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Volume 57, Number 1

February / March 2009

Introducing DANK’s Group Visa Platinum Credit Card

By: Darlene Fuchs

By: Darlene Fuchs

Germans call the pre-Lenten Carnival season “die närrische Saison” (the foolish season) or “die fünfte Jahreszeit” (the fifth season.) Except for Munich’s Oktoberfest, it is the one time of the year when many people of Germanic backgrounds, normally serious, loosen up and go a little wild. Fastnacht or Karneval is a “movable feast” that depends on the date of Easter. The official start of the Fasching season is either January 7 (the day after Ephiphany,) or the 11th day of the 11th month, depending on the region. That gives the Carnival guilds three to four months to organize each year’s events (Carnival balls, parades, royalty, etc.) leading up to the big bash in the week before Ash Wednesday, when the Lenten season (die Fastenzeit) begins. Carnival in Rio is probably the world’s most famous. In the U.S., New Orleans is well known for Mardi Gras. But wider spread in almost all of the Catholic regions and cities across the Germanspeaking world, and the rest of Europe, Mardi Gras is celebrated in a big way. Only a few Protestant areas in northern and eastern Germany also observe Karneval. Some of Germany’s best known celebrations are held in Cologne (Köln), Mainz, Munich (München) and Rottweil. But Cologne’s

Karneval is not really the same as Munich’s Fasching. Germanic Carnival celebrations vary from region to region, sometimes even taking place at different times! These differences reflect the long history and local traditions of the celebration and they are also seen in the language. Fastnacht is related to the Germanic word “fasten” (to fast, abstain from eating). Karneval is related to the Latin “carnem levare” (to remove meat). It is this fasting tradition that gave the celebration its Fastnacht name (“night before fasting”).

Fastnacht around the city of Mainz (Baden and Switzerland) Fasnet in Swabia (south-west region of Germany) Fosnat in Franconia (northern Bavaria) Fasching around the city of Munchen (also in Austria, Bavaria and Berlin) Fasteleer or Fastelofvend: Karneval in Cologne.


By: Darlene Fuchs

Visa Platinum benefits package include:

No annual fee Low introductory rate and low contract rate Complimentary year-end report No balance transfer fees for 6 months 24-hour customer service Emergency cash disbursement & card replacement Zero Liability Protection for unauthorized purchases Emergency Roadside Assistance Services Warranty Manager Service Purchase Security Online Banking Lost luggage replacement Auto Rental and Travel Accident Insurance Roadside dispatch Travel & Emergency Assistance Services

Carnival or Mardi Gras goes by many names in German, depending on the region and dialect:

DANK Website Makeover

We’re excited to announce a brand new way that you can show your support and pride in DANK! You will also enjoy all the benefits you’d expect from a Platinum Visa card and more. When you apply for the new DANK Platinum Visa Card, UMB bank will donate $50 to DANK the very first time you use it! UMB will also donate a percentage of all your future purchases on the card to DANK as well! All of this is done at no cost to you, and no cost to DANK! All the benefits of a Platinum Visa card will be yours, along with the satisfaction of showing your support of DANK’s mission every time you use your card.

DANK supports German heritage and culture while promoting goodwill among Germanic organizations and societies across the United States. Help us in this goal by applying for and using the new DANK Visa card. The more of us who participate, the bigger the impact we can make. Go to, and sign up today.

What is behind the stunning transformed website of DANK?

The Platinim Visa card design shown is only 1 of 5 we will offer. We would like your input for the other 4 designs. Please e-mail us your ideas, such as Oktoberfest, Brandenburger Tor, German/ American flags etc. to

On February 1st, DANK will unviel the greatly updated user-friendly website at For those of you that have frequently visited the old site you will notice many visual and functional changes. This fresh look is made to encourage new and former DANK surfers to use the page often and to become interactive with DANK. This new transformation will encourage people visiting the site to seek out information regarding our chapters, schools and other social activities. It is intended to provide useful and interesting information while being an interactive platform for all Germanic individuals. For Details of What’s New, See WEBSITE on PAGE 10

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New Members




Current Events

Chapter News


Member Profile

Looking Back

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German-American Journal

President’s Corner Liebe Mitglieder und Freunde! Dear Members and Friends, The year 2009 is finally with us and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. High hopes for the New Year abound both politically and economically. We at DANK also have high hopes for 2009. This is our organizations’ 50th anniversary and we will celebrate in many ways culminating with our National Convention this fall. You will find anniversary facts throughout the year in the Journal and we hope you will read them with pride. Last year, my full year as National President, was spent mostly on infrastructure repair of the organization. We are still working on that but we are also moving forward with many initiatives that are intended to bring value to your membership. I am very excited to inform you that we have a new full time office manager at our National DANK office in Chicago. Amelia Cotter started in her full time position this January and brings many valuable skills to our organization. She has a college degree in German and has specialized in working for non-profit organizations. Please feel free to welcome her with a phone call to the National Office. Eva Timmerhaus, who has served DANK National for many years as office manager, will continue to help us as DANK National Executive Secretary working a reduced schedule. Eva intended to retire several years ago, but after I asked her if she would stay on if I became National President in the 2007 election, she agreed to continue in the position. I am forever grateful that she did, but she also deserves to enjoy some more time for herself and with her family. This transition has been in the works over the last year and we are very happy that she will continue to work part-time for us in the National Office. To explain some more about DANK’s infrastructure repair, we are updating our organizations’ structure and services in order to bring DANK into the new century. It is not easy but as time goes on we will provide new methods for internal record keeping and membership services. This will be an ongoing project. It will not only make our organization more efficient but will also save us money. You have already seen many positive changes in this paper while at the same time we drastically reduced our production costs. We will also be unveiling an updated website with more interactive and improved areas for our members and friends. As the year goes on, we will report on more exciting membership service improvements, so stay tuned. We are very pleased to offer additional membership benefits for 2009. New this year is a DANK membership credit card program with an exciting and unique card design. Not only does it offer benefits for our members but also to our organization and by using it you will help out DANK every time. Also new this year is an expanded DANK travel program. You will find more information about both in this issue of the Journal. Soon to come will be an enhanced DANK products and merchandize program. All this is very exciting to me and our national board, and we will have much more to come in the near future. In addition to offering more services and benefits to our members, we continue to be excited in what the future holds for our organization. We are receiving much interest in all areas of the country about starting new chapters or sub-chapters. At the same time we will continue our membership campaign to “just add one” and “buy a membership as a gift for a friend or relative.” If this year each member would just add one new member by buying a friend or relative a DANK membership as a gift, DANK would double in size. A lofty goal but it is not out of reach. I hope that our members are as excited as I am in what DANK can be for all of us. I want us to not only by proud to be GermanAmerican but also be proud to be a member of DANK. That is what motivates me and your National Board. 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.

February / March 2009

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 Your Submissions As we enter our 50th anniversary I would like to remind you that the German-American Journal is your newspaper and everything in it is designed to be informative. We would like to encourage our members to submit articles that will interest the membership and readers. Send your chapter news to Beverly Pochatko at and general articles of interest to the editor at and we will consider them for publication. When submitting pictures, send an e-mail with your article as an attachment, and the pictures as separate attachments in the same e-mail. Please do not scan your pictures into your e-mail, but attach them as a JPEG, TIF or PDF file. Photographs should be a minimum of 300 DPI (dots per inch). Go through the pictures you have taken and pick out three or four of the best ones to send along with your story. Please make sure to furnish the names of those people in the picture if it is a small group or give the photo an interesting caption. The German-American Journal’s goal is to provide a wide range of information for our readers that is interesting and unique. We rely on our writers to publish articles that will appeal to our readers. Concise material that clearly expresses your knowledge, experience, feelings or findings will receive consideration. If you are submitting an informational article aimed at German practices or customs, please be accurate and factual. We ask that our writers use the following guidelines when submitting an article: • Please make sure your article is unique, and not currently published in print, or online unless you have a written release to publish it in the Journal. If you have a release, do not forward us the actual publication but put it in a word document and attach it to your e-mail with any photos and the authorization for publication. • Give your article an interesting title and refer to it in your email. Subject: Journal (Your Article Title) • Never underestimate the power of spell checking. • Do not use any special formats, colors, or fonts within your article. While it may look pleasing to the eye, it creates problems for us when formatting your text. • Keep the tone of your article upbeat and interesting. • Give credit where credit is due. • Make sure to include your name, phone number and e-mail information. Acceptance depends on a variety of factors, including timeliness, style, and other editorial requirements that may not necessarily reflect on your writing ability. Articles are printed on a space-available basis and may be held until space permits. There are many topics that would make outstanding articles for the German-American Journal. We look forward to receiving and publishing your submissions during 2009, in celebration of D.A.N.K.’s 50th anniversary.

Darlene Fuchs Managing Editor

Submission Deadline For The April / May Issue: March 1st, 2009

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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February / March 2009

German-American Journal

Alaaf or Helau By: Darlene Fuchs

A very important regional distinction in Germany is the Carnival Salutation. Around Cologne this is “Alaaf”, and almost everywhere else it is “Helau”. One must be sure to never shout “Helau” in Cologne, or “Alaaf” in Mainz! “Alaaf” comes from “Cöllen al aff”, which means “Cologne on everything”. This phrase was first used in 1635 by Prince Metternich in a petition. In the 18th Carnival Century “Kollen Alaaf” was the praise and toast meaning “Cologne alone - the old city at the front!” Until about 20 years ago, the Carnival Salutation had always been: “Kollen Alaaf!”. “Helau!” This Karnevalsruf (Carnival Salutation) was first called out in 1935 by a delegation of the Mainz Prince Guard from Düsseldorf.

The salutation of “Helau” is a carnival stronghold spread throughout Germany and thus the most famous among the Call of Fools. It is often mistakenly written with “ll” which is not correct. The origin of “Helau” is numerous: On the Lower Rhine, the “Helau” was once a Hirtenruf (shepherd’s call). Another explanation is that “Helau” comes from Alleluia (hallelujah). Some also argue that “Helau” came from “to hell” or “to help” (hel = Teutonic goddess of the underworld,) thus the word hell. Because Carnival is celebrated over a long period of time in the winter, it was believed that the evil spirits at the opening of hell came up to distribute chaos over the earth. Others translate the word to mean “Halbblau” quite in contrast to the color blue, meaning (half blue or inebriated).

Volkstrauertag-Fort Custer Michigan November 16th, 2008

the old post cemetery. Those presenting wreaths that day Reinhard Lippert and Donna J. included Wolfgang Drautz, German Lippert attended the annual Battle Counsel from Chicago, Illinois, Reinhard Creek/Fort Custer Volkstrauertag and Donna J. Lippert representing memorial service. It is the only one of D.A.N.K National-Chicago Illinois; it’s kind held in the USA and Germany. DANK #13 Chapter President Walter German Counsel Wolfgang Drautz Patzer and his wife Julie, as well as from Chicago Illinois was also present the German Club of Kalamazoo. Otto at the ceremony along with D.A.N.K. Grunewald and Eckhard Gaul from the Chapter #13 President Walter Patzer St. Joe Kickers Sports (soccer) Club and his wife Julie Patzer. also presented a wreath. The ceremony held Sunday, All those in attendance then traveled November 16th, 2008 was “very to the Air Force Sergeant’s Association touching” as one Club, located at elderly man was Falcon Hall in crying as TAPS Battle Creek, were was being played. provided with The sixteen wonderful tasting German soldiers refreshments buried at the prepared by the cemetery lost their ladies from the Air lives due to a train Force Sergeant’s wreck in Blissfield club. Mr. and Mrs. Michigan on (L-R) Donna J. Lippert and Reinhard Lippert Breitbach, who for Halloween night so many years have in 1944 while returning home from provided all the work involving the working at a sugar beet farm near ceremony to honor those fallen German Blissfield Michigan. Ten other soldiers soldiers, have stepped down and Randy died later in 1944/1945 due to natural O’Neil will now be assuming the role causes. of making sure that the German soldiers During World War II, Fort Custer was are honored each year. A choir from expanded to over 14,000 acres where Windsor, Canada, provided the lovely more then 5000 German prisoners musical arrangements. of war were held. The last German It was mentioned at the “after glow” prisoners returned to their homeland ceremony, that three family members and left Fort Custer in 1946. Those left of the deceased soldiers have been behind were the twenty-six buried in in contact with those in charge of the planning of the ceremony held at Fort Custer. One of them was the grandson of the deceased by the name of Phillip Allman, who visited his grandfather’s grave. Other deceased soldiers include the name(s) of Ferdinand Auer and Josef Engruber. The next Fort Custer Volkstrauertag ceremony is scheduled for November 15th, 2009.

By: Donna J. Lippert

Battle Creek/Fort Custer Volkstrauertag memorial service.


Volkstrauertag and WreathLaying Observance An afternoon set aside to remember all victims of warfare.

By: Ursula Hoeft

More than a hundred hearty souls braved the chilly weather on November 16 to attend a Volkstrauertag observance at the Fort Sheridan Illinois cemetery where nine World War Two German prisoners of war are buried. A chime was sounded as each soldier’s name was read and a wreath was placed on his grave. D.A.N.K Chapter Lake County, Illinois sponsored the observance and wreath-laying, as the Chapter has done for the past 30 years. In her welcoming address, Chapter President Cobi Stein thanked Board member Ernst Weber for organizing the commemoration, the German Consulate’s Office for providing the official Volkstrauertag wreath, and Chapter Board members Anni and Victor Kordas for making the nine wreaths for the graves. D.A.N.K National President Bill Fuchs stated in his address, “we are here to honor all soldiers who died … we must never forget their sacrifices.” Mr. Fuchs talked about soldiers helping each other during times of war, without concern for which side they were on. German Deputy Consul General Roland Herrmann further elaborated on

(In Center L-R) Cobi Stein, Karl Schmidt, William Fuchs, Roland Herrmann, Ernst Ott. (photo credit: Klaus Mark Burchard)

the universal focus of the Volkstrauertag observance. Mr. Herrmann included discussion of post-World War Two acts of warfare and terror around the world in which millions have lost their lives, civilians as well as members of the military. Master of Ceremonies and Chapter Vice President Karl Schmidt read an English translation of the poem Der Gute Kamerad in memory of Otto Alden, D.A.N.K Chapter Lake County, Illinois Board member, who was honored by the Kriegsgräberfürsorge for the time and effort he dedicated to maintaining the graves at Fort Sheridan. D.A.N.K Chapter Lake County, Illinois member and former Fort Sheridan POW, Helmut Lenz was also remembered. The day was memorialized in song by members of the combined Schleswig-Holsteiner Sängerbund and Schwäbischer Sängerbund, directed by Glen Sorgatz, and in prayer by Pastor Richard Käske, also a Board member of D.A.N.K Chapter Lake County, Illinois. A coffee and cake get-together at the Lake Forest American Legion Hall followed the memorial service and provided a welcome opportunity to socialize – and warm up.

Members of the Schleswig-Holsteiner Sängerbund and Schwäbischer Sängerbund; director Glen Sorgatz. (photo credit: Klaus Mark Burchard)

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(Part 1 of 5)

German-American Journal

February / March 2009

Stories from Camp Frederick: German World War II POWs in Frederick, Maryland

By: Amelia Cotter

Many of the primary sources in this work come directly from the archives at The Frederick County Historical Society in Frederick, Marlyand. Introduction During World War II, the United States established its largest prisoner of war (POW) program in its history. By May of 1945, over 425,871 Axis prisoners were being held in POW camps across the country. Of these, 372,000 were German. There were two POW camps located in Frederick County—both exclusively holding Germans—Camp Ritchie and Camp Frederick. Camp Ritchie was located in the northern part of the county and no more than 200 prisoners were held there at any given time, having little contact with county residents. There is little information printed in the media about that camp, but there are plenty of newspaper and magazine articles, personal letters, and firsthand accounts concerning the men who lived and worked at Camp Frederick, officially PW Branch Camp #6, which was located just outside of the city. It is known that prisoners at Camp Ritchie were mostly employed by the military as carpenters, shoemakers, firemen, medics, orderlies, and cooks. At Camp Frederick, prisoners were primarily employed in agriculture, on privately owned farms, mostly as apple pickers. Some were also contracted out to commercial companies, such as the Oxford Fibre Brush Company, where they loaded and unloaded lumber. In essence, the POWs performed the tasks that no one else could do, due to the severe labor shortages as a result of the war. This paper will focus primarily on the lives and experiences of the men at Camp Frederick, and although the information available is mostly one-sided, and most of the viewpoints are American, the idea that Camp Frederick was not an unpleasant place for a POW to be, and ran relatively smoothly with little unrest or injustice, is accepted here. Perhaps not all German POWs across the Unites States had a similar experience, but Camp Frederick truly appears to have been a humane and relatively agreeable place for a POW to be held captive during World War II. The stories and experiences of both the prisoners and members of the Frederick community are varied and surprising. It appears from their descriptions that several of the POWs in Frederick left the country having had a positive experience and even some good

memories. The citizens of Frederick felt undoubtedly afraid of and ambivalent towards their enemy guests, but nevertheless, many of them found friendship and even lifelong relationships with some of the prisoners. Meticulously collected and continually revisited by the media over the decades, the articles, letters, and firsthand accounts of the prisoners and those that lived in Frederick reveal a very real, human, and personal side of the war, in many cases breaking down both German stereotypes and misconceptions about American nationalism. Fort George G. Meade and the Maryland POW Camp System In Maryland, the POW camp program was initially developed in three overlapping phases: planning for security and escape prevention, how to benefit from the work of the POWS, and developing a program of political rehabilitation. In the first stage, which lasted from December 1941 to the end of 1943, the provost marshal’s office of the War Department—which was in charge of the national POW program—established that one guard would need to supervise every two or three prisoners. The office was largely concerned with escape attempts and prisoners becoming hostile towards guards and each other. This explains why it spent so much time deliberating on this phase and creating a tight security policy. It was during this stage that the provost marshal’s office of the War Department established its Maryland installation at Fort George G. Meade, located in the juncture of Anne Arundel, Howard, and Prince George’s counties. Fort Meade received permission to start holding prisoners on September 15, 1942, and initially held Axis-country civilians who were trapped in the U.S. after the war erupted. Starting in September 1943 to July 1946, Fort Meade served as the main POW camp in Maryland with a capacity of 1,680 prisoners. When it officially became a POW camp in 1943, Fort Meade held mostly Italians and only a few German POWs, until May 1944 when it officially became a German POW camp. Most of the POWs captured and brought to Maryland were Wehrmacht (army) personnel, though there were also some soldiers from the Luftwaffe (air force) and the navy. Around 1943, pressure began to build on the War Department to loosen up its harsh POW security policies. Local farmers, businesses, and manufacturers— due to extreme labor shortages—began to suggest that the POWs be allowed outside of Fort Meade to work for them.

Internment Lectures in Texas By: Eberhard Fuhr

I am pleased to report that the lectures in Crystal City and  Uvalde, Texas, in conjunction with Traces Museum, Director Michael Luick Thrams, went well. Traces presented the stories of refugees and others  incarcerated in the USA, including one of Jewish heritage. All was presented on historic December 7, beginning with a radio interview of me at the Crystal City Internment facility Texas State marker, by interviewer David Martin Davies, News and Current Affairs Director of   Texas Public Radio--KPAC,KSTX,KTXI. At the Crystal City City Hall he also radio recorded and video taped the presentations. The event was graciously hosted by the City Manager, Diana Palacios. On a tight schedule, with a most hasty lunch, we made the same presentations in the Uvalde Texas Library, called EL PROGRESO MEMORIAL LIBRARY. Susan Anderson is the Library Director of this recently completed 6 million dollar building. The Traces placards were displayed, as well as a  remarkable display of artifacts consistent of the times portrayed. In attendance were many of the town’s intellectual leaders. Mr. Davies again taped audio and

visual, the purpose of which is to broadcast in Texas and possibly even national PBS and/or on the web. I can honestly report that the messages were well received, as the follow up questions were cogent and very well thought out. Mr. Davies did his homework well because his interview questions were on point. He also relates that his congressman would support WTSA. I cannot say enough about the principal arranger of all this, Susan  Anderson, the library director. A tireless workaholic and very creative, she arranged both sessions as she  directs the CC library as well. I learned that the fund raising for the magnificent structure was spearheaded by her.   She was a most gracious hostess and I appreciated her generosity. Her husband  lent his installation skills very willingly too. He is an interesting man who remembered sometimes swimming in the pool located at the Crystal City Interment facility years after we left. People listen in rapt attention to our many stories. They want human and civil rights to be respected, while also assuring that the nation and its citizens are safe in times of national peril. I am glad I made the trip.

As a result, in June 1943 authorization was given to Fort Meade for limited agricultural employment, but the War Department was unwilling to allow the soldiers outside of the camp. Five months later, as desperation for workers continued to grow, approval was given for the establishment of new German POW camps in Maryland. In February 1944, at a militarycivilian conference held in Dallas, Texas, the War Department formalized the change in its security policy and the construction of 18 additional POW camps began.

(photo courtesy of David Rathbun)

These camps would employ workers in various agricultural and industrial activities in Maryland under the terms of the Geneva Convention, which stated that “captured enemy officers could not be compelled to work and that non-commissioned officers could only supervise.” Enlisted men could work any job except one “demeaning, degrading, or directly related to the war effort.” Not only did the Geneva Convention not allow forced labor, but prisoners at Camp Frederick were considered Class A prisoners, meaning all work was voluntary. According to Charles P. Wales, who served as a guard at Camp Frederick from September 1945 to Spring 1946, many of the prisoners who decided to work outside the camp were prompted by boredom. By August of 1945, over 4,000 POWs in Maryland were laboring for the army or navy, and 6,000 for civilian contractors. Most prisoners worked within the camps at camp bakeries, canteens, hospitals, or laundries. Others dug ditches, built roads, and managed lawns. Farmers could apply for the extra prisoners through the Department of Agriculture’s War Food Administration, while manufacturers had to go through the War Manpower Commission to receive prisoner labor. In Frederick, the Frederick County Agricultural Cooperative Association was formed in 1944 to “tap into the pool of available prisoner labor.”


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

February / March 2009

German-American Journal


Major Heros von Borcke Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Gen. Stuart immediately accepted him and assigned him On January 30, 1864, a peculiar event took place in duties as an assistant adjutant and inspector general the Confederate States of America Congress in Rich- on his staff.v mond, Virginia. A resolution of thanks to a mere MaVon Borcke fit into Stuart’s staff perfectly. Stuart, jor in the Army of Northern Virginia was issued. It only 28 at the time, worked hard and played hard. He read as follows: developed a staff of young, energetic and enterprising young men to “Inculcate the spirit of the chase” in Whereas Maj. Heros von Borcke, of Prussia, as- the cavalry. Von Borcke provided a powerful, professistant adjutant and inspector general of the cavalry sional image, but was game for any practical jokes, corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, having left jests and game-playing conducted at cavalry headhis own country to assist in securing the indepen- quarters during off-duty hours. He carried a sword he dence of ours, and by his personal gallantry in the had forged in Solingen, Germany, of Damascus steel, field having won the admiration of his comrades as which he easily wielded as a saber, while his comwell as that of his commanding general, all of whom rades were required to grip it with two hands, earndeeply sympathize with him in his present sufferings ing him the nickname “Major Armstrong” by from wounds received in battle: Therefore, While in winter camp at “The Bower” in what is now Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate West Virginia, Stuart’s staff put on a minstrel show for States of America, That the thanks of Congress are their chief after a successful raid. Von Borcke took on due, and the same are hereby tendered, to Major the role of a bride, in a ball gown with hoop skirt and von Borcke, for his self-sacrificing devotion to our his head covered in artificial flowers. After a short Confederacy, and for his distinguished services in pantomime, Stuart exclaimed “My dear old Von, if I support of its cause. Resolved, That a copy of the ever could forget you as I know you on the field of foregoing resolution be transmitted to Major von battle, your appearance as a woman would never fade Borcke by the President of the Confederate States. from my memory.”vii Approved January 30, 1864 i Although he had his fair share of fun as a staff officer, war is a dangerous business and von Borcke was Perhaps the event took place because this Major not immune to it. During the Battle of Middleburg, was no ordinary soldier in the Confederate Army. while was riding through an open field with Stuart and Baron Johann August Heinrich Heros von Borckeii his staff, who had become the target of enemy sharpwas a towering six foot four inches tall and reported to shooters, von Borcke fell victim to enemy fire. A weigh approximately 240 pounds. staff officer riding ahead heard the Born in Ehrenbreitstein, Prussia, fateful thud of bullet to flesh, and to a long-standing noble family, he turned thinking Stuart had been hit, was educated in Berlin and Halle. only to observe von Borcke falling His family favored military service from the saddle. The bullet had and von Borcke held a commission struck him in the neck and lodged in the Second Brandenburg Regiin one of his lungs. Although conment of Dragoons when the Amersidered a mortal wound, the robust ican Civil War began in 1861. By Prussian refused to succumb and this time, he was a Royal Cavalry lived with the bullet still lodged Officer, the equivalent of a Captain until his death in 1895.viii in the U. S. Army.iii Stuart, desiring to reward von An eight year veteran of the Borcke for sustaining such a sePrussian army, it has been suggestvere wound and hoping to retain ed that he abandoned Europe for his services in a combat support the American war due to boredom role, heavily lobbied the War Deand a desire to test his skill in compartment to promote him. Unwillbat. Another account claimed he ing or unable to grant Stuart’s perquarreled with his father, desired Major Heros von Borcke sistent applications, Confederate to get away and left for an opportuPresident Jefferson Davis instead nity for adventure in America. If the latter is correct, asked for the congressional resolution. Later, after he certainly had all the adventure possible during the Stuart’s death, von Borcke was promoted to LieutenAmerican Civil War.iv ant Colonel and was ordered on a diplomatic mission Von Borcke spoke very little English and destroyed to England which caused him to miss the collapse of his letters of introduction when his ship was boarded the Confederacy.ix crossing through the Union blockade. Despite this, In 1866, after returning to Prussia, von Borcke the War Department in Richmond sent him in the wrote his memoirs of service with Stuart, sharing a latter part of May, 1862, to report to then Brigadier great number of exciting and humorous stories. AlGeneral James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart, Cavalry though exaggerating his role on Stuart’s staff, he reBy: Susan Rosenvold

mained popular with his former comrades and made a return visit to the U. S. in 1884, donating his sword to the State of Virginia, where it is maintained by the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. Von Borcke married in 1867, named a daughter Virginia in honor of his adopted state, and occasionally flew the flag of the Confederacy at his castle, Geisenbrugge.x In September, 2008, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy placed a Confederate marker and iron cross at von Borcke’s grave. J.E.B. Stuart, IV, and Eckhard von Borcke represented their respective great-grandfathers during the ceremony. Additional attendees included members of the German Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, composed of descendents of Germans who fought in the American Civil War.xi

Descendents of Heros von Borcke, and German SCV members with J.E.B. Stuart, IV (man left-center with bow-tie) at von Borcke mausoleum.

J.E.B. Stuart, IV (left) and Eckhard von Borcke unveil the U. S. service marker at the von Borcke mausoleum.

i U. S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington D. C.: U. S. GPO, 18801901) Ch. XXVII, 2, 712. ii Wilhelm Kaufmann, Die Deutschen im amerikanischen Bürgerkrieg, 1911, iii Robert J. Trout, They Followed the Plume, (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1993), 273-274. iv Trout, Followed, 274.v Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Reprint, (Nashville, TN: J. S. Sanders and Company, 1999), 12-14. vi Heros von Borcke, Memoirs, 93. vii von Borcke, Memoirs, 205. viii W. W. Blackford, War Years with J.E.B. Stuart, Reprint, (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press), 218-219. Von Borcke, Memoirs, 448. ix Von Borcke, Memoirs, 446-447 x Trout, Followed, 279-280. xi J.E.B. Stuart, IV, interview with author, September 15, 2008.


German-American Journal

National Board Member Profile:

NATIONAL TREASURER, MARIA THOMPSON This is a 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: Maria Thompson National Treasurer I was born in Bavaria, Germany. I came to the United States in the 60’s to visit a friend, with the intention to return to Germany a year or two later. But after about two months back home I decided to move to the US permanently after all. I attended an airline school in Los Angeles, CA for a short while after which I joined a travel agency, where after a few months I realized I was bored and quit. After returning to Chicago, I worked for a finance company for eleven years and then went to work for a printing company for about 7 years in the finance department. My husband Jerry, whom I married in 1966, wanted me to quit working and so I did. He thought that traveling to and from downtown Chicago was too much. However, that did not last too long. I started do-

ing taxes for friends and neighbors and very soon started my own income tax business. To this day I enjoy this kind of work very much and am still doing it.

MEMBERSHIP How Can We Help This Organization To Grow? By: Erik Whittman

Happy New Year to all of our existing D.A.N.K. members in the various chapters as well as independent members throughout the USA! May 2009 be good for our members providing good health and stable finances, as well as the development of new members/ chapters. There can be no discussion of membership without recognizing our existing members and the need to keep you actively involved in the value and focus of this organization, as well as ongoing recruitment at the local level. As Membership chair, I have had the opportunity to visit some chapters and see the vitality and commitment of many of our members/chapters. It is ultimately those members and chapters that will help grow this organization in conjunction with the new programs we are introducing on a national basis such as travel, merchandising, and membership services. While some of the concentration in the past year has been to add new chapters to the organizations, during 2009 the Membership Committee members will be working with both Regional Presidents and Chapter Presidents to try to revitalize some of our chapters who are barely hanging on. The first and most critical step is to have all of our existing members renew their membership. Equally important is for all of you to follow through on our effort of “Just Add One”, which challenges each one of our members to solicit one new member to your chapter or perhaps some family member/friend residing somewhere other than your own area, that could help be the foundation of new chapters. We all know persons of Germanic heritage or individuals who appreciate the activities that your chapter may provide, who,

if approached to consider joining your chapter, would give serious consideration. So take pride in your organization and make that effort. Even though we have no funds currently for a broad national membership drive, we have undertaken where we received leads or inquiries to initiate new chapters. As you know Columbus was added as a chapter because of the interest of local people to develop a D.A.N.K. school for their children. The Pittsburgh chapter, with assistance of its Mason-Dixon sub chapter, is working on the establishment of a second sub chapter in west-central Pennsylvania, to be known as the Laurel Highlands sub chapter. Work is continuing with local organizers who have expressed an interest in forming chapters in Syracuse, the Eastern Carolina Coast and Denver. We will also be focusing on establishing members/chapters in Florida. So should you know anyone in the areas mentioned, please send them a membership application. Increasing membership is not something that can be done solely by the National Board or Membership Committee, but requires the active involvement of all members, including local chapter leadership. The Membership Committee in the coming months will be reaching out to all our Chapters to see what we can do to assist in increasing membership and making chapters stronger. Finally, if good financial fortune continues to shine upon you, consider making a donation to the Membership Fund, so that we can undertake advertising in National Journals, as well as targeting certain areas for chapter development. Any donations will be greatly appreciated. Just note on the check “Membership Fund”. Thank you and Happy New Year!

February / March 2009

Welcome National Office Manager Amelia Cotter

By: Amelia Cotter Ever since I was a little girl, I have been interested in foreign languages and cultures. I picked German when I was in eighth grade and it stuck with me through high school and into college. Wanting to explore my German heritage, delve into Germany’s dynamic history, and become more internationally minded, I found myself majoring in German and History at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. I studied abroad at the University of Heidelberg my junior year and took lot’s of time to explore Germany and it’s surrounding countries. My special interests and research areas are the ancient Germans, the Reformation, High Renaissance German and Flemish art, and World War II. I also love learning about medieval Europe, Ancient Egypt, and the American Civil War. I have a big passion for wildlife and the outdoors. I traveled to the Amazon in Ecuador and did research with a professor in the Nicaraguan rainforest on palm trees, bats, and leafcutter ants. That was amazing. I especially love reptiles and have a corn snake at home, Atticus. My beloved python, Jim, died this summer after ten happy years with me. I also have a dog, Oskar, a Basenji/ Jack Russell Terrier mix. I hope to become a docent at the Lincoln Park Zoo. When I have more room in my home one day, I would also love to add a large snake or even a lizard to my collection! My big dream is to be an author, and I especially enjoy writing children’s stories, short stories, a spoof television script with a friend, and a novella. I am also a huge fan of folklore, urban legends, and ghost stories. My other hobbies include being involved with my

church, cross-stitching, and yoga. After I graduated from college in 2007, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and got to spend six months at home with my parents while in treatment. Having cancer was an incredible experience for me and was by far the most important event in my life so far. I will be in remission for five years, and I feel very happy to be here and hope I can help and inspire others one day who are going through difficult times of their own. While at home, I also got the chance to do a lot of writing and got to be a longdistance research assistant for a University of Connecticut professor. Her (academic) book on ancient rune magic will hopefully come out next year. I have had a lot of great opportunities to do some really cool things, and that includes having been able to come out to Chicago and start my life over here. I am an only child and grew up in Bel Air, Maryland, but my parents now live in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. I have been in Chicago since February ’08. I’m excited about city life and all of the adventures it has to offer. I have made a lot of nice friends so far and hope to take advantage of all the possibilities here. I am very excited about joining everyone at D.A.N.K. and I really look forward to working with Eva as part of the office staff!

February / March 2009

German-American Journal


An Individual Who Shaped D.A.N.K.’s Destiny By: Cobi Stein

As the D.A.N.K. timeline moves toward the celebration of it’s 50th anniversary, this article recognizes the achievements of Walther Kollacks, who figured so prominently in the organization. Some knew him as a drafted soldier in the Germany Army, who was wounded on two separate occasions in World War II on Germany’s eastern front (one of which was the Battle of Berlin) and became a prisoner of war in Russia, as a fellow tool and die maker in an industry that suffered frequent lay-offs in the years shortly before his retirement or as a Sunday school teacher at First Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Chicago. Wolfram Kollacks knew him simply as dad, the man with a warm and easy going personality, who liked classical music, read lots of history books, loved to dance (and was good at it) and never owned a car. “He had no need or desire to own a car…the CTA was fine,” says Wolfram about his father, D.A.N.K. National President (1963-1973) Walther Kollacks. “Sometimes he shared a ride with a D.A.N.K. friend or his son or daughter.” In a conversation with this reporter on a Wednesday evening in mid-November in Lake Forest, Illinois, Wolfram, a retired chemical engineer who worked in the food processing industry, specializing in energy utilization and conversion systems, and daughter-inlaw Linda, a professional artist, specializing in portrait painting, reflected on Walther as a father and father-in-law. The romance between Walther and Klara, Wolfram’s mother, began in Germany, but after a lover’s spat, Klara took off for Chicago to stay with her sister. Walther decided to follow Klara, but was delayed because of the immigration quota. Absence did, indeed, make the heart grow fonder and they were married shortly after Walther arrived in the USA. “My older sister, Ingeborg, was born in America, but when the Great Depression hit and illness struck, the family moved back to Germany in 1931, “ explains Wolfram. Wolfram and his sister, Barbara, were born in Germany. In order for Ingeborg to keep her US citizenship, she had to come back to America before the age of 21, which she did and it required paying for her transportation on a troop carrier. This was in contrast to displaced persons, who had free passage. Ingeborg then arranged for her father to return to Chicago in 1948, then Wolfram and Barbara and finally her mother, which reunited the family here and in due course led to all of them becoming US citizens. In a follow-up e-mail to our conversation, Wolfram shares a fond memory about his father: Riding the Roosevelt Avenue streetcar from our south side home to the Field Museum terminal to visit the 1950 Railroad Fair, where both historical and modern railroad machinery was exhibited (my passion). Vati appreciated the mechanical aspects, and I appreciated time spent with my father who, in my formative years, was forcibly absent due to the war and its aftermath. “Walther was a frustrated artist. He loved to draw

Photograph of portrait by Linda Kollacks of Walther Kollacks.

and he loved to talk about artists. His encouragement of my artwork was invaluable to me and formed a real connection between us. The family disliked shopping with him (Walther), because he always came out of the store with pads of paper and pencils,” Linda says with a slight chuckle about her father-in-law, recalling his infatuation with artistry. Wolfram says his father believed in D.A.N.K. and joined shortly after it’s start, but was not one of the founding members. He became National President because “Vati wanted to improve the German-American community – he battled against the anti-German sentiment during his tenure.” During the years Walther Kollacks was National President, he attended numerous D.A.N.K. functions – highlights in random order included joining a delegation to Washington, DC, to meet with Congressman Rarrek and (then) President Gerald Ford and assist in laying a wreath at the Steuben monument, a visit to (then) West Berlin to address an assembly in the “House of the East German Homeland”, a goodwill trip to South America to exchange ideas with German Argentineans and a conference in Bonn to address the Association of Expellees, which Walther could strongly identify with, since his last wartime residence in Guben (although born close to Zittau in Saxony) was lost due to the new Polish frontier along the Neisse River. “Der hier liegt, starb zu frueh! Dieses sollte auf dem Grabstein von Walther Kollacks stehen!  Unter seiner Fuehrung hatte der .DA.N.K. 18,000 Mitglieder!  Und die Deutsch-Amerikaner hatten eine herausragende Persoenlichkeit, die viel Beachtung fand.  Walther Kollacks hat schon durch seine Reden und journalistischen Beitraege dem Deutsch-Amerikanertum Profil gegeben.  Diese Beitraege waren in beiden Sprachen, Englisch oder Deutsch, nahezu perfekt -- manchmal kantig und hart, fuer viele wirkten seine Worte vertrauensstiftend.   Er und ich sprachen oft

ueber den Niedergang der Deutschen Sprache in den Vereinigten Staaten, dem ein Riegel vorgeschoben werden muesste. Das war der Hauptgrund weshalb ich 1964 eines seiner Mitglieder wurde.” …Werner Baroni During the latter years of his presidency and shortly after his retirement, Walther dovetailed as the business manager of D.A.N.K’s main office, which included overseeing the charter flight program to Germany. He managed the contents and printing of the monthly “D.A.N.K. Bulletin”, later called “The German American”, recalls Wolfram, and wrote the lead editorials and answered letters to the editor. “Between 1966 and 1968 my father also wrote a weekly commentary and was a regular speaker on an FM radio station, which aired on Sunday mornings in the Chicagoland area. He spoke on topics that were relevant and at all times ended with ‘and this is why you should join the D.A.N.K.’.” Walther died of cancer in 1973 at the age of 71. Klara followed him in death in 1999. Walther’s social nature was a counterpoint to Klara’s quiet character; they suited each other in a lovely way. The picture that remains is one in which religion did not play a significant role in Walther’s childhood. While always a believer in God, he had no affiliation with a church. However, in Russia, with the help of a fellow prisoner of the Catholic faith, he found himself seeking God’s guidance through prayer and a change with lasting effect took place in Walther’s life. ”Guten Abend, gute Nacht, von Englein bewacht”, a lyric from Brahms’ Lullaby (Op. 49, Number 4), which Walther liked to hear, might well be the most fitting bid of farewell. Linda and Wolfram live in Libertyville, Illinois. They have three daughters - Christina, who lives in Colorado, Lisa, who lives in Libertyville and Diana, who lives in Willowbrook - and are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren (Lisa). Walther had a hand in getting Linda commissioned to paint the Abraham Lincoln and George Washington paintings, which can still be seen hanging in the D.A.N.K. Chapter Chicago North Haus today.

(L-R) Willi Kanies, Walther Kollacks and Hans Hebling in front of the DANK (Chapter Chicago North) Haus in Chicago, Illinois.

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German-American Journal

February / March 2009

Greetings From Lake Erie Shore! By: Beverly Pochatko

The first Sunday of Advent has always been the start of the Christmas Season for our Erie D.A.N.K Chapter and this year was no different. Our Chapter celebration focuses on family and children and on December 7th, we gathered at the Saga Club for dinner. It made it more special this year since St. Nicholaus Day falls on December 6th. This year’s event brought in about 53 members and guests and we continue the tradition of trying to keep the event as authentic as possible. Following a delicious buffet dinner, each of the children received their very own personalized Christmas stocking filled with goodies. The Erie Männerchor Gesangverein provided a selection of traditional German Christmas carols, followed by the English sing along of Jingle Bells and more. The highlight of the program comes when everyone lights a candle and the house lights dim and

Front row: Carol Snippert, Marge Santebene, Carol Pilliteri, Margaret Potocki, Margaret Carter, Bev Pochatko. Second Row: Vic Hawthorne, Paul Stadler, Bill Schubert, Christel Caldwell, Hildegard Marshall and Sondra Marshall.

we sing Stille Nacht followed by the English Silent Night. The traditional caroling of all in attendance of both English and German Christmas carols is always enjoyed. Then the children received their gifts from Santa’s helper, Fred Huttel, Jr., as Santa was stuck in a snow storm! Seeing the excitement and wonder on the faces of the children made the whole Christmas Party enjoyable. The festivities wound down as members visited the cookie display and indulged in those family favorites with coffee. It was then that three of our younger members went to the piano and entertained us with their version of Jingle Bells as we were preparing to depart in the snow storm. Plans are already underfoot to make next year’s event as successful. 2008 was a relatively good year for the Chapter. We have welcomed back former members and new members. We have had members bring in other family members following VP Wittmann’s suggestion to give the gift of membership for Christmas! The Chapter remains committed to bringing new information to members via speakers like Dr. Leo Gruber of Edinboro University, who shared with us German naming traditions; Dueling in German Universities; and PA Dutch healing practices. In 2009, we hope to teach simple folk dances to our members via an instruction video we acquired. Our language classes under the tutelage of Linda Brown continues and we look forward to starting a ‘Traveler’s German’ course in February. Members have enjoyed videos on Germany and have several in store for the coming year. We also enjoy having social evenings where we play Po-Ke-No following a meeting. Our traditional summer picnic will take place in July and we will actively support the German Heritage Festival once again over Labor Day Week-

South Bend - Chapter Happenings

(L-R) Karlie Kodrzycki, Paige and Brooke Lowery

end. Most important is that we continue to strongly support and identify our German heritage through our association with D.A.N.K. We are sought out and supported by various civic groups and public officials wanting information on our heritage. D.A.N.K. continues to make contributions to our public library, historical and genealogy societies; and provides German Life magazine subscriptions to area teachers of the German language. In April, we will begin the year-long celebration, leading to our 20th Anniversary in 2010! Next to the Erie Siebenbürger Singing Society, we are the oldest active German heritage group; and we were instrumental in re-forming the Erie Männerchor Gesangverein eleven years ago. We intend to keep the heritage of our forefathers alive for many years to come. Wishing all the Chapters much success in the coming year and looking forward to our National Convention this fall hosted by Chicago South Chapter.

Region 2 Officers Elected

By: Christine Weiss

By: Donna J. Lippert

“Eins zwei drei im Sauseschritt, läuft die Zeit wir laufen mit” Wilhelm Busch wrote this words and they could not be truer. It was that time again to have an election meeting. Rudolf Schlosser, like in previous years, presided over our election. Motion was made and passed to elect the old officers again. All were in favor. We congratulated each other on our old/new position. On November 29th, 2008 we met at Wiseguys to put together our activity calendar for 2009. Donna Lippert, who joined us that evening with her husband Reinhold, had a little surprise for all of us. She emptied a big bag with neatly wrapped gifts on the table and told us to pull a number out of a container. Knowing Donna she made sure that everybody would win a prize and that was exactly what happened. Thanks Donna. On December 7th, 2008 we met for our annual Christmas party. After a pot luck luncheon, the officers gathered around the piano and with Patricia playing we all joined in singing the old familiar German Christmas songs. Tradition has it that Günter Kison reads the Christmas story in German. This year he also told us about a Christmas he had a long time ago in Germany when he just had gotten married. Life was very simple in those days and happiness was a Christ-

On October 26th, 2008 Region Two held their election at the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph DANK #13 Haus. Donna J. Lippert was elected to serve as President, Rudy Schloesser was elected to serve as Vice President, Christine Weiss was elected to serve as Secretary, and Hilde Schloesser was elected to serve as Treasurer. Cecilia Seabury was elected to serve as 2nd Vice President. Reinhard Lippert will serve as a Delegate and Hilde Schloesser will serve as an Alternate.

mas tree and a radio playing Christmas songs and of course two people in love. Once a year we put together a display for the Goshen library. In the past we have chosen subjects such as “Gutenberg, Saint Hildegard from Bingen, industrial Germany etc. But this year we were asked to do our display in December. We chose “German Christmas Traditions”. Elfriede Schuell, Hermann Nuyken and I put together a visual and written Christmas display. Our Officers for 2009 are: President: Christine Weiss, Vice President: Günter Kison, Vice President: Hermann Nuyken, Treasurer: John Tarwacki, Recording Secretary: Erika Kison, Corresponding & Financial Secretary: Trudy Muessig, Public relations: Christine Weiss, Auditors: Dale Smith, Ingrid Wiremann, Directors and Advisors: Ingrid Wiremann, Rudy Muessig, Margaret and Dale Smith, Sonja Wilson, Hedi McCoy and last but not least Bärbel Kelley, who is a newcomer to our board of officers. Welcome Bärbel.

(L-R) Donna J. Lippert, Rudy Schloesser, Christine Weiss, Hilde Schloesser, and Reinhard Lippert.

Raffle Winner DANK BENTON HARBOR/ST JOSEPH $1000 WINNERS-FRED & EDNA VOLKER DANK Chapter 13 members Fred and Edna Volker were very excited to be the top winner of the DANK National Raffle this year! (L-R) Fred Volker, Edna Volker and Donna J. Lippert, DANK National 2nd Vice President

February / March 2009

German-American Journal


New Year’s Eve Celebration at DANK Chicago-West By: Annelies Pitz

Once again our members and many friends gathered to celebrate this annual event at the beautiful Drury Lane in Oak Brook Terrace, IL. Even though a number of attendees faced physical challenges this year and thus had no choice but to stay home, our event was once again pronounced a big success. The weather God insured a snow-free December

evening and while the temperatures dropped, no snow was in our way. The evening started with an open bar, followed by a scrumptious dinner. The Phenix Band provided the music for dancing; it was sheer delight to see the couples swing to traditional foxtrot, polka, waltz or some of the modern dances. There was no shortage of alcohol for anyone needing a picker upper. This year the carnival Prince Bobby I and Princess Silvia I of the Rheinische Verein elected to stay in the city. A cheese plate and coffee was provided for those desiring a snack prior to midnight. As tradition would have it, champagne and noise makers of many kinds welcomed the year 2009. As had been customary American Airlines, our great sponsor, was again on board this year offering two winners a round trip from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany and this year’s winners are: Inge Hagedorn of Orland Park, IL and Horst Muenx, a Chicago resident spending the winter in Palm City, FL. We are most grateful for the support of American Airlines to our

Tradition Continues In Pittsburgh! By: Erik Wittman

The first Friday of December has always been the start of the Christmas Season for D.A.N.K Chapter 58 and this year was no different. This past December 5th, the first Friday of the month, the Pittsburgh Chapter again celebrated it’s annual Weihnachtsfeier, which it has done for over 20 years at the Singer’s Hall of Teutonia Männerchor, located in the historic Deutschtown section of the city. The choice of the first Friday centers around the fact that St. Nicholaus Day falls on December 6 and allowing that the Chapter Christmas celebration focuses on family and children, it was decided many years ago to start the tradition of using the first Friday as the kick off date and the date for the Weihnachtsfeier. This year’s event brought in about 150 members and guests and stayed in the tradition of trying to be as authentic as possible. Prior to the Christmas celebration, members/guests could enjoy a German buffet in the Rathskeller, offered by the Teutonia Männerchor. This year’s Christmas committee, headed by Erna Jochum, provided a nice array of both adult

and children focused entertainment. Additionally, as is customary, President Erik Wittmann made arrangements for the raffling off of Christmas baskets to help pay for the event, as well as provide a small “Christkindelmarkt” for guests to do some Christmas shopping. The traditional caroling of all in attendance, of both English and German Christmas carols, is always enjoyed, as are the member donated cookies and Glühwein, served throughout the evening. The Chapter was especially pleased to have a nice contingency of the Mason –Dixon sub chapter members in attendance, especially since Chris Decker, Chapter Vice President and MasonDixon founding member, helped with his lovely wife Lori, in the group Christmas caroling. Plans are already underfoot to make next year’s event as successful.

Frauengruppe 30th Anniversary By: Ella Schulke

The Fireside Inn was the scene of the gathering of the Frauengruppe on Oct. 11th, 2008. Of the 29 attendees, 13 were the ladies of the Frauengruppe. Frauengruppe President Miriam Bollweg welcomed all the members and guests. Frauengruppe members that attended were: Selma Abel, Ruth Baer, Else Baumann, Elsie Berberick, Maria Bock, Miriam Bollweg, Patricia Dowling, Margaret Krieger, Walli Neumeier, Edith Quint, Ella Schulke, Wilma Wallat & Anni Werner. Guests included President Walter Patzer, his wife Julie; founder/past President Erika Grisard; Elaine Kerill; Caroline Siewert; and husbands & friends of the Frauengruppe. Miriam thanked, Diane & Walli Neumeier for putting a picture album together of the Frauengruppe’s past activities; Ella Schulke for ordering and picking up the “Anniversary cake”; and Walli Neumeier & Wilma Wallat.

We enjoyed the dinner and the dessert. President Walter Patzer thanked the ladies for all their help, including the Easter Egg Hunt and the Children’s Christmas party. As an indication of appreciation for all the help our D.A.N.K Chapter has received from the Frauengruppe, Walter presented a single rose in a glass vase, to the Frauengruppe members that were present. Everyone had a nice time.

German-American community. Our German Silvester involved nothing more than “Eating, Drinking and Dancing” the same way as our forefathers did in the old country. In 2009 DANK-West will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary, an event coupled with our traditional May Dance which will be our next challenge. We thank ALL who attended and wish them health and happiness for the New Year.

Chicago South Weihnachtstanz & Miss DANK Wahl By: Marianne L. Dietz

This past Holiday Season was quite busy at our clubhouse in Frankfort, Illinois. Armin Homann hosted another sold out show bringing us great entertainers from Germany and Austria.  The talented singers delighted everyone and the evening ended with traditional German Weihnachtslieder.   December 5th was our annual Christmas Dance and Miss DANK election.  The Perlen provided for an evening of dancing and entertainment.  Our lovely Andrea Dietz graciously accepted her re-coronation as our Miss DANK. She looks forward to representing our club and youth another year and especially through our upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration in November 2009.  We were also honored with the presence of the newly crowned Prinz Bobby I and Prinzessin Sylvia I of the Rheinischer Verein along with their entourage Rheinischer President Reinhard Richter and the former Prinzenpaar Erik and Esperanza.  The festivities continued the following Sunday with our Adventskaffee.  Various members brought their children and guests to enjoy warm cups of Kinderglühwein, homemade baked goods and stolen.   The children created tasty, crafty treats and everyone joined in to sing Weihnachtslieder as our good children eagerly awaited the arrival of the Weihnachtsmann, who brought them all special treats.  It was so nice to see our young members enjoy this holiday celebration as they are our future.  We must all continue to teach them our German customs with hopes of all for the continuation of our heritage and traditions.   DANK Chicago South wünschen alle Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches und gesundes Neues Jahr!

(DANK Chicago South Board  members, Miss DANK 2009, Rheinischer Prinzenpaar and members) BR: Pat Dowling, Ella Schulke, Mariam Bollweg, Selma Abel, Anni Werner, Else Baumann, Maria Bock & Margaret Krieger FR: Wilma Wallat, Anni Neumeier, Ruth Baer, Elsie Berberick and Edith Quint.

Reinhard Richter, Paula Malloy, Gerhard Stadl, William Schmidt, Marianne Dietz, Prinz Bobby I, Prinzessin Sylvia I, Christine Walthier, Andrea Dietz, Katherina Fandl, Linda Janca, Martin Walthier


German-American Journal

Milestone in Milwaukee By: Cobi Stein

The 25th anniversary of the Milwaukee .DA.N.K. Chor was celebrated on Saturday, November 1, 2008, and it was my great pleasure (together with a group of 20 others) to join in this gala quarter century occasion. The Bavarian Inn in Glendale, Wisconsin served as a lovely backdrop for this event that attracted a crowd of 200+ wellwishers. Music appeals to everyone. It is an expression of culture, emotion, language, history and tradition. The choir drew appreciative applause from the audience, starting with its

Trading Places

first selection, the “D.A.N.K. Lied”, and right through to it’s last “When the Saints Go Marching In,” with songs by mezzo soprano Kathleen Sonnentag as the guest artist sprinkled in. High marks also go to Director James Norden! What followed was a fine buffet, recognition of long time members and lively dance music by the legendary Johnny Hoffmann and die Herzbuben, with soloist Willi Wessels. D.A.N.K. National President William Fuchs, together with D.A.N.K. German-American Journal Managing Editor Darlene Fuchs, presented a plaque to Choir President Ronald Kabitzke in recognition of the choir’s significant accomplishments. Thank you members of the Milwaukee D.A.N.K. Choir, with a special nod to Ron Kabitzke, Jill Shearer, Carolyn Fuchs and Doris Mueller, for a tradition filled evening. On behalf of my group, we hope the choir will continue to bring good things to the D.A.N.K. organization for many years to come! other members of this group, who were so full of energy and good will. We will long remember the hospitality that literally reverberated from their Ratskeller rafters! Following breakfast at the New Harmony Inn, we joined by a ‘step-on guide’ for a motor coach tour to learn more about the village’s communal societies. New Harmony was first a

February / March 2009

DANK Chicago Northern Suburbs Schools Celebrated Weihnachten

By: Ursula Hoeft

Talented performers entertained a full house It was Weihnachten at Palatine High School on December 7 when the D.A.N.K Chapter 26 Chicago Northern Suburbs schools held their annual Christmas program. School Directors Gertrud Golsch (Arlington Heights campus) and Astrid Herod (Palatine campus) joined Chapter President Dora Totzke, playing the accordion, and teachers and students to celebrate the Christmas season “German style.” The program had everything to create an Old World holiday atmosphere: German Christmas songs, poems, pageants, and an Advent

Teacher Trudy Hoyer, at far left, watches students light Advent Candles

candle lighting ceremony. In a lighter vein, everyone - including Region One President Edwin Guenther and Mrs. Guenther, who were in the audience was treated to a puppet show that had them applauding Kasperle’s antics. In the warmth of the auditorium, songs about snow and cold, especially when sung by talented young “snowflakes,” added to the cozy, inviting holiday ambiance. Even Santa Claus came to visit. The performance was a pleasant prelude to the far less agreeable weather that much of the country soon had to endure.

Students young and some “slightly less young” singing

for lunch at Mariah’s Restaurant in Springfield, Illinois, Annette and Chris Young cheerfully greeted us. By: Cobi Stein Annette and Chris had thoughtfully coordinated an opportunity to socialize DANK Chapter Lake County, and break bread with the members and Illinois was on the move…again friends of DANK Chapter Springfield, September 19-21. Although I had including Helen and Jack Kitchin, never been to New Harmony, Indiana, from Saint Charles, Missouri, longfriends recommended it for a trip. time friends of Cobi and Werner Stein Based on information gathered, the and Markus and Ella Veile, trip had merits. New from Springfield, Illinois, Harmony was the site of the son and granddaughter of two of America’s great our own Verena and Walter utopian communities. We Veile. gathered passengers at stops DANK Chapter Lake as far north as Kenosha, County members Walter Wisconsin and south to Schmidt, Bill Homer and Savoy (near ChampaignElsie Appelt (whose sister Urbana), Illinois plus a Luise Gingert, came from Members & friends of DANK Chapters Lake County & Springfield, number of locations in Illinois gathered for the customary photo in front of the motorcoach... Germany for the occasion) between. not captured on film were the many hugs of goodbye that followed. were surprised when their Our lunch stop was at the Firefly Grill, a roadhouse on the spiritual sanctuary for the Harmonie birthdays were celebrated with a large shore of Kristie Lake in Effingham, Society, a group of Lutheran Separatists sheet cake with fluffy frosting for all Illinois, about 210 miles south of from Germany (1814-1825). Later to share. Having enjoyed this fall weekend Chicago. Built from recycled steel it became a haven for international and reclaimed barn wood for the scientists led by Robert Owen, a Welsh get-away, we now look forward to walls, the Firefly Grill is nothing like born scholar and businessman from March and our journey to the West the usual chain type eateries found Scotland who wanted to establish a Baden Hotel in French Lick, Indiana Oktoberfest in downtown lining the exits of Interstate Highway new social system in America. The and 57. Our group enjoyed the food and afternoon and evening were spent Cincinnati, Ohio in September! Please browsing in the various bookstores, join us – all are welcome! the atmosphere. Arriving at the New Harmony Inn selecting handmade gifts at the and Conference Center, we found Kunstfest, strolling down the treeour spacious rooms furnished in the lined streets in this small scenic town Shaker style. Always the Oktoberfest and enjoying a relaxed dinner at a junkies, as soon as we checked in, we restaurant of choice. Prior to our Sunday departure headed to the Germania Männerchor Hall in Evansville, Indiana for a brats some members attended an outdoor & kraut dinner. The Rhein Valley interdenominational service at New Brass provided dance music. What Harmony’s Roofless Church, an was extraordinary by any measure architectural landmark honoring the (front, seated left to right) Alexandra PradellaOtt, Helga and Alfred Kairies raise their was the wonderfully warm welcome town’s religious heritage. glasses for “Ein Prosit der Gemuetlichkeit” Despite arriving later than planned at the Germania Maennerchor Hall. we received from Jim Kluesner and

WEBSITE Continued from page 1

There are a couple brand new areas for you to explore on the new site... First, DANK National now has a Discussion Forum, or message board, which is an online discussion site. It is the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board. People participating in an Internet forum can build bonds with each other. Interest groups will easily form around a topic’s discussion, subjects dealt within or around sections in the forum. It is a place where people can leave public messages, for example, to announce events, ask other questions regarding German topics, roundup a group of people to meet at a festival, or provide interesting information. Another new addition is the President’s Blog. It will be updated with regular entries by Bill Fuchs, DANK’s National President, including commentary, news on a particular subject, descriptions of events he is involved in in his travels around the world, photos and even video at times. You will also have the ability to post comments regarding the entries that have been made. Stephen Fuchs, the Journal’s designer, and DANK’s webmaster, will continue developing the new website to make it more interactive for our members. We would like to thank him for the many hours he has spent making the DANK website an informative and interactive site for all of our members and individuals interested in Germanic heritage. We are open to your suggestions as to what you would like to see added to make the new site even better. Visit often!

February / March 2009

ENGLISH TRANSLATION D.A.N.K. Chicago North is the first GremanAmerican-National-Congress chapter to own their own Haus. What was once the “Three Links Hotel” will be the location of D,A,N.K’s headquarters. The building purchased for $175,000.00 will open January 1, 1969 and it’s plan is to make room for the D.A.N.K. German language weekend school. Before we can open the doors to events it will take a lot of sweat and gold to make it functional. After 10 years our organizations dream has become a reality. If the Germans would work together, much can be accomplished. We are proud of our members for without them none of this would have been possible. Photo’s - Signing purchase paperwork at Lincoln Square Savings & Loan Association.

German-American Journal



German-American Journal

February / March 2009

Keeping Deutsch Alive

Saturday schools promoting German language studies in the U.S. need more support By: Walter Pfaeffle Published in The Atlantic Times Nov. 08

The vital role of Saturday schools is not fully recognized in the U.S. They lack financial support for their survival in a country where more than 40 million people are of German descent. Henry Bareiss would rather play soccer than attend German classes on Saturdays. But the 15-year-old high school student from Stamford, Connecticut has been doing just that since kindergarten. So has his sister Isabel, 11. Another sister, 20-yearold Charlotte, is now a junior at Georgetown University where she studies German and Chinese. The Bareiss children are like hundreds of other kids of German heritage who each Saturday troop to German class held at the Rippowam Middle School. Bareiss’s father Conrad says, “When they get older, they will begin to realize the value of knowing another language.” His wife Annette is a director and fundraiser for the German School of Connecticut (GSC). They met in Germany where Conrad’s father Walter was born into a family of textile manufacturers. A New Yorker who grew up in Germany, Bareiss frequently takes Annette and the children back to Germany. Annette and fellowConnecticut resident Renate Ludanyi, GSC’s founder and current president,

are the driving force behind this national grassroots movement that requires many hours of hard work without pay. GSC has an enrollment of about 350 students out of a total of 1,200 German language students in Connecticut. They are divided between the Stamford and Hartford branches. The majority of the children come from German families. Others are of Swiss or Austrian origin. The school offers German as a second language as well as an advanced curriculum for native German speakers to prepare for the German university system. In the 2000 census, the number of Americans reporting German ancestry was nearly 43 million, the highest tally of any ethnic group. With so many people of German heritage, one would assume that German is widely taught at America’s high schools. But in fact only 16 of the 50 states require foreign language credits for graduation, according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Many don’t even offer language courses in their public schools. “That is a real problem,” said Ludanyi, a historical linguist. She is encouraged, however, by recent legislation allowing education boards in Connecticut to award high school credits for achievement in private foreign language study.

Does German Have a Future?

By: Merl E. Arp

“Hat Deutsch Eine Zukunft?” That was the major question and the major theme of a November 2008 presentation by Dr.Jutta Limbach held in the auditorium of the Goethe Institute in Washington D.C. The question, “has the German language a future?” is certainly not a new one, but it is a question which deserves an answer. Dr. Limbach, a retired distinguished jurist and member of Germany’s constitutional court and past head of the Goethe Institute, the German federal government’s overseas information and cultural arm, answered the question positively, that is, the German language does have a future. Admittedly German is no longer required in many scientific fields (German was a world scientific language until about 1920, but has been supplanted in that role by English). Moreover, English has become a world language and the language of globalization. So how can German have a future

in the face of the changing scientific, social and economic environment? Dr. Limbus’s response can be summarized as follows. The power of a language is driven by political power, and I would add, by economic power. Germany is a leading member of the EU, and in that capacity, the German language is in a strong position in the EU and in the world. Eighty three million people within the EU speak German as their first language, with additional millions speaking German as a secondary language. According to Dr. Limbic, German plays a major role in the areas of law and justice within the EU and at the EU headquarters. So, Deutsch hat eine Zukunf! But what is the future of the German language in the U.S. That is a separate question which will not be addressed here. But let us be pleased and proud that as DANK members we are doing our bit to promote the study and preservation of that language here in the U.S. Deutsch soll ouch eine Zukunft in Amerika haben!

Quad Cities Mississippi Cruise Members from The Quad Cities Chapter - DANK took a cruise on the Celebration Belle on the Mississippi River on Thursday October 30, 2008 with Barefoot Becky & The Ivanhoe Dutchmen playing for dancing. A beautiful day for a cruise.

(photo courtesy of Noreen Steenbock)

“What is important is the outcome of the state’s current discussions of whether foreign language study should be made mandatory,” Ludanyi said. “If it doesn’t become a requirement, the legislation is less important for us.” Most of the 50 schools across America sprung up after World War II. The need for cooperation led to the establishment of the German Language School Conference (GLSC) in 1978. With Ludanyi as president, the group helps establish new schools, offers a forum for exchanges and promotes German-American understanding. Financing is a problem. Because the school charges only $650 per year tuition, it depends on private contributions and volunteer work. Only teachers get paid. Parents help out during school hours. Annette Bareiss raises money from major corporations with headquarters in Connecticut. She says German companies are reluctant to finance the schools, seeing it as the task of the government. “It’s almost easier to get money from an American company,” she said. The German government contributes “10 percent or less” to the annual budget. Ludanyi admits she wouldn’t mind a little more help. “I don’t think that the German government is fully aware of the significance of private German language schools in this country,” she said. She also complains

about the lack of coordination between the private schools and the partnership schools promoted and funded by the German government: “The partnership schools are great,” she said. “What isn’t so great is that they are in the vicinity of our private schools, so it would be helpful if they worked with us for the common good.” GSC’s advertising budget is a puny $2,000 per year. “We should do more advertising because most people don’t even know we exist,” said Ludanyi. Urs Klarer is responsible for advertising and PR. A Swiss citizen who works for UBS in Stamford, all four of his kids are enrolled in the school. Money isn’t everything. Another problem is the shortage of qualified teachers. “We can’t bring them in from Germany because they wouldn’t earn enough to support themselves and so wouldn’t qualify for visas,” said Ludanyi. The Chinese community gets help from a two-decades old government program that sends teachers all over the world to propagate Mandarin. The ACTFL estimates that 50,000 American elementary and secondary school students are currently learning Chinese, up from only 5,000 in a survey taken in 2000. “If we don’t promote the Saturday schools, German in America will slowly disappear,” warned Ludanyi.

Hamburg Supports Heritage Project in the USA

Originally Published by BallinStadt News

As part of the celebrations surrounding the German Day of Independence and the German American Day, and with the support of the honorary consul of Arizona, Bernard Otremba-

Peter Soppa and Dieter Bollmann (Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures)


Blanc, and the DANK Organization, on October 5th the annual meeting took place in Peoria, Arizona. At an informative event, the BallinStadt presented itself as a living experience museum set in an attractive tourist destination to around 150 association members – for the most part GermanAmericans. Thanks to the support of the Southwest German Society and the Arizona Center for Germanic Studies in Fountain Hills, the BallinStadt was also presented one week later at the Oktoberfest in Phoenix, Arizona. In Arizona,discussions are also under way about establishing a Heritage Center in Phoenix. The BallinStadt will provide active support and assistance.

esunder Menschenverstand kann fast jeden Grad der Bildung ersetzen. Aber kein Grad der Bildung den gesunden Menschenverstand.


ealthy common sense can be substituted for almost any degree of education. But no degree of education can replace healthy common sense.

February / March 2009

German-American Journal


DANK to use MAYFLOWER*TOURS This is a good time to start a travel program. So, a committee was formed to introduce three tours for 2009. These tours are organized and run by MAYFLOWER TOURS of Downers Grove. They have the touring expertise and the knowledge of many destinations for more than 30 years. Exotic Costa Rica With Peaceful Beaches, Rain Forests, Volcanoes A tropical paradise full of wild life, coffee plantations, San Jose 8 days, 11 meals, March 12th, 2009, $ 1,359. plus air fare, tpp. DANK members save $ 100. per couple by January 31st, 2009 Deep South Savannah, Dixieland Charleston and Jekyll Island also Hilton Head Island, fly to Charleston, out from Savannah 7 days, 8 meals, April 25th, 2009, $ 1,599 plus airfare New England Rails & Sails, Autumn Foliage, Historic Landmarks See Boston, Portland, Cape Cod, Hyannis, fly in and out of Boston 8 days, 11 meals, October 6th, 2009, $ 1,698 plus airfare

Hollywood’s “Valkyrie” By: Wolf D. Fuhrig

“Valkyrie” was the code name for the most daring plot by a German resistance group to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944. For the generation that lived and suffered through World War II, getting rid of the Nazi tyrant offered a ray of hope to end five years of staggering deaths and destruction. The decision by United Artists to produce this story promised to educate the public in detail about the assassination plot, about the severe constraints encountered by the anti-Nazi opposition, and about the persons who persisted in it. Regrettably, the film fulfilled those expectations only partially. The film critics, who obviously did not live through the 1930s and 1940s, judged “Valkyrie” for its attraction as an “entertaining flick” or a “breathtaking thriller” showcasing a “Nazi” colonel. The plot’s central figure could hardly be called a Nazi. He was Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, 36 years old, a practicing Roman Catholic, and severely handicapped. During a British air attack in Tunisia, he had lost his left eye, his right hand, and the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand. After his recuperation from his wounds, like-minded Hitler opponents in the German army found him a position at headquarters in Berlin.

* Mayflower Tours has 26 domestic & 21 worldwide tours, firm and ready to go. * Mayflower Tours will provide FREE home pick up and return in Chicagoland, transportation and transfers of luggage, etc. * Mayflower Tours provide many meals and leave free time to roam and shop on your own and with friends. * Mayflower tours will stop at all interesting landmarks, features and look outs, which make each tour a special event. * Mayflower Tours are geared to a leisurely pace, handicapped people always go first, facilities are usually ADA approved.

against cancellations, loss due to sickness, and other unforeseen changes in your travel plans. You can also use your own insurance, but never ever travel without it. * Mayflower Tours will provide the travel documents, itinerary, luggage tags etc. two weeks before departure. * Mayflower Tours can only grow and prosper if you return happy from every trip! Sharing it with others makes tours double the fun, before, during and after.

Come join us and have the time of your life! Your DANK Travel Committee Erik Wittmann ( Bert Lachner ( Phone 630 558-8900 * Fax 858-3087 Mail your coupon and deposit to DANK, 4740 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 Please save this notice and share it with family and friends!

* Mayflower Tours will collect a deposit to reserve your tour, an amount of $449 with insurance, and $ 250 without, for tours with air fare, twin-rate per pers. Be sure to reserve your space early to take advantage of early bird specials, seasonal and other promotions. * Mayflower Tours will bill final payment 60 days prior departure. You can then pay by check (payable to Mayflower Tours), by credit card or with GE money over 6 months without interest. DANK members and their Chapters will benefit. * Mayflower Tours will offer travel insurance to protect From September 1943 on, Stauffenberg and several fellow conspirators became the driving force in developing several successive plans to assassinate the dictator. They failed mostly because of Hitler’s unpredictable movements. The colonel was quoted as saying “Let’s be blunt, I am committing high treason,” but he justified his treason under the Christian natural law tradition that required him to save millions of lives from Hitler’s war and war crimes. After the loss of several hundred thousand men in the battle of Stalingrad, it became obvious that Hitler could not win his war, given the overwhelming Allied material superiority. Hope spread throughout Nazi-occupied Europe that U.S. and British bombers, as they devastated German cities one by one, would soon also eradicate Hitler’s headquarters at Rastenburg in East Prussia. With Hitler gone, it appeared likely that whoever succeeded him would have to seek an end to the escalating bloodbath. For whatever reasons, however, the Allies left Hitler’s wellknown hideouts untouched to the bitter end. So Stauffenberg decided to take the removal of the tyrant upon himself. He managed to get into a

Berlin Pancakes or Shrove Tuesday Cakes Directions: 1. Make a soft dough by combining the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla extract. Cover with a towel and let rise. 2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/3 inch thick. Divide the rectangular dough in half and set one half aside. 3. Use the rim of a drinking glass to lightly mark 8 circles on one half of the dough (circles should be about 31/2 inches in circumference). Put a spoonful of jam in the center of each circle. 4. Trace the outline of each circle with a thin coating of egg white. Gently place the other half of the dough over the dough with the jam rings. Press down lightly so that

briefing session for Hitler at his headquarters and place a bomb hidden in a briefcase as close to him as possible. But when the bomb exploded, Hitler was shielded from the blast by the heavy, solid-oak conference table and was wounded only slightly. Had the dictator been killed, the war might have been shortened by up to nine months and millions of lives saved on both sides. The film version of project “Valkyrie” tells the essential aspects of the assassination plot but fails to offer a clear story line through the many convoluted action details. The first-time viewer also finds it difficult to distinguish between at least a dozen officers, co-conspirators and nonconspirators, with whom Stauffenberg found himself interacting. At first glance, “Valkyrie” viewers may find it difficult to distinguish Tom Cruise as Stauffenberg from Tom Cruise, the Hollywood character known for his off-screen antics. Yet, Cruise’s profile bears an amazing resemblance to Stauffenberg. If one can separate the actor’s public persona from his on-screen performance, one will find that he has what it takes to reenact a tragic hero far removed from any other role he ever played.

Ingredients: 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 ounce yeast dash of salt 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar 1 cup plus 2 1/4 teaspoons milk 3 eggs, separated

7 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract apricot or other jam oil for frying powdered sugar for sprinkling

the dollops of jam do not spread. 5. Using the rim of the glass, cut through both pieces of dough to cut out the circles. Press the edges of the dough together to seal the top and bottom halves. 6. Cover the circles with a towel and let rise again, about 10 minutes. 7. Heat oil in a deep fryer and place a few Berliners at a time into hot oil. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the doughnuts and continue cooking until golden brown, about 10 minutes total. 8. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


German-American Journal

February / March 2009


This area is designated for DANK chapters to inform their members and the public of events they are having. In order for each chapter to grow, people need to be informed of the various functions and activities. We encourage full chapter participation since this area is not limited to 3 or 4 chapters. In order to streamline our calendar of events please send an email to the DANK Executive Office at with your calendar as a word attachment. Refer to the front page of the Journal for submission deadlines. We will need your Chapter Name, Name of the Event, Location of the Event, Hours, Ticket Price and contact information including a phone number.


MARCH 2009


Benton Harbor Fish Fry 6-8pm, doors open at 5:30pm and band plays 7-10pm Call 269-926-6652


Benton Harbor Fish Fry 6-8pm, doors open at 5:30pm and band plays 7-10pm Call 269-926-6652


Benton Harbor Phil Mann Valentine’s Dance 6-11pm, tickets $5.00 - $25.00 Call 269-926-6652


Benton Harbor Membership Meeting 4:00pm Call 269-926-6652


Chicago-South Fasching, music by Die Lustige Kamaraden


Lake County General Membership Meeting at Bertrand Lanes, Tumbleweed Room, Waukegan, IL


Lake County Karneval—Band: Walter Flechsig, at Gorton Center, Stuart Room, Lake Forest, IL



Erie, PA mtg with mini-Fasching Party at the Männerchor Club 7 pm  Info:  Call 814-456-9599

Benton Harbor Concertina St. Patrick’s Dance 128pm, doors open at 5:30pm and the band plays from 7-11pm Call 269-926-6652


Erie, PA mtg - Männerchor Club 7 pm.   Guest Speaker Dr. Leo Gruber, Topic: Dietrich Bonhoeffer  a true hero of the German people.  Info:  Call 814-456-9599


Lake County Overnight Motorcoach Trip, West Baden Hotel, French Lick, IN

Visit to view a constantly updated calendar of events

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Ahrens, Sebastian Allgaier, Marie Baum, Connor R. Bode, Brian Patrick Bode, Robert Manfred Costello-Kruzich, Elizabeth A. Desch, Tricia Lynn Dunning, Elizabeth Dunning, Joseph Eickhoff, Donna

Eickhoff, Douglas Gaberle, Jiri Gataric, Jr., Petar Glienke, Eric P. Hickstein, III, William A. Hoppe, Matthew C. Kruzich, Theodore A. Kugler, Roger Lee, Benjamin Lee, Miok M.

MARDI GRAS Continued from page 1

Along the Rhine every town has a “Prinz” and “Prinzessin” (prince and princess) who command a uniformed guard, the “Prinzengarde” (prince’s guard). The biggest and zaniest Rhine Karneval is held in Köln (Cologne). The first written record of the Köln carnival is from the year 1341. Köln has the Dreigestirn (three Stars): the Carnival Prince, known as “Seine Tollität” (His Craziness), the “Kölnische Bauer” (Cologne Peasant), and the “Kölnische Jungfraü” (Cologne Virgin), portrayed by a man. Karneval officially starts am elften elften, elf Uhr elf (11th November at 11:11am) and continues in a fairly low-key way for about three months before the Tolle Tage (Crazy Days) which climax on Rosenmontag, the 42nd day before Easter. In Köln a huge party Weiberfastnacht (women’s carnival night) starts on the Thursday before Rosenmontag (Rose Monday), and it is tradition that women are allowed to cut off the tie of any man within reach, and to kiss any man they want to. In Düsseldorf, on Carnival Thursday, the women (called Möhnen) storm the City Council Offices to capture the Mayor and take over the administration of the City for the night and that is the official opening of the street carnival in the old city. This Thursday also signals the beginning of the five days of Carnival with nearly 50 processions leading up to Monday’s Rose Monday Parade. The main event of Karneval in Köln is the parade on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday,) which is an event broadcast each year on German television, similar to the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York. About 1.5 million people go to the Rosenmontag parade dressed in costume to cheer their royalties and friends on floats. For the many Karneval associations their time and effort has gone into

Lieberman, Candice Lieberman, Carol Lowry, Brooke Lowry, Paige Lowry, Wendy A. Martyn, Niklas Coden Mowers, Lydia F. Reed, Carie S. Rejmer, Robert Rouse, Maggie

Salasky, Helen Schreiber, Ruth Schwab, Josef Trettenbach, Gretchen Trettenbach, Heidi Viebach, Liam J. Waldrop, Woodrow N. Walthier, Edy Walthier, Heidi

constructing their floats for the Rosenmontag parade. The floats are not only designed to be beautiful but also represent satirical, political and traditional topics. As the floats pass by, the costumed revelers aboard shower the street crowds with sweets while they sing the many old Karneval songs. The Tanz Mariechen, (acrobatic dancing troupes of girls) entertain the crowds as part of the parade. In the parade the Carnival Prince has royal bodyguards, who are dressed in uniforms of the early 1800’s. The Prinzengarde (prince’s bodyguards) remind the crowd of the city’s tradition of anti-militarism. This includes disobeying orders by turning in the wrong direction and stuffing flowers into rifle-barrels. Further south, in Bavaria and Austria, the culmination of Fasching takes place on Faschingsdienstag (Shrove Tuesday), like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, with the Nubbelverbrennung (burning the spirit of carnival to atone for the sins committed during the carnival session.) At this time the merrymaking and foolishness comes to a sudden halt, yielding to the observation of Lent.


Support our national membership activities by purchasing a German Life Cookbook. DANK is joining with the people of the German Life Magazine to bring you this collection oftasteful rememberances. Allow taste and aroma to transport you to Germany as you read and try the many recipes of our culinary 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.

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

Name ______________________________ Address ____________________________ City_____________ State____ Zip______ Amount enclosed $_____ # of books____ Please remit this order form and check to: DANK EXECUTIVE OFFICE 4740 N. Western Avenue Chicago, IL 60625-2097 Attention: Cookbook Orders

February / March 2009

German-American Journal

The Strudel Meisters Term Paper written by 4 Notre Dame Students for their Music History Class Joshua Entz, Jason Forbush, James Lypen, Patricia Strei (excerpts)

Our project is focused on traditional German oom-pah music, its acculturation in American society and its incessant musical evolution. Although it retains many of its original purposes, oom-pah music’s traditional repertoire has undergone significant change upon arrival in the United States. Despite its popularity today, particularly for entertainment while drinking beer, it has not always been this widespread. In addition to specific structural changes due to evolving musical tastes, German oom-pah music has also been influenced by political, societal, and economic factors. After the fall of the Nazi regime, English and American root revivals inspired their German counterparts, leading to a period where younger performers popularized the music of their ancestors. Consequently, German music and culture underwent fundamental changes, particularly after the 1968 West Germany student revolution, during which much of the student population participated in demonstrations and protests. Despite folk music’s role in the political revivals of Germany, not all folk music has such a serious purpose. For example, there are many comedy oom-pah bands around the world, whose main purpose is to entertain and make the audience laugh. In addition, oom-pah music is popular for beer drinking (“Oompah Bands”). For this reason, oom-pah is often associated with beer halls, where it is frequently played. These large German pubs attract German natives and tourists alike for afternoons filled with music, conversation, and beer drinking. The capital of the Bavaria region, Munich, is particularly famous for its grandiose beer halls. German folk music exists in many different forms. These include oompah, Bavaria, and Swabia. Oom-pah music is built around German brass bands. Brass bands are composed of mainly brass instruments (“Oom-pah”); however, they also include drums, clarinets, accordions, and vocalists. “Oom-pah” is an onomatopoeic term. The word “oom-pah” is in imitation of the downbeats played by the bass or tuba and the off-beats played by

other instruments, such as the clarinet (“Oom-pah”). The band that we have chosen to study, the Strudel Meisters, is a German oom-pah band from South Haven, Michigan. The Strudel Meisters are an actual part of the German diaspora; several individuals of the 10-member band, including vocalist Cecilia Seabury, immigrated here after WWII. The band performs at a wide array of venues, including schools, retirement homes, and community fairs. Despite a long and arduous musical journey, the Strudel Meisters have emerged from their humble beginnings as a competent band that has developed a sound all their own. Although tuba player Karl Andrews currently heads the Strudel Meisters, this has not always been the case. The Strudel Meisters got their start in 1998 when a retired music teacher, John Nelson, decided that he wanted to found a group in order to play and promote traditional German repertoire. As time went on, it became more and more apparent that the Strudel Meisters might not survive with their purist ideals. In order to secure gigs, the band would need to play repertoire demanded by audiences; oftentimes, this meant playing American polkas and college fight songs in addition to the more traditional German songs. Karl Andrews, among others, recognized the growing discrepancy between their supply and audience demand and recommended action be taken to rectify the situation. Ultimately, the Strudel Meisters found guidance in the style of James Last. Critically acclaimed in Europe, his German big-band sound featured jazzed-up versions of classical repertoire that seemed to be the exact sort of sound the Strudel Meisters were striving to create. And so, along with Mr. Butler, the Strudel Meisters identified classic songs in their fake book such as the Beer Barrel Polka, Rosa Mundie, and Happy Wanderer and arranged them utilizing jazz and big band elements inspired by James Last. In addition, elements of pop culture were included in order to make the music more accessible to their typical audience. The end goal was to create a sound to which the public could relate. The Strudel Meisters featured many different instruments, as there are a variety of instruments common


OBITUARIES Marianne Trivalos, 78, passed away on November 24, 2008. Born in Waischenfeld, Germany, Marianne met her husband, Richard, while he was stationed in Bamberg for the US Army. They came to America and Marianna became a very proud American citizen. They were married for 51 years. Marianna kept Germany a big part of her life. She had a German Club at Mt. Carmel Nursing Home for 20 years, and was a member of the Turners Ladies Auxiliary and the Bayerischer Vergnuegungs Club. Marianna was secretary of the German-American Societies for over 25 years, member of D.A.N.K. (German-American National Congress) for 37 years and had also served as president. She was principal and teacher of the D.A.N.K. German Language School for 27 years. Marianna was one of the original five founders of Milwaukee’s German Fest and continued to serve as a Director for many years. Members of the Milwaukee chapter of DANK wish to express our deepest sympathy to both family and friends. We will miss her.

It is with a sad heart that the Mason-Dixon Sub Chapter announces the passing of Ernst Braun. A member of the club from its conception, Ernst passed away in his sleep Saturday, October 25, 2008. The husband of Dr. Jean Braun, Ernst was born in Murrhardt Steinberg, Germany, and was an active contributing member of Mason-Dixon Sub-chapter of DANK Ch#58. Ernst participated in all of the projects in the club and was liked by all. He truly will be missed. There was a memorial service for Ernst Braun on Saturday, November 8th, 2008 at 2pm in the afternoon at the Asbury Methodist Church, Beeson Ave, Uniontown, Pa.

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

to a traditional German Oom-pah band. The unique sound of Oom-pah music comes from prominent brass instruments played in unison with percussion, woodwind instruments, string instruments, and the distinct sound of the accordion. In addition, a lead vocalist with a charismatic personality leads the songs and dances and backup vocals are provided by most of the band members, even by those with blown instruments. The band features members that belong to German clubs in Berrien County, Michigan, most of the Strudel Meisters have a great appreciation for the culture and traditions of Germany. Likewise, most of the Strudel Meisters are of German descent. One member of the band in particular, the vocalist Cecilia Seabury, has an especially interesting story of a childhood in Germany and her migration to the United States of America. Though this

migration was difficult for a number of reasons, Cecilia refused to give up what she cherished about her German heritage, including a passion for music. Cecilia and the Strudel Meisters give back to their community in a number of ways. First, as members of German clubs, the Strudel Meisters participate in German cultural events by performing their music at venues in South Haven and other cities in Berrien County. Second, the Strudel Meisters perform for those in retirement and assisted living homes. Lastly, the Strudel Meisters enjoy coming to universities like the University of Notre Dame to perform for students. Music brings joy to those that listen to it, and the Strudel Meisters take pride in using their music to bring happiness to people in their hometown and beyond.


German-American Journal

February / March 2009

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German-American Journal | February/March 2009  

Volume 57, Issue 1