Page 1

Der Deutsch Amerikaner

Volume 60 Number 5

2012 October - November

D. A. N. K. - Mitteilungen im neuen Format!




Contents Of This Issue 4

From the president’s desk by Beverly Pochatko


Letter(s) To The Editor


Trends (Food - Music - Books - Travel)


Contributing to the Mix by Anne Marie Fuhrig


Wumm, Päng, Krach, Klirr, Knirsch! by Sylvia Schmid


Chapter Chatter (Chapter News and Updates)


A Funeral in Germany by Francine McKenna


DANK Executive Office Update by Eve Timmerhaus


Adolph & Gerhard Enders Model Railroad at DANKHaus


St. Nicholas Project Continues by Eve Timmerhaus


Germanfest in Milwaukee Photos by George Nagata


Holiday Ads Order Form


German American Day 2012 by Beverly Pochatko


Calendar of Events


Odds and Ends (TidBit news out of Germany)


Education: 25th Anniversary of German American Day by Christa Garcia

Cover Design By George Nagata and Eve Timmerhaus

Editorial Staff Beverly Pochatko Eve Timmerhaus Eva Timmerhaus George Nagata Correspondents Audrey L. Hess-Eberle 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 Subscrition 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 This is the inaugural issue of our “new” Journal and I hope that you are as excited with the change as we are. We are most grateful to Darlene Fuchs who, four years ago as the editor, brought a fresh look to the Journal, and to Stephen Fuchs who did the layout. They did a terrific job! In a few short weeks I will be approaching the end of my first year as your National President. At the convention, I made a commitment to you, the members, to do all in my power to preserve the goals of DANK, to preserve our heritage for future generations, and provide transparency between the chapters and our national organization. Most all ethnic groups are facing financial and membership losses, DANK included. The first thing our Board approved was my recommendation for an austerity budget with cuts across the board; but costs continue to rise. Our Summer Membership Program, enrolling new members at a prorated membership fee resulted in 140 new members during June - mid-September. After four years, the transfer to a new database system, with new equipment, was completed bringing more efficiency to our recordkeeping. This was accomplished through the generous donations of time and financial support by individuals and chapters to the technology fund. My only disappointment was the delegate vote at the convention to raise your national dues beginning in 2013. I have looked for a means to override that vote, but according to our parliamentarian it can’t be done, any changes have to be by a vote at the convention. However, I do have some thoughts to present to your Executive Board and Regional Councils on how to make this a win-win situation. This month, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of German American Day. My thanks to my GAJAC Co-Chairs: Bern E. Deichmann, President of the German American Heritage Foundation; Robert Land, National Chairman of the Steuben Society; DANK Past President Bill Fuchs and Erik Wittmann, who are our Washington liaisons, as well as Rüdiger Lenz of the GermanAmerican Heritage Foundation of the USA; Gerhard Meinzer, President – Assoc.of German-American Societies of Greater Washington,DC and all who made getting the presidential proclamation possible. (View this on our Web-Site, as well as proclamations from cities where DANK Chapters are located.) Ich bin stolz ein Deutsch-Amerikanischer zu sein, und Ihre Präsidentin! I am proud to be a German American, and your President.

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 1: Alfred Mueller Vice President 2: James Dombrowski Treasurer: Bob Miske Secretary: Linda Voit Membership: Erik Wittmann DANK National Executive Office 4740 N. Western Avenue Chicago IL. 60625-2013 Phone: (773) 275-1100 Toll Free: 1-800-USA-DANK Office Hours: 9am - 4pm Monday, Wednesday-Friday Executive Secretary Eva Timmerhaus Office Manager Eve Timmerhaus

Beverly A. Pochatko National President




Letter(s) To The Editor Subject: WWII POW Legacy To The Editor, German-American Journal: The August/September issue of the German-American Journal contained two articles relating to WWII captured Germans in American Prisoner of War camps, and how well these prisoners were treated. New Ulm, MN hosted a German POW camp housing Luftwaffe airmen. There were about 200 prisoners who were likewise well treated. No surprise, because New Ulm is the most German city in America with 67% of our citizens claiming Germanic ancestry. In 1944-45 most people still spoke German here, and the culture included the staples of beer, bratwurst, and sauerkraut. But there is a sensitivity here regarding all the foregoing because captured American servicemen housed in POW camps in Germany were not as well fed and treated. So one must take care not to glorify American camps in the face of the reality which our captured servicemen endured in Germany. Aufrichtigkeit, George L. Glotzbach

We would like your feedback on the new journal format. Please write to us at or mail a letter to the DANK National Office, 4740 N. Western, Chicago IL. 60625-2013. Thank You!




Trends (Food - Music - Books - Travel)

MALTA - Historical Gem Of The Mediterranean By Audrey L. Hess-Eberle We became fascinated with the “Maltese Falcon’ – a 1941 sensational private-eye black and white movie starring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lore, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet, hot on the trail of an elusive, mysterious statuette that spoke to us of treasure from a far-away island. The Maltese Archipelago is alive and well and offers us passage through history – a treasure that time has not forgotten, but enhanced. Straddling the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, just below Italy’s island of Sicily and north of Tunisia, lies the 300 square mile Maltese archipelago (a UNESCO World Heritage site) including the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino – extraordinarily rich in historical and cultural heritage. From the remains of Neolithic farmers from 5200BC, through periods of the Bronze and Iron Age, to colonization by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, the Byzantine Empire, Arabs, British rule to independence achieved in 1964, Malta has been fine tuned to have become like no other place. As a British Colony for 150 years, most speak English and Maltese which is a mixture of Arabic and combined languages.

Air Malta offers easy access from

many European cities. In addition, several major cruise lines now stop at the Baroque capital port of Valletta. Once on shore or booked in advance, taxi service, bus transportation, conducted coach or walking tours and car rentals are easily available. The treasures of Malta lie in her people, festivals, megalithic temples, Baroque cities and palaces built by the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (also known as the Knights Malta), museums, cuisine and local wines. The Knights came to Malta in 1530, stayed for 268 years while protecting and transforming Malta into a city coveted by other countries. While on his way to stand trial in Rome in about 60AD, St Paul’s ship was wrecked off the coast of Malta and during his 3 month stay, he left behind the seeds of Christianity. The ‘Church of St Paul’s Shipwreck’ is one of Valletta’s oldest and most revered places of Catholic worship, housing what is believed to be St Paul’s right wrist bone. A 98 percent devoutly Catholic Nation, 365 incredible cathedrals and churches dominate any view in the islands and are at the center of everyday life. One of the world’s most concentrated historic regions including some

320 monuments, Valletta, built by the Knights, is a compact grid of princely palaces, narrow and cobble streets. Start at the ‘National Museum of Archeology’ showcasing artifacts from prehistoric temples. Next, a palace lavishly decorated with marble corridors, the ‘Palace of the Grand Masters’ houses opulent tapestries and paintings including the palace armory consisting of 5000 pieces of military hardware of the Grand Knights. The contemporary arts center of ‘St James Cavalier Center for Creativity’ places an emphasis on theatre, film productions, concerts and events for children. ‘St John’s Cathedral’ looms over Valletta like a giant fortress with vaulted ceilings, the magnificent painting, ‘The Beheading of John The Baptist’, chapels and marble tombstones while housing 12 tombs of the Grand Masters. For you war buffs, the ‘National War Museum’ contains relics from the epic Arab Siege of 1565, to World I European war relics, but mainly focuses on World War II. The ‘Maritime Museum’ represents the remarkable seafaring traditions ranging from the Knights to fishing vessels, the merchant navy and traditional Maltese boats. Six miles west of Valletta is the




Trends (Food - Music - Books - Travel)

medieval gem-of-a-town – Mdina, built of Sicilian-Norman architecture. A walled-city, her dynamic cathedral’s dome crowns a hilltop while massive encompassing walls rise above the landscape to be seen from far away. Always the home of noble families and dignitaries, this ancient capital is a magical gilded city of sturdy walls, medieval palaces, narrow and winding streets, golden facades of restored mansions,

stone or wrought-iron balconies. Include moments to experience carriage rides, spectacular cliffs and fine sand beaches. Try your hand at horseback riding, golf, guided nature walks, sailing, deep sea fishing (no license required) or scuba diving whether experienced or wishing to learn. Malta has an obsession with gambling and casinos if you want to try your luck. With so many historical towns to

captivate you, balance your pleasures with the many cafes offering tempting Maltese specialties, like hot flaky puff pastries filled with ricotta cheese. From the many restaurants serving Italian food, to top-notch gourmet restaurants, wine bars offering cold cuts and cheese, night spots, to outstanding seafood delicacies, you will lack for nothing. We have but scraped the surface to one of the world’s gems rarely considered as a travel destination. Perhaps the notion of the ‘Maltese Falcon’ will no longer remain elusive, but entice you to come and discover the hidden treasures of the Malta archipelago and make it a great secret no longer. Several cruise lines include Malta in their schedules while air travel offers a number of longer-stay options from a few days, to several weeks. Let us help you plan your dream trip. Call for more information on this and other cruises or tours, all destinations, cars, hotels, rail. Identify yourselves as a DANK member. Ask for Audrey or Tiffany. Phone: 312-362-0218 Toll Free: 800-57203149 Email:




Staff Columnist Anne Marie Fuhrig Ph.D. Contributing To The Mix (Part 1)

If your children and/or grandchildren—as mine do—grow up in one of this country’s large metropolitan areas, the overwhelming numbers of recent immigrants can make it hard for them to accept that Americans of German heritage are still the largest of the ingredients to the American stew. Why is this even an issue? Clearly, because it is the truth and because it can—in an age of more and more countries in the world with multi-ethnic populations— sensitize people’s interaction skills, once they have discovered the variety of the subtle styles of communication in the world. It is never hard to find German items, such as Krupp steel construction elements, BMWs, Solingen knives or potato dumplings; but what we now 60 million have contributed above all is our frame of mind. In the South (except for upland Texas), German immigration was spread out and ended too early to remain distinct in terms of social interactions, interpersonal culture or family life; but in the Plains States, so many came between 1840 and 1910 that reminders of their principled and sturdy German mindset and their straightforward communication seem to characterize the region. The hard-working German immigrants were generally honest, frugal and focused on domestic life, qualities which are now considered “MidWestern.” We should not forget to thank the post-World War II wave of immigrants of German culture for having helped to refresh these characteristics and revive the interest in

everyone’s heritage. Where Germans and northern Europeans became dominant—often through intermarriage, this behavioral standard still dominates; except, as the ethnic census maps clearly show, in Metropolitan areas. None of this was of overreaching interest until President Wilson declared War on April 16, 1917, and the US entered World War I. When the “Great War” had started in Europe in 1914, there had been active sympathy for the German side by some German-Americans. So President Wilson in his war message to Congress, warned that the situation called for a redefinition of loyalty and announced: there are “millions of men and women of German birth and native sympathy who live amongst us.” He continued: “If there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with a firm hand of repression.” Readers can find more under the term “Anti-German Sentiment” in the online Digital History Book. In June 1917, Congress passed the Espionage Act. This gave postal officials the authority to ban suspect newspapers and magazines from the mails. It also threatened individuals convicted of obstructing the draft with $10,000 fines and 20 years in jail. Later, Congress passed the Sedition Act of 1918, which made it a federal offense to use ‘disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language’ about the Constitution, the government, the American uniform, or the flag. The government prosecuted over 2,100 people under these acts.” See more at: http:// For active German Americans, e. g. those in public service, this meant a radical change. A spirit of patriotism under the Union Jack was required in public and in statements. Subsequently, some neighbors spied on their neighbors, which led to investigations and court cases. Also, all public statements had to be in English to allow monitoring of loyalty. Reprints in the press publicized these regulations, but there are amazingly few descriptions of what these changes meant in the lives of German-Americans. The Website: http://www.colorado. gov/dpa/doit/archives/govs/gunter. html informs about Julius Caldeen Gunter, Governor of Colorado from 1917 to 1919, reporting: “With the unified spirit of patriotism often comes the ugliness of discrimination, however. Several organizations such as the Committee on Americanization and America First Society were created, whose membership believed that foreign-born German and Eastern European citizens were plotting against and threatening the American industrial complex and the American way of life. German was no longer allowed to be taught in public schools, and German-American citizens were routinely persecuted. … While Gunter supported the development of educational programs for the foreign born, he did not support discrimination. continued on page 35...




Wumm, Päng, Krach, Klirr, Knirsch! by Sylvia Schmid, Ph.D. German comics language! Comics go back to Benjamin Franklin (1754) when he published a cartoon of a snake with a severed head. The words “join or die” written on the snake were intended for the colonists to join what was to become the United States. The Swiss Rudolph Töpffer, the German Wilhelm Bush, and the Brazilian Christophe, or Angelo Agostini, are considered the precursors for modern comics. Töpffer created a comic strip in 1827. In 1859, Bush published a famous comic called “Max und Moritz”.

Comics are funny. They are used for entertainment, for historical, political or satirical purposes. At first, newspaper comic strips were called "the funnies". Later, the term comics became more popular. Did you ever think about comics as a medium for reading and language learning such as German? When I was a girl, comics inspired me. Comics gave me the pleasure of reading.

I grew up with the Swiss Globi, the blue parrot with the yellow beak, blue feathers, the red and black checked trousers and the jauntily placed beret. A funny creature, always ready to help! He encourages, he saves. Globi has only good intentions and a real big heart. This year he celebrates his 80th birthday. I read all the volumes of Papa Moll, the charming, loveable, and clumsy family man and father of Willy, Fritz and Evi. Many times, he gets himself into mischief. How many times has his family, including his dog Tschips, stepped in to save the situation? My husband likes the comics. He finds them in the newspapers. Our boys love to read the comics, too. In the mornings, they make a run for the paper to see who gets to laugh at the comics first. Our book shelves contain a variety of comic books. Among them, you could find many German comics such as Micky Mouse, Lucky Luke, Tintin. But most of all, we own 45 copies of Asterix and Obelix, all taped, glued, and stitched together because of heavy over-usage. I wondered many times, “Do the boys read the words or do they look at the pictures only?” But I know, they do read. I have used comics in the classroom. It is a good way to unwind from grammar and vocabulary drills. We loosen up, lie back, relax. When we talk about the book “Von Idioten Umzingelt” (the Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Greg Heffley’s ridiculous dream mansion, I let the students draw their own imaginative blue print. Then, they present their fabulous and extravagant villa – all in German! There is “das Wohnzimmer, das Schlafzimmer, das Heim

kino, die Pizzaecke, die Eisdiele, das Gaming Zimmer, die Achterbahn und das Sportzentrum.” There is no end to creativity. No wonder, I was thrilled when at the 11th annual conference 2012 in San Francisco (organized by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad ZfA), one of the 13 workshops offered was on Comics, Mangas und Co.

Ursula Dinter introduced us to some German comics artists such as Flix, Ulf K., Anke Hage, or Mawil to mention just a few. She made it clear that using comics is a unique way for learning German. Comics express something - an emotion, a mood, an impression. Comics stimulate amd encourage reading and make learning fun. Comics make language interesting and help with pronunciation. Comics teaches culture. And I could add so much more, but here are some illustrations: (continued on page 15)




Chapter Chatter DANK Chapter Milwaukee Our Local Chapter at German Fest

DANK Chapter Milwaukee had a busy summer. The Chapter held its annual picnic on Sunday, June 24 at Sacred Heart Croation Hall in Milwaukee. Approximately 65 members attended. In addition, non-DANK members who volunteered to work in DANK booths at Milwaukee’s German Fest were invited. While listening to German music, attendees enjoyed a full meal of grilled meats including a pig roast,

German potato salad, and an assortment of other salads and accompaniments. Delicious desserts, made by the DANK Milwaukee Chor members, provided more gustatory delights. Various German beer and wines and non-alcoholic beverages were available. A beautiful day allowed people to visit, play sheepshead, roll dice to win a bottle of wine, and even allowed the DANK Milwaukee Folk

By Jane Nacker

Dancers to perform a practice Bändertanz in preparation for German Fest. In July, DANK Milwaukee participated in Milwaukee’s 32nd annual German Fest, held at the Milwaukee Lakefront Festival Grounds July 2629. Known as “Milwaukee’s Original Haus Party” the festival celebrates the cultures of Germany and other German speaking countries. continued on page 37...

Echoes From Lake Erie’s Shore By Margaret Potocki

A view of German Fest Midway

Where, oh where has summer gone? We surely had a busy summer here in the NW corner of Pennsylvania; our annual family picnic, German Night at the SeaWolves baseball game at the Uht Ball Park, (My first baseball game and I got to throw out the first pitch!) our German Heritage Festival over Labor Day weekend, and more. To help recruit DANK members, Bev Pochatko, Carol Snippert and I attended the Eintracht Männerchor Picnic in New Castle, and then Bev and I volunteered at the Milwaukee

Margarete Potocki and the Sea Wolves mascot

German Fest. Additionally, our singers, the Männerchor Gesangverein has been busy all summer singing at retirement and assisted living homes. You could say we didn’t let the grass grow beneath our feet! We welcomed new members to our Chapter: Joe & Wendy Ochs and family, Jean & Howard Merryman, and Alice Chipley over the summer. Members attended the Oktoberfest at BrewErie late September and will be representing DANK at St. Joseph’s Church Oktoberfest in October; as

Presque Isle’s Waterworks Pond

well as celebrating German American Day at our home base, the Erie Männerchor Club. Plans are now in the making for our Adventszeit St. Nicholas Party and of course our Fasching Party! Never a dull moment! Our German Fest was wunderbar! Co-chairs Ray Luniewski (Lake Erie Fan Fare) and Bev Pochatko did another fantastic job of organizing this big event. We had beautiful weather and a great crowd for our opening ceremonies. continued page 37...




Chapter Chatter Pittsburgh DANK Members Visit Cleveland

Despite the sports rivalry between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, our Chapter Members know a good thing when they hear about it and that includes visiting Cleveland for a wonderful German oriented Summer Oktoberfest held at the German American Cultural Center ( Lenau Park) . 17 Chapter members participated in a two day fun filled trip to the Cleveland, about two plus hours away from America’s most livable city, Pittsburgh. The group left Saturday morning in two rented mini vans with the intention of visiting several well known ethnic stops in Cleveland. The group started off with visiting the West Side Market, a European style indoor and outdoor market catering to all nationalities including German oriented foods. After purchases were made, we checked into the Holiday Inn downtown for some rest or exploring downtown.. After a little relaxation at the hotel the group left for the Summer Oktoberfest held at Lenau Park. Pittsburgh Chapter President Erik Wittmann was able to arrange for saved seating through his brother

By Erik Wittmann

Michael, who lives in Cleveland and is affiliated with the German American Cultural Center. The Pittsburgh Chapter was even treated to a tour of the German American Cultural Center, which if you have never seen it is very impressive having indoor soccer fields and numerous other amenities. Cleveland Chapter President Stefan Pigler even dropped by our table to welcome us. The evening was enjoyed by all with most members choosing to stay until the end. However the call of the new Horseshoe Casino about a block away from the Hotel was to much

for some of your folks because they around 11 pm decided to hit the Casino for some more entertainment.. The group had a leisurely breakfast but did not indulge to much since we had late lunch plans for a family style dining experience at Sterle’s Slovenian Country House-which serves wonderful German Family Style meals, which all in attendance enjoyed immensely. After about a two hour lunch we returned to Pittsburgh ready to start another week. All in attendance enjoyed it and want to do more similar trips.

It Was A Hot Time At The DANK Chapter Lake County, IL Picnic By Ursula Hoeft

Karl Schmidt & Rick Kanka welcome Nate Kordas

It was close to a hundred degrees and humid, but that didn't keep them home. DANK Chapter Lake County, IL members and guests braved the re-

Ky & Harry Kordas, Christian Rockow, Jake Koenen

cord-breaking heat on Sunday, July 15, to enjoy the Chapter's annual picnic at Van Patten Woods in Wadsworth, Illinois. There was plenty of time for a cold

beer or two – a necessity on such a hot day – to visit with friends and to enjoy some good old-fashioned gemütlichkeit before, during and after a wonderful meal. Despite the intense heat, Anni and Victor Kordas, assisted by members of their family, all chefs extraordinaire, once again “manned” the grill and barbequed delicious chicken and sausages. A plentiful assortment of side dishes made by club continued on page 36...




Chapter Chatter News From Chapter Phoenix By Jerry Wood

Our German-American Day Celebration is scheduled to take place on October 7, at the Elks’ Club in Sun City. We are also working in partnership with the AARC Schützen Verein on an Oktoberfest, which will take place at the Elks’ Club in Sun City on October 20th.

We have some great plans for that, and we look forward to a highly successful event. I have long been an advocate for cooperation among the various German clubs in the Valley, and I hope that this will be the success to which I know cooperation will lead. October is a month, which is loaded with German events. The AC4GC Oktoberfest will take place on two days this year: October 5th and 6th, 2012, in the usual place at Margaret Hance Park in Phoenix. The next day on October 7th, we will have our own German-American Day Celebration. After beer and bratwurst at the Oktoberfest, a little chicken al’Fredo or Beef au Jus might be a welcome change that everyone would enjoy. We will be awarding the member-

ship pins at this event, and there are many recipients. Then, get ready for more bratwurst and goulash at the joint Oktoberfest on October 20th! We’re attempting some exciting activities this year, and we will need the full support of the entire membership; I hope all of you will be as excited to pursue these activities as those of us who are planning them. Make a weekend of it: On October 5th or 6th, go to the AC4GC Oktoberfest and on Sunday, the 7th, come to the German-American Day with weeks after to rest, and then join us at the Celebration on the 20th. Take a couple DANK/AARC Oktoberfest! Oktober ist ein Monat der deutschen Feiern! If you can’t attend the events, consider making a contribution to DANK equal to the cost of a ticket.

An Evening of German Gemütlichkeit & Elvis In A Blue Hawaii Setting By Ursula Hoeft A great combination that made for a fun evening at the Chicago DANK Haus. It was an Elvis-loving crowd. We could tell that right away by the message on Michaela's neon-green tshirt. "On the eighth day God made Elvis," it said. Judging by the reception he got, the standing-room-only crowd agreed. Elvis was alive! In spirit, at least. And there was a lot of spirit at the August 17 DANK Haus Stammtisch when Michael St. Angel, the Windy City Elvis, performed. But Elvis was not the only attraction that evening. It also was Hawaiian night at the DANK Haus, with Hawaiian style food and drinks and the requisite leis, of course. You might say the evening was a "twofer." As members of DANK Chapter Lake

County, IL and residents of a northern suburb of Chicago, my husband and I don't get to the DANK Haus all that often. The drive to the city can be brutal, especially on a Friday night. But bucking the traffic to see the Elvis performance was well worth the trip. We were glad that Kim Duncan, DANK Chicago First Vice President, and her husband, Chris, had encouraged us to come. The show was amazing! St. Angel’s voice, singing style, stage presence, and overall persona, allowed the audience to once again enjoy an Elvis Presley performance. The energy he projected was infectious. Everyone caught it, no matter if they were young or not-so-young, DANK Haus “regulars” or folks who were there for the first time. . Nor did their ethnic background matter.

That night, they all were just Elvis fans, united by his music, under his spell. While Elvis was the main attraction, nobody minded a little Sinatra thrown in – Neil Diamond's music was a hit, too. Who can keep from singing along to Sweet Caroline? And St. Angel's moving rendition of America The Beautiful served as a continued on page 37...




Chapter Chatter DANK Chapter Fox Valley by Willi Gohs I just wanted to remind everyone of our annual Fox Valley Oktoberfest, to be held at the Peg Bond Center in downtown Batavia on Friday through Sunday, October 12 - 14. This will be our 10th anniversary and a milestone the committee is very proud of. Fox Valley Oktoberfest got it's start in South Elgin, then moved to Elgin and now we are looking forward to our third year in Batavia. It has been immensely popular everywhere, generally drawing close to 10,000 visitors each year. Over the years, we have incorporated slight modifications where feasible, but always with the thought that this would be as close to the original Oktoberfest in Munich as possible, complete with carnival rides. Last year, we came up with a "Konditorei" area that offered a selection of German cakes and pastries. The Konditorei came complete with bistro tables in its own separate area overlooking the lagoon. It turned out to be an instant hit, and over 1,000 slices of various cakes were sold out by Sunday afternoon. As you can well imagine, a festival of this magnitude requires a lot of effort by many people. Most of all, we owe our gratitude to all the volunteers who help make Oktoberfest a success each year. Although we have many sponsors in the business community, without volunteers the start-up costs would dwarf any profits we hope to achieve in order to fund our scholarship program. And you may remember that Oktoberfest is the main contributor to our sister organization, G.A.T.E.S. (GermanAmerican Team of Educational Sponsors), a 501(c)3 corporation.

DANK Chapter Listing ARIZONA Phoenix IOWA Quad Cities ILLINOIS Chicago Chicago South Chicago West Fox Valley Lake County Northern Suburbs Peoria Springfield

GATES awards cash scholarships to high school seniors wanting to study German in college. The students submit a composition in German, which is then anonymously discussed and judged by a GATES panel to determine the winners. The number and amounts of the awards are determined by the GATES board and by our Oktoberfest profits, but generally have been a minimum of $1,000 each. Visit us at:

INDIANA Indianapolis LaFayette South Bend MICHIGAN Benton Harbor NEW JERSEY Pascack Valley OHIO Cleveland PENNSYLVANIA Erie Pittsburgh Uniontown WASHINGTON DC Washington DC WISCONSIN Milwaukee

Go To for more information




Staff Columnist Francine McKenna A Funeral In Germany

Allerheilige, All Saints, on November 1st is a mixture of solemn and impressive in Germany, a day when loved ones remember deceased relatives and friends by visiting and decorating their graves. Throughout the year the almost exclusively state or church run cemeteries, filled by gravesites with individualistic headstones and stone borders, are invariably well tended, and maintaining one is thought of as far more than a matter of duty, involving the occasional pulling up of weeds or placing some flowers. Rather it is more a ‘labor of love’, a form of acknowledgement to the passed, to show that they haven’t just disappeared but instead someone is still looking after them and caring about them. But an extra special effort is made for this particular day, a public holiday in many of Germany’s sixteen Laender, fresh plants, evergreens, dried leaves and pods are added to the small plots belonging to each grave, and candles and lanterns lit at dusk which will burn throughout the night until All Souls Day, November 2. Laws and practices can differ throughout the country, but this is a tradition which has taken place for generations, but one that might not continue for many more, as changes are already taking place in the ways those that have died are handled in Germany. Partly as a sign of the times and also because the laws are being brought into line with those followed by Germany’s fellow European Union members.

There are two main religions in Germany, Catholic and Protestant, for both death notices continue to be mailed in black edged envelopes, as well as announced in the press, but whereas Catholic funerals take place only Monday to Friday, churches are reserved for religious service at weekends, a Protestant one can also be held on a Saturday. However during any period considered to be ‘Ferienzeit’, holiday time, such as Christmas or Karneval, there will be a wait until it is over, and as this also will often include a backlog it can be a long wait. A Catholic funeral has three phases, a mass for the dead in the church, funeral procession to the churchyard or cemetery, and the interment, whereas a Protestant service is usually held before the burial in cemetry chapel, and not in the church, and in both cases generally they continue to be traditional and solemn. Mourners of different ages still dressed formally in something appropriate and dark, often black, although these days there will be occasionally a more relaxed type of event, with balloons, music and videos of the deceased in life, when the dress code will be relaxed. Standing at the entrance to the church or funeral home is a book or specially printed sheet of paper which is signed by those attending, and this will serve as a lasting memory for the bereaved of who had been present on the day. The casket is closed with no viewing as such, and the pallbearers who carry it will tend to be ‘employees’

not family or friends, while again traditionally it has always been the minister delivering the eulogy who will also have picked the accompanying music, which has not always been to the taste of those listening to it. Here also memories are recalled, and often poems written in honor of the deceased recited. Following the service the casket is taken to a cemetery or crematorium, and if a cemetery then it is lowered directly into the grave, the minister says some words and throws down a shovel of earth which, accompanied by a short prayer or silent thought, is followed by flowers or sand from those attending. It is now that the guests give their official condolences to the family, often an emotional experience, which is followed by an invitation to ‘coffee and cake’ or some other light refreshments. In the past there were no funeral homes, Beerdigungsinstitute, to handle cremation and embalming as until comparitvely recently this has only been done by the state, but there are now a growing number licenced to provide a complete but more personal service, which can include the family and mourners not only being able to choose their own music but painting the casket themselves. Ashes are not allowed to be taken home or dispensed elsewhere as the law forbids the handling of remains, including cremated ones, by private individuals, but should be buried in a cemetery in a plot able to take




A Funeral In Germany by Francine McKenna (continued) two to four urns, so German mantels and gardens are bare of the decorated containers, and unless a favorite spot in the life of the deceased was beyond the three mile limit out to sea, the strewing of ashes somewhere they loved is also something that can not happen. Although a worrying trend for those countries bordering Lake Constance is the hundreds of Germans who are believed to be throwing ashes into the lake from the Swiss side each year, where the ‘handling’ rules are more relaxed, although not to this extent. Special trips are being arranged where the ashes are scattered in ‘beautiful surroundings’, although with the amount of traffic on the lake from yachts, windsurfers and jet skis it is hardly a calm and peaceful occasion. Not surprisingly there is a great deal of opposition to what is known as ‘German urn-tourism’ in Switzerland, where they are concerned Lake Constance is becoming ‘the lake of the dead’. At the same time gravesites are only “rented out” for 20 to 30 years, and if the contract is not renewed the

contents are removed, a sticker having been placed on the headstone shortly beforehand announcing that the contract is running out, however those in double graves are placed on top of each other and in that case the time period starts over again when the second body is added. However should someone wish to buy a grave which is out of contract but for whatever reason protected under “Denkmalschutz.”, monument protection, then it is not possible to have a headstone or anything with the new name on it. So Felix Wunderlich would have to be buried in the grave of “Gisela K” with no sign that now there was somebody else occupying the grave. Meanwhile partly because of the cost factor involved, around $4,000 is fairly average leading to a well used phrase ‘’You can’t afford to die”, some people chose and increasingly continue to choose an anonymous grave with no headstone, and special grassy plots with perhaps just one neutral monument are appearing in cemeteries. Although at the moment this remains a regional trend,

with conservative Bavaria having very few while in Germany’s north over 25 percent of burials are now anonymous. There is a growing tendency towards cremation which at least saves the expense of embalming, and ‘Friedwaelder’ are springing up, specially chosen woods where headstone-free burials can take place in nature with urns buried at the base of a tree or some other spot, and so far there are over 200 with more planned, while in some states there are ‘’peaceful forests’’ set aside for families to scatter ashes amongst the trees. According to a countrywide opinion poll, and despite the churches not being supporters of the idea, although many Germans are still in favor of a traditional church service at their funeral 40 percent would now prefer to have some type of anonymous burial. A trend which if it continues will mean that not too far in the future the All Saints Day and All Souls Day traditions will probably become customs that later generations will only know from history books.

Wumm, Päng, Krach, Klirr, Knirsch! by Sylvis Schmid (continued from page 9) “Gluck gluck” stands for trinken (to laxed classroom atmosphere using Solution: 1) bellen – to bark 2) hindrink); “schmatz” is for essen (the comics - maybe in your language fallen – to fall down 3) lachen – to smile 4) Wind, etwas bewegt sich food is delicious); “mpf mpf ” may be class. This is a welcome treat. translated as Geräusch (noise while As a child, teenager, a mom or a dad, schnell – the wind, something moveating); “schluchz” is an easy guess a grandma or a grandpa, you may ing fast. for weinen (to cry); “ding dong” simply need a good laugh once in stands for klingeln (the bell rings); a while. Read comics – in English, Silvia Schmid, Ph.D. “klatsch-klatsch” is for klatschen German or in another language. (well done, applause). And here is a little German comics facebook “Dank German Schools” I bet you have laughed a number of language quiz: Can you translate this? times over a funny comics strip. As a parent, you may encourage your 1) wau, wau child to read by using comics. May- 2) plop be you even try a foreign language. 3) kicher As a teacher, you may create a re- 4) huiiii




DANK Executive Office Update Eve Timmerhaus

Fall is upon us and as we welcome the cooler weather we hope you are all well and that you have begun to settle into your fall routine. October is always full of activities in the National Office. This year we are proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of German American Day, October 6th. DANK, along with the other memberorganizations of the German American Joint Action Committee (GAJAC),was instrumental in establishing the first German American Day. Then President

ElsbethSeewald was proud to represent DANK at the formal ceremony in the White House Rose Garden where President Reagan signed the German American Day proclamation. A Presidential Proclamation has been issued every year since. With the October/November issue DANK is showing off a new look for the Journal. We hope everyone will like the redesign to more of a magazine format and think this new layout will be easier to read. If you have an article you would like to submit

to the Journal for possible publication, Now is the perfect time to think ahead to the holiday season; order your Holiday Greetings ad now! Inside this issue you’ll find an order form, and eight color designs to choose from. All greetings can be personalized or you canalso design your own ad. Please contact the office if you have any questions: 888-USA-DANK or office@dank. org.

Raffle Tickets Still Available! Buy your Raffle Ticket and Support DANK

Summer may have come to an end, but not your chance Ralph Child of Chicago. The final drawing will take place Saturday, December 8, to win some great prizes! There are still tickets available for the 2012 raffle, but you better hurry! 2012 at the DANK Haus in Chicago. Winner need not One of the ways DANK National raises funds is to hold be present. No substitutions of the airline tickets may be an annual raffle. Wouldn’t it feel good to win two round- made, non-transferable, and no cash value will be givtrip tickets to Germany or put $500; $250; $100, or even en in lieu of the prize. Airline tickets will not exceed $50 in your pocket? If you purchase a DANK raffle ticket $3000 in value. Any winner that wins a prize or prizes you just might be one of the lucky prize winners! that cumulatively value $600 or more will be sent an IRS Congratulations to the winners of our Early Bird Draw- for 1099 and may be responsible for paying taxes on the ing which was held July 20th. Prizes were awarded to prize winnings. All sales, prize and other taxes, gratuities Rosina Lotspeich, from DANK Chicago-South; Do- and any other incidentals associated with the prize are ris Mueller of DANK Milwaukee; Robert Kaiser from the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Travel must be DANK National; Mary Wagner of DANK Pittsburgh, to completed by December 31, 2013. New Members: National Chicago-West Donna Tober Chrissta Wetzel Ingrid Stuhrenberg Jerry Kaup Chicago-South Fox Valley, IL Erich Norris Rob Kaiser Andreas and Tracy Gass Joseph Newton Heather & Jonathan Polcyn Springfield, IL Milwaukee, WI Leslie & Heinz-Dietrich Suppan Gary & Bobbie Eby Edward Berg Chicago, IL Donald & Karola Beahringer Gary Rebholz George Nagata Gloria Read Christin Schimpf Alfonso & Bernadette Carmona Peoria, IL Chicago Northern Suburbs Ranae Schlichting Wayne Bogart Natasha Backes Ingeborg Sarich Benton Harbor, MI Phoenix, AZ Matthew & Caryn Arndt Quentin & Linda Lowe Philip & Lynn Nickle Peter & Nicole Hauschildt Cory Schmidtke Erie, PA Brian Reynolds Larry & Linda Castle Joe Gallagher Ike Mayrens Barbara Dorgelo Patricia Munz




Come See What’s New In The Haus

Announcing DANK Haus German American Cultural Center latest archival acquisition The Adolph & Gerhard Enders Model Railroad! Cabinet maker Adolph Enders was sent to the Russian front during World War II, then emigrated to Detroit. There he began his career making models for the automobile

manufacturers. For 40 years in a Detroit basement, Adolph and his brother Gerhard constructed by hand a 16 foot by 12 foot model Lionel “O” railroad to remind them of their beloved Germany. Each piece is masterfully hand carved and it includes a river of real water, a working woodcutter and a hand painted

canvas mountain backdrop. The DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is proud to be entrusted with this treasure of German American craftsmanship and hopes to install it in a prominent location after extensive restoration for enjoyment by all ages. The Archives Committee is seeking model railroad enthusiasts to be part of the restoration team so that it may be enjoyed by all ages for decades to come Please contact Keith at development or 773.561.9181 to join the team.



The St Nikolaus Project Continues by Eve Timmerhaus We are pleased to report this year Milwaukee’s Germanfest collected 14,800 lbs. of food for the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee. Everyone who brought a non-perishable food item Sunday, July 29th, received free admission. DANK Chapter Erie, PA’s St. Nikolas Project was well supported at their German Heritage Festival held September 1-2. They are happy to announce that 3,100+ lbs. of canned


goods were collected at the gate to support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest PA. DANK Chicago South continues collecting non-perishable food items for the Frankfort , IL Township Food Pantry all year long with drop offs scheduled each quarter following an event or a full collection box. DANK Chicago South reminds us to remember the families in hardship during these tough times that rely on


the help offered by this organization. DANK continues to encourage its chapters, members and associates to contribute in food pantry collection. To participate in the St. Nikolaus Project forward the name of your organization, pounds contributed, a contact name, telephone number and email address to the office ( or 888-USA-DANK). Visit us at:







Germanfest Milwaukee 2012 July 26 ~ July 29

Germanfest Director Jerry Fischer

A heavy rain storm threatened the start of Germanfest on Thursday but 5 minutes before the start of the fest, the rain stopped, the skies cleared and the fest started right on time. The weather was beautiful and the fest ran beautifully.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett




Welcome to some of the new members we recruited at Germanfest!

Over the four day festival, five tons of potatoes are required to keep up with the demand for potatoe pancakes! More than 20,000 Usinger’s Brats are devoured along with 10,000 pounds of sauerkraut.







Dear DANK members and Friends, Place an ad in the German-American Journal Holiday Edition to wish your friends and family a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays. We make it easy for you to send special holiday greetings. Select from the collection displayed and check the design of your choice. Write a short holiday message in the space provided below the sample ads. We have eight different color designs in two sizes to choose from! Small color ads (1.75” wide x 2.33” high) $25.00 donation. Large color ads (3.5” wide x 2.33” high) $40.00 donation. Send the ad information by November 9th 2012 along with your check to: DANK National Executive Office 4740 N. Western Ave. Suite 206 Chicago, IL 60625-2013. Call Eve Timmerhaus at 773-275-1100 or Toll Free 888-USA-DANK with any questions. If you have your own holiday design, please email to us in the correct size indicated above, as a .JPEG to The holiday edition of the German-American Journal will be sent out by December 1, in time to send your holiday wishes. Please show your support for our German-American Journal and make someone's Christmas special by placing your holiday ad today. Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr, DANK National Executive Board DANK National Executive Office DANK Editorial Committee




GERMAN-AMERICAN DAY, October 6, 2012 by Beverly Pochatko Today is a day that every person of German heritage, should be extremely proud. Over four centuries have passed since the arrival of the ship Concord and German Americans continue to contribute their love of family, faith, and talents, reaffirming their American identity. Many Germans left the Fatherland and arrived as extended families, bringing with them a sense of community and the confidence it brings to fulfill their vocations in their adopted homeland. If you look around you, the love of education and dedication of the German Americans is evident. They touch our lives daily from education starting with Kindergarten developed by Friedrich Froebel, music played by great symphony orchestras, instruments by Steinway or Philharmonic choirs; pioneers in industry, or their part in the aerospace program such as Wernher von Braun; to life saving health dis-

coveries. German Americans have shaped our perceptions of what is beautiful and possible through their industry, culture, and generosity of spirit. Groups of German settlers were among the first to fight in the American Revolution. There is no denying that the United States became ‘richer’ with the arrival of the German immigrants who were looking to secure a better future for them and the generations that would follow them. No matter whether they were among the first settlers in the 1700s or the immigrants who first arrived in colonial Pennsylvania or Virginia, they all played a significant role in defining and achieving our American democracy. These ideals are shared by Americans everywhere, and are the strong foundations on which a strong bridge of friendship spans the Atlantic Ocean. DANK was present in the White House Friendship Garden twentyfive years ago when then President

Ronald Reagan took pen in hand and with his signature set aside October 6h as German American Day. He recognized the rich heritage of the German Americans who are a part of the rich tapestry, of the ‘melting pot’ of the world called America. It is because of these German Americans that we see a brighter tomorrow. As President of DANK (German American National Congress), I encourage you to take the time to learn more about the four century history, made by these early settlers, to the present in our Nation; to be proud of your heritage; and do your part in passing our history on to your children’s children and beyond. The greatest legacy you can leave your family is the knowledge that they are living out the dream of our early forefathers. It is one we can all be proud of. Happy German American Day.

Aus Oma’s Küche - From Gramma’s Kitchen Everyone who loves Sauerbraten doesn’t always have the time to make it. Here two favorite recipes that I use. Adeline Kraenzler from Chapter Milwaukee has a delicious recipe that was printed in the Milwaukee Cookbook a few years back. I use this recipe when I have gingersnap cookies on hand. Sauerbraten Meatballs 1 lb lean ground beef ¼ c. minced onion ¾ c. soft, coarse breadcrumbs Freshly ground Black pepper 2 Tblspns. water 3 Tblspns. lemon juice

2 Tblspns margarine for frying Gravy: 4 Tblspns. lemon juice 2 ½ c. beef broth ¼ cup brown sugar ¾ cup gingersnap crumbs

Method: Mix beef, breadcrumbs, onion, pepper, water and 3 Tblspns lemon juice. Mix well and form into 1-inch meatballs. Heat margarine in large, heavy skillet and brown the meatballs Drain off the fat when browned. (I like to place the formed meatballs on a cookie sheet and brown in the oven at 400 degrees.) To the drippings in the pan add the broth and the rest of the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and stir in sugar and gingersnap crumbs. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Stir and cook uncovered, 5 minutes longer. Serve over noodles and sprinkle with poppy seed. (second recipe on page 28)




Proclamation 5719 -- German-American Day, 1987 October 2, 1987 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation More Americans trace their heritage back to German ancestry than to any other nationality. More than seven million Germans have come to our shores through the years, and today some 60 million Americans -- one in four -- are of German descent. Few people have blended so completely into the multicultural tapestry of American society and yet have made such singular economic, political, social, scientific, and cultural contributions to the growth and success of these United States as have Americans of German extraction. The United States has embraced a vast array of German traditions, institutions, and influences. Many of these have become so accepted as parts of our way of life that their ethnic origin has been obscured. For instance, Christmas trees and Broadway musicals are familiar features of American society. Our kindergartens, graduate schools, the social security system, and labor unions are all based on models derived from Germany. German teachers, musicians, and enthusiastic amateurs have left an indelible imprint on classical music, hymns, choral singing, and marching bands in our country. In architecture and design, German contributions include the modern suspension bridge, Bauhaus, and Jugendstil. German-American scientists have helped make the United States the world's pioneer in research and technology. The American work ethic, a major factor in the rapid rise of the United States to preeminence in agriculture and industry, owes much to GermanAmericans' commitment to excellence. For more than 3 centuries, Germans have helped build, invigorate, and strengthen this country. But the United States has given as well as received. Just a generation ago, America conceived of and swiftly implemented the Marshall Plan, which helped the new German democracy rise from the rubble of war to become a beacon of democracy in Central Europe. The Berlin Airlift demonstrated the American commitment to the defense of freedom when, still recovering from war, Berlin was threatened by strangulation from the Soviets. Today, the Federal Republic of Germany is a bulwark of democracy in the heart of a divided Europe. Germans and Americans are rightfully proud of our common values as well as our shared heritage. For more than 3 decades the German-American partnership has been a linchpin in the Western Alliance. Thanks to it, a whole generation of Americans and Europeans has grown up free to enjoy the fruits of liberty. Our histories are thus intertwined. We now contribute to each other's trade, enjoy each other's cultures, and learn from each other's experiences. The German-American Friendship Garden, which will be dedicated in the District of Columbia in the near future, is symbolic of the close and amicable relations between West Germany and the United States. The Congress, by Public Law 100 - 104, has designated October 6, 1987, the 304th anniversary of the arrival of the first German immigrants in Philadelphia, as ``German-American Day'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that day. Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, October 6, 1987, as German-American Day. I urge all Americans to learn more about the contributions of German immigrants to the life and culture of the United States and to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 2nd day of Oct., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Note from editorial staff: We were hoping to post the 25th anniversary of German-American Day proclamation signed by President Obama but we had to go to press before it was released.




Calendar Of Events October 3 Milwaukee, WI. DANK Milwaukee Board Meeting at 6:00, DANK Chor 7:30 at the German Fest Office. 5 Benton Harbor, MI. DANK Benton Harbor Fish Fry. 6-8 pm. Doors open at 5:30 PM. The band plays from 7-10 p.m. 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. 6 GERMAN AMERICAN DAY 6 Chicago, IL. Kino Kaffee und Kuchen, Classic German film, “Vaterbrauchteine Frau”, doors open at Noon, Vorfilm at 1 pm, feature at 2 pm $4 for DANK members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave, Chicago. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 6 Chicago, IL. Lost German Chicago, Exhibit celebrating the establishments no longer with the Chicago German community. Doors open at 11:00 am DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 10 Milwaukee, WI. DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers meet at 6:00 p.m., DANK Chor 7:00 at the German Fest Office. 13, South Bend, IN. DANK South Bend Moonlite Picnic at Kison’s Farm. 7:00 pm, 63620 Maple Rd., South Bend. Potluck. For more information: 574-271-6922. 13 Chicago, IL. Kino Kaffee und Kuchen, Classic German film,NachtsimgrüneKakadu, doors open at Noon, Vorfilm at 1 pm, feature at 2 pm $4 for DANK members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave, Chicago. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 13 Chicago, IL. Lost German Chicago, Exhibit celebrating the establishments no longer with the Chicago German community. Doors open at 11:00 am DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 14 Benton Harbor, MI. DANK Benton Harbor Membership and Election Meeting. 4 PM 2651 Pipestone Rd., BentonHarbor, MI. 17 Erie, PA.DANK Erie Dinner- Celebrating our German Heritage. 5:30 pm. 17 Milwaukee, WI. DANK Milwaukee Chor meets at 7:00 pm at the German Fest Office. 19 Chicago, IL DANK Chicago Tammtisch-Oktoberfest, 7:30 pm. Entertainment by Euro Express band and the Egerlander dance group as they perform traditional dances while in authentic dress. Bavarian theme continues with Spaten Oktoberfest beer. The official sausage of the Oktoberfest, weisswurst will be served with sweet mustard as well as Chef Martin bratwurst, Austrian Bakery pretzels and landjaeger Trachten encouraged. No cover but limited seating is available. 20 Cleveland, OH. Oktoberfest Dance! We will be enjoying the music of Spaß!, which is a new polka/dance band you will absolutely love. Event held at the Cleveland Männerchor Hall, 4515 State Road in Cleveland. If you have any questions, call our chapter president Stefan Pigler at 216-398-6606.




Calendar Of Events 20 Benton Harbor, MI. Oktoberfest with Squeezebox Polka Band. 6-11 pm. 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. 20 Chicago, IL. Kino Kaffee und Kuchen, Classic German film,Einehübscherals die Andere doors open at Noon, Vorfilm at 1 pm, feature at 2 pm $4 for DANK members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave, Chicago. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit Chicago, IL. Lost German Chicago, Exhibit celebrating the establishments no longer with the Chicago German community. Doors open at 11:00 am DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 21 PascackValley, NJ. DANK Pascack Valley Regular Meeting. “Oktoberfest” 24 Milwaukee. WI. DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers meet at 6:00 pm, Chor at 7:00 at German Fest Office. 27 Chicago, IL. Kino Kaffee und Kuchen, Classic German film,Tafel Spitz, doors open at Noon, Vorfilm at 1 pm, feature at 2 pm $4 for DANK members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave, Chicago. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 27 Chicago, IL. Lost German Chicago, Exhibit celebrating the establishments no longer with the Chicago German community. Doors open at 11:00 am DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit

November 2 Benton Harbor, MI. DANK Benton Harbor Fish Fry. 6-8 pm. Doors open at 5:30 PM. The band plays from 7-10 p.m. 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. 3 South Bend, IN. DANK South Bend Membership and Election Meeting. 11:00 am at Francis Branch Library, 52655 Ironwood Rd., South Bend, IN. 3 Chicago, IL. Kino Kaffee und Kuchen, Classic German film, ImSchwarzenRoessl, doors open at Noon, Vorfilm at 1 pm, feature at 2 pm $4 for DANK members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave, Chicago. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 3 Chicago, IL. Lost German Chicago, Exhibit celebrating the establishments no longer with the Chicago German community. Doors open at 11:00 am DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 7 Milwaukee, WI. DANK Milwaukee Board Meeting at 6:00, DANK Chor 7:30 at the German Fest Office. 10 Chicago, IL. Kino Kaffee und Kuchen, Classic German film, Margarete Steiff, doors open at Noon, Vorfilm at 1 pm, feature at 2 pm $4 for DANK members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave, Chicago. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 10 Chicago, IL. Lost German Chicago, Exhibit celebrating the establishments no longer with the Chicago German community. Doors open at 11:00 am DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit




Calendar Of Events

11 Chicago, IL. Kinder of all backgrounds will craft their Laterne2:30 pm at the DANK Haus, then parade through Lincoln Square, signing and swinging their little lanterns! For more information: 773-561-9181. 14 Milwaukee, WI. DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers meet at 6:00 p.m., DANK Chor 7:00 at the German Fest Office. 17 Chicago, IL. Kino Kaffee und Kuchen, Classic German film, Die Stimme des Herzens, doors open at Noon, Vorfilm at 1 pm, feature at 2 pm $4 for DANK members, $6 for non-members. DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave, Chicago. For more information call 773-561-9181 or visit 18 Fort Sheridan, IL. DANK Chapter Lake County, IL will again observe Volkstrauertag, the German day of mourning, at the Fort Sheridan, Illinois Cemetery where nine World War Two German prisoners of war are buried. The observance is a public event which the Chapter has sponsored for more than 30 years. For more information: 847721-2992. 18 Milwaukee, WI. DANK Milwaukee Membership Meeting and Elections. 1:30 pm 18 Chicago, IL. Konzert for the Kaizer, 3:00 pm at the DANK Haus.Tickets range in price from $12.00 to $20.00 in advance and are available for purchase online ( or by phone at 773.561.9181 Advance tickets purchased by November 9, 2012 include a post concert buffet. All tickets at the door are $23.00 21 Erie, PA.DANK Erie General Membership Meeting and Election of Directors. Program t.b.a. Join us for dinner at 5:00 – reservations by Tuesday evening. (814-520-5036 25 Milwaukee, WI. Milwaukee United German Choruses Christmas Concert at Christ King Catholic Church, 92 and Centers St. Milwaukee. 28 Milwaukee, WI. DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers meet at 6:00 p.m., DANK Chor 7:00 at the German Fest Office SAUERBRATEN KLOPSE Sauerbraten Meatballs 1 lb lean ground beef ¼ c. milk ¼ c. breadcrumbs ⅛ tsp. Ground Cloves ⅛ tsp. Allspice ½ tsp. Salt Black pepper 2 T. Vegetable oil

Gravy: 1 c. water ½ c. vinegar ¾ tsp. Ginger 1 bay leaf 4 T. Brown sugar 2 T. Flour

Method: Mix beef, milk, breadcrumbs, clove, allspice, salt and pepper. Form into meatballs. In large, heavy skillet brown the meatballs in the hot vegetable oil. Drain off the fat when browned. (I like to place the formed meatballs on a cookie sheet and brown in the oven at 400 degrees.) Mix together water, vinegar, ginger, bay leaf and brown sugar. Add to the browned meatballs. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Skim off any fat. Remove the meatballs and keep them warm. Mix flour and 2 tablespoons of water and slowly stir into the pan juices to make the gravy. (Add additional seasonings to taste.) Pour the gravy over the meatballs and serve with spaetzle or buttered noodles, red cabbage and applesauce.








Politically Correct

Mayor Gallus Strobel of Triberg in SW Germany has marked public parking spots for men only and for women only designating wider and easier access/ well lit spots for women. Originally Mayor Strobel came up with the idea as a joke but the mayor would receive overwhelmingly positive reaction from the people of his city. The idea became so popular, people from other parts of the country have visited Triberg to try out the parking spots.


A 74 year old Bavarian farmer is in trouble with the law. He planned on planting sunflowers on an acre of land but ends up he planted 1000 marijuana plants. When local authorities informed him of what he had planted, he said he thought they looked strange for sunflowers. A judge will decide if any formal charges will be enforced.

The World’s Longest Bus Comes to Dresden

Dresden, Germany has unveiled a mammoth sized bus which measures 101 feet in length (almost twice as long as many tractor-trailers) and can comfortably seat up to 256 passengers in its three accordion-linked cabins. Fraunhofer Institute for Traffic and Infrastructure Systems developed this design which is slated to be the longest bus in the world. Obviously prices are in keeping with its dimensions and capacity as this AutoTram Extra Grand as it is named costs $10 million. The AutoTram runs on hybrid electric energy and can go of five miles while operating exclusively on battery power. The Autoram boasts easy maneuverability and requires no special training for its drivers, thanks to a computer system to aid drivers while turning.




ODDS and ENDS Construction workers find woolly mammoth's tusk in German train tunnel Workers digging on the underground network in the western German city of Düsseldorf have uncovered a 76-pound woolly mammoth tusk over 10,000 years old, city officials said. Excavation work was stopped immediately while the 4-foot-long tusk was gently removed and taken away for scientific study, Düsseldorf authorities said in a statement. The tusk was the only part of the animal found during the dig some 40 feet below the surface.

Caught In The Act! Several fossils approximately 50 million years old of turtles in the act of mating were found in the Messel Pit Fossil Site in Hesse about 22 miles southeast of Frankfurt. The fossils were found by scientists this past June who speculate that the turtles perished during mating season when toxic volcanic gas bubbled up from the bottom of the lake where the turtles were mating and were preserved as they sank into the volcanic mud. Messel Pit was once a quarry until it was discovered to have an abundance of fossils. It is now a site for scientific research and has also become a popular tourist site,


Germany’s Robert Harting won the gold medal in the discus throw event at the recent Summer Olympics in London. After clinching the gold, Harting saw the hurdles being set up on the track for the next event and decided to celebrate by jumping them. According to a Facebook poll, his gold medal celebration was ranked 5th most popular for the entire Olympic Games. Usain Bolt’s victory celebration after winning the 100 meter race was rated the most popular.




Education Christa Garcia

25th Anniversary of German American Day: A Reason To Reflect And Celebrate our Ancestors

The first group of German immigrants came by ship 'Concord' and landed October 16, 1683 - thirteen weaver families from Krefeld. The voyage took 75 days. These Mennonites were in search of freedom from religious persecution - they founded Germantown which is part of Pennsylvania. Their leader, Franz Pastorius (1651-1720), a lawyer from Franconia organized the trip and became the first mayor. In 1688 the town council published a manifest against slavery and in 1706 founded the first school in America. More than 75 000 German farmers and craftsmen followed. Have you ever wondered why several cities have a Steuben Parade? We honor Baron Friedrich von Steuben (1730-1794) who served as officer under the Prussian King Frederick the Great. George Washington

named him General Inspector of the American Army 1777. General Friedrich von Steuben transformed the men at Valley Forge into a disciplined fighting army which is still the Soldiers' Blue Book today. His training of the troops made it possible to win the battle at Yorktown. Von Steuben was named honorary citizen of New York in 1794. The city of New York as well as Chicago, Los Angeles and others honor him each year with a grand parade lead by many German and American dignitaries. The German farmers, many of them pietists and quakers, came in their Conestoga-wagons to Pennsylvania, other groups, among them, the Amish, went on to Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. Between 1816 and Word War I more than 5,5 million Germans were hoping to gain

religious and political freedom. Other groups under the leadership of Baron von Meusebach went to Texas and founded Fredricksburg and New Braunsfels. We can still see the halftimbered houses - a typical German architectural style - combining wood and masonry and we can also stay in the Nimitz Hotel, where signs proclaim 'English also spoken". Then there is a group of German immigrants called the 1848ers - who had to flee their country for political reasons, the doomed revolution did not bring unity to the many German principalities. Among them was Carl Schurz - President Lincoln's close advisor who became later Minister of the Interior to President Hayes. Another one was Francis Lieber who published the first American dictionary fashioned after the German model. The first Kindergarten was established by Margarethe MeyerSchurz, wife of Carl Schurz. You can still see the 'cabin' in Watertown, Wisconsin. She too is celebrated each year with a German-Day Celebration in Nashota near Milwaukee. More and more German families (continued on page 34...)




Deutsch-Amerikaner Quiz by Christa Garcia Please match the statements with the names below: 01. Major General in the Revolution, Lutheran minister 02. Fought for freedom of the press 03. Hero of the battle of Oriskany in the Revolution 04. General in the American Revolution 05. Major General in the Revolution - topograhical engineer 06. designed the Brooklyn Bridge 07. America's Ambassador to Spain under Abraham Lincoln, commander of German American regiments in the Union army, U.S. Senator, Secretary of the Interior under Hayes, championed civil rights for Indiana and the national park system 08. inventor of the linotype 09. chief developer of electricity 10. Leader in New Deal legislation and the social security system 11. Physicist, theory of relativity 12. political cartoonist, created the modern image of Santa Claus and the symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties 13. Piano manufacturer 14. brewer 15. helped build the N.Y. Philharmonic Orchestra 16. risked her life in defense of the flag; imortalized in Whittier's poem 17. heroism at Monmouth 18. merchant, millionaire 19. voiced the first protest against slavery 20. constructed rockets; important in space research 21. diplomat under Nixon, Secretary of State, Nobel prizewinner 22. President of the C.I.O. and labor reformer 23. designed sturdy cloth during the Gold Rush 24. Said: "German immigrant influence has been pervasive, in our olanguage, in our mores, in our customs - in our basic philosophy� (Born In The U.S.)

A. Adolphus Busch B. John Jacob Astor C. Wernher Von Braun D. Leopold and Walter Damrosh E. Baron Johann DeKalb F. Albert Einstein G. Barbara Frietschie H. Nicholas Herchheimer (Herkimer) I. Henry Kissinger J. Ottmar Mergenthaler K. Peter Muehlenberg L. John Kennedy

M. Thomas Nast N. Mollie Pitcher O. Francis Daniel Pastorius P. Johann Roebling Q. Walter Reuther R. Henry Steinway S. Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Von Steuben T. Carl Schurz U. Karl P. Steinmetz V. Levi Strauss W. Robert Wagner X. Peter Zenger Answers on next page...




(...25th Anniversary of German American Day byChrista Garcia continued from page 32) immigrated undertaking the difficult and dangerous crossing of the ocean by steam ship from Hamburg or Bremerhaven arriving in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Galveston, St. Louis and New York. After 1892 all Germans had to be registered at Ellis Island (Manhattan) where many of their family surnames were changed, 'Umlaute' eliminated and new names given. One of the best known German Americans perhaps is John August Sutter (1803-1880). He was called the richest man on whose land the first gold was found which started the California Gold Rush. He died, however, totally impoverished, chased from his own land "Sutter's Mill" in 1865. Another German American, John Jacob Astor, immigrated penniless

in 1784 and became the founder of the American Fur Company which permitted him to explore the land out west. He is also the co-founder of the New York City Library. Then there were other Germans: the inventor of the linotype setting machine, the beer makers, the blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, the historians, the publishers. The newspaper 'Staatsbote' was the first to publish the Declaration of Independence - in German! Before and during World War II the German intelligentsia, writers, artists, performers, immigrated to America: Lotte Lehmann, Bruno Walter, Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weill, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, George Grosz, Jimmy Ernst, Marlene Dietrich, Billy Wilder, Ernst

Answers to the German American Heritage Quiz.

Lubitsch, Werner von Braun, Henry Kissinger and so many more. The census of 1980 reports 51 million people of German descent. The “ Voice of German-Americans from Coast to Coast” cites the 1990 U.S. census figures for Germans as 57,985,595 or 23.3% of the total U.S. population of 248,709,873 people. The attached 2000 US Census map visualizes quite clearly the large impact of the German population in the United States. (see map page 32) We fought long and hard to finally be recognized: The tricentennial was in 1983! Finally on August 18, 1987 The Public Law 100-104 of the 100th Congress a Joint Resolution was passed. To designate October 6, 1987 as “German-American Day”

01. Peter Muhlenberg 02. Johann Peter Zenger 03. Nicholas Herchheimer (Herkimer) 04. Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben 05. Baron Johann DeKalb 06. Johann Roebling 07. Carl Schurz 08. Ottmar Mergenthaler 09. Karl P. Steinmetz 10. Robert F. Wagner 11. Albert Einstein 12. Thomas Nast 13. Henry Steinway 14. Adolphus Busch 15. Leopold and Water Damrosch 16. Barbara Frietschie 17. Mollie Pitcher 18. Johann Jacob Astor 19. Francis Daniel Pastorius 20. Wernher von Braun 21. Henry A. Kissinger 22. Walter Reuther 23. Levy Strauss 24. President John F. Kennedy




Contributing To The Mix (Part 1) by Anne Marie Fuhrig Ph.D. continued from page 8 He believed that the unity that came out of this patriotic zeal used the German-Americans as the scapegoats for its emotional fuel. When he appointed Ernest Morris, a PrussianAmerican, to the State Council of Defense many people protested and most newspapers came out against Gunter 's decision.” As a result, Gunter was labeled pro-German by the media, which effectively ended his political career and he was not heard from again. He died in 1944. There were many others with fates like his and these stories need to be written. This restricted organizations which focused on German culture. Members in societies and ethnic churches ended their public lives in German and retreated to their families. Those who were singled out to “be dealt with a firm hand of repression” suffered. Katheryn Adams Doty’s book “A Long Year of Silence” traces how a teenage girl experienced the changes in her school, her community and among her friends and family—and in particular her Dad, a German Methodist pastor—a New Ulm, MN example of the duress, under which the Germans gave up trying to remain German. These developments firmly imprinted themselves on the memories of those who experienced them. Are these memories the reason why many still find it difficult to be openly proud of being German-American? Regardless, it weakened organizations and social groups and many

disbanded. Likewise, many of their buildings were—if not torn down altogether—used for other purposes. German restaurants seem to have fared a little better. The “Germania Hall” in Indianapolis is still there with its excellent “Rathskeller” and gyms, but was renamed “Atheneum.” On the other hand, in 1919, the Steuben Society was founded and has since proudly celebrated the memory of the many influential Americans of German heritage. Today, we are more sensitive and ask: should a country of immigrants empower some of its citizens to judge the allegiance of fellow citizens? How can anyone be expected to judge someone else’s convictions? The German-Americans were not criminals! Today we know that personal beliefs cannot be proven reliably; there is certainly no disloyalty in speaking a language other than English. Anthropologists say that suspiciousness is natural toward someone who speaks an unknown language. So, accusations were sometimes fabricated on a basis of nothing more than such insecurity. We now know that learning just one second language with its distinct social queues, develops in the learner the insight of how communication works and suspicions tend to melt away. Gestures can also be misunderstood as confrontational. Misunderstandings grow from a lack of knowledge of their cultural basis. The discomfort created in an unfamiliar en-

vironment can still push different native groups into segregation and discourage learners from using the new language comfortably. This is followed by separation into neighborhoods—more common than one may think—however more so in cities. In the country where neighbors know and respect each other based on of their daily contacts, such attitudes do not take root to the same extent. Today, the attitude toward GermanAmericans has moderated. Is that because of 45 painful years of Communism, when American defense was directed against a new enemy? Is it because there are now very different immigrants to take over that enemy spot? Is it because America has had to reach out economically and militarily to interact with people in all parts of the world? Or is it because so many GIs have fallen in love with a part of Germany, Bavaria, after experiencing it first hand? The latter must be true, because that South German culture, along with Bavarian beer, now firmly stands for what the average American knows about Germany and German Americans. Let’s hope, that it is the result of a combination of all of these changes plus the fact that the German immigrants of the 19th century have by now clearly proven their salt and joined the successful class; at least if the many “German” last names in leadership positions are an indication.

In Part Two, issues, locations and developments in locations with GermanAmerican information will be addressed. Part Two will appear in the next issue.



50 People attended South Bend’s Annual Picnic

Summertime. Time for the picnic at Guenter and Erika’s farm, THE event of every year. I always love to visit the farm just to get out of the city and the traffic. I enjoy a gentle wind where you can hear the leaves rustle and just sit and relax. As soon as we arrived, Guenter began cooking the bratwurst but


By William Troutman

before eating we stood as he said a little prayer. Then the children began playing on a tractor tire swing which was attached by rope to a tree limb. It was wonderful to watch them play and laugh like I used to do as a child. Then it was time once again for the hay ride. The children went first and then the adults. I always find fun in going on the hay ride. Everyone laughs when the small tree branches hit them in the head as Guenter drives the tractor through the woods and then home again. Then comes the balloon toss. John Tarwacki likes to officiate the event and I must say with rules like: “there are no rules”, he does a great job. The winner of the toss this year was Joerd Wustrack and his son Niklas here visiting from Germany. Then before leaving the party, we had another hamburger or bratwurst. I know I speak for the South Bend chapter of D.A.N.K., I always look forward to this event. This get together alone is well worth the price of membership. Thanks go again to Ericka and Guenter Kison.

...A Hot Time At Chapter Lake County, IL Picnic By Ursula Hoeft continued from page 11

members and delicious desserts, many of them also homemade completed the feast. The heat didn't slow down participants in the traditional water balloon toss. While some of the fiercest competitors of past years were missing (we won't name names; they know who they are!), those who competed showed admirable skill and enthusiasm despite the intense heat. And they may not have been as gentle as usual when catching those balloons. Getting doused with cold water when a balloon broke felt SO good – I speak from personal experience! First place winners were Jake Koenen and Christian Rockow (Jake is Steve and Anna Schmidt's

grandson; Christian is his friend); in second place was father/daughter team Harry Kordas and Karleen “Ky” Eifert. In addition to the usual picnick-

Picnic dogs: Brooke Ligenza (left) and Ursula Hoeft with their canine friends

ers, several dogs also joined in the fun. Maybe they came to celebrate the "dog days of summer." But it's more likely that they came for the food. And they got plenty of hand-

outs. Who can resist those pleading eyes watching as they're munching on a delicious bratwurst or piece of chicken?




..An Evening of German Gemütlichkeit & Elvis By Ursula Hoeft continued from page 12

solemn reminder of the value America places on freedom and brotherhood. We were impressed by the Stammtisch "staff," too, all of them volunteers, who were busy the entire evening cooking and serving food, manning the bar and pouring Weissbier with gusto. What a dedicated bunch of folks – creative, too! The Elvis show was just one of their great ideas for a Stammtisch evening. But it wasn't just the fantastic Elvis show and the Hawaiian theme

that made our trip to the DANK Haus so enjoyable. The opportunity to visit with "old" friends and make new ones was just as important. Of course, there was also the good beer, good food, and good fellowship. It seems that Americans aren't the only ones who love Elvis. Germans love him too. The city of Duesseldorf is home to the largest collection of privately owned Elvis Presley memorabilia outside of the United States. Elvis was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958 and was stationed at a

base in Friedberg Germany for most of the two years that he was in the military. His activities while in Germany received on-going news coverage, all of it positive, if I remember correctly. Elvis is said to be a descendent of Johann Valentine Pressler who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1710. Presley is purported to be an anglicized version of his ancestor's name.

...Echoes From Lake Erie’s Shore By Margaret Potocki continued from page 10 Marcel Pitz (Son of Annelies and Harald Pitz of Chapter Milwaukee) joined our Parade of flags, bearing the U.S. flag. It was our 16th year and we had a near record crowd. Totals are not all in yet, but it appeared

that we had more donations for our St. Nikolas Food Drive. Our volunteers, ages 18-85 are the greatest! Without them and the people doing community service, the festival could not happen.

...DANK Chapter Milwaukee at German Fest German Fest is made possible through the work of over 3000 volunteers. Along with members from other German related societies in the greater Milwaukee area, DANK Milwaukee members volunteered in the Konditorei (café and tortes), pizza, beer, information and admission gates. Help was also given to the DANK National public relations booth which provided membership information and offered a new style of DANK tote bags. DANK Milwaukee members marched in the German Fest lakefront parade on Saturday, along with the German American Societies of the Greater Milwaukee area and those from out of the state of Wisconsin. The DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers performed twice at the

So, with most of the activities behind us, I plan to sit back, like all the others and enjoy the beautiful autumn vista in Erie County!

By Jane Nacker continued from page 10 Fest. The DANK Milwaukee Chor year for the German language pagperformed on the Harley Davidson eant. We had 23 signed up for the Stage at the Fest, and at the Gottes- English and 33 for the German perdienst on Sunday. formances. We opened the trip up to Edward Mueller organized the the community and we gained 5 new DANK Milwaukee booth in the Cul- DANK members with this event. tural Tent. Our theme was “learn to The annual election meeting is on count in German.” There was an au- Sunday, November 18 at 1:30 pm at dio pronouncing the numbers from the German Fest Office and the an1 through 12. A large two-color sign nual Christmas party is on Decemboard spelling out the numbers was ber 8 at the Sacred Heart Parish on prepared by member Bill Bessa. The 49th St. at 2 pm. booth was staffed by our Chapter This fall the DANK Folk Dancers members and some of the past Ger- will be making at least 3 events and man language teachers really had the DANK Chor will be performing many teachable moments with the for the annual Milwaukee United visitors, including some of their for- German Choruses Christmas Conmer students. cert on November 25 and have some The bus trip to the Wilhelm Tell extra singing engagements in the Festival at New Glarus was at its 56 area. passenger capacity. This was the last







German American Journal | October/November 2012  

Volume 60 Issue 5