In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at the NDSU Libraries
in Fargo reaches out to prairie families and former Dakotans. In
various ways, it affirms the heritage of the Germans from Russia
is an important part of the northern plains culture.
The NDSU Libraries and Prairie Public Television are collaborating
on a groundbreaking one-hour documentary on the Germans from Russia.
The documentary explores the history and culture of this unique
ethnic group. Filming will include the breathtaking footage in the
former German villages and the landscape in southern Ukraine. The
program will premiere on PPTV in early 1999.
PPTV videographers joined the Journey to the Homeland Tours to
Odessa, Ukraine in 1996, 1997 and 1998 for extensive filming. They
traveled widely in North Dakota, to South Dakota and Lincoln, Nebraska
for additional footage. Ron Vossler, University of North Dakota
and a Wishek, N.D. native, is the documentary scriptwriter.
The limited-edition version of the videotape will contain special
footage not seen in the one-hour documentary. Persons need to contact
PPTV before 1 January 1999, to secure this special videotape. For
further information, contact Prairie Public Television, PO Box 3240,
Fargo, ND 58108-3240 Tel: 1-800-359-6900. Watch for announcements
in newspapers for the premiere dates this winter.
In October, PPTV premiered the new documentary, Mennonites of
Manitoba. Sixty thousand Mennonites now live on a fertile band of
land hugging the Canadian American border. Their ancestors immigrated
from the steppes of South Russia (today Ukraine) to the prairies
of Manitoba sharing a similar history of the Dakota Germans from
Russia. In the summer of 1874, a German speaking group of farmers
from Russia began to flow into the virgin prairie of southern Manitoba.
Their dynamic story is shared in Mennonites of Manitoba. This dynamic
video documentary is available by contacting PPTV at 1-800-359-6900.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce
the completion of the forthcoming book, Homeland Book of the
Bessarabian Germans by Albert Kern. The book includes many photographs
and histories of the former Bessarabian German villages. The book
will be of much interest to many Dakotans who have ancestral roots
to these villages. This is one of the most comprehensive research
histories ever published in the English language on the Bessarabian
Germans. Persons wishing to secure the book, can contact GRHC.
The cookbook, Sei Unser Gast: Be Our Guest: A Collection of
German-Russian Recipes continues to be well received. Food traditions
are among our most enduring folkways. The younger generation may
never learn to speak the German dialect of their ancestors, but
being able to prepare favorite dishes from the Old Country is often
another matter. Documenting German-Russian cuisine and foodways
so present and future generations can enjoy their unique culinary
heritage was the purpose behind the cookbook produced by the North
Star Chapter in Minneapolis-St. Paul area of the American Historical
Society of Germans from Russia. Learn how to make Kuchen, Borscht,
Plachinta, Halupsie and many other foods.
GRHC has published Some Wonderful Old Time Recipes from Our
Mothers and Grandmothers. From the Forward by Thelma Bartel
Wiest writes: "This recipe book was compiled in order to preserve
the many old family recipes that are endangered, but which are still
alive in the memories of many family members and, in some case,
also in their kitchens. If, a hundred years from now, some curious,
bright-eyed teenager, rummaging through an old trunk discovers this
book, I hope she enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing
it." Here one finds delightful recipes such as Pfeffernüsse, Borscht/Kraut
Suppe, and Schupf Noodla. GRHC wishes to thank Dr. William and Thelma
Baird Wiest, Portland, OR, for sharing this wonderful recipe book.
The various Germans from Russia groups prepare German dishes quite
differently from the way they are made in Germany. They also adopted
and made uniquely their own Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and Romanian
May I encourage readers to inform me about published cookbooks
featuring ethnic German-Russian recipes and related heritage. We
are also very interested in securing German-Russian related family
histories published. We wish to add these publications to GRHC.
For further information about the collection, the new Bessarabian
German book, the recipe books, the future Germans from Russia television
documentary, PPTV's new Mennonite documentary, the Journey to the
Homeland Tour to Odessa, Ukraine for May 18-31, 1999 and German-Russian
heritage, contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599,
Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu;
GRHC website: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc).