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

Volume 61 Number 6

Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt

December 2013 - January 2014

Frohe Weihnachten Euch allen und ein gesundes neues Jahr WILLIAM J. BLATTER Rechtsanwalt



CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60625 TEL (773) 506-2200





Contents Of This Issue 4

From the President’s Desk by Beverly Pochatko


Lake County Volkstrauertag


Children of Internment


DANK National Convention 2013


Chapter Chatter (Chapter News and Updates)


Germany's Destiny Day


German American Education Fund


Office Update


Deutsche Weihnachtsgedicht


Advent and Christmas in Germany


DANK National Convention Pictures




Viennese Opera Ball


Aus Oma's Küche


Calendar of Events


Odds and Ends


Welcome New Members

Editorial Staff Beverly Pochatko Eve Timmerhaus Eva Timmerhaus George Nagata Correspondents Anne Marie Fuhrig Christa Garcia Francine McKenna Desktop Publishing and Design George Nagata Advertising and Classifieds 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 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 On Saturday, Nov 2nd, fifty delegates from across the country convened at our Biennial National Convention in Chicago. It was great to see old friends and many familiar faces! It was indeed an honor to be reelected as your National President. I look forward to working with the new Executive Board. In addition to electing new officers, attendees had their say in what the goals of DANK should be in the future. At the ‘Town Hall meeting, there were many good ideas presented. During the month of December, we are reminded that this is also the ‘beginning’ of a new year in all cultures. We are given the chance to make all things ‘new’ – in every level of our life, hence the New Year’s Resolutions. Are you willing to make one resolution to help further the goals of DANK? Will you resolve to enroll one new member to help us meet our goal of increasing our membership numbers? Will you consider becoming a life member and set a goal date for it to happen? In talking with members from across the country, they have the same goal – to promote DANK in any way they can. Yes, we all have problems relating to our membership and all are concerned about the numbers attending meetings, the number of volunteers we attract to help at social functions and what to do about it. This is what we will work on in the coming months … putting together a plan. Well, in Erie we had our first snowfall of winter and most of the leaves on my walnut tree were still attached when it came. Day after the snow, there remains barely two handfuls of leaves on the tree and my lawn is a blanket of golden leaves. We were able to gather seven 8 qt splint baskets of walnuts (before the squirrels did). We have a lot of cracking to do for our holiday baking! Christmas is a time for giving and for sharing. Giving of your time and talents to help DANK and your local chapter is an important gift… let’s start by making a telephone call to an older member just to say hello; or help increase attendance at meetings by giving another person a ride who normally can’t come? Provide articles for your newsletters or our national magazine? Introduce a friend or family member to DANK – let them see why you are a DANK member. Be proud of who you are – an American of German heritage. 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! My wish for you is the Peace, Love and Joy of the coming holiday season and that it remains with you throughout the coming year! Beverly Pochatko

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 Executive Secretary Eva Timmerhaus Office Manager Eve Timmerhaus





Violent storms didn't keep DANK Chapter Lake County, IL from observing Volkstrauertag. by Ursula Hoeft

For days we had listened anxiously to the weather forecast and hoped that the predictions of stormy weather for Volkstrauertag would not come to pass. But the weatherman was right! Sunday brought the severe storms that had been predicted. Since there is no "rain date" for Volkstrauertag, and we certainly didn't want to cancel our observance, we held a condensed ceremony indoors at the Lake Forest American Legion Hall. While the audience was small, the indoor ceremony was as meaningful as our observances have been in past years. But one thing was missing: The traditional wreath-laying ceremony which could only be held at the cemetery. Then, after our indoor proceedings had been concluded, it stopped raining, the clouds parted and the sun came out so that we were able to hold a short wreath laying ceremony at the graves after all. Moments later it began to rain again. We were pleased to have Christian Brecht, Consul General, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago with us. In his eloquent and meaningful address, Dr. Brecht reminded us that "on Volkstrauertag, we remember both the past and present victims of war and violence." He included a sobering thought: "we must remember that there have never been so many victims of war, persecution, violence and brutal terrorist attacks in the history of mankind than in the last century." And I think Dr. Brecht spoke for all of us when he stated "we sympathize with

On behalf of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago, I want to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a New Year filled with peace and happiness. I hope that you will find the opportunity to spend time with those that are special to you and celebrate all for which you are thankful. As I reflect upon the many German-American celebrations and gatherings that took place here in the Midwest this year, I am continually impressed to see how alive the traditions and the friendships are within the thriving German-American community. This German-American relationship, based upon common values and mutual respect, is a living history and your participation is an integral component in keeping this rich history alive here in the Midwest. I want to thank all of you for your contribution and for maintaining German traditions and culture. Wishing you all the very best in 2014, Consul General Christian Brecht

Continued on page 7 On The Cover: Berlin is home to 60 different Christmas markets, but for the connoisseur, the Christmas market at the historic square Gendarmenmarkt, close to Friedrichstraße, is not to be missed. What to Expect: Framed by the illuminated French and German Cathedral and the Concert House, you can wander the many booths or visit the heated craftsmen tent where you can watch toy makers, goldsmiths, and wood carvers at work. There is also a stage, where musicians, dancers, jug-

glers, and acrobats keep you and the children entertained. The daily program starts in the afternoon and continues into the night. A bit unusual for a German Christmas fair: You have to pay admission (1 Euro) to visit the Gendarmenmarkt, but therefore, it stays open for Christmas Eve and the days after Christmas. You can even spend New Year’s Eve here, and enjoy a festive gala with various bands, fireworks, and a waltz dance after midnight. •




Children of Internment German Families in the US Camps A film by Kristina Wagner and Joe Crump ber 7, 1941, the nation was clearly under threat and historically when there is a threat, a pattern occurs. Families around the world are at risk whenever government policymakers assume that ethnicity alone decides loyalty. The U.S. implemented three programs to identify and imprison civilians considered a threat to the country during WWII. The American authority’s rationale for doing this was that by immobilizing the pro-Axis German and Japanese nationals in Latin America, the United States was preventing the spread of Nazism throughout the Hemisphere and thereby strengthening its own security. Germans had built up large businesses in Latin America and the destruction of these businesses by the removal of their owners allowed U.S. firms to gain footholds in these countries. Another

It is a common misperception that only JapaneseAmericans were interned during WWII. The GermanAmerican wartime experience remains largely overlooked by historians and generally unknown to most Americans. German legal resident aliens and GermanAmericans constituted the largest number of those of European background detained. It is important, when studying WWII internment, to make distinctions between German-Americans, Japanese Americans, and German enemy aliens who were not U.S. citizens. In light of those terms, few German-Americans were interned. But nearly 11,000 German aliens were interned and tens of thousands more suffered illegal searches and seizures, relocation, harassment, interrogation, family separation, scapegoating, deportation and repatriation. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Decem-




Continued from page 5 the families who have someone in their midst who returned from engagement badly wounded – be it physically, psychologically or both." DANK National Treasurer Robert Miske also spoke about the significance of Volkstrauertag. And Vice President and Honorary Chapter President Karl Schmidt read the poem "Heldenfriedhof" as well as excerpts from letters written by Walter Spahn, who had been a prisoner of war at Fort Sheridan. The day was memorialized in prayer by the Reverend Richard Käske, a DANK Lake County member. While the bad weather kept their full complement of singers from being with us this year, the Rheinischer Gesang Verein and the Schwäbischer Sängerbund were represented nonetheless when a member of each group, along with Karl Schmidt and Helmut Appelt a Chapter Board member, invited everyone to join them in singing "der gute Kamerad." Chapter President Greg Hoeft expressed appreciation for the official Volkstrauertag wreath provided by the Consulate General and thanked Anni and Victor Kordas for again making the nine wreaths for the graves, something they have lovingly done for 30 years. He also thanked DANK Lake County members for the time and effort they had dedicated to the observance and for their willingness to adapt the program this year to meet the day's unusual circumstances. •





DANK National Convention 2013 It was a dreary, wet day as delegates arrived from across the country to participate in our national convention. As delegates and guests arrived on Friday, there were hugs and handshakes as they renewed acquaintances and hailed long time friends. Friday evening’s Hospitality Room was a great time to sit and talk and to meet new folks like the Bay City delegation. On Saturday the Convention was called to order and the Agenda to approve minutes of the previous board meeting, the financial statement for the year to date, and committee reports were approved. The President gave her ‘State of the Organization” and thanked everyone for their support. The Election of Officers then took place; President Beverly Pochatko and Treasurer Bob Miske. Ron Kabitzke (Milwaukee) 1st VP and Esther Markwart (Fox Valley) 2nd VP . Linda Voit, Recording Secretary, stated she was unable to continue and nominations came from the floor. Esther Markwart said she was willing to also function as Recording Secretary and it was approved by the delegation. The installation ceremony was held at that time. Saturday evening was truly German and everyone enjoyed the food and ambiance of the Hofbräuhaus. Some delegated enjoyed the ‘After-Glo’ in the lounge off the hotel lobby. At the Sunday meeting, Bob Miske noted that an overnight development had occurred, that Esther Markwart had stepped down as 2nd Vice-President and Erik Wittman has been appointed to that position by President Beverly Pochatko, (as is her right per our

Erik Wittman, 2nd National Vice President National Bylaws to fill a vacant position.) The delegates approved her decision. The meeting continued with the goals for the coming two years; to continue to expand our membership and improving our financial base. Then the question was turned around…as Beverly asked “what are you taking back to your chapters?” • Cleveland – increase awareness. • Pittsburg – more involvement/Just add one. • Bay City – monthly meetings area good and communication. • Erie – less business, more fun and getting to know each other. Have Kaffeeklatch spoken in German • Milwaukee – Send cards to all members for notification, communication, programs, speak German more often. • Lake County - No membership committee they only have 1 or 2 meetings a year. Continued on page 32





DANK Elects New Executive Board at Biennial National Convention

The German American National Congress (DANK), based in Chicago, IL, announces the election of its new executive board officers at the Biennial National Convention on November 2, 2013 in Rosemont, IL. New officers, who function as the Board’s Executive Committee, are (ltr) Ronald Kabitzke 1st Vice President (West Bend, WI); Beverly A. Pochatko National President (Erie, PA); Erik Wittman 2nd Vice President (Pittsburgh, PA); Esther Markwart Recording Secretary (Elgin, IL); and Robert Miske Treasurer (Sheboygan, WI). •




Chapter Chatter Wisconsin Honors German American Day German AmeriThe State of can Day was Wisconsin folfirst proclaimed lowed the Naon October 2, tion in honoring 1987 by then German AmeriPresident Roncans and their ald Reagan, contributions to honoring three America recenthundred years ly. of German imState Represenmigration with tative and DANK M i l w a u k e e DANK member State Representative Fred Kessler presents Chapter President the arrival of the ship Concord. It member FrederRon Kabitzke and the DANK Milwaukee Chapter members with a copy was considered ick Kessler introof the German American Resolution. the German duced a resolution to the State Assembly in recognizing October 6, Mayflower. The vessel was 130 by 32 feet and weighed 2013 as German American Day throughout the State 500 tons. The Captain was William Jeffries. 1683, the of Wisconsin. Forty plus members from different Ger- Concord sailed from Rotterdam via London, carrying man American Societies in Milwaukee were present 13 families making their way to the New World from Krefeld, (North-Rhine Westphalia) in search of religious for the occasion. DANK Milwaukee Chapter President Ronald Kabitzke freedom. They sailed from Rotterdam on July 6, by way addressed the State Assembly on behalf of all the so- of London on July 24, 1683, and landed in Philadelphia cieties and expressed appreciation for their support of on October 6, 1683. They began the community of Germantown, which is part of Philadelphia. • this resolution.

Milwaukee Recognizes Long-time Members By Jane Nacker DANK Chapter Milwaukee held their Membership Recognition meeting on Sept. 15 at the Milwaukee German Fest office. Ursula Günther reported on the chapter’s membership count and coordinated the membership awards. Members of 10-50 years were recognized with a certificate and coordinating DANK pin. After the general meeting and awards recognition, everyone enjoyed a buffet dinner. The members with 50 years are Siegrid Arnold, Ewald Gansewendt, Rev. Joseph Hass and Hasso Kuehn. Forty years: Ingeborg Kowalski, Helmut and Edelgard Sawall, John and Margot Smith, Alois Doblinger and Knut Apitz. Thirty-five years: Tom and Rita Rose Mauermann. They are also Life Members of DANK. Thirty years: are Joachim Heller and Grant Taylor. Twenty-five years: Adam Missum.

DANK Chapter Milwaukee recognizes their members long service with DANK. Twenty years: Heinz and Renate Britsch. Ten years: Holger and Deanna Sommerfeld, Kurt Deg ner, Sigrid Degner, Louis and Janis Giblin and Mary Zarse. •





Chapter Chatter D.A.N.K. Fox Valley Chapter IL By Esther Markwart On August 24 our Chapter helped plan and participate in the first Germanfest in conjunction with the Hinkley Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hinckley, Illinois. Every year the Church has a fund raising event and this year they asked us to help them put on a one day Germanfest. With the help of Lee Madson and Greg Diehart from the Church and Willi Gohs and Clemen Hog from the Fox Valley Chapter, they planned and put on a successful Germanfest. We had a beautiful day that brought out over 1000 people to visit the fest along with crafters and informational booths. Everyone was hungry as was evident with the selling of over 500 bratwurst and selling out of the potato salad and Apfel Strudel. We also sold 7 barrels of beer. For entertainment a mug holding contest was held for men and women. The longest time was just over 11 minutes with the prize being a large boot glass.

DANK Chapter Lake County, IL

Photo: DANK Lake County, IL Board for Year 2013-14 L-R Walter Veile. Karl Schmidt, Fini Schmidt, Eberhard Fuhr, Ursula Hoeft, Ludwina Homer, Greg Hoeft, Vera Schalk, Helmut Appelt, Judy Kanka.

Pay your 2014 dues today!

There were other games and prizes to get everyone involved. Die Perlen performed in the evening to make the event a complete Germanfest. The Fox Valley Chapter enjoyed participating in the event and we hope to have it again next year. Our Chapter also took part in the second annual International Fest in Elgin the following weekend on August 31. It was put on by the City of Elgin and they had a big tent with 16 different food stands with many international dishes. Of course we sold our great tasting Bratwurst and Apfel Strudel. A parade was also to take place to kick off the festivities, but because of a morning thunderstorm it had to be cancelled. However, there were 2 stages of entertainment that kept the people busy all day. There was also an international tent that had over 30 different countries represented with information and history about each country. The day turned out better than it started weather wise and everyone had a good time. •

Our annual election meeting was held on October 27. We are pleased to report that our Board for 20132014 includes Greg Hoeft, President; Karl Schmidt, Vice-President, Membership Chair and Archivist; Walter Veile, Treasurer; Judy Kanka, Recording Secretary; Ludwina Homer, Corresponding Secretary and Auditor; Ursula Hoeft, Publicity Secretary; Helmut Appelt, Advisor and Auditor; Fini Schmidt, Vera Schalk, Eberhard Fuhr, Advisors. We look forward to another successful year. •




Chapter Chatter DANK, South Bend... Moonlight Picnic and Oktoberfest By the light of the Moon on September 19th, The South Bend DANK came for together for Fall Picnic held on Kyson's Farm The evening was very enjoyable with good friends, delicious food and drink and a wonderful large bonfire to sit by and enjoy the warmth on a cool September evening. On October 12th, South Bend DANK, gathered at Weiss's Gasthaus, 115 N. Dixie Way, Roseland, IN, to Celebrate Oktoberfest. There was a lot of Schnitzel, Sauerbraten, Sauerkraut etc. that was enjoyed by many along with beer and wine. There was a lot of music and everyone joined in to sing Schnitzelbank which was a lot of fun for all ages. We had a beer drinking contest in which they had to drink from baby bottles. The winner was Christine Schlosser. A big Thank you goes to John Tarwacki for being a great D.J. for the evening. Also, we all have to Thank Christine Weiss for hosting the Oktoberfest

at the Gasthaus. It was enjoyed by all ages. Dawn Black, DANK, South Bend

DANK Benton Harbor Elections The elections were held on November 10th 2013 at the DANK Haus in Benton Harbor and Dave Hinz Region Two President ran the election. About twenty six members were present. Bob Clark thanked the prior board for their commitment to the club and thanked those newly elected to serve for two years. Special thanks went to Eddie Schramm who took on the Secretary position as the chapter has been looking for someone to fill the position for many years. Now Mrs Hinz can take a much needed breather! •

(ltr) Mike Booze, 1st VP; Reinhard Lippert , House Committee; Donna J Lippert, 2nd VP and House Committee; Bob Clark, President; Eddie Schramm, Secretary; Kat Schramm, Public Relations; Bill Hendrix, House Committee; Mary Anne Hinz Treasurer; Dave Hinz, House Committee.

Submitted by Donna J Lippert Memberchair and Decorating Chair and upcoming 2nd Vice President

Milwaukee DANK Chor Elections The Milwaukee DANK Chor held elections for its choir. Jill Shearer is moving up from Vice President to President, taking over from Kathleen Kabitzke. Bridget Roth takes over as Vice President. Sally Shearer remains as Secretary.

Doris Mueller has taken care of the music since the Chor’s founding in 1983 and will remain in the choir and help Helen Gyarmaty transition into the position of music librarian. •





Chapter Chatter Greetings from the NW Shore of Lake Erie Here it is nearly the end of 2013 and I like to look back on our Chapter’s accomplishments. Activity wise we hosted a successful Fasching Party on the 9th; our annual Family and Friends Summer Picnic in July; had many faithful volunteers participate at our 17th Annual German Heritage Fest over Labor Day Weekend; and attended the National Convention the first weekend of November; and on Nov. 17th continued to honor deceased members at our Volkstrauertag; and lastly our Annual Weihnachts celebration the first Saturday of December. Our membership meetings always have a program with coffee and homemade desserts! I am proud to say that our Deutsche Sprache Kaffeeklatsch held on the third Sunday of the month to reach out to those who speak German and want to brush up on the language is taking hold. The theme is ‘Vergiss mich nicht’ . We have older members who no longer drive at night who join us and I must say, we have learned much from them especially about their background in Germa-

ny! There is no specified program other than to come and share. After our Volkstrauertag Ceremony, a good number of new attendees joined us. We especially enjoy our Christmas celebration at ‘BrewErie’ where we enjoy Glühwein before our brunch, followed with Santa Claus for the Kinder, and the sharing of everybody’s favorite cookies. Mary Jane & Rich Hartman hosted this year’s event. The early outing (Noon to four p.m.) allows our senior members to attend, and gives plenty of time for the Kinder to settle down after the day’s excitement before bedtime! Somewhere before our January meeting, our Board will meet to discuss the plans for the coming year and to meet our membership goals. The Executive Board and our Board of Directors wish everyone a meaningful holiday season. God Bless! Herzliche Weihnachtsgrüße und ein glückliches Neues Jahr Margaret Potocki, President

DANK Chapter Erie Volkstrauertag participants Left to right: Margaret Potocki, President, Charlotte Chase, Fred Huttel, Jr., Dr. Phil Susann, Christel Caldwell, Luise Dudkiewicz, Jeffrey Chase. Mrs. Hilde Huttel seated. Photo by Beverly Pochatko.

DANK Chapter Listing ARIZONA Phoenix IOWA Quad Cities 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 NEW JERSEY Pascack Valley OHIO Cleveland PENNSYLVANIA Erie Philadelphia Pittsburgh Uniontown WASHINGTON DC Washington DC WISCONSIN Milwaukee




Germany’s "Destiny Day" November 9th is a date in German history that has, as the German news magazine Der Spiegel described it in 2009, marked the highs and lows of the German people. Known in German as der Schicksaltag, or “destiny day”, the 9th of November has continuously popped up in the course of German history, especially in times of great upheaval or societal change. The first occurrence that shaped the history of the German people on November 9th was the end of the 1848 revolutions with the death of liberal leader, Robert Blum. The revolutions that had swept through Europe in 1848 saw the different social classes unite, though shakily, to push for further democratization of their government. Blum’s execution was the symbolic end to these revolutions. Germany’s destiny day was more frequent in the 20th century, starting with the end of the First World War and the overthrow of the German Kaiser. Dissatisfied with the wartime conditions, the Germans revolted against their monarchy and established Germany’s first republic, the Weimar Republic, on November 9, 1918. After years of failure to install any effective form of democracy in Prussia and the later German Empire, the German people finally had their own government. But, as described above, the highs of destiny day were accompanied by lows. In the mid-20th century, the 9th of November was stained by the dark cloud of

Nazism. 1923 saw the “Beer Hall Putsch,” the Nazi’s first attempt to gain control over the German government and the first appearance of the future dictator, Adolf Hitler, on the national stage. November 1938 saw the horrific anti-Jewish pogrom known as Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass. The tide of democracy ushered in by the Weimar Republic was, by 1938, completely dismantled. This trend of dark days of Nazi domination and the later dismemberment of the German people and country during the Cold War would come to an end finally on November 9, 1989 with the breaking down of the maligned Berlin Wall. The peaceful and joyful rise of the new German people captured the world’s attention and signaled the end of the Cold War the renewal of a unified German people. Though Germany’s destiny day has its highs and lows, it remains important to the Germans who have survived the dark times or lived through the jubilant times of the reunification. No one knows what next event will become part of the story of der Schicksaltag, but Germany’s current place in the international community indicates it will be one of national pride and celebration of the true German spirit of unity and progress. · Ryan Maloney

DANK Benton Harbor, MI

2014 Fish Fry Schedule February 7 March 7 · April 4 May 2 · June 6 More dates to follow

The House Of Gemütlichkeit DANK Haus - Benton Harbor

2651 Pipestone Rd Benton Harbor, MI

(269)926-6652 ·

Es gibt keine größere Kraft als die Liebe, sie überwindet den Hass wie das Licht die Finsternis. Martin Luther King, Jr.





WANT TO SAVE MONEY WHILE GIVING and SHOWING PRIDE? We are coming upon the 2013 Income Tax Filing period and some of our Members who itemize their deductions should give serious consideration to giving to the DANK Education Fund, a non- profit 401c3 organization that allows you to support German language education and cultural activities while being able to write off those deductions. As you may know the DANK Education Fund is a totally independent organization, separate from DANK, whose purpose is to support German culture and language, under an independent Board of Directors. It does not receive direct monies from DANK, the National organization, thus solely dependent on private donations from DANK

members and others supporting German language education, which as you may know has been dropped by many schools due to lack of resources . Funds in the past have supported various Chapter language programs, scholarships to both local high school and college programs and other cultural activities relevant to the German-Austrian and Swiss communities. Germans, who have always been supportive of education and their heritage, don’t always match that commitment by financial support. Other ethnic groups such as the Chinese, Italian and Irish communities, despite smaller in overall numbers have been more supportive of educational programs geared towards their cultural groups. All donations are welcome-small or large-–a receipt for your donation will be returned to you for income tax purposes. Show your pride in your German heritage while potentially benefiting yourself at tax time. Do it today and be sure you provide your name and address either on the check or on a separate note so that you can receive your tax deduction acknowledgement. Checks should be made out to DANK Education Fund and sent to: DANK Education Fund 4740 N. Western Ave, Suite 206 Chicago, IL 60625-2013 Thank you! DANK Education Board of Directors Erik Wittmann -Chair




DANK Executive Office Update by Eve Timmerhaus

We would like to congratulate the new National Executive Board elected at our Biennial National Convention November 1-3 in Rosemont, IL. Now that we have completed the December 2013/ January 2014 issue of the Journal it is time to focus on mailing the 2014 Dues Statements to all our members. 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 the organization. Pay now your membership will be valid through 12/31/2014. •

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

Raffle winners announced! 1st Prize - Irene Brunner 2nd Prize - Lois Henck 3rd Prize - Robert Stine 4th Prize - Guy Wendler Congratulations!

A very special thank you to everyone who purchased tickets

Exchange Rates

1 USD = 0.74 EURO 1 EURO = 1.35 USD






Ein Lied hinterm Ofen zu singen

Vor Weihnachten

Der Winter ist ein rechter Mann, kernfest und auf die Dauer; sein Fleisch fühlt sich wie Eisen an und scheut nicht süß noch sauer.

Die Kindlein sitzen im Zimmer - Weihnachten ist nicht mehr weit bei traulichem Lampenschimmer und jubeln: "Es schneit, es schneit!"

War je ein Mann gesund, ist er's; er krankt und kränkelt nimmer, weiß nichts von Nachtschweiß noch Vapeurs und schläft im kalten Zimmer.

Das leichte Flockengewimmel, es schwebt durch die dämmernde Nacht herunter vom hohen Himmel vorüber am Fenster so sacht.

Er zieht sein Hemd im Freien an und läßt's vorher nicht wärmen und spottet über Fluß im Zahn und Kolik in Gedärmen.

Und wo ein Flöckchen im Tanze den Scheiben vorüberschweift, da flimmert’s in silbernem Glanze, vom Lichte der Lampe bestreift.

Aus Blumen und aus Vogelsang weiß er sich nichts zu machen, haßt warmen Drang und warmen Klang und alle warmen Sachen.

Die Kindlein sehn’s mit Frohlocken, sie drängen ans Fenster sich dicht, sie verfolgen die silbernen Flocken, die Mutter lächelt und spricht:

Doch wenn die Füchse bellen sehr, wenn's Holz im Ofen knittert, und um den Ofen Knecht und Herr die Hände reibt und zittert;

"Wißt, Kinder, die Engelein schneidern im Himmel jetzt früh und spät; an Puppenbettchen und Kleidern wird auf Weihnachten genäht.

wenn Stein und Bein vor Frost zerbricht und Teich' und Seen krachen; das klingt ihm gut, das haßt er nicht, dann will er sich tot lachen. –

Da fällt von Säckchen und Röckchen manch silberner Flitter beiseit, von Bettchen manch Federflöckchen; auf Erden sagt man: es schneit.

Sein Schloß von Eis liegt ganz hinaus beim Nordpol an dem Strande; doch hat er auch ein Sommerhaus im lieben Schweizerlande.

Und seid ihr lieb und vernünftig, ist manches für euch auch bestellt; wer weiß, was Schönes euch künftig vom Tische der Engelein fällt!"

So ist' er denn bald dort, bald hier, gut Regiment zu führen. Und wenn er durchzieht, stehen wir und sehn ihn an und frieren.

Die Mutter spricht’s; - vor Entzücken den Kleinen das Herz da lacht; sie träumen mit seligen Blicken hinaus in die zaubrische Nacht.

Matthias Claudius

Karl Gerok 1815 - 1890




Advent and a Christmas in Germany by Francine McKenna, Staff Columnist

Conjuring up a German Christmas. Take a real fir tree, cinnamon, conifer, candle and Gl端hwein scented air, throw in some weeks filled by hundreds of years of folk, food, religious and secular tradition, and there you have it. A captivating time rather than commercial, and a countdown that begins on the first Sunday of Advent. Days before will have been taken up with making Plaetzchen (Christmas Cookies) and the Adventskranz, (Advent Wreath), without which no Advent Sunday would be complete. But this evergreen wreath isn't on a door, it sits on a table or hangs from the ceiling where, perhaps accompanied by prayers or a short speech, the first of its four candles will be lit after dusk on Advent Sunday and each following Sunday, until all four burn. While on Christmas Day they are sometimes joined by a fifth, a white 'Christ candle' in the center. Traditionally up until then the wreath will only have as decoration its different shades of green and candles, but on Christmas Day it can be left as it is or color added with flowers, berries, ribbons or ornaments. In many areas of Germany Christkind, the Christ Child, brings both presents and Christmas trees so as each week's candle is lit it is often accompanied by children's voices and: Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt, Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier, dann steht das Christkind vor der Tuer. Advent Advent, a little light burns, First one, then two, then three, then four, Then the Christ Child stands before the door. During this first week of Advent the traditional Weihnachtsmaerkte or Christkindlesmarkte begin to open in cities, towns and villages throughout the country, and filled with their mouthwatering seasonal aromas and nostalgic atmosphere are an unforgettable part of the German holiday season, so visiting one, two, three or more, before Christmas arrives and they disappear for another year, is nothing usual. A Nuremberg priest was already complaining in 1616

that "everyone was at the market", so there was no point in holding his Christmas Eve afternoon service, but luckily for present day priests the markets close earlier these days, so their pews will be filled. Handmade crafts are a German Christmas tradition that shows no sign of fading with the passage of time, and not only at Christmas markets. Home made Christmas cookies are almost 'a must do', even for those who don't usually find baking a fun way to spend time, and recipes will have been passed down or given to favored friends. The Advent wreath will be often be handmade, as will the Advent Calender with its little surprises waiting to be unveiled from December 1 until the 24th. Sometimes up until Christmas Day itself. Advent calendars are thought to have first been seen in 19th Century Germany's Protestant region, as a chalk line drawn onto a door or wall where devout families marked each day of December until Heiligabend, but now they take the form of anything from hand decorated boxes, packages and containers of various shapes and sizes hanging from branches, ribbons or attached to boards, creations made when children were small, often by them or certainly with their help, or treasures handed down through the generations and cherished for their memories. While buildings in cities and medieval towns windows are decorated to a theme and tell a story as they open one day at a time. On Christmas Eve all is revealed. In some areas of Germany, and other regions of Europe, children not only spend the first days of December opening their Advent Calendars but also composing letters to St. Nicholas, as together with his grubby attendant Knecht Ruprecht, Servant Ruprecht, he visits on December 5th St. Nicholas Eve, Nikolausabend, and the 6th St. Nicholas Day, Sankt Nikolaustag. And he carries a golden book with a list of the year's good and bad deeds, not only of children but often those who left childhood behind long ago. The excitement of seeing St. Nicholas tinged with apprehension because if there are too many black points not only will there be no presents this year some of those 'sins'




Advent Calendar might be told to the world. “Is it true you broke the kitchen window/hid your report card under the rug/ate all your brother's chocolate eggs? And sometimes “Did you forget your wedding anniversary?” Christmas Eve arrives. Stores and businesses shut at 1 pm and preparations made for the evening. Protestant church services are held during the afternoon and Catholic services later, including the ever popular Midnight Mass. In some homes presents will be delivered by the Weih nachtsmann, Father Christmas, in others by Christkind, and if it is the Christ Child then he also brings a decorated tree. A bell rings and a room that hours before was 'just a room' will have been miraculously transformed, filled with presents and an illuminated Weihnachtsbaum. But there will be no Christmas pickle in the tree because it isn't a German custom, although there might be a red apple, 'Der Paradiesapfel'. The Paradise Apple, which for whoever finds it is a symbol of "hope", and a "promise" something lost will be regained or a goal or purpose revealed.


Wieskirche, Steingaden, Bavaria during Advent With Father Christmas the Christmas tree can stand earlier, although traditionally it should not be decorated until that evening, and this Santa Claus doesn't leave his presents by throwing them down a chimney overnight, they are also opened during the evening. The meal will be simple, perhaps fish or Braadwurst with potato salad, as Heiligabend used to be the last night of the Advent fast, but it is all different on the First and Second Day of Christmas' 'der erste und zweite Weihnachtstag.' Despite there having been no fasting before hand tables will be laden with almost endless supplies of food, and a roast goose is usually in there somewhere. Christmas is a time for family in Germany. Close family on Christmas Eve, and on the 25th and 26th which are national holidays, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends. A 'gemuetlich' time. But it doesn't stop there. There are twelve days of Christmas and the party isn't over until Epiphany and Three Kings Day ... and immediately after that pre-parations for Carnival begin. •

Gesegnete Weihnachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr!




DANK National Convention Dinner at the Hofbr채uhaus, Rosemont, IL

DANK Chapter Presidents (ltr) Monty Oswald, Bay City, MI; Ken Schlick, Cleveland, OH; Willi Gohs, Fox Valley, IL; Fred Leinweber, Chicago-West; Margaret Potacki, Erie, PA; Gary Dietz, Chicago-South; Rudolph Golsch, Chicago Northern Suburbs; Kim Duncan, Chicago, IL; Greg Hoeft, Lake County, IL





Thank you to everyone who attended the 2013 National Convention!




Kurznachrichten München sucht europaweit nach Klopapier

Die Stadt München braucht neues Toilettenpapier. Der Vertrag mit dem alten Lieferanten läuft aus, ein neuer Anbieter muss her. Und nach dem wird EU-weit gefahndet. München braucht neues Toilettenpapier - und die Stadt schreibt die Bestellung EU-weit aus. Da es sich um einen "referatsübergreifenden Bedarf" handelt, muss an diesem Mittwoch der Verwaltungs- und Personalausschuss des Stadtrates über die Anforderungen an das Papier auf dem stillen Örtchen beraten. Noch bis Ende März 2014 ist die Versorgung von Rathaus, anderen städtischen Dienststellen, Schulen und Kitas mit "Hygienepapieren" sichergestellt, danach läuft der Vertrag aus, wie der "Münchner Merkur" berichtet. Wie teuer die Neuausstattung der stillen Örtchen wird, darüber wird Stillschweigen bewahrt. Der Ausschuss soll im nicht-öffentlichen Teil seiner Sitzung darüber informiert werden. Denn schließlich will man potenzielle Bewerber nicht beeinflussen. Sicher ist nur: Der Auftrag wird wohl 200.000 Euro überschreiten und überspringt damit die Schwelle für eine EU-weite Ausschreibung. Der neue Vertrag soll eine Laufzeit von zwei Jahren haben.

"Griffigkeit, Saugfestigkeit, Reißfestigkeit und neutraler Geruch", das sind die Münchner Kriterien für gutes Toilettenpapier. Drei Millionen Rollen zweilagiges Klopapier braucht die Stadt für zwei Jahre, wie es in der Sitzungsvorlage heißt. Dazu kommen 400.000 Rollen einlagiges Krepppapier, zweieinhalb Millionen Blätter "für Einzelblattspender" und 100 Millionen Einmalpapierhandtücher. "Die geschätzten Bedarfsmengen beruhen auf Erfahrungswerten", heißt es in der Vorlage. •

Zu spät geschieden, eine Viertelmillion verloren

Acht Jahre lebte ein Renter getrennt von seiner Frau, dann bescherte ihm das Schicksal einen Lottosechser. Weil er die Scheidung erst danach einreichte, konnte die Ex jetzt ordentlich abkassieren. Auf viel Glück folgte viel Ärger: Ein Rentner aus Mönchengladbach muss seiner ExFrau die Hälfte seiner halben Lottomillion abtreten. Dies entschied der Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe am Mittwochnachmittag und sprach der Klägerin einen Betrag von 242.500 Euro zu. Als der Mann im November 2008 einen Sechser im Lotto erzielte, lebte er bereits acht Jahre von seiner Ehefrau getrennt. Der Scheidungsantrag erreichte die Mutter der drei gemeinsamen Kinder allerdings erst zwei Monate nach dem Lottogewinn. Mit ihrem noch unbegründeten Urteil folgten die Richter der üblichen Rechtsauffassung. Danach gilt

die Zustellung als Stichtag, an dem im Scheidungsfall das Vermögen zweier Parteien gegeneinander aufgerechnet wird. Der Überschuss muss geteilt werden. Ausnahmen sind Schenkungen, Erbschaften und Ausstat-

tung. Der Anwalt des Mannes, Reiner Hall, hatte dagegen die Position vertreten, dass Rechtssicherheit kein Selbstzweck sei. "Der Bund der Ehe war nur noch ein formaler", betonte er. Der in einer Tippgemeinschaft mit seiner neuen Lebenspartnerin des Mannes gewonnene Betrag stehe in keinerlei Beziehung mehr zur einstigen Ehe. •





Kurznachrichten Maut weiter umstritten Der Streit über eine Gebühr für die Nutzung deutscher Autobahnen spitzt sich zu. Die CSU unter Führung von Horst Seehofer hatte vor der Bundestagswahl angekündigt, eine PKW-Maut für Auswärtige einführen zu wollen. Ihre Schwesterpartei CDU lehnte diese Pläne jedoch ab. Mit ihr werde es keine PKW-Maut geben, sagte Bundeskanzlerin Merkel im TV-Duell vor der Wahl. Auch die SPD, mit der CDU und CSU derzeit über die Bildung einer Großen Koalition verhandeln, ist gegen das Vorhaben. Sie fordert nun von der CDU, sich klar zu positionieren. Eine Rolle spielt in der Diskussion auch die Frage, ob eine Maut, die Ausländer einseitig belastet, mit europäischem Recht vereinbar ist. EU-Verkehrskommissar Siim Kallas hatte zuletzt bekundet, ein solches Modell sei unter Umständen durchaus möglich. Vorstellbar wäre, die Gebühren zunächst von allen Autofahrern zu erheben, die deutschen Mautzahler gleichzeitig aber

durch eine Senkung der Kraftfahrzeugsteuer zu entlasten. Quelle:

Zufriedene Deutsche Die Deutschen sind mit ihren Lebensumständen insgesamt zufrieden. Das ist das zentrale Ergebnis des „Glücksatlas’ 2013“, einer Erhebung im Auftrag der Deutschen Post. Auf Basis von Daten des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels (SOEP) sowie des Instituts für Demoskopie Allensbach zeigen Professoren der Universität Freiburg, dass die Zufriedenheit der Deutschen seit 2010 konstant ist. Unter den 30 berücksichtigten Nationen liegt Deutschland auf Platz 8. Im Bundesland SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN sind die Menschen dabei besonders zufrieden, in BRANDENBURG am wenigsten. Weiteres Ergebnis der Studie: EINWOHNER mit MIGRATIONSHINTERGRUND sind kaum unzufriedener als die Gesamtbevölkerung. Der Unterschied liegt bei lediglich 0,04 Punkten. Die Kinder von Zuwanderern weisen sogar eine leicht höhere Zufriedenheit auf als die einheimische Bevölkerung.

Der Glücksatlas zeigt auch, dass sich die Zufriedenheit in einzelnen Bereichen des Lebens ungleich entwickelt: Während die Zufriedenheit mit dem Einkommen zunahm, sank sie im Bereich Gesundheit. Mit ihrer Wohnsituation und dem Familienleben sind die Deutschen besonders glücklich. • Quelle:




The Viennese Opera Ball

By Anja Mayer The annual Viennese Opera Ball (Wiener Opernball)is one of the most prestigious events in Austria and an integral part of Austria’s cultural identity. It takes place at the Vienna Opera House and attracts over 12,000 visitors each year. The earliest balls can be traced back to the late 18th century and reached their heydays during the Congress of Vienna in 1814. Originally forbidden for being too indecent, the waltz, a dance that sees the partners in a tight embrace, received formal approval in 1835 when famous Austrian composer Johann Strauss was named Dance Music Director of the Imperial Court. In his lifetime, Strauss composed over 150 waltzes and was dedicated to introduce Viennese music to Europe. In 1877, the ball, then under the name Hofopern-Soirée, made its debut at the Vienna Opera House, where it has remained ever since. Over the years the concept of the Opera Ball has been refined to make sure that the ambience remains true to the precious tradition. Today the program of the ball starts with the festive entry of the presidential couple. After the national anthem and a rendition of Beethoven’s Praise to Joy, the God-descended, the 180 dance couples enter the festive ballroom. Finally, with

the words of Johann Strauss “Alles Walzer,” the visitors are invited to take to the dance floor. Today, this unique cultural phenomenon has not only manifested itself as an inherent part of Austria’s cultural calendar but achieved to transcend cultural and international borders. As a result, events in the style of the Viennese Opera Ball are held all over the world including Dubai, Hong Kong, Budapest and New York. In New York City, the first Viennese Opera Ball took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1955. Under the auspices of the U.S. – Austrian Chamber of Commerce, this exclusive white-tie charity gala, has become a perfect way for transplanted Austrians to celebrate their cultural heritage amongst many international friends. Over the years, the ball’s prestige and romantic elegance has attracted special guests like Lauren Bush and Ann Curry. As a special tradition, dignitaries, diplomats and debutantes formally inaugurate the ball before the dance floor is opened up to the eagerly waiting waltz-enthusiasts. This year, the 59th Viennese Opera Ball will take place on February 21, 2013 and benefits New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall. • ©





The Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus promotes German World Heritage. Focusing on the past: the German National Tourist Board (DZT) has declared 2014 a world heritage year. Under the motto “UNESCO World Heritage – Sustainable Culture and Nature Tourism”, Germany’s World Heritage sites will be the focal point of its advertising activities. As Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the German National Tourist Board, emphasizes, “The UNESCO seal is an important quality label in international tourism.” No less than half of all international visitors choose a cultural holiday in Germany. With good reason, since there are 38 World Heritage sites to admire and explore – from impressive Cologne Cathedral to picturesque Muskauer Park on the German-Polish border (photograph, right). ©

Tropical Islands, Krausnick, Germany

The “resort” is located on the site of a former Soviet military air base in Krausnick, Germany. New York's Statue of Liberty could stand inside it, and Paris's Eiffel Tower could be fit in lengthways. There is room for 8 football fields inside the dome. And it is high enough to house the whole skyline of Berlin's Potsdamer Platz. The massive structure was originally built to be an airship hangar, and the shape of the building was designed with this in mind. Its massive dimensions presented its designers with many challenges. These included the ability to cope with huge quantities of snow and rain falling on its 10,000 square meter s of roof and heating the huge hall. Almost 14,000 tons of steel were used in its constructions. Resort contains a beach, a lagoon, waterslide and adventure park. Guests can enjoy numerous restaurants, evening shows and can also relax in a sauna. •




Aus Oma's Küche Kletzenbrot (Christmas fruit bread) Ingredients 3 cups flour 2/3 cup brown sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 2 cups buttermilk 1 cup chopped prunes 1 cup diced dates or figs 1 cup raisins Directions

Gugelhupf (Traditional Recipe) The Gugelhupf (pronounced "gogle-hoopf") is a Southern German version of the American Bundt cake. Ingredients 1/2 cup (packed) seedless Raisins 5 tablespoons Orange Juice 2 tablespoons Sugar 5 tablespoons Rum 3 1/8 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoon All Purpose Flour 1 package Active Dried Yeast Pinch of Salt 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar 1 package Vanilla Sugar 1 teaspoon Orange Zest 2 3/4 sticks (1 cup + 5 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened 6 Eggs 1 cup Almonds, chopped 1/4 cup Almonds, ground In a small cooking pot, add orange juice and sugar. Mix together Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in rum. Add raisins to a small bowl, then pour rumorange juice mixture over raisins. Allow raisins to soak for a minimum of 4 hours to soften them. Add flour to a large bowl. Mix in dried yeast. Mix in

Blend all dry ingredients together. Add buttermilk slowly, sitting to make a smooth dough. Stir in nuts and fruits. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Spoon batter into pan. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. •

salt, powdered sugar, vanilla sugar, and orange zest. Cut butter into cubes and add to flour mixture. Mix together. Add eggs one at a time, mixing each egg into the dough before adding the next. Drain raisins in a colander. Knead them into the dough. Knead chopped almonds into the dough. Prepare a cake pan (Bundt form or Gugelhupf form) by greasing it with butter. Sprinkle the pan with the ground almonds and shake pan around to distribute the almonds. Place dough into pan and press dough with hands so that it is evenly distributed in the pan. Cover pan with a dish cloth and allow dough to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Bake cake for about 45 minutes. The low temperature of the oven should keep the cake from getting too dark. Test cake for doneness by sticking the center with a toothpick - if it comes out clean, the cake is done; if it doesn't come out clean, bake the cake a few more minutes and retest. Remove cake from oven when its done and allow it to cool in the cake pan for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and turn-over, so that the flat side becomes the bottom. Allow cake to cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over the cake as decoration. •





Calendar Of Events December 1 Lake Forest, IL. DANK Lake County Weihnachtsfeier – 1:00 p.m. American Legion Post 264, 801 N. McKinley Rd, Lake Forest, Illinois. 1 Benton Harbor, MI. Kid Christmas Party (for members only kids/grandkids).3:00 pm. DANK 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. For more information: (269) 926-6652. 1 Milwaukee, WI. United German Chorus Christmas 3:00 pm. 1 South Bend, IN. German Advent Service. 4 pm, St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 51490 Laurel Rd, South Bend, ID. 1 Frankfort, IL. Armin Homan Christmas Party. Doors open at 12 noon. Music begins at 2:00 pm. Donation: $20. Contact Anita at 708-636-3074 for more information and tickets. DANK Chicago South, 25249 S Center Rd, Frankfort, IL.

13 Benton Harbor, MI. Christmas Party Potluck (Adult Members Only). DANK 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. For more information: (269) 926-6652. 15 South Bend, IN. Christmas Party. 2 PM. Potluck. St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 51490 Lauren Rd, South Bend, IN. 15 Frankfort, IL. Membership Meeting and Christmas Pot Luck Lunch. 2:00 pm Membership meeting followed by Social Sunday Open House. POTLUCK Mini Christmas Party. Bring a dish to share. DANK Chicago South, 25249 S Center Rd, Frankfort, IL. 15 Chicago, IL. Kaiser Wilhelm I Portrait - Restoration Unveiling at the DANK Haus has completed a nearly year-long restoration. Visitors will enjoy documentation of the process as well as conversations with the artisans involved. This event is free and open to the public. DANK Haus, 4740 N Western Ave. Chicago, IL. For information: 773-561-9181.


4 Milwaukee, WI. Singing 7:00 pm. 6 Pittsburgh, PA. DANK Pittsburgh invites all members and guests to attend the annual Family Christmas Party. German Buffet Dinner 5-7:00 PM. Cost $16 for adults, children under 12 $8. Weihnachtsfeier begins in the Sänger Halle at 7:30 PM. Members and guests are not required to have dinner in order to partake of the Christmas celebration. 6 Benton Harbor, MI. DANK Chapter Benton Harbor, MI invite you to attend their Monthly Fish Fry. Doors open at 5:30 PM. $9 per adult and $4 per child (ages 2-12). Food is served at 6 PM. ALL YOU CAN EAT. DANK 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. For more information: (269) 926-6652 7 Milwaukee, WI. Christmas Party, 2:00 pm. 7 Erie, PA. Noon – 4 pm Annual Christmas celebration BRUNCH BrewErie at Union Station. Open to the public. Reservations by Thursday evening.

1 Happy New Year 4 Milwaukee, WI. Board Meeting. 3:00 pm 8 Milwaukee, WI. Dancing 6:00 pm Singing 7:00 pm 25 Pittsburgh, PA. General Membership Meeting and Election of Officers. Social to follow. Mt. Lebanon Public Library , 16 T. Lebanon Public Library, 16 Castle Shannon Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA. Time – 1 pm. 15 Milwaukee, WI. Singing. 7:00 pm 15 Erie, PA. 7 PM Celebrate the New Year Germanstyle. Video of “der 90. Geburtstag” with a toast to Miss Sophie with a sparkling beverage. Followed by a brief meeting. Open to the public. 22 Milwaukee, WI. Dancing, 5:30 pm. Singing 7:00 pm. 29 Milwaukee, WI. Singing 7:00 pm.




Die letzte Schicht vor Weihnachten

Im Erzgebirge lassen Traditionsvereine die Mettenschicht wiederaufleben Kein Weihnachten ohne Mettenschicht, lautet im sächsischen Erzgebirge ein alter bergmännischer Brauch, den die Bergmanns-, Hütten- und Knappenvereine jetzt wieder rustikal feiern. So auch die Jöhstädter Bergbrüder, die 1655 gegründet einer der ältesten bergmännischen Traditionsvereine im Erzgebirge sind. Die Bergleute beendeten früher die letzte Schicht vor Weihnachten mit einem Gedenken an verunglückte Kollegen, dem Dank für reichen Bergsegen oder der Fürbitte um bessere Ausbeute im kommenden Jahr. Der Bergherr oder der Steiger gaben ein einfaches Essen und einen Trunk aus. Heutzutage lassen Vereine wie die Jöhstädter Bergbrüder die Tradition im Advent wieder auferstehen. Sie marschieren bei ihrer Mettenschicht zum AndreasGegentrum-Stolln, einem für den Altbergbau im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert stehenden Besucherbergwerk. Am Eingang, dem Mundloch, angekommen, hängen die Männer ihre Froschlampen an die bogenförmige Ummauerung und stellen sich entsprechend der historischen Rangordnung auf. Es gibt einen ersten Schnaps, der auch an befreundete Bergbauvereine und bergmännische Kapellen ausgeschenkt wird. Es folgt eine kurze Ansprache des Bürgermeisters, der Segen der Pfarrerin, dann spielt eine Bergmannskapelle auf. •

25,000 Bäume werden im Staatswald für Weihnachten gefällt Gut 25 000 Weihnachtsbäume werden in diesem Jahr in den staatlichen Wäldern Sachsens geschlagen. Viele entschieden sich für die meist günstigen Fichten oder Kiefern, sagt der Sprecher des Staatsbetriebs Sachsenforst in Pirna, Daniel Thomann. Aber auch die etwas teureren Blaufichten seien beliebt. Der aus den USA stammende Baum sei im Freistaat verbreitet, weil er sich trotz der Luftverschmutzung durch den Bergbau gut entwickelte. Seine blaue Färbung lasse ihn zudem festlich erscheinen. •





Weihnachtspyramide Everyone has heard of the Christmas tree and its historic German roots before it caught on as a widespread holiday tradition in Victorian Era Britain and North America. A visit to most German homes, as well as Christmas markets, will however also reveal another item that is quite popular during the holiday season in Germany: a "Weihnachtpyramide," or Christmas pyramid. Despite its namesake, the Christmas pyramid has nothing in common with those unusual stone structures dating back to Ancient Egypt. From the smallest versions set up in private apartments and family homes across Germany to giant 'pyramids' that tower above people sipping mulled wine (Glühwein), dining on potato pancakes (Kartoffelpfannkuchen), shopping for gifts (Geschenke), Christmas decorations (Weihnachtsschmuck), Stollen or other

Finished hand-made, wooden Christmas figures are displayed at the Seiffener Volkskunst Christmas decorations favtory in Seiffen, Germany. Located in the Ore Mountains Seiffen is home to a number of workshops that specialize in hand-painted wooden Christmas deorations and carvings. (Joern Haufe/Getty Images)

tasty treats in bustling Christmas markets, most "Weihnachtspyramiden" are made out of wood. They are akin to multi-level 'carousels' depicting Christmas-related motifs such as angels and manger scenes. Some also portray secular motifs such as mountain people and forests. Typically made of wood, they tend to include several multi-sided platforms with a long pole in the middle serving as an axle. Traditionally, it spins thanks to candles that heat up the air under a propeller at the top of the carousel. Watching them spin round and round is truly festive and even relaxing amid all the holiday hubbub. And some of the biggest ones should be sought out at German Christmas markets given that they sometimes house entire mulled wine stands - no trip to a German Christmas market is complete without a glass of piping hot, spicy "Glühwein." ©




Odds & Ends "Christmas Marksmen" - Weihnachtsschützen According to an old custom in the southern part of Berchtesgadener Land Weihnachtsschützen ("Christmas Marksmen") give salutes by firing their guns on festive occasions, especially on Christmas and New Year´s Eve. Also during the week before Christmas Eve, every day at 3.00 pm the marksmen will gather to launch salvos. This traditional shooting, also called "Christkindlschießen" (a salute to the Child Jesus) can be observed on Christkindl Market in Berchtesgaden or every Sunday before Christmas Eve in the "shooting associations' " respective home communities. •

Buttnmandl Usually wrapped from head to toe in hand-threshed straw, the Buttnmandl run noisily from home to home and through each community during the pre-Christmas season in Bavaria . Their heads covered with a fur mask and a long red tongue adding to their fright-

ening appearance, they clank the large cowbells attached to their backs weighing up to a total of 45 pounds. Often, instead of straw, these young men are clad in fur from head to toe as they accompany their straw brothers, all the while flicking switches at the legs of young girls in a sign of fertility. Their mission is also to chase away evil spirits at the dark time of year and to awaken Mother Nature slumbering deep under the hard frozen ground. The traditions related to St. Nicholas originated in Crance during the middle ages and spread throughout Europe. Since then, the running of the Buttnmandl from door to door in the Berchtesgadener Land has been closely associated with

No Poultry on New Year's Eve In Germany poultry is never eaten on New Year's Eve. According to a very old superstition, anyone who eats poultry on New Year's Eve loses his happiness. It is believed that all good luck and happiness fly away with the bird's feathers. Despite this superstition, those in the Rhineland eat goose (Neujahrsgans) on this day. •

"St. Nick's" visit - in fact, in the Berchtesgaden area you'll never see one without other. •

Soup for you! Perhaps the most popular New Year's Eve meal in Germany is a bowl of soup.: lentil soup (Linsensuppe), pea soup (Erbsensuppe), bean soup (Bohnensuppe), or carrot soup (Möhrensuppe). According to a longstanding tradition, these soups are supposed to bring blessings and wealth for the New Year. Also, a fullyeaten bowl of lentil soup is supposed to guarantee plenty of small change in one's pocket. •





Odds & Ends Vogelhochzeit Each year on January 25 the children of the eastern German minority group the Sorbs celebrate Vogelhochzeit. On the evening of January 24 the children put out a plate by the window. In the morning they find the plate filled with candy which the birds have brought as a thank you for the children feeding them during the winter. On the 25th children dress up in traditional wedding costumes to celebrate the wedding of the birds, "Vogelhochzeit". •

Plattdeutsch Disappearing? In the Middle Ages, Plattdeutsch, or Low German as it is called in English, was the predominant language in northern Germany and an important language for trade and commerce as the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League. But in the 16th century, High German began to take on more cultural significance as trade routes changed, shifting power to German states further south. Martin Luther also played a role in this shift: In printing his translation of the Bible in 1534, he gave what is now called Early New High German a leg up—and the chance to reach a large audience. As the 18th and 19th centuries brought on mass education that used High German as the standard, Plattdeutsch continued to recede until it had become a language spoken largely at home and was often associated with a lack of education. In 2010 there were still approximately 700,000 Plattdeutsch speakers in northern Germany, half as many as spoke the dialect 20 years ago. Experts have estimated that Plattdeutsch will have disappeared entirely in another 20 years. Dr. Reinhard Goltz of the Institut für niederdeutsche Sprache has described the possibility as “fatal”—as a large portion of regional identity and history would disappear with it. To get an idea of how Plattdeutsch varies from High German read the phrases below: English: How are you?

High German: Wie geht es dir? Plattdeutsch: Wo geiht’t? English: Bon appétit! High German: Guten apetit! Plattdeutsch: Laat did at lecker schmecken! English: Can you speak more slowly? High German: Kannst du langsamer sprechen? Plattdeutsch: Snack maal ‘n bäten suutje? English: Do you speak Plattdeutsch? High German: Sprechen Sie Plattdeutsch? Plattdeutsch: Snackt ji Platt? English: Excuse me! High German: Entschuldige! Plattdeutsch: Nähm dat man nich för ungood! •




Odds & Ends Klausjagen in Küssnacht am Rigi (Eve of St. Nicholas' Day) Küssnacht am Rigi

On December 5, the eve of St. Nicholas' Day, the village of Küssnacht, Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Lucerne, glows in the light of some two hundred enormous, transparent bishops' miters, which have been artfully designed, cut out of cardboard, as-

Germany's Bread Variety Today the German Bread Register lists 3,100 types of bread with more added daily. And yet this 1,500-yearold basic food consists of flour, water and yeast. There are two main reasons for the unequalled range of bread varieties in Germany. For centuries the country consisted of many small states, each of which developed its own bread culture. Today only master bakers are allowed to open a bakery, and the master craftsman’s exam includes baking bread based on the candidate’s own recipe. •

sembled, and lit by a candle from within. This Iffele, or headdress, is worn by the men and, more recently women as well, who accompany St. Nicholas on his way through the village. •





Odds & Ends The Ludwig Conspiracy Oliver Pötzsch, the best-selling author of the Hangman’s Daughter series (over a million copies sold), has a new historical-and-contemporary thriller The Ludwig Conspiracy. Publishers Weekly described The Ludwig Conspiracy’s code-breaking, contemporary thrills, and historical mystery as “an excellent stand-alone… Pötzsch’s sophisticated plotting and good use of a real-life historical puzzle place this far ahead of most Da Vinci Code wannabes.” In the novel, rare-book dealer Steven Lukas unwittingly gets pulled into Germany’s oldest and greatest mystery – the suspicious death of King Ludwig II in 1886, after the eccentric Bavarian leader had been declared insane. When Steven discovers an encoded diary written by one of Ludwig’s confidants, he has no idea that it will lead him on a wild chase through Bavaria’s surreal fairy-tale castles (all of Ludwig’s fanciful design) with a beautiful art detective in tow and a secret order dedicated to protecting Ludwig’s memory in close pursuit. In a race against time, Steven must decode the diary to discover just what is so explosive a secret that these unhinged followers would be willing to kill to suppress it. Mixing scenes of 1886 Bavaria with modern day action, Pötzsch has crafted a page-turner around the true and very much active mystery of this beloved, though bizarre, ruler’s death. As I am sure you know,

Mineral water is in vogue

much of what may seem preposterous is actually historically documented; an encrypted diary written by Ludwig’s physician actually does exist – although after allegedly being threatened with death, its owner has kept it safely hidden in the US, leaving the world none the wiser as to what may hide in its pages. •

Mineral water is the most popular non-alcoholic beverage in Germany – and it offers surprising variety. The sommeliers enthuse that it is “harmoniously mineralized” or “neutralizes the tastebuds”. And yet they are not praising a wine, but the Germans’ favourite non-alcoholic drink: water. Or to be more precise: natural mineral water that once began as rainwater and slowly seeped through layers of rock over the course of centuries. It is still bottled directly at the spring under strict controls. There is a great variety of German mineral water – more than 500 different waters bubble up from shale, volcanic rocks and other geological formations throughout the country. On average, everyone in Germany drinks 137 litres of mineral water a year. • © picture-alliance­/dpa - Mineral­water



Benton Harbor Members Recognized During a meeting on November 10th, Jerry Schinske, Bob Clark and Josef Baumann, Jr. were awarded pins for long term membership. Those who were not in attendance will be able to pick up their pins by calling 269 926 6652 to make arrangements. Katheryne and Eddie Schramm have graciously accepted the duty of setting up the schedule of events for next year 2014. Many thanks to everyone that pitched in during this year’s special events. Without volunteers there would be no organization. Call Katheryne to arrange your schedule for helping. The Friday evening fish fry continues to be a success. The large crowd is seated on a first come, first served basis. Donna Lippert, Membership Chair






Continued from page 8 Erik stated each Chapter is not the same and has to decide what works best for them. • Bev suggested take letters to senior center for them to stuff envelopes for mailings. Need to delegate small jobs and ask for help. • Benton Harbor - The Corresponding Secretary had to do it all and she decided to bring letters to meeting and everyone helps while they were there. • Springfield – add more fun, Wed. night dinners w/ speaker. We do 600 emails and only 40 letter Mailing • Benton Harbor – problem with communication, no secretary. Genealogy; membership wants everything in mail and got a lot of good advice on programs. • Chicago – New members receive a “welcome” email and 1 free beer ticket • South –Appreciates conversation to think about doing better and additional ideas. • Lake County – try to improve attendance at member meetings.

Children of Internment continued from page 6 motive for seeking the enemy in Latin America was internees could be exchanged for U.S. civilians imprisoned in Germany or Japan. The programs were driven by ethnic prejudices and threw a dragnet over millions of people. Relocation was based on ideas of foreignness which could be applied to both Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and German Aliens. Many German-Americans and German Aliens were labeled “Nazi”. It is more accurate to say that German-Americans and Nationals were scapegoated during WWII. While WWII internment was driven by racial bigotry, it is important to note that other factors could also label a group dangerous in times of national crisis. This is a relevant lesson since today the Alien Enemies Act is still in use for the “War on Terror”. In the documentary, former internees and their families come forward to which is scheduled to be relrease in tell their heartbreaking stories. It is important to acknowledge, yet another, civil liberties violation that happened here on American soil. The 86 minute documentary is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2013. For more information: www.childrenofinternment. com.

The Bay City delegation offered to host the 2014 convention in Bay City, Michigan. The delegates gave their hearty approval! •

Congratulations to the new Executive Board DANK member Eberhard Fuhr's was interviewed for this documentary. His parents were interned months before he and his brother Julius were arrested. He was seventeen years old when the FBI came to Woodward High DANK member Eberhard Fuhr School in Cincinnati, Ohio and pulled him out of class. The brothers were taken to a holding place in Chicago before they were taken by train down to a family internment camp in Crystal City, TX where they met up with their parents. The family was interned for the duration of the war. In fact, they had to tear down the camp and then they were held at Ellis Island until 1947. IEberhard and his brother were a few of the older children that had a number as an internee. They were not voluntary. They were not taken in with their parents. Rather, they were separately accused. •




We Welcome our New Members Chicago South David, David, Cody, Christian and William Kush Chicago Rosa, Rudy, Nathan , Jonathan and Rachel Martin Stephanie Kush Gloria Adamek Autumn Pierce Henning Behrmann Benjamin Hellwig

Lori Beaman Mr and Mrs Bagila

Lance Kaleta Melanie Potuzik

Chicago-West Julia, Michael, Hannah Stern Richard Maurer

Pittsburgh, PA John Webber Annie Vilches Peter and Susan Marcoline

Chicago Northern Suburbs Cathleen Freels Nicole and Natalie Von Oesen Carol and Guenther Buhler Aasha lakely

Bay City, MI Sonja Korthals

DANK Chapter Chicago mourns the passing of long-time member

In Memorium

Doris Kolter

Doris was born on December 28, 1929 and passed away on Saturday, October 5, 2013 in Germany.

The German American National Coungress mourns the passing of DANK Lake County Mourns the passing of longtime member

Walter A. Schmidt

Walter Schmidt, Age 83, of Waukegan, Illinois, passed away on November 3, 2013 at Silverado Senior Living in Lake Zurich, IL. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 21, 1930 to Roman and Carolyn Schmidt, who are deceased. In 1957, he married his wife, Eileen (nee Kaas) and they had five children, twelve grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren .He is also survived by two brothers, Roman and Herbert. His wife, Eileen, died in 1992, by which time all children were married. A short time later, a friend, Gert Vardeman came into life, and they traveled the world sight-seeing all the lands. He was active in DANK Lake County.

Robert D. Machnik,

age 78, of Janesville, passed away November 7, 2013, at Mercy Hospital & Trauma Center. He was born in Eau Claire, WI on Dec. 23, 1934, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dominic Machnik. He graduated from Eau Claire High School, moved to Janesville, and began working for General Motors. Robert was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in Berlin, Germany where he met his future wife, Inge Brosy. They married in Berlin on June 11, 1959. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his younger years. He was a lifetime member of the VFW Club Post 1621, an active member of the local German Club where he served as president for 44 years, the Berliner Baren (Bears) and D.A.N.K. He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Inge Machnik; and many friends who will miss him. He was preceded in death by his parents.




In Memory of

Ralph William Kugler

Retired engineer at Westinghouse An engineer to the end, Ralph William Kugler, who held various management jobs for Westinghouse Electric Corp. during his 30 years with the company, left nothing to chance when he died last week after a long illness. Mr. Kugler, 82, of Mt. Lebanon and father of DANK Chapter Pittsburgh Treasurer John was a devout Catholic who was a member of St. Anne Church in Castle Shannon for 46 years. He left his family a strongbox containing detailed instructions on how to handle his funeral arrangements, including what versions of hymns should be sung, who should serve as pallbearers and other specific details. "He wrote his obituary eight years ago," said Gertrude Utzig Kugler, 80, his wife of nearly 57 years. "He was a big planner, he had a list for everything."

In Memory Of

Geza Gruenwald 1919-2013

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Geza passed away after a brief illness on September 26th. at age 94. A member of DANK since 1991, Geza was a quiet gentle soul to all that knew him. Geza earned a doctorate in engineering from the Technical University, Berlin, Germany and in 1982 was named the Man of the Year by the Society of Plastics Engineering. He retired after 40 yrs in the field of polymeric chemistry and plastics.

DANK Chapter Benton Harbor mourns the passing of

Ingrid M.B. Zellmer Longtime friend of the chapter. Born in Stiegan, Germany Departed on November 6, 2013 and resided in Niles, MI


Formerly of Mount Washington, Mr. Kugler held undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology and received an executive training diploma from Cornell University. He was a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Though originally employed by the Union Switch and Signal Division of Westinghouse Air Brake, he was granted 11 U.S. patents and several foreign patents, many related to nuclear power fuel systems, after joining Westinghouse Electric's Research and Development Center, his family said. His parents were born in Austria, and when Mr. Kugler started first grade, he couldn't speak English. "They were hardworking people, and it rubbed off on him," Mrs. Kugler said. "He loved his family and we all came first," Mrs. Kugler said. •

He held various positions in the development and application laboratories with Hoechst, Germany, and the General Electric Company, where he was on the team which developed Lexan. Following his retirement, he became a plastics consultant and a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Gannon University and the Pennsylvania State University – the Behrend College. He also authored two textbooks. Most recently, he presented a paper at the American Chemical Society's national convention in Indianapolis A memorial gift was sent to the DANK Education Fund in his memory. DANK South Bend mourns the passing of active member

Inge (Saage) Bradburn

February 3, 1934 - November 14, 2013 Inge died peacefully following a long bout with cancer. It was a fight she waged with courage and determination. As she had lived her life, Inge died on her own terms, at her South Bend home, with those she loved at her bedside.




Harder-Potschete Interlaken, Switzerland On January 2 every year, Interlaken is haunted by the masked figures of the Hardermann, his wife and his band of followers, the Potschen. Masked figures (known as the Potschen) run through the streets, screaming and shouting, pulling spectators along, and spreading (mock) fear and dread. The source of this tradition is a cult of the dead. In the past the masked people represented the dead, who were offered a gift to appease them. After the tradition led to wild fights amongst the youth, people reformed the tradition in 1956. The so-called “Chummeln” was combined with the legend of the Harder Man, whose face is hewn into the rock of the Harder House Mountain. The face looks down from the mountain, high above Interlaken. The legend of the Harder Man tells of a monk who molested a young girl, who then jumped over the rock face. The monk’s punishment was to look down onto the scene of his crime for thousands of years. This is how today’s HarderPotschete procession was born. In addition to the Harder-Postschete, the procession is accompanied by Guggen Music, members of the Musical Society, Drummers Association, Trychler Formations (cowbell players) and numerous children’s “Potscheni” (masks). The laboriously carved masks are all of wood and were individually carved by hand. After the traditional Potschete “procession”, people meet in the pubs to socialize in a congenial atmosphere. •

Santa World Championships With Christmas fast approaching, Santas from all over the world competed at the annual World Championships in Switzerland. Since 2001 Santa teams gather in Samnaun, a town on the eastern Alps. They compete in various categories, including bobsleds, organizing Christmas presents, sculpting with snow and decorating gingerbread. They also competed in climbing down a chimney --- a-must-have skill for any aspiring Santa. •





Frohe Weihnachten Helga & Al Kairies

Love, Anneliese, Michelle, Erich, Lale & Ortwin

Frohe Weihnachten und ein gesegnetes Neues Jahr 2014 Robert, Christel and Rolf Miske

German American Journal | December 2013/January 2014  

German American Journal December/January issue