"Herzog, Russia"

by Michael Boss

Casein on Rag Board

21 X 28"

From the collection of Edna Mae and Myron Deines, WaKeeney, Kansas 

Thirty-two families founded Herzog, or Susly, Russia on July 14, 1766.  In 2005, Mary (Rome) Wilmott was sharing her stories of growing up in St. Peter, Kansas.  Mary showed two books on the town in southwest Graham County Kansas.

Noticing a small and intriguing photograph of Herzog, Russia "on the Volga", and knowing that the stream was not the Volga, my curiosity was piqued.

The photograph had strange looking animals and a jeweler's loop revealed, of all things, camels!  That was the beginning of the artists interest in the Volga Germans.  The photograph was captivating and was used as the idea for the painting. 

Sadly, sometime after the1941 deportations, the Russian government obliterated Herzog.  Apparently, the bricks from the church were used in a school in Mariental, just south of Herzog.