Marienberg: Fate of a Village
Marienberg: Schicksal eines Dorfes

By Johann Bollinger and Janice Huber Stangl

Edited by Harold M. Ehrman. Published by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota, 2000, revised edition 2003, 365 pages, softcover or hardcover. English and German text.


The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce this important publication of Marienberg: Fate of a Village by Johann Bollinger, Wüstenrot, Germany, and Janice Huber Stangl, Sterling, Virginia, a native of Bowdle, South Dakota.

Johann Bollinger was born in Marienberg. He lived there until he entered the Odessa Pedagogical Institute in 1935. He taught in the Zaporozhye (Saporosche) area until he was drafted into the German army in 1944. He was badly wounded and spent one year in the hospital. When he was discharged in 1946, he moved to Baden-Wuerttemburg, at Vaihingen an der Enz. For a year and a half, he worked as a laborer in building construction for 19 pfennings an hour.

Even though he was trained as a teacher in German and Russian, he had to take the teachers' examination to obtain his teaching certificate in Germany in 1947. His first teaching post was in Talheim bei Heilbronn. His last post was at Wuestenrot at the elementary and high school where he was the master teacher and later the principal. He was an educator for over 30 years. He retired in 1983 to his home in Wuestenrot.

Johann started working on his Marienberg chronicle in the early 1950s. He sent a copy of his work to Dr. Karl Stumpp in Tuebingen in 1956. It remained unpublished until 1993, when Johann printed a limited private edition for distribution to some of his fellow Marienbergers in Germany.

Janice Huber Stangl was born on a homestead near Bowdle, South Dakota. Her paternal ancestors came to America from Glueckstal and Kassel; her maternal ancestors came from Nesselrode and Neu-Beresina. She attended Bowdle schools for 12 years, and went to Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She taught elementary school and music for grades 1-12 in Selby and Dupree, South Dakota, and Gordon, Nebraska. She retired from public teaching when she had her children; she then privately taught piano lessons.

Janice is a member of AHSGR, GRHS, and GCRA. Her interest in Germans from Russia research encouraged her and her husband, Tom, to take the Journey to the Homeland Tour in 1998 to Ukraine, Moldova and Trans-Dnestr, to visit villages of her ancestors. The tour included a day at the Bundestreffen in Stuttgart, Germany. It was there she met her Seefried cousins, whom her family presumed had died in WWII, because all contact had been lost since the late 1920s. The cousins gave her a copy of the Marienberg chronicle, which she wanted to share with family members in America. The cousins introduced Janice to Johann Bollinger, author of the chronicle. Hence the translation of a 40 page book to English, led to more research, and is now a book of almost 400 pages!

The book is based on a chronicle of this daughter colony of the Glueckstal group of villages written by Johann Bollinger. The volume also includes genealogical data from the EWZ (German resettlement) records which relate to residents of the village in 1944, when they were forced to flee and began their trek west to Occupied Poland.

The newly released book, Odessa Martyrology, lists the fate of thousands of men and women from the Odessa region, during the Terror Years of Stalin. It was used by Thomas Stangl and Harold Ehrman to determine the fate of the Marienbergers who were taken away (verschleppt) in 1936-1938. The information has been included in the Marienberg book.

In addition, letters which were sent to North America and published in German language newspapers, have been transcribed and translated to English, by Homer Rudolf and Janice Huber Stangl. These are of historical importance, as they describe the difficulties and the plight of our relatives in Ukraine during the starvation years from World War I to the early 1930s.

Through all the hardships, there was still humor. Some letters have "tongue in cheek" humor and clever adages. Several letters sent to America were humorous stories written in Bergdorf dialect. Stories of brauching (faith healing), strong women, mischievous boys, and raucous fests, tell us that they truly are our people (Unsere Leute).

Several private, previously unpublished letters from Marienberg, which were sent to American families and shared with GCRA and the author, are also included.

This volume is for all who have an interest in our Germans from Russia families, whether or not their ancestors lived in Marienberg. The letters portray what was happening in all of Ukraine and other states of the former USSR during this historical period.

The following is a partial list of "Russian" villages mentioned: Alt-Posttal, Balitzki (Saratow), Balta, Bergdorf, Birsula, Glueckstal, Grekowo, Hoffnungstal, Kassel, Mardarowka, Moina, Nesselrode, Neudorf, Odessa, Okna, Perekrestowo, Seebach, Sofiental, Tregrady (Friedenstal), Tschubovka, Post/Wamske Post, Wischina--and many more.

Localities mentioned in Siberia/USSR: Kazakhstan, Kustanai, Perwomaiski, Sverdlovsk, Tashkent, Ural Mountains, Uzbekistan. Canada includes: Alberta, Burstall, Eva, Hilda, McLain, Winnipeg, Woolchester. In the United States included are California, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Washington.

Towns in South Dakota are: Aberdeen, Bison, Bowdle, Dale, Eureka, Fairfax, Frederick, Greenway, Hosmer, Java, Long Lake, Menno, Parkston, and Roscoe. Towns in North Dakota are: Alfred, Burnstad, Denhoff, Gackle, Hebron, Heil, Jamestown, Streeter, Turtle Lake and Zeeland. Towns in Montana are: Circle, Glendive, Marsh, Paris, Terry, and Watkins.

A partial list of surnames: Raile, Ahl, Aipperspach, Bader, Bender, Bieber, Bollinger, Bonnet, Dietrich, Dobler, Dockter, Eichelberg, Eider, Eisenbeiss, Elsaesser, Erlenbush, Faas, Fauth, Fischer, Foede, Geib, Georg, Goehring, Graff, Haller, Herring, Hausauer, Haux, Hettich, Heyne, Hilt, Hoffer, Hoffmann, Hohenaecker, Hoepfer, Huber, Huft, Jenner, Jesser, Kaul, Keim, Keller, Kessler, Kirschenmann, Klein, Klipfel, Knorr, Kolb, Kranzler, Kurle, Laemmle, Laut, Leicht, Leno, Lippert, Maier/Mayer, Martin, Matthies, Merkel, Metzger, Moessner, Nagel, Neiffer, Opp, Pleinis, Rath, Rau, Reiser, Rieker/Ricker/Rieger/Ruecker, Ritter, Rosin, Sandmayer, Schaeffer, Schaible, Scheuffele, Schimke (Pastor), Schmidt, Schnabel, Schock, Schumacher, Seefried, Spitzer, Stiegelmaier, Stotz/Staatz, Stroh, Teske, Trefz, Veil, Voegele, Wagner, Weiss, Wolf and Zweygardt.

Janice Huber Stangl Johann Bollinger

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Marienberg: Fate of a Village

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