Books Read on Our MN Farm
I don’t have much to write on Kazakhstan obviously being back home on “vacation” in NW MN. Today I should have quoted from Ron Vossler’s latest book “Wedding of Darkness” but I already gave it to my Mom for her to read. Quick read of three riveting accounts of what happened to Ron’s relatives who were left behind in Odessa, Ukraine area. A misnomer to call them “Germans from Russia” really because geographically his relatives were living in what is today called Ukraine, they just happened to speak German. Back then when they immigrated to Dakota, their orientation was Russia because that is what the czar in Russia expansively referred to Ukraine as, Southern Russia. Therefore, Ron has a difficult time explaining that whatever the Ukrianians went through with the Holodomor (Terror Famine of 1932-33), his ethnic group went through it as well just because they happened to be in the way of the great Utopian ideology touted by Marxists.
This year the Ukrainians are memorializing 75 years since the “Great Sadness” where families were tragically torn apart. Good lines in Ron Vossler’s book as he poetically weaves together pieces from interviews he did with his “Germans from Ukraine” relatives who left for the U.S. after the 1932-33 starvation period together with primary source material and what Ron read from old Dakota newspapers he translated from German.
Ron’s life work is tied up with resurrecting what happened to his dead relatives and the mystery of silence that prevailed in his Wishek, North Dakota surroundings. Finding out about his relatives tragic past, changed his life. Ron wants reconciliation, as do I, in our current history books about what REALLY happened under a despotic government that went more than haywire, it went crazy against families and personal property. All in the name of collectivization and the great Utopia. (BTW, Utopia does NOT equal heaven, it’s true meaning is “nothingness”) The Ukrainians and the Germans from Russia who happened to be good, hard workers and owned property were targeted first under Stalin’s purge in the late 1920s and early 1930s. They were reduced to owning nothing and even their lives counted for nothing!!!
Currently I’m reading a book on Holiness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, simultaneous to that I’m reading the No. #1 bestseller “The Shack” by William P. Young. The latter was a self-published fictional book and it describes a man’s “Great Sadness” of losing his young daughter to a sadistic serial murderer. I’m half way through and can see why it has fallen through the cracks and not published by the Christian circles or the secular ones. Simply, it is NOT smarmy enough with sex scenes but also it is not orthodox enough in its theology for Christian publishers.
However, the main character in the Shack apparently works through his sadness and I think that Ukraine and other countries like Kazakhstan can work through their “Great Sadness” if the truth of the atrocities are brought out in the open. Similar to a rape victim never quite healing by keeping silent, so too have history books worked against the millions of victims and their families by not exposing what communism actually did to ordinary people while the Soviet Union existed.
Then I reflect on holiness and what Kazakhs, Latvians, Estonians, Russians, Germans from Russia, Ukrainians and a host of other nationalities had to go through under the bloody hands of Stalin. He and his cohorts were all about materialism and accruing wealth and power. Stalin forcibly had thugs seize what possessions had been in families for generations, but namely love, communication and trust were destroyed.
Getting back to Ron Vossler’s short account in “Wedding of Darkness,” the village church bells were taken down from every steeple throughout Ukraine. Also, from a local newspaper account I read of that era a western observer witnessed church bells sitting on a wharf in Odessa (port city on the Black Sea). These bells were about to be melted down to be used for machinery and equipment. Holiness vs. Materialism, it is a war we all wage in our hearts and I’m reminded that my MN farmyard is not my home, heaven is.