Remembering Our
Danube Swabian Ancestors

Donauschwaben Villages

"Helping Hands"

    “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world.
In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead


Robert "Bob" Bermel
Welland, ON

Lookup Guide
Schöndorf and Traunau



"she went on to explain. “It was a hard life."

In the late 1940’s, I was the first generation of my family to be born in Canada. My paternal grandparents/father were born in Schöndorf, Banat. My maternal grandfather is from nearby Traunau and grandmother/mother born Kübekháza. In the 1930’s, both families emigrated to the Niagara Region in Ontario.

My wife and I are long-time residents of Welland, ON. In 2008, I retired from supermarket management and was active as a consultant/mentor to small businesses until 2015. My favourite pastimes are golf in the summer and family history in the winter months. A big thank you to all who have helped me & all the new acquaintances I’ve met on my family history journey.   

A Childhood Memory

In my Bermel grandparents' living room were a pair of ‘farming’ pictures (prints). The pictures were of men and women working in the fields, harvesting by hand and horses pulling wagon loads of hay.

With a child’s curiosity, I remember asking my grandmother ”Why do you have these pictures?”

“These pictures are from where I lived before coming to Canada and these are the things we did....” she went on to explain. “It was a hard life.”

Many years had passed, until I realized these pictures were by the Banat artist - Stefan Jäger (1877-1962) and the real significance of these pictures to my grandparents and to my heritage.

~ Bob Bermel, 208 December, 2020

[Published at 09 Dec 2020 by Jody McKim Pharr]

 Last updated: 30 Jun 2021