Nodak "Germans From Russia" Convention Draws Interest of Many

Straub, Theodore. "Nodak "Germans From Russia" Convention Draws Interest of Many." Northwest Blade, 30 September 1971, 1-6.

Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Straub attended the 1st Annual Convention of the year old organization of the North Dakota Historical Society of Germans from Russia in Bismarck, No. Dak., during September 24-26.

The Society is headed by Judge Ray R. Friedrich, Rugby, N. Dak. The secretary is Mrs. Walter Essig, Denhoff, N. Dak., and the treasurer is Rev. Wm. H. Simpfenderfer, Bismarck, N. Dak.

The purpose of the organization is to preserve the heritage of the German-Russians who came to the Dakotas penniless, but through extreme effort and sacrifices, beginning 10 years ago, prospered and aided in converting the barren prairies into a pleasant place to live.

The Society will encourage the teaching of conversational German in schools, so that the young people may be benefitted in communicating with German speaking people. Mention was made that regardless of the dialect that is known to the individual, it's use should be exercised freely and spoken regardless of a possible high German conversation.

Mrs. Armund Bauer, formerly of Zeeland, is the Societies Genealogist and had on display various family trees and stress will be used to encourage all families to trace and record their forefathers.

The plan for a state Archive pictures, records and materials is in progress and all books, relating to the German-Russians received will be filed for the purpose of recording as much as possible history pertaining to the people who migrated from Germany to Russia and then in great numbers to the United States.

On the lighter side of the convention there was a Bier-Stube, an opportunity for Maistub. Also there was a Tanz, to the music of a Little German Band.

In an address to the Convention, Kurt Peters, Public Relations Director for Montana Dakota Utilities Co. of Bismarck, asked that the Society not only look backwards in preserving the history and customs of their forefathers, but also look forward, working and striving toward the preservation of our democratic way of life in our United States of America. For this is the reason and place for their coming. The German-Russians wished to live as individuals, prosper up to their capabilities, choose their faith, their politics, and that their children might also choose their future.

Dr. Karl Stumpp of Germany, an authority on the German-Russians, was voted to the office of Honorary President of the North Dakota Historical Society of Germans from Russia following the tremendous impact he made in behalf of these people during his visit to North Dakota this past summer. Dr. Karl Stumpp also appeared in Eureka and spoke to a large audience in the school auditorium.

On Sunday morning a sacred Memorial Service was held in the Bismarck Auditorium and a tribute was paid to those courageous pioneers who face difficulties with a daring patience and since have gone to their reward.

The North Dakota organization presently has a membership of approximately 250 and will welcome the membership of any interested people, regardless of location. The national group was founded at Greeley, Colo., in 1968, and already has a membership of more than 1,300
in 38 states and five Canadian provinces.

Reprinted with permission of The Northwest Blade.

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