Prairie Public TV Films Music Documentary at
Burke, Allan. "Prairie Public TV Films Music Documentary at Hague, Strasburg." Emmons Country Record, 23 December 2004, sec. 1B-2B.
A re-enactment of a 1950s German-Russian wedding will premiere
in the spring of 2005 as part of a Prairie Public Television music
About 100 hours of film was shot by the PPTV crew at St. Mary's
Catholic Church in Hague and the Blue Room in Strasburg on Sept.
9 and 10, and many people from the area will be featured in the
PPTV documentary. The film is now being edited for the documentary.
Michael M. Miller, a Strasburg native who is the Bibliographer
for the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at North Dakota
State University, Fargo, said the filming was done to capture the
traditions of Germans from Russia weddings as well as the folk music
associated with the weddings.
Miller and Bob Dambach, PPTV Director of Productions, are executive
producers of the Germans from Russian Documentary Series.
Committee members for the music documentary, in addition to Miller
and Dambach, are Dr. Homer Rudolf, Wishek native and a music professor
emeritus from Richmond, Va., and Dr. Lewis Marquardt and his wife,
Dr. Dona Reeves-Marquardt, both retired university professors from
Austin, Tex. Lew Marquardt is an Emmons County native.
Rudolf is the researcher and script writer for the documentary.
He interviewed a number of people during his time in Strasburg and
Hague, and most of the interviews were conducted at the home of
Felix and Katie Wald in Strasburg. Among those interviewed were
Lew and Dona Marquardt, John Gross, Larry Schwab, Jimmy Schwab,
Tony Wangler and Maude Fiechtner.
Katie coordinated the Emmons County visit for the film makers.
"Michael called us about helping out, and there was a committee
meeting before last year's Germans from Russia Heritage Society
convention in Bismarck," Katie said. "We lined up the
people from the area to play roles in the wedding and to be in the
crowd at the wedding, dinner, reception and dance."
Katie added, "It all turned out well, but it was a little
nerve-racking at times trying to have people at the right place
at the right time." About 120 people were involved in the various
scenes filmed. Father Leonard Eckroth of Strasburg officiated at
the Wedding Ceremony, and he offered the prayer at the dinner and
reception, which were held at the Blue Room in Strasburg.
Mass Servers were Cory Eberle, son of Don G. and Laura Eberle of
Strasburg, and Zachery Krumm, son of Francis and Kelly Krumm of
Hague. Tony Wangler of Kintyre played the processional, and he and
Margaret Wald sang two German hymns. [Sei Geigrüsst Oh Jungfrau
Rein (Be Praised, Oh Mother So Pure) and Brautlied Ge Lei Te Durch
Die Wellen (Accompany thru the journey) (Wedding Song.) They played
the Wedding March for the processional.]
[A segment for the wedding festivities was also filmed on the porch
of the Rocky and Cheryl Eberle home in Hague; to signfy that weddings
used to be held at the homes.]
The wedding party included: Bride - Jody (Jolenta Wald) Herauf
of Bismarck, Groom - Alan Bullinger of Mandan, Matron of Honor -
Karen (Wald) Hulm of Strasburg, Best Man - Leonard Weichel of Strasburg,
Bridesmaids - LeeAnn (Wald) Jangula of Bismarck and Rosiland Leier
of Hague, Groomsman - Isadore Gross of Kintyre, Flower Girl - Cassie
Gefroh, daughter of Derald and Nancy Gefroh of Hague, Bride's Parents
- Felix and Katie Wald of Strasburg, Groom's Parents - Jack and
Frances Bullinger of Mandan and portraying Grandparents - John and
Margaret Gross of Napoleon. Dance couples included: Albert and Lorraine
Ebach of Pierre, S.D., John and Delores Becker of Napoleon, Chris
and Ann Klein of Carrington, Julius and Carol Vetter of Menoken,
Pete and Helen Ebach of Menoken, Magnus and Ann Wagner of Strasburg,
Francis and Frances Feist of Bismarck, Ben and Delphine Vetter of
Linton, Wilbert and Tillie Rath of Wishek, Tony and Rita Wangler
of Kintyre, Daniel and Marlas Sayler of Wishek, Raphael and Ellene
Brendel of Napoleon, Larry and Rosalind Leier of Hague, John and
Rosie Long of Gackle, James J. and Mary Lou Hilzendeger of Napoleon,
Willie and Angie Hilzendeger of Bismarck, Francis and Charlene Wald
of Kintyre and Marvin and Mary Ann Fiechtner of Wishek.
[Guests are greeted at the door by two friendly gentlemen - Marv
"Allen" Herauf of Bismarck and Duane Wald of Hague, with
a toast drink of "red eye" homemade specialty of alcohol
and sugar blends, and serving German beer were Darin Lee Wald and
At the punch table was Elicia Lynn Wald, daughter of Duane and
Eileen Wald of Hague.
Carrie (Wald) Gefroh was at the guest book, and Jason Wald of Bismarck
operated the family's video camera.
Mary Ann Gefroh of Linton made the beautiful wedding cake.
Cake servers were Laura (Mrs. Tom) Baumgartner of Pollock, S.D.,
and Margaret (Mrs. Isadore) Wald of Kintyre.
Table waiters at the noon meal were Julianne Eberle, daughter of
Don and Laura Eberle of Strasburg; Lorraine Ebach of Pierre, S.D.;
Carol Vetter of Menoken, and Helen Ebach of Menoken.
Serving at the evening dinner were Lorraine Ebach, Carol Vetter,
Helen Ebach and Ann Wagner of Strasburg.
Traditional German Folk Song singers were Wendelin L. and Kathryn
Vetter of Linton, August and Loretta Vetter of Linton, Tony and
Rita Wangler of Kintyre, John and Margaret Gross of Napoleon, Ben
and Delphine Vetter of Linton, Isadore Gross of Kintyre and Kasimier
M. and Ann Wald of Wishek.
Special guests included Kenny and Shannon Nieuwsma of Strasburg,
who assisted with the barn in Hull that was used for shooting the
barn dance scene. [Popular fun time entertainment of the time -
it was just more exciting dancing up in the hayloft]. Allan and
Leah Burke of the Emmons County Record, Linton; Tony and Elaine
Wald of Strasburg, and Rocky and Cheryl Eberle of Hague.
Singing to the wedding couple at the dinner were Tony Wangler,
John Gross and Wendelin Vetter. [They sang the traditional Brautlied
(Wedding Song) and Ehe Stant Lied.]
Another tradition noted was the collection at the evening dinner
as the musicians played the "Deutsch March" to get the
cooks out of the kitchen. Isadore Gross and Kasimier M. Wald collected
money from the crowd with soup bowls.
Cooks were Helen Fischer of Hague and Barb Ternes of Strasburg.
Cars from the era were used to drive the bride and groom and attendants
from Hague to Strasburg. Darin Lee Wald drove Felix's 1958 Ford
hardtop convertible, Felix Wald drove a 1967 Ford two-door hardtop,
Tony Wald drove a 1954 Chevy and Doug Gefroh drove a 1967 Ford convertible.
[As was customary, on the way to the church, the bride's car was
in the lead; following church services, the groom's car was in the
lead and the bride's car followed. The meaning: the bride can still
back out of the marriage on the way to the church, but must follow
the groom after the ceremony.] Thanks to input from Katie Wald,
every step of the wedding process followed German-Russian traditions
in practice in the 1950s, from the role of music at the wedding
to what songs were played and sung at the dinner.
Musicians were Vic Schwahn, Marv Zander, and Larry Schwab, accordionists,
and Clarence Bosch on drums. Larry is a Strasburg resident, and
the other men live in Bismarck.
"It was truly a fun time bringing back the traditions enjoyed
so much by our generation," Katie said. "When asked to
help, people were excited to relive the true and beautiful memories
with the customs of the German Russian settlers in the Dakotas.
These wonderful food customs and oh yes, - the polka music by Mr.
Schwahn and Mr. Zander including the German folk songs; this is
our heritage - may it live on forever!"
** Additional information in brackets was prepared by Kathryn Glatt
Wald, Strasburg, North Dakota, January 2005.
members for the music documentary include, left to right,
Dr. Homer Rudolf, Wishek native and a music professor emeritus
from Richmond, Va., Dr. Lewis Marquardt and his wife, Dr.
Dona Reeves-Marquardt, both retired university professors
from Austin, Tex., PPTV Production Manager Bob Dambach and
Michael M. Miller of NDSU, Fargo.
Prairie Public TV
videographers are, left to right, Dave Geck, Lee Westad, Bob
Dambach and Travis Jensen. Dambach is the PPTV Production
Manager, he and Michael M. Miller are the executive producers
of the documentary.
The bride, Jody (Jolenta
Wald) Herauf of Bismarck, is pictured with, left to right, Matron
of Honor Karen (Wald) Hulm of Strasburg, Flower Girl Cassie
Gefroh, daughter of Derald and Nancy Gefroh of Hague, Bridesmaids
LeeAnn (Wald) Jangula of Bismarck and Rosalind Leier of Hague.
The barn on the former Edwin and Gertrude
Nieuwsma farm in Hull will be featured in the barn dance seen
in the music documentary. The barn and house were built in 1910
by John and Marie Haak. Edwin and Gertrude, daughter of the
Haaks, purchased the farm in 1965. In 2001, the farm was purchased
by Charles and Violet Pals of Crete, Ill. Violet is Gertrude's
niece. The farmyard is immaculately kept up by John J. Nieuwsma,
and Kenny Nieuwsma feeds the livestock. Charles and Violet stay
in the house when they visit. Above, the Prairie Public TV videographers
film a scene. In the hay loft are, left to right, Victor Schwahn
and Katie and Felix Wald.
food was served at the two meals that were filmed. [Dinner featured
oven-baked chicken, country sausage, mashed potatoes and gravy,
coleslaw, pickled watermelon, pickles, homemade bread, kuchen
and wedding cake.]
The wedding party is serenaded with
traditional German songs.
These singers will appear
in the documentary. They sang an assortment of songs that were
traditional at German-Russian weddings in the 1950s. Pictured
are, left to right, Wendelin Vetter, Tony Wangler, Delphine
Vetter, Rita Wangler, Isadore Gross, Katie Wald, Loretta Vetter,
Felix Wald, Ann Wald, Julius Vetter, Kasimer Wald, Carol (Wangler)
Vetter (she played the accordion used by her dad, the late Joe
Wangler, in his memory), Ben Vetter, August Vetter and John
Part of the Felix and Katie Wald family
are pictured in the Blue Room Left to right are Jason Wald (grandson),
LeeAnn (Wald) Jangula, Darin Wald, Karen (Wald) Hulm, Katie
and Felix, Jody (Wald) Herauf, Carrie (Wald) and Doug Gefroh
and Eileen (Hulm) and Duane Wald.
Father Leonard Eckroth
gives the prayer at the dinner.
Karen Hulm holds Cassie Gefroh, the
As the bride and groom
watch and the Prairie Public TV videographers film, the wedding
cake is cut.
Lew Marquardt of Austin, Tex., visits
with Mary Ann Gefroh of Linton. Mary Ann baked and decorated
the cake for the wedding.
cooks for the event were Helen Fischer, left, and daughter
Reprinted with permission of the Emmons County Record.