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Germans from Russia Presentation by Dr. Eric Schmaltz at Sod House Museum

At 10 a.m., Saturday, June 19, Dr. Eric Schmaltz of Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) will give a presentation entitled “Resilience and Transformation: Germans from Russia in Northwestern Oklahoma (1889–1940)” at the Sod House Museum near Aline.

Professor Schmaltz will provide information on the general migrations and settlements of ethnic Germans from the Russian Empire in the western parts of Oklahoma at the turn of the last century. He will explore the factors that led this group to settle across the Great Plains in vast numbers, as well as how these resilient immigrants and their descendants navigated great challenges and dynamic opportunities in American society. After more than a century, this group has become an integral and vital part of American life and culture. They have left a profound legacy in northwest Oklahoma in numerous endeavors, including the areas of agribusiness, architecture, art, foodways, language, music, politics, and faith.

Professor Schmaltz earned a PhD in history in 2002 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Since 2005 he has taught European, American and world history at NWOSU, and in 2019 began serving as department chair for the Social Sciences Department. In 2014 he received the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award at NWOSU and has been nominated for it on three other occasions. His research concentrates on modern Germany and modern Russia, as well as German migration topics.

The Sod House Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located southeast of Aline on State Highway 8. For more information, contact Director Renee Trindle at 580-463-2441 or

The Sod House Museum is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit

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