Prairie Public to debut new Germans from Russia documentary

FARGO, N.D.— What causes a region, a place, to imprint itself upon the people who are born and live there? What is the connection between landscape and memory? A new television documentary from Prairie Public shows how a territory can endure in the minds of the descendants of those inhabitants after years, even after generations, have passed.

“At Home in Russia, at Home on the Prairie” will premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. CT. The documentary, one in a series produced by Prairie Public about the Germans from Russia, travels to an area typical of many German settlements on the Russian steppe — at one time a breadbasket of grain and other agricultural products. The Germans who settled the area are largely gone now, scattered in forced migration through difficult decades of political unrest and change. Many of these German-Russians settled on the prairies of North Dakota, the Northern Plains, and western Canadian prairie provinces.

One of those families is the Kutchurganers, who lived in south Russia before journeying to the prairies of North America. The stories are told by the descendants of these pioneers who settled on the prairies of North Dakota and Saskatchewan: Monsignor Joseph Senger, Christina Gross Jundt, Helen Feist Krumm, Dr. Adam Giesinger, Father Thomas Welk, Theresa Kuntz Bachmeier, Barbara Schneider Risling, Ron Volk, Colleen Zeiler, Debra Marquart, Mary Ebach and Clara Ebach.

The award-winning documentary series is a project that shares resources from the North Dakota State University Libraries' Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, available at Production funding was provided by the Germans from Russia Cultural Preservation Foundation, the NDSU Libraries' Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Monsignor Joseph Senger and the members of Prairie Public.

Executive producers of the documentary are Bob Dambach and Michael Miller, and the documentary was written by Dona Reeves-Marquardt and Lewis R. Marquardt.

Prairie Public Broadcasting, headquartered in Fargo, is a non-profit organization and community licensee that provides public television services throughout North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, southern Manitoba, and parts of Montana and South Dakota, and public radio service to North Dakota. In addition to broadcasting services, Prairie Public Broadcasting provides a wide range of educational and technological services to communities and individuals across its coverage area.

To order a copy of this documentary, visit grhc/order/tapes/ kutschurgan.html or call 701.231.6596.

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