Germans From Russia Make Good Contacts

Miller, Michael M. "Germans From Russia Make Good Contacts." Grand Forks Herald, 27 August 1994.

FARGO - Let me extend the gratitude of the German-Russian community in the Dakotas and throughout the Northern Plains to staff writer Carter Wood and to the Grand Forks Herald for publishing the series of seven articles of July 4-10 titled "Wanderings: The Germans from Russia Today."

The articles provided valuable stories of our memorable journey to Odessa, Ukraine, to the former Black Sea and Bessarabian German villages and to Germany in June. We were pleased that Wood could join us.

The articles vividly described the lives of the ethnic German-Russians who lie in southern Ukraine and the thousands who have returned to Germany. The article of July 7, "Labor camps and Siberia: The story of Paul Krueger," is a wonderful follow-up summary to previous articles published in the Herald. Paul Krueger emigrated to Germany from Siberia in April. In May, his Krueger relatives visited him in Germany. Until 1991, Paul Krueger did not know he had relatives in the United States. He is now preparing his autobiography and hopes to visit the farmstead where his Krueger relatives once lived near Fessenden, N.D. His uncle was Congressman Otto Krueger, Fessenden.

The ethnic Germans living in Odessa and the surrounding villages and those who have recently immigrated to southern Ukraine, face many economic difficulties and an uncertain future. These people brought us letters from their American relatives written in the 1930s and photographs. They hope that we can help them locate their cousins in the Dakotas, the United States and Canada.

Since my return, we have been successful in locating some of the relatives.

Our journey provided us opportunities to review plans for sponsored tours to the former German villages and to Odessa, with the first tour planned for June 1996. Persons wishing more information should write to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, P.O. Box 5599, Fargo, N.D. 58105-5599.

For both Dr. Shirley Fischer Arends, a native of Ashley, N.D., and author of the book, "The Central Dakota German: Their History, Language and Culture," and myself, this visit to the ancestral villages of our grandparents was a deeply emotional and unforgettable experience.

Michael M. Miller

Miller is a Germans from Russia Bibliographer at the NDSU Libraries, Fargo.

Reprinted with permission of the Grand Forks Herald.

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