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Online Exhibits - From Far Away Russia, Part 6

St. Fidelis Church at Victoria (Volga German)Russian-Germans in Kansas

A Profound Faith

"No churches in the state are so large as these in the Mennonite and Russian settlements of the short grass country."
--Kansas City Star, October 8, 1911

Both Mennonites and Volga Germans were profoundly religious. Churches were among the first structures raised in every Russian-German community in the United States.  These buildings  were the center of religious and social life for the people who lived nearby.

Eventually, simple frame buildings gave way to spectacular architectural monuments to an abiding religious faith.

The spires of St. Fidelis Church (top, right) tower over the surrounding community and are visible for miles around on the prairie.

Married couple holding rosary and Bible

Today

Russian-German communities have survived many challenges in the 20th century.

The anti-German sentiment of two world wars has suppressed their language and customs. The automobile and other technological advances have increased outside influences on their communities. Finally, Russian-Germans themselves have sought a more active role in the larger American society.

Through their gradual entry into mainstream American life, however, the Russian-Germans have maintained the Old World flavor of their culture and traditions.

This concludes the Kansas Museum of History's online exhibit, From Far Away Russia: Russian-Germans in Kansas.

Other sections of the exhibit:

  1. Introduction
  2. Lured to Kansas by Railroads
  3. Early Years in Kansas
  4. Growing Wheat
  5. German Customs With a Russian Flavor
  6. A Profound Faith