In Touch with Prairie Living
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
as an important part of the northern plains culture.
When I visited Lodi, CA, late in February, I was most impressed
with the large German-Russian community in the area. At the First
Baptist Church, the program was attended by close to 400 persons.
I found that many had relatives in the Wishek-Ashley area of ND
and the Eureka, SD area. We look forward to returning someday to
the Lodi/Sacramento area.
In February while attending the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics,
I had a wonderful experience meeting with staff and touring the
Family History Center, a world treasure for family historians and
genealogists. Their work is of global importance.
GRHC information tables and display will appear at the following
North Dakota centennials: 1) Strasburg: June 27-29, 10 am-5 pm,
Strasburg High School classroom 2) Zeeland, July 5-6, 10 am to 5
pm, Zeeland High School classroom; and 3) Flasher, July 19-20, 10
am-5 pm, Community Credit Union Meeting Room.
I look forward to my visiting folks at Strasburg, Zeeland, and
Flasher this summer and to share the history and culture of the
rich heritage of the Germans from Russia. It will be a homecoming
for me, having graduated from Strasburg High School. Join us at
these centennials where visitors will have a chance to review the
award-winning videotape documentaries, photo displays, maps, books,
and other materials.
The new videotape, "Recipes from Grandma's Kitchen: Germans
from Russia Food Traditions & Preparations", was well received
in film premier showings at Arizona and California gatherings. The
NDSU Libraries partnered with the Germans from Russia Cultural Preservation
Foundation to jointly produce this videotape. Review the Foundation's
mission and projects at: www.grculture.org.
The videotape includes these persons cooking in their kitchens
and reminiscing: Millie Doll Hauck, Dickinson, ND; Helen Gefroh
Fischer, Hague Cafe, ND; Bernadine Lang Kuhn, Owatonna, MN; Erica
Lang Wangler, Bismarck, ND; and Alma Janke Schott, Gackle, ND.
Traditional foods, savory recipes, and folk memories are important
in the history and culture of the Germans from Russia community.
The videotape includes vignettes of culinary memories that feed
the soul and warm the heart.
The GRHC is pleased to announce publication of this outstanding
new book, "German Food & Folkways: Heirloom Memories from
Europe, South Russia & the Great Plains", by Rose Marie
Gueldner, Anamoose, ND. The book is available at this website: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/cookbooks/gueldner.html
or by contacting me.
Dr. Timothy J. Kloberdanz, NDSU, writes: "Although there are
German-Russian cookbooks currently on the market, this one is quite
unusual because of the way it interweaves background history, ethnic
heritage, and so many mouth-watering Old Country recipes. If the
German-Russians have a Martha Stewart anywhere in North America,
it may very well be Rose Marie Gueldner"!
Brother Placid Gross, German-Russian folklorist, Assumption Abbey,
Richardton, ND, writes: "This book is the crowning achievement
of all cookbooks. It is a great and wonderful tribute to our pioneer
mothers who knew how to hold body and soul together with hard work
and creativity to make a banquet with the simplest of basic ingredients".
GHRC's new book, "We'll Meet Again in Heaven: Germans in the
Soviet Union Write Their American Relatives: 1925-1937", by
Ronald J. Vossler, selected many letters translated from German
to English including these family names: Boschee, Dockter, Eckman,
Feiger, Goehring, Graf, Heupel, Hochhalter, Ketterling, Kirschmann,
Kramer, Lang, Morlock, Opp, Rudolf, Ruebl, Schauer, Speidel, Stock,
Viel, and Wanner. Vossler writes: "The family names clearly
show a direct link, one of old love and also of family ties, between
the Dakota pioneers and those unfortunate family members who remained
The award-winning documentary videotapes, "The Germans from
Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie" (1999),
and "Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia"
(2000), continue to be well received throughout North America. Each
videotape includes 20-minutes of bonus video footage not shown in
the one-hour documentary. To purchase the videotapes, contact PPTV
at 1-800-359-6900, or contact GRHC.
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, donations
to the Collection including family histories, books, videotapes,
cookbooks, and tours, contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries,
PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu;
GRHC website: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc).