Wedding in the Darkness
By Ronald J. Vossler
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota, 2008, 57 pages, softcover.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce the publication of Ron Vossler’s seventh book, Wedding in the Darkness.
The book, subtitled Three Accounts from Collectivization and the Great Terror, 1928-1938, is based on several hundreds of hours of survivor interviews, secret police reports, and numerous personal letters sent from Soviet Ukraine to the Dakotas in the 1930s.
The author, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks is a recent appointee to the International Commission of the Ukrainian World Congress.
Vossler’s latest book draws on some of the same material as the documentary We’ll Meet Again in Heaven --- aired on Prairie Public Broadcasting and other Public Broadcasting stations.
The picture that clearly emerges from these accounts --- one details the torture and execution of German Colonists in 1937; another focuses on the brutal expulsion of the Kulaks, the supposedly wealthy class --- is how Marxist tactics at the village level, including Committees of the Poor, were instrumental in the wholesale repression in ethnic German villages between the Bug and Dniester Rivers in the former Soviet Union.
Vossler’s research trip to Ukraine in May, 2008, for his forthcoming book German Ghosts, focused in part on the role of self-protection units from ethnic German villages in mass murder of Jews in 1941-1942. In demand on the lecture circuit for his German dialect humor routine, Vossler is also known for his expertise on the issue of the ethnic Germans in the Dakotas and Ukraine.
Review of the book by Edna Boardman