The GRHC works in partnership with Prairie Public to produce the award-winning Germans from Russia Documentary Series. The documentaries include the history, culture, foodways, and music of the Germans from Russia. The GRHC and Prairie Public Radio also produced the Germans from Russia Radio Series based on interviews from the Dakota Memories Oral History Project. 

Below are our television documentaries, click the title for more information or to purchase the DVD:

Women Behind the Plow

Women Behind the Plow (2019)

Women Behind the Plow tells the compelling stories of determined women who settled the North Dakota prairie and of the new generations of women who continue to work on the farm. These women embody the German-Russian expression, “Arbeit macht das Leben suess” – “Work makes life sweet.” The women featured in the documentary have roots in German-Russian country, an area in south-central North Dakota – Emmons, Logan, and McIntosh counties. It’s an area strong on agriculture but even stronger on heritage and stories.

Gutes Essen: Good Eating in German-Russian Country

Gutes Essen: Good Eating in German-Russian Country (2017)

Gutes Essen celebrates the food culture of the Germans from Russia who emigrated to south central North Dakota beginning in the 1880s. Visit the kitchens of 10 local cooks who make strudels, sauerkraut, fleischkuechla, borscht, rahmnoodla, pickled beets, stirum, knoephla soup, and kuchen. The food is great – but the stories are even better.

We (Never) Don’t Forget: Germans from Russia in South America

We (Never) Don’t Forget: Germans from Russia in South America (2015) (Telly Award Winner)

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. Many of these Germans from Russia immigrants to Argentina and Brazil are directly related to families in Canada and the United States. They are a mixture of Black Sea Germans, Volga Germans, Volhynian Germans, Bessarabian Germans, and Mennonite Germans.

At Home in Russia, At Home on the Prairie

At Home in Russia, At Home on the Prairie (2012) (Telly Award Winner)

At Home in Russia, At Home on the Prairie tells the story of the Kutschurganers, who lived in Catholic German villages today near Odessa, Ukraine. Stories are told by the descendants of these pioneers who settled on the prairies of North Dakota and Saskatchewan. This documentary places one’s own family story in a wider human narrative of what it means to be a German from Russia today.

It’s All Earth and Sky

It’s All Earth and Sky (2010) (Telly Award Winner)

In It’s All Earth and Sky, five representative Germans from Russia who attained success and stability share their insights into the process of becoming American. Immigration implies departure as well as arrival. Immigrants require courage and fortitude. Like many others who have come here seeking opportunity, Germans from Russia have suffered and prevailed. Since their background and history is rich in texture, they serve here as a model of assimilation to other ethnic groups in American society.

A Soulful Sound: Music of the Germans from Russia

A Soulful Sound: Music of the Germans from Russia (2005) (Telly Award Winner)

A Soulful Sound: Music of the Germans from Russia blends expert commentary with performances of traditional music from regional talent. The Germans from Russia maintained their traditional religious music, lullabies and folk songs, their vocal and instrumental music alike. Music is performed by St. Andrew’s Lutheran Centennial Choir (Zeeland, ND); University of Mary Concert Choir (Bismarck, ND); Jamestown College Concert Choir (Jamestown, ND); Young People’s Hutterite Singers (Hawley, MN); Alive Gospel Choir (Kulm/Lehr, ND); James Valley Singers (Jamestown, ND); Centennial Men’s Choir (Harvey, ND); and the Napoleon/Kintyre folk singers.

Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe Children of the Prairie

The Germans from Russia Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie (1999) (Telly Award Winner)
Prairie Crosse, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains (2002) (Telly Award Winner)
Dual DVD

Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe Children of the Prairie is the story of this immigrant group as agricultural pioneers on several continents whose quest for land and peace shaped them into a distinctive and enduring ethnic group. This documentary about the history and culture of the Germans from Russia incorporates interviews with descendants, and also includes dramatic footage by Prairie Public videographers of the first Journey to the Homeland Tour in May, 1996, in the former German villages near Odessa, Ukraine.

Prairie Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains follows the traditional iron art form that crossed continents and oceans and survived famine and war – to be reborn on the Great Plains of Canada and the United States. The documentary evokes these stories and memories of the Germans from Russia, a frugal and tenacious people whose blacksmiths used wagon-wheel rims and scrap metal to fashion markers for the graves of the dead.

Germans from Russia Food Pantry

Germans from Russia Food Pantry
Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia (2000) (Telly Award Winner)
Recipes from Grandma’s Kitchen: Volume I and Volume II (2002, 2003)

Prairie Public combined three documentaries to create Germans from Russia Food Pantry. Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia documents the preparation of food for large families. In German-Russian life, “food was love,” and prairie mothers who left no record of their lives are remembered daily in the recipes and rituals of food preparations. This documentary demonstrates how traditional foods, savory recipes, and folk memories are important in the history and the culture of the Germans from Russia community. Also included in the documentary are Recipes from Grandma’s Kitchen: Volume I and Volume 2, which provides detailed steps for cooking traditional German-Russian recipes.