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German-Russian war memories featured in radio program

Published: 19 October 2009
created by Sadie Anderson

Organizers of the Dakota Memories Oral History Project, in cooperation with Prairie Public Broadcasting, will air a new radio program titled "German-Russian War Memories.”

The program will air on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and features stories about military service, cultural exchanges and domestic policies from narrators of the Dakota Memories Oral History Project. Many narrators share stories about World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict and the War on Terror. The narrators grew up on the northern Plains including regions of South Dakota, North Dakota and Saskatchewan.

Andrea Mott, public historian and 2009 interviewer, has added scholarly insight into this ethnic group's experiences during wartime in America and abroad. "When the Germans from Russia think back on wartime experiences, they don't just talk about the war," Mott said. "They discuss how the war affected their daily lives and their heartfelt stories about family, friends, rationing, weapons, travel, language and education add to the overall German-Russian narrative."

Listeners will learn about memories such as Rose (Boespflug) Miller’s recollection of World War II when no one would admit they were of German heritage. Rupert Kleingartner shares memories of a typhoon while serving in Okinawa during World War II. The 160-mile-per-hour winds blew away all of their tents.

Public interest in documenting and preserving German-Russian ethnic identity inspired the launch of the project in 2005. Since then, organizers have been traveling the northern Plains, gathering stories and documenting family relationships and childhood memories of second and third generation Germans from Russia. Jessica Clark, recipient of the Germans from Russia History Doctoral Fellowship, coordinates the project and Michael Miller serves as director of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection and the project.

The NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection and Prairie Public provide major funding for the program. A CD of the radio program will be available for $15. To order the CD, contact Acacia Stuckle, special collections associate, at 1-6596 or acacia.stuckle@ndsu.edu.

The program can be heard on 90.5 FM in Bismarck, 89.9 FM in Dickinson, 91.5 FM in Devils Lake, 91.9 FM in Fargo, 89.3 FM in Grand Forks, 91.5 FM in Jamestown, 88.9 FM in Minot and 89.5 FM in Williston.

The Dakota Memories Oral History Project is a privately funded project sponsored by the NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection. For more information, contact the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at 1-6596 or visit www.ndsu.edu/grhc/dakotamemories.


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Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013