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Central and East European Studies Society of Alberta collection
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Art Stelter

This item contains 10 files of audio from an interview conducted by Art Stelter with his father Dan Stelter. Topics discussed include Dan's father coming to Canada, because he had to work for 30-35 rubles a month for a farmer (Polish or Russian) on a contract. A worker could not leave unless found another person to take over his contract. His father worked in Ukraine but was born in Poland. Was 12 years old when moved to Zhytomyr area. His dad was a Prussian. His father’s parents moved from Poland to Ukraine because Russians wanted German settlers to develop their land. Many German farmers were possessors of the land, but his father’s family had their land on a lease. Ukrainian farmers being backward comparing to Germans. Living in a village but having 2-5 acreages outside. Schools in villages. Father could not write but was able to read. Lutheran churches. His father married at 16. One child died. About 1886 he emigrated to Winnipeg at age 30. Grandmother Amalia. Women worked cleaning offices. German community in Canada His mother snuck from Poland to Germany on a false passport; left from Hamburg to Liverpool on a boat, then to Quebec. Rough trip on a ship. Marriage without love, just duty. Mother could write in German. In 1918 the family came to Bruderheim. Most Bruderheimers came from Zhytomyr. Moravians and their church in Bruderheim. Shwartz was the first church minister. Family had 25-30 horses, 250 acres of land. Sold everything in the fall of 1927 and moved to Bruderheim with a big sum of cash to avoid bank charge commission. Dan’s Russian background: grandfather Martin [Stuter] lived near Lublin, Poland. Called themselves Prussians but considered themselves German. But they could have been from Austria. Dan’s grandfather was the youngest in his family. Janott’s mother was Dan’s grandmother. Married a guy named Kobus. Came to Kelowna. Athabasca [Stulters]. Ludwig and Jastina moved from Lublin to Ukraine in 1867 to get a new life. Lutheran church was responsible for finding settlements. Not all families moved to Bruderheim after WWI. 100 years exempt from military service. Clergy: [Shwanke]. Martin was never a citizen of Russia, lived on rented land of a nobleman. Problem of leaving while having an understanding. When he was 12, they moved to Volyn area, in Zhytomyr. Does not know names of villages or family stories. Martin Dan’s family: Amalia born in 1863. Historical circumstances at that time with Russian occupying lands and leading wars against Poland. Polish reaction against the Germans. Family members were hanged. Family moving to Ukraine at that time. Amalia’s mother was still living when they left for Canada. Wendy, Dan’s mother’s sister, died in Bruderheim in 1951. Russian government pension. Amalia had a brother who went to South America (Brazil). Violence against the Germans in Russia. Mother’s side of family coming to Ukraine via Poland in 1857. School teachers having connection with Volga Germans. [Greenwert]. Danny coming directly from Germany. German accents of people from different areas, distinction of High German vs. Low German. Yiddish as German dialect. His family living in Ukraine for 20 years. His mother’s background: sold most of their belongings to come to Canada. When they came it was Spring. Mom’s father bought a cheap place to live. It turned out to be haunted house. Grandmother was the only one who saw the ghost and heard the steps. [Going back and force between moving to Ukraine and to Canada in his story]. Sold the house and the land for cash to a Polish couple on their way to Canada. The ghost was a man who hung himself. Arrived in March. Grandmother’s brother was in the army and that time and did not want to go to Canada. Came in 1905. Bruderheim. Germans in Medicine Hat. Grandparents speaking languages other than German. Naturalization papers of the family.

They then discussed Dan's life. Young years of Dan. Having typhoid as a child. School years of Dan: good at math. A year in Edmonton, Medicine Hat, another year in [Newberg]. Leaning English, prohibition to speak German on school grounds. Finished grade 7 in [Newberg]. Farm work on acres. Reading in German. Identifying birds through a book he got as a gift from a Bishop. Playing sports (baseball). Reading books on Canadian folklore (stories) and German literature (religions, war stories) at home (buying them from a travelling salesmen). Publishing house of Minnesota Germans. German newspapers in Canada.
Family raising cattle of different breeds. Father retired from [Newberg], bought a house in Medicine Hat in 1970. Population there was about 20K people. School in Medicine Hat. Selling the farm. School closed up. Churches his family visited. Moravian Brothers in Poland and Russia. Minister from a Moravian church came to the family to baptize Dan. No regular religious community. Dan stay home till almost 20 y.o., then went to USA and stayed there till 23 y.o. Dan in Michigan for 7 years (construction work mostly, for car companies). Laid off during the Depression. Dan applied for American citizenship. Visiting America, difference of American way.
Farming in Bruderheim. The estate was developed by a Ukrainian who did not built anything on it and was forced to sell the land because a cancellation was reported on his land. A story of a curse that Ukrainian had, broke his leg. Inside story was that he was drinking, fell of the truck and broke his neck. Building various buildings on the land (chicken house, barn, etc). The farm was bought in 1931 for $3000 (2 mortgages of 6%). In 1944 he paid off the second mortgage. The interest was cancelled. [Herman Hendrik] helped him not to lose the farm. A loan from a federal government to pay off the first mortgage. [Abraham] made a motion against the mortgages for farmers. When he started farming in 1931 he started with nothing (no equipment or cattle), married in a year. Then bought horses for $150, another for $50 (on a credit). In 1932, oats were about 6 cents a bushel. He bought a buggy. Got Ribbon (a horse) in 1933 who turned white when was about 6 y.o. Had several cows. Bought one for $16. A bull in the neighborhood for the cows. Returning to Canada broke, to a farm. Crop prices during the Depression (30 cents a bushel). Liberal views. Dan’s first voting in 1935 in Provincial Election. Listening to [Eibrahard] on radio. Major Douglas in Ottawa, socialist. Labor Movement. [Walter Cuhl] a member of Parliament. Uncle Fred involved in politics and Social Credit idea: government giving the banks power, giving national loans. Local leaders in Bruderheim in social credits: [Bas Wirsky] who had a hardware store, UFM members from Kuts, Baker, [Bill Tomski], Toman (a school teacher). Social Credit Board. Social Credit Party progressiveness. East exploiting the West. SCP as a popular movement, its influence on government and politics. [Peter Stefora].
Surface Rental Rights Owners’ Association, 1949-1951: Alberta, farms around Bruderhaiem – the government owned all the minerals rights. Leduc, Red Water area, Calmar. Oil companies paid 1%, the government expected 12% payback. Farmers’ Union went on 5%. Oil companies buying farmers’ lands. Saskatchewan farmers’ being paid too little. Pressure on the government from the oil companies.

B. Hawrylyshyn (10th Shevchenko Lecture)

This item is a recording of a conference presentation. Shevchenko as a national poet of Ukraine. Major developments that might take place in the next few decades: long term climatic conditions, changes in climate are less predictable; the capacity for food production will be not as good but the population will be expending sharply – tremendous pressure for food, massive famines. Restructuring of political power is coming. Atomic weaponry is a threat. Expansion of education will result in diffusion of power of political decision making. Physical limits of human activity. Redistribution and optimization of natural resources. Economic shocks for the US: Japan’s economic growth, Vietnam war, Chinese experience. Product life cycle. The USA will not be able to impose their will on other nations. In Europe, new political construction will take place. There will be a power bigger than a nation-state. European countries have similar stages of development and are ready for globalization. Every nation will retain its national heritage but they will unite on a global political level. China’s influence will grow in the decades to come. It will be less dependent on other countries. Unlike the Soviet Union, China retained more equality. American model is not appropriate to countries that have no natural wealth. Japanese had high motivation and an obsession for learning technology while preserving own traditions. They have capacity for national cooperation in the face of a threat. Japanese will be performing another miracle – just watch them. They will be a model for European countries. Soviet Union has tremendous range of natural resources. Its potential productivity is very high. Marks’ proposition was true for limited resources. Communist society is supposed to be highly cooperative in the absence of material scarcity. But USSR is the last empire and it is disintegrating quite quickly. What is awaiting for the USSR? It can become a supplier for more developed countries. Atomic war is also a probability but it could happen only accidentally; possibly a conventional war with China. It does not pay to keep an empire. Now much energy is being wasted on keeping that empire alive instead of developing. Ukraine in this context is a modern nation; it has generous natural resources. It has a necessary infrastructure for an efficient country.

Band Music

This item contains two interviews with unknown females. The first interviewee was born in Russia in 1909. She talks about the place where she lived and family members that were starving and being deported to Siberia. She then talks about coming to Canada and what she and her husband did in Canada. She talks about the church and being Lutheran and Evangelic.

The second interviewee's parents came from Poland and she was raised in a Lutheran family. Her family left to Ukraine and then came to Canada in 1927 and moved to Alberta in 1928.

The tape also contains music recordings

CEESSA Annual Meeting. Board Meeting. Tape 3.

This item is a recording of the Annual General Meeting of CEESSA.
Electing the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary
Describing the functions of each position
Not holding any office for more than 2 years
Nomination for President: Mrs. Lobay – accepted the nomination
Nomination for Vice-President: Dr. Metro Galutsan – accepted the nomination
Nomination for Treasurer: Mr. Dudaravicius – accepted the nomination
Nomination for Secretary: Dr. Bela Biro – accepted the nomination, appointed by acclamation
Mr. Kostash – would rather go to the educational committee
Mr. Kuester – appointed to the publicity committee
The finance committee – Algis Dudaravicius
Nominating Chairman: Mr. Kostash
Nominating Committee: Mr. Spillios, Mr. [Yerevic], Mr. [?]
Mr. Priesley and Mr. Kostash will appoint their own respective committees
The Nominating Committee had to be appointed today in case of some emergency
May 3, 7:30 – next meeting
Meeting adjourned

Side B- a lesson in the Russian Language (exercise in translation)

Central and East European Studies Society of Alberta collection

  • Collection
  • 1974 - 1987

This collection consists of audio recordings and photographs. Recordings include news/talk shows, interviews conducted for CEESSA, and meetings and conference presentations from CEESSA. They cover diverse topics such as: problems in Central and Eastern European studies at the time and how universities and their departments function, immigration, politics, languages, daily life, life on the Canadian Prairies, life in Canada during WWII, CEESSA’s organization, goals, and projects.

Central and East European Studies Society of Alberta

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