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Official Publication of the Jasper DeutscherVerein

September 2001

Family Picnic Review

The Family Picnic of the Jasper DeutscherVerein was held on Saturday, September 8, 2001 at the Ireland Sportsmen’s Club. Over 165 members and guests attended the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, members enjoyed a picnic dinner of Schweinehaxen (pig legs) and Kassler Ripchen (smoked pork chops), spaetzle made by the picnic planning committee and other food items provided by the members.

Members were thanked for their efforts contributing to a successful Strassenfest.  The picnic planning committee and hospitality committee were also recognized for their work.  Club members shared their wedding anniversaries and birthdays for the months of June, July, August and September.  Matt Hilger and Tara Deppert led the club in singing the birthday and anniversary song in German.

It was also announced that German-American Day will be observed on October 2 nd.  The regular October meeting of the DeutscherVerein on October 2 nd will be a dinner at the Schnitzelbank observing and honoring the contributions made by German immigrants to the life and culture of the United States.  The official date is October 6 th.  Members are asked to fly their German flags on that day.  See “Upcoming Events” for additional details about the October celebration.

Winners of the half pot drawing were Fred Hollinden, Pat Weisheit and Rob Deppert.  Attendance prizes were also awarded and bags of candy were presented to the children in attendance.

The parents of the students participating in the Student Exchange Program were recognized for their fund raising efforts.  Zach Pfister, Ryan Gutgsell, Jena Heichelbech and Luke Nordhoff shared with the group their experiences in Germany.  The students visited over 30 locations during their trip that also included Switzerland and France. Club members had an opportunity to ask the students questions.

Members were reminded about the German items for sale including the 2002 calendar produced by the students of Jasper High School, the DeutscherVerein drink can huggies and Partnership playing cards.

The remainder of the evening was spent socializing and listening and dancing to music provided by Kurt Brescher.

Upcoming Events – Mark Your Calendars!

October German Club Meeting

Date:    Tuesday, October 2
            German American Day Celebration  

Time:    Social Hour – 6:00
            German Style Buffet – 6:30

Cost:    $10.00 per person for buffet (Cash Bar)

Place:   Schnitzelbank Restaurant

 Reservations are needed for this meeting.  Please call Dan Gutgsell at 482-4386 to make your reservation by September 25 th.


We’ll begin the program at 7:00 with opening remarks from Matt Hilger, followed by a talk given my Dr. Eberhard and Ruth Reichmann on what the German Heritage can mean to Jasper.  Their presentation will include a slide show.

The third German-American Heritage Award will also be presented.  This honor has previously been awarded to Mary Jo Meuser and Claude and Martina Eckert.

Eberhard and Ruth Reichmann

Since 1983 – the Tri-centennial for German Immigration to America – Eberhard and Ruth Reichmann have been in the forefront as organizers, speakers and writers for the field of German Americana, both in the state and the nation.

Eberhard Reichmann is a professor emeritus and former director of the Institute of German Studies at IU-Bloomington.  He is a co-founder and vice president of the Indiana German Heritage Society, a statewide organization for the preservation of Indiana’s German American history and heritage.  He chairs its Publications Program.

Reichmann is an expert on old German script (the obsolete style of handwriting) and published a reprint edition of Witter’s Fibel, an easy introduction to script.  The second book during his first year of “retirement” was the best-selling Hoosier German Tales, small and Tall, 133 stories, legends, anecdotes, memoirs and jokes by and about the Hoosier Germans.  Jointly with Hoosier poet and Jasper native Norbert Krapf he prepared a translation and adaptation of an emigration play from Pfaffenweiler in the Black Forest to Dubois County (Good-Bye, Black Forest).  His best known publication is the German Americans: An Ethnic Experience by Willi Paul Adams, which he translated with Prof. LaVern Ripley, from the German.

Professor Reichmann has received many honors for his work as a scholar and educator.  Among others, the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association and the Indiana German Teachers Association made him “Teacher of the Year (1990)’ and his native Germany bestowed on him the “Federal Cross of Merit.”

Ruth Reichmann is President of the Indiana German Heritage Society and Adjunct Assistant Professor and Director of the Max Kade German-American Center of Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI).  The Center as well as the Indiana German Heritage Society are located at the Deutsche Haus-Athenaeum in Indianapolis.  The Center is involved in German-American Studies and German-American relations and serves as a clearinghouse for information on German Americana.

Ruth Reichmann is also known for her work with Indiana Sister Cities and cultural and educational exchanges on the local and state levels.  She was elected “ Sagamore of the Wabash” by the Governor in 1987, received the “German-American Friendship Award” in 1985 and the “Federal Cross of Merit” from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1991.


  Eb and Ruth Reichman of the Max Kade German-American Center of Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis will be featured speakers.


Date:    Tuesday, September 25

Time:    7:00 PM

Place:   Schnitzelbank Restaurant

Erinnerst Du Dich?

By Patti Goepfrich


January 28, 1980

Achtung Deutscherverein Members:

I am very happy to report that our new club is off to a great start.   For a group that is not fully organized the interest is almost unbelievable.

Some general information:

  1. We have 78 paid members.
  2. An official membership card (to be presented at the first meeting).
  3. A Band Committee – Jim Holler, Gary Fields
  4. A Mannechor – Ken Ziegler, Bill Balsbaugh, Don Rasche, Leo Schmitt, Norb Kreilein
  5. A Program Committee – Crystal Roediger
  6. A Membership Committee – Dan Wehr, Gary Egler, Tom Hynes, Fred Hollinden, Vic Eckert
  7. A Social Committee – Dave Buehler, John Thyen, Mike Hochgesang, Bernita Berger, Rita Webber, Hillary Hochgesang
  8. A Historical Committee – John Fierst, Julius Bittner, Al Schuler, Cecile Klamer.
  9. A Costume Committee – Crystal Roedinger, Linda Wehr, Marilyn Thyen.
  10. Two Bank Accounts – Membership and Social
  11. A Nominating Committee with suggestions of officers for our new club: President, Dan Wehr; Vice President, Gary Egler; Secretary, Jeanne Holler; Treasurer, Ron Kieffner.
  12. Our first official meeting will be February 21 st at 7:30 at the Schnitzelbank.   A post card is enclosed for your approval or disapproval of the officers.

Our plan is to install the officers, if approved, at the “ Fastnacht” on February 9 th.

In closing, I ask you to put forth some real effort in selling tickets or encouraging people to attend our first FASTNACHT.   See you there!

Yours for a German Jasper and a good time,

Dave Buehler

(Printed on Jasper Action Team stationary – Found in Deutscherverein Records)

Church Dedication ( Kirchweih)

When one sees the words Church Dedication, there comes to mind a solemn occasion marked with hymns and prayer, which is how it was in the third century when Kirchweih originated.  As communities embraced the Christian faith, they constructed their village church, which was dedicated with a Sunday ceremony.  The ceremonies always took place between the summer solstice, June 24 th, and St. Martin’s Day, November 11 th, and were then celebrated annually.  By the time of Pope Gregor (599-604), the celebrations had become festivals lasting several days and involving much feasting and drinking, so much so that the pope rebuked the parishioners, but to little or no avail.  The time of year lent itself to festivity; warm weather and long days produced euphoria, well illustrated by the following old German adage:

Der Juli voller Sonnenschein,
Wird jederman   willkommen sein.

Lots o’ sunshine in July,
We welcome that, both you and I.


Long hot days meant hard work for the farmers and their families who had raging thirsts on return from the fields after tending their demanding crops.  Kirchweih was an excuse to slake those thirsts and to let their euphoria boil over.

Today, although celebrated more in rural communities than cities, Kirchweih has become a major event on the calendar.  Each town, village, or even hamlet has a date for the festival between June 24 th and November 11 th, and the dates seem to be set so that within a grouping of communities no two Kirchweih overlap, allowing townspeople to visit most festivals, if not all.  Travelling entertainers, bands, food suppliers, and operators of sideshows and joyrides also move from one festival to the next.

The Kirchweih tree, a tall pine stripped of most of its branches, marks the location of a festival.

The tree, cut near the root, decorated with ribbons and bearing a large gaily decorated handmade wreath near its peak, is manhandled to a prepared hole at some high point of the town.  There it is to be raised with ropes and supports until it beds itself in the hole.  This act is all part of the Kirchweih celebration, watched and cheered on by the villagers, and it is the scene of considerable beer drinking by the brawny young men who do the work.

Dialectal names for the Kirchweih in different parts of the country are Kirmes, Kirbe, and Karwe, Kilbe, and Kirta from Kirchtag (church day).  In anticipation of the festival, wives and daughters buy or make Kirchweih dresses, and overall a great effort is made to tidy up gardens, sidewalks, and streets.  Breweries produce a special Kirchweih beer, usually a little stronger than normal, and Kirchweihkuchla (fried festival pastries) are traditional.  Baked on Kirchweih Thursday, they are given to poor people, teachers, pastors, and relatives, even those living in other towns. 

Popular Kirchweih Custom

In some regions, a popular Kirchweih custom is the Hahnentanz (rooster dance).  If is conducted around a tall pole on which a platform is built.  On the platform is a wooden cage containing a live rooster, and from the platform a large plate is suspended from several strings.  Finally, a glass of wine is set on the plate.  The band plays waltzing music and the couples dance.  When the music stops, the men lift up their partners, and the first to reach and drink the wine without spilling a drop wins the rooster.  Other live farm animals are given as prizes.  Schafaustanzen (sheep dancing), popular in upper Frankonia, includes a love sheep, decorated with ribbons and fresh flowers, that is led in a circle around the kirchweih tree by a young man.  Couples then waltz around the sheep and when the band stops, the couple closest to the sheep receives it as a prize.  

German Items for Sale

Two new German Club items are now available for sale - decks of playing cards and drink can “ huggies”.  The cards have the Partnership/Sister City Logo ($5.00) and the huggies are black with Deutcscher Verein Jasper, Indiana in gold lettering ($2.00).  To place your order, contact Patti Goepfrich at pmgoepf@fullnet.com or 482-4821.

Events of Interest


Friday, October 5, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

German-American Day Program in the Indianapolis City Market

Friday, October 5 Eve

Oktoberfest and German-American Day at the Athenaeum in Indianapolis.   Three bands in the Biergarten and Kellersaal.

Thursday, November 1 – Sunday, November 4

International Festival at the Indiana State Fairgrounds – Exposition Hall in Indianapolis, 38 th Street and Fall Creek Parkway, Indianapolis

Friday, December 7- Sunday, December 9

Christkindl Market at the Athenaeum

Sunday. December 9

St. Nikolausfest at the Athenaeum

  German Recipe of the Month

Black Forest Medaillons of Venison

  Medaillons of venison, sliced fillet pieces shaped like medals or coins, belong to the aristocratic repertoire of virtually all recognized great chefs.  To be served with hand-made Spaetzle is in the old Baden tradition and also a nod in the direction of neighboring Swabia.  A shot of Black Forest Kirschwasser, ameliorated by red wine, add the sweet-tart taste of native cranberries, and the magic of the entire taste spectrum an enchanting land of wine and forests can offer will unfold on your tongue.

 1 ½ - 1 ¾ lbs. venison of deer medaillons or one piece of leg of deer, same weight salt, pepper, some butter
10 – 12 oz. cherries, fresh or frozen
5 oz. red wine
1 tsp. Cornstarch
1 Tbsp. Cranberries
5 oz. rich cream
2 Tbsp. Kirschwasser (sherry brandy)

  Season medaillons with salt and pepper.  Braise for two minutes on each side in hot butter.  Put aside but keep warm.  Pit the cherries and bring to boil in red wine.  Thicken with cornstarch and puree, together with the cranberries, in blender at highest speed setting.  Pass the puree through a fine sieve and gently blend in the cream by hand and add Kirschwasser to taste.  Place the braised meat on platter and pour the sauce on top.  Serve with Spaetzle.  A dry Pinot Noir or rose is recommended.

Check out the new Web Site at www.jaspergermanclub.org

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please contact Kurt Heise at heise@fullnet.com