schtoal."
AS: "There are five chairs in the kitchen?"
DQ: "Die sinn feef schtael in ae...kitchen, in nae kitch
sinn feef schtael."
AS: "They are sitting in the living room?"
DQ: "They zetsing in dem lebensroom."
AS: Did you ever say anything like a forna stube, or anything
DQ: Oh yah, "fourschtube."
AS: And how would you say, "We have one little room.":
DQ: "Vee habe aen zehr klaenet room. Ist nich sehr groth
....det...Oh, ferleicht acht bie zean." (We have a very
little room. It is not very big, perhaps eight by ten.)
AS: How would you say "It's a little house?"
DQ: "Its itta klaenat hoos, vie habe kaena groothet hoos,
nich, vee habe blosa klaenet hoos," unless you don't want
me to elaborate on it in Kachebish. On der farm dur vo vee vaer
an Vishek dat vaere a hoos dat ver faer aackish, un dat hat
faer room unde und faer room huboarae...upstairs. Un the upstairs,
they hat kaene oova, dat vaer kalt. Un unda haat ve a oova aen
dae kieke un aen ove in nae faerschtov. Well, lets go on.
(Translation: We had a little house and we have no big house,
no, we have only a little house, unless you don't want me to
elaborate on it in Kachubish. On the farm when we lived at Wishek
that was a square house which had four rooms below and four
rooms upstairs. Upstairs we didn't have heat and it was cold.
Downstairs we had a stove in the kitchen and another parlor.)
AS: How would you say "A little room?"
DQ: "Vee hade klaenet ....in unserm hoos doh vaere faer
room upstairs un faer room dunna un manche de vaera blos klaen."
(We had little .....in our house there were four rooms upstairs
and four room below and some were little.)
AS: Is there ending that you put on , you know like some Schwabs
out here would say "heisla" or "heusla,"
that memans the really little ones?
DQ: No, I can't remember of that. I can remember "a klane,"
klane means klein, (little) or et klaenet room. Und vell we
had da faerhoos , det faerhoos, where nich say gross. Dat vare
det klaent hoos. Klanet room, det faer. (And, well, we had a
frontroom, the frontroom, which we didn't call big. There was
a little house, little room.)
AS: Did they ever say anything like "hoosken," "hookkyen?"
DQ: Nope, we never used that.
AS: How would you say, "Some houses even had two such
DQ: O, ohns hoos hat twae aentwere aent zut no art no zwaete
un aentwere zerute no vechte. Un dae vare nicht so grooth, dae
vaere klaena rooms. (First sentence undecipherable. ) (They
were not so big, they were little rooms.)
AS: How do you say "The pantry is small?"
DQ: "Det schpaenk det nich sehr grooth."
AS: And "schpaenk" means pantry? (Might have reference
to "schrank." which means "cabinet.")
AS: I never heard that before.
DQ: O ya, "schpaenk."
AS: I find your language is really interesting because it is
so different from the other. You know there aren't many of you
left. How would you say, "The dishes are in the cupboard."?
DQ: Ah..."die geschaerr isht im schtuntoor." Well,
that's simple. I catch on now.
AS: How do you say "cupboard?"
DQ: "Schpink, that could be a schpink," you know
where you put the things in, you know, that might have more,
kann mehr you bruukt water tom the geschaerre dona, det kann
I'll show you brukkt from palasht bevor mer anzuch nahaenga
kann, you know, alright like .....(Difficult to interpret..
suggest the schpink or cabinet is used in various ways, the
last one he mentions is a wardrobe where you hang clothing.)
AS: How do you say "The kitchen is on the first floor?"
DQ: "Die kieke ish an da earth floor, on the erd. Wann
man tut ish da ershta floor, the kirk, vee kommt mer inne dat
AS: Say "The bedrooms are on the second floor."
DQ: Vell, you know in unserem hoos hat vee ae na aen bedroom
vaer on da aershta floor and da aendre bedrooms, dey vaere on
dae upper floor, on the next floors. (In our house we had one
bedroom on the first floor and the others on the upper floor.)
AS: How would you say "He's up in the attic?"
DQ: You got me.
AS: Did you live in a vassen ( sod) house?
DQ: Uns hoos vaere nich ah vaasahoos. Uns hoos vaer ae von
schteiner hoos and vaer kaine basement unter die aphoos. Kaen
basement. Nich, vee kam er aene, der floor in unserem hoos,
dae vaere nicht von holtz, dae aershte heava dae vaere von aerd
gemooket and de heave dae vaende geschmaert von angeruert laem
un water. Det war angeruert ...worte geschmeert so, you know.
I'm trying to act it out. Now lets go on and see what you've
got. (Our house was not made of sod. It was a stone house without
a basement under the house. No basement. No, the first floor
in our house were not made of wood. The first floor was made
of earth and it was plastered with a mixture of lime and water.
It was stirred together and was smeared [plastered].
AS: "He goes upstairs?"
DQ: "Ea goes up in the biene, up in ae biene."
AS: How do you say "biene?"
AS: That means the second floor?
DQ: Yes, that means the second floor.
AS: How would you say, "The stairs are not very wide?"
DQ: "Dae laidter ers yo nich so sehr braeht."
AS: That means stairs?
AS: How would you say ladder?
DQ: "Da laidter," now you see name laditer is also,
I think we used that for our language there too and we also
used it in the English language .
DQ: "Laidter" is a Kachubish , is a word in the Kachubish
AS: How did you say stairs again?
AS: Is that the same as ladder?
AS: And how would you say, "This bedroom is large?"
DQ: "Det is yo a grootet schlof zimmer."
AS: And "The bedrooms are upstairs?"
DQ: "Un de schlofzimmer sind ya alle up uff de biene."
AS: How would you say, "This farm is sold?"
DQ: "Detze farm ess ferkofft."
AS: And "He sold both farms."
DQ: "Dae hade dae ya all de farm sint ya alle zwae sind
AS: And "Our farm is 80 acres?"
DQ: "Unzer farm hat achtzig akker."
AS: "Your farm is larger than theirs?"
DQ: "Unzer farm iss .............eber zekshon line yeroeter.
(Our farm is ....over the section line is larger.)
AS: How do you say "is larger?"
DQ: "Is yerieter."
AS: Then how about, "They don't live on their farm?"
DQ: "Dae vonig ye nich mer up on ihra farm."
AS: "We have a renter on our farm?"
DQ: Ve habe ya dae no dae nimmt, dae take the sacha on unsera
farm and but how do you calla renter?
"Och, they rentya unser farm." (We have one who takes
the stuff on our farm.)
AS: "Our son runs our farm?"
DQ: "Unser sohn, dae ish ya onser farm nuff." (Our
son, he went on the farm.)
AS: "He runs our farm?"
DQ: "Hae farrmt ya onser farm."
AS: "That fence is new?"
DQ: "Dae fence is ya ganz neech."
AS: How would you say, call, "Barbed wire fence?"
DQ: "Ah schtachel fence."
AS: And "All the fences are new ones?"
DQ: "Alle fences are nee."
AS: "If were a farmer I'd have a tractor?"
DQ: "Now, when ak nur faer, faere yoora, den han vee gepaert
ver farm but nu hav yetrackter." (In the early years we
had horses with which to farm but now a tractor.)
AS: "Some people work in town and some farm?"
DQ: "Mange leet dae sind in deer schtaat and mange leet
sind op an de farm."
AS: "We go to work?"
DQ: "Vee goona verk." Vee gone schteon up morgens
so yefare am zachs uhr un de ve koom na hoos ....kommt raus
un dann word at die badder wot daes zun unteryeat. We go to
work. We get up in the morning about six o'clock .................(unclear)......................until
the sun goes under.
AS: And "He works on the railroad?"
DQ: "Dae work on da railroad."
AS: "They built that barn last year?"
DQ: "Dae schtall wart yebootle last yore." Wart der
schtall yeboot and dot vare zimlich fael one might fum der schtall
boot, dat vaer nich so leicht dete vee vaere ungefaer fifda
maan up der doert don dae schtall boote. (The barn was built
last year. When the barn was built there were quite a few to
build it because it was not easy and there were about fifty
men there who built the barn."
AS: "We walked over to that red barn?"
DQ: "Vee ging e ya ruer dor vie matige dor haan wen dorr
det somedet tode rote barn, schtall doer." Do mate haan
doer das wore dess.
AS: "The barn floor is empty?"
DQ: "Da esh kae hai op der schtall biene." (There
is no hay on the second floor of the barn.) Now I know how to
pronounce biene. The second floor is biene.
AS: "One haymow is still empty?"
DQ: "Vell ed de, vee hab da mehr vee aena schtall aber
in de aena isht nuscht foll hai un op dae anderae is ganz foll
mit hai." (Well, we had more than one barn and in one there
was no hay and the other one is completely filled with hay.)
AS: How do you say "Empty?"
AS: "Nuscht" means empty?
AS: And how do you say haymow or hayloft?
DQ: "Schtall biene." What did I pronounce ....biene,
AS: How would you say "Two mows are already full?"
DQ: "Twae schtall beiene sind ya all fall."
AS: In English, what do you call the hayloft? Do you say hayloft
DQ: "Upstairs...hayloft or upstairs." The haybarn
....well now, if I was going up to da haybarn I called you,
"Well, you go upstairs and get a fork down." You see,
that's what I would tell you to do.
AS: OK. How would you say, "He cleaned the stable?"
DQ: "Dae, dae get the schtall maeste." Do you know
what maest is? Shit. (laughs)
AS: Yes, manure.
DQ: Well, you know, you made it a little refined , you know.
Some of these Kachubishe words they're not quite refined as
much as that.
AS: But they get the point across.
DQ: Yes. I'll tell you.
AS: How would you say, "The cows are in the barnyard?"
DQ: "Dae kae zint ya im schtall."
AS: How you say "One cow?"
DQ: "Da koe." That' s what da koe dere. If I was
pointing one certain cow to you, its a bunch of cattle there,
its ah , I'd say, "That's the one koe." I would point
it out to you and that's the way it works. But, you know, as
far as Katschubish is concerned, I was Katchubish like the day
is long. But I haven't done this for about...
AS: When did you use it then?
DQ: We don't use it...well, there's nobody here to use it with.
If I had Louie (?), I tell you what, he would know.
AS: Yah, I know he can really rattle it off yet. How would
you say, "The plow is broken?"
DQ: "Der ploo is ya verbroaka."
AS: And how would you say, "They have two new plows?"
DQ: "Dae habe ye zwae ganze niche plaghe."
AS: And "And he plowed all day?"
DQ: "Dae plach da ganza dach."
AS: And "They are plowing the sod?"
DQ: "Dae plache ye det aerd."
AS: And "He tried to plow but it was too dry?"
DQ: "Dae pabaert ya zum plaegha, but da eard iss yo so
AS: And "He's using the drag?"
DQ: "Dae ..hae broacha de aeg, he dae."
AS: And "They are using two drags but one is mine?"
DQ: "Dae habe zwae yaege but aena iss meene."
AS: And "We sow wheat in the fall?"
DQ: Ah..we sow wheat, and, and , and we seiah nicht dae waita
was naen , in , in dem, in haarsht, wen date; we seiah da weita
wan nem im traeyahr, en daete. (We do now now sow wheat in the
fall when we do it; we sow wheat in the spring, we do.
AS: And "We plant corn in the spring?"
DQ: My goodness, now, how would I go about putting that........give
it to me again.
AS: "We plant corn in the spring?"
DQ: "We seiah ya im fraeyor."
AS: And how do you say "corn?"
DQ: "Uh, uh, corn!"
DQ: Yah, "corn."
AS: And how do you say, "He's cultivating the corn?"
DQ: "Hae date yo des corn reineighe."
AS: And, "The beans are good this year?"
DQ: Beans...what do we...da beans...now I don't know what we
called beans. I know we raked beans but we didn't call em beans.
Schable! "Schable det ja voked det yohr."
AD: Kay, and "That's a large bean?"
DQ: Dats ah grootha schable..or something like that.
AD: "I like peas?"
DQ: I like peas. "I gleicha da peas."
AS: What do you call a peapod?
DQ: Schuttle, I think. Schuttle. Some of these things, you
know I, I just.....they're Greek to me.
AS: And how would you say, "I wish we had horse radish?"
DQ: "I gliecha det yebrennede yefraess, det schmaek ya
goat, da horseradish, esh ha goat."
AS: Did you ever say anything like "maer radich?"
DQ: Maer what?
DQ: Raadich, oh radishes, rediches . Ye radiches zent ya goat.
Now if I had that, maybe quite ...all right, let's go on.
AS: "I don't like cabbage?"
DQ: I know what broakel are.
AS: What's broakel?
DQ: That's ah, things that grows in the garden too and its
got a lot of roots going all around . And the cabbage, what
AS: OK and how would you say, "I don't like cabbage."?
DQ: "I gliecha det kraut nich."
AS: How would you say, "Give me a head of cabbage?"
DQ: "Yech, yech mee doch aena von dae kabbage heads."
AS: OK and what you call "a head?"
DQ: Na, an "ah kopf?"
AS: What do you call saur fermented cabbage?
AS: OK and how do you say, "This is strong garlic?"
DQ: You'll have to change that, you'll have to bring that up
later. I can't put anything there because I don't think we ever
used it on the farm.
AS: Did you ever hear of anything like "knoblouch?"
DQ: "Yah, knoblich, et nich wat ich knoblic ess"
but I can't put it together really.
AS: How do you say, "We have cucumbers in our garden?"
DQ: Cucumbers, what did we call cucumbers? We habe sem cucumbers
in dem guerte.
AS: And, did you ever say gurek? Cucummera?
DQ: Oh, now I know, "Gugummera and vee haen fiel gucummera
AS: And then what did you call the spot where you raised watermelon,
cucumbers. Was thereany special name for it?
DQ: Guerte, melon guerte. Venn vee made, melon guerte mokka
den broak vee da bashton sod. You see, on aerd bashtan .................you
see, you would turn the sod and that's where you would plant
your melon patch . You call it your melon patch.
AS: Do you call it "bashtan?"
DQ: "Vee habn yo oben ah bashtan."
AS: How would you say, "Buy a bunch of onions?"
DQ: Onions. Now what did we call the onions a little while
AS: We didn't have onions.
DQ: Oh. Onions, I know what they mean.
AS: I'd asked about garlic before.
DQ: Yeh. I know but you see onions , but you see that is all
slipped my mind now. Vee habe ya fiel onions ne, that's about
as close as I can get to it.
AS: Die you say "zwiebel?"
DQ: "Oh. vee habe yo fiel zwieble." Say, you know
in some places more then I do. Of course, zwieble is Schwaebish
AS: Yea. OK How would you say, "Buy a bunch of onions?"
DQ: "We haen fiel zwiebla haeva."
AS: How would you tell your wife, "Buy a bunch?"
DQ: "Kaufft yo queet a sach von dae zweeble."
AS: How would you say, " We have ............. in the
DQ: "We have baeke in unser guarte."
AS: And "That's a big carrot?"
DQ: "Well, na dats nagrothe gehlreeb."
AS: And, "The carrots are good this year?"
DQ: "De gell reeba zint ya zaer goat det yore.."
AS: "He planted a row of potatoes?" DQ: "Dae
hatt ya blos aena ray hier kartoffla gewookt." Vee habe
yor man.... vee habe schtek tzehn raehe.
They habe planted only one row of potatoes. We have for many...we
have (?) ten rows.
AS: When you plant potatoes, I mean when you plant things in
the garden , is there any difference when you plant them in
DQ: No, not really. You put them in rows.
AS: Because like that, some of the Schwabs say in the garden,
"Wier haben kartoffel oder grummbera gesetzt." That
means in the garden and otherwise we could say.................
DQ: No, "gesaet."
AS: That would be in the field.
DQ: That would be in the field. But that would really doesn't
fit in into what I'm thinking.
AS: OK and how would you say "The potatoes should be hilled?"
DQ: Do what, "vee mat aerd um de kartoffla dohna,"
zo dat, dot wenn dot rot wahra dae waech . (Do what...we must
put earth around the potatoes so that the row would stay soft.)
AS: How would you say, "Give me a good big potatoe?"
DQ: "Get meena groat kartoffel."
AS: And then, "There aren't many big potatoes this year?"
DQ: "Da sind ya dis yar nicht sehr grootha kartoffla vee
hava ja lauter klaena kartoffla det yohr." Manga yora have
ya zonna groatha aber det yohr hava de klaena.
AS: OK And "We don't raise head lettuce?"
DQ: Well, you see at that time when I was on the farm we didn't
have any head lettuce. So I wouldn't know anything.. ....oh,
vee habe kaena von die lettuce ...vee habe dat grootha bleather
AS: How do you say, "To raise (unclear)
DQ: What....to raise..
AS: To raise corn or something................
DQ: I know what you mean but how ....I think we used the English
DQ: Vee raise the kartoffla, un oder zwiebla oder corn. We
habe yo alles groath.
AS: And how would you say, "I like lettuce. It tastes
DQ: "Vee like ye de lettuce, dae schmaekt ye hoat."
AS: And how would you say, "This tree has red apples?"
DQ: "Dessa boam here, dae hat yo rote applya."
AS: And then, "He picked the red apple?"
DQ: "Dae glichta det rote apple better vee de graena appla?
(They liked the red apple better than the green apple.)
AS: How would you say, "He picked the red apple?"
DQ: "En anea nam ya blose ya rote apple."
AS: "These trees have sweet plums?" DQ: "Diese
baem, dae haabe yo sweet plumbs."
AS: Why raise them today?
DQ: Well, I can use the German word there. We habe ya (?) ...da
AS: OK Buy ..........today.
DQ: Do, koffa, die raisins koffe.
AS: And "Pick only the ripe strawberries?"
DQ: "...schtraberries det are reep sind." Det raene
brouks nich mehr neh.
AS: How would you say, "He ate a red strawberry?"
DQ: "Ye aete ya da rote shtrawberry."
AS: And "We also have raspbarries?"
DQ: "Wie habe ook rasberries." I wouldn't know what
we call raspberries in when we were there, you know. I wouldn't
know what you called them. We can't remember so I wouldn't....I
know about strawberries. We called them schtrowbaera. Schtrowbaera,
that what we called them.
AS: Do you know anything about your family in Russia, where
they came from?
DQ: You see on they came from Odessa . They came from Old Danzig,
you see the grossfuder and die grosmudder, they came from Odessa,
un mahnya an dey kam for Old Dansich und manya came fon Nee
Danzig un dae, wann zie fon Russland fortgangye day ging ye
von Russland , they wollen nich in kreech schwarne. Un un to
get out of that they kamen un Amerika. And they came, they came
over on a ship. Und dann, dey, working ah men train noch Sud
Dakota, Menno. And von Menno eh ging zee .......da koafft ze
ochse un hatte zi a noha vooge un dann ginge to no Faulkton,
dan yinge ze mange, dann forte ze zochna voorta . Un dann venn
zee hier yekam denn vaere ze do vare noscht hier. Mangha de
schnait de vaage un dann mange mogka vaga vor hieser. And mangha
dae hat dae vaase und dann haate ze laem reedza haan un de schamertz
ze an heesa mit den you know, that how that worked, those years.
Un da dach vaer yemocht mit schtroh un die vaer yeschamert mit
laem un koh maesht. And...and dey schtaaalen, da hoos in der
schtall, de that was usually det gewoehnliche aent. Aen ent
vom hoos were, aen ent fom yebeid vere det hoost, un am andere
end fom yegebeid vaer der schtall. Un da brunna , dae vaere
nich yeboert. Dae vaer ya groaft. Und manghe dae vaere veet
vach fon schtall and manghe vaere naecht wherever vat dae funded
vaer naech, dan hatte der naech ge....brunnae. Und anders vaere
nich veit vaera do vaer sie nich veit vaech.
(You see, on, they came from Odessa. They came from Old Danzig.
You see the grandfather and the grandmother came from Odessa.
Some came from Old Danzig and many from New Danzig and they,
when they went out of Russia they went from Russia because they
didn't want to serve in the war. To get out of it they came
to America. They came over on a ship. They came on a train to
South Dakota, Menno. From Menno they went...they bought oxen
and a new wagon and went to Faulkton, (SD) many of them, and
then went further. And when they came here there was nothing
here. Many had to live in their wagons in the snow. Many cut
sod and made themselves sod houses....they mixed clay and lime
and smeared it on the walls, you know that is how that worked,
those days. The roof was made of straw and smeared with lime
and manure. And the barn, the house and barn they were usually
one building. On one end was the house and on the other end
of the building was the barn. And the well, they were not drilled,
they were dug. Many were a distance from the barn and many were
nearby. If water was found nearby the well was nearby. Others
were located just a short distance. )
Vare nich so leicht anfanga in the yore, dae vinnters dae vaera
kalt und die schtatt vaer veit vom hoos
un menghe dae hatte zehr venigh com yete. These are facts that
I'm telling you. These are no jokes that I'm talking to you
about . Now we have to realize that, you know, that, I don't
remember ever being a kid that I ever went hungry but my folks
did. They used three gallons of kerosene, that wouldn't be enough
for a day now but you know, that's all they had for the whole
winter. They sat dark in the house. Und det hoos vaert in vast
det vaert liester. Dat vare nush nich da vare kaena lampa nich
zum brenna un what thats kerosene that wurt da muss mer schpoere
so dat ma haat venn men et really broat. And eh, many, zehr
oft vaer der hoos so zehr ko yeschteemt. Un dann muss mer der
roota kruppa so vie mer roota kam dann muss man root schaetlae,
un der schtal vie groat zo. My ....kamen im schtall un det vaer
loch vaer renn yefalle. Un dann vaer der schtall foll mit schnae.
Dann muss man dai schnae runter schaeffle so dat die tiere konna
rum mova un hei vaer ye nich fiel. And .....how am I doing (laughs)
(It wasn't easy to begin in those years. The winters were very
cold and the town was from the house and some had very little
to eat. [English follows for a few sentences.] The house was
lit with lamps and it often was important not to light the lamp
because they had to conserve the kerosene for the times when
you really needed it. A lot of the time the house was filled
with steam. [humidity] Then a person had to....... and the barn
was just like that. Sometimes when one came into the barn and
there was a hole in the roof large enough to fall through and
the barn was filled with snow. So one had to shovel out the
snow that the animals could move about. and here there was little
AS: You're doing very well.
DQ: Well, let's get on to something ....
AS: That's fine, that was good.
DQ: In die ershte yora dann muste an Ellendale foere, un dat
vaere 60 mile von unsere und dann later on
...............Ipswitch, an Zud Dakote, un dann Eureka dat vaer
drizig mile, dat nam ....dat nam dat nacht un der dach . Un
dann, kam Kulm, sae roaft ford se med nu Kulm, un dann kam Vishek,
Vishek kam into being in 1896. Un dann not mengha ya vote. Da
kam der railroad, kam dann ya ook raenyae in no Vishek. Un die
schtaat vaer yo zehe plain von anfang. Do vaere Nickish vohn
duer, un ne Doyle, dae hade the elevator dort venn maehre die
andre Petekaener elevator nicht dort vaere they called it an
platform. Un venn ze den veitza brochtet dae vaer in zach. Norvay
kaena veiter nich dort mit so groath in a wooper inna shed.
You know, der veita vaer op inna sack. Do vaeren zack un dann
musst drin gedruched varen un dan et hard worch gedonnae. Un
dann leed var bor dorna how foot von leg dour un eh, robes dae
vare dour. Un alles zehr, da vaer nich fiel dafonn. Un holk,
ai nich wore noch wolt kam vor making man nich fael dich da
nodda motta Missouri. Und day mogcka zich halt. Un nae, unsere
heeser, in Janna teet undemoos vat vier var dae aena vuzza vaer
dae landed dae vergroopf un det day groop do blasetet is schtroh,
un maesst un what vee konna findet zum det hoos varm zu halta
and mengha die varn ye nich so warm. Eik schlagt in ye hoos
up in na baerne un vie hat kane feer in der roomeh biene. Un
waert zimllich zehr kalt un mengha zeet frohrena water in dem
hoos un dann im morgha wen vie den feer an mogt, un dann dau
dass alles op. Un det water was all es reinigha doot von mit
die cream cans un mit die eimer un maelke vie date, vie maelked
on da farm. Mengha die habe acht kiech un later vee had veilleicht
20 kae. Un, eh, vee hade zimlich fiel land dooer und dann andere
hae, fon andere leet in dae settlement un dann hael vee dat
hae ebern det sommer un im haarsht betol sell uns fer what we
hade gedorne fer ane un dann kae vie detourt. These are not
fairy tales. These are actual things that happened . But I'm
kinda mixing it up because, you see, it doesn't come just really.
Switch it off for a minute. Let's talk .
(At first we had to drive all the way to Ellendale and that
was 60 miles away and then later Ipswitch in SD, then Eureka
which was 30 miles. That took a night and a whole day. Then
came Kulm, .....and then came Wishek. Wishek came into being
in 1896. And then many a.............. Then came the railroad,
then the train came to Wishek and the city was very plain in
the beginning. Nickishes lived there, and Doyle, they had an
elevator there and when there was no other..........................elevator
there they called it a platform. When they brought the wheat
it was in sacks. So the sacks had to be carried in and that
was hard work that we did. .........and everything ....there
wouldn't be much of it. [Sense unclear in a long section. It
seems to refer to a method of building houses with clay and
straw and because of the construction the houses were nice and
warm. ] I slept up in the second floor where there was a little
room. There it was pretty cold and sometimes the water would
freeze and in the morning when we started the fire then everyone
had to get up. The water was brought in to clean up the cream
cans and the milk pails because we milked on the farm. Some
had 8 cows and later we had about 20. We worked a lot of land
and hay from other people in the settlement and after summer
and the fall came we sold what we had . [Closes paragraph in
Dann manch mol dooen mer an Fargo foore. Vood even too the truk
no Visconsin un der karr ookt. Da karr. Du kannst doch night
da karr un da truk fora. Doo must yemand haba da ain fora da
karr un du forsht da andere.
[Starts with interrupted conversarion...]
(Sometimes we drove to Fargo. Would even drove the truck to
Wisconsin and also the car. The car. You surely can't drive
the car and the truck at once! You have to have someone drive
the truck first and then the other.)
AS: Do faerste da truk dahin un dann fahr ich zuruck. Ich muss
eina woch in Fargo arbeiten un dann fahr ich .
( You drive the truck there first and then I'll drive back.
I have to work in Fargo for a week and then I'll drive.)
DQ: Oh, du must in Fargo uhrbeide in a diea viek. Un dann forsht
noch Visconsin un dann kamst die krieg, and dann nemmst du det
andere rier de. Un dass synagoge go de vaecht det mooka karr,
nae. Daena veilleicht grootha zona vee du, und von hier noch
Fargo was noch ungefehr 200 mile. Un hier in Bismarck gehtdt
ye grooth vie die schtaat is yo nich sehr grooth. Mer kann kaena
baam nich zum anfang aena end von da schtaat to huna magt zum
andre end. Un naegh aff da farm un ne viederto.
(Oh, you have to work in Fargo a week. Then you drive to Wisconsin
and then when you come back you take the other ride. ....................
They probably have a big a son as you and from here to Fargo
is about another 200 miles. And here in Bismarck its like other
towns, isn't so large, you see . There are no trees from one
end of town to the other. ?....................)
Nee for der dae vae yeh dae schtaat viere eh 52 yore mehr alt.
Un det vaen yet klane yan teet noch , vielleicht vier yore alt.
Un, ne, meene mutter dae vae 72 yore alt,dae schtarfen in 41,
1941. Un dann meene schwaester ae schtarff dae aerste, dae vaert
younk, dae vare blos zwanzich yore alt veene schtarf un denn
dae hartet zwae kinder und die aena dae yung dae vaer achtzen
monat alt un det girl dae vaer anae monat, or drizigh doach.
Und die trachtid dos dae twin in der ofka. Dat het andre kinder
dann. Yet forum dae haart von anfang kaen yelt kann mann apbringe
un schpoater vor habe vell aber sie haba nich maer. Und dann
maena nechta schwaster, die scharf in zwieafirtzich, 1942. Dae
schtarf in vinter, ver kalt vie alles. Im Yanuar un dann meene
elta broder, dae schtarf ya heir an der ferde July, ..........................Un
dann hat ich klaene schwaster dae schtarff in 1967. Un eine
for meena schwaster, dae schtarff dae yor traek. .....ick dae
aenen broader der wohnt in Lodi, California un aena schwaster
dae ish in New Mexico. Un aek bin here in Bismarck.
Today the town is 52 years old. And that was when the little
one was 4 years old. My mother was 72 years old when she died
in 1941. And then my sister was the first to die though she
was quite young, only 20 years old and had two children. One
of the young ones was 18 months old and the little girl was
one month old, only 30 days. .......................... It was
hard because at the beginning no one had any money to raise
them. Later .................they had no more. Then my next
sister died in 1942. She died in winter, it was very cold then
in January. My oldest brother died on the fourth of July. And
then I had a little sister who died in 1967. Another sister
died ............... My only brother lives in Lodi, California
and one sister in New Mexico. And I am here in Bismarck.)
AS: Sind dann auch enkelkinder?
(Are there any grandchildren?)
DQ: Un dann, of course, Ich habe fiel nephews un nieces, we
have them in Bismarck here too. Aeshte yore here wo do noch
nicht waer da vaere die Indianer, un dann vaer na teek, vo said
Indianer dae oot gebrokka sint un dae word et lan trane un die
lieder alle umbringe. Un die leet die hatte angst, un ya teet
von dae feer kam vae for der ala pokt and aene settlement renne
un die da nechsta morgha dann funde ze oot dot they, dat vaer
alles niche vohr. Dat die Indianer dae zu lazenno un dann gehe
so all to alle yer heeza von der datov warbak so diese don hardov
verirrt vaerra. Aber vee hahn hat niemals kaene trouble mit
die Indianer nich. Nich dart eck wek anyway dot although ike
wek vaer Indianer vent un vee net dee Indianer to dona hade
dot yenka vot. Die hade nich mae trouble gehat. Are you just
(And the, of course, I have many nephews and nieces and we have
them in Bismarck here too. In the first years here there were
some Indians. It was said that the Indians broke out and they
said that they wanted to kill all the people. Therefore we were
afraid....................ran to the settlement. But the next
morning they found out that there was nothing to it. .....................
but we never had any trouble with the Indians. ...........................Then
we had no more trouble. Are you just about done?)
Da hade vee ya kaena car nich aber vir hade a paert un dann
for die mit dae paert, before de het dae paert
ant kirich. vee for the paet na schtaat , for da met to paert
dae ..........on floant, vee hade plaeghe, vee dan hade drill,
faer paert fer def plouch un faer paetd fer der drill. Un venn
man denn cultivator fore denn hatt nabb twae paert. Un dann
schpoeter dann kam yo da karr aenne. Un dann hatt vee da aeschta
karr it vere ne 1927 Model T. Un dann nur had ich ne Model A.
Ek gleiched the Model A. Dat vaer ine goate karr, dot aena rota
karr, color var rote, un I karr, dae rota karr fer acht yore
un da vaer a goata karr im schnee forde. Dae karr vat vie nu
hat dae sint ya nich goat an em schnee fora, nae, an ye schtekk
No kant me nech mer roota aber dae Model A fiel more economical
and mogks ent gear and mogck and die deer up un ek chel sona
root uf der schnee. Dann vaer es so hoch ook so kann mer so
roota scheufela venn meer vollt. Do en der erschta traktor ver
der kraech, der kraech vor an den 1941 oder 42 kraech. Kofft
mich aller John Deer traktor. Aber dae vaer nich vaert. Un dann
inn kofft mee neae an Oliver traktor un dae trokt drae plagh
un dat wort ye zehr hoch mit dem traktor un dann koont vir plaech
mit dem traktor aber vee had noch paerd noch yene teet un die
paerd dae vyan mit der traktor, dae plaeghed nich . Un later
on, schpaeter vee used der traktor for alles vae vee daede.
Un dann kommt dan TV vat da vaert, un dann kofft mer zich a
bessra traktor, kofft sich ah andera karre un vee mogka ans
hoos modern. Dann had vee water am hoos un ve haen dae electricity
am hoos un ve had dae vacuum im hoos all vat ye meriga mogt.
Alles zu amold de better vaer dann vee an fanga, see, vee bruggd
die vater nich mehr int hoos rin troogeh un die , we had denn
a sewer dot vaer zehr gootha vie dae.................................
(We didn't have a car but we had had horses and with them we
went to church, took the horses to town, ...we had a plow, we
had a drill, four horses on the plow, four horses on the drill.
And when we cultivated we used two horses. Later we bought a
car. Our first car was a 1927 Model T. Then we had a Model A
which I really liked. It was a good car, red; color was red
and we had it 8 years. It was a very good car for driving in
the snow. The cars that you drive today are no good in the snow
because you get stuck.
The Model A was very economical. Put it in gear, close the door......on
the snow. It was so high that one could shovel it out quite
easily. We got our first tractor during the war, the war that
was on in 1941 or '42. We bought an old John Deere. But it wasn't
worth anything. Then we bought a new Oliver tractor which could
pull a three bottom plow and that was very good for a tractor.
We plowed with the tractor but we also still had horses; we
had horses and a tractor but did not plow [with the horses].
Later on we used the tractor for everything which we did. Then
we heard the word on TV and we bought ourselves a better tractor.
We bought a different car and modernized our house. We had water,
electricity, vacuum and everything we wanted. Everything was
better than it was in the beginning. We didn't have to carry
the water into the house any more. We also had sewer which was