Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kloberdanz to address Heritage gathering

Germans from Russia and their descendants are a very diverse and far-flung ethnic group. They live on at least six continents. Some German-Russians speak a High German dialect, some speak a Low German dialect, and many speak no German at all.
Yet despite these differences, modern-day Germans from Russia constitute one huge family – due to a common cultural heritage and many shared experiences. The linguistic and regional differences do not run quite as deep as people once believed. Quite simply, we are not the strangers we thought we were.

That’s part of the title of Dr. Timothy Kloberdanz’s presentation for the Heritage Night dinner at the 2008 International Convention of Germans from Russia from July 28th August 3rd in Casper, Wyoming: One Huge Heritage, One Huge Family: We Are Not the Strangers We Thought We Were. It underscores the theme of this joint gathering of AHSGR and GRHS – Celebrating Our Common Heritage. The Heritage Night dinner will be at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, July 31st at the Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Casper.

Timothy J. Koberdanz earned a Ph.D. in Folklore and Anthropology from Indiana University. His Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation both dealt with the Germans from Russia. He has co-authored two books and published more than a hundred articles. He also wrote the script for a prize-winning television documentary. Professor Kloberdanz teaches at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

For his presentation, Kloberdanz says he’ll be assisted by two of the “television stars” who appeared in the prize-winning Prairie Public Television documentaries, “Schmeckfest” and “A Soulful Sound.” They are Maria Appelhans, who was born in Russia in 1930 and survived Stalin’s reign of terror; and Kloberdanz’s wife, Rosalinda, who was born in Colorado and is the first American-born member of her family.

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