Journey To The Homeland Tour Set For 2018

The NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection has announced its sponsorship of the 22nd Journey to the Homeland tour to Germany and Ukraine for May 16-26, 2018. The tour includes visits to Odessa and the surrounding former German Villages in Ukraine, Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany, and Alsace, France.

Travelers will have the opportunity to visit the villages of their German-Russian ancestors near Odessa, Ukraine. Tour members will walk where their ancestors walked and have their eyes opened to village life. Joining the tour will be Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection director, and Jeremy Kopp, special collections associate.

“It is always exciting to meet people who are passionate about their ancestral heritage and history; it makes the mission of the GRHC so much more important when people are involved,” Kopp said. “On the tour, you will see the villages that your families lived in, walk the streets that they walked and truly begin to understand how their experiences shaped their lives. It’s an incredible opportunity that is often life-changing for our tour members.”

Past participant Michael Mehrer shared, “After traveling to Germany and the Ukraine with our sons, we all had a new perspective of how our ancestors lived and what it took for them to come to America. Ukraine reminded us a little of being in the Dakotas. After visiting the villages of Worms, Johannestal and Kassel we could envision our forefathers living there, working the land. My ancestors were with the first groups to leave South Russia and come to the Dakota Territory in 1872. I told my sons that it had been 140 years since Gottfried Mehrer and his family had walked in this land and as far as I knew we were the first Mehrers to come back to South Russia. We thought about how it took only hours for us to come to Europe, and it took weeks for our family to come to America back in the 1800s. What faith and courage they must have had.”

Registration for the 2018 tour is now open. If you have questions, contact Kopp at 701-231-6596 or jeremy.kopp@ndsu.edu.

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