Report from the Germans from Russia
To the membership
of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS)
GRHS Convention, Aberdeen, South Dakota, July, 1999
1. The landmark documentary, The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie, has received a tremendous response since it premiered on Prairie Public Television in February, 1999. The 60-minute program was produced by Prairie Public Broadcasting and the North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, ND, copyright 1999. Until June, 1999, the documentary has appeared on PBS stations in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Washington.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Society began selling the videotapes in the spring of 1999 and at the 1999 GRHS Convention in Aberdeen, SD. GRHC provided a table-top display to promote the videotape.
Prairie Public Television has begun work on a documentary featuring the foodways of the Germans from Russia. The program will air on PPTV in March, 2000, and will be available to other PBS stations as well as purchase of the videotape.
2. The documentary premiered at events in February/March, 1999, at Menlo Park, Redondo Beach and Westlake Village, CA, and at Scottsdale, AZ. The Arizona Sun Chapter of AHSGR, Prairie Public Broadcasting and the NDSU Library will host a Germans from Russia gathering and show the future videotape on German-Russian foodways on Saturday, March 4, 2000, from 10 am to 1 pm. The NDSU Library plans to host an information table at the North Dakota Picnic on Sunday, March 5, 2000, at Pioneer Park, Mesa, AZ, from 10 am to 3 pm.
3. Two major publications were completed by GRHC in 1998: A) Homeland Book of the Bessarabian Germans by Albert Kern, published in the English language; Personal Name Index to book published in 1999; B) Tender Hands: Ruth's Story of Healing by Ruth Weil Kusler with Peggy Sailer O'Neil. Both books are available for purchase from GRHS.
4. In cooperation with the Glückstal Colonies Research Association, GRHC has published the following: A) Glückstal Colonies: Births and Marriages 1833-1900 (1997); B) Glückstal Colonies: Deaths 1833-1900 (1998); C) Glückstal 1858 Colony Census (1998). Each of these published were compiled by Harold M. Ehrman. We are working with GCRA to prepare these three publications in the German language with anticipated completion later in 1999.
5. The fifth Journey to the Homeland Tour sponsored by the NDSU Library was May 18-31, 1999. The next tour is June 6-19, 2000, to Odessa, Ukraine and Stuttgart, Germany. The 2000 tour will include the large Germans from Russia gathering called the Bundestreffen held on June 17, 2000 in Stuttgart.
6. In April, 1999, Arlene Kruckenberg Knutson, Tuttle, ND, and her sister, Vi Kruckenberg Schielke, traveled to Fargo to present gifts of handmade quilts for the Lighthouse Orphanage, Odessa, Ukraine. The quilts were taken with tour members in May, 1999, to Odessa to present to the children at the orphanage. The quilts were made by women at the English Lutheran Church, Tuttle, ND, and by LaVerna Unruh and the women of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Zap, ND. Arlene and Vi also presented in 1998 many quilts and sewing items that were taken to Odessa in May, 1998.
7. In May, 1999, the NDSU Germans from Russia class with Prof. Timothy Kloberdanz visited the NDSU Library. Presentations were made by Jay Gage, exhibits and textiles curator, and Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Bibliographer.
8. The GRHC traveling exhibit, The Kempf Family: Germans from Russia Weavers on the Dakota Prairies, is on display at the National Buffalo Museum, Jamestown, ND, until October 15, 1999. Also on display is the Germans from Russia architecture exhibit from the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Persons are invited to visit the National Buffalo Museum. The Kempf exhibit was shown in October/November, 1998, at the Minot State University Gallery, Minot, ND. Jay Gage is curator of the Kempf Family exhibit.
9. The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection website pages at http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc continue to increase in use. The Germans from Russia listserves or electronic discussion groups of the NDSU Computer Center have many new subscribers. The listserves include: A) GR-Heritage; B) GR-Genealogy; C) Bess-GR; D) GCRA; E) Krim-GR. For further information, go to the following website page: http://library.ndsu.edu/gerrus/lists.html.
10. Finally, we invite members of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society to inform us of newly published family histories and other historical resource books to be added to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Library. We invite persons to visit us at the NDSU Library (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu).
Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Bibliographer
Jay Gage, Exhibits and Textiles Curator