New book on German-Russian folk healing published

24 November 1998

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Library, Fargo, announces publication of the book, "Tender Hands: Ruth's Story of Healing", by Ruth Weil Kusler with Peggy Sailer O'Neil, both of Beulah, ND.

Ruth was born in 1908 near Beulah. Her mother, a midwife and faith healer, taught her daughter, Ruth the family's healing methods and home remedies. Ruth followed her mother's footsteps, massaging and caring for the sick throughout her life. She feels blessed that God gave her such "tender hands." Ruth dedicates her book to her mother stating: "To my mother, who taught me the importance of praying and caring."

Ruth writes, "My fondest memories are taking care of the newborn babies, giving them their first baths and getting them ready for their mother. Helping people recover from illnesses gave me lots of happiness. I hope that others will learn about healing, and the history of faith healing with be remembered."

Working with Ruth in writing the book was her grand-niece, Peggy Sailer O'Neil who comments, "Ruth gave me a new appreciation for my ancestors, their struggles and their achievements. With the completion of the book, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and proud to be a part of Ruth's life-long goal. This book is Ruth's dream. What a great tribute to a woman who spent her life helping other people!"

Carol Just Halverson, St. Louis Park, MN, writes: "The time is coming when I can't do it anymore, and you will have to take over. For Ruth Weil Kusler, these words from her mother, Katherine, left no choice but to continue the healing gift that began previous generations in her ancestral German villages of South Russia. Ruth and practitioners like her have healed and comforted generations of souls on the Steppes of Russia, and Dakota Prairie, all the while giving credit to a higher power."

The second half of this memoir includes remedies passed down to Ruth. Ruth shares healing options for over 75 ailments, all the while stressing the importance of and offering examples of prayers to use with the remedies. Ruth shares the use of Wormwood, horseradish, fresh camomile, and Knorr's Genuine Hein Fong Essence (Green Drops).

Additional information about Tender Hands, can be seen at the following website page:

A book-signing and reception for Ruth Kusler will be held on Sunday, December 6, 1998 from 2-4 pm at the Knife River Care Center, 106 4th St. NW, Beulah, ND (701-873-4322).

To order the book, the price is $14 plus postage and handling ($3 for shipping in the US and $5 for shipping to Canada). All orders must be in US dollars. Make check or money order payable to NDSU Library. Mail to: Tender Hands Book, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599.

For further information, contact Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Bibliographer, NDSU Libraries, Fargo (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail:

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