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Official Publication of the Jasper DeutscherVerein

December 2001

November Meeting in Review

The November meeting of the Jasper DeutscherVerein was held on Thursday, November 15, 2001 at the Jasper Outdoor Recreation Club.  Over 70 members and guests attended the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, members enjoyed a carry in dinner provided by the members of the club.

Darren Patterson welcomed all in attendance.  Guests included Duane Meyer, a guest of Gary and Kathy Meyer and Patricia Keller of Pfaffenweiler.  Patricia’s host family is Dave and Janet Kluemper.

Rafe Ackerman, Strassenfest Float Chairperson, presented a plaque to Darren Patterson for the club receiving the Most German Theme award from the Strassenfest Parade.

Darren Patterson thanked all for the great work that club members did at the Strassenfest Booth.  Darren reviewed the financial results for the 2001 Strassenfest and indicated that it was a very successful fundraiser.  This is the only fundraiser for the Deutscherverein.  He thanked all for their hard work and commitment to this project. 

Dave and Nancy Prechtel have been the Chairpersons of the Deutscherverein Food Booth and are looking for transition to new Chairpersons.  This is a two-year commitment.  Anyone interested in the position may contact Darren Patterson.

The club’s annual auction to benefit the JHS German Exchange Program was held.  Club members donated items and Dan Hoffman volunteered his auctioneering services.  The Club raised over $400 to benefit the JHS German Exchange Program.

Attendance prizes were awarded to Betty Sunderman and Dorothy Lueken.

Club members having November birthdays were Gloria and Rich Merder, Keith Bachman, and Jim Corn.

Dan Wehr indicated to the Club that Fredericksburg, TX annually has a German festival the first part of October.  This would be a 4 – 5 day trip flying into San Antonio, TX.  Several people indicated interest in this trip.  Dan will pursue travel plans.

Rita Egler gave the treasurer’s report.

The club Christmas party will be held on Thursday, December 20 th, at the Jasper Country Club.  Santa Claus will attend. 

Upcoming Events – Mark Your Calendars!

December German Club Meeting

Date:    Thursday, December 20, 2001

Time:    6:15 PM            Gathering/Social Time

            6:30 PM            Hors d’oeuvre Buffet

            6:30 PM            Steven Shaner at the piano

            7:30 PM            Santa’s Arrival

            7:45 PM            Strings 

Place:   Jasper Country Club

 For our annual Christmas Party, we have a festive evening planned.  At 6:15, the bar will open with beer and soft drinks provided by the club.  A cash bar will also be available.  The hearty appetizer buffet will begin at 6:30 PM.  For our entertainment, Steven Shaner will be at the piano from 6:30 – 7:30 with holiday music.  Santa will arrive to greet the children at 7:30 PM followed with a performance by the Strings musical group.

 Reservations are needed for this event.  If you are planning to attend, please call Dan and Kathy Gutgsell at 482-4386 no later than Sunday, December 16 th.

 Kinder Care will be available for the children.  When making your reservation for the meeting, please let us know if you will be bringing children for this program providing the number of children and their ages as Santa will be bringing small gifts for all.


Date:     December 27, 2001

Time:    6:00 PM

Place:   Good Samaritan Nursing Home

We will be visiting Norman Fuhrman during this month’s meeting (room #211).  Please bring a six-pack of Root Beer as no alcohol is allowed.

Erinnerst Du Dich?

By Patti Goepfrich


January 13, 1983

“Die Deutschervererin Zeitung”

The next monthly meeting will be Thursday, January 20 th, at 7:30PM, at the German American Bank Community Room.

Charlie Hopf, through Holiday Liquors, has arranged a wine tasting party.   He has contacted various wine sales representatives, who will be there, to explain several different types of wine.

We will have election of officers at this meeting.   The following slate of officers have been nominated:

President – Ron Kieffner

Vice President – Jim Corn

Secretary – Nancy Burton

Treasurer – Jan Hulsman

Directors – Dan Wehr, Dr. George Muenich, Claude   Eckert, and Gary Egler

If you have not paid your 1983 dues, please mail your check, $5.00 couple - $2.50 single, or pay at the meeting.   Sign up a new member if you know of someone that would be interested.

Details are being finalized for German classes for both adults and children.   Further information will be forthcoming as it is available.

This will be my last newsletter as president of our club.   I sincerely want to thank the officers and directors for their hard work this past year.

Let’s all come out and welcome the new officers and enjoy the “ Wein”.

Auf Wiedersehn,

Gary Egler President

(Printed on Deutscherverein stationery – Found in Deutscherverein 

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 DeutcscherVerein Jasper, Indiana in gold lettering ($2.00).  To place your order, contact Patti Goepfrich at pmgoepf@fullnet.com or 482-4821.

Need a unique Christmas gift idea?  How about purchasing some 2002 Jasper/ Pfaffenweiler calendars from the high school German students.  They feature many beautiful pictures of both cities and the proceeds benefit the high school German program.  The calendars can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, The Schnitzelbank Restaurant or by contacting Tara Deppert at 482-4108.

All items are also available for purchase at our monthly club meetings.

German Traditions


Even though we may not be consciously aware of it, German Christmas traditions have, since the beginning of the nineteenth century, strongly shaped the way we celebrate Christmas in the United States.  We have adopted the tree, the Advent wreath, the Advent calendar, gingerbread houses, stockings hung to be filled, nutcrackers, Santa Claus and the image of a white Christmas.  Yet Christmas in Germany is still more than the sum of these parts.  There is an indefinable aura associated with the holiday that is difficult to describe and even more difficult to transplant.

Despite the regional diversity of rituals and customs, Christmas is seen everywhere as a time of inner stillness and expectation.  The greeting “ Frohe Weihnachten” implies a glow of inner joy, not merry gaiety.  There are Weihnachtsfeiern which are not Christmas parties.  The word Weihnacht (Christmas) is made up of the syllable weih (e) (a solemn, sacred ritual not necessarily Christian that inspires awe), and Nacht (night), thus Weihnacht (sacred night).  Also, a Feier is not a gay, noisy celebration that would be a Fest, but it is a quiet observance with songs, poetry and rituals, depending on the context – religious or secular.  A Feier is not quite spontaneous; there is some organized participation in a program by those attending.

Churches, choirs, folklore groups and similar organizations stage “ Adventsingen,” especially in the Catholic regions of Germany.  These events are held in magnificent old churches (often unheated), historic halls, and in medieval settings.  “ Adventsingen” can be large public events to which tickets are sold, or smaller more intimate gathering for just a few dozen people.  The tone of the performance is religious ad the music, singing, and recitation have a folklore character.  Often the participants, both audience and performers, appear in folk-style dress and regional dialect is used in the spoken and sung word.

The ringing of bells is very important to Germans, especially at Christmas and on New Year’s Eve.  Since all churches, both large and small, have sets of bells with each set having its own distinct tenor, and since on special occasions all the churches ring their bells at the same time, it is quite impressive to hear the pealing near and far, filling all corners of the city and countryside.

 A public event that epitomizes “Christmas in Germany” is the Christmas fair, called “ Christkindlmarkt” in Southern Germany and “ Weihnachtsmarkt” in Central and Northern Germany.  These fairs are held in all large cities as well as in many small towns, and are set outdoor in front of town halls, in market squares, or other public places.  Beginning with the first of December or the first Advent Sunday, depending on the calendar, row after row of wooden booths are erected to sell everything needed for a proper Christmas celebration.

There are booths that are filled with nothing but straw ornaments – large and larger stars, delicate structures shaped like chandeliers, angels and garlands.  Other booths sell only gingerbread, marzipan, stollen and Zwetschgenmannl (little fingers made of dried fruit with a nut for a head).  Still others feature toys; some carry the products of the Erzgebirge: nutcrackers, smoke men, light-bearing miners and angels, pyramids and Schwibbogen.  From Lauscha in Saxony there are the glittering, fragile Christmas tree ornaments in an infinite variety of shapes, colors and sizes.  There are booths filled only with angels of various styles – elaborate baroque angels with sumptuous brocade gowns and delicate wax faces, stylized Nurnberg “ Schaumgold” angels in their pleated foil dressed and wings, without hair and wearing severe crowns.  Also there are booths that sell anything anyone would need or want to create interesting nativity tableaux; little campfires that really light and cooking kettles on tripods for the shepherds in the fields; bales of hay for the stable; elaborately caparisoned elephants and horses for the wise men, as well as figures of the Holy Family and all sorts of village folk.  And then there are booths that sell toys, books, pewter and wax ornaments, wooden cookie moulds and other useful items.  One can also buy Christmas trees, Advent wreaths and “Barbara branches” (cherry branches) that are forced to bloom by Christmas if placed in water on St. Barbara Day, December 4 th.

In between all this, there are vendors of all kinds of Wurst, depending on the local specialty.  There are hot chestnuts and caramelized almonds, and always there is hot mulled, spiced wine Gluhwein, which roughly translated means “glowing wine”.  For children there is the Hirtentrunk or “shepherd’s drink” spiced just as Gluhwein is, only lacking the alcohol.  All Christkindlmarkts serve the wine in commemorative mugs which some people collect.  After a cold, frosty day of strolling through the booths, a hot cup of Gluhwein is a wonderful warmer upper. 

Strassenfest Booth Chairperson(s) Needed

The German Club is seeking individual(s) to serve as chairperson(s) for the club’s food booth at the Strassenfest.  If interested, please contact Darren Patterson at 482-7484 or Dave and Nancy Precthel at 482-4758.

German Recipe of the Month

Butter Cookies ( Spritzgeback)

  Rich sweet buttery dough forced through a cookie press produces some really fancy cookies.  These then will become an integral part of a special cookie plate in Germany called a Bunter Teller; this colorful plate becomes the centerpiece at afternoon coffee sessions throughout the Advent season and Christmas holidays.  And not so long ago, these plates were given as gifts to family, friends, and neighbors.  The recipe’s name, Spritzgeback, comes form the actual procedure of forcing or piping called spritzen in German.  Making these cookies is always a family affair, and kids are allowed to let their imaginations soar regarding cookie shape and decoration.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 T. vanilla sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg plus one egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 Spray two large baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy; then mix in the almond extract and eggs, adding the flour a little at a time, still mixing until you have a soft, elastic dough.

 Fit the disc you prefer into a cookie-press, then fill the press with dough and press out the shapes you desire – strips, circles, pinwheels, etc.  Press out onto a floured board.  Use a spatula to place the cookies onto the baking sheets.  Sprinkle with edible decorations of choice.

 Bake until the edges are just golden brown (8-12 minutes), then cool on a wire rack.  Makes about 3-dozen cookies.

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