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Journey to the Homeland Tour set for May

Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection director, and Jeremy Kopp, special collections associate, will lead the 22nd Journey to the Homeland Tour to Germany and Odessa, Ukraine, scheduled for May 16-26.

Tour members with Germans from Russia heritage from Canada and the United States will visit their ancestral Bessarabian and Black Sea German villages near Odessa. While in Stuttgart, Germany, they will visit the Bessarabian German Museum, and travel to Alsace, France, where many of the families lived before immigrating to villages near Odessa beginning in 1804.

Jocelyn (Renner) Tang, of Fargo, will be among the tour participants. “My daughter is joining me as we try to walk the same earth and look at the same sky as my grandparents did in Ukraine,” she said. Tang’s great aunt is the late Fern (Renner) Welk, wife of bandleader Lawrence Welk.

Glenn Schumacher of Boise, Idaho, said, “I am interested in walking around the homes and villages where my ancestors once lived, the churches where they worshipped, the cemeteries where my ancestors were buried, and seeing the fields where they toiled. I have come to realize that due to war, famine and resettlement efforts, much of that history is now gone. However, whatever remains I would like to see.”

Rita Kelly of Bismarck, North Dakota, said, “I am ecstatic to be able to make this trip to the Odessa area to get a feel for the land from which all four of my grandparents emigrated in 1907. I realize little will be left of actual artifacts, but geography shapes us.”

The 23rd Homeland Touris scheduled in May 2019.

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