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Starting July 31st is the 49th Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention in Fargo, ND.  Northern State University’s own Dr. Ginny Lewis, professor of German, will be presenting at the conference in Fargo, ND. Her presentation, titled “Letters from Bessarabian Refugees to the Pfitzer Family in Java, South Dakota: Desperation Meets Generosity in Post WWII Germany”, will discuss her work translating 20th century Bessarabian refugee letters. See Dr. Lewis’ statement about her presentation below: “I had the honor of translating some hundred or so letters addressed to members of the Pfitzer family in Java, South Dakota, primarily from the years shortly after World War II. The letters, penned predominantly by Bessarabian refugees who’d lost everything as a result of the political forces that wrenched them from their homeland, paint a vivid picture of the traumas and hardships they experienced as pawns in the devastating rivalry between Nazi Germany and the Soviet empire before and during WWII. My presentation will share historical details of the lives of these Bessarabians whose world was turned upside down by Hitler and Stalin’s politics, and the generous response to their plight as German refugees by relatives, whom they often did not even know, in rural South Dakota. My presentation will include challenges posed by the translation process due to the circumstances surrounding the writers’ difficult lives.”

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