Karl Stumpp Exhibit to be Relocated
Carlson, Mark. "Karl Stumpp Exhibit to be Relocated." Pierce County Tribune, 18 February 1976, 7.
This spring, after our supply of snow has disappeared, members of
the local chapter of the North Dakota Historical Society of Germans
from Russia will be busy relocating a historical exhibit at Rugby's
Geographical Center Museum.
The exhibit, named for Dr. Karl Stumpp, a world renowned authority
of German-Russian history, will be moved from its present location
within an original museum building, to a "home" of its
own only a short distance away.
A collection of books, manuscripts, maps and artifacts relating
to Germans from Russia history which makes up the Stumpp exhibit
will be relocated in a house which was moved to the museum site
last fall by the local historical group.
Before the new "home" of the exhibit can be occupied,
it must be revamped to accommodate the artifacts. The structure,
which was donated to the chapter and museum by Rugby's Walt Miltenberger,
served as a local residence until it was moved to the museum site.
Frank Brossart, President of the local historical group, and Mr.
and Mrs. Pete Koenig, who were instrumental in developing and furnishing
the original exhibit, said the house will provide an excellent location
for items in the Stumpp collection.
The three-room home at the museum will be filled with artifacts
unique to Germans from Russia history. In addition to items which
once graced area Germans from Russia homes, the house will accommodate
documents, photographs and publications relating to German-Russian
One such publication will be an addition to the Stumpp exhibit.
The latest addition to the exhibit is a priceless book recently
given Stumpp by an organization called Landsmanschaft Der Bessarabien
Deutschen, which is concerned with the history of Germans from Russia
who once lived in Besserabia, a province of Russia.
The book of photographs and documents was recently presented to
Stumpp by the organization, commemorating his 70th birthday. In
turn, Stumpp is giving the publication to the Rugby exhibit which
bears his name.
Dr. Stumpp, often called the "The Treasurer of Lost People,"
has visited Rugby twice; first in 1971, and again in 1973 for the
dedication of the Stumpp exhibit.
Stumpp, who is now retired as an instructor of geology at Tuebingen
University, Tuebingen, Germany, has devoted the past several years
to writing and compiling history of a German migration to Russia,
and subsequent scattering around the world.
Stumpp began his career in education by teaching school in the
Russian Black Sea area before World war I. While teaching in Russia,
Stumpp became fascinated in the movements and history of Germans
During World War II, Stumpp was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to
follow the German army into Russia to salvage records of Germans
living in Russia. What Stumpp gathered on his fact-finding mission
accompanied him back to Germany where he compiled the data into
a book, which is presently used as a genealogical reference by persons
with German from Russia backgrounds.
Stumpp was chosen to travel to Russia with the German army because
he knew the territory and people from his teaching experiences.
In addition, he had the ability to gather and interpret data vital
to a complete history of Germans living in Russia.
The subsequent repatriation of Germans living in Besserabia, Russia,
and relocation to German-occupied Poland in 1940 also served as
a subject for Stumpp's research. When Germany began losing the war
and was pushed out of Poland, Germans living there were, in many
cases liquidated, and generally scattered. Not only had the Germans
been suspected as enemies of Russia when they were living there,
they were considered enemies when relocated in Poland near the war's
While Stumpp was familiar with the movements of both the Black
Sea and Bessarabian Germans, the formation of the organization designed
to assist Bessarabian Germans kept his attention for many years.
In recent years when the American Historical Society of Germans
from Russia was
organized in Greeley, Colorado, Stumpp was invited to the group's
convention. At the time, Ray Friederichs, Rugby, was an active member
of the national organization's board of directors.
The American Historical Society group was formed in Colorado because
Colorado is an area originally settled by many settlers from Volga,
Russia. Because the Colorado based organization was formed mostly
of Bessarabian-background Germans from Russia, Stumpp accepted an
invitation to attend their convention.
While at the convention, Stumpp was persuaded to journey to North
Dakota, where, for the first time, he had an opportunity to meet
descendants of Black Sea Germans from Russia, and compile data on
their American lives.
While conducting meetings in North Dakota, Stumpp was a guest of
the local, then fledgling, Germans from Russia organization. He
was invited to return, and he did so in 1973 when the exhibit at
the Geographical Center Museum was dedicated in his name.
Spokesmen for the local organization said Stumpp's happiness with
the creation of a museum containing historical data on Germans who
once lived in the Black Sea area of Russia has resulted in his subsequent
donation of several publications, documents, etc.
Just as Stumpp's research subjects have moved from place to place
in the world, so will the exhibit which bears his name. Wherever
located at the local museum, the Stumpp exhibit commemorates the
work of a man who has become known as, "The Treasurer of Lost
Reprinted with permission of The Pierce County Tribune.
This photo of Dr.
Karl Stumpp, for whom an exhibit at the Geographical Center
Museumm is named, was taken during Stumpp's second visit to
Rugby in 1973.
This is the present
location of the Karl Stumpp exhibit at the Geographical Center
Museum. Contained in the collection are publications, documents
and other artifacts pertaining to local Germans from Russia
is where the Stumpp exhibit will be after it is moved from
a main building at Rugby's Geographical Center Museum sometime
this spring. This three-room house, which was donated to the
local Historical Society of Germans from Russia chapter and
the museum by Rugby's Walt Miltenberger, was moved to the
museum site late last fall.