Journey to the Homeland Tour 1999 Photos

Journey to the Homeland Tour
Sponsored by the North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo

Photographs by Ken Grenz, Spring Hill, Kansas

Photos - Set 1

In Alt-Postal, the old German Lutheran Church still stands. It was used as a community center during the Soviet Era, and now a Baptist congregation worships in the building.
Ken Grenz in front of home determined on the 1905 platte as the Johann Scherbenske home. Ken's great-great grandfather, Elias Scherbenske, was born in Alt-Postal, perhaps at this location.
The current resident of the once Johann Scherbenske property proudly demonstrating her large hof keller (root cellar).
Richard Olenburg and wife with Ken Grenz. The Olenburgs re-located to this re-settlement from Kazakhstan about seven years ago. The re-settlement is on the edge of Peterstal (Liebental Enclave) located near Odessa, Ukraine.
Re-settlement housing at the edge of Peterstal for ethnic Germans coming from Kazakhstan, Siberia and other locations in the former Soviet Union.
A typical German house in the community of Peterstal. We learned that the homes in Peterstal do not date farther back than the 1900s. German houses are characterized by their steep roof pitch, long and narrow structure, and one or two small windows in the gable. The back side generally has few windows.
An old German public building, perhaps the German church, is being redeveloped into an Orthodox church in Peterstal.
Lilac bushes at the German cemetery thought to be that of Annental. German cemeteries can be spotted by lilac bushes.
Ruins of the large Catholic church at Selz (Kutschurgan Enclave).
A marker at the Tepliz cemetery honoring the colonists and settlers 1817 - 1940. The markers was placed by Bessarabian Germans living in Germany.
"Hier ruhen im Gott..." (Here rest in God...), a very weathered limestone marker in the cemetery at Guldendorf. Guldendorf residents acquired the limestone for buildings leaving large tunnels which led to the freshwater estuary nearby. The tunnels were used as wine cellars.
Jeanette Schroeder Grenz, Jan Neuharth Gruhn, Dean Sane, and Dr. Ralph Tarnasky inside the ruins of the church in Selz (Kutschurgan Enclave), near Odessa, Ukraine.
Ruins of the large former Catholic church at Mannheim (Kutschurgan Enclave). Some churches as this were simply closed and allowed to deteriorate during the Soviet Era.
Rev. Allen Wagner (above) helps tie yarn on quilts made by his English Lutheran Church's ladies group. (Photo by Ervin Schielke, Beulah, ND)
Ukrainian orphange residents proudly display the quilts they received as gifts from North Dakota "grandmas." (Photo by Michael M. Miller, Fargo, ND)
Quilt project coordinators Vi Schielke, Beulah (left), and her sister, Arlene Kruckenberg Knutson, a member of English Lutheran Church in Tuttle, display quilts prepared by their fellow quilting friends. (Photo by Michael M. Miller, Fargo, ND)
Ramona Kasanke, Ardith Thompson and Violet Pulver piece together their quilting squares. (Photos by Ervin Schielke, Beulah, ND)
Left to right: Quilt "Zappers" from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Zap include (from left): Back--Ellen Renner, LaVerna Unruh, Wilma Lang, Marilyn Engbrecht and Ruth Sailer. Front--Ramona Kasanke, Hertha Scott, Alma Buehlink, Ardith Thompson, Violet Pulver and Donna Olson.

Reprinted with permission of the North Dakota REC/RTC Magazine (

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