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October / November 2008

Volume 56, Number 5

Welcome Home

Giving Thanks By: Darlene Fuchs

Fall brings with it the turning of the leaves, the smell of fireplaces warming the crisp air, the excitement of football season, and the annual feast of Thanksgiving Day. Turkeys will be the centerpieces of most dinner tables, and side dishes, such as green bean casseroles, candied yams, and cranberries, will release their savory aroma into the air. On this fourth Thursday of November, Americans commemorate the early settlers’ thanksgiving to God for their land, harvest, continued survival and family togetherness, by feasting. Every year it seems the history and meaning of this country’s first Thanksgiving gets pushed further from memory. For starters, where was the first Thanksgiving celebration in North America? Most people assume it was the well-known 1621 harvest celebration (Erntedankfest) of the Pilgrims in New England. But beyond the many myths associated with that event, there are other claims to the first American Thanksgiving celebration. These include Juan Ponce De Leon’s landing in Florida in 1513, and Francisco Vásquez de Coronado’s service of Thanksgiving in the Texas Panhandle in 1541 along with others. But the offering of thanks at harvest time is not unique to America. Such observances are known to have been held by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and many other cultures throughout history. The American celebration itself is an historically recent development, in fact connected only tenuously to any of the so-called “first” Thanksgivings. The American Thanksgiving of 1621 was all but forgotten until the 19th century. It was celebrated only occasionally in some regions for decades, and has only been a U.S. national holiday on the fourth Thursday in November since the 1940’s. President

Lincoln declared a national Day of Thanksgiving on October 3, 1863. But it was a one-time event, and future Thanksgiving observances were based on the whims of various presidents. Today, our Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November. This was set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941), who changed it from Abraham Lincoln’s designation as the last Thursday in November (which could occasionally end up being the fifth Thursday and hence too close to Christmas for businesses). Long before the first Europeans arrived in North America, farmers across Europe held celebrations at harvest time. To give thanks for their good fortune and the abundant harvest from fields and gardens, the farm workers filled a curved goat’s horn with fruit and grain. This symbol was called a cornucopia or horn of plenty. When they came to North America they brought this tradition with them. Germans, too, celebrate a day of Thanksgiving to God for a plentiful harvest. On the first Sunday of October (in most locations), visitors to German churches will find a abundance of fruits, vegetables, sheaves of grain, and also baked goods, as decorations around the altars. Visitors to market places and fairgrounds will oftentimes find Erntedankfest (literally: harvest gratitude festival) dances, displays, booths, and other festivities to celebrate this occasion. In the regions where wine grapes are grown, Winzer (vintners) will present their new wines and allow for a public wine-tasting. A Bauernmarkt (farmers’ market) will allow visitors to purchase the freshest produce available. What sets the German celebration apart from its American cousin however, are the strong religious undertones of this event. First of all, the Germanic Erntedankfest


Book Reviews

Member Profile

Chapter News

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On Friday July 4, 2008, the U.S. Embassy’s traditional Independence Day reception for invited guests was combined with the official Grand Opening of the new embassy building on Pariser Platz, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel and former President George H. W. Bush delivered keynote speeches. They spoke about the historical significance of the new embassy site which serves as a living symbol of the German-American partnership and the enduring, deep commitment to Germany, the German people and the transatlantic alliance. The location is significant not only because of the Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate. During the cold war it was situated in the no-go border zone where the Berlin Wall ran. The embassy today is located not far from the 2,711 charcoal-colored slabs that make up the memorial known as the Holocaust Memorial. The highlight of the evening were traditional Independence Day fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate. “Welcome home” – the Amerikafest on July 5, 2008 was a huge success and attracted over 300,000 visitors who enjoyed American-German culture, entertainment and food in the heart of the German capital. It was open to the public and free of charge. The festive party was hosted by the Federation of German-American Clubs e.V. (FGAC) and staged in close cooperation with the U.S. Embassy. The close relations between Germans and Americans were showcased and celebrated in many different ways, including comprehensive information programs – ranging from tourism to culture, sports, and education. The festivities also featured two special highlights from the U.S., the US Air Force Jazz band, which has played Swing and Jazz evergreens for more than 60 years, and the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes stars Tweety & Sylvester – two of the most popular American cartoon characters in Germany. See U.S. EMBASSY on PAGE 11


Current Events Page 3

By: Darlene Fuchs

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New Members




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German-American Journal

President’s Corner Liebe Mitglieder und Freunde! Dear Members and Friends, As we approach one year into my DANK Presidency I look back to the progress made in making DANK a better organization. One that we can all be proud of! We certainly have had our ups and downs but with the help of our National Board we are definitely moving in a positive direction. Our National Office in Chicago has been totally remodeled. We kept the cost of that remodeling down by generous material donations and the donated time of DANK members. I am very proud of how our members stepped up to the plate on that one. I am also proud of the new look and feel of this newspaper. We have had numerous positive comments and compliments. Although there is much more work to be done, we have made good progress on revitalizing our chapters. Through the coordination of Vice President Erik Wittmann and the work and contributions of many in our organization we can now be proud to welcome our newest chapter and DANK school in Columbus, Ohio. Our Peoria, Illinois chapter is also on the road to rebuilding with a newly elected board. There is a possibility that we could see several new chapters throughout the country very soon. We are also making progress on the very complex DANK National database to provide better service to our chapters and our members. We do need your help on this one. Please let our office in Chicago know if you move. Address changes create major problems for us due to the fact that our Chicago Post Office is extremely inefficient in sending us address corrections. It can take up to year for us to get them and quite a few of our members did not receive their newspapers and membership dues notices because of this. There are many more issues that we are trying to correct with the database and I am very grateful for the help of David Fairbrother, our Technical Services Chairperson. As part of this effort, you will also notice that the 2009 membership dues notices will be mailed out earlier, in fact before the end of this year. Along with the work we are doing in the areas mentioned above we are working on many other fronts to provide more and improved membership services. You will see offerings in our improved DANK Travel program in this issue. We look forward to more initiatives in this area and many other member services next year. All these improvement that we are making on the national level will filter down to the local level to improve our chapters and provide our members with a better organization. As much as I and our National Board are excited about this we still need the help of many volunteers to make it work. I hope that if you have not done so yet, think about what you can do to contribute to DANK. Call or email your local chapter to see if you can help or send us a note on the National Level. The more YOU are involved, the more this organization will blossom into the DANK that WE can all be proud of. Speaking about being proud, we can certainly say with pride that we will be celebrating our organization’s 50th anniversary next year. Look forward to seeing more about our celebration of this important milestone that will climax with National Convention in the fall of next year. As part of this effort we have been including a page from our early DANK Journals in many issues since this spring. I hope that you will have an enjoyable fall season, celebrating our heritage by visiting the many Oktoberfests, German-American Day celebrations and other events that our organization and sister organizations put on. I myself am looking forward to seeing many of you as I visit our chapters’ and other events. I am also looking forward to a concert of Max Raabe and his Palastorchester on October 4 at the Paramount Theater in Aurora, Illinois. If you live in the Chicago area, you might want to check this out. I have seen Max and his orchestra on TV in Germany numerous times and have several of his CD’s. If you like big bands and the musical style of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s - German style, you will love this concert. For the rest of the country, they will be on a US tour this October and you can check out their website at to see if they will perform near you. Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

William Fuchs National President

DIE BRUECKE ZUR ALTEN HEIMAT “Building Bridges to Germany” Visit our website,, to listen to Live German radio from “Radio Heimatmelodie” in Germany. You will also find a list of additional live German radio stations that you can listen to online for free.

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October / November 2008

Mission Statement

D.A.N.K., a society of German Americans today, was founded in 1959, and is active coast to coast,with the purpose of representing all German Americans in the United States. D.A.N.K., a non-profit organization, supports German cultural landmarks and events, sponsors German American student exchanges and the study of the German language and culture. It promotes harmony and goodwill among German American clubs and societies across the United States. D.A.N.K.’s cultural almanac, with its many programs and suggestions for local events and its D.A.N.K. Journal are the visual and communication links between its members and its corporate headquarters in Chicago.

D.A.N.K. also acts as an information center and exchange on a variety of subjects concerning the German American community at large We welcome your inquiries, contributions and donations for a United German America. Benefits to belong to D.A.N.K. D.A.N.K. was chosen by many because of our leadership in representing the interests of all German Americans on a national level. D.A.N.K. has many Chapters across the United States of America. D.A.N.K. has over 30 Associated Member Societies. D.A.N.K. offers German Language classes for both children and adults

Editor’s Column Give The Gift Of Membership! On the 20th of August my parents returned to Illinois after living in Connecticut, their home state, for 36 years. As the years had slipped by they had a yearning to live closer to family where they could participate and enjoy the fellowship of children and grandchildren. Now they are settling into their new home, anticipating the upcoming festivities, as the holidays approach. When my dad’s birthday came around in September, I had a hard time trying to think of a gift to give him, since after 72 years, he had just about everything. Then it came to me - why not give him the “Gift of Membership,” a D.A.N.K. membership. So I gave him the perfect gift for this special occasion. I gave him the gift that will keep on giving all year long. He genuinely appreciated receiving this personalized and informative gift. Every time he receives the German-American Journal or participates in one of the many travel opportunities, he will celebrate the German heritage we share. So if you have asked yourself - What can I give a family member or friends who have everything? Why not give a gift that makes a difference? A great way to show you support the mission of D.A.N.K. is to give a gift membership to others! This is perfect for birthdays, holidays and special occasions. When you give the “Gift of Membership” now, your friend or family member will be welcomed into the D.A.N.K. family of dedicated individuals committed to preserving the German Heritage. When you Give the “Gift of Membership,” your gift recipient will also receive the following: A Special Note Card will be sent to each of your recipients to let them know of your generosity and all membership materials including a D.A.N.K. membership card. German-American Journal one-year subscription to keep your recipient informed about the latest German/American issues, traditions, travel destination specials and the many functions D.A.N.K. is involved in. Special Travel Opportunities to participate in, with a variety of destinations at discounted membership rates. Not only does this unique gift idea help protect the future of D.A.N.K., but it will be enjoyed by your friends and loved ones throughout the whole year. To give the “Gift of Membership” to a family member or friend, please use the application in this German-American Journal and include a note to “Make this a Gift of Membership.”

Darlene Fuchs Managing Editor

Submission Deadline For The December/January Issue: November 1st, 2008

Der Deutsch-Amerikaner DANK National Executive Board President: William Fuchs 1. Vice President: Erich Wittmann 2. Vice President: Donna Lippert Treasurer: Maria Thompson Secretary: Beverly Pochatko DANK National Executive Office

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October / November 2008

German-American Journal

Germany Welcomes Barack Obama By: Darlene Fuchs

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as climate and energy issues at Germany’s chancellery Thursday, July, 24th. The highlight of his day visit was Obama’s speech in the at the Victory Column in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park, near the Brandenburg Gate. An estimated 200,000 packed into downtown Berlin to hear Barack Obama give his muchanticipated European address. He had originally hoped to speak in front of the iconic Brandenburg Gate, where U.S. President John F. Kennedy was photographed during a visit in 1963 shortly after the Berlin Wall had been built. But use of the landmark was apparently vetoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who a spokesman Wednesday said, disapproved of plans to co-opt it as a “campaign backdrop.” Senator Barack

Obama’s words were broadcast live in Germany, where he is has become a popular figure. He began by paying tribute to the Berliners who held out against Soviet pressure during the blockade in 1948. Appealing for a renewed partnership with Europe, he identified terrorism, nuclear proliferation, trade barriers and climate change as global challenges. Many Germans in attendance had serious questions about his policies. While all of Europe keeps a close eye on U.S. elections, Germans learned to pay particularly close attention because of the influence that America had as both occupier and protector after World War II.

What will keep us going? By: AnneMarie Fuhrig

Among groups of Americans from German speaking countries or regions there must be leaders that worry, more or less openly, about declining membership. So, let’s grab the bull by its horns and look for solutions instead of lamenting facts like women’s employment, television and the ripples of decades of public maligning! Three perspectives may help. First, history puts us with the Germans from Krefeld who founded Germantown in Philadelphia in 1783 and continues with the many that followed, mostly in the second half of the 19th century when, between 1850 and 1885, about 3.3 million arrived from German speaking countries. When they populated the greater Mid-West, then opening up for settlement, they brought much knowledge and their own culture. The descendants of these, and many who followed, grew into the close to 60 Million ethnic Germans identified in the 1990 Census. The clubs that these new Americans started became centers for their extensive “German” social life. In the cities, there were the Turners, so named for their German style athletic endeavors; many built large multi-purpose buildings for athletic and social events; Indianapolis, for example, had three or more. But history also brings change and such predictable patterns as Americanization. For example, in German churches on the east coast, like in one Boston Evangelical Lutheran church, conflict hit as early as the 1780s. Fighting over the language of worship led to a split and a hefty portion of English language advocates founded a separate church. Alas, 20 years later, the church which they had left changed to English also. This decline happens to most groups when time moves the next generations into place. Second, when the Germans were frugal, efficient and successful they made enemies among earlier immigrants who began to feel threatened. The most farreaching effect came from the discriminatory decrees against everything German after America’s entry into World War I in 1917 which accelerated a natural decline and dealt most clubs, newspapers, and schools a deathblow. Some groups were revived and in 1919, the Steu-

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Where are the Germans? By: Bert Lachner

Central Europeans seem to be born with a high sense of conscientiousness, which provides them with a solid base for their lifestyles. These are the people of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Sweden and Switzerland. From early childhood they strive to be good. This is supported by a peaceful home and a loving but strict family life and better than average schooling. They excel in college and vocational development, such as apprenticeship, internship and graduating with a degree or master of their trade, or becoming expert managers. The whole workforce has a high level of integrity, industriousness, loyalty and drive. These good traits are sometimes compromised by rule and protection of unions, by over confidence in their own abilities, and hence no need for faith and religion. These people were native to their homeland, until wars, open borders and foreign job opportunities made them move to create a better lifestyle for themselves. Many emigrated to Canada and the United States, and they built the base for the North American population. Here was more land, less confinement and certainly room for creativity and expansion. And so they, the Central Europeans, prospered and grew in im-

ben Society was founded which is today centered in New York and Pennsylvania. You can find in its goals the thoughts used by many groups to reinvent themselves; no more support for a greater Germany not even for German operettas in the theaters. German language in the public schools gradually reappeared but hardly any “German Schools.” Left were polka bands, beer and bratwurst, well not entirely, but the trend was set. What may have appeared to some as a repetition during World War II didn’t help at all. Ever since, German-Americans tend to restrain themselves too much in public, forgetting that they have so much to be proud of beyond the food: German culture, thoroughness, and ingenuity are today independent of the language and continue to determine the public sentiment in the Mid-West, contributing to American progress in countless, often unnoticed ways. This cultural history, e.g. of the many successful family enterprises, just to name one aspect, still needs to be remembered better and written into a larger story of the German contribution to America’s success. Thirdly, America’s opportunities attract new Germans and their families who contribute to the growth of this country. They too seem to remain under the radar screen of group leaders. For example, has anyone in Newport Beach, CA, approached Juergen Klinsmann of 2006 German World Soccer Championship fame? He lives with his American wife and children in sunny Southern California and stands for the new breed of German residents in this country that know English so well that they often don’t want to be seen as identified with the older immigrants and their perceived baggage. To the US Census Bureau Klinsmann, if his household got the long form, would have identified how many members aged 5 to 17 speak German and how many 18 and over, regardless of whether they hold a work visa or are permanent residents with a green card. I could imagine that Juergen has some role in his children’s soccer activities but probably also looks for “German” holiday celebrations, the Feierabend activities that are still practiced in the few remaining German club houses, so how can we get them in? If club leaders search the US census they can find that in 2000, California had an amazing 141,671 speakers of German over age 5 (11,661 aged 5-17 and 130,010 18 and above), of which 98,160 were Ger-

portance. It became known, that this land of opportunity offered great chances for advancement, good income and a more pleasant lifestyle. Other countries joined the stream of immigrants, and the USA became a melting pot of nations. This diversity is still our challenge and opportunity, to make this country strong and healthy. The German-speaking immigrants have done well in this land of the free. They have kept their traditions and customs, their language and culinary arts. They excelled in their jobs, are punctual, loyal and self motivated. Their growth and stability come more from technical know-how than from sales activities and marketing. They are often experts in their field, but stay humbly out of the limelight. They love their kids and family life, they enjoy a good time with their friends in their social clubs and neighborhoods and take pride in their homes, which they usually own. To answer the age-old question: Where are the German? Well, they are not good politicians, are mediocre moviemakers, and usually not exciting in front of people. They are plain and simple as they point quietly to “Made in Germany” quality, their work and achievements, their great authors and composers, their customs and culture, and now and then smile a little.

man born. The biggest concentration is in and around Los Angeles, as assumed from the US Census map of German ethnics by county, in itself a pretty surprising finding. Other such amazing concentrations are in the southeastern states, as gathered from the location of the new private German language schools for the grade school aged population. In most other areas, it is even harder to identify the “new Germans” as a group distinct from the earlier, mostly naturalized immigrants. There are interesting remaining questions, for example, to what extent the decline that the US Census recorded for German ethnics between 1990 and 2000 should be seen exclusively as deaths of our post WW II stalwarts or as factors, such as economic upswings in Germany that made these new Germans wander back. This research is still needed. Meanwhile, let’s see, if census numbers from a few other states might help in finding members. Illinois registered 6,372 speakers of German aged 5-17 and 56,994 aged 18 and over, among which 32,764 of them were German born. The Chicago area has “German Schools.” Illinoisans who proclaimed their German heritage totaled 2,440,516 and, except for 10 inner city counties, were distributed pretty evenly. The same was true for Ohio which had 12,752 speakers of German between age 5 and 17 and 59,895 aged 18 and above and of course, as in Illinois, the Ohio German born population was only 21,262. May we assume that the rest of the 2,266,565 ethnics are already club members? To focus on the remainder as potential club members, leaders have to seek them out and assess their needs. When there are children, the first need may very well be a school. For socializing, a clubhouse may want to expand its attraction by paying for German television and advertising its soccer broadcasts. Beyond that, they could follow the example of one Illinois club that operates successfully on the 100-yearold model in its newly-built club house in a park, a center for singing, youth sports and other special interests. There all unite for a delicious Friday night German dinner. Special events occasionally highlight the many German contributions (see above) giving traditional and newly arrived members pride. So, the solution is probably a good variety of events through the seasonal occasions that engage multiple subgroups under a shared tent.

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German-American Journal

Lucky Sweep? By: Darlene Fuchs

The chimney has been a part of family life since the early Romans first realized that it was better to live in a nice, fire-warmed home than in a chilly one. In medieval times, fireplaces were invented to heat individual rooms and provide a safe place for indoor cooking. They soon learned that fireplaces and their chimneys needed a cleaning as a house full of soot and fumes is unhealthy. The chimney sweep therefore was an important member of society, as without him the fire would not function correctly. So, chimney sweeping developed into a necessary profession. People liked having the chimney sweep pay a visit as he brought clean, fresh air back to the home. Sweeps are associated with hearth and home, and thus domestic bliss. Chimney Sweeps became a sign of good health and prosperity. In Victorian times, a tax was levied based on the number of chimneys a home had. To reduce the tax burden, chimneys started being built with more than one fireplace vented into the same chimney. In the early part of the 18th century, various types of cleaning methods were invented, which are still in use today. These involved a system of canes and brushes, which could be pushed up into the chimney from below. With the onset of the industrial revolution and increased demand for coal production, the chimney sweep profession thrived in London. There were more than 1000 chimney sweeps at one time. The continued  use of coal as the main fuel for heating ensured that the trade flourished. In the early 1960s, gas replaced coal as a fuel for heating. Many of the old, established chimney sweeps retired or gave up the business. Then with the energy crisis of the 1970s, and a large increase in the cost of gas, people again turned to heating with wood, creating a new demand for chimney sweeps. Lucky Sweep Legends There are many myths and and legends associated with chimney sweeps. One legend has it that in the year 1066 (approximately) King William of Britain was saved by a chimney sweep, who pushed him out of the way of a runaway horse and carriage.  As a reward, the king invited the chimney sweep to his daughter’s wedding.  Ever since it has been considered to be good luck to have a chimney sweep at a wedding or special event, or even visit your house.  In addition, the king declared all chimney sweeps to be lucky, and allowed their profession only to wear top

hats, which was a custom previously reserved for royalty and the gentry. It then became lucky for a sweep to wear 13 buttons on his jacket, and legend has it that a sweep can cancel out any bad luck. There is also a legend that a Sweep was on top of a chimney when he slipped and fell--- but his coat tails caught on a drain pipe preventing him from falling to the ground.  A crowd in the street heard his cries for help, but could not save him  However a young woman heard his call, looked out her window, pulled him in and saved his life.  The crowd cheered and thought how lucky he was.  He ended up by falling in love with the young lady and they were married, so everyone believed that it was lucky to be a Chimney Sweep---or to be with one---or to touch one---or to kiss one. Coal, again connected with fire and hearths, is also believed to be lucky; when given by a sweep the luck is multiplied. Soldiers have carried small lumps of coal into battle to ensure survival, and sailors kept coal in their pockets while at sea. Some like to think that perhaps it’s not luck. In the 3rd century there was a roman soldier who was a closet Christian. He performed many heroic feats including saving an entire town from a rampaging fire with one bucket of water. The emperor ordered this roman soldier to kill a town of Christians. At that point, this roman soldier professed his Christian faith and the emperor had the roman soldier killed. The roman soldier was name a saint and is now the patron saint of all chimney sweepers, known as Saint Florian. So when you have your chimney cleaned by a chimney sweep and happen to experience a little bit of good luck, maybe it’s just a little bit of blessing thanks to Saint Florian and his courageous deeds. Lucky Sweep Traditions Even though sweeps have been giving luck for over 100 years, it is still prestigious for a sweep to turn up at a wedding. One very famous meeting was reported in a newspaper of the 1950s, “ ... not by mere chance was a sooty chimney-sweeper sauntering in front of Kensington Palace on the wedding morning of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth, thereby affording the excited bridegroom an opportunity to dash out from the royal apartments to wring his grubby hand for chimney sweep’s luck.” It is still considered good luck to see a chimney sweep on your wedding day and extremely good luck if you see the sweeps brush emerging out of the top of the chimney. To shake his hand or receive the Kiss of Luck after the wedding ceremony is supposed to bring good fortune to the bride and groom. The folklore was established and to this day chimney sweepers are still invited to attend weddings and

October / November 2008

kiss the bride for good luck. Being a chimney sweep was not so lucky for the little girls and boys who had this job in the 1700’s to 1800’s. Orphaned children as young as four were sold by orphanages to chimney sweep masters were a type of indentured servant. The master was to teach them the trade while being responsible for housing them. Their job was to actually climb up, inside the chimney, brushing the flue as they went along with their hands and scrapers, and they weren’t done till their heads poked out of the chimney top. This, of course, was a scary job for these children and they were often reluctant to climb into the chimneys. Many masters used a dangerous punishment: the child was forced up the flue then a fire was lit. Since he couldn’t come down, they had no choice but to climb up the flue. We think this is where the term “light a fire under you” originated. These children lived in deplorable conditions. They carried a large sack with them, into which they dumped the soot they swept from the chimneys. They used this same sack as a blanket to sleep in at night, and only bathed infrequently. They were often sickly, and learned to beg for handouts of food and clothing from their customers as all the money they earned went to their masters. The soot they collected was sold to farmers for fertilizer. It has always been considered good luck to have a chimney sweep in your home in many parts of the world. Chimney sweeps are invited to weddings to bring luck to the marriage. In China, chimney sweeps are associated with birth, as it is said the stork will not come to a dirty chimney. In Germany, to prevent fires, it is required by law to have your chimneys cleaned and inspected. The service is paid for by the state, so what better reason could there be for taking a day off work and having a few beers with the chimney sweep? Throughout the centuries, chimney sweeps have cared for the safety of the townsfolk, performing one of those dirty jobs nobody likes to do. Most American cities had ordinances requiring regular chimney sweeping as a valuable safety service. Homes were located very close together and everyone burned wood or coal to heat and cook.  The chimney sweeps job is as important today as ever but sweeps now care for chimneys, duct cleaning and service a huge variety of home appliances and heating fuels. Bill Fuchs, president of DANK and his wife Darlene, editor of the German-American Journal, met Jeff Schumittinger, a chimney sweep and owner of Wisconsin Chimney Technicians, Inc., at the Milwaukee German Fest, Saturday, July 26th. For 25+ years they have been providing residents of southeastern Wisconsin quality chimney services. They also hold the prestigious title of Cleaners of the White House Chimneys since 1994. Still today good Luck is sure to rub off when you shake hands, rub the coat or better still, kiss a Chimney Sweep. “It is considered a particularly auspicious omen of good luck if you meet with him on New Year’s Day.

Martinstag By: Darlene Fuchs

The observance of Martinstag celebration, (November 11th) is more like Halloween and Thanksgiving rolled into one. It includes costumes and a lantern procession for children. Martinstag or Martini commemorates Sankt Martin (c. 317-397), Bishop of Tours, one of the most revered European saints. The best-known legend connected with Saint Martin is the dividing of the cloak (die Mantelteilung), when Martin, then a soldier in the Roman army, sees a rag clad beggar sitting in the the snow and horrible cold. Using his sword, he cuts his cloak in two, to share it with a freezing beggar at Amines. The poor man is overjoyed and would like to thank the good soldier. But Martin

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leaves quickly excepting no thanks. In the past, Martinstag was celebrated as the end of the harvest season (Thanksgiving). For workers and the poor, it was a time when they had a chance to enjoy some of the bounty and get a few crumbs from the nobles’ table (“einige Krümel vom reichgedeckten Tisch”). Today, in many parts of Europe, the feast is still celebrated by processions of children with candle-lit lanterns, singing “I go with my lantern”(“Ich geh mit meiner Laterne”,) and a banquet of roast goose (die Martinsgans). In former times, Martini was the “official” start of winter and the 40-day Christmas fast. Today Martinstag is the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season in German Europe.

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October / November 2008

German-American Journal

Just Add One! By: Erich Wittmann Membership Chair

According to our data/information people at DANK headquarters in Chicago, our organization has fallen short in gaining new members. While we have been successful in adding a chapter in Columbus, Ohio and re-vitalizing a chapter in Peoria, our Membership Committee cannot do it alone. The task of reaching out to our fellow citizens of Germanic ancestry should fall on all of us. So I am requesting again that each member make that special effort to sign up just one new DANK member as part of our “Just Add One” campaign. As

the editorial article by Darlene Fuchs describes, it is even made easier when you give a DANK membership to a family member of friend as a Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary or any other special occasion. We are working on new chapters in Denver and the eastern North Carolina, but while that effort may add perhaps a hundred new members, a single effort by you, our membership could double the organizations size by 100%. So Americans of Germanic ancestry please show your pride in your culture and let’s help bring new blood into this organization. Thank you so much in advance for your effort.

Coming up……….. CHRISTMAS MARKETS 2009


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Christmas is a time for festivities and celebrations. It’s a time to celebrate happiness with friends and family. It’s a time to spread joy and good cheer and bring smiles to faces. This Christmas send warm Holiday Greetings, to wish your friends, family, club members and loved ones a very Merry Christmas and fill their hearts with warmth and joy. We make it easy for you to send special holiday greetings to your friends, relatives, members and colleagues this festive season. Please select from the collection below and tell us the size/design you want along with your personal greeting. Send this with your check to DANK National 4740N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60625-2013. The Holiday paper will be sent out by November 21st. Just in

time to convey your sentiments related to this wonderful holiday season. If the person you are sending greetings to is not a DANK member and you would like them to see your seasons greetings, include their name and address and we’ll make sure they get a complimentary copy of the GermanAmerican Journal, holiday addition. This is a perfect way to send warm greetings to friends, family and strangers alike during the giving season. Show support for your German/American organization and make someone’s Holiday special. Small Ads - $15 Large Ads - $25 For More Info Call: 630-830-9120

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John Smith and family would like to wish the Jones family a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year

From John Smith and the members of DANK USA To Mr. and Mrs. Jane Jones

We wish to extend best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr

To Jane Jones

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DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 5

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year

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To Jane Jones John Smith, DANK Chapter USA

9/17/08 12:13:18 PM


German-American Journal

October / November 2008

National Board Member Profile: VICE PRESIDENT DONNA J. LIPPERT This is a new series in which we would like to introduce to the membership the various members of our national board. The board consists of the elected board (President, two VP’s, Secretary and Treasurer) along with two representatives from each of the three regions of our organization. We hope that you will enjoy these articles which are intended to familiarize our members with the Organization’s leadership. By: Donna J. Lippert National Vice President

I was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan in the 50’s. My D.A.N.K. life began in 1994 when I was asked to assist at our fish fries. Upon becoming a member, I was invited to take the position of secretary which I held for four (4) years. It was that year that I met my future husband Reinhard E. Lippert, whom I married back in October 1999. I am very proud to be part of the D.A.N.K. National Board and am currently on the D.A.N.K. 50th Anniversary Committee along with being elected to several other positions, one being Region Two President and D.A.N.K. National 2nd Vice President. I also hold a position at the St. Joe Kickers (soccer) Sports Club where I sit as Membership Chairperson and on the Board of Directors. I also sit on the auditing committee for D.A.N.K. Chapter #13. Both of my parents, Jack and Dorothy Loewen, along with me and my sisters, were born in Benton

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 6

Harbor and I am the middle of two sisters, Diana L. Loewen and Marcia A. Erb, married to Todd whose children are Ryan (21) and Jenna (14). I am also a step-mother/grandmother to Julie A. Hoge, married to Michael Hoge whose children are Rachel (15) and Matthew (12) who recently relocated to Grand Junction, Colorado. Some of my German/Polish/Russian roots come from my grandfather Ernest A. Steinke who was born in Wolhynien back in 1897 and my grandmother Ella Zielke Steinke was born in 1896 in North Dakota who I believe had German roots. My other grandparents, Henry and Amelia (Krieger) Loewen also had some German/Canadian roots. I graduated from a class of twenty-seven (27) from Michigan Lutheran High School and attended Lake Michigan College, where I obtained my first and only job (Berrien Teachers Credit Union) where I am still employed today after thirty-three (33) years. My work in the Loss Prevention/Collection/Mortgage Tax Department keeps me very busy. The first credit union originated in Heddesford Germany and was founded back in 1864 by a man named Freidrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen who was a mayor in that town from 1852 until 1865. Keeping me busy outside my D.A.N.K. and St. Joe Kickers Sports Club lives, I hold the position of President for the Steinke Family Reunion and in August we celebrated eighty (80) years of still being together. As you can see, I wear “many hats” and carry “many briefcases” but I truly enjoy keeping very active and enjoy taking care of my flower garden and “shopping” which is my “favorite” activity. Some day though I will get “real serious” about learning more of the German language so that conversing with others will be much easier. Both Reinhard and I have travelled back and forth to Germany four (4) times with the latest trip being back in July 2005. I enjoy traveling to Germany/Austria/Poland very much as no one can resist the beautiful scenery; especially the Harz Mountains! Back

in 2001 we were fortunate to visit the inside of the Reichstag Parliament building in Berlin and visited others cities which include Hamburg, Wurzburg and Fussen. Riding on the I.C.E. (train) is about the fastest way to travel and we have logged more miles in Germany than in the U.S.A. Next year Rein and I hope to travel to Germany to celebrate our 10th anniversary, along with visiting Bremerhaven where Reinhard left in December 1951 at the age of thirteen (13) to come across the Atlantic to the USA. We are anxious to see the new museum in Bremerhaven. I would like to encourage all families, young and old, to become “serious” about their “German heritage”. If you are not a D.A.N.K. member, please consider becoming a member of D.A.N. K. or a LIFE MEMBER which I along with my husband Reinhard became back in September 2005. Paying for a “LIFE MEMBERSHIP” now will save you money in the long run! Join D.A.N.K. today!

9/17/08 12:13:32 PM

October / November 2008

German-American Journal


Schlaraffia Chicagoana Im März haben wir unser 120. Gründungsfest (Bestehen) gefeiert. Diese innige Gesellschaft von Männern, die sich von Oktober bis Mai – jeweils am Freitag Abend für 2-4 Stunden treffen um die “Deutsche Sprache” für ein paar Stunden Unterhaltung zu gebrauchen. Es war eine schöne Feier und wir hatten viele Einritte (Besuch) von vielen Freunden aus Detroit, Cleveland und Milwaukee. Da wir eine weltweite “Deutsche Männer-Gesellschaft” sind, die zur Zeit ca. 11,000 umfaβt, erhielten wir viele Sendboten (Briefe) zur Gratulation. Ebenfalls hatte ein Schlaraffe (Mitglied) von uns ein 50 jähriges Jubiläum (Mitgliedsschaft) zu feiern. Dazu gab es Anerkennung durch viele Ehrungen von anderen Reychen (LokalGesellschaft). Das Fest fand am 28. III. 2008 statt und wir hoffen auch unser 125. in fünf Jahren hier zu feiern. Die innige Verbundenheit der Reyche wird durch die gegenseitigen Besuche unterstützt. Wir bekommen viele Ritterbesuche (Gäste) während unserer Sippungszeit (Treffen) vom Oktober bis Mai jeden Jahres. Seit die Einwanderung aufgehört hat

geht es uns genau wie vielen anderen Gesellschaften. Die Mitgliedschaft schwindet. Wir suchen Männer, die sich mal für ein paar Stunden vom Alltag erholen wollen und gleichzeitig die “Deutsche Sprache” während dieser Zeit zu benutzen! Die Schlaraffia ist ein “Jungbrunnen”, wir laβen den Alltag vor der Tür unserer Burg (Treffsaal). Unser Motto ist: Freundschaft, Kunst und Humor (& Toleranz). Ausgeschloβen bei uns sind Politik, Religion und Geschäftswesen. “Ein Ferien vom ich” so bezeichnen wir unser Zusammenkommen. Die meisten Frauen unserer Mitglieder freuen sich ebenfalls über diese “Freistunden”, die sie für sich selbst benützen können! Zur Zeit sind wir in der Sommerung, wo wir Stammtische und Picknicks veranstalten. Falls Ihr interessiert seid, meldet Euch bei uns- somit wir uns kennen lernen können!

Your “Hummel Figurines” Are More Valuable Now By: Harald Pitz

The childlike drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel came to the attention of businessman Franz Goebel in 1934. He decided to mold and paint the same which turned out to be an excellent business decision for him as well as the Frankonian town of Roedental. Already one year later he exhibited his first Hummel figurines at the Leipzig Fair with great success. Brisk business necessitated the expansion and hiring of personnel to satisfy the increased demand. Demand was especially strong from the United States. During World War II the production of these lovely figurines continued on a limited basis. When USA occupation forces entered Bavaria, Goebel saw his chance to restart full production. He received permission to export his products to the USA.  The huge success after the war was unfortunately not well known to Sister Maria Innocentia, for

she passed at an early age of only 37 in 1946. Cause of death was determined as tuberculosis. Demand for Hummels slowed after September 11, 2001 and the company started to reduce the output. At present, 230 employees turn out these charming products. However, by the end of this year production will cease at Roedental for economic reasons. So, ladies and gentlemen, your beautiful figurines will not only remain sought after items but their value is bound to increase. This is what we call “a sign of the times.”

Translation By: Margita Mulsoff

In March we celebrated our 120th anniversary. This close knit group of men, who meet on Friday evenings, from October through May, for about 2 to 4 hours to speak the German language for a little while. It was a nice celebration with a lot of visitors form Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee. Since we are a worldwide “German Men’s Club” with approximately 11,000 members, we received many congratulatory letters and good wishes. One of our members also celebrated his 50 year membership. There were many recognitions and awards from other chapters. The celebration took place on March 28, 2008 and we hope to celebrate our 125th anniversary here in five years as well. The close chapter to chapter relationships are supported through member’s visits. Each year we receive many

Columbus, Ohio Chapter Re Established By: Erich Wittmann

On Saturday, August 23rd Chapter 31 was re established as an active Chapter within Region 3. It all started when a group of primarily Austrian and German families in Columbus decided that they needed an active German language school for their children to assure that the family’s native language would not be lost. Various families struggled with the same issues. In their exploration of how to solve the issue of teaching German to their children in a quality way, the idea of a German school took hold. Christ Garcia, former National President and current School Superintendent at Northern suburbs, was informed by a colleague, of the Columbus effort/ struggle. Christa always championing the cause of teaching and maintaining the German language made contact and suggested the Language Education Program be operated as a DANK School. Of course, being a DANK School requires the establishment of a DANK Chapter. After discussing this option

Welcome Columbus Chapter By: Beverly Pochatko

Saturday, August 23rd , was a momentous day at the Columbus Männerchor in the German Village of Columbus, Ohio. It was a pleasant drive for Reg. 3 Rep, Margaret Potocki and I to go to Columbus to welcome our “new” DANK Chapter Columbus. Arriving early, we had the opportunity to lunch at the German Village Café (outstanding sandwiches) and a visit to the Juergen’s Backerei und Kaffee-Haus for a take home treat of fresh baked German Brot und Kirsch Kuchen. Arriving at the German Village, we were pleased to see the number of families that were there. You could feel the excitement in the air that something was

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 7

about to happen. There was no doubt that these folks were committed to join DANK and to start their own German Language School. It made me happy to know that they truly value the heritage of their Heimatland and wanted to continue it here. Thanks to Christa Garcia, a Director on the Schools Committee, they are able to start their school this fall. VP Wittmann, informed of their desire to have a DANK School, set about the reestablishing of the Columbus Chapter, the pre-requisite to start their language program. Through Dr. Zika’s efforts and that of several other families in Columbus and with the support from the National Board (Christa Garcia and Erich Witt-

visitors during our meetings form October to May. Since the immigration from Germany stopped, we are in the same situation as other clubs - the membership is dwindling. We are looking for men who want to get away from the everyday life for a few hours and would also like to use the German language at the same time. Schlaraffia is a “youth fountain”. We leave our everyday problems by the front door of our clubhouse. Our motto is: “Friendship, Art and Humor (along with Tolerance).” We exclude politics, religion and business. “A vacation from me,” that’s how we describe our meetings. Most member’s wives and girlfriends are happy to have some free time as well, which they can use for themselves. Currently we are in the “Sommerung,” where we organize “Stammtische” and picnics. If you are interested, please contact us, so that we can get to know each other.

mann,) the chapter developed a Board of Directors which currently has 45 active members, with plans to expand the membership numbers. Congratulations to their new Executive Board: Dr. Ulricke Zika, President, Gudrun Herzog, Treasurer and Johannes Hofinger, Secretary. The Language school is scheduled to start in late September, and other activities are in the works, including expanding the Chapters membership and social functions. Pictures of the Chapter Board and opening celebrations are reflected in various photos of the August 23rd event by Christa Garcia and Gerald Gillman. Hertzlich Willkommen to the Columbus Board and Chapter Members to our DANK Family!

among the various parties involved, Dr. Ulricke Zika stepped forward and indicated a willingness to re establish a chapter in Columbus. Through her effort and that of several other families in Columbus and with the support from the National Board (Christa Garcia and Erich Wittmann) the chapter developed a Board of Directors and currently has 45 active members with plans to expand the membership numbers. The new leadership in Columbus is represented by Dr. Ulricke Zika, President, Gudrun Herzog, Treasurer and Johannes Hofinger, Secretary. The Chapters first activities revolve around the opening of a DANK School scheduled to start operating some time in late September of 2008 but other activities are in the works including expanding the Chapters membership and social functions. Pictures of the Chapter Board and opening celebrations are reflected in the various pictures of the August 23rd event. Thank you and congratulations to the Columbus Board and Chapter Members. ATTENTION DANK MEMBERS

We are proud to offer you a lapel pin that shows your heritage with the organization’s logo. This attractive pin comes in 2 sizes: Men - Cost $6.00 (Large) Women - Cost $5.00 (Small) You may phone your order by calling our toll free number at: (866) 926-1109 or write/email our National Office at

9/17/08 12:13:32 PM


German-American Journal

October / November 2008

Pittsburgh Celebrates Summer With A Picnic! By: Chris Decker

August 3rd dawned bright and cool but we all know that weather plays a big part in the day’s activities. By the time the folks in the Pittsburgh DANK Chapter assembled for our annual picnic, the clear skies reflected the hot summer sun and the members attending made it ‘still hotter’!   They do know how to have a great picnic!  Some came for the Gemütlichkeit that abounds at these gatherings; others came for the great food and/or the free German Beer. Of course I would be prodigious if I said they came only to hear

the music provided by the Augsburg German Band of Uniontown. George & Carol Steiner are the leaders in dancing the Polka and all of the folks sang and swayed along with some of the songs. The realization that many could not come because of the high gas prices and for what ever other reason, made the time spent enjoyable with those who could attend. Many attending renewed acquaintances and brought along prospective  members who had never experienced a German family picnic, with all of the styles of food and desserts provided by the members. Wunderbar! aptly describes the food and desserts that were shared by all!  Overall, it provided a nice time to gather and share in our common bond, our Germanic heritage.   To all those who could not, for various reasons, attend some of the functions provided by the Chapter, I can only say that you really don’t know what

you are missing. The reason for our club is to enjoy and promote things Germanic and DANK is the way to do it!  Vielen Dank to all of the members and guests who attended this summer’s event. We look forward to seeing you at the Sub Chapter Picnic in Hopwood on September 13, 2008. If not, we look forward to seeing you at the Oktoberfest in Canonsburg on September 19,20,or 21, 2008, or perhaps at the Christmas Party held at the Teutonia Männerchor on December 5, 2008. Let’s all attend and make the DANK Chapter successful.

Mason-Dixon Preservers By: Chris Decker

Well, the Fayette County Fair is now history and the Mason-Dixon Chapter made it through! This information vigil was accomplished in spite of the heat, the tremendous thunder & lightning storms and down pouring of rain on our little tent! The tent was set up and with the aid of members Ernst Jung & Ernst Braun, the St. Peter Lutheran Church’s tables & chairs. All the members who were involved through the ten days we were able to accomplish at least one of our goals, which was information about DANK and our club.

The majority of people who stopped at the booth were happy and surprised that there was a German Club in Uniontown that taught language classes and all the members were very friendly. On the middle Sunday, George& Carol Steiner, of Ch # 58 along with Lois Henke & Chris Decker, of Mason-Dixon and other members, were in German Tracht and were a big hit, while the Augsburg German Band played to bring in the curious and polka lovers to the booth. It was commented that the music could be heard from the main gate and that it was ‘refreshing to hear that kind of music.’ One man also indicated that he lived in Germany, worked in Uniontown, and thought

that it was wunderbar to see an appreciation of things Germanic in our county. The Mason-Dixon Sub Chapter learned many things at the fair this year and would like to go again next year, loaded with many new ideas and experiences. As leader for the Sub Chapter, I would like to thank all of the members who dedicated time from their lives to sit at the fair and talk about things Germanic to people in the tri-county areas, as they stopped by the booth. You know who you are! It was thrilling to see the leadership in the club, develop through this activity.   Vielen Dank!

Erie’s Germans Celebrate Their Heritage cook the food. Bob Hamilton (the Mad Bavarian) was a mentor and helped us start growing.  We The German Heritage Festival was originally have remained committed to present our heritage; organized by  DANK Chapter 71 in 1996.  be family oriented and supportive of various local Coordinators Beverly Pochatko and Bill Matheis organizations and not become just another carnivalhad a plan to showcase their German heritage based like festival. on the Bavarian Fest in Barnesboro, PA. which Ms.   The Festival is geared toward family. We Pochatko and her family had visited in 1976.  This encourage the vendors to keep prices down, so was when the seed was planted. The Erie Chapter families can come and enjoy the day.  We have a of DANK was founded in 1989 and in 1996 almost Kinderplatz that features Granny’s Ark Petting 20 years later; the dream of a local German festival Zoo, a Castle Bounce and a Trackless Train for became a reality. the youngsters.  All this is free for the youngsters At our first festival, members of DANK did while Mom, Pop and grandparents are enjoying the everything - cook the brats, knackwurst, sauerkraut, continuous entertainment in the Fest Hall.  German potato salad and hot dogs.  We had 385 Everything was in place early Saturday morning visitors that day! As the visitors grew over the next and the sky was a clear blue with temperatures in few years, we started looking for local vendors to the mid 80’s. The opening ceremonies began with a “Parade of Flags” – 16 German State Flags, the US, German and Austrian national flags, and the singing of the German, Austrian and American national anthems, followed by the tapping of the keg. This officially opened the Festival.   Describing the scene one could only say “Wunderbar” and “Gemütlichkeit” reigned.  A wide variety of German foods was prepared by Sabella’s Kitchen, the Lake Erie Fanfare, the Shrine Club, Helmut’s Strudel, and more.  The Fanfare group has a hit with their Limburger Cheese or Braunschweiger sandwiches. Erie Brewing Company brews beer special for the festival including German Alt and Sunshine Wit.  Heritage Winery brings a nice Opening Toast - Beverly Pochatko & Fred Huttel, Jr. selection of their craft. Vendors in the Marktplatz By: Beverly Pochatko

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 8

(Left to Right) Ann & Fred Sipple, Brigitte, Jeffrey, and Don Chase

are hand picked for their offerings of German related items. Community organizations were there too...the Erie Society for Genealogy Research, St. Joseph’s RC Church, and Voter Registration Center. A portion of the festival earnings are donated to the Erie Public Library, the Erie Historical Society, the Erie Genealogy Society, and WMCE radio for the German Show, which airs on Sunday from 1-5 pm.  The proceeds are also used to support the DANK Chapter’s Education Program. For the second year in a row, a discount of $1 was taken off the admission fee ($5/person - Under 12 years are free) with the donation of canned goods for the Second Harvest Food Bank. We topped last year’s collection of 1,826 lbs with the generosity of festival attendee’s donations of canned goods.

9/17/08 12:13:37 PM

October / November 2008

German-American Journal


Columbus Chapter - “Welcome To Our Schools Program!” to GLSC (German Language School Conference). The GLSC is the national umbrella organization for private Ladies and Gentlemen, parents, students and German language schools in the United States. The newly elected DANK Columbus Chapter Officers member schools, which operate mostly on Saturdays, and Members! Congratulations to all of you – this serve children from preschool through high school and is truly a very memorable Day in the history of adults. The GLSC enjoys the support of the German the Deutsch Amerikanischer National Kongress – government (Bundesverwaltungsamt, the German German American National Congress! My name is Language Consultants in the US – East and West), the Christa Garcia, one of three Directors of our DANK Verein für deutsche Kulturbeziehungen im Ausland Schools. The other Directors are Alexandra Ott and (VDA), the Literary Society Foundation, MercedesDr. AnnMarie Fuhrig. I have been working with and Benz, and others. (See for the DANK Schools since 1982 and have served Our DANK German Language Schools, for the in numerous positions for many years on the DANK most part, also participate in the AATG National High National Executive Board. School Test – the American Association Let me tell you a little bit about the history of Teachers of German as well as various and locations of our DANK Schools: our Schreibwettbewerbe – Writing Contests – oldest (DANK North School) was established through the offices of the German Language in Chicago in 1962 and continues to German Coordinator in Washington D.C. and the classes on Saturday mornings as well as adult Bundesverwaltungsamt in Germany. evening classes. We are very proud that 25 I have thoroughly enjoyed my of their students passed the newly developed involvement with your newly formed DSD Exams – Deutsches Sprachdiplom! DANK Chapter Columbus, OH and am Other schools include DANK South looking forward to continue to be of service German Language School, our second oldest to you and your President and Schulleiter, school, located in Tinley Park; in 1968 a Dr. Ulrike Zika in the years to come. Thank school was founded in Aurora about 1968 (Left to Right) Dagmar Goerler, Christa Garcia, DANK Superintendent, Alke Goerler you very much.

By: Christa Garcia

and is now known as DANK Fox Valley German Language School. In the 1970s, many GermanAmericans moved to the Chicago suburbs, and in 1973 a new DANK chapter and Language School was formed: DANK Northern Suburbs with locations in Palatine and Arlington Heights, Illinois. Our most recent DANK German Language School was established in Phoenix, AZ and is holding its 10-year anniversary. Our DANK Schools are listed on the national DANK website html Additionally, many chapters offer adult German language classes. All our DANK German Language Schools belong

President Bill’s Travels By: Bill Fuchs DANK National President

With my job as an airline pilot I enjoy traveling and visiting much of the world with half of my time each month spent outside of the country. It is, however, also very enjoyable for me to travel on my home turf and visit with the many friends of our local DANK chapters. As part of the highlights of this summer, besides seeing much of my family at our reunion in June, I was able to visit Germanfest in Milwaukee, the picnic at DANK Chicago South

and Chicago’s Von Steuben Parade and German Day celebrations. At Milwaukee’s Germanfest at the end of July, I was happy to mingle with our Milwaukee chapter, which has been a big part of this festival since its founding. President John Dienhart and his chapter set up a very nice display for our organization in the cultural tent and National VicePresident Donna Lippert with husband Reinhardt were at hand to help out in the booth during the festival all weekend. During the parade on Saturday the Milwaukee chapter was joined by DANK chapter Chicago South to provide a nice DANK presence. I am hoping that next year more area chapters will join us in the parade to provide a larger showcase for

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 9

our organization. My next visit was to the DANK Chicago South picnic at their Frankfort, Illinois German Heritage Center on August 10th. President Osterhout and my many friends at the chapter provided me and my wife with a warm welcome. It was a perfect day for a picnic and the wonderful atmosphere created by good music, great food, wonderful people and German “Gemütlichkeit” made it a day to remember. I also got a chance to have a short meeting with the committee planning the next DANK National Convention to be hosted next fall by this active chapter. The local Turner Association children tumblers also paid a visit and showed off their skills to provide a great lead-in to the Beijing Olympics. A month later, Chicago celebrated German Day in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood, Chicago’s Germantown on the weekend of September 5-7th. Our Chicago (North) chapter DANK Haus is located in this neighborhood and our National Offices are also located in the DANK Haus. On Saturday I was happy to join Chicago’s chapter president, Dagmar Freiberger, along with her husband Erik and the many members of this very active chapter

in participating in the Von Steuben Parade as part of this great festival. We marched along Lincoln and Western Avenue and were joined by the floats of DANK Chicago North, the DANK Northern Suburbs School chapter and the ever active Chicago South chapter. It was good to see the Chicago area chapters of DANK participating in this great event put on by the Deutsche Tag Vereinigung (German Day Association of Chicago) which is made up of the many German-American Organizations of the Chicago area and includes DANK.

9/17/08 12:13:46 PM


German-American Journal

Book Signing Event In Chicago Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, the well known German-American historian and community leader from Cincinnati, Ohio, will be in Chicago on Sunday, November 2, from 2 to 3 P.M. to sign copies of his book Illinois’ German Heritage, and also to meet and greet friends from the Chicago area. The book signing will be at the Book Cellar Book Store, 4736 N. Lincoln Avenue (Tel.: 773-293-2665). In Part One of the book three areas of German immigration and settlement are discussed: Southern Illinois, Central Illinois, and Chicago. In Part Two three major German-American community leaders in the history of Illinois are illuminated: Gustav Koerner, Friedrich

Hecker, and Francis A. Hoffmann. Finally, there is a concluding chapter on “Illinois’ German Heritage.” Don Heinrich Tolzmann the author and editor of numerous books on German-American history and culture; he has received many awards, including the Federal Service Cross from Germany and the Ohioana Book Award. He has led the movement to create an awareness of German heritage in the Americas and promoted GermanAmerican Studies and the strengthening of relations between Germany and the United States, and recently retired as Curator of the German-Americana Collection and Director of the German-American Studies Program at the University of Cincinnati. As President of the Society for German-American Studies he called for the celebration of the German-American Tricentennial in 1983, marking the establishment of the first German settlement in America at Germantown, Pennsylvania, and in 1987 led the national campaign to establish October 6th as national German-American Day, earning him the title of “Father of German-American Day.” In 1989, he organized the first German-American Heritage Month in Cincinnati, Ohio, and since that time has actively promoted the national celebration during the month of October. He also initiated plans for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Germans in America at Jamestown, Virginia in 2008.

October / November 2008

Dank-Haus To Hold Literary Reading

The DANK-Haus will host a literary reading of the riveting autobiographical book, “Weeds Like Us”, by Gunter Nitsch. The event will take place in the newly renovated Scharpenberg Gallery, October 17th at 7:30 pm. Gunter will read excerpts from his book, engage in open discussions and questions of the passages, followed shortly after by a wine and cheese reception, with book signing. Gunter, a DANK-Haus member, has written a first hand account of his early childhood at the end of Hitler’s Germany. He was born December 1937 in Koenigsberg, East Prussia but his a story begins in late 1944 with the Red

Army advancing and continues for the next 6 years, as his family searches for freedom in the West. Gunter vividly recalls in page after page, the anguish and adventures of this tumultuous time. Horrors and heroics are recounted with the clarity, frankness, and even the humor of a child. Gunter came to the United States in 1964, attended Hunter College in NY and obtained an MBA from Pace University, NY. He since worked as a marketing consultant to American and German firms at the German American Chamber of Commerce and at Bayerische Veriensbank AG in New York City. He and his wife now live in Chicago.


Weeds Like Us by Gunter Nitsch in the

Scharpenberg Gallery 7:30pm October 17, 2008

“Das vergessene Kreuz von Kentucky” Peter Simon aus Dörrenbach schaffte mit seinem ersten Buch gleich den Durchbruch auf dem Büchermarkt. Im Nachlass seines Vaters, Willi Simon, findet er das unfertige Manuskript einer Erzählung mit dem Titel „Das vergessene Kreuz von Kentucky“, das sein Vater 1956 zu schreiben begann, aber nie beendete. Peter Simon, der schon immer ein Buch schreiben wollte, dem jedoch das richtige Thema noch fehlte, entschloss sich dazu, diese unfertige Erzählung von seinem Vater zu beenden. Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs

fristet ein deutscher Soldat sein Dasein in amerikanischer Kriegsgefangenschaft. Inhaftiert in einem Gefangenenlager in Fort Knox, Kentucky, stößt er bei Rodungsarbeiten auf ein geheimnisvolles Kreuz, welches ihn auf sonderbare Weise berührt - er spürt, dass seine Vergangenheit und sein Schicksal eng mit diesem Kreuz verbunden sind. Der Roman beginnt in einer Bar der amerikanischen Stadt Brandenburg, in Kentucky. Eine wahre Geschichte, die fließend in einen Roman übergeht.

“The Forgotten Cross of Kentucky” Translation By: Darlene Fuchs

Peter Simon from Dörrenbach, Germany, found instant success as his first book was published. After the death of his father, he stumbled across an unfinished manuscript titled “The Cross of Kentucky”, which Willi Simon began writing in 1956. Peter Simon who had always wanted to write a book but was unable to find the right topic decided to finish the story his father was never able to complete. During the period of the Second World War, a German soldier reveals his experiences while in American captivity. Imprisoned in a prison camp in Fort Knox, Kentucky he unearths a mysterious abandoned cross while working in the fields of a local tomato farmer. He is touched by it and has a strange feeling that his past and his fate

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 10

are closely connected to this cross. The novel begins in a bar located in Brandenburg, Kentucky. A true story that reads like a novel.

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9/17/08 12:13:48 PM

October / November 2008

German-American Journal


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ERNTEDANKFEST Continued from page 1

(“harvest festival of thanks”) is primarily a rural and a religious celebration. When it is celebrated in larger cities, it is usually part of a church service and not anything like the big traditional family holiday in North America. Although it is celebrated locally and regionally, none of the German-speaking countries observes an official national Thanksgiving holiday on a particular day as in the U.S. In German-speaking countries, Erntedankfest is often celebrated on the first Sunday in October, which is usually also the first Sunday following Michaelistag or Michaelmas (29 Sept.). This day is referred to as “Michaelmas” in many countries and

U.S. EMBASSY Continued from page 1

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is also one of the harvest feast days. This day also marks the opening of the deer and other large game hunting season. In some parts of Europe, especially Germany, Denmark, and Austria, a special wine called “Saint Michael’s Love” (Michelsminne) is drunk on this day. The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, who is like unto God? and he is also known as “the prince of the heavenly host.” He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armor and wearing sandals. Some aspects of the New World’s Thanksgiving celebration have caught on in Europe. Over the past few decades, Truthahn (turkey) has become a popular dish, widely available in German-speaking countries. The New World bird is valued for its tender, juicy meat, slowly usurping the more traditional goose (Gans) on special occasions. (And like the goose, it can be stuffed and prepared in similar fashion.)

There are some turkey substitutes, usually so-called Masthühnchen, or chickens bred to be fattened up for more meat. Der Kapaun is a castrated rooster that is fed until he’s heavier than the average rooster and ready for a feast. Die Poularde is the hen equivalent, a sterlilized pullet that is also fattened up (gemästet). But this is not something done just for Erntedankfest. But the Germanic Erntedankfest is still not a big day of family get-togethers and feasting like it is in America. What the NorthAmerican tradition of Thanksgiving and the German celebration of Erntedank have in common, is the spirit of gratitude remembering our loved ones and appreciating our life’s bounty. These holidays are quintessential reminders of the importance of agriculture, which provides the foods and beverages that nourish us day in and day out.


“House of Horror” specialty store, which opened for business in 1996, does a brisk business around Halloween. The Austrian town of Retz, not far from Vienna, holds an annual Halloween festival, complete with pumpkins, parties, and a Halloween-Umzug (“Halloween parade”). The region around Retz has also become known for its annual pumpkin harvest. There is at least one direct German-American Halloween connection. Following the American Civil War, Gustav and Albert Goelitz traveled to Illinois to join an uncle who had emigrated in 1834. After Gustav’s death, his two eldest sons revived the candy business that he and Albert had founded. The story goes that the Goelitz Confectionery Co. invented the popular Halloween confection known as candy corn in the 1880s. Records indicate that Goelitz was making candy corn by 1900. That firm’s successor, today’s Herman Goelitz, Inc. of Fairfield, California, is best known as the maker of “Jelly Belly” jelly bean candy.

By: Darlene Fuchs

It’s not really a traditional German celebration, but The Munich Consulate General had plenty to cel- in recent years Halloween has become increasebrate July 8. In addition to the 232nd anniversary of ingly popular in Europe. It is now comthe signing of the Declaration of Independence, about mon to see pumpkin (Kürbis) and Jack700 guests came to the consulate to mark the opening O’Lantern decorations in Austria and of the new U.S. Embassy on Berlin’s Pariser Platz.  Germany in late October, probably The consulate was also marking the 50th anniversary as a result of Halloween depicof the consulate building on Königinstrasse, which tions in movies and on television. was officially dedicated on May 14, 1958. The first Halloween has become a popuU.S. Consul was assigned to Munich in 1832. Since lar celebration for children and then the U.S. consulate occupied 23 different loca- adults in German Europe and a money maker for German busitions.  Who would have imagined this?  At the request nesses. It’s an American holiday of the American Embassy, American craft beer from exported from Ireland and now America’s small brewers was served on July 4th at imported back into Europe. The the grand opening of the new embassy. Four pallets Fasching and Karneval (Mardi of bottled beer arrived safely which included craft Gras) aspects of Halloween also beer from 13 different breweries’ 47 brands. It was have a special appeal to Europea beer garden, the likes of which Germany has never ans. German kids don’t usually go trickseen.  Over 4,500 dignitaries in attendance experior-treating, but Halloween has become a enced not only the beer, but enjoyed seeing the labeled bottles for themselves, experiencing the impact very “cool” party theme for young and old. that America’s small brewers have had on America’s More and more German department stores carry Halloween-related items in October. Hamburg’s new beer culture.

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9/17/08 12:13:48 PM


German-American Journal

October / November 2008

Traditional Culture in 2008… Is It Relevant? By: Reuel Zielke

The Milwaukee “German Fest Trachtenschau” has been present at North America ’s largest festival of German traditional culture for the past 28 years. It started out as a venue to identify some of the traditional clothing that was worn by the various club members who participated in the festival. In the early years, about 30 people modeled traditional clothing or “Trachten” from 10 different regions of Germany and Austria. The “Trachtenschau” has grown into an educational and entertaining production, which includes information on geography, history and the enacting of folklore customs. The presentation of Trachten from the many regions of German-speaking people of Europe, is still a sight enjoyed by many. In 2008, there were 94 participants in the show representing 20 different Trachten with guest presenters from Central Wisconsin, Chicago , Upper Michigan and Texas.  Participation in German Fest, the Trachtenschau and the other festivals in the greater Milwaukee area, has encouraged people to actually wear Trachten and Trachten Mode (traditional German styled clothing with a modern touch). But, why are people doing this and why does it have relevance in their lives? Are people interested and exploring their German heritage and/or German culture in general? Are individuals actually pursuing their cultural interests or are these elements thought of as nice, but un-important in the world today?  I conducted a brief survey of 24 individuals, which included a cross section of Trachtenschau and Cultural Tent participants at German Fest this year. Along with the main question of the survey, “Why are you doing this?”,  I asked a few other related questions with the following results. (The number after each question is the number of people responding.)

• Traveled to Germany/Austria/Switzerland (13) • Pursued genealogical study of family (8) • Study German history as a hobby (7) • Dance group member (7) • Director of dance group (6) • Follow German news & current events (6) • Read German literature, newspapers, publications (6) • Organizer of cultural exhibit(s) (5) • Watch German sports on television (4) • Produce/study a German folk art or craft (4) • Play soccer (2) • Teach German or organize German language classes (2) So, is German traditional culture relevant in North America today? The answer is that it depends on personal interest, opportunities and/or organized events to participate in, and geographic location. Some areas are strong with numerous cultural organizations, festivals and events, while other areas have little or nothing to actively partake in. We are lucky in the Wisconsin and Illinois regions to have many events that keep the various German cultural aspects alive. It would be interesting to know how people maintain their German/Austrian/Swiss heritage in other areas of North America, especially where the opportunities for participation are limited. Perhaps this can be explored in future articles.

Why do these people participate in German cultural activities? 1. Why are you participating in the Trachtenschau and/or Cultural Tent? • Want to preserve traditional culture for new generation (9) • Want to educate people about Trachten and folk culture in an entertaining and positive way (5) • Want to actively show pride in their heritage (3) • Enjoyment of participation in cultural activity (2) • Keep the German culture alive/relevant (2) • Want to learn more about their own heritage & other German-speaking cultures (2) • Want exposure for their cultural organization (1) 2. Do you wear Tracht or Trachten Mode any other time of the year?     No other time (3)     Once or twice (4)      Three or more times per year (17)  3. Do you speak German?     Not at all (5)         A little bit (10)        Fluently (9)   4. What aspects of German culture are you interested in? History Music Travel Food Language Studies (13) (13) (12) (12) (4)

Three generations of Trachtenschau participants, Gina Hirt, daughter Emma Hirt and grandmother, Mrs. Gruendler. They stay involved to preserve their Thüringian heritage and enjoy a family activity together. Mrs. Gruendler sews Trachten for her family.

Joel Beck, Assistant Chairman of the German Fest Cultural Tent enjoys working with the various German clubs and hearing stories about their history and heritage. He is a member of the Pomeranian dance group “Pommersche Tanzdeel Freistadt” and wears Tracht from the Island of Rügen.

Donald & Lou Ann Zamzow from Wausau, WI wear the “Jamunder Tracht” from eastern Pomerania. They helped to organize the “Pommersche Verein of Central Wisconsin” and are heavily involved in cultural activities. They want to relate to their heritage in a meaningful way and are also fluent speakers of Platt Düütsch.

Paula Schumann & Joel Rutledge from Dallas, Texas were guest presenters in the Trachtenschau, wearing the “Ober Lechgau Tracht”. They both want to preserve their cultural heritage and wear Tracht numerous times throughout the year. They are members of the “Schuhplattler und Trachtenverein Almraussch.”

Trachten Geneology Current Events Literature Cultural Geography (7) (7) (6) (5) (2) Sports (5)

Politics (5)

Dance (8)

Folklore (5)

Engineering/Technology (2)

5. Do you actively pursue any of these interests?   How?            • Cook traditional German/Austrian/Swiss foods (21) • Member of cultural society/club (16) • Listen to German music; attend concerts (16)

Karl-Heinz Bauer (second from right, back row) and the “Egerländer Tanz Gruppe” from Chicago were special guest presenters in the Milwaukee German Fest Trachtenschau. They do this to actively represent their heritage.

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 12

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October / November 2008

German-American Journal


Pretzels – Festival Staple With Humble Beginnings This humble food is now found in a variety of shapes, flavors, and with coatings that would have amazed the humble monk who invented the pretzel sometime between the fifth and seventh centuries. Idling with leftover strips of dough, the monk-baker supposedly twisted and turned them until they resembled a person’s arms crossed in prayer, traditional posture for prayer in those days. The brother monks approved the tidbits, and began using them as rewards for the children under their tutelage Pretzels have an early association with prayer and almsgiving, has been used to help teach religion, saved a city from destruction, was a symbol of good fortune in medieval times, serious sustenance during the Great Depression, and is now mostly enjoyed at sporting events and parties! The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there the pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms. The monks used the inter-connected sections of the “pretiola” (literally, “little prayers”) to help the children understand the Christian Trinity of “Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” The monks offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their bible verses and prayers. Their success with the re-shaped crusts spread to monasteries over the Alps into Austria and Germany where it became known as the “Bretzel” or “Pretzel” and soon the pretzel became an important symbol in church life. A page from the prayer book of Catherine of Cleves depicts St. Bartholomew surrounded by pretzels, which were thought to bring

good fortune, prosperity and spiritual wholeness to those who ate them. In medieval times merchants traveling to the Frankfurt Fair risked being robbed by bandits. In order to guard the tradesmen, the towns’ people would ride out, greet the vendors and offer them pewter pitchers of wine and loads of crisp dough on their spears, called Geleit-pretzels. Pretzels eventually became a part of the wedding ceremony: the couple wished upon and broke a pretzel (like a wishbone at Thanksgiving dinner), then ate it to signify their oneness. A 17th century woodcut, copied from a cathedral in Bern, Switzerland, depicts the “marriage knot” as being a pretzel! The pretzel is the origin of the saying “tying the knot” in marriage ceremonies. But even earlier, the pretzel’s fame had emerged in a burst of glory from beyond the monastery walls. During the 1500’s, the city of Vienna was under siege by Ottoman Turks. Thwarted in their efforts to break through the city’s walled fortifications, the Turks began tunneling below ground. Pretzel bakers, working through the night, heard the strange noises in the cellars, and notified the guard. The city was saved, and the grateful emperor awarded the pretzel bakers an honorary coat of arms! There is a special coat of arms hanging outside every Austrian pretzel bakery. The coat of arms shows a lion holding a shield with a pretzel shape in the middle. The Viennese king awarded this honor to the pretzel bakers. German children had other connections to the pretzel, too. They tied pretzels on a string around their necks at the beginning of a new year for prosperity, health and good fortune. In modern times, pretzels

find their way into salads, hors-d’ourves and to accompany soups, dips and fruit. Pretzels today are made from many different grains. Toppings go beyond coarse salt, poppy or sesame seed, and now boast such exotic coverings such as cheese, chocolate and pizza flavorings. Although pretzel rod, ultra thin pretzels and pretzel chunks, clumps, sticks, rings and chips and stuffed pretzels are also sold, the original “pretiola” shaped snack still sells best. A more modern story of altruism is connected with the pretzel’s rise in popularity in this country. The first American pretzel bakery started when a kindly baker gave a drifter a free meal in the 1850’s. in turn, the drifter gave the baker a recipe for European pretzels and soon became employed as the baker’s apprentice. Despite their royal status, pretzels were a convenient way to hand food to the poor, and became typical alms for the hungry. And those who gave the pretzels away were considered particularly blessed. The pretzel became such a sacred sign that they were often packed into coffins of the dead, no doubt replacing the jewels that were buried with the rich. Interestingly, the crunchy hard pretzel evolved from the error of a baker’s apprentice who put them in the oven and then fell asleep.. When he awoke, the flames had died down and believing the pretzels hadn’t baked long enough, started up the fire again. When the Master Baker came in, he was furious that an entire batch of pretzels wasn’t fit to eat. In the process of throwing them out, he tasted one and realized he was on to something big! Not only did he like the taste of these

delicious crunchy morsels but realized due to the moisture being baked entirely out, that freshness was preserved and they would keep longer to sell. As they whipped up batches of a new style of pretzel, they won the honor of baking and selling the first hard and crusty version of the Pennsylvania Dutch hard pretzel. The pretzel first appears in America in the record of a court case. It seems a baker, named Carl Carmer and his wife, in 1652 was charged with selling Pretzels to the Indians. The problem wasn’t that the Indians were eating pretzels but that the pretzels were made from the good flour from milling while the bread sold to the good people of Beverwyck, New York was made from the left-overs. Reportedly the town history records “The heathen were eating flour while the Christians were eating bran.” Recipes exist for home-baking both the favored hard pretzel, and the chewy “Midwestern” type. People who remember the Depression era recall the pretzel vendors in the cities, especially the cities of the Midwest, where inexpensive hot pretzels sold and eaten on the street were lunchtime sustenance With beer or without, this mighty snack has won devoted followers from ballgames to classrooms. Some more modern bizarre pretzel facts include these noteworthy items: Largest pretzel ever baked:40 lbs, 5-feet across, by Joe Nacchio of Federal Baking, Philadelphia, PA; Pretzels in the movies: 20 lb., 4’ pretzel in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World”—same baker; Pretzel capitol of the world: Reading, PA., where one plant can package over 10 million pretzels per day!

From a German Gramma’s Kitchen Nothing is better than a hot pretzel. Soft pretzels are great, but they are only good fresh. Luckily they are not too tough to make at home. The following recipe may look long, but it is easier than making bread. To give the pretzels their chewy crust and nice caramel color, give the pretzels a dunk in boiling water. That has had baking soda added to the dunking water. The baking soda makes the water more basic (the opposite of acidic) which breaks down the starch on the outside

of the pretzel and turns it into a sugar that caramelizes when baked. “German pretzels are poached in a boiling sodium carbonate solution or cold sodium hydroxide solution before baking, which contributes to their unique crust. Sodium hydroxide solution should never be boiled because of the developing vapors!” (Traditional recipes call for lye, which is a caustic chemical that is dangerous to handle however, pretzels made with a lye bath supposedly have the best texture and the most authentic flavor… it gives it a bit of a tang.)

German Style Soft Pretzels

Ingredients: 1 teaspoon instant yeast 1 tablespoon malt powder or brown sugar 2 to 3 cups all-purpose unbleached or bread flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees, which is 1 minute in a microwave)

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until it forms a ball. Start with 2 cups of the flour and mix it together until it forms something like a thick batter. Add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until it forms a nice ball that can be kneaded by hand. Either use an electric mixer to mix the dough for 5 minutes or remove it from the bowl and knead it by hand for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough begins to get smooth and satiny. (Letting the dough ferment can give the pretzels a little extra flavor, but it can be skipped and they will still taste great.) If you are going to ferment the dough, return the ball of dough to a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately an hour. Then, degas the dough gently before moving on to the next step. Before shaping, start preheating the oven to 425 degrees. In a wide and shallow pan bring a quart of water and to a simmer, and then add 4 tablespoons of baking soda. The water should be deep enough so that a pretzel can be fully submerged.

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 13

(Makes 6 large pretzels)

Shaping Cut the dough into 6 pieces. Roll each one into a short log, cover with a towel, and let the dough relax for 5 to 10 minutes. After it has relaxed you should be able to roll it out and stretch again fairly easily. Place a rope of dough on the work surface in front of you. Take each end in a hand, loop the dough away from you, and bring the ends back toward your stomach, crossing them about an inch above the rope. Apply a little bit of pressure to make the loops stick together, but not too much because you don’t want then to flatten out. You can use a dab of water to help make the ends stick. After shaping the pretzel, carefully use a spatula to transfer it to the boiling water. Dunk it in the water, completely submerging it, for 5 seconds. The pretzel should begin to float towards the end. Transfer the pretzel onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet (I used a silicone baking mat). Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Once you have finished shaping all of the pretzels, place the cookie sheet in the middle rack of the pre-heated oven. Bake the pretzels for 12-14 minutes until they are a dark golden brown.

9/17/08 12:13:50 PM


German-American Journal


OCTOBER 2008 3

DANK Chapter Benton Harbor, MI, Fish Fry, 6-8 PM.


DANK Chapter Pittsburgh, American Day Luncheon.


Oktoberfest hosted by the German-American Club of Antioch, IL. Road trip for the Lake County Chapter.


October / November 2008



DANK Chapter Pittsburgh, PA, Board Meeting, 7 PM, in Carnegie, PA.



The German Society of Maryland, Sour Beef event at Zion Church.

Volkstrauertag at Fort Sheridan, Coffee and Cake Reception at American Legion Hall in Lake Forest.



DANK Chapter Benton Harbor, MI, Oktoberfest, Jay Fox Band, at 6 PM.

DANK Chapter Pittsburgh, PA, Board Meeting, at 7 PM, in Carnegie, PA.


DANK Chapter Lake County, IL. General Election Meeting , at the Tumbleweed Room of Bertrand Lanes, Waukegan, IL at 2 PM.


German-American Commemoration Celebration, St. Benedict’s Church, in Chicago, IL.


DANK Chapter Chicago-South, Oktoberfest at the German-American Heritage Center, 25249 Center Rd, Frankfurt, IL. For information contact Nancy: 708-448-8731.


Traditional German American Day throughout the U.S.A.



DANK Chapter Milwaukee, WI, Board Meeting, at German Fest Office, 6:30 PM. For information please call: 414-698-9151.


DANK Chapter Milwaukee, WI, Membership Meeting & chapter election, at German Fest office, 2:30 PM. Please call: 414-698-9151.


The German Society of Maryland, Christ29/30 kindlmarkt at Zion, co-sponsored by Baltimore Kickers Club. 30

DANK Chapter South Bend, IN, German Advent Service – 4 PM, at St. Pauls Church, 51490 Laurel & Auten Rd, S.Bend.


The Milwaukee D.A.N.K. Chor will celebrate their 25 year anniversary. The Festivities are scheduled at the Bavarian Inn, Glendale, WI.

DANK Chapter Milwaukee, Board Meeting at German Fest Office, 6:30 PM.



Pommerscher Verein, Central Wisconsin, Fall Annual Meeting, German-style dinner at noon.

DANK Chapter Pittsburgh, PA, Christmas Party held at Teutonia Maennerchor on North Side of Pittsburgh.



DANK Chapter Milwaukee, WI, Board Meeting at German Fest Office, 6:30 PM.

DANK Chapter Benton Harbor, MI, Fish Fry, 6 - 8 PM.


DANK Chapter Benton Harbor, MI., Fish Fry, 6 - 8 PM.


DANK Chapter Chicago-South, Christmas Party, at the German-American Heritage Center, Frankfort, IL. For information contact Nancy: 708-448-8731.


DANK Chapter South Bend, IN, Membership & Election Meeting at the Centre Township BranchAlligator Room, 1:00 to 3:00 PM.


DANK Chapter Benton Harbor, MI, DANK Christmas Program (Members only) at 3 PM.


DANK Chapter South Bend, IN, Christmas Party – 2 PM Potluck Hilltop Lutheran Church, 4114 Ironwood Rd, S.Bend.


DANK Chapter Lake County, IL. Oktoberfest at Gordon Community Center in Lake Forest, with the Walter Flechsig Band and Donauschwaben Youth Dancers.


DANK Chapter Chicago-West, Board Meeting, at 1:30 PM.


DANK Chapter Benton Harbor, Oktoberfest, Music by “ The Squeeze Box,” 6 PM.


DANK Chapter Chicago-West, Board Meeting, at 1:30 PM.


Saxonia House, Janesville, WI, Special Membership Meeting, at 1:30 PM.


DANK Chapter Benton Harbor, Membership Meeting, at 4 PM.



The German Society of Maryland, Oktoberfest at Schifferstadt, Frederick, MD.

DANK Chapter Milwaukee, Christmas Party, at Sacred Heart Parish Hall, 49th & Wells at 2 PM. For information call: 414-698-9151.


The German Society of Maryland, Annual Awards Banquet at Adlersaal.


DANK Chapter Chicago-West, Christmas Party at 1:30 PM.

Abrosimov, Sergey P. Altsman, Ursel Anderson, Anita Anderson, Leif Antkowiak, Dennis M. Bello, James A. Benderlioglu, Zeynep Bowersox, Aleksander Bowersox, Susan Bradt, Jayne Bradt, Michel P. Braun, Hans J. Carlson, Marta J. Casey, Dan F. Casey, Jay Casey, Jenna Cesnjevar, Anna Anita Chodak, Mike Cizpierrski, Michael J. Codini, Linda S. Comer, Cordelia


Comer, Liam Comer, Mia Corelli, Ulrike Crank, Bianca Crank, Doris Crank, Jonathon Deluca, Tom Drummond, Dan W. Drummond, Ian Drummond, Jennifer Ek, Andrew Foran, Barbara J. Franz Phillips, Sandra Gobla, Greg Grabowska, Joanna D. Gummuluri, Radha P. Halloran, Steffani Halter, Karlheinz A. Heppler, Brien Herzog, Gudrun Herzog, Melissa


Herzog, Thomas Hofinger, Elisabeth P. Hofinger, Johannes Hofinger, Laura Ann Hofinger, Maria K. Hofinger, Michael J. Hogan, Jack C. Hollenbaugh, Barbara Huff, Angela Jones III, Michael Jurgens, Johanna Jurgens, Jr, Merril Kerler, Thomas Kerler, Vincent E. Knufinke, Helga Krieger, Jeffrey C. Larsen, Daniel S. Larsen, Michelle Larsen, Trent Larson, Bonnig Martin, Elfie

Martin, Ulrike Massel, Maria P. McAllister, Scott W. Mueller, Beth Mueller, Caroline Mueller, Henry Mueller, Volker Pelz, William A Petersen, Rita M. Plank, Margaret R. Pook, Barbara G. Potter, Bradt M. Rodewald, Ella Rosa Rodewald, George V. Rodewald, Leah Rafaela Rodewald, Mara Allegra Schliephake, Corine Schliephake, Jerry Schliephake, Jocelyn Schulze, Hannelore Severin, Norman W.

Fill in the attached form and send it with your check made out to DANK - Membership Fund

Support our national membership activities by Name ______________________________ purchasing a German Life Cookbook. Address ____________________________ DANK is joining with the people of the German Life Magazine to bring you this collection City_____________ State____ Zip______ oftasteful rememberances. Allow taste and Amount enclosed $_____ # of books____ aroma to transport you to Germany as you read and try the many recipes of our culinary Please remit this order form and check to: heritage. You may find that forgotten dish your GroBmutter cooked in years gone by. Just $10 plus $4 shipping will add this collection of traditional Germanrecipes to your kitchen. The book is also available through many DANK chapters and our National Office.

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 14

DANK EXECUTIVE OFFICE 4740 N. Western Avenue Chicago, IL 60625-2097 Attention: Cookbook Orders

Seymour, Richard Shipley, Greg Sonnichsen, Richard Sonnichsen, Gail Spencer, Sarah L. Steck, Debbie Steck, Frank Stoner, Jacob Stoner, Sybille Streyle, Thomas M. Struckmann Marit Eva Struckmann, Bettina Struckmann, Paula S. Struckmann, Peter G. Studier, Michael C. Studier, Julia Netter Sugent, Lauren A. Sven Sr, Robert Swingler, Dean Thym, Meredith Van Horn, Stephen

Viebach, Kathryn T. Villareal, Donna M. Villareal, Paul Grill Volling, Tricia Heigh Walter, Mark Walter-Wu, Konrad K. Walter-Wu, Langstron K. Wedemeyer, Annaliese E. Wedemeyer, George A. Wedemeyer, Greta K. Werner, Sr. Hans O. Werner, Susan Werth, Daniel Windl, Maximillian Wutzke, Henry Ch. Wutzke, Mary Lou Ziegler, John E. Zika, Dr, Ulrike Zika, Elke Granata Zuelke, Derik Zuelke, Zachery

It’s Not Too Late to Support Our 2008 Raffle Time is running out all too fast for you to participate in our Raffle drawing to be held on Saturday, November 8, 2008 at the D.A.N.K. Haus in Chicago, IL. While many of you have returned your stubs to us, we are behind in our effort to raise money for our beloved DANK organization. So, we thank those of you that have contributed with a reminder to our other members to please return the tickets along with your check. We mail out 6,000 tickets each year: however only a small token was returned to us. This year, DANK is under pressure, like everyone else, to maintain their programs so that our German culture can continue to prosper. Here is my offer to you to help us: just mail in your check for $20.00, payable to D.A.N.K .RAFFLE to our D.A.N.K. office, 4740 N. Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 and we will do the rest, filling out the raffle tickets for you. Can I count on your help? Thank you. (Harald Pitz, Raffle Chairman)

9/17/08 12:13:50 PM

October / November 2008

German-American Journal

Coffee Break


NACHRUF Joerg-Alexander REILE geb. 5 April 1949 in Berlin Sohn des 1975 verstorbenen Erich Reile hat uns am 19 August 2008 verlassen. Er hinterlaesst: “Wenn ihr mich sucht, sucht mich in euren Herzen. Habe ich dort Bleibe gefunden, lebe ich in euch weiter.“ -Antoine St. Exupery

Margaret Thomas Reile, Ehefrau Eric Reile, Sohn Olivia Reile, Tochter mit den Kindern Jade und Brandon Florence Reile und Joslyn Reile, Tochter Irmgard Reile, Mutter Dagmar Glauer geb. Reile Schwester mit Familie und Gordon Reile, Bruder.

Ein Gedenkgottesdienst findet statt am 6 September um 11 Uhr in der Messiah Lutheran Church, 6201 W. Patterson, Chicago, Ill. 60634

Happy Birthday! Stephen Fuchs Layout Designer of the German-American Journal celebrates on Oct. 6th

Ron Zielinski we send B-day wishes on October 23rd.

THE FIRST MOON LANDING MEDALLION Industrious men and women of German descent have played an important role in making the United States the great country it is today. In tribute to both nations, the German-American National Congress, Inc., is issuing a medal commemorating the progress and contributions of outstanding Germans and GermanAmericans here and throughout the world. This medal honors three men of German extraction who contributed immeasurably to America’s achievements in space: Willy Ley, whose writings inspired a generation of young Americans to regard space as a frontier of their time; Dr. Hermann Oberth, a pioneer in the field of rocket propulsion, and Dr. Wernher von Braun, whose concepts convinced President Kennedy that America should direct its space program toward the goal of landing men on the moon. The reverse of this medal commemorates the first actual moon landing, which took place on July 20, 1969. This medal is designed and produced by The Franklin Mint, the world’s largest and foremost private mint. It is available only through the German-American National Congress, Inc. Measuring 39mm in diameter, the “Pioneers of Space and Rocketry” commemorative is available in solid bronze at $25 each. German-American National Congress, Inc. 4740 North Western Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60625 My check or money order is enclosed for:

Irene Rotter “Herzlichen Gluckwünsch zum Geburstag!” Celebrating 70 wonderful years Nov. 22nd.

____ 39mm Solid Bronze Medallions (Mint Finish) @ $25 each ……………………….. ..$_______ qty NAME _______________________________ STREET ______________________________ CITY _________________________________ STATE ____________________ ZIP _______ *Illinois residents add 5% sales tax

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German-American Journal

Please Support the Businesses That Advertise in the German-American Journal


October / November 2008

s ist nicht genug, zu wissen, man muß auch anwenden; Es ist nicht genug zu wollen, man muß auch tun.


-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

t is not enough to have knowledge, one must also apply it; It is not enough to desire, one must also perform. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary DIRNDL SALE ~ LOWEST PRICES EVER Check out our website Fax: 1-315-453-1453 E-mail:

Order Toll Free: 1-800-388-5783 4573 Morgan Place • Liverpool, NY 13088

2067-08/Anz. 9,7" x 7,75" 4-c

01.09.2008 10:22 Uhr

Seite 1


Festive and impressive…


14 types y of specialt biscuits

Name: Address: City: State: Zip: Phone: Item # 50 408

The Festive Chest 2008


x US-$ 116.00 ea. + S/H charges*

* 1 pc.: add US-$ 17.95 *2 pcs. and more: add 9 % of order value Total: UPS charges are for shipments within the Continental USA only. Other destinations quoted on request.

Item No. 50 408 14 types of specialty biscuits • Choice almond and dessert Lebkuchen, 250 g • Choicest Elisen-Lebkuchen bars, assorted, 125 g • The Festive Tin 2008, filled with choice Lebkuchen, assorted, 300 g • Choicest Kaiser-Elisen-Lebkuchen, chocolate covered, no wheat flour in the dough, 340 g • Choicest Mini-Elisen-Lebkuchen, assorted, 175 g • Choice chocolate covered Lebkuchen, 250 g • Nuremberg chocolate fruit cookies, 200 g • White Lebkuchen, decorated with almonds, 200 g

• Choice Chocolate Lebkuchen duet, 150 g • Fairytale House, filled with chocolate covered Lebkuchen hearts, 150 g, and a fairytale story • Nuremberg honey biscuits, 150 g • Spicy Speculatius biscuits, 125 g • Nuremberg Christstollen, 500 g • Kaiserlein, 215 g Total net: 3130 g (6.90 lbs.) Shipping weight: 5.40 kg (11.91 lbs.) Size: 42 x 30 x 17 cm Material: Printed tin plate, attractively embossed Available from mid October 2008

Information on other gift chests and festive packages available on request.

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Check/Money order enclosed or Visa/ MasterCard/AmEx/Discover Exp. Date: No.:

Mail or fax your order to : German Food Specialties Company 14700 Dade Pine Avenue • Miami Lakes, FL 33014-2628 • U.S.A. Phone (305) 362-1923 • Fax (305) 556-5285 e-mail:

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German-American Journal | October/November 2008  

Volume 56, Issue 5