The Heimat Abroad: The Boundaries of Germanness
Edited by Krista O'Donnell, Renate Bridenthal and Nancy
University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2005,
336 pages, softcover.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to provide
this important book, The Heimat Abroad: The Boundaries of Germanness.
Dr. Renate Bridenthal, one of the editors, did considerable research
with the archives of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection,
NDSU Libraries, Fargo.
Germans have been one of the most mobile and dispersed populations
on earth. Communities of German speakers, scattered around the globe,
have long believed they could recreate their homeland wherever they
moved, and that their enclaves could remain truly German.
The Heimat Abroad is the first book to examine the problem of Germany's
long and complex relationship to ethnic Germans outside its national
borders. Beyond defining who is German and what makes them so, the
book reconceives German identity and history in global terms and
challenges the nation state and its borders as the sole basis of
Dr. Renate Bridenthal is Professor Emeritus of History, Brooklyn
College of the City University of New York. In her chapter, "Germans
from Russia: The Political Network of a Double Diaspora," she
writes: These are the Russian Germans, transplanted farmers whose
origin was in the crowded Southwest German states in the eighteenth
century but whose paradise and souls' Heimat became the Russian
steppe, a paradise lost after a century and resought on the plains
and pampas of North and South America."
Bridenthal covers in her chapter: 1) "Johannes Schleuning,
1879-1962: God of the Volk: The Church Connection"; 2) "Karl
Stumpp, 1898-1982: The Family as Volk: Genealogy"; 3) "The
Sallet Family and the Dakota Freie Presse: News of the
Volk"; 4) "Emma Schwabenland Haynes, 1907-1984: The Circle
Closes." In her Notes Section, Bridenthal provides an impressive
list of 115 bibliographic entries for documentation of her research
Review by Edna Boardman