German Russians Recall School Memories in Radio Program

September 2010

Organizers of the Dakota Memories Oral History Project, in cooperation with Prairie Public Broadcasting, will air a new radio program titled "German-Russian School Memories.”

The program will air on Thursday, October 14, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and features a variety of vivid memories about grade school – memories of recess games, traveling to school, the teachers, language barriers and the one-room schoolhouse. The narrators grew up on the Northern Plains in the regions of South Dakota, North Dakota and Saskatchewan.

North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wayne Sanstead, has added scholarly commentary, providing context for these memories with his knowledge of education on the Northern Plains.

Listeners will hear memories such as Theresa (Meier) Eissinger’s recollection of attending a country school. She tells of one particular cold winter day when her brother rode horse and pulled her and her little sister on a stoneboat. It made for quite an adventure when they hit a steep snow bank and the two girls slid off taking the hay, blankets and dinner pails with them.

Public interest in documenting and preserving German-Russian ethnic identity inspired the launch of the project in 2005. Since then, organizers have been traveling the Northern Plains, gathering stories and documenting family relationships and childhood memories of second and third generation Germans from Russia.

The NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection and Prairie Public provide major funding for the program. A CD of the radio program will be available for $20. To pre-order the CD, contact Acacia Stuckle, special collections associate, at 1-6596 or

The program can be heard on 90.5 FM in Bismarck, 89.9 FM in Dickinson, 91.7 FM in Devils Lake, 91.9 FM in Fargo, 89.3 FM in Grand Forks, 91.5 FM in Jamestown, 88.9 FM in Minot and 89.5 FM in Williston.

The Dakota Memories Oral History Project is a privately funded project sponsored by the NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection. For more information, contact the NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at (701) 231-6596 or visit

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