Media Release
March 15, 2000

Germans from Russia Video Foodways Documentary Featured with "Rugby Premiere" on April 7

"Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia," the new 60-minute documentary is a co-production of Prairie Public Broadcasting and the NDSU Libraries, Fargo, will be shown at the High School Theater on Friday, April 7, 2000, at 7 pm. Following the program, there will be a reception. Honored guests will be persons from Rugby and Balta, ND, featured in the documentary. The event is free and open to the public.

The "Rugby Premiere" is sponsored by the GRHS Heart of America Chapter, the Rugby Chamber of Commerce, Prairie Public Broadcasting, and the NDSU Libraries. Special exhibits from the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo, will be display.

Michael M. Miller, executive producer of the documentary, will make opening remarks. He is Germans from Russia Bibliographer, NDSU Libraries, Fargo. The documentary aired on Prairie Public Television in March.

Over the course of two centuries, wherever fate has swept them, the Germans from Russia have adapted and endured. They have survived famine, wars, drought, prairie fires, and the poverty of frontier life.

From the Russian steppe to the grasslands of Argentina, from the American prairie to the tundra of Siberia, this ethnic group's resourceful self-sufficiency, particularly in the growing and preparation of food for their large families, remains a rich legacy passed through generations.

In German Russian life, "food was love," and prairie mothers who left no records of their lives are remembered daily in the recipes and rituals of food preparation.

"Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia" preserves these memories with vignettes that feed the soul and warms the heart. Share the festivities of the Schmeckfest in Eureka, SD, experience the famous Knoepfla Soup at Kroll's Kitchens in North Dakota, and savor the hearty Schachlika Supper in Richardton, ND.

Visit the kitchens of and reminisce with Theresa Kuntz Bachmeier, Rugby, ND, making Cheese Buttons (Kaseknoepfla); Annie Roesch Larson, Aberdeen, SD, making Easter Bread (Kranz); Sam Brungardt, St. Paul, MN, making Spiced Watermelon Syrup Bread (Pfeffernuesse Brot); Edna Goebel Johnson, Horace, ND, making Knoepfla Soup; Maria Wohn Applehans, Wheatridge, CO, making Grebbel and Schnitzel Soup; Judy Eman Teske & Carol Just Halverson, St. Louis Park, MN, making Wedding Schnapps; Vi Kruckenberg Schielke, Beulah, ND, making Fleischkuechle; Jackie Dohn Maas, Plymouth, MN, making Watermelon Pickles; and the Lipp family of Aberdeen, SD, making Wedding Kuchen.

The documentary production staff includes: Bob Dambach, producer; Ron Vossler, writer and host; John Altenbernd, original music; Dave Geck, Tapio Kube and Gretchen Jenson, assistant producers; Bob Dambach and Michael M. Miller, executive producers.

Major funding for the production was provided by the North Dakota Humanities Council, North Dakota State University Libraries, and the Members of Prairie Public.

Videotape copies of "Schmeckfest" are available through Prairie Public at 1-800-359-6900 or by visiting the Prairie Public website at and clicking on "Prairie Public's General Store." For a limited time, the special video contains bonus video segments in addition to the 60 minute video documentary.

For more information about the foodways documentary including photographs of filming in the Rugby/Balta/Orrin area, Germans from Russia heritage, cookbooks and recipes visit: and

For further information about the Rugby event, contact: Mary Ebach, Rugby (Tel: 701-776-6095) or Michael M. Miller (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail:

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller