Dedication of the Glueckstal Monument
By Margaret Aman Freeman, Coordinator, Glueckstal
Association (GCRA, www.glueckstal.net),
Redondo Beach, California
The dedication of the Glueckstal monument in Glinoye, Moldova (the current name of the Glueckstal village) was a huge success! Fifteen Americans attended the ceremony on May 24, 2002, to commemorate the presence of our ancestors in the villages of Glueckstal, Neudorf, Bergdorf, and Kassel.
The monument itself is a black granite stone, about 40 inches high. It is placed on a rise at the corner of the school yard, with a backdrop of evergreen trees, and can be seen from two streets. The text on the front is in Russian, and the text on the back is in German. Underneath, on both sides, is written "Glueckstal Colonies Research Association, May 24, 2002," in English.
The dedication took place after a program presented by the Glinoye School, under the direction of the principal, and her assistant in charge of the Glueckstal School Museum, located in the school, which has an extensive display on the history of the village. The school pageant, written for the dedication, included readings, songs and dances telling the village history, and the story of its inhabitants through the years. The fourth graders presented a folk dance, older children presented a dance representing the ghosts of the valley and the long deceased ancestors, and another dance of the mingling of the ghosts with those currently living in the village. There was also a dance showing the conflict of good and evil in the colonies over time. All in all, the program showed the cycles of life and death, joys and tribulations, and the journey of life.
Those present for the occasion included Mayor Strigunov, representatives of the Moldova/Transdniester Education Department and Historical Archives, reporters from two TV stations, newspapers and a radio station. The Glueckstal school is the first school in the region to establish a museum to show their village history, and also the one of first schools to have a monument to honor their ancestors. Because of this the head of education and the head of archives for the state of Moldova also attended.
Foreign guests were: Oskar and Helma SiefriedEberle, from Germany, born in the region, Roger and Elaine JobKlusman, Tim and Judy Klusman, Bernardine Lang Kuhn, Michael M. Miller, Gwen Pritzkau, Dr. Harley Roth, Thomas and Janice Huber Stangl, Dr. Ken and Cathy Vogele, Bob and Margaret Aman Freeman, and Prarie Public Television (North Dakota) videographer Bob Dambach.
Margaret Aman Freeman and Michael Miller raised the sheet covering the monument, after which the school children and townspeople came forward to place peonies at the base of the monument. At the conclusion of the dedication, Pastor Vladimir Moser from the Tiraspol Lutheran Church consecrated the stone and blessed the sacred ground on which it stood. This location also contains human remains unearthed at the site of the old German cemetery of Glueckstal. The present school was built on the site of the old German cemetery.
The group attending were much gratified by the day's events. The villagers hosted the visitors with lodging and their hospitality was very much appreciated by all. To show their appreciation, the visitors took up a collection which was used to purchase a television and videorecorder, along with educational tapes for the school in Glinnoye.
It was the unstinting effort of Pavel Pratchuk, Dr. Serge Yelizarov, and Michael M. Miller that brought this project to fruition. All members of the Glueckstal Colonies Research Association extend their gratitude.