Posted on Mon, 01/03/2022 - 01:52pm

By Michael M. Miller

Father Thomas Welk, Wichita, KS, grew up on a farm 11 miles directly east of Strasburg, ND. He translated an important work by Johannes Brendel, “Aus Deutschen Kolonien im Kutschurganer Gebiet,” or “The German Colonies in the Kutschurgan Region.”  The original translations were published in a series in “Heritage Review” from April 1979 to December 1981.

Johannes Brendel was born in 1874 in the Catholic village of Selz, Kutschurgan District. He had six brothers and three sisters. He completed a teacher course in Grossliebental, near Odessa, Ukraine. In Saratov, Volga Region, he had the first German publishing house. In 1918, he settled in the German-occupied city of Odessa. In 1927, Brendel immigrated to Bismarck, ND, where he worked at the “Dakota Rundschau,” a German newspaper. Of particular value were Brendel’s writings that described the folklore and customs of his home ancestral villages in the Kutschurgan District. The following are excerpts from Johannes Brendel’s writing as translated by Fr. Thomas Welk.

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