Bowdle Native Coauthors Book

"Bowdle Native Coauthors Book." Bowdle Pioneer, 3 August 2000, 1.

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo is pleased to announce this important book, Marienberg: Fate of a Village, by Johann Bollinger of Wuesternot, Germany and Janice Huber Stangl of Sterling, VA and a native of Bowdle. The book is published in one volume both in English and German languages.

The book is based on a chronicle of this Black Sea German daughter colony of the Glueckstal group of villages of South Russia, written by Johann Bolliger who was born in Marienberg. Many families from Marienberg and the neighboring Glueckstal villages immigrated to the Dakotas.

Included are many photographs and important genealogical data from the EWZ (German resettlement) records which related to residents of the village in 1944, when they were forced to flee during World War II and began their trek west to Occupied Poland.

In addition, letters which were sent to North America and published in German language newspapers, have been transcribed and translated into English by Dr. Homer Rudolf, University of Richmond and native of Wishek, ND and Janice Huber Stangl. These letters are of historical importance, as they describe the difficulties and plight of relatives in the Ukraine during the starvation years from World War I to the early 1930s.

Bowdle native Janice Huber Stangl coauthored the book “Marienberg: Fate of a Village.”

Author Janice Huber Stangl writes "Marienberg: Fate of a Village is a chronicle describing the fate of all the peoples of South Russia during the first half of the 20th century. Through two world wars, two major famines, as well as the terror and executions during the imposition of Communism, their society, as the Germans from Russia once knew it, was completely destroyed. Despite this, the spirit and heritage of the Marienbergers have survived and live today in its descendants in America and Western Europe. Therefore the plea of Christine Schnabel Ahl to Johann Bollinger that 'their names should at least be on a bit of paper,' has been fulfilled in this book."

Dr. Rudolf shares this message: "The rich collection of letters published in the Eureka Rundschau between 1916 and 1932 from residents of Marienberg and former Marienbergers provide invaluable firsthand accounts of daily lives of these individuals. One cannot help but grieve when reading the stories of hunger and want, as well as, being truly grateful for those in the United States who were able to help their relatives in Marienberg. In addition to providing genealogical information for many families, other interesting items of information are included regarding everyday lives of the people remaining in Marienberg and immigrants homesteading in eastern Montana. A special treasure is the small number of humorous stories in a dialect that were submitted for publication by Jacob Ahl, the official correspondent for many years from Marienberg to the Eureka Rundschau."

Janice Huber Stangl was born on a homestead near Bowdle. Her parental ancestors came to America from Glueckstal and Kassel; her maternal ancestors came from Nesselrode and Neu-Beresina. She attended Bowdle schools for 12 years and went to Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen. She taught elementary school and music for grades 1-12 in Selby and Dupree and Gordon, NE. She retired from public teaching when she had her children; she then privately taught piano lessons.

Stangl is a member of AHSGR, GRHS, and GCRA. Her interests in Germans from Russia research encouraged her and her husband, Tom, to take the Journey to the Homeland Tour in 1998 to Ukraine, Moldova and Trans-Dnester, to visit villages of her ancestors. The tour included a day at the Bundestreffen in Stuttgart, Germany. It was there she met her Seefried cousins, whom her family presumed had died in World War II, because all contact had been lost since the late 1920s. The cousins gave her a copy of the Marienberg chronicle, which she wanted to share with family members in America. The cousins introduced her to Johann Bollinger, author of the chronicle. Hence the translation of a 40-page book to English, led to more research, and now the book is almost 400 pages!

The newly released book, Odessa Martyrology, lists the fate of thousands of men and women from the Odessa region, during the Terror Years of Stalin. It was used by Thomas Stangl and Harold Ehrman to determine the fate of the Marienbergers who were taken away (verschleppt) in 1936-1938. The information has been included in the Marienberg book.

Through all the hardships, there was still humor. Some letters have "tongue in cheek" humor and clever adages. Several letters sent to America were humorous stories written in Bergdorf dialects. Stories of brauching (faith healing,) strong women, mischievous boys, and raucous fests tell us that they truly are our people (Unsere Leute).

Several private, previously unpublished letters from Marienberg which, were sent to American families, are shared with GCRA and the author are also included.

This volume is for all who have an interest in our Germans from Russia families, whether or not their ancestors lived in Marienberg. The letters portray what was happening in all of Ukraine and other states of the former USSR during this historical period.

The following is a partial list of "Russian" villages mentioned: Alt-Postal, Balitzki (Saratow,) Balta, Bergdorf, Birsula, Glueckstal, Grekowo, Hoffnungstal, Kassel, Mardarowka, Moina, Nesselrode, Neudorf, Odessa, Okna, Perekrestowo, Seebach, Sofiental, Tragrady (Friedenstal,) Tschubovka, Post/Warmske Post, Wischina – and many more.

Towns in South Dakota are Aberdeen, Bison, Bowdle, Dale, Eureka, Fairfax, Frederick, Greenway, Hosmer, Java, Long Lake, Menno, Parkston, and Roscoe. Towns in North Dakota are Alfred, Burnstad, Denhoff, Gackle, Hebron, Heil, Jamestown, Streeter, Turtle Lake, and Zeeland. Towns in Montana are Circle, Glendive, Marsh, Paris, Terry, and Watkins.

A partial list of surnames Raile, Ahl, Aipperspatch, Bader, Bender, Bieber, Bollinger, Bonnet, Dietrich, Dober, Dockter, Eichelberg, Eider, Eisenbeiss, Elsaesser, Erlenbusch, Faas, Fauth, Fischer, Foede, Geib, Georg, Goehring, Graff, Haller, Hering, Hausauer, Haux, Hettich, Heyne, Hilt, Hoffer, Hoffman, Hohenaecker, Hoepfer, Huber, Huft, Jenner, Jesser, Kaul, Keim, Keller, Kessler, Kirschenman, Klein, Klipfel, Knorr, Kolb, Kranzler, Kurle, Laemmle, Laut, Leicht, Leno, Lippert, Maier/Mayer, Martin, Mattheis, Merkel, Metzger, Moessner, Nagel, Neiffer, Opp, Pleinis, Rath, Rau, Reiser, Reiker/Ricker/Reiger/Ruecker, Ritter, Rosin, Sandmayer, Schaeffer, Schaible, Scheuffele, Schimke (Pastor), Schmidt, Schnabel, Schock, Schumacher, Seefried, Spitzer, Stiegelmaier, Strotz/Staatz, Stroh, Teske, Trefz, Veil, Voegele, Wagner, Weiss, Wolf, and Zweygardt.

Reprinted with permission of the Bowdle Pioneer.

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