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January 2007


Jasper German club membership enjoyed a delicious roast beef and fried chicken dinner at the VFW, Thursday, December 7 for their Christmas party and monthly meeting

Following the meal, President Bob Dilger asked the members to remember the German Club Endowment at the Dubois County Community Foundation while doing
their Christmas shopping.  What better way to help preserve our German Heritage than by providing resources to this community fund?

He also described two serving spoons that were left after the last meeting and asked members to help get them back to their rightful owners.  He also reminded members who have some of the homebrew bottles from the family picnic last September to return them to Matthias Hilger, who is arranging with Bob Sunderman to refill them for the next family picnic.

Pres. Dilger then introduced Tina Luebbehusen and her students from the Performing Arts & Choir at Jasper High School. The students sang a number of Christmas songs for the members, who responded with a rousing applause of approval.  The students invite the public to hear their entire program at the high school on December   12.

Attendance prizes went to Ann Ackerman, Elaine Astrike, Fr. John Boeglin, Darren Patterson, Clara Mae Braunecker, Jackie Braunecker, Medo Eckerle, Gary Egler, Gene Kieffner, Dave Prechtel, Jim Webb and Bonnie Wininger.   Special prizes went to Fr. John Briedenbach and Nancy Teder.

The January 18th meeting will be the annual Wine & Cheese tasting party at the VFW beginning at 6 p.m.  Members are encouraged to bring some of their creations to enter into our annual wine judging contest.  Recycled Teenagers from St. Anthony will also be on hand to entertain the members.

At the February 15th meeting, Fr. John Boeglin will speak of the history of the Catholic Church in our area and the role that Mother Theodore Guerin played in the early formative years.  Mother Guerin is only the 8 th person from the United States to be canonized a saint and the first from Indiana. Some members of Sisters of Providence who journeyed to Rome for this event will join him.  They will share their perspectives of this trip.

Pres. Dilger closed the meeting by thanking Judy Gress, Sharon Dilger, and Donna Humbert who were at the welcoming table.  He also wished all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ruth Wibbels Secretary

Upcoming Events – Mark Your Calendars

January Deutscher Verein Meeting

The January 2007 meeting will be on Thursday, January 18th at the VFW beginning at 6 p.m.    As has become our custom, this meeting will be our annual beer and wine tasting/judging gathering.  Members are encouraged to bring samples of their beer and wine making for the annual competition.  Scott Ortiz has once again graciously agreed to coordinate this year's judging in the Grape Wine, Non-Grape / Other Wines, and Beer categories.

The club will provide canned drinks and a variety of cheese samples.  There will also be a cash bar available for anyone wishing to purchase mixed drinks. 

The program will feature Recycled Teenagers...direct from  St. Anthony, Indiana!  This group, under the direction of our very own Bernie Jeffries, specializes in reminiscing about their teenage years!  They sing a variety of 50s and 60s songs and sprinkle in a joke or two to tickle your funny bone!  What better way to enjoy your wine and cheese?  

 Look forward to a great time at the January meeting!

February Deutscher Verein Meeting

Date:    Thursday, February 15, 2007

Place:    VFW in Jasper

Stay tuned for more details in the next newsletter !

The Following Is The Beginning Of A Series Of Articles That Have Appeared In The Herald, Courtesy Of Franz Hilger and Matthias Hilger

 The New Buergermeister

The new Buergermeister of Pfaffenweiler, Dieter Hahn will officially take over the office as the leader of our Sister City on November 21st, 2006. This will be the beginning of his first eight year term.

Retiring Buergermeister Fritz Gutgsell will hand over all responsibilities to him at that day.   Until then, Dieter Hahn and his family will have to find a home in Pfaffenweiler to live, because this is a basic requirement of being the Buergermeister of any town or city in Germany and the European Community.

He grew up in the Eifel Region of Germany, close to the American Spangdahlem Air Base. The Eifel Region is along the Belgium border to Germany.  He is 41 years old, married to Angela and they have a 13 year old son Julian.   He is a ‘Diplom-Verwaltungswirt’ (Bachelor Degree in Science Administrative Management)

As reported, the voter turn out was for the election was very high with 72.63%.   The win was most impressive with raking in 81.58% of all votes. The confidence the voters are putting in this new Buergermeister was very visible after the election results were announced. First the Volunteer Fire Department raised a traditional large Maypole in front of the Rathaus (City Hall) of Pfaffenweiler for the new Buergermeister. Then the community was invited to the Batzenberghalle for the official introduction of the new leader of the small wine growing community.

When he arrived at the Batzenberghalle, the community welcomed him with a long lasting standing ovation.  With free beer and pretzels, some speeches and greetings the evening was completed and the future Buergermeister further introduced to his future community.

Representatives of Jasper were also present that evening, Tom Kiefer, visiting his relative Gustav Kiefer who turned 80 this past month, was the first representative from Jasper to meet Dieter Hahn and congratulate him to his new position in the Snail Valley.

Already during Dieter Hahn’s introduction presentation a week prior to the election on September 15 th, 2006, he expressed his deepest interest in the Pfaffenweiler’s Sister City Jasper. He referred to his long friendship with many Americans due to him growing up close to the American Air Base Spangdahlem and the many soldiers living in the neighborhood of his parent’s house.  

Jasper Mayor Bill Schmidt along with the Jasper Partnership Commission immediately sent his congratulations to his future counter part in Jasper Sister City Pfaffenweiler.

Moments after the Election

Buergermeister Dieter Hahn’s election day ended with a huge celebration in Pfaffenweiler’s Batzenberghalle the night after the election results were announced on September 24 th.

With six candidates running for the office to replace retiring Buergermeister Fritz Gutgsell, it seemed almost impossible for one candidate to reach the 50% plus one vote mark in the first election.

Soon after the polls closed at 6pm on Election Day, Pfaffenweiler citizens started to come to the Rathaus to be one of the first to hear the results. The Batzenberger Winzerkapelle was ready to play, the Volunteer Fire Department ready to set a Maypole if needed.  It soon became apparent that a winner was being announced, when Dieter Hahn and his family were called to come up to the upper window of the Rathaus. Buergermeister Fritz Gutgsell the chairman of the election committee, then announced the result, pointing out the 81.58% votes for Dieter Hahn.

The first people to congratulate the winner were his opponents.   “I feel incredible right now’, he expressed, tired and sweaty from all the excitement. He was overwhelmed by the result. ”This gives me strength and confidence. I didn’t expect such a landslide. I have received a lot of positive signals over the past few weeks, but one can’t rely on it.” He thinks he planned his campaign very well.

“I’m so happy for my husband” the new First Lady of Pfaffenweiler expressed.

A relaxed and satisfied smile was on the face of current Buergermeister Fritz Gutgsell and he said that “in the interest of our community I wish you good luck and a good hand in your new challenge.”   He expressed his delight about the impressive voter turn out: “This is a great motivator for the new colleague.”

The Batzenberger Winzerkapelle played a few songs, the Fire Department set the Maypole in front of the Rathaus, and then the community went to the Batzenberghalle for continued celebrations.   After entering the Batzenberghalle with a standing ovation for the new Buergermeister, Pfaffenweiler’s Mens Choir performed a few songs, followed by the Accordion Club and the Batzenberger Winzerkapelle struck up a few songs again. Later in the evening the Guggemusik group showed up.

Buergermeister Fritz Gutgsell took the opportunity to introduce his predecessor to some of his neighboring colleagues.   Representatives of the Pfaffenweiler Club Association and the Winery presented gifts to the head of the town and Secretary of State Gundolf Fleischer gave a short congratulatory speech.   In his moving acceptance speech in an overflowing Batzenberghalle, Dieter Hahn thanked the voters for their confidence, and that he can convince all the other voters who did not give him their check mark, thru his work which will start on November 21 st.

2007 Sister Cities International Conference

Mark Your Calendars Now for July 18-21, 2007

The 2007 Sister Cities International Conference will be held July 18 – July 21, 2007 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.   The theme is "The Next 50 Years of Sister Cities." The Conference is geared to strengthening local sister city programs, an expanded Best Practices Showcase, and fantastic social events on land and water. A Youth Conference is also planned. Watch www.sister-cities.org for further details.

(information from "Sister Cities International, www.sister-cities.org.”)

Thanks to Jim Corn for his dedication to the landscaping around the Maypole at the corner of 6 th and Newton Streets.


 We are still missing MANY beer bottles from our picnic and auction.

Please return them to Bob Sunderman or Matthias Hilger no later than January 2007. These belong to the German Club and we need them again for the next batch of homebrew being made for the German Club picnic 2007 in September.

You were allowed to take some beer home after the picnic and the auction under a verbal agreement, that you will return the empty bottles. Please respect our agreement.

Thank you for your action and consideration in this matter.

JHS German Exchange Information

Mark Your Calendar:

JHS German Exchange Chili Supper
February 2nd, 2007
5:30PM - 8:00 PM
Tickets $5 in advance ($6 at the door)

The menu is all you can eat chili, hot dog, beverage, and home made dessert.   Tickets will be available at the January German Club meeting.

Potential New Club Members

If someone knows of a potential new club member and would like information about the Deutscher Verein forwarded, please contact Ruth Wibbels at 482-5403.

Erinnerst Du Dich?

From The Dubois County Daily Herald
Thursday, January 20, 1955


Hammel-fest And Christmas in Reute--- by A. T. Rumbach

I cannot leave Reute without telling the reader about a unique local custom, the annual “Hammel-fest”.   This event took place “zum Hirschen” (at the Deer tavern) next door to our Reute home.   The young set of the village and surrounding places gather for a benefit dance (for some local charity fund); each paid admission entitles the one who pays the “Eintritt” (literally, “in step”, an expression still used in some part of Dubois County in lieu of “admission”) to vote for the queen.   The young lady thus honored is awarded the “hammel” or ram which is kept tied near the orchestra and watches the evening’s proceedings with an occasional “Baa” and a nonchalant look.   The “queen” is also considered the most popular girl in the “dorf” and most likely to be a bride during the coming year.

The voting power of the attendants is further augmented by participating in a raffle of various commodities, which is calculated also to swell the charity fund.  As the contest for queen waxed hot, the promoter, knowing we were having a get together at the “backerei”, sent delegation after delegation over to solicit our support, and to bring over whatever trinkets we were “lucky” enough to win.   It is probably from their ancestors in Baden that the people Dubois County inherited their love of “celebrations” and their willingness to “take a chance” when it is for a good cause – “alles fuer die Kirche”.

We all would have enjoyed staying in Baden for Christmas to see how they celebrate the greatest of all annual events.   Since that was impossible, I shall describe it by proxy – Buzz, who was with us over our first weekend in Reute, again made the trip from Paris, where he is stationed in the U.S. army, for the Christmas weekend; he described the occasion in a lengthy letter to me in detail.  

He left Paris via train on Thursday evening, arriving in Basel ( Switzerland) early in the morning.   He completed the trip to Freiburg and Emmendingen, where he took a taxi to Reute, arriving there about 10 A.M. on Christmas Eve.   The trains were crowded with people going “home” to spend Christmas with their families, or going to winter resorts with skiis and skates.   In the afternoon, he helped trim the Christmas tree (Tannenbaum), putting on tinsel, candy, etc. and old-fashioned candies and sparklers.   After a brat-wurst supper (the best he ever tasted), Klara lined up the members of the household, the door was opened to the room with the Christmas tree and the table loaded with the gifts stacked around a large candle, and the place for each member of the family marked with a star cookie.

After the opening of the gifts, (Buzz’s gifts consisted of delicious Suchard chocolates, a pair of long sox, home knit, a leather belt, two books, etc.), the candles and the sparklers on the tree were lit to the tune of Christmas carols (Stille Nacht, O Tannenbaum, Ihr Kinderlein Kommet, etc.) Buzz was worried about the fire hazard from the candles and sparklers but they reassured him that there was no danger – nothing had ever happened and the candles were closely watched while they were burning.   Paul described the Christmas observance as follows:

“After the distribution of gifts, we had a round-table discussion using sign language and my dictionary; they used whatever English words they knew, and I the meager stock of German words I have accumulated.   Ate a dozen varieties of Christmas cookies – springerle’s lebkuchen, etc. – and sang more Christmas carols.   We listened to Konrad Adenauer’s Christmas message over the radio.   Of course, I did not understand very much of it except an occasional familiar word or expression but he sounded very impressive; he has an excellent radio voice and seemed very sincere.

“We retired early as we were to get up for 6 A.M. mass, a solemn high mass with ten altar boys robed in red and white garb.   The congregation joined the choir in singing Christmas songs, accompanied by the organ and band.   My mind drifted back home to the midnight mass which was just about ready to begin as the second morning mass started here (about 7 A.M.).   The crib erected on the left side altar was really beautiful.   We had an elaborate dinner at noon with an excellent rabbit roast as the main dish.   On Sunday evening Klara and Herr Seger, who speaks English, accompanied me to the station at Freiburg to catch the train for Basel and Paris.   So my wonderful visit to Reute was over; next to being at home it was the most congenial place I could have spent Christmas.”

I also have received a very interesting letter from Bob Kress (a classmate of Buzz and now a theology student at the Canisianum, in Innsbruck, Austria.)   It was also Bob’s first Christmas overseas.   He says:

“My first Christmas away from home was not so bad.   I am sure Buzz also found it so.   We Americans here at the Canisianum sang a midnight mass at an army camp just a few miles from Innsbruck.   After the mass the soldiers gave us a big breakfast of ham and eggs, which in Europe is a rare treat; then we sang Christmas carols for them for about an hour and a half before coming back to the ‘Can’.   These festivities helped us not to think too much about ‘home at Christmas’.   It really was a wonderful ‘White Christmas’, about which we sing and dream back home in Indiana, but which we really have here at Innsbruck.”

We had hoped to see Bob at Innsbruck, but when we phoned from Liechtenstein we learned that he was out in the Alps on an all-day hike with the American students.   Unfortunately, we had to be back in Reute the next day.   Bob informs us that Edwin Seng of Jasper was also in Innsbruck for two days, on a conducted tour, but also was unable to see him because of scheduled side trips.   He did connect with Don Habig, who is stationed nearby with a U.S. army in Bavaria.   He is now looking forward to a proposed visit from Buzz.


Serving Size: 1
Amount Measure Ingredient – Preparation Method

3 lb Soup Meat   2 tablespoons Butter
2 qt Water   ½ teaspoon Salt
4 Eggs   ½ cup Milk
1 cup Flour      

Add the water to the soup meat, season to taste and cook slowly for several hours. A half hour before serving time, make soup balls as follows:   combine the salt and flour and work in the butter. Beat the eggs and add to flour.   Stir in the milk, using only enough to make batter thin enough to drop by spoon.   Drop by spoonfuls into the boiling hot broth and cook for 10 minutes.   Serve in hot soup at once.

(taken from www.derdeutschemichel-online.de)


Jasper Deutscher Verein (German Club) German Heritage Endowment  

A gift to the Jasper Deutscher Verein (German Club) German Heritage Endowment of the Dubois County Community Foundation is a wonderful way to remember that special someone.   A gift in honor of someone or in memory of someone may be given. The Dubois County Community Foundation will send a letter of acknowledgment to the individual being honored or to the family of someone being remembered.   Send your gift along with the appropriate  information  to the Dubois County Community Foundation, P. O. Box 269, Jasper, IN   47547-0269.   Envelopes are also available at the greeting table at each club meeting.

Enclosed is my gift of $___________.   Please direct my gift to the Jasper Deutscher Verein (German Club) German Heritage Endowment.  

Name: _______________________________________

Address: _____________________________________

City/State/Zip: _________________________________

I want my gift to be in memory of/in honor of:



Please acknowledge gift:

Name: _______________________________________



 Annual Dues may also be paid at the January, February, or March meetings of the DeutscherVerein!!!


Membership Dues

It's that time of year again! Please submit your dues for 2007 as soon as possible by completing and sending in the following form. Thanks!

SEND TO: Jasper Deutscher Verein, ATTN: Rita Egler, P.O. Box 15, Jasper, IN 47546


Name(s): ___________________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________

City, State, ZIP: ______________________________________________________

Home Phone ( ) ______ - ___________ E-mail: ___________________

[circle one]

Single Membership ($5.00) or Couple Membership ($10.00)

[circle one]

New Membership or Membership Renewal

Please indicate the year which dues are to be applied: ________________________


If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please contact Matthias Hilger or Patti Goepfrich.

Deutscher Verein

Officers :

Directors :

Bob Dilger - President
Virgil Gress- Vice President
Rita Egler - Treasurer
Ruth Wibbels - Secretary

Die Zeitung
Editor:  Patti Goepfrich
Phone: 482-4821
e-mail:  pmgoep@fullnet.com

Fr. John Boeglin
Dave Buehler
Raymie Eckerle
Dan Gutgsell
Jim Gutgsell
Matthias Hilger
Janet Kluemper
Linus Lechner
Danny Wehr