“Customs and Traditions not Taught in School”

Presentation by Brother Placid Gross

Germans from Russia Heritage Society Convention

Pierre, South Dakota

July 8, 1994

Transcribed by Jane D. Trygg

PG: This is a food and folklore workshop. I am Brother Placid Gross, from Richardton, North Dakota. I am from Napoleon originally. I grew up south of Napoleon. I am the chairman for the folklore committee. I am not really sure what I am supposed to be doing as a chairman of the folklore committee. I have been at this job for many years, and the organization has never really told me what my job is or what I am supposed to be doing. There are several people on the committee but we have never had any meetings.

One lady that is the main, who does a lot is Alice Waltry’s, who lives in Seattle, Washington. Of course, we do not really get together. We have corresponded but we have never actually met. Well, folklore is a combination of many things. One can say that folklore is traditions or customs that are not taught in school. Something that we do, that we learn, on our own or from our family that was not taught in school.

And of course folklore changes, like our dancing or our recipes, it changes with what is available with what our surroundings are, like our recipes, our foods with 49 kinds of noodles. But then it might change over here because of how the flour has changed from the old country. The flour works differently so we have to bake our bread a little bit differently. So that is how it is with our clothing, our games, and our songs.

It keeps evolving all the time, but we still keep trying to preserve the old traditions like Dr. Sally Wagner talked in the opening. In the key note address, it is important to keep our traditions alive. Many ethnic groups are keeping their traditions alive better than we are. The Native Americans, the Indians, tell their stories, and there are a lot of people publishing their information. Those stories are very interesting, but they are not true stories and they are not whatever, they are just legends.

So we have also have a right to keep our stories alive, and keep talking about our stories, talking about our history. And I would really like to encourage you to do whatever you can to record these types of things. I have some sheets to pass out, I guess I forgot to bring enough along, but afterwards remind me to pass out those sheets. It is a form, which helps you to write in a story or something like that. So remind me if I forget to pass them out because I have a tendency to forget things.

Some of the more common aspects of folklore are our recipes, the way we cook our food. That is the easiest one to keep alive, and that is one that we are still doing, because we have cookbooks available. The other one is the songs. Every year at the convention we have this German singing, but it seems like every year we have less German singing and more English singing. More English songs. So we are gradually forgetting those things also, because we forget what the words mean. Clothing styles that can probably be preserved because we have pictures.

We have pictures of the old time weddings and clothing so in the future we can make clothing that resembles like it was. But the things that are going to be lost, if we don’t do something is the games, children’s games, adult games, games that we used to play. And the toys, homemade toys. Yesterday I showed homemade toys, I don’t know if I will have time, to do that again. Wedding traditions, the way things were done in the past.

That would be good for someone to write that down. It would be nice to know how you did it. Each family probably had their own wedding traditions, but that’s ok. It would be good if each family would write down their own ways of celebrating the wedding. If you did it one way, that doesn’t mean that it is not a good way. Whatever way you did it is the correct way, for your area your religion, and your family. How baptisms were done, and how names were chosen after certain ancestors. If you were named after whatever.

Those are all things that should be written down. I really want to encourage you to remember those traditions to write them down or at least tell them to your children, talk into a tape recorder. Those sheets that I passed out, are available at the office in Bismarck. We want to collect the idea, and to collect a lot of these traditions on paper. And in the future we can publish them in the Heritage Review as we need things to publish to fill out the Heritage Review.

They can take some of them and publish them. So it is a good idea to have them on file there in Bismarck. And you are not going to get rich doing folklore. I am not making any money. I am just doing this because I enjoy doing it. And of course you realize there are a lot of people within this organization who contribute a lot. Like the people who go to the meetings in Bismarck four times a year. They don’t get paid, and the President of the organization doesn’t get paid anything.

And they are really contributing a lot of time and money, telephone calls, and correspondents who are donating a lot. So all of us should be doing something. Even though you don’t have the time to write it down, take the time. OK, now at the convention in Aberdeen two years ago, I put on a workshop on Christmas. I had quite a few people helping me. How we celebrated Christmas Eve in my area. It went over pretty good so they asked me to do a workshop in Fargo the next year.

So I had several people helping me and we talked about children’s games, about proverbs, home remedies, poems. Just like yesterday we had a lady talking about home remedies, now today we will have something a little bit different. Now last year, Edwin Iszler talked about German temperaments. Maybe if you can get ready and help me for the next convention if they ask me to do it. If they want to do anything, but it would be good to have somebody to come up with things.

I think I will have one of the ladies come up here now, so I can think about what I want to talk about next. I want to introduce you to a lady who is from Dickinson. She belongs to the Deutsche Leute Chapter. Elsie Huether, she is going to talk about “Scheren Schniten” (scissor cuttings), an old custom. Elsie has been a member for so long. You were probably a charter member. Oh ok, Elsie was a charter member and she has gone to many, many conventions. And she is very knowledgeable about the German Russian history. Ok, she will have to introduce herself, or explain what she is doing. So I guess I will just turn it over to Elsie.

EH: I am caught a little bit off guard. They told me the workshops would be the same as they were yesterday, and I thought then they would only be in the afternoon. So just a few minutes ago, I found out. Here we are. So went out to the car and got my things. Scheren Schniten, is a very old hobby you might say of the Germans from Russia. It was brought into the United States by the Pennsylvanian Dutch. I have many patterns here.

We are not as much on time as everyone else is. I will read opening here, quick like. “And through the centuries the art of paper cutting has been taught in many cultures. The earliest cuttings were found in the orient. The orient seems to have many, many crafts that they did in all kinds. Ukrainian eggs were actually German eggs. Pennsylvanian Dutch also brought the scissor cutting back to the United States. And just many, many artistic cultures developed in the orient.

As trade increased into European countries, the folk- art emerged there as well. The German settlers in Pennsylvania brought this art to America in the 1600s already. Because it was a craft that we could use and preserve the scarce supply of paper in a beautiful way, the art of “Scheren Schniten”, or scissor cutting, became remains a notable German folk-art. The parchment was used and unstained. They obviously used a lot of parchment. This is one form of parchment, and you can buy it and (102) shops. And these are used for many different things for writing and what not.

German scissor cutting was black on white, or white on black. Never colors. Sometimes they would stain parchment with tea. They would take about three teaspoons of instant tea, in this day and age, to a cup of hot water, and dab it with a little piece of cotton or cloth until it was the desired color. Usually they did this after it was cut. And then as you cut it, it will be come wrinkled, perhaps. Then you can iron it, with an iron. Be careful and make sure it is not too hot, but you can iron it.

One advantage to the art of scissor craft is the many things you can do with your cuttings once they are cut. You can mount them on a cardboard cutting to hang on the wall. You can even spray paint around them. You can even use colors these days, although the Pennsylvanian Dutch did not. You can make your own stationary with it. Make a pattern, put it on cardboard, and have a printer print up some stationary for you. Make envelopes, little note cards, folders, they are very beautiful that way. Ok, I am going to try and cut some for you.

To bad we don’t have an overhanging mirror so you could better see it. I brought three scissors. You can get special scissors for paper cutting. But before you buy a scissor, and the regular paper cutting scissors are very expensive. I have these on hand, and I did get a good deal the last few years. Take a piece of paper, and sometimes they will not allow you to cut paper with a scissor because paper can dull your scissor very much. But take a piece of paper. You should have complete control over the scissors. Don’t allow the scissor to control you.

So take a piece of paper, and work with it you know, all around, and see if it is comfortable in your hand. This one is quite comfortable in my hand, though I do wish it was a little larger. You will need a little one to puncture holes, if you need to get in to open it up. Scissor cutting was never done with an exact-o knife. Now days it is done with one though. Now, I made a very large, very large copy. We should have gotten a bigger copy to be exact.

Now, I will show you the many things you can do with it. You can buy these books, “Scheren Schniten” almost anywhere. Well, in most craft shops. This is the 12 days of Christmas. It is very beautiful! I wish I could have brought it with me, but I have it in my winter home in Arizona. And it is beautifully done, in a red background with a gold frame done for Christmas. But I keep it up all year long. You can look at these afterwards if you like. You can do many things with it.

If I can quickly get us some. Two angels and you put them on black, and here is another one. This one I like quite well. This is the way it looks when you cut it, fold it in two, sometimes I fold it in four. When you first begin, I would suggest you use tissue paper. It works a little bit easier, when you fold it. It is not as thick. Don’t use Xeroxing paper. I did that the other day. It is almost impossible to control Xeroxing paper. It is too stiff and brittle.

The parchment is a little tough also, but it is more like a rag. And it doesn’t tear as easily and the end results are very beautiful and it lasts much longer. This is, well I Xeroxed this copy so I wouldn’t have to trace so many. But it is only a good idea if you want a copy. Unbelievable, you know it is like the snowflakes you made in school. The parchment is just folded over. You put your pattern on here. Be careful how you put it on.

Make sure you don’t put it on this way, because you may not get the right fold. Then I would suggest, if you do trace your pattern, take a pencil and blacken the area that you will cut. Once you start cutting, you may cut into the wrong area, and then you have it separated. It won’t be together like this. You draw on the back side and then the front side. Where there is no scribbling, will be your front side. I told you I like this one pattern.

You can do many, many things with them. But anyway, fancy girl and a bottle. I did this within 1981 with my granddaughter. She was a dancer at the time. Now, I will show you what you can do. This is copies so it is not as beautiful as the original. And I will show you what you can do with a mat. See how much more beautiful it is? Makes a difference doesn’t it? Ok now, black and white, if the design was white with a black background, it would also be beautiful. See the white frame doesn’t do much.

You take one of these pie shaped designs, and you cut out the middle. It disappeared on me. You could even do that one. Here it is! You cut out the center, enough. Take a snap shot; make a silhouette with the snap shot. You can trace it with a transparent paper of one sort or another. Even wax paper will work. Cut out the center and see the heart shape. Put your girl in there. See you can do many things. This is another granddaughter here picking apples. And I will lay that out a little later. You can do just many, many things. Here is another design. Here is my grandson, in the Pacific Ocean. This way you can personalize it. I made one for my seven grandchildren, my married grandchildren and their spouses and all of them.

I will show you how I worked this one. Trace it like I said, off of a snap shot, but you cannot fold it when you cut it. This is the apple picker. This is the grandson on the ocean. It is kind of hard to find the outlines, and cut them. Here it is on black. Well I had to reverse that black; I did not like it so I had to switch it over. And then you put your frame on it. And this is, and your thing will be like that. I can pass this one around if you want to get a closer look at it.

This is the sun, and this is the waves. After a while, you will catch on. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the scissors. And you can do many, many pictures. I will show you the pictures and then I will get into cutting them a little bit. Here’s a lovely design. I forgot it. You can use napkins, thin napkins. But do not use one that is too thin. I think tissue paper would work better. When I glue this on the paper, the glue shrunk the paper and separated it. Now it looks like it is torn, but it really isn’t.

This is really the first one I did of a grand daughter picking apples. You can see that the paper pulled apart, and the paper shrunk. The better glue is to use rubber cement. And if you have something as fine as this, take your piece of paper, dip it in the rubber cement, and then dab it here and there. Put very little glue on it. If you put glass on it, mat, and it will stay put. These have been done a long time ago already. This one has also separated, has also separated a little bit. This is a very simple one. And then I will let you go through these.

Art supply stores have this type of tracing paper. So you can put it on your, snap shot, and trace it very easily without damaging your snap shot. Stick to your outlines only, and silhouettes. Just enough to show you what is happening, and what is being done and who the character is. And then you can go through this album if you want. There is some of the things that I did. See? I want to show you how I did this one today, hopefully.

Fold it, open it put, and our little dots on here, well if do great big cutting you can use a very fine holed, paper cutter, hole maker, paper punch. But when it is this small, use a knitting needle and large needle and pierce a hole into it. Now this is parchment, and you can feel the texture of it. It is really, almost dragging. It doesn’t tear all that easily. I will pass these around while I am cutting. There are many things here that you can do with them, with the cutting.

Now, let’s see what I did with my pattern here. Here, I do have some pattern copies that you can pick up if you like afterwards. But remember they are Xeroxed. See I shaded them, they are not all shaded. So remember to fold it. Before you cut it so you have two. If you use tissue paper, you can even make four at a time. But I will put them down; I will not be demonstrating this afternoon will I? Because, I don’t think I want to wait if I need to. You can help yourself out later one. Now this is a duck, and it is on regular paper. It is not on parchment.

You cut the smallest area, the most intricate area very first of all, so you got something to hang onto. Don’t move your scissors. Move your scissors as little as possible. Move the paper instead. Cut at the very throat of your scissors, begin here. And you have to go along side because every time you move it you can make a little curve or sharp edge. So get it into the throat as much as possible. In a small area, it is not as easy to get into the throat. So I am going to start, with this floral piece here. And the way to begin this easily, if it is not that small.

Fold it, because remember you are going to iron it. And give it a little click here, a little snip. So you have an opening. And then you go and keep going here. I am nervous. I am shaking! See I cannot get the throat in all the way, so keep your paper moving. See I am almost down to the point, and I wouldn’t let it click there. So I start over again. I am not following the lines very well here. I won’t do this entire one here. I will just do this end one here.

Now, I will do the duck. I don’t know if you can see what I am doing or not here. I will do it quick like. You just keep turning your paper. Paper gives, if it is not too brittle. I am not doing the best job here. This is one of the easier designs. And on my haste, I goofed on this one. I should have not cut on the bottom here. Although if you put it on glass it will be ok. I should have opened it here only. Because if you open it on the bottom, you can leave the contract here. I have to leave the contact there. And of course I didn’t cut the outside, heart shape.

But see I haven’t got the fancy stuff on it. If you get the idea. Let me just cut the exterior quick like. But I got the pattern here, so don’t cut this out. See what I did, I cut the bottom by her feet out. So don’t cut that out, see I took that out on here. Instead of starting here, cut this to the edge like so. And only cut and leave this middle intact. Not here or here. Then we are attached all the way. And then put it behind a frame, because many articles and patterns have many, many loose ends. You can make postcards. You can use almost any scraps of paper, but you cannot use newsprint. I don’t know how newsprint would work.

But you know the things that you can get at the presses that are just plain. Try some of that and see how well that will work for you. I think if you would use some with ink, you could make a design on it too. But you may not want that printing on there you know. Parchment is best, but if you want something very, very intricate, then parchment is way to stiff. See how much more beautiful it looks with just the rim on it, and I can punch some holes around the edges to add some more intricate. This one is a Christmas tree one in black.

I think maybe I have used up my time here, huh? So you pick up these patterns and look at the samples here. You don’t have to go by this company. You can get other books also. I think I laid this one out here. This is another company. But other companies do make them. Also there are books available on snowflakes.

You would fold those 4,5,6,8 times, and the more you fold them, the easier it is. You don’t have to get in-between to cut the openings. Then, you can enlarge them too. So, after Br. Placid is all finished, then you can come up and look at these. Thank-you if have any more questions, get to me, talk to me, a little later. Don’t spend a lot of money on scissors.


PG: So, Thank-you. Now, when we get old and have a lot of time. We know what we can do.

EH: You can do this while you are watching TV.

PG: See, Deb said they would not have Elsie here. We have other things. So this is pretty much different that it was yesterday. If we do this again this afternoon, we might have to repeat some things then we have said before. Do you want a picture of me? Ok. Yesterday we talked about toys, and home remedies. Now I want to show you some things that my mother is making. Some of the rugs my mother made with rags. I am sure you all have made them.

This is very old. This has been used. Do you know, are there some people who do not know how to do these? Did you take strips, when you cut strips of cloth, and you had to sew them together? I mean because you have pieces. So you have to sew them together so you have one long one, and then you roll them together so you have one long one. And then you roll it up into a ball, so that you will have a ball this big to work with. Then you get the needle and crochet it.

We say Sticken. I don’t know what the difference is between stricken and haeket (crochet or knit). My mother is 91 years old now, and she is working on another one now that she knows I am interested in this old stuff. So now she is making one for me. She said next year the convention is in Bismarck so she will be able to go, and then she can show it herself how to do it. So next year she will be 92, but any how she said, next year I will show myself how to do it. So she can, well even if my mother doesn’t come next year, I can show this again.

That is one way to use up every bit of left over scraps. You know our ancestors didn’t waste anything. I guess most of us do not either, because we are that age. Anyone who grew up in the 30s is unable to throw anything away. So when the cloth was wore out. They didn’t have polyester, so everything wore out a lot faster than now days.

Clothing now day is much better than used to be. Even though it wore out, they still made use of it. They would sew every little piece of cloth, and use it over again. Ok, I think I am going to call on another lady now. Katie Glatt Wald, she is from Hague, North Dakota. She is a relative of mine also. She goes to all the conventions. She is very active in the chapter at Strasburg, North Dakota. Give a hand to Katie Wald. She will have to tell us what she is going to tell us. I can’t think of everything, when I am supposed to think of things.

KW: Good morning. My topic is on Brauchen, a healing gift. Many of you might be well acquainted with it. Others have never even heard of it, I have found out. So, I am going to try to give you a little bit of information on that. Among the communities of Germans from Russia in North Dakota, some are said to have a special gift of healing called Brauchen.

It has deep roots in the history of our people. This gift of healing was brought to North Dakota by those Germans who had left their homeland to seek a better way of life in Russia. Here they were isolated in a strange land, but they still continued many of their traditions. Brauchen was an answer to a very practical problem, the shortage of doctors and medicine, both in Russia and after our German from Russia ancestors came to America.

Brauchen is a prayer healing, and sometimes have been credited with miraculous cures. Prayers recited in German usually in tones so low, so the patient can’t hear them clearly calling upon the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to heal, saying it three times. It is a work of God. You must believe in what you are doing, and don’t make fun of it. Do not talk to other people who do not believe. Healing ointments are usually used and prescribed, ranging from salves, herbs, and teas, and also salt and cabbage leaves. In simple terms, Brauchen consists of prayer and strong believe combined with folk medicines and home remedies.

To this day, the greatest concentration of this healing Brauchen, is in the south central portion of North Dakota, where we have the heaviest population of German Russian people. Here are some examples, many of which I have tried myself, and have been fortunate enough to have some success with. There is also, like I indicated earlier, there are people who still do this. So you can go get this done for you.

For instance for warts or blemishes, you can even do self Brauchen. Watch for the full moon, go outside, and while looking at the moon say “German Words”. Make the sign of the cross, and say in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, amen. Do this in three nights of succession. Should it be cloudy one night. You have to start out all over again. You must see clear vision of the moon all three nights in succession.

My husband has done this on numerous occasions, and it has worked. Now, I for one, and many of you women in the audience have quite a problem with having my womb, very easily getting slipped out of place. So for that though, as a rule I do go to a lady who does this for me. She gradually, has to work this womb up and get it into the position, right up here by your navel. And while she doing this, and while she’s holding this in place, she will kind of quietly say, “Muta muta geit thee undru, duliescht vodu no karsh, cemuch desch du.”

While you bring it together and hold it. Make the sign of the cross over it three times saying “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. And some others for instance for severe stress and pressures, causing body rashes and what have you. Put about a half a cup of Camille tea into bath tub full of warm water. Sit in this warm water for about a half hour to draw out the impurities, and it will clear up. I have done it. It has worked for me.

And many instances, especially many years ago. I know ring worm was a very common thing. Children and even adults, working with calves and cattle seemed to be something that was very common. They would get ringworm all over their body. And I have heard many instances where parents of these children will take them to the doctor, and they give medication after medication. Nothing seems to work. Ok, we’re going to take you into and get you healed by this lady or a man or whoever and we are going to perform Brauchen.

Purchase a bottle, you can also do this by yourself, but like I said with my womb, others and do it for you. Now more recently, you can also by a bottle called ginger violet that is available at your drug store. Using the tip of the nozzle on the bottle start to rubbing this around the outside of the sore. But make sure you stay clear to the outside of this sore. And keep going round and round until you get up to the center, and that will make it heal. I know of instances that this good friend of mine told me about this, and she said do not start in the center.

Then you will make it spread instead of making it heal. So it is very important that you do start it on the outside, and go round and round until you end up at the center. And it will dry up and go away. Like for infections, it is also common, these are some more things that I have done myself. Take a cabbage leaf, securing it to the wound for a couple days. It will draw out these germs. You can just feel it draw, and it will heal. Or dissolve a teaspoon of boric acid in a cup of milk. Heat the milk quite hot, so you can barely put your finger into it when you start out. I used to cure a lot of trouble with that.

I would get a little scratch, and it wouldn’t want to heal. You can just feel it draw clean up into your hand. And if you do this two, three times and it draws out the infection and it heals. This way you do not have to run to your doctor. And Epson salt is another common one used among us farmers. Kids would run around, and even men folks step on a nail while doing farm work on the farm and what have you. Before you know it, you have a serious infection in there.

So you put a Tablespoon of Epson salt into about a pint of warm water there. And soak that area for about a half hour, and it will seem to disappear. Or for a hysterical child, give them a little honey, and it will calm them down. Another common problem, usually with babies is this colic. This good friend of mine, she does this a lot. And with this, we have another saying “Little bugs..”

-Break in tape-

End of Side 1

KW: And then, here again now you make your sign of the cross. Always three times. Make of the sign, of the cross and of course this time, it would be over you intestines. Make your sign of the cross three times, while you say ‘amen’ for each one. Or say, or repeat in words “German Words”, meaning ‘so God help me to get out of my system or out of the child’s system.’

They are many more examples, but I really didn’t write them down. They were in German, and even though I speak fluently German, but I mean these sayings, I wasn’t good enough to say them here. Also this lady that I know real well, who does this a lot. I said, “I would like to have more of this in English.” And then she said, “I don’t think it even works in English.” It is just something that our German Russian people brought going way back in time.

And it was always done in German. And it’s just like everything else, when you change this German into English, it doesn’t seems to sound right anymore. It’s kind of not the same. And she said that is the only way, and some other people that she knows, women or men who do this Brauchen healing, it is just always in German. And I guess that’s about all I can tell you on that.


PG: Thank-you Katie. Would someone like to add to this? Has anyone had any experiences where you have had healing? You’ll have to talk loud and not really talk real long.

Crowd: I just want to ask some questions about Brauchen. Our ancestors brought this weed. Now, it is kind of a major weed starting in all the farmsteads. And I have heard that it is used in some kind of tea used for healing practices. Does anyone know anything about that?

PG: Does anyone know anything about worm wood, that grass that stinks? I know I have tried it to make a tea. It is so bitter, you cannot drink it. No, matter how mild you make it, it is so terribly bitter, that you just do not want to drink it. Yah, Tony.

Crowd: It’s a weed?

PC: Worm wood, yes. It’s that stinky stuff that grows around the chicken yard.

Crowd: Yes, I have had that. A lady once, made that for me. They added raisins to sweeten it up. I kept it in the refrigerator, and I drank it. And I’m still here.

PC: I know people who had diabetes, and they would drink it for diabetes. And I know it works for diabetes, because it is so awful bitter, that it will take the sugar right out of you. And where that came from, the Mennonite, are blamed for bringing that over from Russia.

But the earliest ones, it has been traced back, and they say that the Mennonite brought that worm wood over. I did some research on that a few years ago, trying to figure out where that came from and what it is supposed to heal. The only thing that I know is that people use it for diabetes. Ok, Ruben?

Crowd: There’s a new remedy. I don’t know if you all have heard about it, but you take golden grapes or white grapes, put it in a, soak it up in gin for three weeks, so they get raisin like. I have eaten raisin every day.

I don’t know if the kick goes away, or the pain goes away when you drink that gin, but it really helps. And I’m not kidding you, I do it myself. I just did a batch. So I haven’t tried it yet, but I am certain. It’s used for arthritis.

Crowd: What’s it supposed to be used for?

PC: arthritis, yes. With that Brauchen, it is a cure for the arthritis. With that Brauchen, it really works. I have not had it done on me since I was very, very tiny. And I really don’t know who does it anymore. Margaret Mitzel of Napoleon used to do it, but she is not alive anymore.

But this lady at Ashley does it now. I think the Protestants did it more that the Catholics, as far as I know. Because when I went to Wishek, where the Protestants are, and there are always was someone who can do it there. But the Catholics also did it.

Crowd: Actually, I don’t know, if the Protestants did do it. My grandmother was a strong Protestants, and I know nothing about this. I knew she said, my grandmother would once in awhile if she couldn’t cure something, she would bring a Brauchen’er in. But she would not let the children watch, because it was against her religion to do that. They would go up into attic, and listen. And she did say it’s a matter of believing. You know, I’m sure. You have to believe.

PC: I believe that no matter what you do, it will work. You have to believe. If you do it with the right intensions and do it with the faith, it will work. Because different people, have different ways of doing it. There was one lady in Wishek, well, she is not living anymore, but she was in our area. She used to put up. She would tie a string around an egg, around a chicken egg, and put the chicken egg into the hot coal, was her way of doing it.

You know the charismatic. There are a lot of people who are involved in this. It was very popular say ten, fifteen years ago. I mean a lot healings have happened. I have seen healings, when you pray over people, in the name of the Holy Spirit and people have been healed. I believe that just the fact is, believing in something and doing it.

That’s what personally, I think what does it. These words that these people say, I think the words are not important. Because this one lady from Napoleon, the words that she used, I don’t think it was what cured anybody, but it did work. But it was the fact that she did something, and believed in it.

Crowd: Was it always women that did it?

PC: Was it always women that did it? No, I guess not. But somebody told me, that a man has to pass it on to a women and a woman has to pass it onto a man. Now, if that makes sense, I don’t know. But that is just what some people believe. It seems to me to run in families. I don’t know, there are not many people who do it anymore. The rest of us are getting to educated to do it.

Crowd: -Cannot hear?-

PC: Does anyone want to add something about anything else? Yesterday’s program was concluded differently that today. This afternoon, I am not quite sure what we are going to do. Maybe, I’m going to go swimming or something. I really hate to repeat something.

Even though there are new people, I just feel that it’s just really. I just can’t repeat something that I already did, so I am not quite sure what is going to happen this afternoon. Other topics? On poems, or games, songs or healings?

Crowd: This lady that you referred to in Ashley. Was that Eva?

PC: Eva Bender?

Crowd: Edwin Iszler. That was my aunt. I know that she does do Braucha. Our granddaughter, who was born. –Cannot hear-

PC: So it worked.

Crowd: yes, And she only charged two dollars.

PC: On the thing about the Braucha, They were cheap. You didn’t have to pay much.

Crowd: and she had a little pedestal that she made for this. She would say a few words silently, we couldn’t hear her. And she walks, and she has five little daughters.

PC: It used to be that Priests, Catholic priests, were against it. That is one reason our people quit doing it, because the priests really discouraged it. Well, that’s about it. Our time is up.

-End of Tape-

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Libraries
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-6128
Last Updated:
Director: Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Library North Dakota State University North Dakota State University GRHC Home