In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo
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.
Holiday Regards to each of you and your families during this Yuletide
In time for the holidays, GRHC has published an important new cookbook,
for the Germans from Russia", by Nelly Daes, translated
from German to English by Alex Herzog, and edited by Janice Huber
Stangl. Daes was born in Friedental, Ukraine. Her family decided
to flee toward the West in 1935. Their wanderings and flight was
to last as many as ten years, and Nelly finally ended up living
close to her family's origins in West Germany. Colonist women in
their various settlement areas would "peek into the pots"
of their Ukrainian and Russian neighbors and, in the course of time,
adopt certain dishes from them. Nelly Daes comments: "All of
the recipes have been tested by various cooks and should be applied
under the following motto: `In cooking, you make use of...whatever
you have on hand!'
Janice Huber Stangl writes: "This book contains not only recipes,
but also humorous and hear wrenching anecdotes from the German Russian
diaspora. It is essential addition to every household."
Alex Herzog writes: "What I like about Nelly's cookbook is
her inclusion of at time amusing, and at other times very sad and
tragic anecdotes, as well as the descriptions of the Black Sea Germans
customs and folkways - all woven between and around the recipes.
Also, the recipes she presents are more inclusive than the title
indicates, because they stem not only from the Black Sea area, but
also from Asia and Germany." The new cookbook is available
or contact GRHC.
We have prepared a listing of items of highly recommended books,
maps, videotapes, and cookbooks on the subject of Germans from Russia.
The list provides valuable items suggested for families, schools,
and libraries for research and reading. We can send you this listing
or you can go to this website page: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/files/recommended.pdf.
Food & Folkways: Heirloom Memories from Europe, South Russia,
& the Great Plains" by Rose Marie Gueldner continues
to be one of GRHC's most popular books available and is now in its
seventh printing since publication in February, 2002.
GRHC has published "East
German Fate by the Black Sea" by Johannes Florian
Mueller. This book is an important contribution to the Germans from
Russia community, and especially for the Bessarabian Germans covering
the villages of Krasna, Emmental and Karamurat as well as the Dobrudscha
region of east Romania and its German inhabitants. The book is available
or by contact GRHC.
Prairie Public's award-winning "Prairie
Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains"
is receiving a terrific response from viewers. Be watching for this
third documentary of PPTV's Germans from Russia series on other
PBS stations in 2003. Iron Crosses stand as sentinels on the prairie
landscape, framed by vast expanses of grass and sky. Although they
stand silent, behind each cross is a story.
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 draw much viewer interest and have
been shown on many PBS stations. Each videotape includes bonus video
footage not shown in the one-hour documentary.
Plans have begun for Prairie Public Television's 2005 documentary
on the music of the Germans from Russia. This program will be the
fourth program in the Germans from Russia Series. The concert choirs
of Jamestown College, Jamestown, ND, and the University of Mary,
Bismarck, ND, will be closely involved. More information will appear
in future columns.
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, donations
to GRHC including books, videotapes, cookbooks, tours, and the new
Recipe Index Search, contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries,
PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: email@example.com;
GRHC website: library.ndsu.edu/grhc).
December, 2003 column for North Dakota and South Dakota