Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Shatter Belt...

Shatter Belt: Western Russia and the Eastern Austro-Hungarian Empire will be presented at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, July 31st. It is one of the opening round of workshops slated during the International Convention of Germans from Russia in Casper, Wyoming later this month. The convention runs July 28th - August 3rd at the Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. Shatter Belt will take place in Ballroom C of the convention center.

The borderland between Russia, Prussia, and Austria was a historic “shatter belt” that evolved during the three partitions of Poland in the late 18th century. The diverse populations within these areas have been subjected to the external pressures of opposing political rivals as well as to internal ethnic and religious stresses. German settlers migrated to these areas, including Congress Poland, Volhynia, Galicia, and Bukovina, and settled in ethnically unified villages that were intertwined with one another. Therefore the settlement history of these regions, and family history research within them, is different from that of the Volga and South Russia districts. There will be a special emphasis on Volhynia.
Irmgard Hein Ellingson will lead this workshop. She is the American-born daughter of Volhynian German refugees and an editorial board member of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. She has spent thirty years engaged in eastern European study and research.
Irmgard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and history from Winona (MN) State College in 1974 and a Master of Arts in theology with an emphasis in congregational studies from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa in 1993. Her credits include several books and shorter works that have been published in German, English, and Portuguese in the United States, Canada, Germany, and Brazil.

A founding and continuing director of the Bukovina Society of the Americas, Irmgard is past president of the Federation of East European Family History Societies and the former U.S. representative for the quarterly Wandering Volhynians published in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is an associate in ministry serving the Mission Unity Lutheran Parish in Grafton and rural Osage, Iowa.

Irmgard and her husband, the Rev. Wayne T. Ellingson, reside in Grafton. They have three children and three grandchildren.

No comments: