NDSU Heritage Collection Director To Film Documentary In Southern Brazil

Michael Miller visits with Leopoldo Bach at his home in Colonia Johannesdorf, State of Parana, southern Brazil, February 2012.

Michael M. Miller, director of theNDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, is scheduled to travel to southern Brazil April 6-22 for final filming and interviews for a new documentary on Germans from Russia in South America.

The film will be produced in partnership with Prairie Public Broadcasting. Miller will travel with Bob Dambach, director of television, and two videographers, Dave Geck and Ben Stommes.

Miller will be involved with interviews conducted in English and German. He and Dambach traveled to southern Brazil and Argentina in February 2012 for site visits to identify individuals willing to be interviewed, including families of Bessarabian, Black Sea, Mennonite, Volga and Volhynian German ancestry.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, many Germans from Russia immigrated to South America, especially to southern Brazil and Argentina. At the same time, other German-Russian families were immigrating to North and South Dakota and the Northern Plains. As a result, many of these Germans from Russia in Argentina and Brazil have relatives in Canada and the United States.

“Our travel to Brazil will truly be a memorable experience after the warm reception we received in 2012. The story of the Germans from Russia community in South America will unfold in this documentary project,” Miller said.

This will be the eighth documentary of Prairie Public’s award-winning Germans from Russia Series, and is expected to premiere in 2014. Prairie Public videographers and Miller also plan to travel to Argentina in September to continue filming.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.