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.
The NDSU History Department and GRHC are pleased to announce the
Theresa Mack Germans from Russia History Assistantship. The recipient
will be enrolled in NDSU graduate doctorate program in History beginning
with the 2004-2005 academic year.
Theresa Mack Wald, Grand Forks, ND, writes: "My gift for the
assistantship is to preserve the heritage and culture about the
positive aspects of the Germans from Russia. I want to provide a
living legacy for the scholarly study of my heritage of which I
am very proud. My parents, John G. Mack born in 1888 and Katherina
Deringer born in 1890, lived in the Catholic Black Sea German villages
of Elsass and Neu Schloessel, Kutschurgan District, South Russia
(today near Odessa, Ukraine). My father was 14 years and my mother
was 24 years when they came to America."
GRHC has published its fifth book by Ronald J. Vossler, UND, Grand
Forks, a native of Wishek, ND, "Dakota Kraut: Collected
Notes on How I Learned to Love My Accent and Ancestry, 1983-2003."
This new book is a must read for anyone interested in evocative
writing about ethnicity, memory, and a small-town prairie past.
This book can be humorous,serious, thought-provoking, and entertaining.
"Dakota Kraut" is a rumination of the fast-disappearing
world of the prairie Germans in Dakota. It is also a work with power,
grace and insight.
"Dakota Kraut" is available at this website page:
or contact GRHC.
GRHC has published an important new cookbook, "Cookbook
for the Germans from Russia", by Nelly Daes, translated
from German to English by Alex Herzog, and edited by Janice Huber
Stangl. Colonist women in their various settlement areas would "peek
into the pots" of their Ukrainian and Russian neighbors. In
the course of time, they adopted 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 heart- 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 times 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 book title indicates, because they stem not only from the Black
Sea area, but also from Asia and Germany." The new cookbook
is available at: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/cookbooks/das.html,
or contact GRHC.
"German 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.
The award-winning documentary videotapes, "The Germans
from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie"
(1999); "Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from
Russia" (2000); and "Prairie Crosses, Prairie
Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains" (2002) 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
Plans have begun for Prairie Public Television's 2005 documentary
on the music of the Germans from Russia. This program will be the
fourth documentary in the Germans from Russia Series. The concert
choirs of Jamestown College, Jamestown, ND, and the University of
Mary, Bismarck, ND, will perform historic music for the documentary.
There will be public concerts at Bismarck, Harvey, Jamestown, and
Strasburg, ND, in March and April, 2004.
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).
February, 2004 column for North Dakota and South Dakota