An Epic Novel: Steppes of Russia, My Country, My Home
By Shirley Wegner Nitschke
Published and edited by HEIMAT, 4030 Highway 281 Southeast, Jamestown,
North Dakota, 2001, 417 pages, softcover.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce
this new book, Heimat, An Epic Novel: Steppes of Russia, My Country,
My Home, by Shirley Wegner Nitschke.
The author was born and raised on a farm near Alfred, ND, graduating
from Jamestown High School.
The back cover of the book includes the following: "Vladimir,
a Russian, is in New York seeking the German woman, Helga, whose
facial beauty and deep blue eyes have haunted him the past several
years. The two of them had very few private moments during her sojourn
in his country.
Life on the steppes of Russia was difficult for the Germans. Vladimir
learned from his observations of these strong willed people, and
as a young lad he desired to be one of them. However, it was not
in the image of the Crown that any native was to become personally
involved with the Germans. He does not know of another people who
gave more to their life's work on the steppes than this group of
people. He salutes them for their efforts."
Nitschke writes in the Foreword: "For years, I was a member
of that group, until I decided to research the people known as the
Germans from Russia.
My grandparents lived in Germany and migrated to Russia. In 1909,
my grandparents left Alt Posttal, Bessarabia, Russia and migrated
I decided to write of what I imagined their life was like, in Germany
and Russia, and their final destination - America. Once I was finished,
I realized what an amazing story I had. I desire to share it with
you in the character of Helga and her family.
It is a story of the Germans in the nineteenth century. The Germans
who chose to make the trip to Russia, and the Russian-Germans who
came to America and settled in North Dakota. It is the story of
hope, survival, conviction, determination, and innovation. It is
the story of an individual, a family, of three groups, and three
Nitschke continues to write: "My message to the readers is
from the heart. It is a way for me to organize my thoughts, bring
perspective into the life of a German from Russia, and leave a living
document for posterity."
Book review by Beverly
Book review by Edna Boardman
Mullally, Sonia. "Author
to Speak on her Book About Germans From Russia:
April 3 Event at Otter Tail is Free of Charge
and Open to the Public." Pierce County Tribune, 29 March 2003, 3.