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Steppenblumen, Ernstes und Heiteres aus dem Leben der Deutschen in Bessarabien (Prairie Flowers, Seriousness and Cheerfulness from the Lives of Germans in Bessarabia)

Review by Arnold H. Marzolf, Professor Emeritus, NDSU, Fargo, ND

Knauer, Karl. Steppenblumen, Ernstes, und Heiteres aus dem Leben der Deutschen in Bessarabien (Prairie Flowers, Seriousness, and Cheerfulness from the Lives of Germans in Bessarabia). Stuttgart-Vaihinger, Germany: Verlag von Karl Scharr, 1954.


This book contains poems and prose written in the Swabian dialect and in High German (about half and half). Germans from Bessarabia understand the value and humor found in their “Schwob und Kaschub”, nicknames for people who speak Plattdeutsch or Low German, the North German dialects.

Part 1 in entitled “That’s the Way a Swabian Is.” Part 2 covers “Land and People.” Part 3 is entitled “From Our Ethnic Life.” Parts 1-3 consist mainly of poems written in the Swabian dialect and some prose written in High German. Most of these poems (and prose items) are written from a Christian point of view and contain morals and spiritual instructions.

Part 4 presents “Two Plays for Mature Students” which are about “Job” and “The Lost Son” in the Bible. Part 5 give “A Brief Chronicle About the Community Mariewka, 1892-1940.”

Mariewka was a “daughter colony” of Tighina and consisted of people (mostly farmers) from Sarata, Lightental and Borodino. This chronicle gives many family names, describes schools and churches, explains the economy and industries, and glorifies in its beautiful customs, etc.

If you can read the Swabian dialect and if you are sympathetic toward Christian values of 150 years ago, you will be blessed by this book

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