GRHC Oral History Interviews

GRHC staff and volunteers have conducted oral histories for over 30 years and include fascinating life stories such as Mathilda (Schlenker) Dockter of Streeter, ND, who was interviewed at age 105 in July 2000; Sister Reinhardt Hecker interviewed in November 1993, who was born in 1901 and immigrated from the village of München, Beresan District, South Russia with her family to a farm near Belfield, ND; and Fern (Renner) Welk, wife of bandleader Lawrence Welk, who was interviewed in May and July 1994.

Click here to access and listen to our digitized oral history interviews.

Dakota Memories Oral History Project (DMOHP)

The Dakota Memories Oral History Project contains 199 oral histories and associated materials. The project’s mission is to preserve the history and heritage of second- and third-generation Germans from Russia. Interviews focusing on childhood memories and family relationships were conducted in North Dakota, South Dakota and southern Saskatchewan from 2005 to 2009. In short, they chronicle what it was like growing up German-Russian on the Northern Plains.

Click here to access and watch digitized interviews and view related materials from this project.

Journey to the Homeland Oral History Project (JHOHP)

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is excited to announce a new Oral History Project focusing on the Journey to the Homeland Tour. This project consists of three parts and will be led by a GRHC graduate assistant.

We will reach out to tour members and conduct interviews with participants while they experience their ancestral history. If you have been on a tour in the past and would like to learn more about the project, please contact

Oral History Resources

Below are resources that were developed by the GRHC for our oral history projects and may be helpful for conducting your own interviews.

Sample Questions from the Dakota Memories Oral History Project.