Report from the Germans from Russia
To the membership of the Germans from Russia
30th International Convention, July 13-16, 2000
Radisson Inn, Bismarck, North Dakota
1. The new Marie Rudel Portner Germans from Russia
Room was dedicated on May 26, 2000, at the North Dakota State
University Library, Fargo. The Marie Rudel Portner Germans from
Russia Endowment for the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
at the NDSU Libray was announced. Marie Rudel Portner was a
native of rural Fessenden, Wells County, North Dakota. She was
a first-generation of Bessarabian German ancestry. Marie died
at the age of 102 in October, 1999.
The new display cases feature until November
1, 2000, the following exhibit: Germans
from Russia Weddings: From the Steppe of South Russia & Ukraine
to the Dakota Prairies. Ross Rudel, Los Angeles and
Rapid City, SD native, great-nephew of Marie Rudel Portner,
prepared a sculptural relief mural permanently displayed with
the new room.
2. The awarding videotape documentaries, The
Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie
and Schmeckfest: Food
Traditions of the Germans from Russia, have received tremendous
responses. The 60-minute programs were produced by Prairie Public
Broadcasting and the North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo,
A four-page "Teacher's
Guide" was prepared for the Germans from Russia documentary.
The "Teacher's Guide" and 300 Germans from Russia documentary
videotapes were sent free of charge by Prairie Public Television
to all North Dakota public and private schools. Funding for
this project was from private donations to produce the "Teacher's
Prairie Public Television and the NDSU Libraries
will produce a third documentary on the wrought-iron crosses
of the Germans from Russia. Dr. Thimothy Kloberdanz, Department
of Anthropology and Sociology, NDSU, will be the researcher,
scriptwriter, and narrator for this program expected to air
on PPTV in the fall of 2001.
For additional information about the videotape documentary,
go to the following web pages: http://www.prairiepublic.org
4. Major publications were completed by GRHC
in 1999-200: A) The
Dark Abyss of Exile: A Story of Survival by Ida Bender
(English); B) Memoirs
of Father Anthony Kopp by Father Anthony Kopp (English);
Fate of a Village (Marienberg: Schicksal eines Dorfes)
by Johann Bollinger and Janice Huber Stangl (English and German
languages in one volume); D) The
Open Wound: The Genocide of German Ethnic Minorities in Russia
and the Soviet Union, 1915-1949 and Beyond (Der Genozid an Russlanddeutschen
1915-1949) by Samuel D. Sinner (English & German languages
in one volume); E) Die Deutschen am Schwarzen Meer zwischen
Bug und Dnjestr by John (Johannes) Philipps (German language).
5. In cooperation with the Glückstal Colonies Research
Association, GRHC published in the German language editions the
Colonies: Births and Marriages 1833-1990 (1999) and Glückstal
Colonies: Deaths 1833-1900 (1999). The English and German
editions of these books are available from GRHC. These books were
compiled by Harold M. Ehrman.
To review the books available, go to the GRHC
web page: "Books, Tapes & Photographs."
6. The sixth Journey to the Homeland Tour sponsored
by the NDSU Library was June 6-19, 2000. The next tour is late
May/early June, 2001 to Odessa, Ukraine and Stuttgart, Germany.
Further information can be located at the GRHC web page: "Journey
to the Homeland Tours."
7. Arlene Kruckenberg Knutson, Tuttle, ND, continues
to coordinate the humanitarian project at the English Lutheran
Church, Tuttle, ND, making the handmade vivid-colored quilts
for the Lighthouse Orphanage, Odessa, Ukraine. The quilts were
taken with tour members in June, 2000, to Odessa to present
to the children at the orphanage. The North Dakota REC/RTC
Magazine, April, 2000, featured the article, "N.D.
grandmothers craft quilts for Ukraine orphanage" written
by Carol Just Halverson, who visited the Lighthouse Orphanage
in Odessa in May, 1998.
8. In May, 2000, the NDSU Germans from Russia
anthropology class with Prof. Timothy Kloberdanz visited the
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Institute for Regional
Studies, NDSU Library.
9. The GRHC traveling exhibit, The
Kempf Family: Germans from Russia Weavers on the Dakota Prairies,
is on display at the Public Library, Harvey, North Dakota, until
November 1, 2000. Jay Gage is curator of the Kempf Family exhibit.
10. The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection website
pages at: http://library.ndsu.edu/gerrus
continue to increase in use. The Germans from Russia listserves
or electronic discussion groups of the NDSU Computer Center have
many new subscribers. The listserves include: A) GR-Heritage; B)
GR-Genealogy; C) Bess-GR; D) GCRA; E) Krim-GR. For further information,
go to the following web page: http://library.ndsu.edu/gerrus/lists.html.
11. The monthly column of "In Touch with Prairie
Living" continues to be published in North Dakota and South
Dakota weekly newspapers. The monthly column began appearing
in newspapers in November, 1996 to date. To review the column,
go to the GRHC website section: "Newspaper
12. Valuable textiles and clothing of the Germans
from Russia have been received. These items are professionally
preserved at the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection,
College of Human Development and Education, NDSU. GRHC works
closely with Ann Braaten, Reynolds Collection curator. We are
especially grateful to newly received items from Jolenta Fischer
Masterson, Sequim, WA; Elaine Levi Bauer, Bismarck, ND; Vernon
Wieland, Hankinson, ND; Dr. Elvire Neckar-Eberhardt, Medicine
Hat, AB; and Ruth Rasch, Mesa, AZ. Selected photos of textile
pieces can be viewed at the GRHC website section: "Textiles
13. Finally, we invite members of the Germans
from Russia Heritage Society to inform us of newly published
family histories and other historical resource books to be added
to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Library.
We invite persons to visit us at the NDSU Library (Tel: 701-231-8416;
Michael M. Miller, Bibliographer
Jay Gage, Exhibits and Textiles Curator