In Touch with Prairie Living

December 1999

By Michael M. Miller


The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) at the NDSU Libraries in Fargo reaches out to prairie families and former Dakotans. In various ways, it affirms the heritage of the Germans from Russia is an important part of the northern plains culture. As the holiday season approaches, I wish to share in spirit of the Yuletide holiday season. May I extend "Weihnachten" greetings.

GRHC announces publication of Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp. Father Kopp was born in 1891 Krasna, Bessarabia. He attended school at Harvey and Assumption Abbey, Richardton, ND. He was a priest in the Diocese of Bismarck from 1917 to 1964 including Foxholm, ND, from 1933-1962. The book is a literate story of his German-Russian youth and his life in North Dakota capturing the unique dialectal German speech as he himself directly translated into English text. More information is available at the GRHC website:

Prairie Public Broadcasting has announced the "Cultural Heritage Tour" for September 14-25, 2000. The tour includes southern Germany, Alsace, France, Switzerland, and Austria. The tour has limited space. Tour leaders will be Bob Dambach and Michael Miller, co-producers of the Germans from Russia documentary. For more information, contact Prairie Public, Cultural Heritage Tour, PO Box 3240, Fargo, ND 58107 (Tel: 1-800-359-6900).

My thanks to the Germans from Russia community for their support to contact their local PBS station to air the Germans from Russia documentary. Since the February premiere on Prairie Public Television, the program has been shown on these PBS stations: Fresno, Huntington Beach, Sacramento, San Mateo, CA, Minneapolis-St. Paul & Bemidji/Brainerd, MN, Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, Phoenix, AZ, Spokane, WA, Topeka & Wichita, KS, Peoria, IL, and Saginaw, MI. State-wide PBS coverage includes Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The award-winning documentary videotape, "The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie," continues to be well received throughout North America. In 1999, the program has received the prestigious Silver Telly Award from the Center for Creativity and a Bronze Plaque Award in the Humanities Division from the 47th International Film & Video Festival, Columbus, OH. The videotape will be a special Christmas gift. To secure the tape, contact Prairie Public at 1-800-359-6900. This "Collector's Edition" of the videotape includes 20-minute bonus video footage, "Ukraine Places & Faces" of beautiful filming from the former German villages near Odessa not shown in the one-hour documentary. See many interesting pages about the documentary at the Prairie Public Broadcasting website:

The Teachers Guide authored by Ron Vossler, documentary scriptwriter, is available for viewing at Prairie Public's website: The guide is valuable for use with students and in homes including classroom activities and website activities. Review the Teachers Guide at Prairie Public's website page.

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection has books, videotapes, maps, and other items that provide wonderful heritage books as gifts. Reviews of books and other items can be seen at the GRHC website pages at "Books, Videotapes & Photographs" and at "Maps & German Village Lists."

There are German-Russian recipes at the GRHC website section at "Culture, Customs & Foodways" including Christmas Borscht, golden carrot pie, ammonium cookies, holiday Pfeffernüsse, rum fruit dumplings, and a variety of Kuchen recipes.

For further information about donations to the collection including family histories, outreach programs, the new book, Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp, Teachers Guide to videotape documentary, Journey to the Homeland Tour to Odessa, Ukraine, Alsace, France, and Stuttgart, Germany (including the large Germans from Russia gathering called the Bundestreffen), for June 6-19, 2000 tour; GRHC's recent publications, "Tender Hands: Ruth's Story of Healing" and "Homeland Book of the Bessarabian Germans," and German-Russian heritage, contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail:; GRHC website:

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