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Official Publication of the Jasper DeutscherVerein

December 2009

Merry Christmas To All!!!!

Please remember those less fortunate during this special time of year.


Due to rising costs, the Deutscher Verein Board of Directors has voted to raise the yearly dues. Starting January 1, 2010 , dues will raise to $10 a person. Out of this raise, a $1 will go to the Jasper Deutscher Verein (German Club) German Heritage Endowment and $.50 per member for dues to Sister Cities of Jasper, Inc. and $8.50 to German Club for postage and meetings. Dues are to be paid in January by mail to German Club, P.O. Box 15 , Jasper , IN 47547-0015 or paid at meeting.

We are trying to build our membership and need many people to work at the Strassenfest and help with our meetings during the year. The Strassenfest is our only fund raiser of the year. We need everyone and I am asking all members to try to get new people interested in the German Club.

All members who are going to be gone for any period of time, I would appreciate if you would let me know when you are leaving and give me your new address so I can forward your newsletter to you. This keeps us from having to pay double postage and assures you to receive all newsletters while you are away from home. Having your mail forwarded while you are gone will not work, simply because of the "Return Service Requested" stamped on our newsletter. This is stamped to let us know when someone has moved. The Post Office informs us of new addresses if you have permanently moved.

Thanks for your help and please let me know if you have any questions regarding membership or if you know of someone interested in the German Club.

Thanks again,

Rita Egler, 634-9068

Thank You Note

Dear Deutscher Verein, Sister Cities of Jasper and the Partnership Commission,

Thank you for inviting me to speak at your German Heritage Award Dinner, and thank you for the generous Schnitzelbank gift card!

It was an honor and pleasure to mingle with your fine group. Our heritage, connecting with our ancestry, and building relationships across the globe are so important to the meaning of life. Thank you for promoting our German Heritage on October 6 th and all year long.


Maureen Braun

Deutscher Verein November Meeting in Review

The Jasper Deutscher Verein met Thursday November 19 at the Jasper VFW. Social hour started at 6:00 and appetizers and dessert were enjoyed at 6:30 . Vice- President, Birnie Jefferies opened the meeting welcoming all present and he led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. He also thanked the welcoming table consisting of Rita Egler who signed up a few new members, yeah!!! Margie Jeffries and Barb Schmitt. Also at the welcoming table were Erin White and Sandy Wehr promoting their fund raiser items which included advent calendars and IGA coupon books for the German Exchange program. Birnie then introduced Matt Hilger and Matt gave a few details about the upcoming trip to Germany .

We had an overwhelming attendance. Last count was approximately 150. We had our annual auction for the Student Exchange Program.100% of the proceeds will go to the Jasper High School German Exchange program. Dan Hoffman graciously agreed to conduct the annual auction. He did a very good job along with his helpers Raymie Eckerle, Bob Bleemel, Ray Lechner, and Darren Patterson. He was definitely entertaining!

After the auction was complete, we drew for the attendance prizes which were 2 very pretty fall flower arrangements from Green Thumb Landscaping. We also drew for 3 special attendance prizes. The rest of the evening was spent socializing.

Respectfully submitted.

Barb Schmitt,


Upcoming Events

December Meeting

At the Jasper VFW

Christmas Party

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fran Johnson will be creating a really great meal for us again this year. The cost is $10.00 per person. As usual the club will supply the liquid refreshments. Our program will be the Celebration Singers Christmas program under the direction of Larry Feldmeyer. As most of you know, this 75 - 100 member choral group presents a great program. Make plans to celebrate the Christmas season with your club!

Time: 6:00 social gathering

6:30 dinner

7:30 short meeting

7:45 Celebration Singers

Reservations should be made for the Christmas Dinner by calling Al and Judy Bennett at 482-4275 by December 11 th .

January Meeting

At the Jasper VFW

Beer and Wine Tasting/Judging

30 Year Celebration

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Members are encouraged to bring samples of their beer and wine for the annual competition. The categories to be judged are: Grape Wine, Non Grape/Other wine, and Beer. Let's have a great turnout!

During the tasting, a table of various meats and cheeses along with soup will be provided by the club.

In addition, we will be celebrating out 30 th anniversary as a club during 2010 and watching a Power Point presentation developed by the Jeffries family depicting the good times held during Deutscher Verein activities.

Time: 6:00 Social gathering

See upcoming newsletters for more details!

News from the Dubois County Suds Club

The Dubois County Suds Club, a group of local homebrewers, is holding its next meeting on Tuesday, January 5, at 7 p.m. at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Jasper.  Anyone who homebrews or wants to learn how to homebrew is welcome to attend.  In addition to monthly meetings, the club also holds group brew sessions and live demonstrations throughout the year.  Meetings are always free to new members.  Call 630-8433 if you need more information.

Wolfgang Erhardt Visits Pfaffenweiler

Deutscher Verein member, Wolfgang Erhardt from Crestwood , KY , spent three weeks in Germany in October visiting relatives and friends. After flying to Zurich , he spent several days on the Bodensee with his sister Inge Matt and her husband, Peter, and other family members. He then traveled to Esslingen next to Stuttgart to visit he other sister Ute Schulze and her husband, Jorg. He also visited cousins and other relatives at the ancestral home of his father near Giengen - the home of the famous Steiff toy factory. While in Esslingen , he had dinner with Wolfgamg Joas, who worked as an intern at Mobel, Inc. in Ferdinand a number of years ago.

Wolfgang Erhard and his sisters and brothers-in-law also spent time in Pfaffenweiler where they had dinner with Franz and Baerbel Hilger, Walter Bosch, Gebhard Ehrath and Doris Sori at the Engle Hotel. The next day, following a tour of the winery in Pfaffenweiler, Walter Bosch took the visitors on a day trip across the Rhine to Alsace , France where they visited several picturesque small villages and the city of Colmar .

Local people may remember Ute and Jorg Schulze and Inge Matt who have visited Jasper on past occasions.

Doris Sori, Franz and Baerbel Hilger, and Inge Matt having dinner at the Engel Hotel in Pfaffenweiler

Walter Bosch and Wolfgang Erhardt enjoying some libation at the Engel Hotel

A Thought from your Vice President

Another month has passed and America 's favorite holiday season is here.  It's a favorite because most of us are believers, and have strong faith based lives.  The Jeffries family is one that believes it's important to live with fantasies.  All the hype at Easter - both real and unreal are played out with much delight and fun.  At Christmas we go all out to live the Christmas card scenes - you know - singing around a piano those songs that make the season almost reality.  Of course we don't let the mice sit on the fireplace mantle or window sills, but we do acknowledge how cute they are in the fantasy world.

As German Club members, it's important that you and I fantasize and dream how to make our club better and interesting.  There is a lot of talent in each of us - you just need to let it out and share with those around you.  Other than Opra singing, Blues and Rap music, there is not much I don't like to do, see and hear.

I have no doubt that Margie and I are still very close after 43 years because of dancing and music and snow skiing.  Yes, favorite hobbies that's shared by friends and family are a blessing. 

 WOW - What a great turn out for the Student Exchange program benefit auction.  Although Rita will get the final figure to share with you, I heard there were 154 people at the auction.  Over $2,000.00 was raised. The half pot money totaled almost $360.00 and most of all - we had fun. I'm so proud of you guys for always pitching in and making it easier for all of us. 

With over 100 signed up for the Christmas party, plus the 90 Celebration Singers, it's going to be a full house.

Thanks to many of you - I have enough photos for the January meeting.  Oh yes, before I forget, the December Christmas party will feature a meal prepared by the VFW cooks and the desserts will be provided by your Officers and Directors!  All you have to do is come and have yourself a jolly good time.

I'll see you in December,

Birnie Jeffries

Vice President

2009 German Heritage Essay Winners

Laura Knies, GAB, Kelsey Messmer, Olivia Gutgsell, Kaitlen Emmert, Jay Baker, GAB, Samantha Merkel, and Sharon Burger, GAB

Kelsey Messmer

Daughter of Curt and Mary Messmer

Southridge High School

Preserving Our German Heritage

German heritage has been around for many generations in Southern Indiana . Whether we know it or not, our German heritage surrounds us. Most of the people who live in Dubois County in Southern Indiana have German ancestors or have some type of German descent in them. We, as the younger generation, can maintain and preserve our German heritage.

Many people in your life can influence you. For me, my grandparents influence me the most. They are German descendents as were their parents. Talking to the older generation, such as grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, can help maintain and preserve our German heritage. Stories, which are passed down from generation to generation, tell about the wars that they were in and the places they went in Germany .

The younger generation can preserve and maintain our German heritage by going to school and participating in German classes. Requiring German as a class in high school would be helpful. However, being that it is not required, students who take German, as well as teachers, could encourage more students to take German Classes. It helps to be in German Class because we research Germany and all different places. We also have food days in which each student bring in different German foods. If students could see all the fun the German students have, maybe they would become interested in it also. We could get everybody in the school to go on field trips to visit German places or restaurants, like the Schnitzelbank, or go to a German play. Every year, usually every other year, our school has a trip to Germany over the summer. This is a great and very informative trip for the younger generation to take interest in their German heritage.

You could also have the option of being a host family for a German exchange student. This is a good way to learn about other people and their culture and lifestyle in different countries. On of my best friends and her family hosts a German exchange student for the school year. Listening to her speak about her home and lifestyle is very interesting and information. Also, the Strassenfest occurs every year. We could encourage more people to go. We could also decorate our town in more German-related thing, like flags, not just on the day of Strassenfest.

German heritage means a lot to me and my family. We are always surrounded by it and I am proud to have German in my blood. There are many things the younger generations can do to help maintain and preserve our German heritage, like in school, at home, and talking to parents and grandparents.

Samantha Merkel

Daughter of Doug and Renee Merkel

Northeast Dubois High School

Preserving our German Heritage

Life in Dubois County revolves around the German heritage left by our ancestors many years ago when they first settled on the land that we call home. Most of the names of the people, the towns, and the businesses have all German roots behind them. We, at the younger generation in Dubois County , can preserve our German heritage by continuing our family traditions, listening and learning the older generations past, and keeping historical records.

We can keep family traditions such as reunions, get-togethers, birthdays, and many others alive by organizing and finding new ways to keep the whole family interested in the past. We can research and find out why families came to America . In addition, why did they settle hear and hot long did it take them to reach Dubois County or Indiana . Also, we can gather information from local history books and learn about our family's part in building the towns to the way they are now. There are many other things that we can do to keep our family traditions alive.

Another way, we as the younger generation, can preserve our heritage is visiting the older generations and listening to stories of their past. Listening to a grandparent or a neighbor is a good way to learn about history especially if the person is from this area. Just taking 20 minutes or 30 minutes out of your time to talk and listed to an elder is not very hard at all. You will definitely be surprised when they start talking about their childhood. Yes, you may think this boring, but some day later down the road you will be very thankful that you listened. Visiting and listening to the older generation is lonely way of learning about the past; there are also many other things you can do, too.

We, the younger generation can also keep historical records for future generations just as the older generations have done for us. We can take pictures of events that do not happen too often such as floods, celebrations, and other activities or disasters. Another way we can keep historical records is by writing in a journal or book. By writing in a journal, we are sharing our thoughts and feelings, which is something that future generations will hopefully find interesting someday. There are many ways that we can keep historical records to help future generations preserve our German heritage.

The names of people and places tell stores of our county's past and help keep our German heritage alive. We keep our German heritage alive by living on the land that our ancestors first settles on years ago when they came to Dubois County . Continuing family traditions, listening and learning of the older generations past, and keeping historical records are ways that we, the younger generation in Dubois County , can preserve our German heritage.

Kaitlin Emmert

Daughter of Robin and Michelle Emmert

Forest Park Jr. Sr. High School

Our German Heritage Continues

Many years ago when my ancestors reached Indiana by flatboat, they settled in areas like Ferdinand. They spoke their native language and brought traditions and values from their homeland with them. The courage of these early German Americans lives on today in our communities where traditional values and customs still live. Today, I owe my family's Roman Catholic faith, hard work ethic, and rich German heritage to these people who turned an Indiana forest into a thriving town.

German heritage is extremely important to me. My German roots show through in the following names on my family tree: Becker, Emmert, and Gehlhausen are all German names. My Grandma Emmert grew up with the German language spoken in her home, and my Great-Grandpa Becker knew only German until he went to school, where he learned to speak English. Merely, two generations ago, citizens of Ferdinand and other area towns still spoke their native language; however, today German is rarely spoken fluently. In an effort to learn more about Germany , I have taken hold of the opportunities available to me to learn more about my unique heritage. I am currently in my fourth year of studying German at Forest Park .

I am also the person I am today because of the sacrifices and hard work of the first citizens of Southern Indiana . Although they were in a new country, my ancestors and the other immigrants tried to retain old traditions and plant them anew here in Indiana . Their traditions and way of life were all they knew and when they settled here, roots began to take hold and grow.

There are ways for the residents of Ferdinand to remember the struggles and celebrate the heritage of these early Germans: I participate in the local Heimatfest, a celebration of Ferdinand Citizens' common ancestry and customs. I was honored to have been Miss Heimatfest 2009. I hope to use this privilege to be a positive role model for younger children and to instill in them a continuing appreciation of community history. By helping others realize that our common traditions and ancestry make us unique, I hope that these values are passed wont to many generations to come.

The United States of America is a melting pot of cultures. Sprinkled through the states are small communities that share a bond of ancestry, and each has it sown points that set it apart from others. We should remain proud of our traditions and values that make us unique! For example, our town was founded around the church, and the Catholic faith remains strong in Ferdinand. Various German traditions of Christmas trees and Easter bunny are also practiced today by countless families.

I am proud of my rich German heritage and do what I can to preserve it. I am a product of my ancestors' journey to America , their faith, hard work, and German roots. Ich bin stolz Deutsch-Amerikanisch zu sein!

Olivia Gutgsell

Daughter of Jim and Louise Gutgsell

Jasper High School

What is heritage? According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, heritage means "something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor." This could be anything from a tradition to a gold ring. It varies among cultures and among families. But to me, my German heritage tells me who I am, and who I can become.

Two summers ago, as well as this summer, I ventured to Germany with a group of classmates. Of course, I knew that I was of German descent. Isn't everyone in Jasper? I also knew that I had distant relatives in Germany . I had a few goals for the trips: to speak better German, to establish friendships, and to visit my family. Naturally, my German was instantly improved just from being in an environment where German is spoken constantly. Goal one, accomplished. Goals two and three, however, came with more difficulty.

I was fortunate enough to get paired with four host sisters that I got along with splendidly. But, we had to work to get to know each other. Sometimes, I would have to go out of my way to strike up a conversation that would engage both of us. It was not always comfortable, but it was worth it. I am currently in contact with all these girls, their friends, and two others that I have stayed with. Two of my "sisters', as we call each other, live in our sister city, Pfaffenweiler. Being in Pfaffenweiler and getting to know local teenagers through these two girls made me realize how much has not changed across cultures through time. I, as an American, could easily camouflage myself as a German teen in Pfaffenweiler. Yes, there may be slight variations, but the German youth of Pfaffenweiler is much like the American youth of Jasper. We play video games, play music, go to sporting events, and hang out with friends. Also, laughter is universal.

These two Pfaffenweiler girls helped me realize that we are not so different. Maybe more importantly, they (along with my dad) arranged for me to meet my distant cousins. I am related to several people in Pfaffenweiler, including the former mayor Fritz Gutgsell. Although we are only distantly related, I was also at ease with my relatives. We had dinner together, and took day trips to the Black Forest and France . Fritz and his wife, Brigitte, took me to see my great-great- grandfather Andreas' stone water trough. This water trough is literally in somebody's backyard in Pfaffenweiler. It was surreal to see a piece of my history sitting in a foreign country in someone else's yard. My German relatives taught me that family, like friends, is the same across cultures.

My heritage starts with Andreas Gutgsell's voyage across the Atlantic to start a better life in America . But it does not end with me. I intend to study my history more in depth, and continue to build my relationships with my wonderful German "sisters." Then I, too, will have a heritage to pass on to generations.

Urgent!!!! Louis is arriving December 28, 2009

Wanted: Host Family

Looking for host family for Louis Steinle from Ehrenkirchen, a neighbor town of Pfaffenweiler . He goes to school in Staufen is 15 years old and will spend at the JHS the second semester of this new school year.

Call Matthias Hilger at 661-0624


We are looking for items to replace trophies in the cabinets at the Schnitzelbank. If you have any memorabilia you would like to display in these cabinets (located in the Deutscher Verein Room) please contact Rita Egler at 634-9068. We would appreciate items for a short period of time to display, or for any time you would agree on. These items may be items from Germany or pertaining to the German Club or Sister Cities.Thanks, Rita Egler

At this special time of the year, let us remember the less fortunate of our communities. This would be a great time to make a donation to any organization helping those in need in our communities!!!! Your generosity will be appreciated!!

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemut-lich-keit, Ein Prosit

Ein Prosit, der Gemut-lich-keit, Eins Zwei, Drei.G'suffa

A toast, A toast, To happy times, A toast, A toast, To happy times, One, two three. drink up

Endowments at the

Dubois County Community Foundation

Jasper Deutscher Verein (German Club)

German Heritage Endowment

A donor-advised endowment to benefit generations in ensuring that our German heritage is preserved and enriched in Jasper and Dubois County.

Claude and Martina Eckert

Sister Cities Endowment

A designated endowment to provide support to Sister Cities of Jasper, Inc. to support the Jasper/Pfaffenweiler relationship.

A gift to the Jasper Deutscher Verein (German Club) German Heritage Endowment or to the Claude and Martina Eckert Sister Cities Endowment 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 .


Enclosed is my gift of $__________________________

to the________________________________________

(Please specify appropriate Endowment)

Name: _______________________________________

Address: _____________________________________

City/State/Zip: _________________________________

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


Please acknowledge my gift to:

Name: _______________________________________

Address: _____________________________________

City/State/Zip: _________________________________

Deutscher Verein

Officers :

Directors :

Al Bennett - President


Birnie Jeffries - Vice President


Rita Egler - Treasurer


Barb Schmitt - Secretary


Die Zeitung

Editor: Patti Goepfrich

Phone: 812-482-4821

e-mail: pmgoep@fullnet.com

Deutscher Verein Website:


Fr. John Boeglin

Dave Buehler

Bob Dilger

Raymie Eckerle

Patti Goepfrich

Virgil Gress

Dan Gutgsell

Jim Gutgsell

Matthias Hilger

Janet Kluemper

Linus Lechner

Danny Wehr