Organizers of the Dakota Memories Oral History Project, in cooperation with Prairie Public Broadcasting, will air “A Holiday Special: German-Russian Childhood Memories” on Friday, Dec. 23 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Public interest in documenting and preserving German-Russian ethnic identity inspired the launch of the project in 2005. From 2005 to 2009, organizers traveled the Northern Plains, gathering stories and documenting family relationships and childhood memories of second and third generation Germans from Russia. Jessica Clark, received the Germans from Russia History Doctoral Fellowship and coordinated the project.
The holiday special will include interviews from the project and scholarly commentary from Clark. The program features 21 narrators from the Northern Plains. Listeners will learn about memories such as William Adam Merkel Jr.’s recollection of real candles on Christmas trees and Elda (Schultz) Rasch’s first experience with Christmas lights. Lyla (Pressler) Johnson will share memories of Christmas with her cousins, while Robert R. Gab will reminisce about Santa Claus keeping him and his siblings awake.
The NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection and Prairie Public provide major funding for the program. A CD of the holiday special is available for $20. To order the CD, contact Acacia Stuckle, special collections associate, at (701) 231-6596 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program can be heard on North Dakota stations 90.5 FM in Bismarck, 89.9 FM in Dickinson, 91.7 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.
For more information, contact the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at (701) 231-6596 or visit http://www.ndsu.edu/grhc/dakotamemories.