Page 1

Proud To Be German-American Stolz Deutsch-Amerikaner Zu Sein Visit us at

Volume 62 Number 6


Order from and B&N




Contents Of This Issue 4

From the President’s Desk by Beverly Pochatko


Germany: A Country of Museums


Raffle 2014 Final Drawing


Presidential Proclamation -- German-American Day, 2014


Christmas treats from Germany


Chapter Chatter


Eine Kleine Weihnachtsdichtung


Wie der Weihnachtsbaum nach Amerika kamn


Three Kings Day in Germany, Epiphany


Münchner Airport aus Passagiersicht welt weit auf Platz 3




Aus Oma's Küche


German Independence Day Celebrated in Chicago


Silvesterkläuse in Urnäsch, Switzerland


Odds & Ends


New Members



Editorial Staff Beverly Pochatko Eve Timmerhaus Eva Timmerhaus Correspondents Anne Marie Fuhrig Christa Garcia Francine McKenna Desktop Publishing and Design Eve Timmerhaus Advertising and Classifieds Eve Timmerhaus

General Information

German American Journal -ISSN 1086-8070 is published bimonthly and is the official publication of the German American National Congress. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago IL and additional mailing offices.

POSTMASTER” Send address changes to: German-American Journal 4740 N. Western Avenue 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 preserves the right to change or amend submissions for any reason without prior notice.




From The President’s Desk Beverly Pochatko, National President

Liebe Mitglieder und Freunde, Dear members and friends of DANK, Here it is the last month of the year and we sit wondering where did time go? What have I (we) accomplished this past year that was memorable personally or for our DANK Chapters? I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have, that our lives seem to be more ‘cluttered’ with things we want to do or would like to do, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day/week or month to get everything accomplished. Personally, I find choosing what is important to me now, wasn’t in the past. Our children, once our reason for not being able to do things, are now parents and we look to the grandchildren to take up that time. As they become teenagers things change yet again. One thing that we as parents and/or grandparents, is to take the time not just to be physically present for all their sports activities, but to teach them to be proud of their German heritage. Most traditions are passed on through the generations by word of mouth. Some are more prominent than others, but you can make the difference. Beginning with Advent, talk about the origins of the Advent wreath and make one to place in your home (don’t forget the Advent calendar to count the days til Christmas)…December 6th is St. Nicholas Day share the story with the children. Christmas is a time for giving and for sharing. With all the happiness that the coming season can bring, remember there are those people whose lives are lonely through the loss of family members or in assisted living. Gift them with your time - a visit, a phone call, send a card or share some of your homemade cookies with them. Your thoughtfulness will not be in vain. Remember, years from now it could be you! Our yearly membership is from January through December each year your membership renewal notice has been sent. If not paid by March 31st you will be considered delinquent. It’s always easier to renew early while it is fresh in your mind. When renewing, don’t forget to consider becoming a Life Member then you won’t have to pay any more annual dues AND you will be supporting DANK into the future. (Note: If you joined October on, you are prepaid for 2015.) As we come into the joyous season, my wish for you is the Peace, Love and Joy of the holiday season and that it remains with you throughout the coming year and into 2015! 'Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr!' 'Frohe Festtage!' -- 'Happy Holidays! to our non-Christian friends.'

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: Beverly Pochatko Vice President : Ronald Kabitzke Erik Wittmann Treasurer: Bob Miske Secretary: Esther Markwart Membership: Erik Wittmann DANK National Executive Office 4740 N. Western Avenue Chicago IL. 60625-2013 Phone: (773) 275-1100 Toll Free: 1-888-USA-DANK Office Hours: 9 am - 4 pm Monday, Wednesday-Friday Office Staff Eva Timmerhaus Eve Timmerhaus



Germany: A Country of Museums From art museums to science centres – the German museum scene is diverse and attractive.

Every year, around 18 million tickets are sold to Germany’s more than 6,000 museums. The German Museum in Munich alone boasts ticket sales of 1.44 million – not even football stadiums can compete. The precursors of modern collections – the cabinets of curiosities of the late Renaissance period and the princely collections of the Baroque era – exhibited objects of all kinds of different origins. Today’s Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig, which has been exhibiting art since 1754, was one of Europe’s first public museums. The oldest building in Europe to be specifically designed as a museum is the Fridericianum, which opened in Kassel in 1779. In the nineteenth century, new museums were established by the bourgeoisie in many cities; Frankfurt’s Städelmuseum, for example, was the result of a civic foundation. In the second half of the twentieth century, it was above all museums of technology and institutions dedicated to preserving memories that were opened. In addition, new forms of museum were created such as archaeological parks and science centres. Recommendations for the 2014/2015 winter season More than half of all German museums are small institutions which attract fewer than 5,000 visitors per year. Museums dedicated solely to art account for only around ten percent of museums. Nonetheless, when people talk about museums, they tend to mean the leading art collections. At these temples of culture, it is in turn the major exhibitions which attract most attention. In the autumn and winter of 2014/2015, a whole host of museums with familiar names are staging interesting exhibitions. A number of recommendations: Works by Georg Baselitz are on show at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. The Alte Pinakothek in Munich is devoting an exhibition to the city painter Canaletto. Immerse yourself in Renaissance artist Albrecht Altdorfer’s “Realms of Imagination” at the Städelmuseum in Frankfurt. The Museum Folkwang in Essen shows how Monet, Gauguin and van Gogh were inspired by Japan. www. Max Beckmann is presented with a wide-ranging exhibition of still lifes at the Hamburger Kunsthalle.





Raffle 2014 Final Drawing Winning ticket stubs for the 2014 DANK National Raffle were drawn recently at the Main Office in Chicago. National Raffle Chairman Bob Miske oversaw the drawing as Eva Timmerhaus, longtime executive secretary, drew the winning names. The winners are: • First prize of $1500 was awarded to Rich Forster of Pittsburgh, PA • Second Prize of $750 was taken home by Diane Neumeier of Decatur, MI • Third prize of $350 goes to Anna Schramm of St. Joseph, MI and • Fourth prize of $175 was won by Michelle Scott of the Las Vegas, NV area. These final drawing winners will join Tom Selcke of Dolton, IL who was the lucky winner of the Firecracker Early Bird drawing on July 3. In all, there was over $9500 taken in ticket sales. The Executive Board would like to thank all those that participated in this year’s raffle and congratulate the win-

Eva Timmerhaus (pictured)

ners and wish them all the very best. •

Congratulations DANK Chapter Pittsburgh for selling the most raffle tickets!




Presidential Proclamation -- German-American Day, 2014 GERMAN-AMERICAN DAY, 2014

------BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION America is and always has been a Nation of immigrants, and from our earliest days, German Americans have contributed to our national identity. Germans were among the first settlers in the original 13 Colonies, bringing their talents and ideas across the ocean to a new and unfamiliar world. And today, with their descendants and all who followed in their path, we continue to perfect our Union together. On German-American Day, we recognize their distinctive identity and the ways they enrich our country. German Americans helped build our Nation, and every day they contribute to its growth. As they teach in our schools, farm in our heartland, and serve in our Armed Forces, their German roots offer a sense of their place in the American story. From a land of poets and thinkers, they brought passion for music, science, and art, fortifying our culture and broadening our understanding of the world. Our greatest cities and our biggest advances reflect their daring spirit and diverse contributions. As we consider our German-American history, we are also reminded that the United States and Germany are vital partners. With the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, our security and prosperity remain interwoven, and our friendship continues as we work together in pursuit of a more peaceful, stable world. On this occasion, may citizens from both sides of the Atlantic draw strength from the legacy of our Nation's earliest immigrants who boldly pushed forward in unforgiving times. May our shared past continue to inspire us as we face new challenges in our own time. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 6, 2014, as GermanAmerican Day. I encourage all Americans to learn more about the history of German Americans and reflect on the many contributions they have made to our Nation. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth. BARACK OBAMA




US-award for German TV-series The German World War Two mini Television series Our Mothers, Our Fathers has won top honours at the US TV awards. The three-part series, which aired last year on Germany's public broadcaster ZDF, was awarded the International Emmy at a ceremony in New York. "A long journey for a controversial film draws to a close and I am grateful for the numerous open discussions that I have found very rewarding," said Nico Hofmann, managing director of the Potsdam-based production company Ufa fiction. The series, which has already won top awards in Germany, tells the story of five young German friends and their different paths their lives took during the dark days of Nazi Germany and The Second World War. Our Mothers, Our Fathers

also brought together some of Germany's leading actors including Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling, Katharina Schuttler, Ludwig Trepte and Miriam Stein. •

Christmas treats from Germany

Baumkuchen, marzipan, gingerbread and stollen are traditional Christmas treats from Germany. When it’s frosty outside, Christmas markets begin attracting visitors and Advent greetings start coming through the letter box, the time of the confectioners has arrived in Germany. Anyway, that is what you might think. However, the craftspeople have to start work long before the holiday season in order to get the traditional treats into shops and living rooms. This is particularly true when their products have to travel a long way: Baumkuchen, for example, has become popular in many places around the world, as staff at Konditorei Buchwald in BERLIN will confirm. This confectioner’s shop has been doing business for over 160 years. Founded in Cottbus, it soon moved to Berlin, because the city already had gas, whose fire made it possible to produce especially good Baumkuchen. The shop even supplied the “King of Cakes”, this layered pastry produced on a spit and coated with chocolate, to the Prussian court. Today, the customers of the former purveyor to kings include not only BERLIN celebrities, but also people in many different countries around the world. They receive their cake in good time for Christmas by post. Marzipan from Germany has also long enjoyed a worldwide reputation and is inseparably linked with

the City of Lübeck and the name Niederegger. In1806, Johann Georg Niederegger, a young man from southern Germany, took over a confectioner’s shop in the Hanseatic city and developed it into a successful business. Boxes of marzipan with the initials J.G.N. travelled to the court of the Russian tsar. Today the business itself has become a tourist attraction – Café Niederegger and the adjacent museum are popular with visitors. Marzipan, this fine mass of almonds and sugar, was not discovered in Germany, but in the Orient hundreds of years before Niederegger was born. Another popular Christmas speciality in Germany also clearly has its origins outside Europe: a kind of gingerbread – a spicy, sweet cake – is said to have already existed in ancient Egypt. Christstollen or stollen, which was originally a fasting cake in monasteries, probably has the longest TRADITION of all the seasonal treats in Germany. It was therefore certainly not always as rich as it is today – with lots of butter and dried fruit.




Chapter Chatter 2015 National DANK Convention Dates and Location Set While most people this time of the year are concentrating on the events and activities associated with the upcoming holidays, the Board of Directors and general membership of the Great Lakes Bay Region DANK Chapter #78 are already focusing their attention on the 2015 National DANK Convention. The biennial Convention will take place OCTOBER 2-4, 2015 in Bay City, Michigan on the shores of beautiful Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron, and will be hosted by Chapter #78, the newest Chapter in the DANK family. Linda Forster, Chapter #78 member, has accepted the overall responsibility as Convention Committee Chairperson, on the local level, and has already begun the coordinating and planning of the various aspects of this important occasion. In her words, “With the overall involvement and commitment of our general membership, the guidance and advice of the National Officers and their staff, and the support of our generous Bay Area Community, we hope to make this a ‘highlight’ event for all of the attending delegates, their guests, and the entire DANK organization.” Already, various sub-committees have secured a block of rooms at a well-known and conveniently located hotel and conference center for the delegates/ guests, as well as the actual Convention meetings. Also, a special Welcome Cruise aboard the flagship

of Bay City Boat Lines, the “Princess Wenonah”, has been arranged for delegates, guests, and dignitaries for Friday, October 2, followed by a complimentary Hospitality Suite at the hotel. An optional itinerary is also being planned for Saturday, October 3 for guests accompanying the delegates, and additional events and activities are being planned for Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Your National DANK leadership is also beginning the task of selecting relevant and informative topics and looking for prospective speakers for the all-important Convention Agenda, and lines of communication have been established between the local Chapter and the National Headquarters to facilitate the coordination of the many details that are sure to come up in planning an event of such magnitude and importance. It is our hope that in the months to come we will be able to provide more detailed information about every aspect of the 2015 National DANK Convention by having articles in future DANK Journals. This will give your Chapter and prospective delegate(s) a clearer idea of what to expect and assure them the most rewarding and enjoyable experience possible. So, SAVE THE DATES – OCTOBER 2-4, 2015…….start selecting your Convention delegates…..budget a little bit to help your delegate(s) with expenses, if possible…….and get ready for a GREAT TIME! •




Chapter Chatter DANK Lake County, IL Volkstrauertag On November 16, DANK Chapter Lake County, IL again held a Volkstrauertag observance at the Fort Sheridan, IL cemetery where nine World War Two POWs are buried. Despite the cold, unpleasant weather that was predicted the observance was well attended. Bernd Krämer and Werner Stein, carrying the American and German flags, led the procession to the gravesite. Chapter member Helmut Appelt and Willi Boschat assisted Consul General Herbert Quelle of the German Consulate General in Chicago with placing the official wreath which had been provided by the Consulate. In his address, Mr. Quelle talked about his family's World War Two experience and reminded us that, today, "we are not only mourning our German soldiers, but our thoughts go to all victims of war and terror worldwide ... our mourning should give us the strength and inspiration to work for a better world, for peace, reconciliation and tolerance" which he considers to be "the uplifting key message of the day." Robert Miske, DANK National Treasurer, spoke about the suffering of military personnel as well as civilians, and expressed hope for peace and understanding. DANK Chapter Lake County, IL Vice President Karl Schmidt read the poem Heldenfriedhof. Mr. Schmidt also asked that a moment of silence be observed in memory of all victims of war and tyranny. The day was memorialized in prayer by DANK Chapter Lake County, IL member the Reverend Richard Käske, and in song by members of the combined Schwäbischer Sängerbund and Rheinischer Gesang

Verein, directed by Glen Sorgatz. To the solemn sound of a chime as his name was read by Mr. Quelle wreathes were placed on the POW's graves by Werner Diebel (Schwäbischer Sängerbund), Roger Herod (DANK Chapter Northern Suburbs), Hank Pahl (Rheinischer Gesang Verein), Alfred Mueller (DANK Chapter Chicago West), Richard Bookie (DANK Chapter Lake County, IL), Christa Garcia (DANK German Language Schools), Thomas Schmit (Highwood, IL VFW Post), Erhard Totzke (DANK Chapter Northern Suburbs), Edwin Gunther (DANK Chapter Milwaukee). DANK Chapter Lake County, IL President Greg Hoeft invited everyone to a coffee and cake get-together at the Lake Forest American Legion Hall after the ceremony to socialize and reflect on the day's significance – and to warm up! • Ursula Hoeft

Show pride in your German-American heritage.

Buy a Germany/USA Flag lapel pin mail payment to: 4740 N Western Ave Suite 206., Chicago IL 60625

Not actual size

Back popu by 1x1 inch la $3.00 each plus $1 shipping and handling. demandr !




Chapter Chatter South Bend Yearly Report from 2014 Christine Weiss

Ein Rückblick über das Jahr South Bend chapter

With the year slowly winding down it is time to look back and recall some of our special get-togethers. After a long and cold winter we celebrated spring at Weiss' Gasthaus with Pizza and Flammkuchen, followed by a trip to Fernwood in May. It was enjoyable being outside and walking through the woods... experiencing nature coming alive brought joy to our hearts. In June we visited Bonneyville Mill County Park which has 223 acres of gently rolling hills, woodlands, marshes and open meadows. It has the oldest grist mill and can produce stone ground flour the way it used to be done. In July we had an old fashion potluck at Annemarie's house. It was a time to chat, eat and just have fun. Following in August was our picnic at Kison's farm. It is our most popular event during the year and everybody was looking forward to it.

Kerry De Maegd shares her thought about the picnic:

It was a beautiful August day for the annual Kison Farm Picnic. It is always a fun time. I have been going to this since I was a little girl!! It is a fun day for all ages. We had a large variety of food...Potluck is always the best way to go. The conversation was very us younger generation listened to the older

generation reminiscing about the Good Old days. Günter Kison demonstrated his saw mill...which was a very interesting thing for all of us!!! We also had the balloon toss contest and corn hole contest...all while German music was playing in the background. Thank you Günter and Erika for having us. We would also like to thank Annemarie for having us over to her house in July for her backyard party. A trip to the Zoo followed in September. The Moonlight picnic in October made us shiver because the temperature had dropped but Günter's enormous fire aided in warming us up. Günter invited us for a hayride through the dark woods which was quite an experience. Octoberfest followed at Weiss' Gasthaus where we enjoyed good entertainment, schunkeln, authentic German food and German beer on tap. I'd like to welcome Gene Sherry our new member and his three sons who joined DANK. Ein dreifaches Hoch für Gene. The photo shows Members and Friends enjoying the picnic at Kisons. •

DANK Chapter Lake County Election DANK Chapter Lake County, Illinois held an election meeting on November 2. Board members for the coming year include Greg Hoeft, President; Karl Schmidt, Treasurer, Vice-President, Membership Chair and Archivist; Judy Kanka, Recording Secretary; Ludwina Homer, Corresponding Secretary and Auditor; Ursula Hoeft, Publicity Secretary and Auditor; Helmut Appelt, Advisor and Auditor; Helmut Appelt, Richard Bookie, Hella and Erwin Goering, Vera Schalk and Fini

Schmidt, Advisors. President Greg Hoeft addressed the Board and welcomed new Advisors Richard Bookie and Hella and Erwin Goering. He noted that, although he has been a member of DANK Lake County for many years, this was the first meeting Richard Bookie has attended and commended him for his willingness to serve on the Board. • Ursula Hoeft




Chapter Chatter DANK Chicago South held

Elections on Sunday, November 16th for new Board of Officers 2015 – 2016. We wish the new Officers success for the year coming Two Years. President: Gary Dietz 1st Vice President: Dan Duffy 2nd Vice President: Bob Kaiser 3rd Vice President: John Stern Treasurer: Christine Walthier Recording Secretary: Lorin Schab Correspondent Secretary: Anita Walthier Membership Secretary: Karin Konrath

DANK Benton Harbor Holds Chapter Elections An election was held on Sunday, November 9th 2014 and the following DANK members were elected to serve on these positions: left to right are Donna Lippert Audit Chairman, John Fara Audit, Haus Committee members: Reinhard Lippert, Dave Hinz, Lori Gowin, Eric Norris and Katheryn Schramm Public Relations. Congratulations to all for serving. • Submitted by: Donna Lippert.

DANK Benton Harbor was so happy to have the best ever crowd when Mollie B and the Squeeze Box Band came into town. The dance floor was crowded all night long! Thanks to all that came for our last Oktoberfest of the year. We are currently working on our schedule so watch future Journal editions of our events planned for 2015. Happy Holidays to all! Submitted by Donna Lippert. DANK Benton Harbor Photo credit: Donna Lippert

Celebrate Christmas at the DANK Chapter 13 in Benton Harbor, MI

Saturday December 20th Mollie B and the Squeeze Box Band comes for our last dance of the year! Doors open at 6 pm and band plays until 11 pm. Admission is $10.00. No reservations will be taken. Food and drinks extra. Call us at (269) 926 6652. Merry Christmas from DANK Benton Harbor!




Chapter Chatter

DANK Chapter Chicago West's newly elected board.

From left to right: Matt Mantel, Kathy Nelson, Heinrich Jensen, Frederic Leinweber, Pete Mantel. •

DANK Chapter Listing ARIZONA Phoenix IOWA Quad Cities

Three ways the DANK Haus preserves German Heritage Share History

There is no better sight on the staff calendar than the days a tour group is scheduled. It isn’t unusual to have 110 visitors in a single day. They come by bus, see the entire center from the Bismarck and train models to the gallery and museum, have a meal at Chicago Brauhaus, visit the Berlin Wall installation, and the Hamburg street lamp. From seniors to high schoolers to cub scouts and families visiting the old neighborhood, we welcome them all!

Share language

Everywhere we go, we run into someone who has attended Kinderschule over the last 50 years. Even the salesperson at the printshop! Sommercamp had triple the number of campers this year. The theme was Deutschland Reise and all their activities took them on a

pretend trip through the 16 states: visiting the Berlin Wall, baking Bavarian pretzels, and building ships for Hamburg. It was so fun having them all over the center and hearing them speak so much German by the final days.

Share experiences

To come together over a fantastic meal or for an amazing performance with other people is such an important time. There are at least 5 musical programs each year in the center, celebrating the wide range of German and Austrian classical masterpieces. The artists infuse so much energy into the works and you can see the audiences truly immerse themselves. The same is true of the culinary arts programs. Cooking foods passed down from generation to generation is a wonderful and daily way for people to learn about their heritage. •

ILLINOIS Chicago Chicago South Chicago West Fox Valley Lake County Northern Suburbs Peoria Springfield INDIANA Indianapolis LaFayette South Bend MICHIGAN Benton Harbor Great Lakes Bay Region OHIO Cleveland PENNSYLVANIA Erie Philadelphia Pittsburgh Uniontown WASHINGTON DC Washington DC WISCONSIN Milwaukee




Chapter Chatter DANK Chapter Milwaukee Does Oktoberfest Big Time By Dank Chapter Milwaukee member Jane Nacker and President Ron Kabitzke DANK Chapter Milwaukee had another busy Fall. With Oktoberfest celebrations underway, the Milwaukee DANK Chor was invited to sing at Café Bavaria’s Oktoberfest on Sept. 13 in downtown Wauwatosa. The Bavarian style restaurant cleared space for the Chor to sing in the front of the restaurant as patrons mingled at the bar or enjoyed German cuisine. Sing-a-long sheets were handed out for the restaurant patrons to participate in the 45 minute performance. On September 15, the singers performed at the Wilkinson Woods Assisted Living Center in Oconomowoc’s Oktoberfest. On September 25, the Milwaukee DANK Folk Dancers put on a show for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi's Oktoberfest, and on October 3, we danced at the Oktoberfest for Our Lady of Angels. The dancers also performed at the German-American Day celebration at the Schwabenhof in Menomonee Falls on Oct. 5. In general membership news, DANK Chapter Milwaukee held its Membership Recognition meeting on Sept. 21 at the Milwaukee German Fest office. Ursula Günther coordinated the membership awards. Members with 5 to 45 membership years were recognized

DANK Milwaukee members in attendance at the Membership Awards. Seated: Reinhold Ellerman. L to R: Irene Brunner, Adeline Kraenzler, Annemarie Mueller, Erwin Mueller, Christa Taylor, Jack Williams, Ron Hensel, Marita Hensel, William Bessa, Gene Brunner, President Ron Kabitzke, Victoria Ohde. •

with a certificate and coordinating DANK pin. President Ron Kabitzke announced a special award to William Bessa, Vice-President, for extra effort with DANK Milwaukee activities. After the general meeting and awards recognition, everyone enjoyed a buffet dinner. Those receiving their certificates and anniversary pins were: 5 year: Alan Belanger, William Bessa, Darren Kroenke, David, Mary and Katja Paulus and Sally Shearer. 10 year: Ron and Marita Hensel and Ariana Van Willigen. 20 year: Rochelle Bast, Detlef Moore and Jack Williams 25 year: Gene and Irene Brunner and former Miss Milwaukee DANK and Miss DANK USA Victoria Ohde. 30 year: John Magyar and Christa Taylor. 35 Year: Heidi Walsch. 40 year: Libo Amann and Walter Harnischmacher. 45 year: Reinhold Ellerman, Marvin Kowalski, Adeline Kraenzler, Erwin and Annemarie Mueller and Regina Visockas. DANK Chapter Milwaukee is on Facebook! See photos and chapter news. “Like” us at dankmilwaukee. •

Milwaukee Folk Dancers performing The Bendertanz (Ribbon Dance).



DANK Chapter Chicago West

On November 9, DANK West held its election and annual luncheon. The following members were honored for their years of service: George Hermann – 20 years, Herbert and Ingrid Gross – 25 years, Char and Bud Ewert – 25 years, Olga Schafer – 50 years, Annelies PItz - 50 years, and Alfred Schmitke – 55 years. Mr. Schmidtke was one of the founding members of DANK West. Afterwards, members enjoyed a potluck lunch. A big thank you to Annelies PItz, Kathy Nelson, Char Ewert, and Olga Schafer for helping in the kitchen, serving everyone, and cleaning up. Also, thank you to Andrea Leinweber for making the ham and chicken enjoyed by everyone! •


Do You Just Belong? Are you an active member The kind that you would be missed? Or are you just contented That your name is on the list? Do you attend the meetings and Mingle with the flock? Or do you just stay at home To criticize and knock? Do you take an active part To help the work along? Or are you satisfied To only just belong? Do you work with your committee And get right in and mix? Or leave the work to just a few And talk about the CLIQUES?

Chicago's Austrian Mixed Chorus participates in the “Christmas Around the World Program” For many years now the Austrian Mixed Chorus has represented Austria in the “Christmas Around the World Program at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. This year, they will be singing traditional Austrian Christmas songs under the direction of David Crane on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm on the Holiday Stage. Also performing will be two Alphorn players. So, if you wish to be transported to Austria (At least for a couple of hours) for the Holidays, the land where “Silent Night Holy Night” originated, please mark your calendar and plan to attend. On display will be Christmas trees beautifully decorated by about 50 different countries from around the world, including Austria. For more information contact Trudy Nika at (630) 960-1125 or send her an email at To obtain the complete list of participating countries, call the Museum of Science and Industry at (773) 684-1414 or go to their website at Submitted by AMC Member Maria B. Bappert

Think this over MEMBER______ You know right from wrong! Are you an active member Or DO YOU JUST BELONG? Author Unknown Submitted by Donna Lippert




Eine Kleine Weihnachtsdichtung (Unbekannter Autor)

When the snow falls wunderbar And the children happy are, When the Glatteis on the street, And we all a Gl端hwein need, Then you know, es ist soweit: She is here, the Weihnachtszeit Every Parkhaus ist besetzt, Weil die people fahren jetzt All to Kaufhof, Mediamarkt, Kriegen nearly Herzinfarkt. Shopping hirnverbrannte things And the Christmasglocke rings. Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, Hear the music, see the lights, Frohe Weihnacht, Frohe Weihnacht, Merry Christmas allerseits... Mother in the kitchen bakes Schoko-, Nuss- and Mandelkeks Daddy in the Nebenraum Schm端cks a Riesen-Weihnachtsbaum He is hanging auf the balls, Then he from the Leiter falls... Finally the Kinderlein To the Zimmer kommen rein And es sings the family

Schauerlich: "Oh, Chistmastree!" And the jeder in the house Is packing die Geschenke aus. Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, Hear the music, see the lights, Frohe Weihnacht, Frohe Weihnacht, Merry Christmas allerseits... Mama finds unter the Tanne Eine brand new Teflon-Pfanne, Papa gets a Schlips and Socken, Everybody does frohlocken. President speaks in TV, All around is Harmonie, Bis mother in the kitchen runs: Im Ofen burns the Weihnachtsgans. And so comes die Feuerwehr With Tat端, tata daher, And they bring a long, long Schlauch An a long, long Leiter auch. And they schrei - "Wasser marsch!", Christmas is - now im - Eimer... Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, Hear the music, see the lights, Frohe Weihnacht, Frohe Weihnacht, Merry Christmas allerseits...




Wie der Weihnachtsbaum nach Amerika kam

Der schöne Brauch, das Weihnachtsfest mit einem Lichterbaum zu begehen, wurde zum erstenmal im Jahre 1604 in Straβburg beobachtet und gelangte erst viel später von Deutschland über England und Frankreich nach Amerika. Noch im Jahre 1844 hieβ es in einer Londoner Schrift, daβ die deutsche Form der Weihnachtsfeier mit einem erleuchteten Baum in England neuerdings einigen Menschen, besonders aber Personen am Hot, bekannt ist'. Dieselbe englische Schrift prophezeite ¸ überdies, daβ der Weihnachtsbaum wohl in einem Vierteljahrhundert von England seinen Einzug in die kanadische Wildernis und von dort an die Ufer des Missouri und Columbusö flusses' halten werde. Was der Verfasser dieser Schrift nicht wuβte, war die Tatsache, daβ zwei deutsche Einwanderer in Philadelphia ein Lehrer Friedrich Knorr und sein Freund, der Arzt Konstantin Hering, bereits im Jahre 1834 zwei Tannenbäume in New Jersey fällten und sie eigenhändig unter dem Gejohle von Straβenjungen durch die Stadt schleiften, um das Weihnachtsfest auf gute deutsche Art zu begehen.

Aber die Ehre, den Christbaum in Amerika populär gemacht zu haben, wird gew–hnlich einem armen Schneider mit Namen August Irmgard aus Wetzlar zugesprochen. Als er 1847 zu seinem Bruder Fred nach Wooster im Staate Ohio auswanderte, wollte er seinen deutschen Nichten und Neffen eine Weihnachtsfreude machen. So fällte er am Stadtrand einen Tannenbaum, schnitt eigenhändig Papiermuster aus und schmückte damit seinen Baum, zu dessen Krönung er eigens bei einem Dorfschmied einen Stern aus glänzendem Metall herstellen lieβ. Der Baum war eine Sensation für die Kleinstadt, und am Weihnachtsabend des nächsten Jahres hatten fast alle Bewohner von Wooster einen Christbaum aufgestell. Heutzutage nun, aber ein Jahrhundert später, haben nicht nur Deutschamerikaner, sondern fast alle amerikanischen Familien ihre Weihnachtsbäume. Ein Professor der Forstschule des Staates New York schätzte die Summe, die Amerikaner alljährlich für Christbäume ausgeben, auf 25 Millionen Dollar. •




Three Kings Day in Germany, Epiphany by Francine McKenna, Staff Columnist

Epiphany on January 6th was recognized as the day after ‘Twelfth Night’ and a Christian feast from the third century AD, before the 'Christmas' holiday was created. Now as Germany’s Dreikoenigstag, Three Kings Day, it has its own traditions and customs marking the culmination of Germany’s Advent Weihnachten season, and the ending of Christmas celebrations. For three German states, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt, Epiphany is a public holiday, and throughout the country church services are held with figures representing the Heilige Drei Koenige, The Three Kings, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, added to the nativity scene tableaux to commemorate their visit to the Christ Child. They were the first Gentiles, at the time a description for non-Jewish, to acknowledge him as a "King". There is an affinity to the Magi in Germany as it is believed the relics of these "Wise Men", sometimes described as astrologers or astronomers, have been lying in a specially designed gold and silver decorated shrine in Cologne since in 1225. The relics, mostly bones from three men of differing ages together with fabric bandages and resin, had been presented initially to the city of Cologne in 1164 and, although it took 632 years before it was finished, it was to house them and their sarcophagus that construction of Cologne cathedral began in 1248. While in the 19th century King Ludwig I of Bavaria donated beautiful Bavarian stained glass windows featuring the Holy Family together with The Three Kings, part of the celebrations for the cathedral's completion. Sternsinger, "Star Singers", groups of three chil-

dren dressed as the oriental Three Kings with Balthasar carrying a large glowing five pointed star, go door to door during the twelve Christmas days between December 25 and January 6, particularly in Catholic areas. After singing for the occupants they leave them a blessing to protect "house and home" for the coming year, and using white chalk write on door beams, or on the actual doors, the date of the current year together with the initials of the names believed to be those of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. 2014 is written as 20+C+M+B+14, with the crosses representing Christ, and although these letters are usually understood to represent the initials of the Three Kings, CBM also stands for a Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat, May Christ bless this home. Money given the singers for their singing and 'blessing' is donated to charities, especially those helping disadvantaged children, while any cookies and sweets are theirs to keep. Every year the Catholic Church in Germany will suggest a particular theme and slog a n for the "Sternsinger" and about a half a million young German people taking part. They often collect for Die Sternsinger, a "children helping children" organization, which originated in 19th century France and was quickly adopted and publicized by 15 year old Auguste von Sartoriusa who lived in Germany. The idea was to help abandoned babies and children in China but it has now spread over the world, both as a charity and



also with those it supports. As the final day of the Christmas Festivities this is also when the Weihnachtsbaum, Christmas tree, which traditionalists will have decorated only on Christmas Eve, is taken down to be ceremonially burnt in a huge communal bonfire, put out and collected for mulching or saved for the Easter celebration bonfires. Although for any young people, or those with a "sweet tooth", the loss of the season’s magic and color will be tempered by the "pluendern", raiding, of all the candies, cookies, and foil wrapped chocolate ornaments which have been hanging from the tree's branches. And just to add to the sugar over load as a ceremonial end to the whole Christmas season there is a Dreikoenigskuchen, Three Kings Cake. A baked good traditionally divided by the number of people present plus


one, with that extra piece symbolically left for those who cannot be there for whatever reason. In former times this was then given to any poor person who was seen out and about or who came to the door. Whoever finds a small figure of the Christ Child, or alternatively a dried white bean, hidden in their portion of Three Kings Cake can be 'King' for the day, and wear the 'crown', a golden or silver circlet placed at the center of the cake. While in some families whoever has the crown will be excused chores for the next days, which for most children is a far more exciting prospect than wearing a cardboard crown for a few hours. As well as something of a small consolation for the fact that almost a year will pass until the end of November or first days of December, and the arrival of Advent once again bringing with it the beginning of Weihnachten celebrations. •




May Peace, Love, and Joy fill your hearts and homes during this Holy Season and into the coming year!

May you be blessed with the gifts of the season of love!

Ich wünsche Euch gesegnete Weihnachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr!

German Heritage Society of Erie

Beverly Pochatko National President

DANK Chapter 71

Frohe Weihnachten All members and guests are invited to attend the Annual

DANK & Heritage Society Family Christmas Party Friday, December 5, 2014 Teutonia Männerchor Club 857 Phineas Street North Side – Pittsburgh, PA

German Buffet Dinner: 5:-7:00 PM Cost: Adults: $15.00 Children Under 12: $9.00

Followed by Weihnachtsfeier at 7:30. For more information call: (412)

und ein glückliches Neues Jahr wünschen allen Mitgliedern, Mitarbeitern und Freunden, die D.A.N.K. Gruppe Chicago Süd Präsident Gary Dietz und Vorstand




A Symbol for Nuremberg: The Origin of the Christkind The idea that the Christkind brings children their Christmas gifts goes back to the protestant reformer, Martin Luther (1483-1546). In Luther’s time, it was traditional to give children gifts on December 6th, St. Nicolas’s Day. To turn away from the Catholic veneration of saints and saint’s days, Luther laid gift-giving in his household on Christmas Eve. He told his children that "Holy Christ" had brought their presents. This tradition quickly took hold in Lutheran families. In Nuremberg, it was already common by the end of the

16th century. Through the years, this fictional gift-giver took on form. It was most likely the medieval German tradition of Christmas plays, with an Angel of the Annunciation as the main character, which gave the Christmas Angel its earthly appearance. As angels of all sorts began to be depicted as female and not only male, the Christkind also took on a feminine appearance. That is why today a young woman is chosen to play the part of the Nuremberg Christkind. •





Merkel bekräftigt Kritik an Russland Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel hat erneut das russische Vorgehen in der Ukraine kritisiert. Bei einem Besuch in Polen betonte sie am Donnerstag, dass Polen und Deutschland für Freiheit und Sicherheit stünden. Wie wichtig dies sei, könne man derzeit in der Krise in der Ukraine sehen, "deren territoriale Integrität fortwährend verletzt wird". Es dürfe nicht "das vermeintliche Recht eines Stärkeren" gelten. "Für uns sind Nachbarländer Partner und keine Einflusssphären." Merkel hatte in den vergangenen Tagen mehrfach Russlands Einmischung in der Ukraine und anderen osteuropäischen Ländern wie Moldawien scharf kritisiert. Offenbar auf Druck des Kanzleramtes ist erneut eine Veranstaltung des Petersburger Dialoges verschoben worden. Der Co-Vorsitzende des deutsch-russischen Dialogforums, Lothar de Maiziere, sagte der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung", das Kanzleramt habe ihn "bedrängt", die für kommenden Mittwoch terminierte Mitgliederversammlung in Berlin abzusagen. "Dieser Bitte musste ich nachkommen. Ich habe es ungern getan", sagte der CDU-Politiker. Schon im Oktober war eine Veranstaltung der Organisation im russischen Sotschi auf Druck der Bundesregierung abgesagt worden. •

Fischsemmel Versehen Ein 40-jähriger Münchner hatte sich auf dem Münchner Oktoberfest vor seinem Heimweg noch eine Fischsemmel kaufen wollen. Die Verkäuferin packte ihm versehentlich eine Gummifischsemmel von der Dekoration in die Tüte. Zu Hause bemerkte der Münchner das Missgeschick. Laut Polizei nahm er sich ein Taxi, fuhr zurück und schimpfte die Verkäuferin aus. Sie und ihre Kollegen entschuldigten sich und boten ihm mehrere Fischsemmeln sowie das Taxigeld an. Doch der Mann ließ sich erst beruhigen, als die Polizei einschritt. •

Lufthansa sind Peniskekse peinlich Das Lufthansa-Magazin hat in seiner aktuellen Ausgabe eine Reisegeschichte über die koreanische Urlaubsinsel Jeju gedruckt. Illustriert wurde der Artikel mit einem Foto, das Gebäck zeigt – Kekse in Form von Penissen. Die in einem Souvenir-Shop auf der Liebes insel entstandene Aufnahme war der Lufthansa nachträglich so peinlich, dass das Foto in der kompletten Auflage (265.000 Exemplare) überklebt wurde, wie die taz berichtet. •





Run auf Rente mit 63 - Rund 110 000 Anträge genehmigt

Aldi will nach China expandieren

Die neue abschlagsfreie Rente mit 63 wird stark genutzt und kommt teurer als von der Regierung zunächst beziffert. Von den 163 000 Anträgen, die bis Ende Oktober gestellt wurden, sind bisher rund 110 000 bearbeitet und fast ausnahmslos bewilligt worden. Das bestätigte ein Sprecher der Deutschen Rentenversicherung Bund in Berlin. Nach früheren Angaben der Rentenversicherung kostet die Rente mit 63 in diesem Jahr voraussichtlich knapp 1,5 Milliarden Euro. Die Bundesregierung hatte in ihrem Gesetzentwurf 0,9 Milliarden genannt. •

Deutschlands größter Discounter Aldi will nach Informationen des «Manager Magazins» nun auch in China Fuß fassen. Das Magazin berichtete vorab, Manager von Aldi Süd untersuchten derzeit die Marktbedingungen in der Volksrepublik. Die Gesellschafterfamilien hätten bereits im Februar 2013 einen Grundsatzbeschluss für die Expansion gefasst. Aldi Süd sei mit der Durchführung beauftragt worden. Die Zeitschrift beruft sich dabei auf ein Protokoll des «Unternehmens ausschusses» von Aldi Süd und Aldi Nord. •

Kriegsbedingt verlagertes Kul- Oberbürgermeister will viele turgut: Deutschland gibt spät- Flüchtlinge für Goslar mittelalterliche Handschrift an Die stark wachsende Zahl von Flüchtlingen macht den Verantwortlichen in ganz Deutschland Sorgen Polen zurück Das Auswärtige Amt und der Freistaat Sachsen sind übereingekommen, eine lateinische Handschrift von Predigten aus der ersten Hälfte des 15. Jahrhunderts an Polen zurückzugeben. Die Modalitäten der Rückgabe werden zwischen den Regierungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und Polens abgestimmt. Bei der Handschrift handelt es sich um einen theologischen Sammelband polnischer Herkunft mit dem Titel "Sermones de tempore", der noch im 15. Jahrhundert in die Sammlung der Vikariatsbibliothek beim Kollegiatstift Wiślica gehörte. Er wurde Ende 1944 von deutschen Stellen aus der Polnischen Nationalbibliothek in Warschau entnommen und nach Görbitsch bei Frankfurt/Oder verbracht. Dort beschlagnahmten sowjetische Truppen nach Kriegsende das Werk und verbrachten es nach Moskau. 1958 übergab die Sowjetunion die Handschrift zusammen mit einer Reihe von aus Dresden stammenden Sammlungen an die damalige DDR – wie sich nun herausgestellt hat irrtümlich. Seit 1958 wird das Werk in der Sächsischen Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden (SLUB) aufbewahrt. •

- nur nicht in Goslar. Oberbürgermeister Oliver Junk (CDU) will mehr Flüchtlinge in das Harzstädtchen holen, um den Bevölkerungsrückgang zu stoppen. „Das einfachste Wachstumsprogramm für Goslar heißt Zuwanderung.“ Die Region leide stärker als andere an Überalterung und Einwohnerschwund. Viele Flüchtlinge seien jung, gut ausgebildet und würden auf dem Arbeitsmarkt dringend benötigt. Junk schlug vor, den Schlüssel für die Zuweisung von Flüchtlingen entsprechend zu ändern: „Was spräche beispielsweise dagegen, wenn wir in Goslar für Göttingen und Braunschweig die Flüchtlinge mit unterbringen?“ In seiner Stadt und im Oberharz stünden genügend Wohnungen, kleine Hotels und Pensionen leer. Dies sei besser als die Unterbringung in Massenunterkünften. •




Münchner Airport aus Passagiersicht welt weit auf Platz 3 Feierstunde am Münchner Airport: Mit rund 100 Gästen, darunter zahlreichen Repräsentanten von Behörden, Luftverkehrsgesellschaften und anderen am Airport ansässigen Unternehmen, feierte die Flughafen München GmbH (FMG) heute das überaus erfolgreiche Abschneiden des Flughafens bei den „World Airport Awards 2014“. Nach der Befragung von rund 13 Millionen Passagieren durch das Londoner Beratungsinstitut Skytrax ist München zum „Best Airport in Europe“ gekürt worden. Im weltweiten Vergleich der Flughäfen erreichte Bayerns Luftverkehrsdrehkreuz einen hervorragenden dritten Platz hinter den Flughäfen Singapur und Seoul. Wie Edward Plaisted, Präsident von Skytrax, bei der Präsentation der Ergebnisse am Münchner Airport deutlich machte, erhielt München in sämtlichen erhobenen Einzelkategorien fast ausschließlich gute und sehr gute Benotungen. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser Bewertungen hob Staats-minister Dr. Markus Söder, Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der FMG, in seinem Grußwort die Bedeutung des Münchner Flughafens für den Freistaat Bayern hervor: „Der Flughafen München ist eine ausgezeichnete Visitenkarte des Freistaats Bayern: Zuverlässig und serviceorientiert. Er ist wirtschaftlicher Standortfaktor für den Freistaat und gleichzeitig freundliches Tor zur Welt.“ Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg des Münchner Airports ist für Dr. Michael Kerkloh, den Vorsitzenden der FMG-Geschäftsführung, das „äußerst erfolgreiche Teamwork“ innerhalb der Flughafenfamilie. Kerkloh: „Jetzt geht es darum, die enorme Wertschätzung der Passagiere, die mit dem nunmehr bereits siebten Europameisterti-tel für den Münchner Flughafen zum Ausdruck kommt, in den kommenden Jahren zu erhalten.“ Dazu soll nach den Worten des Flughafenchefs auch eine

Qualitätsoffensive beitragen, mit der der Flughafen München im Rahmen seiner Auditierung durch das Londoner Skytrax-Institut zu einem „Five-Star-Airport“ aufsteigen will. München könnte damit der erste europäische Flughafen werden, der die Anforderungen dieser höchsten Qualitätsstufe erfüllt. An der Umfrage zu den World Airport Awards 2014 hatten sich knapp 13 Millionen Passagiere aus 110 Ländern beteiligt. Bewertet wurden insgesamt 410 internationale Flughäfen in über 30 Service- und Produktkategorien entlang der Reisekette eines Passagiers – von Check-in, Ankunft, Umsteigemöglichkeiten, Sicherheits- und Passkontrollen bis hin zum Abflug. Beurteilt wurden auch die Freundlichkeit und Kompetenz des Airportpersonals sowie das Einkaufsund Unterhaltungsangebot am Flughafen. Der Flughafen München rangiert in seiner eigenen „Gewichtsklasse“, also im Kreis der Flughäfen mit jährlich 30 bis 40 Millionen Passagieren, weltweit auf Platz 1. In den Einzelkategorien „Flughafen-Restaurants“, „Aufenthaltsqualität und Erlebniswert“ sowie „VIP-Terminals“ erreichte Bayerns Luftverkehrsdrehscheibe im globalen Ranking jeweils den zweiten Platz. Da der Münchner Airport überdies nach Überzeugung der Passagiere über die beste Flughafenmannschaft Europas verfügt, dürfen sich laut Flughafenchef Michael Kerkloh alle 33.000 Flughafenbeschäftigte jetzt als Europameister fühlen. •

Frohe Weihnachten!




Cologne Christmas Market Advent is the time for Christmas markets, and Cologne is no exception. From 24 November to 23 December 2014, the magic of Christmas will be felt throughout the festively decorated city. The aroma of baked apples, cinnamon biscuits and mulled wine will waft through the alleys, and many differently themed Christmas markets will invite people to stroll, shop and explore. The larger Christmas markets are held in downtown Cologne. The booths near Cologne Cathedral are arranged around a huge Christmas tree, next to which is a stage for a diverse programme of live music performances. At the "Heimat der Heinzel" (Home of the Heinzelmännchen) on Heumarkt, visitors will be thrilled to find a spectacular skating rink. The "Markt der Engel" (Angel Market) on Neumarkt will treat you to a magnificently shining sea of stars, while the "Nikolausdorf" (St. Nick’s Village) on Rudolfplatz will create a fairytale atmosphere. But Cologne’s smaller Christmas markets also have plenty to offer. Between Rudolfplatz and Schaafenstraße is the gay-lesbian Christmas Avenue market, where everyone can enjoy a party atmosphere and a diverse programme of stage events. You can look forward to a maritime ambience at the Harbour Christ-

mas Market next to the Chocolate Museum. And if you prefer a more idyllic setting, you shouldn’t miss the Christmas market in the Stadtgarten, where more unusual handicrafts will be sold. Cologne’s Christmas markets attract millions of visitors from all over the world every year. You too can savour the unique atmosphere of this metropolis on the Rhine at this special time of year. You’re sure to be enchanted! KölnTourismus GmbH

Fraueninsel Lady's Island, on Chiemsee, a crystal clear pre-alpine freshwater lake at the edge of the Bavarian Alps. Soon it will be the scene of one of Germany's most picturesque Christkindlmaerkte, and the whole island illuminated by Christmas decorations and lights. Home to "Die Benediktinerinnen-Abtei Frauen-wörth im Chiemsee" since 782, a nunnery covering one third of the 15.5 hectare (38-acre) island, Fraueninsel has a small village with just over 50 houses, about 300 residents including artists, crafts-people and fishermen, but no cars. The nuns are famous not only for their spiritual life but also the various "secret" herbal Klosterlikoere made there since the 13th century (Cloister Liquors), a gourmet gingerbread and a marzipan, almond paste,

described as "Ein Stueck vom Himmel auf Erden". A piece of heaven on earth. ©German Culture




Aus Oma's Küche Lebkuchen ingredients For nut flour • 3/4 cup hazelnuts (3 1/2 oz) • 3/4 cup sliced almonds (2 1/2 oz) • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon • 1 teaspoon ground ginger • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves • 3/4 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda For cookies • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar • 3/4 cup mild honey • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened • 2 large eggs • 1/2 cup finely chopped fine-quality mixed candied fruit such as citron, orange, and lemon* • 4 (11 1/2- by 8 1/4-inch) sheets edible rice paper, cut with scissors into 32 (2 1/2-inch) rounds For icing • 2 cups confectioners sugar • 3 tablespoons water Preparation Make nut flour: Finely grind nuts with remaining nut flour ingredients in a food processor. Make dough: Beat together brown sugar, honey, and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in nut flour at low speed until just blended, then stir in candied fruit. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange rice-paper rounds, shiny sides down, on 2 large baking sheets. Roll level 2-tablespoon amounts of dough into balls with dampened hands, then put 1 on each paper round and flatten slightly (dough will

spread to cover paper during baking). Bake cookies in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until surface no longer appears wet, about 15 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool. Ice cookies: Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl, then stir in water until smooth. Evenly brush tops of cooled cookies with icing. Let icing set, about 1 hour. Cooks' note: These cookies improve with age but icing will darken. If making ahead, do not ice until day of serving. Cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container 1 month. •




Calendar of Events December

Western Ave., 6th Floor. Chicago IL 60625. For more information: 773-561-9181.

6 Chicago IL. Kino mit Kaffee und Kuchen. Im Zweifel für die Liebe. Doors open at 12 Noon Vorfilm 1:00, Feature 2:00. Kaffee und Kuchen $4 members/ $6 Public. DANK Haus. 4740 N Western Ave., Chicago IL 60625. 5 Benton Harbor, MI. Fish Fry. Doors open at 5:30. $9 per adults. $4 per child. Live entertainment from 7-10. 5 Frankfort, IL. Armin Homann's Christmas Show and Dance. DANK Chicago South, 25249 S Center Rd, Frankfort, IL 60423.

20 Benton Harbor, MI. Fish Fry. Doors open at 5:30. $9 per adults. $4 per child. Live entertainment from 7-10. 20 Kino mit Kaffee und Kuchen. Nur mit Euch. Doors open at 12 Noon Vorfilm 1:00, Feature 2:00. Kaffee und Kuchen $4 members/ $6 Public. DANK Haus. 4740 N Western Ave., Chicago IL 60625.

6 Milwaukee, WI . Christmas Party, 2:00 pm

20 Benton Barbor, MI. Christmas PArty Dance. Music by Mollie B and teh Squeeze Box Band. Admission $10. Food and drink available for addirional charge. 6:00 PM.

7 South Bend, IN. 2:00 PM Potluck. St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 51490 Laurel Rd., South Bend IN. Christmas Party.

31 Silvester at the DANK Haus. 9pm, Admission Charge. Food and drinks available for purchase. For information: 773-561-9181.

12 Benton Harbor, MI. Christmas Party Potluck. (Adult members only). Bring a wrapped gift for a game. 6:00 PM.


14 Frankfort, IL. Membership Meeting/Pot Luck Luncheon. DANK Chicago South, 25249 S Center Rd, Frankfort, IL 60423.

7 Milwaukee, WI. Singing 7:00 pm.

19 Chicago, IL. Stammtisch: Weihnachten. 7:30pm – Midnight. Open to the Public & No Cover. Food and drinks available for purchase. DANK Haus. 4740 N

3 Milwaukee, WI. Board Meeting 3:00 pm.

14 Milwaukee, WI . Dancing 6:00 pm Singing 7:00 pm. 21 Milwaukee, WI. Singing 7:00 pm. 28 Milwaukee, WI Dancing 6:00 pm. Singing 7:00 pm.

Pay your 2015 dues today!




German Independence Day Celebrated in Chicago By Alexis Putz

October 3 may be just the fall of the Berlin Wall, a another ordinary day for momentous historic event many individuals but for of great joy – not only for German Americans it is Germans.” Throughout the their July 4. October 3 celevent a black and white ebrates the unification of video montage of difEast and West Germany, ferent photographs was with the fall of the Berlin played which took guests Wall. back 25 years ago to the This day is not only rehistoric day the Berlin Wall membered and celebratcollapsed. “The nice video ed in Germany but in the that you see on the screen United States as well. On shows the emotions of the Thursday, Oct. 2 from 6-8 time. Pictures say more p.m. at the prominent sothan words, so I need not cial Union League Club of get into that any deeper.” Consul General Quelle and Hans-Gerd Poettering Chicago, the Day of German After this speech, attend(© Unity reception was held. ees helped themselves to The Union League Club is membership based and drinks and cocktails, a buffet-style dinner, and dessert. concentrates on substantial political, economic, so- Guests included representatives of the federal governcial, and governmental issues. According to the Union ment, the State of Illinois, and City of Chicago, guests League Club of Chicago’s website, “established in 1879 of honor from Germany, previous President of the to uphold the sacred obligations of citizenship, pro- European Union, the German Consul General of Chimote honesty and efficiency in government, and sup- cago, and other consulate generals representing other port cultural institutions and the beautification of the countries in America. city, the Club has been a contributing partner in the With his strong German accent Mr. Pöttering exgrowth and development of Chicago.” pressed, “when we celebrate our National Day tomorThis reception was held by the German Consulate row the third of October, the third of October 1990 General of Chicago to celebrate German Indepen- Germany was reunited.” The banquet hall filled with dence Day. This organization represents the country of applause. • Germany in America. Some of its duties include issuing visas and passports as well as business and travel Background: between Germany and the United States. Alexis Putz was born and raised in Naperville, Ill. She is a The event included a welcoming speech conducted current student at DePaul University, in Chicago, studyby the German Consul General of Chicago, Herbert ing public relations and advertising. Her determination, Quelle, and guest of honor from Germany, Hans-Gerd dedication, and passion for exceling in her education has Pöttering, who is currently Chairman of the Konrad Ad- led her to being on the Dean’s List all years in attendance enauer Foundation and served for many years as Presi- and was a member of DePaul’s Alpha Lambda Delta dent of the European Parliament. Standing on stage Honor Society as a freshman. Her goals after completing with them were three prominent flags: German, Unit- her degree program include working in marketing, public ed States, and European. Quelle empathized and ad- relations, or advertising for a major global corporation. dressed the prime focus of tonight, “we are using the Alexis mother, Sandra, is a DANK member. more common number of 25 years to commemorate

Wir wünschen Ihnen frohe Festtage!




Silvesterkläuse in Urnäsch, Switzerland December 31 and January 13 The tradition of the Urnäsch Silvesterkläuse, a custom over 200 years old, has developed from simple begging in disguise into an expression of creative handwork. Today, the Kläuse wear robes and masks which require a great deal of time and effort to make. Three very different groups must be distinguished: the Schöne (beautiful), of whom more will be said, the Wüeschte (ugly), who wear natural disguises in the form of pine branches, moss, and frightening masks, and the Schö-Wüeschte (less ugly), who use the same materials for their disguise as the "ugly ones" but look less so. wear a belt which normally has thirteen bells attached; the "men" carry a large bell on both chest and back. The event takes place in similar form on two separate days, New Year's Eve and January 13. When Pope Gregory XIII introduced his new calendar reform, some Reformed cantons wanted nothing to do with this new regulation and continued to use the old calendar up until the eighteenth century hence the difference of 13 days. In some rural areas, both the old and new calendars were printed side by side, and so the Kläuse appeared on both days. In the evening, most of them meet in small groups and proceed from house to house. Singing and ringing their bells, they wish the families a prosperous year. They receive small gifts of money which help to cover the cost of the costumes and refreshments. The headdresses of the "beautiful" Kläuse are richly decorated and sometimes take as long as 100 or more hours to make: the Wiiber, or women, wear high, fancy bonnets with figures, while the Mannevölcher, or men, carry carved and painted scenes of rural life depicted on flat boards. Actually all the costumes disguise men, as the carrying of bells is a very strenuous job. The "women"

Local Folk Art Museum

In the Appenzell Folk Art Museum visitors get a close look at the fascinating customs and traditions of Appenzell. They will see how the Appenzellers lived in bygone times. Exhibits include New Year's Eve costumes, the Bloch Parade, Lediwagen, an alpine hut, ancient handicrafts, objects associated with saddle making, a music room and antique furniture and furnishings. Visitors can also witness embroidery being created by local women and view rural paintings from the distant past to modern times. Changing exhibitions add to the attractions. •




Odds & Ends Astronaut Alexander Gerst returned to Earth ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, Russian commander Maxim Suraev and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman returned to Earth November 10, 2014, landing in the Kazakh steppe. Their return, landing at 03:58 GMT (04:58 CET), was in the same Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft that flew them to the International Space Station on May 28, 2014. Alexander flew straight to the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), the home base of all ESA astronauts in Cologne, Germany. ESA’s medical team will monitor how he readapts to gravity after spending more than five months in weightlessness. Highlights of Alexander’s ‘Blue Dot’ mission included installing ESA’s furnace that can suspend and cool molten metal in mid-air, a spacewalk to maintain and improve the Space Station, and the docking of Europe’s last Automated Transfer Vehicle – the largest spacecraft to supply the research center. A large selection of photographs from Blue Dot, most taken by Alexander himself, is available on the Flickr page: •

Leberkäse or Fleischkäse Leberkäse or Fleischkäse (German, literally means 'liver cheese'; sometimes spelled Leberkäs or Leberka(a) s in Austria and the Swabian, Bavarian and Franconian parts of Germany and Fleischkäse in Saarland, Baden, Switzerland and Tyrol) is a specialty food found in the south of Germany, in Austria and parts of Switzerland, similar to bologna sausage. It consists of corned beef, pork, bacon and onions and is made by grinding the ingredients very finely and then baking it as a loaf in a bread

pan until it has a crunchy brown crust. Leberkäse is said to have been invented in 1776 by the cook of Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, although this story has been heavily contested. The name "Leberkäse" literally translates to "liver-cheese" even though in Bavaria the dish traditionally contains neither liver nor cheese. Linguists believe that the etymology of the word either involves the Middle High German word lab (to clot) or the word laib (loaf ), and the Slavic root quas (feast). According to German food laws, only products called "Bavarian Leberkäse" are allowed not to contain liver; otherwise, there must be a minimum liver content of 4%. Some local variants must contain even more liver; for example, the liver content of "Stuttgarter Leberkäse" must be at least 5%. The type without liver is normally called Fleischkäse (meat cheese) if it is not made in Bavaria. •




Odds & Ends Endangered German Words Every language gains new words while others fall into disuse - a selection from the editorial team. Amtsschimmel: (lit: bureaucracy horse) this term stands for excessive bureaucracy. The Amtsschimmel whinnies whenever things are done over-correctly and slowly. Backfisch: (lit: fried fish) this term for a teenage girl is now only heard on rare occasions in the vocabulary of great-grandparents. The word apparently originated from angling and was used to describe a very young fish. Dalli: (Hurry up! Quick sharp!) parents can often be heard using this word to hurry their children along (“Jetzt aber dalli”). The word is rooted in the Kashubian

dali (further, go) and in the Polish dalej. Pappenheimer: people say “Ich kenne meine Pappenheimer” when they reckon they know the weaknesses of certain individuals. The quote dates back to Friedrich Schiller’s drama Wallenstein’s Death in praise of the soldiers of Count von Pappenheim. Nowadays it is used ironically. Zeche: (lit: colliery, mine) the expression “Die Zeche bitte!” can still occasionally be heard from someone sitting in a pub who wants to pay the bill. The pub might be in the Ruhr area, but not necessarily. In the Ruhr the word Zeche means colliery or mine. There’s trouble brewing if someone “die Zeche prellt”: he cheats the colliery by not paying the bill. German Language Day was September 13 •

Berlin named most 'fun' city in the world

With cheap beer and superclubs Berlin has received the title of most "fun" city on the planet Berlin has received the title of “most fun” city in a poll of travelers. The German capital was among 1,800 cities ranked according to categories such as “bars”, “clubs”, “shopping”, “adult entertainment” and “activities”. Factors such as the average price of a beer, and whether or not public drinking is permitted, were also taken into account. Berlin’s beer was also the cheapest of the top 25 cities. The survey was commissioned by GetYourGuide – a travel review website - and GoEuro – a booking agent. It was based on an analysis of data on various websites around the world, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, and a poll of almost 2,000 travelers’. Paris rounded out the top three; eight of the top 10 cities are European, while some of the more surprising cities to feature in the top 25 included Dubai, New Delhi, Macao and Moscow. •

German National Team players and coaching staff received Germany's highest sports honor, the Silver Laurel Leaf. Federal President Gauck, joined by Chancellor Merkel and Interior Minister de Maizière, presented the awards to the World Cup champions. The awards were presented Schloss Bellevue in Berlin. •

Munich’s Oktoberfest 2014 numbers:

• • • •

6.3 million Guests drank 6.5 million liters of beer. Security prevented 112,000 beer mugs from being stolen. Lost & Found: in total 3,646 items. Among them: 2 wedding rings, cat transport box, 900 ID’s, 530 wallets, 330 mobile phones, 31 cameras . 2,000 volunteer Red Cross workers treated 7,914 patients. •




Odds and Ends Germany Knocks USA Off Best Nation Top Spot After 5 Years Germany knocked the U.S. out of the top spot in an international survey measuring the popularity of countries around the world. Germany ranked first and the United States second out of 50 countries in the annual Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, which polled more than 20,000 people across 20 countries. It’s the first time the U.S. hasn’t held first place since 2009. The study measures global perceptions of countries based on a variety of attributes, including governance, culture and sports. According to a statement from GfK, the German-based market research that runs the study, Germany benefited from a boost in the “sports excellence” category after winning the 2014 World Cup. The United States was brought down by poor perceptions in Egypt and Russia. Russia, meanwhile, dropped more in its global per-

ception ranking than any other of the 50 countries. Overall Brand Ranking 2014 (Top 10 of 50 Nations) 2014 rank and 2013 rank 1 Germany 2 2 USA 1 3 UK 3 4 France 4 5 Canada 5 6 Japan 6 7 Italy 7 8 Switzerland 8 9 Australia 9 10 Sweden 10

All-time record on Christmas Germans are planning to spread a lot of good cheer this festive season by splashing out a record amount on Christmas presents, according to a survey. Europe's biggest economy might be in the grip of a bout of stagnation but the nation's shoppers are planning to spend an average of 447 euros (556 dollars) on gifts compared with 397 euros in 2013. "That is an all-time record," said Oliver Gansser from the Munich University of Applied Sciences (FOM) releasing a survey of more than 38,000 consumers aged between 12 and 99, which was drawn up for the German Federation of Retail Traders’ (HDE). Consumers remain unperturbed by the current downbeat economic mood in the country, said HDE President Josef Sanktjohanser. "The stable labour market is creating good consumer sentiment," HDE said. Data to be released on Friday is forecast by analysts to show the GERMAN ECONOMY grew by a meagre 0.1 per cent in the three months ended September after contracting by 0.2 per cent in the second quar-

ter, partly as a result of weak foreign demand. But Sanktjohanser said the mood among German households had picked up resulting in private consumption emerging as the key driving force behind the country's economic growth. Consequently, the HDE has raised its forecast for this year's Christmas sales with the federation saying it expects children toys, books, watches and electronic goods to top consumers' Christmas shopping lists. Many are, however, likely to decide for something requiring very little imagination – a gift voucher. The HDE now expects spending in the runup to December 25 to rise by 1.2 per cent to 85.5 billion euros. As a result, it raised its full-year outlook for private consumption in 2014, saying it now expects household spending to grow by 1.8 per cent - 0.3-percent higher than previously forecast. German Christmas shoppers rang up sales last year of 84.5 billion. Total sales for the full year 2013 hit 451 billion euros. • ©




Odds and Ends E-cigarette considered non-drug The tobacco alternative, e-cigarettes, are not a drug under German law, the country's federal administrative ruled in a victory for the growing e-cigarette industry. The devices emit a vapour from a nicotine liquid. If the liquid had been judged to be a medication, it would have required testing and clearance as a drug. The ruling means the product can continue to be sold in Germany at tobacco stalls and by online merchants. Giving a verdict in an appeal by e-cigarette merchants and manufacturers, judges in the eastern city of Leipzig ruled that pharmaceuticals law does not apply because the liquid serves a therapeutic purpose and does not improve health. German authorities had

vainly attempted to restrict sales of the products, arguing that they were subject to pharmaceuticals laws. •

Spree Forest – idyllic riverNew type of diet in Germany scapes, ospreys and boat trips. Raw food enthusiasts eat food as untouched by huIn parts of the Spree Forest biosphere reserve, an enchanting landscape of rivers and lakes, the mail is still delivered by small wooden boats. It is also where the famous Spree Forest gherkins are grown. The Niederfinow ship lift is a sight to behold and the oldest surviving construction of this kind in Germany. Spree Forest is paradise on water. Now, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is celebrating 20 years as a biosphere reserve. •

man hand as possible. That means no hot soups, no pastas, no bread, not even cheese. Instead they eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. That sounds like a lot of self-discipline, denial and growling stomach time. But Silke Mai from the raw food association FrohNatur in BREMEN in northern Germany says that's not the case. "You taste each item of food much more intensely," according to Mai. Bremen's raw food community meets regularly for potluck gatherings. Similar events take place in other German cities. Some restaurants are even introducing raw food dishes to their menus. Natural food shops around Germany have also discovered the trend and are stocking unprocessed food ingredients on their shelves. •


Office Update


Now that we have completed the December 2014/ January 2015 issue of the Journal it is time to focus on processing the incoming 2015 dues payments. This year we were able to send out the Dues Statements in November. If you have not received your Dues Statement, please call the National Office (1-888-USADANK). Your dues are the primary source of income for DANK and support our National Office and the German American Journal. To maintain membership in good standing a person’s dues must be paid by March 31. Those members who are not in good standing are not eligible to vote in chapter elections and also risk losing their membership in our organization. Please pay now and your membership will be valid through 12/31/2015. •


We would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Eva & Eve




New Members National Chris Decker Chicago South Michael Black Dietmar Lantz Baylee Mankiewicz Scott Ford Anton Berger Rula Lee Tammy & Patrick Frencl

Chicago Michaela Schmidt Samantha Salwierak

Quad Cities Daniel Lusche

Springfield, IL Julie and Mario Costa

Erie, PA William Koehler

Milwaukee, WI Gabriel Kalieb

Bay City, MI Kim Oswald-Little Sharon Walker Richard Miller

South Bend, IN Maria Toth

Welcome newest Life Member

Kurt Paterek donations German American Day Richard Linzing Siegfried Kratzke Rudolf Strahl

Education Fund

Dr Jorg Hoogeweg John Lakota Siegfried Kratzke

Rudolf Strahl Paul Dorocke Stephen Roth, MD Brigita Bedelis-Roth Walter Harbischmacher W Y Espenschied Marlin Schmidt Paul Nice


John Lakota Rudolf Bley Richard Linzing Siegfried Kratzke Rudolf Strahl John Fluss Hans Goemmer Walter Harnischmacher Paul Nice



Knecht Ruprecht Von drauss’ vom Walde komm ich her; Ich muss euch sagen, es weihnachtet sehr! Allüberall auf den Tannenspitzen Sah ich goldene Lichtlein sitzen; Und droben aus dem Himmelstor Sah mit grossen Augen das Christkind hervor, Und wie ich so strolcht’ durch den finstern Tann, Da rief’s mich mit heller Stimme an: „Knecht Ruprecht“, rief es, "alter Gesell, Hebe die Beine und spute dich schnell! Die Kerzen fangen zu brennen an, Das Himmelstor ist aufgetan, Alt’ und Junge sollen nun Von der Jagd des Lebens einmal ruhn; Und morgen flieg’ ich hinab zur Erden, Denn es soll wieder Weihnachten werden! Ich sprach: „O lieber Herr Christ, Meine Reise fast zu Ende ist; Ich soll nur noch in diese Stadt, Wo’s eitel gute Kinder hat.“ „Hast denn das Säcklein auch bei dir?“ Ich sprach: „Das Säcklein das ist hier: Denn Äpfel, Nuss und Mandelkern Fressen fromme Kinder gern.“ „Hast denn die Rute auch bei dir?“ Ich sprach: „Die Rute, die ist hier: Doch für die Kinder nur, die schlechten, Die trifft sie auf den Teil den rechten.“ Christkindlein sprach:„So ist es recht; So geh mit Gott, mein treuer Knecht!“ Von drauss’ vom Walde komm ich her; Ich muss euch sagen, es weihnachtet sehr! Nun sprecht, wie ich’s hier innen find’! Sind’s gute Kind’, sind’s böse Kind’? (Theodor Storm 1817-1888, deutscher Schriftsteller)


Deutsche Weihnacht Wo immer auf Erden ihr Deutschen auch seid, wir wollen uns Treue verkünden und stehen in Heiliger Nacht nun bereit, kommt, laßt uns die Lichter anzünden! Wir stellen ins Fenster ein brennendes Licht, eine Kerze so blau wie die Treue. Wo immer ein Mensch uns're Sprache noch spricht, dem grüne die Hoffnung aufs Neue. Wie hart auch die Grenzen, wie weit auch die Welt, wir suchen und finden die Herzen. Auf daß sich die dunkelste Straße erhellt im Lichterglanz unserer Kerzen! Begegnet uns Lüge und Hetze und Spott, nichts kann unsern Weg heute stören. Wir tragen das Recht, und es segne uns Gott, weil wir zueinander gehören. Die Grenze versinkt, und der Lichterglanz scheint, die Heilige Nacht kommt gezogen. Es haben sich uns're Gedanken vereint wohl unter dem Sonnenwendbogen!

Zum neuen Jahr Wie heimlicher Weise Ein Engelein leise Mit rosigen Fuessen Die Erde betritt, So nahte der Morgen, Jauchzt ihm, ihr Frommen, Ein heilig Willkommen, Ein heilig Willkommen! Herz, jauchze du mit! In Ihm sei’s begonnen, Der Monde und Sonnen An blauen Gezelten Des Himmels bewegt. Du, Vater, du rate! Lenke du und wende! Herr, dir in die Haende Sei Anfang und Ende, Sei alles gelegt! Eduard Mörike







Kinderecke Weihnachtsbaum oder Tannenbaum Weihnachtsstern



Geschenke under dem Weihnachtsbaum




Pittsburgh Chapter makes October- German American Service Month! In keeping with having October 6th as German – American Day, the Pittsburgh Chapter dedicated the whole month as German-American Service month. It took on two charity efforts to demonstrate our commitment to our local communities’ efforts to deal with social issues critical to all. Our first effort was to honor the national St. Nicholas Project by assisting a local food bank by holding a Brat Fest to raise funds for the Concord Presbyterian Food Pantry. The event held on Oct. 4th in conjunction with members of the Church raised approximately $800 in profits to be utilized by the George Steiner Food Bank (named in honor of our former Vice President George Steiner) to serve the needy in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Our second effort was to participate in the Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Walk held on Oct. 11th. Our Team consisted of 7 members and 5 friend/supporters. While we set a moderate goal of $750 for our first effort, the results even surprised us including team captain Christine Sabatini. With generous donations from both Chapter Members

and outside support the Chapter nearly raised $1700 for the cause, meeting our goal by more than 200%. We want to thank all who participated and supported our efforts to raise funds for these worthy causes. Our goal was to show that our Chapter while proud of our German heritage and maintaining Germanic culture is not one dimensional but is also about serving the local communities of which we are part. Submitted by Erik Wittmann Pittsburgh Chapter President Emeritus

Ein frohes, gesegnetes Weihnachtsfest, Gesundheit, Glück und Frieden für das Jahr 2015 Executive Board of The German American National Congress

Frohe Weihnachten und ein Gl端ckliches Neues Jahr

December/January 2015