for Germans from Russia
By Nelly Däs
Translated from German to English by Alex Herzog
Edited by Janice Huber Stangl
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State
University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota, 2003, 170 pages, softcover
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce
the publication of this important new book, Cookbook for Germans
from Russia. Our appreciation is extended to Nelly Däs and
the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland for permission to
translate and publish this valuable work.
Author’s Introduction to the Original Book in German
Between 1763 and 1815, people from very different areas, notably
Schwabia, Baden and Hesse, left their homelands to emigrate to distant
reaches of Russia, but they took their culture along with them.
Customs and traditions are certainly part of culture, but so are
foodways, too. I would imagine that in those days there were few
if any cookbooks, so that most women were, at best, left to collecting
a series of handwritten recipes. In the colonist villages, recipes
were passed on from mother to daughter. And today the Aussiedler
are returning to their original country with recipes that have been
handed down for 200 years.
Colonist women in their various settlement areas would of course
take a “peek into the pots” of their Ukrainian and Russian
neighbors and, in the course of time, adopt certain dishes from
them. During the first few years, however, dishes were prepared
just the way they had been in the old country.
A few of these recipes can be found in some cookbooks, but not
in this complete form. This cookbook is intended, for one, to present
recipes from their former homes to the long-established Germans
from Russia who arrived in Germany soon after the War, and for another,
to furnish the newcomers with recipes from their new home. It was
important to me that the gastronomic culture of our people be mirrored
in the story of their lives. This means, for example, that from
the recipes one can discern the exile locales of the Aussiedler.
For this reason, some recipes herein are at times embedded in small
stories and not necessarily arranged in cookbook format.
Here I wish to thank all those women who participated in making
this cookbook come together. All of the recipes have been tested
by various cooks and should be applied under the following motto:
In cooking, you make use of ... whatever you have on hand!
“To all who make use of this book, my best wishes for fun
in trying the recipes and for successful outcomes!”
- Nelly Däs
About the Author
Nelly Däs was born on January 8, 1930 in Friedental, Ukraine
(at that time, also called Russia, especially by Germans living
there). Her farmer ancestors had migrated in 1811 from the village
of Friedrichsfeld near Heidelberg to the Black Sea region. During
the initial years of the Stalinist ethnic cleansing and terror activities,
when the first German-Russians were deported to Siberia, her family
decided in 1935 to flee toward the West. Their wanderings and flight
was to last as many as ten years, and Nelly eventually ended up
living close to her family’s origins in West Germany. In two
books, Nelly Däs has encapsulated the stresses and deprivations,
as well as adventurous impressions, of that eventually successful
flight to freedom.
Once she took up writing, Nelly eventually became the best known
German-Russian author in Germany. A complete list of her books is
available at her own homepage: www.NellyDaes.de.
Nelly has also received several awards from public and governmental
cultural organizations, such as the state of Baden-Württemberg,
from the Red Cross, and from the Landsmannschaft.
About the Translator
Alex Herzog was born in 1938 in Lichtenfeld, Ukraine, to German
descendants of farmer immigrants from Germany. With his parents
and siblings he was transplanted, between 1944 and 1947, from the
Ukraine to Poland, Berlin, East Germany, then to West Germany. He
began his higher education in Fulda, Germany and completed his BA,
MA and ABD in mathematics after the family emigrated to the US in
1953. Having retired in 1993 from a long career as programmer and
manager with IBM, he is now a freelance translator and lives in
Boulder, Colorado. He is married to Dr. Nancy Herzog and has two
sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren.
Alex’s translation work includes the book, Flotsam of
World History: The Germans from Russia between Stalin and Hitler,
by R.H. Walth, which he co-translated with his brother, Prof. Dr.
Michael Herzog of Spokane, Washington. In recent years he has provided
volunteer translation work for the Germans from Russia Heritage
Collection, including many articles, brochures, and pamphlets published
on the GRHC website.
“What I like about Nelly’s cookbook is her inclusion
of at times amusing, and at other times very sad and tragic anecdotes,
as well as the descriptions of the Black Sea Germans customs and
folkways - all woven between and around the recipes. Also, the recipes
she presents are more inclusive than the title indicates, because
they stem not only from the Black Sea area, but also from Asia and
About the Editor
Janice Huber Stangl is a Germans from Russia descendant, a native
of South Dakota, an author of the book, Marienberg: Fate of
a Village, a member of the Board of Directors of Germans from
Russia Heritage Society and friend of the author.
“This book contains not only recipes, but also humorous and
heart wrenching anecdotes from the German Russian diaspora. It is
essential addition to every household."
Cookbook for Germans from Russia
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