Produced by Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo, North Dakota, 2015, 60 minutes, DVD.
Like North America before the turn of the 1900s, South America was a land of opportunity - a magnet of immigration from Europe and Asia. Many of these immigrants were directly related to Germans from Russia in the United States and Canada. They were a mixture of Black Sea Germans, Volga Germans, Volhynian Germans, Bessarabian Germans and Mennonite Germans.
The wanderers to South America were no longer guided by the North Star in the nightly sky; rather, they found the Southern Cross and a climate exactly in reverse to what they knew. Their traditions are the traditions of North America - their culture, our culture, their music, our music.
We (Never) Don't Forget Germans from Russia in South America examines the history, language, music, religion, foodways, and culture of this ethnic group and chronicles how these traditions are flourishing across generations.
Producer: Bob Dambach - Editor: Andy Garske - Narrator: Dan Michaels - Scriptwriters: Dona Reeves-Marquardt, Lewis R. Marquardt - Executive Producers: Bob Dambach, Michael M. Miller - Cover Design: Les Skoropat - Closed Captioning: Armour Captioning.
Funding provided in part by Arthur E. Flegel, Maria Kaiser MacTavish, Michael M. Miller, Donald C. Schenk, Eric J. Schmaltz, and by the members of Prairie Public.
World Premiere Brochure, 15 July 2015, Heritage Center, Bismarck, North Dakota.
"We (Never) Don't Forget Germans from Russia in South America is simply astounding. Its executive producers, Bob Dambach of Prairie Public Broadcasting and Michael Miller of NDSU Libraries Germans from Russia Heritage Collection along with their respective staffs and volunteers have once again crafted a first-rate video production. For having privately dismissed the undertaking as pointless and a waste of resources, this writer is now eating one gigantic platter of crow.
Alone, the Brazilian/Argentine landscape is riveting, and Dambach and crew have masterfully captured it and its people at work and play. Huge credit goes to Miller's staff for assembling and translating a mountain of voice recordings and written testimony into a coherent script. The collaborative result is of profound educational value with a seamless story line told in a way that is as good as it gets.
South American GRs do what their North American counterparts have done and still do but instead of the North Star as their grounding force, they look upon the Southern Cross for guidance."
-- James T. Gessele, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"I had the great privilege to attend the premiere of the documentary We (Never) Don't Forget Germans from Russia in South America at the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Convention in Billings, Montana this month.
The story of the Germans from Russia who migrated to Brazil and Argentina is very well crafted showing the rich traditions and culture of these settlers who share so much with those of us living in the United States and Canada. It's clear that the excellent work by Michael Miller, Bob Dambach and the entire team was labor of love.
Watching spellbound with hundreds of other North American German Russian descendants, I found myself a little envious that the Germans from Russia in South America have preserved so much more of their language, foodways and music. I've now added a trip to these countries on my "must do" list!
We all owe a debt of gratitude to Prairie Public Broadcasting and all the individuals who have made this documentary (and many other Germans from Russia documentaries) possible. Thank you."
--Steve Schreiber, Portland, Oregon
Viewer's Guide, R M H Gueldner.
We (Never) Don't Forget Germans from Russia in South America
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