Prairie Public TV at Wishek

"Prairie Public TV." Wishek Star, May 2003.

Bob Dambach, Director of Productions for Prairie Public TV, and members of his staff were in Wishek and the vicinity May 1-4, filming for three upcoming video documentaries. Accompanying the video crew were Michael Miller, of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo; Ron Vossler and Homer Rudolf (both former Wishek residents); Lew Marquardt (a former Linton resident) and Dona Reeves Marquardt.

A good number of area residents were taped reading excerpts of letters from South Russia that were published in German-language newspapers between 1920 and 1938. The excerpts were selected by Ron Vossler for inclusion in a half-hour documentary sponsored by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection. It will focus on references in the letters to the periods of starvation in South Russia in the 1920s and 1930s. The documentary is scheduled to be telecast by Prairie Public in 2004.

Gus Wanner, Eva Ketterling, Lydia Just, Hulda Mueller and Ferdinand Vossler were interviewed on video-tape as part of the Glueckstal Villages Bicentennial Project. All have ancestors who lived in the Glueckstal villages of South Russia (Glueckstal, Bergdorf, Kassel, Neudorf, or one of their daughter colonies). The original settlers in the Glueckstal villages arrived in South Russia in 1804. Homer Rudolf is chairing a nation-wide committee that is planning to produce a book, video documentary and CD-ROM commemorating the residents of Glueckstal villages and their descendants. Publication of the bicentennial materials is scheduled for July, 2004.

A program of German-Russian music performed by the St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Centennial Choir was taped at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, northeast of Zeeland, on Sunday, May 4th. The choir, directed by Maude Fiechtner, consisted of about 30 area individuals who can all trace family connections to the St. Andrew’s five-point parish. It is the first group to be taped for inclusion in a one-hour documentary on German-Russian music to be produced by Prairie Public and scheduled for broadcast in early 2005. Homer Rudolf , Lew and Dona Reeves Marquardt, and Michael Miller are working with Prairie Public on the documentary. Portions of the St. Andrew’s Choir tape will also be used for the letters documentary and the Glueckstal bicentennial documentary.

Inside the church, in front of the altar:
Back row l-r:
Joe Meidinger, Rueben Aipperspach, Alan Deyle, Arndt Ketterling, Ben Thurn

2nd last row l-r:
Marvin Fiechtner, Julius Wiest, Rueben Woehlhaff, Albert H. Sayler, Alfred Dockter, Paul Rudolf, Edgar Thurn

2nd row l-r:
Florence Ziegenhagel, Melvina Meidinger, Leona Thurn, Virginia Just, Laverna Vossler, Werna Deyle, Rose Bader, Elaine Deyle

Front row l-r:
Lorene Hochalter, Eileen Ketterling, Viola Woehlhaff, Marveline Meidinger, Frieda Ketterling, Ruth Thurn, Laverna Kaseman, Evelyn Nies

Pianist: Carol Gerber

Accordion: Ellon Meidinger

Director: Maude Fiechtner

Left section:

Back row l-r:
Julius Wiest, Albert Sayler, Paul Rudolf, Ben Thurn, Rueben Aipperspach, Allen Deyle

Front row l-r:
Louis Bader, Laverna Vossler, Eileen Ketterling, Carol Gerber, Leona Thurn, Florence Ziegenhagel, Wera Deyle, Evelyn Nies

Right section:

Back row l-r:
Bill Meidinger, Alfred Dockter, Arndt Ketterling, Rueben Woehlhaff, Ellon Meidinger, Marvin Fiechtner

Front row l-r:
Lorene Hochalter, Melvina Meidinger, Frieda Ketterling, Elaine Dockter, Marveline Meidinger, Virginia Just, Viola Woehlhaff, Ruth Thurn, Laverna Kaseman, Maude Fiechtner


For more information on the Glueckstal Colonies Research Association and its bicentennial project see its website,, or write to GCRA, 611 Esplanade, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.

Reprinted with permission of the Wishek Star.

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