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From The Dubois County Daily Herald
Monday, July 1, 1957


Celebration Is Cultural Revival by A. T. Rumbach

Never in the history of this community has so much interest been aroused in the history of early times of the city and county as the celebration of the Pioneer Days planned for the first week of July.

An unbelievable amount of historical literature, published and unpublished, much of which was hidden in musty files and in forgotten book shelves and drawers came to light for the first time in years, after the announcement of the event.

In addition, many old documents, maps and papers, private and official, clippings from old newspapers and magazines, photographs of early building, individuals and groups, many of them long since gone and forgotten except by the older generation, but   seemingly now of great interest to everyone, including the teenagers of the present generation.

Another phase of the interest aroused was that in the home of origin of most of the pioneers, especially Croatia, the home of Father Kundek, and South German states from which most of the early German settlers came.   Special interest was manifested by the German Consul, a citizen of Freiberg, the so-called capital of the Black Forest in Baden, Germany, who took time away from his duties at Detroit to honor with his presence as a visitor, the local celebration.   Letters from pastors and town officials were received from a number of German communities near Freiberg, Karlsruhe Baden, and Strasbourg in Alsace, which contributed most heavily to the early German influx of immigrants.   Among these towns are Pfaffenweiler, Wagshurst, Reute, Oberhirch, Hugstetten, Gundelfingen, Emmendingen, Bolschweil, and others.   Included with view of local interest were photographs of many of our earliest immigrants which they had sent back to relatives in Germany, which had been cherished as precious mementoes all these years.   It is a remarkable fact that, in spite of the close contact that most of the immigrants kept with the villages of their origin, very few, if any, ever returned to their native country.   When the German immigrants severed their home ties, they did so with finality that was definite.   They applied for American citizenship papers, abjured their allegiance to the emperor of Germany and became United States citizens in every respect.

By a strange quirk of fate, many descendants of the immigrants, most of whom left Germany to get away from militarism, found themselves arrayed against their blood cousins in World War I and especially World War II against Nazism.   Like the present Chancellor of Germany, and our guest, the Consul from Freiburg, most of the citizens of Baden and other south German States from whom our own citizens descended, had little love for Hitler and his cohorts and looked upon our soldiers as liberators, rather than as conquerors.   Our soldiers on their part, admired the thrift, energy and self-reliance the Germans used in rebuilding their ruined cities, and enjoyed their sojourn in Germany.  

We are convinced that the Old German Days celebration will be a cultural and historic tonic to this community and an aid to international understanding.