“Special Summer Event” – Book Introduction in Minneapolis

Baehr, Ulrich. "'Special Summer Event' - Book Introduction in Minneapolis." Mitteilungsblatt, September 2012, 4.

Translation from the original German-language text to American English is provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, CO.

Together with St. Paul, Minneapolis comprises the “Twin Cities”, an urban area with a million people, which stretches along both banks of the Mississippi and constitutes an important industrial and cultural metropolis in the center of the US. Located there is the “North Star Chapter of Minnesota,” a very active center for [descendants of] German immigrants from Russia, who make up a significant portion of the general population.

On July 14, 2012, a week prior to the large annual convention of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) in Bismarck, capital city of North Dakota, a festive event took place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Minneapolis. It was a “Special Summer Event” attended by about 100 members and friends of the Chapter. Many of them have ancestry of Bessarabian origin. Carol Just was responsible for organizing and leading the event.

The walls of the festive room in the Hilton Hotel were decorated with ten banners of the traveling exhibit “Fromme und tüchtige Leute … [Pious and Able People]” with captions and statements in German and English. Invited as “special guests” were Dr. Ute Schmidt and her American translator, James T. Gessele, who were there also to unveil the English-language edition of the book Bessarabia – German Colonists on the Black Sea. On a large screen, a series of photos, part of the exhibit, provided many images of life in the villages of Bessarabia.

Michael Miller, Director of the Germans from Russia Historical Collection (GRHC) at the Libraries of North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota, paid tribute to the book and to the outstanding work by its translator, James T. Gessele who, for example, was able to render the proper voice in English of 19th Century historical German and was able to imbue the translation with rich and attractive language. Michael Miller also emphasized the enormous engagement by numerous GRHC members who by their generous donations actually made the American edition possible. The North Star Chapter of Minneapolis” also played a significant part in that success.

After Dr. Ute Schmidt’s presentation of the main themes of her book and illustrated them via the exhibit materials, many questions were asked and a lively discussion ensued. The evening concluded with a festive banquet, during which Michael Miller thanked the author and translator of the book again by presenting each with a framed cover page of the book

(Photos: by Ulrich Baehr and Harald Ensslen)

Presentation of the book in Bismarck, ND.
Festive group dinner.
Michael Miller, Dr. Ute Schmidt, and James T. Gessele.
Michael Miller and Carol Just officially open the event.
Dr. Nancy Herzog and Alex Herzog, assisting co-editors of the American edition of the book, Dr. Ute Schmidt, and James T. Gessele.

Our appreciation is extend to Dr. Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller