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Cookbook 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 Language
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 Germany.”

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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