In this one volume the author succeeds in describing a very staunch family, the Roemmichs, who, despite the anguish they endured through several generations of displacement from their German homeland, were determined to maintain pride in their native heritage.
The author carries his account of the Roemmich family back to the year 1515, when the name made one of its early appearances in the person of Andreas Romich.
Tracing his lineage through the three cultures that primarily shaped its character--German, Russian and American--the author points with pride to the strength of spirit that, in each generation, overcame adversity and produced many outstanding leaders of their time.
Prompted in the 1760's by Catherine the Great's promises of religious, economic and cultural freedom, many Germans left their homeland for the fertile Black Sea region of Russia, where they determinedly preserved their ethnic identity by maintaining their own German schools, culture, and language. But changing times brought changing rulers--and broken promises. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, Czarist attempts to "Russify" the German colonists fomented the unrest that led to their next exodus, either back to Germany or to the new land of America. This emigration continued through the early twentieth century and resulted in the extensive German-Russian population of the United States.
The author details interesting facets of life as a son of hard-working, pious German-Russian immigrants on a central North Dakota farm. A typical Sunday is nostalgically recounted, from Saturday night baths to Sunday morning chores, to church, to lunch hour social, to church, to supper, to chores, to church--with the native German dialect humming through it all. Large families were often the key to coaxing a living out of the land, but these early settlers valued education. It is not surprising that college graduates and advanced degrees abound in this industrious family group.