Ronald J. Vossler, Narrator and Scriptwriter
Funded by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota, produced by Roadshow Productions, 2006, 30 minutes, DVD
The book, We'll Meet Again in Heaven: Germans in the
Soviet Union Write Their American Relatives: 1925-1927,
is available at this webpage:
This thirty minute documentary is a searing chronicle of a forgotten genocide and a lost people, whose "... misery screams to the heavens." The lost people are the ethnic German minority living in Soviet Ukraine, who wrote their American relatives about the starvation, forced labor, and execution that were almost daily fare in Soviet Ukraine during this period, 1928‑1938.
Ronald J. Vossler
We'll Meet Again in Heaven is part detective‑story, part historical research, and part travelogue. Narrator and scholar Ron Vossler guides the viewer from the small North Dakota town where he found the first letter, down the "blood‑dark corridor of ethnic history" to former German villages in Ukraine and Moldova that were the source of numerous immigrants to the American prairie frontier.
Based on a decade of research, including on‑location footage in Ukraine and Moldova, this film draws upon hundreds of personal letters, written from German villages in Ukraine to the Dakotas, and brought to public attention for the first time. These wrenching personal letters, along with compelling survivor interviews, detail an odyssey of hunger and destruction in Soviet Ukraine. Noted historian Robert Conquest, author of Harvest of Sorrow, has called these letters "...virtually the only absolutely contemporary first‑hand testimony from those actually suffering the famine as they wrote."
Villagers weep " ... hundreds of thousands of gallons of tears, tears, tears." People kill themselves; forced into cattle cars for almost certain death in Siberia, their children taken from them, parents tear the hair from their heads in grief. At night, the regime's secret police gather victims. During the day, collective leaders threaten villagers with starvation and execution if grain quotas aren't met.
This documentary, with its focus on the treatment of the ethnic German minority, helps clarify the Soviet regime's intent to solve aspects of its nationalities problem with depopulation and ethnic cleansing, and also to punish with starvation and forced labor the small landholders in Ukraine for resisting collectivization.
Major funding by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota.
Tobin, Paulette. "A Soviet Genocide With Ties to the Dakotas." Grand Forks Herald, 20 October 2006, C-1 & C-3.
We'll Meet Again in Heaven DVD
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