New book published on the Germans from Russia on village life

April 28, 2000

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, Wuestenrot, Germany, and Janice Huber Stangl, Sterling, Virginia, a native of Bowdle, SD. The book is published in one volume both in the 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 Bollinger who was born in Marienberg. Many families from Marienberg and the neighboring Glueckstal District 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 to English, by Dr. Homer Rudolf, University of Richmond and a native of Wishek, ND, and Janice Huber Stangl. These letters are of historical importance, as they describe the difficulties and plight of relatives in Ukraine during the starvation years from World War I to the early 1930s.

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 twentieth 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 in Russia once knew it, was completely destroyed. Despite this, the spirit and heritage of the Marienbergers has survived and lives 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 first-hand 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 dialect that were submitted for publication by Jakob Ahl, the official correspondent for many years from Marienberg to the "Eureka Rundschau."

A complete review of the book, photographs, and other information can be located at the following GRHC web page:

To secure the book, Marienberg: Fate of a Village, contact the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: Cost of the book is $35 softcover and $50 hardcover, plus $4 for postage. Make check payable to NDSU Library.

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