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Volume 59, Number 5

October / November 2011

New York Steuben Parade Festivities By: Darlene Fuchs

By: Donna Lippert What do the years 1683 to 1983 mean to you? October 6th, 2011 is the 328th anniversary of which 13 families from Krefeld, 33 people all together of Mennonite and Quaker decent, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after a long sea voyage. Under the leadership of Franz Daniel Pastorius, a legal scholar born at Sommerhausen near Wurzburg , they settled 6 miles north of the city and founded Germantown, which was the first permanent settlement in the New World of immigrants from Germany. Then, in the years to follow, many immigrants flocked to the United States of America to find a better home and life for themselves and their families. Each year on October 6th, Germans and Americans across the USA (and some Canadians) celebrate this special day, which provides an occasion to turn your attention towards the past and to recall the founding of Germantown. A study by the United States Census Bureau in 1979, stated that more Americans can trace their ancestry to Germany than to any other country. Immigrants were welcomed into the American pioneer society since labor power was needed in large quantities. This was during the time that the American Society would be inundated by foreigners who would be difficult to integrate. The Americans felt there would be problems accepting the immigrants into their society and work force, but in the years to follow they were proved wrong. The human ties between both the Germans and Americans, never the less, remained tightly knit. This was because people of both sides did not forget each other and they shared the fate of each other’s society thru kinship, friendship and sympathy across the oceans for years to come. Here’s an excerpt from President Barack Obama’s 2009 German-American Day proclamation: “Comprising

the Nation’s largest ancestry group, German Americans have contributed to our collective identity since the first settlements were founded in the 17th century. Essential to the growth of America, these farmers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, and patriots gave their strength, determination, and in some circumstances, their lives, so we all may experience a brighter tomorrow. It is in this spirit that German Americans continue to enrich our national character, sharing their proud heritage with new generations from every background. Today, we celebrate German Americans for their remarkable role in our Nation’s development.” Barack Obama’s 2009 proclamation went on to point out that the German-Americans continue to be active participants in our Nation’s history: “America is a stronger Nation because of those families who have established longstanding roots in our country, as well as by those who have recently emigrated from abroad. German immigrants, inhabiting every major city, have given much of themselves throughout our history, selflessly expanding the reach of the American Dream. On this day, we celebrate and honor the past, present, and future contributions of German Americans to the rich and textured story of America.” Nowadays, German-American Day is a widely celebrated holiday accompanied by Steuben Parades, concerts, exhibitions, Oktoberfests, and other special events. It is fitting that we set aside time to remember and celebrate how much German Americans have done to enrich our culture, enhance our development, and strengthen our democracy. DANK and all GAJAC’s member organizations are once again asking all German-Americans, their friends everywhere, the media, legislators, schools, clubs, and organizations to initiate appropriate remembrances and celebrations. They especially urge people to have “grass roots” German American Day, and have neighbors and friends get together and tell them about the GermanAmericans and their history.

On Friday morning, September 16th, after a night of intoxicating hustle and bustle in NYC, we participated in the mayors reception, across from the Brooklyn Bridge. Austrian, Swiss and German groups showed off their musical and dancing skills, networked and presented NYC with gifts. In the evening we attended the Steuben Parade Gala Banquet at the New York Hilton & Towers.  Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown told stories of her getaways to Germany. Spitze, along with singer/songwriter Bill Danoff, who sang a tribute to John Denver, delighted everyone at this impressive fund-raiser. Early Saturday morning at Fox News Channel Studio, we participated in TV segments showcasing Oktoberfest, broadcast live for ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ show. Next it was off to the Steuben Parade. Celebrating fifty-four years, the German-American Steuben Parade has grown into the largest and most colorful event of its kind in the US. Over 25 groups from Germany wearing “Tracht”, the regional garb traditionally worn in Germany, participated along with colorful masked Karneval groups and German-Americans from across the US. Grand Marshals leading this year´s event included Samantha Brown as well as Ilse Aigner, German Secretary of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection, Erik Bettermann, Director of Deutsche Welle, and the newly installed German Ambassador to the US, Peter Ammon. Bill Fuchs, DANK National president, Darlene Fuchs, German-American Journal editor, accompanied by Hans & Kathy Wolf, ST Prinz Manfred II and IL Prinzessin Jennifer I, from the Karnevalsgesellschaft Rheinische Verein from Chicago, marched in the Continental Division. Later at the Oktoberfest in Central Park, the 3rd Annual US Championship in Masskrugstemmen (mug stemming), presented by Hofbräu,was won by Jerry Karn of Strongsville, OH, representing Hofbräuhaus Newport, KY with a time of 8 minutes 52 seconds. For the first time ever, the Steuben Parade was televised live on PBS thanks to a commitment from local New York stations WNET13 and WLIW21. A DVD will be available featuring the entire broadcast. For more info go to


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German-American Journal

October / November 2011

CHECK OUT THE NEW DANK.ORG German Radio & T V Official DANK Blog Newspaper Archives

Liebe Mitglieder und Freunde! Dear Members and Friends, We just finished the last DANK National leadership conference before the National Convention in Pittsburgh, which fell on the weekend of German Day celebrations in the Chicago Lincoln Square/German-town neighborhood. I am proud to say that for the first time in years, as part of the festival, our entire DANK National Board participated in the Von Steuben parade, along with three Region 1 Chapters. As usual, DANK was also present at many other festivals throughout the country. The leadership conference was also the last one that I chaired as National President. Amongst many issues that were taken care of, I am pleased to report that the DANK National Board and the Chicago-North Chapter finally resolved the long-standing ownership issue of the DANK Haus in Chicago. Details will be covered in the next issue of the Journal. When I was elected National President of DANK four years ago, I had a list of objectives for improving our organization, both for the members and the leadership team. Much of our focus was on team building, positive motivation and transparency. I believe that we have come a long way in achieving those objectives and DANK today stands stronger as a respected and prestigious organization in the German-American community by stressing the positive achievements of German-Americans in the past and in the present. As the National Board and I implemented the vision that I had for DANK we were also able to find many cost savings for the organization, which was absolutely necessary for the future DANK. I am very proud of how our membership and our chapters contributed in this effort financially. In accomplishing our goals, we gave the Journal a new look and feel while cutting total costs over 50%. At the same time we greatly increased advertising revenue. The national website was totally recreated, producing an impressive site with improved interactive usability, blogs and a presence on both twitter and facebook. Our national office was completely updated and renovated giving it a professional look and feel, while enhancing efficiency, enabling our staff to better serve our membership and organization. New DANK merchandise, such as pins and shirts, were made available for purchase and for sale on E-bay. Our DANK VISA card, with 4 attractive designs, certainly makes a statement. It benefits our members that use it and improves cash flow for our organization because of the donations that DANK receives from the issuing bank. We have increased the visibility of DANK, not only in the Chicago and Milwaukee area, where we now have a presence on the festival midway with our DANK public relations tent, but also in many other cities, including the New York Steuben Parade. Many changes have also occurred within our organization that might not be immediately apparent to our members. DANK is more streamlined and efficient on all levels. We have had a renewed effort in attracting associate memberships from other organizations that have many of the same goals as DANK. In the process we improved our membership brochures and application processes at greatly reduced costs. Membership and merchandise payments are now available through Pay-Pal. Procedures in our national office are now much better organized and membership data can now be analyzed in a way that enables our national and chapter boards to easily act based on that data. Our National Board meetings and committee meetings were totally restructured. They have become more efficient and allow teleconference meetings, which saves DANK quite a bit of money. On the Education front, DANK is also in the process of improving access to German Language Education within and outside of our organization. The metamorphosis is not done. More changes are needed to address and attract the younger generation with renewed vigor. Things have changed both in the US and in Germany. The youth of tomorrow will not be attracted to an organization that served the immigrants of yesteryear, myself included. We have a good start though and I hope the incoming new President and National Board will continue to move forward building on the accomplishments of the last four years. I wish everyone the very best and I am looking forward to seeing many of you at upcoming festivals and events.

And More...

DANK seeks to bring together Americans of German descent in the pursuit of cultivating and presenting their heritage and interests on local, regional and national levels. These were the primary reasons that the German American National Congress was founded in 1959, and they are still among the organization’s primary objectives today.

DANK National Executive Board President William Fuchs 1. Vice President Erich Wittmann

2. Vice President Donna Lippert

Treasurer Bob Miske

Secretary Beverly Pochatko

Editorial Staff

5 Things I Am Grateful For I’ll admit it. I have a soft spot for Thanksgiving. First, because it’s an excuse for me to bake for three days, and second, because it reminds me of all the amazing things I have in my life. Here’s my list of 5 things I would humbly recommend you add to your own “gratitude list” this Thanksgiving season. Family: Family is important to everything you do in life. Family gives you much more than just support, they help you be who you are and there is nothing more important than that. My grandchildren are gifts for the labors of being a parent. Each one of them is a wonderful unique individual and they make me proud to be called Nana. My husband was my high school sweetheart, the first man I ever loved and now he’ll be the last. Things are just as they were meant to be. My parents are two loving people that enabled me to experience many things, regardless of how much they sometimes worried. They gave me everything they possibly could ... and even some things they probably couldn’t. Friends: This is going to sound so cliche, but my friends are the best friends anyone could ever ask for. They encourage, support, offer advise, and share laughter. I know that I am safe with them and I feel privileged to call them my friends. Good Health: Knock on wood. So far I’ve had very few major health issues. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they took good health for granted until they no longer had it. So I choose to focus on the positives, and appreciate everything I am able to do right now. My Computer and the Internet: While this may be a rather materialistic and frivolous thing to be thankful for, it also affords me an opportunity to stay in contact with family and friends. The ability to quickly and easily tap the world’s information, to learn anything you want about any subject matter, is amazingly powerful. Freedom: I am often humbled when I think of the oppression in other countries. In the US we can celebrate our individual ethnicities (Germanic) without fear of being discriminated against, fulfill our dreams, have access to clean water, find shelter in a warm home, enjoy freedom of religion and unlimited opportunities. Most people agree that being grateful is important if we are to have a positive life. Being grateful makes us see the bright side of life which makes us positive people. Unfortunately, we often look at what we don’t have instead of what we have, and we end up complaining instead of being grateful.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Darlene Fuchs Editor-in-Chief William Fuchs National President

Der Deutsch-Amerikaner

Submission Deadline For The December ‘11 / January ‘12 Issue:

October 25, 2011

Editor-in-Chief Darlene Fuchs Correspondents Corinna Bienger Amelia Cotter Stephen Fuchs Christa Garcia Audrey L. Hess-Eberle Matthias Knobloch Editorial Staff Margita Mandel Amanda Pedersen Beth L. Casey Chapter News Editor Beverly Pochatko Membership Erik Wittmann Layout & Design Stephen Fuchs Advertising & Classifieds Eve Timmerhaus

Office Staff DANK National Executive Office

4740 N. Western Ave Chicago, Il 60625-2013 Call (773) 275-1100 Toll Free (866) 926-1109 Fax (773) 275-4010 Office Hours:

9am - 4pm / Monday, Wednesday-Friday Executive Secretary Eva Timmerhaus

Office Manager Eve Timmerhaus

General Information German-American Journal - ISSN 1086-8070 - is published bi-monthly and is the official publication of the German American National Congress. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and additional mailing offices.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: German-American Journal 4740 N. Western Ave., Suite 206 Chicago, IL 60625-2013

Annual Subscription - Rate: $15.00

DANK does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information published herein. DANK reserves the right to change or amend submissions for any reason without prior notice. ©2011 DANK. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher.

October / November 2011

German-American Journal


“Nach dem vierzigsten Jahr ändert keiner mehr seine Philosophie.” “After the age of forty nobody changes his philosophy anymore.” Wilhelm Busch

Frankenmuth - Michigan’s “Little Bavaria”

By: Donna Lippert

My husband Reinhard and I decided to take a short trip to Frankenmuth Michigan, home to “Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland,” founded by Wallace “Wally” Bronner. This eye-popping store sees two million people a year and employs a seasonal staff of 500 . Bronner’s sells over one million glass ornaments annually. Check out their website at and you will see what I mean! Frankenmuth was founded in 1845 by a group of fifteen German Lutheran missionaries who came to the area for the purpose of teaching Christianity to the Chippewa Indians. Frankenmuth depicts the province from which the settlers came and “muth” means courage in German. Over 5000 residents take great pride in preserving the German heritage and you can see the pride the residents take in the up keeping of their homes and businesses. Throughout the town you can see baskets of red, white and purple flowers growing with such pride. Each day the “water people” go around and water all the flowers that line Main Street, where such famous places like Zehnders, The Bavarian Inn and the Frankenmuth Brewery, along with many other stores and businesses, exist. Many festivals and

events are held during the year, such as the Bavarian Easter celebration, the World Expo of Beer, the Bavarian Festival, the Volkslaufe, Summerfest and Oktoberfest. Other activities can be found by visiting We dined at the famous Zehnder’s large family restaurant, which seats over 1500 people. Their menu consists of their family style chicken dinner, in which one serving can provide enough food for four (4) people! Baked goods are a plenty at the Zehnder’s bakery. We could not leave until we took some apple strudel and delicious home-made bread, together with brownies, home with us. When you stroll around town, it takes you back and makes you feel like you are walking through a Bavarian or German town, where the store fronts look exactly like those in Germany. Those working in the businesses downtown dress in the traditional dirndls and lederhosen. The visitors can sample sauerkraut, sausage, cheese and delicious German pastries which are very delicious! On our visit back in 2009 we had the chance to attend a service at the St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, which is lined with beautiful stained glass windows. The church was named after the mother church in Germany. Frankenmuth

is well known for its flour, lumber, cheeses, beer, woolen mills and sausage. Our visit this year brought us to Kerns Sausage, which has been around since 1949 and provides over thirty four different Bavarian style sausages, along with cheeses, beer and baked goods. Kern’s store is the only grocery still around town and under the same family ownership that was founded by Marcus and Esther Kern, whose grandsons Ron and Kevin continue to run the store to this day,. Visit their web-site at www.

The next time you feel the need to bring out the “Little German” in you, visit www. frankenmuth .org as you can find coupons galore for discounts of hotels, fudge, cheeses and even a free ornament at Bronner’s, with a purchase anything over $25.00. From Chicago it is only 287 miles, located east off of I-75, between Flint and Saginaw, Michigan. Northbound take exit 136, or Southbound take exit 144. For group trips please visit You surely will not regret this trip!

History of the Delicious Congratulations! You May Be One of the Heritage Stiglmeier Sausage Speakers of German Do you speak German? Did your ancestors speak German? Were you exposed to German while growing up? Do you currently live in Wisconsin? I am a PhD student at UWM, looking for people like you to interview for my dissertation in English Linguistics. You DO NOT have to • Speak German perfectly • Speak German on a daily basis

Bavaria—the land famous for Oktoberfest, good beer, and good sausages . . . that’s where it all began! Bavaria (Bayern), the southernmost region of Germany, is their homeland. The Stiglmeier family mastered the secrets of sausage making in their native Munich. After emigrating to Chicago in the 1950’s, and working for others in the sausage business, they decided to start their own firm in 1960 and have been making Stiglmeier Sausage ever since. Their business was built on a firm foundation of old-fashioned values, traditional Bavarian and other German recipes, and a love of tasty sausage. They are now located in Wheeling, Illinois, and have a state-of-the-art “Wurstküche” (sausage kitchen.) It was specifically designed to produce first-class “German Style Sausages with a Bavarian Accent.” To satisfy sausage lovers all over the country, they decided to make their products available via mail order! Today, thousands of satisfied loyal customers regularly order their favorite German-style sausages directly from Stiglmeier by using

their website, phone, mail, or fax. Stiglmeier Sausage’s selection of readyto-eat German Bavarian delicatessen and luncheon cold cuts is the best you can find this side of the Atlantic. You can choose among a great assortment of Liver Sausages, Wieners, Bratwurst, Black Forest Ham, Liver Dumplings, Sulz Koteletts, a variety of soups and breads and more. Even the Munich specialty Weisswurst with Weisswurst Senf is available to order. Stiglmeier Sausage uses the finest ingredients in their food products. Only USDA approved, top-grade pork, beef and veal along with the freshest, high-quality spices go into making their specialty sausages, luncheon meats, soups and other Bavarian favorites. The authentic and delicious flavors come from following Old World, family recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. Since all food is made fresh to order, please be sure to follow the storage and serving instructions that are included on the web site and with each order. Please visit us a

You DO have to • Be an immigrant from a German-speaking country OR • Be the descendant of immigrants from a German-speaking country

AND • Live in Wisconsin • Speak German (or a mix of German and English) regularly (at least 1x/month) and in person to your parents and/or grandparents and/or children and/or grandchildren – additional other relatives also welcome • Be interested in helping a German graduate student complete her dissertation and finding out more about the current situation of heritage speakers of German in Wisconsin If interested, please contact Kerstin Mendel at or 414-248-9322

Letters From Our Readers Article Response

Shaking Off the Shame of Being German Thank you for a good August/September 2011 issue of the German-American Journal. The content was interesting and informative; the layout was attractive and professional. I especially appreciated the article “Shaking Off the Shame of Being German” by Stephen Fuchs. My wife and I have felt that feeling of shame during our fifty years here in the USA. My wife sometimes said to me, “I wish I could

say I’m from Austria.” Stephen gives some helpful hints on how to deal with unjustified feelings of shame. As your husband ends his term as President of DANK-National we want to thank him and your family for the sacrifices you have made to move DANK forward. You are leaving it better than you found it when you started. Richard K. Kaeske Lake County, Illinois

Letters to the Editor can be sent to


German-American Journal

October / November 2011

Willkommen to Germany at the Indiana State Fair

Louise Lamkin and Prof. Giles Hoyt at the display of the Indiana German Heritage Society

By: Ruth Reichmann Fancy a trip to Germany, but cannot afford the international airfare? This year Hoosiers experienced a little bit of both traditional and modern Germany without leaving the state! August 5 to 21 Germany came to the Indiana State Fair! Created in partnership with Indiana German organizations and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Willkommen to Germany exhibit at this year’s Indiana State fair presented both traditional and contemporary Germany and showed the close ties the country has with Indiana. German performances, demonstrations, food and displays took visitors on a trip overseas! The German exhibition featured a variety of themes: Geography, German History in Indiana, Business and Industry, Sister Cities and Culture. Each area was enriched through rotating multimedia presentations and programming. These areas included: Discover Germany: This concave world map in the International Hall’s entry foyer featured a world map embossed with the outlines of Germany and Indiana and outlined the geographical, economic, natural resources, and population data of both. Hoosier’s German Heritage: Over one third of

Indiana residents can trace their roots back to Germany. This area featured images and artifacts of Germanic immigrants as well as programming and resources to help visitors connect with their forefathers. Business and Industry: The center piece of the exhibition offered visitors the opportunity to meet with some of the producers and view German products & technology that impact their daily lives and the Indiana Economy. A sampling of the topics to be addressed in this exhibit were: Automotive, Magnetic Technology, Architecture, Engineering, Bio Tech, University Connections and Food & Drink. Sister Cities: There are many formal relationships between Indiana and German cities. These relationships exist to promote both symbiotic economic development and a brotherhood that supports the German promise of a forever friendship. Each sister city relationship was highlighted through graphic displays and officials were invited to participate throughout the Indiana State Fair. Weihnachtsdorf: The northeast corner of the International Pavilion highlighted the rich influence of German holidays and the religious traditions shared with many Hoosier families. Youngsters had an early opportunity to tell Saint Nicholas their Christmas desires and to create Easter Egg trees. German Haus: The west end of the Pavilion hosted a stage framed to look like a traditional German Beer Hall. German food and drink were available to visitors as they experienced a variety of performances and demonstrations that ran throughout the 2011 State Fair. Backdrop throughout the exhibit highlighted some of the signature components of contemporary German Culture, including: Sports, Cuckoo clocks, Scherenschnitte (papercutting), Auto racing and much more!

“The Experience Was Awesome!”

L-R: Christin Poterek, Clara Willis, Christina Willis, and Jennifer Mock

By: Darlene Fuchs Celebrating its 22nd anniversary in 2009, the Danskin Triathlon Series is the largest, and longest running, women’s triathlon series in the world. Established in 1990 as a part of Danskin’s longstanding commitment to women’s health and fitness, more than 200,000 women have participated in the series over the years. Approximately half of these participants have never participated in a triathlon before. August 21, 2011, marks the tenth consecutive year that the RecPlex and Prairie Springs Park in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin have been a host site for the Danskin Triathlon. Approximately 1,266 athletes, along with additional spectators and volunteers, attended this year’s event. Congratulations to Christina Willis, a DANK member and triathlon novice, who was joined by her sister-inlaw, Clara Willis and two of their friends, Jennifer

Mock and Christin Poterek, both triathlon veterans, for participating and attaining their personal goals. The Danskin Triathlon Series has been inspiring female athletes for over 20 years, and this season was one of the best. If you’ve always wanted to do a triathlon, these sprint distance triathlons are for you. Here’s the lowdown on the distances: .8K (.5 mile) swim, 19K (12 mile) bike, and a 5K (3.1 mile) run. Doing a triathlon is one of the most empowering experiences — physically, mentally, and emotionally. In addition, the Danskin Triathlon Series has many different waves. The elite pros start first, followed by the amateur elites, and then groups separated by age. There is also a wave for cancer survivors and a buddy wave, if you want to compete with a pal in a different age group. Overall, competing in the triathlon is a rewarding experience and is organized in a way that all women, of all experience levels, can compete. I would recommend being a part of next year’s event.


If you want happiness for a day, drink a glass of good wine. If you want happiness for a year, build yourself a house. If you want happiness for a lifetime, plant yourself a garden. (Chinese Proverb) Kleingärten, or allotment gardens, are fenced in parcels of land, which are managed by a club or association and leased to their members at a very low price. Long gone is the image of the Gartenzwerg paradise! Instead, the Schrebergärten are being used by families and young people as a reasonably priced retreat from the urban concrete wastelands. Like so many things, Schrebergarten colonies are regimented by a storm of laws. The size of the important arbor is minimal, and it may not be used for permanent living. The size of the garden itself is restricted too. Also, issues of environmentalism, preservation of nature and landscape conservancy must be observed at all times. Most Kleingarten associations demand the growing of fruits, vegetables, flowerbeds and grass fields in a differing ratio. Kleingärten are not only known in Germany. 14 national Kleingarten organisations are organized in the European association „Office International du Coin de Terre et des Jardins Familiaux.“ The installation of the so-called poor-gardens was one of many measures in the beginning of the 19th century, in order to get the poverty under control. After WWII, even more of the Kleingarten associations were founded to enable a better supply of fresh produce for the population. Today, even though there are still many folks over the age of 65 in the Kleingärten, more and more families re-discover the value of a small piece of nature to enable their small children to play outside. Because of the living situation in the cities, where there are no single-family homes, and with everyone living in large apartment complexes with no access to any gardens or lawns, owning such a tiny parcel of land in the outskirts is invaluable. We have barbeques with friends there in summer and in the fall we can harvest our own vegetables and fruits. It is an important part of how we want to raise our children and to install into them a sense of how priceless and indispensable nature is.

October / November 2011

German-American Journal


“Das Betragen ist ein Spiegel, in welchem jeder sein Bild zeigt.” “Behavior is a mirror in which every one shows his own image.” Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Das Nachwuchsdilemma Die Geburtenrate in den USA ist höher als in anderen Europäischen Laendern. Bezahlten Mutterschutz gibt es in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika nicht – zumindest keinen gesetzlich vorgeschriebenen. Viele Mütter müssen kurz nach der Geburt ihres Kindes sofort wieder an den Arbeitsplatz. Nur warum haben die USAmerikaner im Mittel mehr Matthias Knobloch Kinder als die Deutschen? Statistisch gesehen lag die Geburtenrate im Jahr 2009 bei 2,1 Kindern pro Mutter in den USA. Den deutschen Müttern bescheinigt die Studie der Weltbank eine Gebrutenrate von 1,4 Kindern. Ein signifikanter Unterschied. Die USA ist das einzige westliche Industrieland, welches keinen bezahlten Mutterschutz per Gesetz garantiert. Lediglich der Family and Maternity Leave Act aus dem Jahr 1993 schreibt Großunternehmen vor, einen Mutterschutz von maximal zwei Monaten zu garantieren – unbezahlt. Erziehungsgeld oder Kindergeld für Eltern aller sozialen Schichten klingen in den USA wie ein Fremdwort und bedarf einer genauen Erläuterung. Die Gebühren für einen Kinderkrippen

oder Kindergartenplatz koennen teurer sein als Miete fuer eine Vierraumwohnung in Chicagos hippen Wohnviertel „Wicker Park“. Warum also der Unterschied? Deutschlands Regierung kämpft schon seit Jahren gegen die viel zu geringe Geburtenrate. Die Deutschen werden immer älter – ein Trend, welcher negative Effekte auf Sozialsystem und Wirtschaft mitsichbringt. Deutschlands Wirtschaft bekommt den Fachkräftemangel jetzt schon zu spüren. Welche Auswirkungen ein solcher Mangel auf die Wirtschaftsleistung der Bundesrepublik haben kann, bedarf an dieser Stelle sicher keiner Erklärung. Die Regierung ist sich der drohenden Gefahren durchaus bewusst und versucht Anreize für junge Eltern zu schaffen. Jeder Bürger bekommt unabhaengig vom Einkommen pro Kind ein Kindergeld von 184 Euro. Für das Dritte bezahlt der Staat 190 Euro und ab dem Vierten sogar 215 Euro. Steuererleichterungen legt der Staat als Bonus sozusagen obendrauf. Deutschlands Mutterschutzgesetze schreiben einen garantierten Mutterschutz von acht Wochen bei nahezu voller Gehaltszahlung vor. Anschließend kann die Mutter entscheiden, ob sie zurück in das Berufsleben möchte oder ob sie oder der Vater doch lieber mit dem Kind zu Hause bleiben will. In dem Fall schreibt das Gesetz einen Schutz von bis zu Zwölf Monaten vor. Bei Erhalt des sogenannten Elterngelds von maximal 1.800 Euro pro Monat. Eine Kündigung durch den Arbeitgeber ist nicht möglich.

The Baby Dilemma By: Matthias Knobloch The birth rate in the United States is higher than in many European countries. Paid maternity leave is not guaranteed by US law and unlike other countries, the government generally does not support families just because they have children. Many mothers have to go back to work shortly after they give birth to their baby. This begs the question: why do Americans have more babies than Germans? Statistically, a U.S. mother gives birth to 2.1 babies in her lifetime, according to a 2009 study of the World Bank. A German mother, however, has an average of 1.4 babies. The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee paid maternity leave. The Family and Maternity Leave Act from 1993 requires big companies to grant maternity leave for a two month maximum. Unpaid leave is of course also an option. Child raising benefits or children allowances for the middle class paid for by the government do not exist. Childcare for infants and toddlers can be more expensive than rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in the Chicago Wicker Park neighborhood. So, why the difference? Germany’s Government is struggling to increase the number of newly born babies in it’s country. The Germans are getting older which has significant negative economic impacts - including to the social welfare system. The economy is noticing the lack of skilled labor. This serious shortage could become a significant threat to Germany’s Economy.

To confront this, Germany’s government is pulling every string in order to get Germans to produce more children. And – as a matter of fact – these strings are very powerful: Every citizen and resident is entitled to receive 184EUR/264 USD Kindergeld (children allowance) per child, 190EUR/ 273 USD if one has up to three children and 215EUR/309 USD for every child beyond three. This money is paid to families regardless of their social position. Significant tax breaks for families with children are also a bonus of becoming a mother or father. German law guarantees paid maternity or paternity leave. As a matter of fact, mothers are not allowed to work for at least 8 weeks after giving birth and are guaranteed a full paycheck during this period. The mother then can decide whether or not she wants to work part-time or fulltime at her job. She also has the option to stay home for a maximum amount of twelve months after giving birth. The society pays a certain percentage of her income up to a maximum of 1,800 EUR per month. Did I mention that her employer has to hire her again after her maternity leave? Even if it’s one year later, the employer is obligated to honor the original contract. As this evidence shows, affording parenthood in Germany is easier than in the States. So why is it that Americans are having more children than Germans? Are Americans less scared of the future? Do they like children better than the Germans across the pond? The sociologist Günter Burkart sees the main reason in cultural differences. The Ger-

Ein gemachtes Nest wie man meinen mag. Warum also haben die Amis mehr Kinder als die Deutschen? Sind US-Amerikaner weniger Schreckhaft? Sind sie vielleicht kinderlieber als Deutsche? Der Soziologe Günter Burkart sieht die Gründe in den kulturellen Unterschieden beider Länder. Im Land der Autobahnen werden Entscheidungen vorsichtiger getroffen. Deutsche ziehen viele Einflüsse in ihre Entscheidungen mit ein – denken voraus. Amerikaner hingegen sind weniger eine Kultur des Zweifelns. Sie stehen dem Elterndasein weniger Schreckhaft gegenüber als wir Deutschen. Günter Burkart meint auch, dass die Religion einen großen Einfluss auf die Familienplanung ausübt. Amerikaner sehen Kinder nicht als Wohlstandsverlust sondern vielmehr als eine Investition. Burkart geht noch einen Schritt weiter und behauptet, dass Kinder vor allem in der Mittelklasse der sozialen Positionierung dienen. Auch der Karriere stehen Kinder in Amerika nicht im Wege. Viele Managerinnen in US-Großunternehmen haben Kinder. 60% aller Frauen mit Kleinkindern gehen einem festen Beruf nach – ohne sich ueber diese Umstände zu beschweren. Ein Zustand, der zumindest in Westdeutschland bis vor ein paar Jahren noch schwer vorstellbar war. Eine typisch (West-) Deutsche Familie sah vor der Wiedervereinigung so aus: Der Vater geht arbeiten, während sich die Mutter brav um die Kinder daheim kümmert. In Ostdeutschland hingegen mussten und wollten auch die Mütter einer Tätigkeit nachgehen – schließlich mussten ja die Pläne des Arbeiter- und Bauernstaates erfüllt werden. Die Kinder haben derweil ihre Zeit in Kinderkrippen und Kindergärten verbracht. Ein solcher Platz war in der ehemaligen DDR jedem Kind garantiert – ganz anders als im ehemaligen Westdeutschland. Dort passte ja schließlich die Mutter auf das Kind auf. Das ist aber genau der Grund, weshalb viele Eltern im Westen Deutschlands Probleme haben, einen anständigen Kindergartenplatz für ihre Kinder zu bekommen. Heutzutage wollen Frauen Karriere machen. Um das Elterndasein und die berufliche Erfüllung unter einen Hut zu bringen hatte die deutsche Regierung ein Gesetz beschlossen, welches ab 2013 einen Kinderkrippen- und Kindergartenplatz für jedes Kind bundesweit garantiert. Einen Königsweg aus dem Nachwuchsdilemma gibt es sicher nicht aber hoffen wir, dass dieses Gesetz vielleicht den Trend nach oben einleiten wird.

mans are safety thinkers. They take many things into consideration before making a decision. Meanwhile folks between the Atlantic and Pacific, Mexico and Canada are less terrified in regards to their life’s plan. “It just happens” illustrates Günter Burkart. He also says that U.S. Society often is more religious than in Germany or Europe. He thinks that Americans see children primarily as an investment rather than a loss in wealth. Burkart goes one step farther and argues that having children helps social positioning; that many successful female managers in big US companies have children. Furthermore, American women are used to the work-life constraints implicit to motherhood. Evidence of this is the fact that 60% of mothers with children younger than three are working, and they don’t even complain about conditions. This would be unimaginable in Germany – well, at least in the west part of Germany. Before Reunification, West German’s stereotypical family consisted of children, a housewife, and a father who went to work. Meanwhile, families in East Germany typically had both parents working and their

children would spend their weekdays in childcare centers and kindergartens. The belief was that children did not suffer by being under the care of someone other than their parents—an idea that is still studied. My parents sent me to childcare when I was three months old and I turned out fine, right? The family policies in the former GDR were a little different compared to the policies in the West Part of Germany. Besides monetary stimulus packages for young families, the GDR also guaranteed a spot for every infant and toddler in a childcare center. For this reason, the east part of Germany still has more childcare places than the west to this day. In the nineties, many women in the former West Germany complained that there weren’t enough childcare centers with vacant spots for their infants and toddlers. They wanted to be able to work, have a successful career, and have children. In 2013 a new law will come into effect that guarantees a spot in a childcare center for every newly born child in Germany. As always, we will have to see if this policy spurs the increase in birth rate the government is hoping for!


German-American Journal

October / November 2011

“Was ist Ketzerei? Die Meinung aller, die nicht so denken, wie wir.” “What is heresy? The opinions of all of those who do not think the same way we do.” Friedrich der Grosse

GAPA Chicago: History & News Sängerfest To History of GAPA Chicago: Established in Chicago, Illinois in 1975, the German American Police Association (GAPA) is a fraternal organization comprised of duly sworn law enforcement officers of German heritage. As a social organization, we are also a charitable one, committed to supporting honorable causes within the German American Community and those of law enforcement. Current charities include but are not limited to the GAPA Scholarship Fund, the DANK Spatzen Children’s Chorus, DANK Schule Nord, St. Alphonsus Restoration Fund, the Chicago Police Department’s Gold Star Families which provides support to the families of officers killed in the line of duty, the Police Chaplains Ministries, the Chicago Police Memorial Fund and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The majority of our members are Chicago Police officers, Cook County Sheriffs officers, Illinois State Police officers as well as police officers of various suburban departments within the Chicago  metro area.  Associate Membership is allowed to non law enforcement officers who also wish to promote the ideals and goals of the German Amercian Police Association. In addition, our Association is a member of the German American National Congress (DANK). We also  have established and maintained contacts  with other German American law enforcement associations such as the German

American Police Association Of Greater Milwaukee,  the International German American Police Association  of Philadelphia, the New York City Police Department. Latest news: GAPA donates to DANK Haus Restoration Fund On the night of Aug 2nd, at the GAPA Board meeting, it was my pleasure to present to Dagmar Freiberger, president of the DANK North, along with Nikki and James Dombrowski and several other DANK North members, a check from GAPA in the amount of $1500 for their building restoration fund. The Board feels it is our obligation to try to make the Dank Haus a building that German-Americans, of all ages, all occupations, can be proud of. It is through our efforts at the Mayfest that we are able to do this, our small part. German Fest Milwaukee At the Germanfest Milwaukee we had a feisty contingent of about 30 people. Included were 4 from the Philadelphia GAPA, and it was nice to see them there, especially Philly President Jim Schwartz. Once again, Tom and Dottie Moritz did a stellar job organizing everything from breakfast at Laschet’s – thank you, Matt and Manny – to brunch at Mader’s, with a brief stop at the new Mars Cheese Castle on the way home. The GAPA is planning a  Rhine River Cruise for its members and friends in August of 2012! Contact Trip Meister Tom Moritz now for further and more exclusive details at 815-464-4665!

Be Held in Erie By: Beverly Pochatko Erie Siebenbürger Singing Society Club

On Saturday, September 24th, member choruses of the Sachsen District will gather at the Erie Siebenbürger Singing Society Club for the biennial Sängerfest. The choruses will start the day with a luncheon followed by the massed chorus rehearsals. Then it is time for Kommaris – time to share a beer, sing some of the traditional drinking songs at random before the banquet dinner. The evening’s festivities begin with the presenting of the Sängerfest Flag and the presentation of membership awards to the singers by the Sängerbund President Johann Paal of New Castle, PA. Open to the public, tickets for the dinner and Concert are $30/person or Concert tickets $5/person. Participating in this year’s event will be the Eintracht Saxonia Sachsenchor of Cleveland OH under the direction of Andrea Ball; the Eintracht Männerchor of New Castle, PA under the direction of Dan Forsberg; and the Erie Siebenbürger Gesangverein under the direction of Joan Miller. The Concordia Chorus of Youngstown is not participating this year as their membership in the chorus has dwindled. This is a problem among all German choruses – the older members are retiring or have passed and we cannot attract enough new younger members to help keep the music that meant so much to our predecessors alive. So, if you enjoy singing, please consider joining in one of the German choruses. You won’t be sorry you did.

October / November 2011

German-American Journal


“Gegenseitiges Vertrauen ist wichtiger als gegenseitiges Verstehen.” “Mutual trust is more important than mutual understanding.” Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Summer still lingers in the air, however the cooler nights remind me that autumn is here. The year seems to be flying by, especially when thinking about the many upcoming activities from our chapters and associate organizations for the next few months.  Here in the National Office we are looking forward to the 2011 National Convention in Pittsburgh, PA October 28-30th. Erik Wittman, his chapter and Region 3 have been finishing up the final details for the weekend. The National Convention has always been an event that allows everyone to reconnect with friends and establish new

relationships with other DANK members and friends. Has everyone sent in their DANK Raffle tickets? If you would like to order more tickets please call the office (888-USADANK) and we’ll get more to you right away. The drawing take place at the National Convention October 28-30th so there is still plenty of time to buy the winning ticket! Many thanks to all the volunteers for their help with our booth at Germanfest in Milwaukee. Without their help it would not have been such a success. Ten new members were signed up!

Educational Commission By: Ed Heinlein

The purpose of this article is to inform the membership of a new idea. DANK is re-thinking its educational philosophy and its focus on schools. At the National Board meeting in June of 2011, a new commission was formed to help the chapters with their public/private German language programs. The purpose of this commission is an assessment of the DANK educational program. This commission wants to find out where their schools are today, where they want to go in the future, and how are they going to get there. DANK should be prepared to react to what might happen in the future in public schools concerning German language instruction, so that it can react accordingly and can provide support at the local school level. The National Board wants to set up a three-tiered system of schools for teaching German: 1. DANK and AATG-testing schools (AATG is the American Association of Teachers of German); 2. DANK Schools with courses for adults and/or children, such as Conversational German or German for Beginners; 3. DANK Outreach Program to high schools and colleges, who may need support for their German language program as a result of declining enrollments, budget cuts, or cancellations. Schools already doing a good job will

be recognized. The commission will answer these and probably more questions: 1. Why are students studying German at the school? 2. What are the students learning at the school? 3. How are the students being evaluated at the school? 4. How are students using the German language after attending the school? The commission will examine and analyze the goals and objectives of existing schools. A list of DANK Schools, their locations, and their curriculums will be published. Guidelines and recommendations will also be suggested. I hope to get additional input and feedback from other teachers and any members. I am also presenting an educational seminar on this topic at the National Convention (October 27 to 30, 2011) at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The goals of the seminar are to present information, to discuss any ideas, and to ask for feedback. Anyone can volunteer to become a member of this commission. I hope members will consider serving on this commission and providing their expertise and experience. I am also looking for a contact person and additional help in each region. If interested, please contact Ed Heinlein at

DANK Membership: What Do You Think it Means? Before we go further with that question, let’s look at how the dictionary identifies the word membership: 1. A group of persons associated by some common tie 2. A group of people who work together. We all would agree with the first definition, correct? Your and my membership in DANK most likely has to do with the common tie of either a Germanic background in our family history, either by birth or marriage, having been born in a German speaking country, or being defined by the heritage/culture of our forefathers. We do have some members who belong to the organization just because they enjoy Germanic culture and support its inherent values and we welcome them.. Probably most of you would not disagree with point one of the referenced definition. So let’s look at the second point – a group of people who work together. That definition of the word “membership” is more complex and more difficult to achieve. In part because “working together” is much more difficult and a more critical component. It requires more than filling out a piece of paper and sending in a check to cover your dues. It goes to the heart of another very basic German trait, and that is “work.” It requires an effort to understand the goals of an organization, value those goals and work to achieve and maintain those goals. Frankly, it means getting involved, participating in chapter or national activities and efforts. It means getting off the sidelines and putting effort behind your beliefs and value system. I know, because I have heard it so often from some of our members. They are just too busy, they claim to have no skills the organization can use, or worse yet, they disagree with the focus of their chapter/organization. I don’t know about the rest of you, but personally I am offended by comments like that, since most of the involved mem-

bership is equally “busy,”, challenge their own skill levels to identify skills that are of value and are not opposed to learning how to do things. I have heard all the excuses over the years, be it as Chapter President or National Membership chair and my intent is not to be negative, but to challenge every member to just get involved to whatever degree they are able to, based on your personal situation. My challenge to all our members is to get involved, work at making your organization better and put some muscles behind the values we claim to have. So what is it that you should consider doing to be a meaningful member? 1. Attend chapter meetings or chapter events, so you know what your organization is about? Support and direct your organization by participation, so it can grow and meet your needs and that of your fellow members. 2. Make an effort to encourage friends and family, who value their Germanic heritage/culture, to join the organization? Who better than members, who value their heritage and culture in either giving a membership or encouraging membership in assisting in our “just add one campaign?” 3. Volunteer by indicating to your Chapter leadership on what you can do and not what you cannot do, so they know you are willing to contribute and not have the burden of always having to ask. 4. Finally, be an active participant. Be it locally or nationally, as to what you want DANK to be and how we can achieve that. Criticize if you have a better solution or are willing to work on a problem, but don’t just complain while others are faced with the burden of dealing with the things you don’t like. Perhaps some of our members may feel my comments to be harsh, but I truly believe that organizations and memberships are like democracy and voters, they go together or the fall together.

Send Your Holiday Greetings in the Next Issue

By: Darlene Fuchs

Place an ad in the German-American Journal holiday addition to wish your club members, friends, family, and loved ones a Merry Christmas. We make it easy for you to send special holiday greetings to your members, friends, customers, and colleagues. Select from the sizes below: Small ad (2-1/4” wide x 3-7/8” high) $25.00 donation (limited to 15 words) Large ad (5” wide x 3-3/8” high) $40.00 donation (limited to 25 words)

Send the Following information: • Chapter or Club Name • Your Name & Address • Phone Number & Email • Short Personal Holiday Greeting Send the ad info by Oct. 25th with your check to: DANK National Executive Office 4740N Western Ave. Suite 206 Chicago, IL 60625-2013 If you would like to design your own holiday greeting, please send it to us in the correct size as a pdf file attachment to

The holiday paper will be sent out by November 22nd, just in time to convey your holiday wishes. The reason for this holiday season is to spread goodwill to everyone. Show your support for the GermanAmerican Journal and make someone’s Christmas special by placing a holiday ad today. Call Eve at 773-275-1100 or Toll free 866-926-1109 for more information.


German-American Journal

October / November 2011

DANK National Board Nominees

Robert Miske Treasurer

I grew up in a typical small town USA located north of Milwaukee and graduated high school just as America was gearing up for the war in Viet Nam. The big decision: do I enlist, or do I wait to be drafted? I enlisted shortly before I found my name on the list going to the local draft board. Following training, I was told, “We have a special job for you”. I found myself on the way to the East German border. Members of the Bundeswehr lived next door and a friendship slowly developed. Their questions covered most of the things in America and our questions covered most of the things in Germany that we were not aware of. This was my first encounter with the different dialects of the German language. The soldiers that came from southern Germany spoke “Bayerisch” and the northern soldiers spoke something that was easily understood. My time on the border passed and I rotated back to the states. I brought along my future bride. Not long after coming back, we located the DANK chapter in Sheboygan. My wife and I were selected as delegates to our first convention in 1971 which took place in the DANK House ballroom on the 5th floor. The entire ballroom was filled to the point where we had to sit near the large windows. I have been employed by the Kohler Company since my return from the military. I am currently a CNC Milling

Beverly Pochatko A member of DANK since 1989, as the Founder of DANK Chapter 71 – Erie, PA, she has served as a member of the Region

Center operator on an automated sink finishing line. My wife is a German teacher at a parochial school downtown. We live in Sheboygan with our son, Rolf. He heads up the operations department at Value Holidays, Inc., a leader in worldwide custom group travel. My grandparents on both sides came to America during the great immigration wave of the 1880’s. My mother’s parents came from an area west of Prenzlau in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern known as the Ueckermark. My father’s parents came from an area located northwest of the Polish city of Nowogard in what was then Pommerania. My earliest dealings with finances occurred in middle school. The local 4-H club needed a treasurer. Although it was nothing more than a petty cash fund, the principles of accounting are still the same and the reports are still prepared in the same manner. My next endeavor during high school was treasurer for the local youth group at church. Their main effort was raising money by manning a refreshment stand at the local ball park during the summer months. This was also my first look at inventory management and scheduling of manpower. Upon joining DANK in 1971, shortly thereafter I found myself on the ballot as treasurer of the local chapter. With the decline in membership, the chapter in Sheboygan folded and we transferred to the chapter in Eagle River. That chapter also folded and we transferred to Milwaukee. After several years there, the offer to serve as treasurer came up again. This time it was slightly different in that, the auditors insisted that the financial records be computerized for easier accessibility and use. Finally, last December upon the resignation of Maria Thompson as the elected treasurer of the National Executive Board, the call to serve as treasurer came up again. I would like to thank those who have helped me during the time of transition. Those individuals include: Amelia Cotter, Bill Fuchs, Maria Thompson, Eve and Eva Timmerhaus and Christel Miske. It is with full understanding of the principles of DANK National and the duties of the National Treasurer, that I accept the nomination to serve as National Treasurer for the next two years 2012/2013 . If reelected, I too, accept the responsibility that goes with it.

3 Board both as President and currently as a Vice President. Beverly has served the DANK National Executive Board as a Region President, National Vice President, and currently as the National Recording Secretary. She has actively worked with many committees during that time. An active member of the Erie Männerchor Gesangverein, she serves as a Vice President of the Pittsburgh District of the North American Sängerbund; sings with the Siebenbürger Singing Society also representing them as 1st Vice President of the Sachsen Sängerbund. She has a firm commitment to the goals of DANK in preserving the traditions, music, culture and language of our German heritage. Having made many friends through DANK and the German American Community she values their friendship and support. She is quick to explain that the crux of any organization is the volunteers, and without their assistance, many functions would not – could not happen.

James Dombrowski President/Vice President

It is with full understanding of the duties of the DANK National Board that I, James Dombrowski, accept the nomination to run either as National President or Vice President for the term of 2012 and 2013. If elected, I accept all responsibilities of the designated position. I have been a member of DANK for eight years and have played a key role on the DANK Haus Chicago Board of

Directors with my enthusiasm, service, and ambassadorship for the organization. I have helped build teams and bolster Board and committee morale as well as actively build membership for the organization. I have also acted as a public spokesman and representative of the organization to welcome, inform, and excite people about our activities and our mission. I have always been willing to be involved with all areas and plans of the Chapter, be it from organizing events, driving long distances to pick up an exhibit, serving as grill supervisor at the Chicago Maifest, completing grant paperwork, and attending civic and cultural functions on behalf of our members. I am particularly interested in increasing cultural and artistic events. I attended DePaul University and founded a building services company while still in school, and worked for over eight years in the real estate industry. In response to the economy, I took the initiative to retrain and am now in the insurance catastrophe industry, where my travels have taken me across the nation. While working out of state, I use my free time to locate and connect with the local German community. Canoeing, antiquing and bicycling are among my favorite hobbies, as well as enjoying art and museum events. I am excited about the future of DANK and its role in the lives of German Americans.

October / November 2011

German-American Journal


DANK National Convention Information You May Want To Know!

By: Erik Wittmann

Convention Dates - October 27-30th, 2011 Convention Hotel – Crown Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South -a four star hotel located in the South Hills section of Pittsburgh on Ft. Couch Rd-Bethel Park, Pennsylvania Hotel Rate - $99 per night per room- non convention rate is $129 if you do not provide the GAM code at the time of registration- registration can be on line by going to either priority club or Holiday Inn web sites or by calling (412) 833-5300.or 1800-Holiday . Rate is valid for Convention guests from Oct. 25 thru November 1. Schedule of Events: Thursday, Oct.27th Plans for early Convention arrivals is to have the group go from the Hotel to spend an evening at Hofbrau Haus- Pittsburgh for dinner, drinks and relaxation- pure gemütlichkeit. Individual who either live in Pittsburgh or the Tri State Area or drove to Pittsburgh can choose to take their own personal car (there is a parking garage across the street from the Restaurant, (parking fee $4) or take advantage of transportation arranged for by the Chapter – roundtrip fare per person will be $15 but that includes a mini tour of Pittsburgh prior to going to the Hofbrau Haus. Friday, Oct. 28th arrivals – delegates will have scheduled meetings. Meetings will start at 10 am and run through 4 pm with a scheduled lunch- break . Lunch will be available at the Hotel or any number of establishments within walking distance including across the street at South Hills Village Mall. Non-delegates will have other options from tours of Pittsburgh to shopping or going to local Casino’s- which have provided voucher incentives to all registrants. On the evening of the 28th there will be an Oktoberfest at the Crown Plaza Hotel- Admission to the event will be $10, which will cover entertainment and some food. Full service Food and Cash bar will be available and

Alpen Schuplattler und Trachtenverein

provided for the Hotel in the Oktoberfest Hall (indoors) . Oktoberfest activities will start at 7pm with entertainment by the Augsburg German Band and the Alpen Shuplattler Dancers of Pittsburgh Saturday, Oct.29th Convention delegates will have morning meetings starting at 9 am.-through 2 pm. There are 3 hours in the afternoon of open time for relaxation and hitting the Health Club, which is provided as part of your hotel room rate or you can take advantage of one of the side trips being planned. Saturday evening the 30th Chapter Anniversary Convention banquet. Crown Plaza Banquet RoomCocktails-5:30pm Cash Bar / Dinner-6:30pm There will be a choice of two different entrees, pork or chicken. Specifics can be found on the Pittsburgh Chapter website Vegetarian or seafood plates can be made available for those making specific requests ahead of time. Banquet cost is $40 per person for tickets purchased prior to October 20, 2011. The cost increases to $50 per person if tickets are ordered/purchased after Oct. 20th. While the Banquet agenda is still being finalized , part of the Banquet activities will be to recognize the Pennsylvania German-American Man of the Year, recognize the Pittsburgh Chapter 30 year members and also to recognize

the Religious leadership of Germanic groups that settled in Western Pennsylvania. Among those to be honored will be the Spiritian (Holy Ghost) Fathers of Duquesne University, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neuman Community (Mt.Alvernia), the Benedictine Sisters and the Sisters of Divine Providence. Entertainment during the Social Hour and Dinner will be the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Ensemble. Dance Music will be provided by the “The Hank Haller Ensemble with performances by the North American Saengerbund” and D’LUSTIGEN ISARTALER of Pittsburgh. Sunday, Oct. 30th a Grand Brunch Buffet is available at a discounted rate for Convention attendees. Brunch tickets are $15 if purchased in advance and $18 at the door. For those staying over on Sunday, a dinner theater is available in the evening at the hotel. Any one wishing to attend can make arrangements when they check in. The performance will be “Hurray for Hollywood”! All events are open to DANK members and their guest at discounted rates to the various Social events provided. So please make your reservations early and visit the Pittsburgh chapter web site to either order your Oktoberfest tickets or Banquet tickets or just stay abreast of the Convention various activities.

Pittsburgh Chapter Names Jack Wagner German-American Man of the Year!

By: Erik Wittmann As part of the 30th Anniversary of the Chapter and forth-coming National Convention Banquet, the Pittsburgh Chapter will be honoring Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner as Pennsylvania’s German-American Man of the Year. Sworn is as Pennsylvania’s 50th elected auditor general on Jan. 18, 2005, Jack Wagner brings three decades of public service to his new role as the Commonwealth’s independent fiscal watchdog. He was re-elected to his second term as Auditor General on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009.

Before he was elected auditor general, Jack Wagner had represented Allegheny County as a state senator since May 1994. He served as the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and also served on the Appropriations; Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness; Rules and Executive Nominations; and Policy committees. The Pittsburgh Chapter in selecting Mr. Wagner recognized his commitment to good government and dedicated service. “As auditor general, this is my opportunity to serve as the taxpayers’ advocate in government,” Wagner said. “I’ve lived in Pennsylvania all of my life and I’m raising my family here. I know the issues that are important to this Commonwealth’s residents. It will be a source of pride for me making certain that our tax dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently, with the best interests of the people always at heart.” Unlike many politicians Jack Wagner, has not allowed partisan politics to influence his job, being critical of waste and ineffective government be it a Democratic or Republican administration. Mr. Wagner will receive his certificate as Pennsylvania German American Man of the Year at the Oct. 29th Convention/Anniversary Banquet. Wagner, who has been a member of DANK since 1984, also belongs to the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans. He received the Veteran of the Year award from the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program and the Outstanding Legislator Award from the Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars. Wagner and his wife, Nancy, and children Luke and Sara live in Pittsburgh. In addition to honoring Mr. Wagner, the Chapter also will be honoring several organizations with Germanic origins, which have contributed to the fabric of life to German immigrants over the past century and continue to serve Pennsylvanians through their Educational and Charitable endeavors at the current time.

Pittsburgh Chapter and Region 3 Invite You To Our Convention and 30th Birthday Celebration! By: Erik Wittmann

While we continue to work on putting some final touches on the activities for the forthcoming National Convention, the Chapters Planning Committee is issuing an invitation to all DANK members to join us for this Birthday/National Convention Party. As noted in a previous article, one does not have to be a delegate to attend the Convention or its activities. This is a chance to meet your fellow DANK members, and at the same time, make a 3 day weekend mini vacation for yourself. While we want this to be a positive and constructive Convention, more importantly we want all attendees to enjoy themselves and experience both Germanic culture and all the aspects that “America’s Most Livable City” has to offer. We have already forwarded to each of the Chapter’s, itineraries for this event, but want to share with all our DANK members the activities scheduled and let you all know that the invitation to attend is extended to all of you. If you do wish to attend make sure you book your rooms at the Convention Hotel, as indicated, and get your ticket orders in for the various activities. Here is just a brief outline of what is planned but you can always look for updates and pull off order forms at


German-American Journal

October / November 2011

Milwaukee’s Original Haus Party

By: Donna Lippert This year’s 2011 Germanfest, held in Milwaukee Wisconsin, is now over but a wonderful event it was! We had very warm weather, but the rain helped cool things off a bit this year, thank goodness! This festival was started in August 1981, with the help of Walter Geissler, then president of DANK. It was inspired by a challenge by former Mayor Henry Maier to the local German-American community on May 20th, 1980, at the 20th Anniversary of DANK to organize a German festival. German Fest celebrates the culture of Germany as well as Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and German-speaking communities around the world. DANK National’s Public Relations Booth, set up on the midway, proved to be a very popular place, with all kinds of people inquiring about DANK chapters and what DANK stands for. Many that stopped by signed up for membership or applied for a UMB visa

credit card, receiving a free DANK t-shirt. This year we had the opportunity to sell past t-shirt designs, cook books, and posters. Thank you to those that generously gave donations in support of the mission of DANK. President Bill Fuchs, his wife Darlene, as well as Donna J & Reinhard Lippert, set up the booth this year with the help from Bob Miske, who provided us with a wonderful tent and chairs located in the same spot as last year. Also helping over the weekend were Eve Timmerhaus, and Fred and Andrea Leinweber from DANK West, on Saturday. Even though it was hot, we all had a great time! Audrey Eberle-Hess, from EuroLloyd Travel in Chicago, joined us over the weekend, handing out brochures and answering questions regarding upcoming cruises. It was great to see DANK members from Davenport, Iowa and the many others that stopped by just to say hi. Everyone at this year’s event enjoyed the

Designs by Margaret Sutherland Ă–stling

delicious German food, hand-prepared on site by the many dedicated volunteers. In fact, German Fest is the only lakefront ethnic festival to rely on 100 percent volunteer labor. Festival goers consumed; 20,000 bratwurst, 35,000 strudel and pastries, 20,000 pork sandwiches, 20,000 pounds of potatoes for salad and potato pancakes, 5,000 chickens, 200 Spanferkel... the list goes on. This year featured the the time-honored traditional German music, the dachshund derby, fireworks, entertainment groups and the annual parade. New to the festival were Battle of the Bands, an Eat-a-Thon and an authentic German brew competition sponsored by The Beer Barons of Milwaukee. There

were more than 130 submission from local and regional brewers judged by local brewmasters. Please consider attending next year’s event, which will be the last weekend in July, 2012, so that you can continue to pass on our great German traditions for years to come! See you next year!

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October / November 2011

German-American Journal


DANK Lake County Celebrates 45 Years By: Ursula Hoeft

Members and friends of DANK Chapter Lake County, Illinois gathered at The Forge Club in Vernon Hills, Illinois on July 10th to celebrate the Chapter’s 45th anniversary. It was exactly 45 years earlier, to the day, that 46 people met in Waukegan to found what began as DANK Chapter Waukegan and was later renamed DANK Chapter Lake County, Illinois. Many of the founding members remain active in the Chapter – several were present at the celebration. In addition to Gunnar Christiansen, Vice Consul with The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago, Harry Volkman, retired meteorologist and popular former Chicago television weatherman, several DANK dignitaries also helped celebrate the milestone. They included (in alphabetical order) Andrea Dietz, DANK Youth Ambassador, and her father Gary Dietz, President of DANK

Ernst Weber and Karl Schmidt

Chapter Chicago South; Rudolf Golsch, President DANK Chapter Chicago Northern Suburbs; Edwin Günther, President DANK Region One; Ernst Ott, Honorary DANK National President; Maria Thompson, Treasurer, DANK Region One. The celebration began with the presentation by Bernd Krämer and Walter Veile of the

Benton Harbor Picnic

Rein Lippert, Harry Case, Robert Clark and Gary Wirth

By: Donna J. Lippert Even though the weather was warm, everyone that came to the Benton Harbor/ St. Joseph DANK picnic on July 17th, 2011, had a great time. A potluck lunch was served and beverages, brats,hamburgers and hotdogs were provided by the chapter. Later on picnic goers had a chance to throw darts at a board on that had balloons attached. Inside these balloons were either $1, $5 or $10 dollar bills. Dan Graebel, grandson to Dave and Mary Ann Hinz, won $10.00 and his eyes lit up seeing that $10.00 bill! A bean bag toss was held inside, to see

who was the best “tosser” and it appeared that several people were quite experienced at this game. Others were watching Japan and the USA play soccer and unfortunately Japan beat the USA, but there will always be another time for the USA to take 1st place in soccer. Our July fish fry had visitors from Germany. Their names were Baerbel, Julian and Merlin Rulff from Neumunster Germany, relatives of Mrs. Else Baumann. They enjoyed their supper very much! Please visit us sometime at one of our monthly fish fries, you won’t go home hungry!

Andria Dietz, DANK Youth Ambassador and Judy Kanka

American and German flags followed by the singing of both countries’ national anthems led by Wilhelm Boschat, Rudolf Golsch, and Ursula and Edwin Günther. The Rev. Richard Käske, a Chapter Board member, gave the invocation. Chapter President Cobi Stein delivered a welcoming address and Werner Stein, a Chapter Vice President, proposed a champagne toast preceding the meal. After dinner, Anni and Honorary Chapter President Victor Kordas extended an invitation to join them in the first dance; Greg Hoeft, a Chapter Vice President, reflected on the Chapter’s history, Hanni Krämer read letters of congratulation and Ludwina Homer, who had coordinated the celebration, introduced notable guests. Members eligible for anniversary pins were recognized by Karl Schmidt, Judy Kanka and Brigitte Käske. A highlight of the evening was the

presentation of a Large DANK pin by founding Chapter member and Honorary Chapter President Karl Schmidt to Chapter member Ernst Weber for the time and effort he has dedicated to researching the nine German prisoners of war who are buried at the Fort Sheridan, Illinois cemetery. By gaining the cooperation of the Museum of Lake County and Fort Sheridan, Mr. Weber was able to obtain personal information and pictures of the men. The photos and information are displayed at the Chaptersponsored Volkstrauertag wreath laying ceremony held every year at the Fort’s cemetery. Mr. Weber also has coordinated the Volkstrauertag activities the last several years and has been instrumental in the participation of the combined choirs of the Rheinischer Gesang Verein, SchleswigHolsteiner Sängerbund and Schwäbischer Sängerbund.

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Summer Picnic August 7th at Kison’s farm

By: William R. Troutman South Bend Chapter It was a warm day in July and not a drop of rain in sight. No wind to speak of so every little breeze was a welcome relief. It was a perfect day for a Pool Party at Ron and Annemarie Szulczyk’s beautiful home in Granger. I overheard remarks from several people that all the potluck food was delicious, most of us returned for seconds. Rudy and Trudy

Muessig brought their cell phone docking station and we listened to live music from a station in Bremen Germany via the satellite. Then in August, when we met once more for a picnic at the Kison farm, there was a downpour. We all had to move into the barn for a wonderful lunch and then back outside once the sun came out. Guenter Kison took us on a hayride and a water balloon toss was again officiated by John Tarwacki. It really turned into a gorgeous day. I took the initiative to have a word with Ernst Zeller. He is one of our chapter’s most successful businessmen as part owner of the Metal Stamp Company. Ernie is very passionate about his business and speaks proudly of the men and women working for him. Talk to you next time about our Moonlight Picnic in October. It should prove very interesting.

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German-American Journal

October / November 2011

Northwest Pennsylvania Celebrates Its German Heritage

Alpen Schuhplattler from Pittsburgh

By: Beverly Pochatko The 15th Annual German Heritage Fest was held at St. Nick’s Picnic Grove that it has called ‘home’ for 13 years. St. Nick’s shade trees and large open area for several tents, including one nearly 200 feet long, creates a great atmosphere. Under extremely hot and humid conditions, 12 volunteers worked Friday to set up for opening day. There was no relief on Saturday when they returned to ‘man their stations’ as temperatures hit 97°. Many fest visitors shortened their visit due to the heat and lack of a breeze. A nearly full tent for the impressive opening ceremonies began with the Parade of Flags – the national flags of Austria, Germany and the US, followed by the

sixteen German state flags and the Alpen Schuhplattler dancers from Pittsburgh. National anthems were sung and the flags displayed prior to the official tapping of the keg. Band leader Hank Haller, Beverly Pochatko the festival co-chair and Fred Huttel, Jr. did the honors and led the first toast with a rousing Ein Prosit! Walking into the Marktplatz area, Potratz Florist had a magnificent display of flowers for sale. Under the tents Ernst Licht’s display of German goods, spilled out into the fairway; Amber America brought in amber and turquoise jewelry and more for the ladies to enjoy. Then for casual wear, Todd’s had a large variety of novelty German tee-shirts; Hoffman’s Chiropractic was there to talk about the benefits they provide to improve health and well-being.

DANK Lake County Picnic

The Erie Society for Genealogical Research was bustling with people wanting to know more about their roots. The DANK Information Booth sold raffle tickets and passed out membership information packets. Souvenir glasses, pitchers and sampler glasses were sold by DANK also. The Kinderplatz was filled with younger attendees enjoying Granny’s Ark petting Zoo, riding the trackless train, bouncing around in a Castle, and climbing the Alpine Rocks along with riding the swings and climbing the monkey bars. Our associate members, the Erie Männerchor Gesangverein, sold delicious tortes, cheesecakes and brownies in their Viennese Café; and the Lake Erie Fanfare sold brats, limburger cheese and braunschweiger sandwiches. German platters were the specialty of Sabella’s Catering. The Boy Scouts were selling ox-roast and roasted corn to raise funds for their activities. Additionally there were funnel cakes, fresh lemonade, fudge, sweet & salty kettle korn, ice cream and variety of nuts and candy, and Helmut’s Strudel. The Biergarten boasted fine draft beers especially brewed for the fest – German Alt and German Blonde by Erie Brewing Co

along with Hofbrau Bier and Beck’s brew. One could also find delicious wines made by Heritage Winery, from nearby North East PA, in the Weingarten. Lots of water was also available. Being supportive of our community, the Lake Shore Fire Dept. was there advertising their Family Day, and St. Joseph’s RC Church promoting their Oktoberfest and Beemer raffle. Second Harvest Food Bank received 2,320 lbs of canned goods collected at the festival gate for the St. Nick’s Project. Sunday, the effects of Hurricane Lee were felt in the form of cooling breezes and less sun. The crowds began at 10:30 AM and the parking lots were full all day. People, encouraged by Bob Hamilton the Mad Bavarian and the Hank Haller Band of Cleveland, made their way out onto the dance floor. A slight drizzle failed to dampen the spirits of the fest-goers near supper time... just hours from the final toast and dance. Under the right circumstances, festivals are great money makers. Being a part of preserving and showcasing our German heritage is priceless!

DANK Milwaukee Chapter Active at GermanFest By: Jane and Bill Nacker

Steve and Willy Kueller; Hunter Bode (the winning “cheese head”) and Brian Bode

By: Ursula Hoeft Members and guests of DANK Chapter Lake County, Illinois braved the hot and humid weather to gather at Van Patten Woods in Wadsworth, Illinois on Sunday, July 17, for the Chapter’s annual picnic. There was plenty of time for a cool beer or two, to visit with friends and to enjoy some good old-fashioned Gemütlichkeit before, during and after a superb meal. Anni and Victor Kordas, assisted by members of their family, all chefs extraordinaire, once again “manned” the grill and barbequed delicious chicken and sausages. A plentiful assortment of side dishes made by club members and delectable desserts, many of them also homemade, completed the feast. A game played during the afternoon confirmed that you don’t have to be from Wisconsin to be a “cheese head.” Hunter Bode,

a resident of Illinois, proved it by collecting the most cheese puffs on her shaving-creamcovered head (see photo). Her brother, Brian, did the tossing and the number of puffs that were on Hunter’s head when the game ended put them well ahead of Steve and Willy Kueller, the second place winners. Chapter member Jamie Davies refereed the game – the competition was fierce! In the always-popular water balloon toss Ralph Kordas and Nate Eifert were the last team holding an intact water-filled balloon when second place winners Fred and Brian Bode were doused by water as their balloon broke. Considering how hot it was, it must surely have felt good! Traditional German tunes played on his button box accordion by Chapter member Erwin Goering, accompanied on guitar by his grandson Chris Beaman, were a pleasant addition to a very enjoyable afternoon.

DANK Milwaukee Chapter participated in Milwaukee’s German Fest which was held July 28 through July 31 at the Milwaukee lakefront Summerfest grounds. Milwaukee’s German Fest has been called “the largest German celebration in North America” and is made possible through the work of over 3000 volunteers. Many of the volunteers represent the German related societies in the greater Milwaukee area. DANK Milwaukee Chapter President Edwin Gunther thanks the many Dank members

who volunteered to work in various booths at the Fest. DANK members volunteered in the Konditorei (cafe and desserts), captained by Milwaukee DANK Treasurer, Ursula Gunther, and also in Pizza, Beer and Jägermeister bars, admission gates, and staffing the DANK booth in the Culture tent. Members of the DANK national executive board also attended the Fest. They staffed a public relations booth where they answered questions about DANK and offered membership opportunities.

2 Milwaukee members receive commemorative t-shirts from DANK National President. L to R: Milwaukee Chapter member William Bessa, DANK Milwaukee President Edwin Gunther, Jane Nacker, and DANK National President, William Fuchs

October / November 2011

German-American Journal


What Do You Have to Offer? By: Donna J. Lippert

When you visit the store, you don’t expect to be asked to work a shift on the register. When you visit a restaurant, you don’t expect to spend time in the kitchen. When you attend a sporting event, you don’t expect to stay after and clean up the bleachers. Yet, when you get involved in a club or organization, people EXPECT you to do SOMETHING. Why is that? Why can’t you just visit your favorite club and enjoy the music, eat the delicious food prepared by others and then just go home? Seems too easy right? Isn’t it enough that I/WE “just show up” without having to do anything at all? Have you ever had any of these thoughts? The average person just wishes to be connected to an organization that requires only a small commitment. We don’t want to have to spend all of our time volunteering; we don’t even want to commit “too soon” or “too long”. Many people find it very hard to become committed for any length of time, some only offer a few hours of help as it requires so little energy. Basically, people wish to be members in name only, not action. Then there are the “verbal” people who complain about “this and that”, yet don’t become involved in an organization, or volunteer, or try to be elected to be on a board and help to make the decisions. I would love

to see our chapter members do what they CAN DO and say when they CAN DO IT –remember, it is “your club/ chapter” and everyone should be able to offer some time and energy; otherwise those already doing all the hard work will become “burned out” and the club will suffer. This is already happening at a few DANK chapters that I have visited lately and personally, I don’t feel that the President and his Board of Directors should go around “begging” their DANK members for help. The DANK member should be the one stepping forward and signing up for events to help their fellow DANK members. Consider being the DANK member that initiates the call to your chapter to volunteer as it can give a person of sense of “pride” when you ask to volunteer! To those chapters that have their own house, it is the best opportunity to host many types of events like dances, holiday parties, festivals, blood drives, movie nights, rummage sales, car washes, German classes, among others. Most of these events could be great fundraisers for the chapter itself. Encourage the local schools to visit your chapters, get them involved as they are the future leaders of DANK, especially if their parents and grandparents are current DANK members. Also consider having a clean-up day twice a year at your chapter as a good cleaning “inside and out” keeps your house in order and makes it presentable to those wishing to rent your facility for either a reunion or

other type of party. It also makes all guests visiting seem so very welcome! Keep in mind that “TEAMWORK” is what this message is all about. Plan your activities today and get your volunteers to sign up months in advance in case someone cannot help out at the last minute. It is always better to have a few backups in place so that things won’t be too hectic for a handful of people when an event is being held. Keep in mind, also, that DANK was founded based on “volunteers”, so consider calling your local chapter today to help out! Thank you to all those past DANK members who have put in many hours and years at their chapters, as it is so much appreciated by myself and our National Board! Lastly, remember that the convention in Pittsburgh is soon approaching. I hope that by now your chapter has elected their delegates to come to the convention. New ideas and suggestions are always welcomed so please get out there and call your chapter today to see “WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THEM”! See you in Pittsburgh where we will have a nice time at the Hofbrau Haus in Pittsburgh. Vice President Erik Wittmann and his colleagues have so many other wonderful events scheduled for four (4) wonderful days of exciting events! We want to keep DANK alive and active for years to come! Thanks for being a DANK member!

Giving To The DANK Education Fund Is Tax-Deductible… By: DANK Directors




Some of you may have noticed that the DANK Education Fund Contribution form has been absent from the past several issue. This was in part due to the fact that DANK Education Fund, which is a 501-c3 organization, has been reviewing its mission and reorganizing its Board. During this reorganization we still are and have provided resources to chapters who run educational programs as well as made contributions to

non-DANK programs falling within our Mission. Among the areas we are focusing is the expansion of our Board of Directors and working more closely with groups such as the ATG, American Teachers of German, and other entities looking to preserve German language, culture and heritage. All this activity is intended to strengthen both our mission and operation. This is why we are again requesting that those of you able to make a donation to this fund, make the effort for the 2011 tax year. All contributions are tax deductible (if you

itemize your contributions) allowing you to support your Germanic heritage financially as well with pride. All contributions are welcome, be they $10 or $10,000 depending upon your own ability to give and utilize the deductions for this tax year. No contribution is too small and all are welcome based upon your own financial circumstances. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this worthy effort.

Be Part of the DANK Haus Legacy!

By: Amelia Cotter The DANK Haus would like to thank its generous donors to the 2011 Façade Restoration project so far (as of August 19): Friend of the DANK Haus Sponsors: Hans & Christina Boden, $1500 Annemarie Bozic, $2500 German American Police Association of Chicago, $1500 The Huettenbar, Pledged Steve Erbach $1000 Martin Hartig $1000 Dombrowski Family $1000 Hans & Christa Scheel $1000 Peter Contos $600 Sara Hartig $500 Gerald Streib $500 Anonymous $280 Christine Clark $250 Elizabeth and Floyd Miller $200 Donation Box $156 Hidai Bregu $100 Wambach Roofing $100 Walter Kirchherr $100 Anne Wegener $100

Dr. William A. Pelz $50 Horst & Anna Wagener $50 Otto Perlenfein $50 Ida Gantner $30 Rosemary Reiner Kaye $25 Johann & Rosemarie Morgen $25 Yvonne Frazier $20 Total Collected: $12,636 (10%!) Goal: $100,000+ Work will begin on the façade on September 6, 2011. The project will cost over $250,000, up to 50% of which will be reimbursed through a City of Chicago SBIF Grant. Corporate and individual sponsorship packages are available, starting with Friend of the DANK Haus ($1,500-9,999), Silver ($10,000-14,999), Gold ($15,000-19,999) and Platinum Legacy ($20,000+).

Check Us Out Online

Help us reach our goal today and ensure that the DANK Haus remains the “Jewel of Western Avenue” for years to come! For more information, please contact us, or mail or bring your tax-deductible contribution to:

Head on over to our National Website to get the latest updates and information on DANK and the Germanic-American community.

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center 4740 N. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60625 773.561.9181 ///


German-American Journal

October / November 2011

“In jedem echten Mann ist ein Kind verborgen, das spielen möchte.” “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Special Opportunities for Young People Deutsche Sprachschulen (DSS) and Volunteer Germany Program

During the past school year in December of 2010, the ZfA Coordinator for the Midwest in conjunction with the German Consulate of Chicago held a ‘Praesentationswettbewerb’ – a presentation (poster) competition – inviting all Midwest PASCH Schools (partner schools). The German Federal Office of Administration, Christa Garcia Center for German Schools and Programs Abroad –ZfA through the German Language Advisor and Programs Coordinator is again offering such a ”Praesentationswettbewerb.” This year’s competition (2011-2012) will take place on two levels: Level one will be judged within the classroom setting by students who have researched and prepared presentations on given topics. Level two will determine the best presentation(s) within each of the schools. The best presentation per school will then be chosen to represent that school at the regional (Midwest) competition. The following schools are qualified to participate and need to submit their registration applications no later than September 30, 2011; DSS DANK Arlington / Palatine, DSS DANK Chicago Nord, DSS Naperville, DSS Bloomfield, Immersion School Farmington Hills, DSS Metro Detroit, DSS Ann Arbor, DSS Cleveland, Immersion School Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Languages, Immersion School Twin Cities, DSS St. Louis. Registration applications will be sent under separate mail. All students enrolled in the above mentioned schools are strongly encouraged to participate. This year’s theme is: “Deutschland: Seine Regionen, seine Vielfalt“ (Germany: its regions and its diversities) The presentation should be about five minutes for students with language ability level A2, and ten minutes for students with language ability B1 or higher. (The designation of language levels is determined by the ability to speak, read and write German as outlined in the standards set by the ”Gemeinsamer europaeischer Referenzrahmen fuer Sprachen” = Common European Frame of Reference for Foreign Languages.) No notes are allowed during the presentation. The presentation cannot be memorized materials and each participant will be questioned extensively after each presentation by the members of the ‘jury”. Possible suggested topics are as follows: • Was ist „Handkaes’ mit Musik“? (What is hand cheese with music?) • Warum klingt Bayrisch so anders als Plattdeutsch? (Why does Bavarian dialect sound different from Low German?) • Ist Schwaebisch eigentlich eine Sprache? (Is Swabian really a language?) • Wie kam es zu den verschiedenen Bundeslaendern? (How did the various German states ( now 16) originate? etc.

Participants level B1 and higher also need to research German Federalism. Every Contestant must present all results on a poster board. Each poster must show a personal connection to the topic chosen. Participants will be asked for instance: “”Do you or does your family have a German heritage or connection? Explain please. Or: why are you interested in that region of Germany? – explain and give specific examples.” Students do not have to have traveled or lived in Germany in order to represent a region of that country. But their presentation must clearly excel something like a “Wikipedia copy & paste“presentation! Students may look at the Goethe Institut cultural poster of Germany to get some additional ideas. (attached) The purpose of these language competitions is two-fold:

besides keeping students continuously involved in the study of the German language and helping them to develop German language skills at the same time, these competitions are also a vehicle to help students crystallize their thoughts and ideas so they can help shape the future of our society. These competitions will develop the young people into world citizens at a national as well as on an international level. German teachers have to attach to the application a list of the following requirements: 1. lesson plans outlining how they plan to prepare students for this competition, 2. the date of the class competition, 3. the date of the all-school contest, 4. the composition of the jury, 5. the plans for the award ceremony, and 6. the parental and organizational support this competition will receive. The Language Coordinator of the ZfA has special funds available for this year which are based on the total number of students involved. The participating schools need to finance approximately 15% of their own expenses and divide all funds as follows; 70% for individual student awards and 30% for organizational costs. A detailed accounting according to German guidelines has to be submitted by the 31rst of December 2011.

What is the best way for our students to practice their German language skills and gain valuable cultural knowledge and insights? Here is a relatively new program available through Amity International. It is the “Volunteer Germany Program” offered to aspiring young people between 18 and 26 as an opportunity for gaining international experience. High School and college graduates can acquire valuable experience abroad and fulfill an internship requirement through a job abroad. Amity Institute’s goal is to assist young people in gaining international experience that is affordable. Participants are responsible for their travel expenses and a reasonable program fee depending on the country you are from. It can be as low as $1,000 but not higher than 1.300 Euros depending on the country you apply from and the conditions we can provide you. Participants have to plan for some additional money if they want to travel extensively in Germany / Europe during their vacation. Free housing, food, health insurance and workers comp will be provided by the host organization on location. Access to reasonable travel insurance can be provided by Amity. Details are provided in the information you receive after submitting your application. :

October / November 2011

German-American Journal


“Geduld ist das einzige, was man verlieren kann, ohne es zu besitzen.” “Patience is the only thing one can lose without owning it.” Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Looking at the Possible AT&T / T-Mobile Merger By: Stephen Fuchs | There has been a lot of talk going on about the recently filed lawsuit by the Department of Justice against the possible AT&T / T-Mobile USA merger. T-Mobile USA is the American division of the Bonn, Germany based Deutsche Telekom. The main concern being presented by the Department of Justice (DOJ) is that the merger would create higher prices, less competition, and lower quality mobile wireless products in the United States. As it stands right now, there are four major nationwide wireless providers in the US… Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile as well as many smaller regional carriers. AT&T believes that by buying T-Mobile USA it would help make it possible to build out broader LTE coverage more quickly and reach 97% of the American population with the latest wireless technology. The DOJ and rival carrier Sprint see’s more of a negative future if the acquisition goes through. The Rise and Fall of T-Mobile USA Deutsche Telekom entered the US Wireless market in 2001 when it completed its acquisition of the regional carriers VoiceStream Wireless Corporation and Powertel, Inc. T-Mobile USA quickly grew it’s business to eventually become a major player as a national carrier and take 4th place behind Sprint by offering low prices, new technology, and quality customer service. With 33.73 million customers and $21.35 billion in annual revenues in 2010, T-Mobile looks like a successful player in the wireless market. Unfortunately that is not the case. After missing out on the chance to carry the iPhone in 2007, T-Mobile began losing a large amount of its contract customers. In 2010, contract customers dropped to 78% of subscribers compared to the 85% it saw in 2006 before the arrival of the iPhone on AT&T’s network. Out of the four major wireless carriers, T-Mobile is the only one to suffer a loss in customers last year. This continued drop has made it difficult for the company to invest in the needed network upgrades and resulted in Deutsche Telekom making the decision to sell the US subsidiary.

Comparing Markets DOW

Sprint Begins Merger Talks with Deutsche Telekom On March 8, 2011, Bloomberg broke the news that Sprint was in talks with Deutsche Telekom to buy T-Mobile USA. It was reported that the two companies were talking back and forth but an agreement on the valuation of T-Mobile USA couldn’t be agreed upon. Michael Kovacocy, an analyst at Evolution Securities in London stated that Deutsche Telekom is “selling from a weak position in the marketplace… The operations could fetch well south of $20 billion, well below what DTE would look for.” If Sprint was to buy T-Mobile, its subscriber base would jump to around 86 million which would still place the company in 3rd place behind Verizon and AT&T. AT&T and Deutsche Telekom Reach an Agreement Just days after the news broke about the potential sale of T-Mobile to Sprint, AT&T announced on March 20, 2011 that it had reached an agreement with Deutsche Telekom to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. If approved, the purchase would make AT&T the largest US wireless carrier with nearly 130 million customers. Sprint quickly spoke out against the proposed merger by taking out large print ads in the major US newspapers and magazines drumming up the value of competition. On August 31, 2011, the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust complaint against AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, seeking to block the merger. The DOJ believes that competition would be greatly reduced if the US consumer only had three major carriers to choose from instead of the current four. Sprint applauded the DOJ for their decision stating that the decision would “ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry,” and “will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy, and encourage innovation.” On September 6, Sprint followed in the footsteps of the DOJ by filing their own lawsuit. What’s Next? While the recent DOJ ruling may set things back a bit, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom have publicly come out with statements showing confidence that they will still get approval from the FCC. Sprint appears to be speaking out due to its failure to reach a deal first and would they still think that three carriers isn’t enough competition if they were the ones to make it happen?

By: Stephen Fuchs | Germany has been active in recent years about protecting the privacy of its citizen’s online data and a top Facebook official met recently with the German Interior Minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, to address some security concerns that have been raised on some of the company’s practices. In August, officials from the German state of Schleswig-Holstein took aim at Facebook over the use of the popular ‘Like’ button used on many websites. It was said that the use of this button, which is provided by Facebook, allows companies to easily track and collect the data of the Facebook users that click it. The state has proposed a 50,000 euro fine ($70,000) be given to any website owner that decides to embed the Facebook ‘Like’ button on their site. In a statement given to CNN, the Schleswig-Holstein privacy commissioner, Thilo Weichert, praised Facebook’s quick response and willingness to work with German officials over the privacy concerns. He stated that he was “positively surprised by the meeting” and that there would be “further talks in the future.” Facebook is not the only social media company being investigated over privacy concerns. Hans-Peter Friedrich stated today that he want’s to “establish a general code for social networks that involves rules on data protection and the protection of user identities.” Google was the company of focus in recent years in Germany as privacy issues were heavily debated around the company’s Street View program. Roughly 250,000 German citizens requested that Google blur out their homes that appeared on the Street View images.

It may be just my opinion, but our country has proven to do just fine with 3 competitors in other industries. Look at the fast food burger industry… we have McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. In mobile phone operating systems we have Apple, Google, and Research in Motion (RIM). Prices continue to stay competitive and innovation hasn’t shown any indications of slowing down. In the wireless carrier market, I do not believe that Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint would stop trying to compete if T-Mobile didn’t exist. Also, Deutsche Telekom has shown that they are looking to get rid of their T-Mobile USA subsidiary, so what would happen if they just shut their doors?

iTunes Top 10 Song Downloads United States


Facebook Meets with German Officials Over ‘Like’ Button

Data Taken Sept. 16, 2011






1 Moves Like Jagger • Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera

1 New Age • Marlon Roudette





2 Someone Like You • ADELE

2 Changed the Way You Kiss Me • Example

$ Change:

- $970.64

€ Change:

- €1646.61

3 Pumped Up Kicks • Foster the People

3 Moves Like Jagger • Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera

% Change:

- 7.78%

% Change:

- 22.81%

4 Stereo Hearts • Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine

4 Paradise • Coldplay

5 Paradise • Coldplay

5 Danza Kuduro • Lucenzo feat. Don Omar


6 You Make Me Feel... • Cobra Starship feat. Sabi

6 Got 2 Luv U • Sean Paul feat. Alexis Jordan



7 Yoü and I • Lady Gaga

7 Titanium • David Guetta & Sia



8 Cheers (Drink to That) • Rihanna

8 Welcome to St. Tropez • DJ Antoine & Timati

$ Change:

- $0.0364

9 Party Rock Anthem • LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock

9 Echt • Glasperlenspiel

% Change:

- 2.57%

10 Without You • David Guetta & Usher

10 One Night in Ibiza • Mike Candys & EvelynZ

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Shaded Row: Song found on both lists

Source: iTunes


German-American Journal

October / November 2011

“Wer sich heute freuen kann, der soll nicht warten bis morgen.” “He who can be happy today should not wait until tomorrow.” Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

Allure of the Seas The Power of Attraction

By: Audrey L. Hess-Eberle Euro Lloyd Travel Group/Chicago A feat of architecture and imagination, blended into a cruising era that has escalated to a new level -- our parents and grand parents could not even have imagined the future of cruising while on their long passage to the new world. A new age has been born with the arrival of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s sister ships, the Oasis of the Seas, and most particularly, the Allure of the Seas – the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. Both with 28 ultra-modern loft suites and 2,700 spacious staterooms including 37 categories of accommodations from which to choose, these 16-deck marvels almost defy expectation. The revolutionary design of the Allure of the Seas will fill your days with wonder from the first glow of morning’s new light, until the last wee satisfying reflections of day’s end. With 7 distinctly designed themed neighborhoods, your 8 day/7night cruise will keep you, your family and friends occupied. The neighborhood concept allows you to find experiences based upon your personal styles, preferences or moods. Hop into a full-sized carousel in the Allure’s Boardwalk neighborhood which also features restaurants, shops and carnival games – a breathtaking space for families inspired by the nostalgic seaside piers of yesteryear. Or - spend some quiet time in the adults-only Solarium or Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness centers while you let your

kids’ imaginations run wild in their own Youth Zone – the largest dedicated youth area at sea. Still not entertained enough to be satisified? It’s all that jazz and much more when you attend a performance of the Grammy award-wining Broadway sensation: Chicago – the Musical. Next, attend the Blue Planet Aerial Acrobatic Show – a spectacle that celebrates the natural world around you – from the peaks of mountain tops to the ocean’s depths, all via the medium of powerful music, soaring vocals and high-flying aerial acrobatics that leave you breathless. Like to gamble? The neighborhood of Casino Royale is the largest and most sophisticated casino at sea – boasting 450 slot machines and extensive table games from blackjack, roulette, and craps to Caribbean stud poker. East or West Caribbean cruise, 8 day/7 nights Sunday departures from Ft Lauderdale, FL includes meals and anytime dining (specialty restaurants with supplemental fees) all entertainment Rates start at $1083 plus taxes per adult or child - 3rd and 4th person family rates are lower Call today for more information, on this and other cruises or tours, various destinations. Identify yourselves as a DANK member. Ask for Audrey or Tiffany. Phone: 312-362-0218 /// Toll Free: 800572-3149 /// Email:

EURO LLOYD TRAVEL Announcing AIR FARE SPECIALS for members of DANK If you have not traveled to Germany lately, or just thought you might skip the trip to Europe this year, you can not afford to pass up the low discounted travel airfares being offered by all airlines. Please identify yourselves as DANK members when calling our office.

Current Fall airfares (special sales can occur at any time) for travel to and from Germany, including taxes and fuel surcharges, start from: Chicago Indianapolis Milwaukee Madison Cleveland Detroit

$796 $890 $890 $895 $895 $965

Audrey L. Hess-Eberle or Tiffany Nedwed EURO LLOYD TRAVEL GROUP Partner of Lufthansa City Center The Monadnock Building 53 W. Jackson Blvd. - Suite 863 Chicago, Illinois 60604

*Call for special airfares to other European cities and beyond. *Low discounted Domestic and international airfares. *European Rail passes and single tickets. *Car rentals with special low dollar rates in most European countries. *Cruises world-wide. *Worldwide tours – independent, hosted and fully escorted.

Call now for information: 1-800-572-3149 or 1-312-362-0218 email: Visit us at:

Rates are subject to availability for your date of travel, with various airline non stop or connection options. Friday, Saturday, Sunday Weekend surcharges apply for each direction.

Doris Day - The Wholesome American Girl By: John Bareither We often hear about the current stars of today’s Hollywood abusing alcohol and drugs. The late Amy Winehouse even wrote a song about it and won Best Contemporary Song for it in 2007-most appropriately titled “Rehab”. During an earlier day in Hollywood there was an actress/singer that portrayed a more wholesome image. That actress/singer was Doris Day-Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff. Doris was born on April 4, 1924 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father, Wilhelm Kappelhoff, was a music teacher and her mother Alma was a housewife. Cincinnati had a large German population during the time Doris was growing up. All of Doris’ grandparents were German immigrants. Her remarkable entertainment career include: appearances in 39 films, recorded more than 650 songs, received an Academy Award nomination, won a Golden Globe and a Grammy Award, in 1989 received the Cecil B. Demille Award for life time achievement in motion pictures. At the age of 85 (2009), Day was the topranking female box office star of all time and ranked sixth among the top ten box office performers (male and female). Doris Day is always thought of as a singer/ actress but, she actually started out her career as a dancer. She developed an interest in dance during the mid-1930 and formed a duo act with Jerry Doherty. The duo performed locally through out Cincinnati. On October 13, 1937, Doris’ dance career was cut short when she was in a car accident that damaged her legs. Doris didn’t let her injuries keep her from moving forward. She used her time recovering from her injuries to take singing lessons. Her hard work and singing lessons paid off, and at 17 she began performing locally. By 1939, she was performing with local bandleader Barney Rapp. Rapp felt that Doris’ last name of “Kapplehoff” was too long for the marquees-maybe also too German! The first song that Doris performed for Rapp was “Day After Day”. She took her stage name from that songthus Doris Day was born! She performed with several other bandleaders after Rapp. With bandleader Les Brown, she scored her first big hit recording, “Sentimental Journey”, which

was released in 1945. The song soon became an anthem of the desire of World War ll homesick troops to return home. Her singing would eventually lead her to roles in motion pictures. In 1948, Doris was considering returning to her native Cincinnati. Al Levy, her agent convinced her to attend a party at the home of composer Jule Styne. Doris performed the song “Embraceable You” and impressed her host and his partner, Sammy Cahn, so much that they recommend her for the film “Romance on the High Seas”. Her subsequent movies would lead her to more dramatic roles, which included her 1954 portrayal of singer Ruth Etting in “Love Me or Leave Me”. Doris describes this film as her best work and her autobiography. My favorite Doris Day film (probably yours too) is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. Doris sang “Que Sera, Sera(Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” the song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and would become her signature song. Doris would primarily make comedy movies for the rest of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The primary reason for this was that the taste in movies in the United States changed. Doris remained the Wholesome American girl, but the rest of the country was going through the sexual revolution. She would turn down the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate”, actress Anne Bancroft would eventually be cast in the role. Doris said that she rejected the part on moral grounds. Doris made her final film in 1968, “With Six You Get Eggroll.” The year 1968 would also be the year that her husband of 17 years,. Marty Melcher passed away. After Marty’s death, Doris discovered that his business partner Jerome Rosenthal had squandered her earning and left her deeply in dept. In February 1969, she filed suit against Rosenthal for the mismanagement of her finances. Doris would subsequently win the then largest civil judgement in California history-$20 million. Doris’ life is an example to the young people inside Hollywood and through out the country. Her life was filled with problems/tragedies from car accidents to being heavily in debt and many more. She didn’t let her problems conquer her (through alchol & drugs), but she conquered her problems by hard work, determination, a moral character- And Won!

October / November 2011

German-American Journal


The Hangman’s Daughter Book By: Oliver Pötzsch Reviewed by Darlene Fuchs

This is a historic, fast paced crime novel that takes place in the 17th century medieval Bavarian town of Schongau (there was no German state yet). The superstitious townspeople are thrown into a frenzied panic when Martha Stechlin, the local midwife, is accused of being a witch and charged with the murder of a young boy. Someone, a witch or the devil himself, is brutally murdering orphans crudely marked with an ominous tattoo that looks like the work of witchcraft. Reacting to the townspeople’s paranoia, the town council, led by Johann Lechner, insist the only way to stop the mounting hysteria from erupting into chaos is to sacrifice the “witch” by burning her at the stake. Jacob Kuisl, the town Hangman, is charged with extracting a confession from Martha by in-

flicting torture. Certain of the midwife’s innocence he takes it upon himself to exonerate her of the charges with the help of his clever daughter, Magdalena, and the town physician’s son, Simon Fromweiser. They have to rush to unravel the mystery in hopes that they can prevent further bloodshed. As Walpurgisnacht approaches, when witches are believed to revel and mate with the devil deep in the forests, Jacob finds himself in the middle of a complicated plot, bringing him face to face with the “Devil.” The historical context is really interesting and the details surrounding the power structures in the town reveal the oppression and corruption during this time period. The character development of Jacob the Hangman, my favorite character in this novel, is excellent. I enjoyed the way his character empathizes with people who

are sentenced to be executed. Even though he is morally conflicted, he is bound by law to carry out legal death sentences. Magdalena’s role in the book is not as prominent as one might expect from the title. The Hangman is more of a pivotal character than his daughter. However, I was pleased to find out that this is the first book in a trilogy that continues to develop the Hangman’s daughter, Magdalena’s character, over time. Although the beginning of the book got off to a compelling, sometimes gruesome, fast-paced start, it lulls a bit towards the end. But even the most discerning reader will be caught off guard with an unexpected surprise or two. The author, Oliver Pötzsch, born in 1970, has worked for years as a scriptwriter for Bavarian television. He is a descendant of one of Bavaria’s leading dynasties of executioners. Pötzsch lives in Munich with his family.

The Hangman’s Daughter was published in the US in 2011 by Mariner Books, a division of

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It was Costco’s August book buyer’s pick.

Gunter Nitsch: Eine deutschsprachige Veröffentlichung von dem Flucht-Roman “Weeds Like Us”

By: Eileen Demange Gunter Nitsch ist ein deutschamerikanischer Schriftsteller, der ein Stück deutsche Geschichte wieder aufleben lässt. Er beschreibt in seiner Autobiografie Eine lange Flucht aus Ostpreußen die Flucht seiner Familie vor der roten Armee. Die Hoffnung, in den Westen zu gelangen, zerschellt jedoch, als die Russen seine Familie abfangen. Der Junge, der bis dahin eine unbekümmerte Kindheit verlebte,

wird nun Zeuge von Gewalt und Terror. Die Familie wird auf ihrer langen „Reise“ von Hunger und Kälte getrieben; mehrere Flüchtlingslager bestimmen ihren Alltag. Den Menschen wurde zu dieser Zeit alles abverlangt, dennoch gaben sie nicht auf— so auch Nitsches Familien, die dem damals kleinen Jungen immer Halt gaben. Welche weiteren Wege diese Flucht nimmt, die dreieinhalb Jahre dauerte, und wie sie endet, wird ausführlich in diesem Buch beschrieben. Vorerst war die persönliche Geschichte unter dem Titel WEEDS LIKE US nur in englischer Sprache erhältlich, doch ist dieses Buch nun auch für Jedermann in deutscher Sprache zugänglich und wurde von dem Ellert & Richter Verlag im März 2011 als Eine lange Flucht aus Ostpreußen veröffentlicht. Nitsch ist ein großartiger Autor, der deskriptiv, aber gleichzeitig emotional die Geschehnisse der Vergangenheit schildert. Etliche Dialoge machen diese Geschichte zudem lebendig und facettenreich. Es liest sich daher mehr wie eine Abenteuergeschichte, die man nicht mehr aus den Händen legen möchte. Zur Anschaulichkeit dienen beigefügte Landkarten, die den Weg, den Gunter Nitsch mit seiner Familie zurückgelegte, verdeutlichen. Jeder, der etwas über diese Nachkriegsgeschehnisse erfahren möchte, sollte nicht zögern, einen Blick in dieses Buch zu werfen. Es wird eine brutale Realität aufgezeigt, die dennoch

für jedes Alter zugänglich ist. Interessant ist auch, dass dieses Buch aus Sicht des heranwachsenden Kindes geschrieben wurde, denn wie man weiß: Kinderaugen lügen nicht. Die Erlebnisse, Eindrücke und Empfindungen werden somit authentisch, nüchtern und ohne Selbstmitleid vermittelt. Man kann Eine lange Flucht aus Ostpreußen unter für 19,95€ (ungefähr $28,00) bestellen. Gunter Nitsch’s first book, Weeds Like

Us has been published in German by the Ellert & Richter Verlag as Eine lange Flucht aus Ostpreußen and can be ordered at www. for 19.95€ (approximately $28). Nitsch will appear at the DANK Haus in Chicago on November 4 at 7:30pm for a literary reading and book signing for his second book, Stretch, the sequel to Weeds Like Us. More information on the event can be found under Events at www.dankhaus. com.

Reporter zwischen zwei Welten By: Werner Baroni Werner Baroni, is an eleven year journalist in Germany, a three year chief editor in both Philadelphia and New York and for 31 years in Chicago. He  recently wrote  this book,  entitled, “Reporter zwischen zwei Welten.” Mr. Baroni has been a member of DANK since 1964 and has been active in Chicago DANK Chapter-North and DANK Nation-

al. This publication includes many pictures and articles, sharing memories while interacting  with  popular/important  celebrities in politics, sports, and culture  during his interesting and colorful life.  Mr. Baroni has been honored with many journalistic rewards as well as “das Bundesverdienstkreuz” in 1986. Having been printed in Germany, this 220 page book, written in German, is made available for purchase either at, or, for only $21.00, directly from the author, Werner Baroni, 831 Scott Drive, Marco Island, FL. 34145

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German-American Journal

October / November 2011

*** Calendar Of Events ***

This area is designated for DANK chapters and Associate Members to inform their members and the public of events they are having. We rely on the submissions of each chapter or organization, therefor all events may not be included. Please contact our National Office at 773-275-1100 or visit for the most recent listing of events or for information on how to make sure your event is listed in the next issue. (Associate Member Events Listed In Italics)

October 2011


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Choir meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 7:00 p.m. For more information: 262-675-6336


South Bend, IN. Membership and Election Meeting, 11 a.m., Francis Branch Library., 52655 Ironwood Rd., South Bend, IN. For more information: 272-8163 or 271-6922


Pittsburgh, PA. Board and General Membership Meeting., 850 Washington Ave., Carnegie, PA


Chicago, IL: Kino, Kaffee, und Kuchen, Doors open at Noon. Vorfilm at 1pm Feature at 2pm. $4 for members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago: Lost German Chicago Exhibition open to public, 11am. Free. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Dancers meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 6:00 p.m. For more information: 414-764-1895


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Choir meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 7:00 p.m. For more information: 262-675-6336


Chicago, IL: Sportsklub DANK, 7:30pm. No cover, cash bar. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. Table Tennis, Fussball Table, Bags – Fussball on Big Screen! For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago, IL: Kino, Kaffee, und Kuchen, Doors open at Noon. Vorfilm at 1pm Feature at 2pm. $4 for members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago: Lost German Chicago Exhibition open to public, 11am. Free. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Cleveland, OH Volkstrauertag, Cleveland Cultural Garden, 11am


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Choir meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 7:00 p.m. For more information: 262-675-6336


Erie, PA General Membership Meeting & Election of Officers, Erie Mäennerchor Club, 1617 State St. Social Hour to follow. Join us for dinner: 835-1939 for reservations


Chicago, IL. Stammtisch, 7:30pm. Monthly Open Haus. No cover, food and drink available. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago, IL: German Cinema Now. Contemporary German films with English subtitles. 7:30pm DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. Info: call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago, IL: Kino, Kaffee, und Kuchen, Doors open at Noon. Vorfilm at 1pm Feature at 2pm. $4 for members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago: Lost German Chicago Exhibition open to public, 11am. Free. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Pascack Valley, NJ. Regular Meeting. Autumnfest, Hot Apple Cider and Berliners. For more information: 201-391-2185


Milwaukee, WI. Membership Meeting and Election 1:30 p.m. For more information: (414) 659-1385


Frankfort, IL. Armin Homann’ s Christmas Show. Entertainers from Germany. 25249 S Center Rd. Frankfort. For more information: or 815-464-1514


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Choir meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 7:00 p.m. For more information: 262-675-6336


Cleveland, OH: German Day Ball, Donauschwaben’s German American Cultural Center, 7370 Columbia Rd., Olmsted Twp. Ohio. 6:00pm


Chicago, IL: Stammtisch, 7:30pm. Monthly Open Haus.No cover, food and drink available. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago, IL: Kino, Kaffee, und Kuchen, Doors open at Noon. Vorfilm at 1pm Feature at 2pm. $4 for members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago, IL: German Cinema Now. Contemporary German films with English subtitles. 7:30pm DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. Info: call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago: Lost German Chicago Exhibition open to public, 11am. Free. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Benton Harbor, MI: Oktoberfest with Hank Haller Band 7-11pm 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI 269-926-6652


Chicago, IL: Kino, Kaffee, und Kuchen, Doors open at Noon. Vorfilm at 1pm Feature at 2pm. $4 for members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Milwaukee, WI: DANK Chapter Board Meeting. 5:30 p.m.


Milwaukee, WI: DANK Folk Choir meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 7:00 p.m. For more information: 262-675-6336



Benton Harbor, MI: Fish Fry. 6-8 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Band Plays 7-10 p.m. 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI 269-926-6652

Chicago: Lost German Chicago Exhibition open to public, 11am. Free. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Dancers meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 6:00 p.m. For more information: 414-764-1895


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Choir meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 7:00 p.m. For more information: 262-675-6336



Chicago, IL. Kulturkueche. Demonstation , recipes, tasting and drink. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit Chicago, IL: Umlaut Artists Reception. DANK Haus presents “Umlaut”,  a collaborative visual arts experience between Chicago and Berlin artists, as part of Chicago Artists Month 2011. Info: call 773-561-9181 or visit


South Bend, IN. Moonlite Picnic at Kison’s Farm. 6:00 p.m. For more information: 272-8163


Benton Harbor, MI. Craft Show. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI 269-926-6652


Chicago, IL: Kino, Kaffee, und Kuchen, Doors open at Noon. Vorfilm at 1pm Feature at 2pm. $4 for members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago: Lost German Chicago Exhibition open to public, 11am. Free. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago-West: Board Meeting 1:30 p.m.


Frankfort, IL: Fashion Show Erika Neumayer featuring Rare Dirndl. 25249 S Center Rd. Frankfort, IL. For more information: or 815-464-1514


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Dancers meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 6:00 p.m. For more information: 414-764-1895


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Choir meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 7:00 p.m. For more information: 262-675-6336


Chicago, IL: Sportsklub DANK, 7:30pm. No cover, cash bar. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. Table Tennis, Fussball Table, Bags – Fussball on Big Screen! For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


South Bend, IN: Oktoberfest at Wise Guys, 3421 W. Sample St., South Bend, IN. For info:


Chicago, IL: Kino, Kaffee, und Kuchen, Doors open at Noon. Vorfilm at 1pm Feature at 2pm. $4 for members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago: Lost German Chicago Exhibition open to public, 11am. Free. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Pascack Valley, NJ: Regular Meeting. Oktoberfest. For more information: 201-391-2185

16 16


Benton Harbor, MI. Membership and Election Meeting. 4:00 p.m. 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI 269-926-6652 Chicago, IL: “Das Konzert und die Masse”Featuring: Jorie Butler-Geyer-Violin as 2011 Young Artist Concerto SoloistBach and Beyond Chorus and Orchestra in Mozart’s Spatzenmesse in C Major, KV 220 Catered Dinner Included w/ Purchase TICKETS PRE-SALE: Adult $20|Senior $18 (DANK Member $15). DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit Erie, PA. Celebrating our German Heritage. Join us for a sitdown dinner with a guest speaker as we share our pride in our German heritage. For more information: 814-835-1939

28-30 Pittsburgh, PA. National Convention: 28

Pittsburgh, PA: Oktoberfest, $10, doors open at 6:30pm Includes entertainment & snacks. Cash bar & food available. Casual attire. Tracht receives $3 discount off admission. Performance by the Augsburg German Band and the Alpen Shuplattler Dancers. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 164 Fort Couch Rd., Pittsburgh, PA.


Chicago, IL: Join us Halloween weekend for a double feature of classic German horror films! DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. Info: call 773-561-9181 or


Benton Harbor, MI. Oktoberfest with Squeezebox Band 7-11 p.m. 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI 269-926-6652


Chicago, IL: Kino, Kaffee, und Kuchen, Doors open at Noon. Vorfilm at 1pm Feature at 2pm. $4 for members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more info call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago: Lost German Chicago Exhibition open to public, 11am. Free. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit

November 2011 2

Milwaukee, WI. DANK Chapter Board Meeting. 5:30 p.m.


Milwaukee, WI. DANK Folk Choir meets at Sacred Heart Parish, 7:00 p.m. For more information: 262-675-6336


Benton Harbor, MI: Fish Fry. 6-8 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Band Plays 7-10 p.m. 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI 269-926-6652


Chicago, IL. Kulturkueche. Demonstation , recipes, tasting and drink. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit


Chicago, IL. Stretch: Reading and Book Signing. Gunter “Stretch” Nitsch’s new memoir picks up in 1950’s Cologne, with a paternal reunion and a reintroduction to the business of life for both Stretch and Germany. Free and open to the public. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit

Welcome New Members Life Member Ronald Konya


R Jay Goos Trudy Leeds Lori Riegler* Joseph Krueger Jeffrey Pulfer* Sabine Baker* Nami Morningstar*

Chicago-South , IL John Jones

June 26, 2011 - Aug 19, 2011

Linda Ochsenfeld Karl Zoellner Vera Holden

Karl Schilling* Alex & Kate Erdmann

Chicago, IL

Deanna & Aloyusis Langheim Paul Habing Mary Lynn Culler

Nannette Riedel

Benton Harbor, MI

Charles & Natasha Tichy

Mathew Hoffman Jacqueline Methling Bill Hallack Marlene Ott Paul Schilling* Mary Nowak* Kris Jarantoski*

Fox Valley, IL Uwe Prgi

Springfield, IL

Sharon Metcalf

Milwaukee, WI

Karin Murdock Christopher Wolter* Barbara Baker*

South Bend, IN Corina DeMaegd Nancy DeMaegd

Phoenix, AZ

Pittsburgh, PA

* New Members that signed up at GermanFest in Milwaukee. Thanks to the volunteers that worked the booth generating ten new members and over $900 in DANK product sales.

October / November 2011

German-American Journal



Sep 15–Nov 11 2011

Join us for a fascinating story of the history of caricatures and comic strips in Germany and the United States as well as the creation of the Comic Universe by Rolf Kauka – the German Walt Disney!

DO YOU KNOW: ƭɥɥ5#1ɥƕɥ"#!"#2ɥ3'#ɥ(7ɥƮɥ.7(ɥ!'1!3#12ɥ!1#3#"ɥ 8ɥ.+$ɥ Kauka were the most famous cartoon figures in Germany? ƭɥɥ(7ɥƮɥ.7(ɥ2.+"ɥ.5#1ɥƕƙƎɥ,(++(.-ɥ!./(#2ɥ6'(!'ɥ6.4+"ɥ2/-ɥ the globe five times? ƭɥɥ+3ɥ(2-#8ɥ4-24!!#22$4++8ɥ31(#"ɥ3.ɥ+41#ɥ.+$ɥ 4*ɥ(-ɥ3'#ɥ +3#ɥ($3(#2ɥ3.ɥ!.,#ɥ3.ɥ,#1(!ɥ-"ɥ6.1*ɥ$.1ɥ'(,Ʋ

719 Sixth Street NW, Washington DC 20001 ƐƎƐɥƓƖƗɥƕƎƎƎɥƭɥƘƖƖɥƘƖƘɥƘƓƐƐɥǒ3.++ɥ$1##Ǔɥƭɥ 1##ɥ",(22(.-ɥƭɥ.412ƨɥ4#2"8ɥ3.ɥ1("8ƨɥƏƏ,ljƖ/,ɥ 341"8ɥ-"ɥ4-"8ƨɥƏƐljƗ/,

.(-ɥ42ɥ.-ɥ!# ..*ƨ $!# ..*ƥ!.,nj%',42#4, .++.6ɥ42ɥ.-ɥ6(33#1ƨɥ36(33#1ƥ!.,nj%',42#4,

This exhibit was made possible by Alexandra Kauka, Promedia Inc.


Goldhard Pfeiffer

Born in Raditsch, Ukraine on May 20, 1927. Died Jul.  26,  2011 and resided in San Antonio, TX. Goldhard Pfeiffer, age 84, entered into rest peacefully on July 26, 2011. Goldie was born in Raditsch, Ukraine and immigrated to America in 1952 from Germany after WWII. He settled in Benton Harbor, Michigan and raised his family there. A man of many talents, Goldie could build and fix anything. He loved working with wood and building cabinets. Helping friends and neighbors gave him great pleasure. He was passionate about farming, gardening and wine making, frequently gifting friends with the fruits of his labors. A long time member of the D.A.N.K. and St. Joe Kickers Club, he enjoyed gathering with his friends for fish fry nights and German music. He is survived by daughters, Rita (Doug) Crawford and Heidi O’Sullivan of San Antonio TX; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild who will fondly remember their “Opa”

Frederick L. Volkers

Frederick was born July 17, 1925, in Milledgeville, Ill., the son of Frederick C. and Elnora (Hanna) Volkers. He proudly served his country with the United States Army during World War II as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. During his working years he was a machinist

with Benton Harbor Engineering. In his leisure time he played the saxophone, was a German folk dancer for more than 20 years and loved to build small airplanes. In earlier years he had received his pilot’s license. He was a member of the DANK and of the American Legion Post No. 163 in St. Joseph. Survivors include his wife, Edna; three daughters, Sharee Blazier, Denise Bowman and Teresa Kruse; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and a sister, Charlene Phelps. Fred and Edna back in 2009 were the DANK National Raffle winners receiving the $1000.00 grand prize.  Fred will be missed by all his friends at DANK Benton Harbor/St. Joseph.  He was preceded in death by a son, Gary Volkers.

Elsie Mense Appelt

Elsie Mense Appelt, 82 years old, who was born in Schlangen, Germany, and resided in Grayslake, Illinois, passed away on July 30, 2011.  Left to mourn are her devoted husband of 55 years, Helmut, loving daughters, Gabriela and Marian Appelt, granddaughter, Tiffany (Stephen) Crawford, two great-grandsons, a sister, Luise Gingert, and numerous additional family members and friends. Visitation and service was held on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Libertyville, Illinois, with interment following.   Elsie was a member of DANK Chapter Lake County, Illinois since 1965. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ...Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV Bible)

Leonard J. Gies

Leonard J. Gies, 82 years old, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, and resided, until recently, in Round Lake Park, Illinois, passed away on August 13, 2011. Left to mourn are his children, Kathy (Glenn) Meier and Rosie (Dale) Petersen, step-children Kim (Edward) Point, Jerome Conner and James (Rene) Conner, grandchildren, and a brother, Fred (Margaret) Gies.  He was preceded in death by his first wife, Adeline, and his second wife, Nancy.  Visitation was at Strang Funeral Home in Grayslake, Illinois, followed by service at St. Joseph’s Church in Round Lake, Illinois on Wednesday, August 17, 2011.  Leonard was a member of DANK Chapter Lake County, Illinois since 1997.  “So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.” ...John Bunyan (1628-1688), Pilgrims Progress

Maria Yanke

We mourn the passing of longtime DANK member Maria Yanke (nee Brandl) Born to Eternal Life on Friday, August 12, 2011, age 77 years. Survived by her loving husband Earl of 50 years. Dear mother of Michele (Bryan) Pautsch, Mike (Gerilyn), and John (Mary). Special sister to Frieda (Richard) Mueller, of Glendale, WI and Rosa Hetznecker, Erna Seeger, and Anni Forster of Germany. Grandmother of 12. Maria was kind and loving towards people and animals alike. Possessed of a quick wit and a delightful sense of humor, with an easy smile that could light up a room. She was truly a blessing to all who knew her.

G. Paul Gerbracht

G. Paul Gerbracht passed away at age 89 on August 13th, 2011. Paul had health issues for several years but always kept in touch with Bev Pochatko, President of Erie’s DANK Chapter where he and his wife Doris had been members since 1994. Paul was an active gentleman all his life. Following high school graduation started as a Civil Service Apprentice of Aircraft Instrument Repair in 1942 then enlisted in the US Air Force.  His overseas service found him based at Aldermaston Air Base in England. While in England, he met his future wife Doris Barlow.  Following duty in Germany, in December 1945 he returned to England and married Doris.  In January 1946 he was discharged from the service and was awarded many medals for his service.  After his discharge, Paul was an instructor in drafting and design, an inventor, a member of many service organizations as well as DANK, the Erie Society for Genealogy Research, and a Charter member of the History Channel Club.  He wrote Schnitzgami, his design of full body paper planes. Paul was a ‘ham radio operator’ holding licenses in the US (W3QPP) and Britain (G5EKX).   He is survived by Doris, his wife of 65 years, a son Donald and wife Penny, a brother Robert of Pinole CA, two grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren, two nieces, three sisters-in-law and several nieces and nephews in England.  He was accorded full military honors at his entombment in Calvary Cemetery in Erie, PA on Aug 18th. “ In a word, there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of them all is love.”


German-American Journal

October / November 2011

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German-American Journal | October.November 2011  

Volume 59, Issue 5