Journey to the Homeland: Germany and Ukraine
North Dakota State University Libraries Tours
27 May 2002
Just a note to let you know all is well here in Odessa, Ukraine.
From 22-26 May, we visited the former Glueckstal villages in Moldova
Members of the Glueckstal Memorial Monument Dedication Tour Group
of 22-26 May included these Americans: Bob and Margaret (Aman) Freeman,
Redondo Beach, California; Dr. Harley Roth, San Jose, California;
Dr. Kenneth and Catherine (Kempf) Vogele, Rapid City, South Dakota;
Tom Stangl and Janice Huber-Stangl, Sterling, Virginia; Bernadine
(Lang) Kuhn, Owatonna, Minnesota; Tim and Judy Klusman, Dubuque,
Iowa; Roger and Elaine (Job) Klusman, New Salem, North Dakota; Michael
M. Miller, Fargo, North Dakota; and Bob Dambach, Prairie Public
Television, Fargo, North Dakota. Also attending were Oskar and Helma
(Seefried) Eberle, Germany. Monument preparations were made by Pavel
Pratchuk, Novosmarka, Ukraine (formerly Sofiental, Glueckstal daughter
colony). Dr. Sergey Yelizarov, Odessa, was the English translator.
Helma Eberle was born in Marienberg, Glueckstal daughter colony,
and Oskar Eberle was born in Eigenheim, also Glueckstal daughter
colony. We visited both of these villages which Oskar and Helma
left as children in 1944.
The Monument Dedication was on Friday, 24 May 2002, in the village
of Glinnoje, Trans-Dnjestr Republic, Moldova. This was an important
event for the Glinnoje and the Trans-Dnjestr region with television
and radio coverage.
Persons who attended this event and visited the Glueckstal villages
will share their experiences with e-mail messages when they return
to the USA.
On 27 May, arrives the Journey to the Homeland Tour Group to Odessa
from Vienna via Austrian Airlines. Some of the tour members will
travel from 28-31 May from Odessa to the former German villages
in the Crimea near Simferopol. This includes seven members of the
Kuhn family with roots to Napoleon, North Dakota.
The days of 22-26 May staying four nights in the Glueckstal villages
was a challenging, rewarding and memorable experience. All is well
with the tour members.
We will share our experiences when we return from the Crimea, Ukraine,
on 1 June 2002.
With best regards from Odessa,
Michael M. Miller
29 May 2002
Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine
Special regards from the Crimea where we arrived on 28 May. Today
we visited former German villages near Simferopol, and from 30-31
May we travel to Yalta and then return to Odessa on 31 May. The
Kuhn family members spent 29 May visiting their ancestral German
village of Rosental. This included spending time in the former Catholic
church, today an Orthodox church; the present-day school visiting
classes; walking the streets locating the possible Kuhn family home;
and attending the school recital in the building near the school.
The music classes and recital were in the former parsonage in Rosental.
Of special interest was the present-day cemetery. The mayor of Rosental
guided us throughout the village and showed how work had been done
repairing some of the German gravestones in the last two years.
We could still identify some of the names with photos taken. We
did not expect to see this many German marked gravestones.
The Kuhn family with Napoleon, North Dakota, roots also visited
Neusatz. There are seven members of the Kuhn family visiting Crimea.
Prairie Public Television (PPTV), Fargo, North Dakota, plans to
produce a segment for their "Plains Talk" program of the
Kuhn family's visit to Rosental. Bob Dambach of PPTV is filming
and interviewing family members. We may also explore the idea of
a Crimean-German videotape documentary.
Kuhn family members include: Ann (Meier) Bauer, Grand Forks, North
Dakota; Joyce Eissinger, Bloomington, Minnesota; Theresa (Meier)
Eissinger, Napoleon, North Dakota; Yvonne Eissinger, Edina, Minnesota;
Dena (Marquart) Graham, Belvidere, Illinois; Alice (Meier) Lippert,
Burke, Virginia; Janice (Marquart) Spotts, Portland, Oregon; and
Bernadine (Lang) Kuhn, Owatonna, Minnesota. Theresa is mother to
Joyce and Yvonne Eissinger. The Sailer family with Hazen, North
Dakota, roots visited Kronental, Neusatz and Friedenstal. This included
Rev. Delbert and Shari Sailer, Thiensville, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee
and his sister, Leila (Sailer) Simpson, Kirtland, Ohio.
Journey to the Homeland Tour members who stayed in Odessa traveled
to the Bessarabian, Beresan and Glueckstal villages between 28 and
31 May. On Sunday, 2 June, the tour group travels to the village
of Landau, Beresan District, to bring gifts to the orphanage. We
will also visit Josephstal, a Kuhn family ancestral village. On
3 June, we fly Odessa - Vienna - Stuttgart, Germany. We will stay
in Stuttgart from 3-7 June, which will include a day trip to Alsace,
France. On Thursday evening, 6 June, we will visit the Haus der
Heimat Baden-Wuerttemberg in Stuttgart with a concert and reception
of the Heimat Klaenge Russlanddeutschen Chor of Stuttgart. This
choir visited North Dakota in July, 1997 for a concert tour.
All is well with the tour members and they are in good health.
Today was an unforgettable experience for the Kuhn and Sailer families
to visit their homeland villages for the first time. The grandparents
and parents of the Sailers and the Kuhns were born in these Crimean-German
With special regards from the Crimea,
Michael M. Miller
2 June 2002
On Monday, 2 June, Journey to the Homeland Tour members traveled
to the village of Landau, Beresan District, to visit the Landau
Orphanage. We had a wonderful program and tour by staff members
of the orphanage with 151 children.
Tour members brought many items as gifts for the orphanage. The
financial donations presented to the Germans from Russia Cultural
Preservation Foundation (www.grculture.org) by individuals were
given to the orphanage administration. For more information about
the Orphanage Project, go to the Foundation website.
On our way to Landau, we stopped at the former Reformed Lutheran
Church in Worms, which is now a Ukrainian Orthodox Church. There
were Sunday morning services. Tour member, Dr. Harley Roth, San
Jose, California, visited Worms for a second time in recent days.
His grandparents were married at the Worms church.
Returning from the Beresan villages, we stopped at Gueldendorf
located very close to Odessa where we photographed the former church.
Tour member, Bernadine (Lang) Kuhn, Owatonna, Minnesota, visited
Gueldendorf where her Gums ancestors once lived before immigrating
to the Napoleon area of Logan, County, North Dakota.
On Tuesday, 3 June, the tour leaves Odessa for Vienna, Austria,
and Stuttgart, Germany. On Wednesday,
4 June, the tour group will take a day trip to Alsace, France.
This will be the last message to be sent from Odessa, Ukraine,
and our final message of the Journey to the Homeland Tour.
All is well with the tour members.
With Odessa regards,
Michael M. Miller