Home > Exhibits & Events > Leavenworth, Washington 2015
Celebrating 250 Years of Volga German Heritage

29 April - 1 May 2015
Best Western Icicle Inn
Leavenworth, Washington

Concordia University Bell Tower on the Campus Green
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the first German colonies along the Volga River in Russia, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University is hosting a conference in Leavenworth, Washington!

The public is invited to attend.

Registration: Cost is $95 for the conference which includes all programs over the 3 days along with banquets on both Wednesday & Thursday evenings (Thursday lunch is on your own).

Pre-registration by 5:00 p.m. on April 15 is required.

Call Brent Mai at 503.493.6460 to pre-register.

Hotel accommodations: Special $109 rate (plus tax) is available at the Best Western Icicle Inn, 505 Highway 2, Leavenworth, WA 98826. To make a reservation, call 1-800-558-2438 and ask for the CNC/AHSGR rate.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015
3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Welcome Reception
Host: Jean Roth, Seattle, Washington
Jean will host a reception for those who arrive early on Wednesday afternoon. Renew acquaintenances and make new friends over a drink of your choice and snacks.
Jean Roth
Jean Roth
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Saving the Family Farm - Through the Lens of a Combine Demolition Derby in Lind, Washington
Speakers: Miller & Knodel families
Following a delicious meal, we will watch a screening of the documentary "Dryland." Filmed over a decade and set in the American West, Dryland traces a young man's quest for victory in a rambunctious contest, while battling to preserve a threatened way of life. This cinematic meditation on the fate of rural America reveals a paradoxical struggle between technological advancement and the dwindling family farm. Josh Knodel and Matt Miller, both with German ancestors from Russia, strive to win the annual Lind Combine Demolition Derby and preserve the legacy of their families' Eastern Washington wheat farms.
Dryland
Thursday, 30 April 2015

9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. - Introduction to the Volga Germans
Presenter: Dr. Brent Mai, Beaverton, Oregon.
Who are the Volga Germans? Where did they come from? Why did they go to Russia? What resources are available to help you with your research, and how do I get started? Dr. Mai will lead an investigation of these topics and answer questions about all things Volga German!
Brent Mai
Brent Mai
9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Hesse: Land of Our Ancestors
Presenter: Jean Roth, Seattle, Washington
Approximately 95% of our Volga German ancestors came from the area of Hesse and the Palatinate in southwestern Germany. In 2013, Jean took a trip to this area, visiting the ancestral German villages of many Volga German families. She will share what she learned during her month-long visit.
Jean Roth
Jean Roth

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - Break

 
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - 1941 Deportation: The Trek to Siberia
Presenter: Steve Schreiber, Portland, Oregon.
On 28 August 1941, a government decree abolished the Autonomous Republic of the Volga Germans and banished the German population of the area to Siberia. Many of our relatives remained in Russia when our ancestors came to North and South America and they were subject to this deportation decree. Mr. Schreiber has researched the journey of his relatives who remained in the colony of Norka, and will share their story.
Brent Mai
Steve Schreiber
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Lunch
Lunch is on your own (not included with registration fee). There are dozens of wonderful German restaurants off the central square in Leavenworth. There are also other ethnic restaurants as well. The square is about a 15 minute walk from the Icicle Inn, but there is also plenty of parking on the square if you want to drive.
Leavenworth, Washington
Central Square
Leavenworth
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - St. Petersburg, Catherine's Capital
Presenter: Dr. Richard Scheuerman, Spanaway, Washington
Peter the Great moved the Russian capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 1713, and it is from there that Catherine the Great ruled the Russian Empire to which she had invited the Volga Germans in 1763. Dr. Sheuerman has visited St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, many times and will explore some of the things he has learned about Catherine's life there and share some fascinating photos.
Richard Scheuerman
Richard Scheuerman
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Faith Through Architecture
Presenter: Dr. Brent Mai, Beaverton, Oregon
When they left Germany, the Volga Germans were escaping centuries of strife over religious practice. Shortly after arriving on the Russian steppe in 1764, the Volga Germans began a church building campaign that continued until the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917. They constructed some magnificent churches most of which were destroyed or left to decay during the Soviet era. Through photographs that remain of these structures, Dr. Mai will show the craftsmanship of those who built these edifices in an often bleak and hostile environment, craftsmanship that they brought to North America where they continued building churches with gusto.
Brent Mai
Brent Mai

4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. - Break

 

4:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Sophie's Journey
Presenter: Jean Roth, Seattle, Washington
Catherine the Great was born as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg on 21 April 1729 in Stettin, a relatively small town in Prussia (Germany). Jean will discuss the early life of Sophie and her transformation into Catherine the Great who ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796.

Brent Mai
Jean Roth
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Harvest Heritage
Presenter: Dr. Richard Scheuerman, Spanaway, Washington
Following another delicious dinner, Dr. Scheuerman from Seattle Pacific University will be the featured speaker. His topic will be "Harvest Heritage: Germans from Russia and the Transformation of American Agriculture." Dr. Scheuerman has been investigating the origins of the crops of Washington's earliest farmers for many years. Recently he has discovered what several of these heritage grains are, including those of the early Volga German farmers of the Pacific Northwest, and has been raising them. He will discuss his findings as well as the potential for bringing some of them back into production for modern consumption.
Richard Scheuerman
Richard Scheuerman
Friday, 1 May 2015

9:00 a.m. - Noon : Council of Northwest Chapters
Convener: Charles Saranto, Touchet, Washington
The Council of Northwest Chapters (CNC) will hold its semi-annual business meeting.
Charles Saranto
Charles Saranto
Last updated 17 April 2015.