Danube Swabian Community
“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

Villages Helping Hands

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA
2007 Tag der Donauschwaben USA & Kanada
(Day of the Danube Swabians)
Hosted by The Mansfield Liederkranz, Mansfield, OH
Aug 31 - Sep 2, 2007
DVHH Host: Linda McKenna

Meet Us in Mansfield

by Jody McKim
DVHH Founder & President
October 12, 2007

Leo Mayer, of Santa Ana, CA, President of the Landesverband der Donauschwaben (LUSA), warmly welcomed the DVHH in joining their yearly Tag der Donauschwaben celebration.  Jacob Hunsinger, President of the Mansfield Liederkranz, associate and site webmaster Dr. Thomas Thornton were extremely accommodating from day one of our planning stages to the last day of the event.  All three gentlemen, along with every person involved with the event, were exceptionally warm and friendly. 

Leo wrote. . . "The DVHH should make it a point to attend our meetings and Labor day gatherings as guests on a regular basis, because a lot of us think that your work is important, especially to keep the interest of the young generation."

Leo Mayer
Photo by Jody McKim

When Beth and I arrived Friday night for dinner at the Mansfield Liederkranz main hall, we could not believe how many people were present and how friendly everyone was.  We met for the first time in person Jacob Hunsinger, Dr. Tom Thornton and Leo Mayer, with whom we had corresponded both online and by phone during the event planning. 

Outside the main hall, there were hundreds of enthusiastic teenagers representing various dance troops from all over the country, ready for their competitions to begin!  These young folks are the future leaders in the Donauschwaben community.  I would like to see the DVHH initiate a program that will pique the interest of these young people regarding their family genealogy -dancing their way right into it.

Jacob Hunsinger, President of the Mansfield Liederkranz was the man of the hour.  There was no mistaking the energy and time that went into preparing for this huge event by the Mansfield Liederkranz -two years, I was told.  The many aspects to host such an event go far beyond what meets the eye. 

Based upon the sold admission tickets, tallies for the attendance were Saturday 1,673, Sunday 1,624 and for both days an additional 486 non-paying Jugend (youth) and Kinder (children) dancers.

The Tag der Donauschwaben was held for the first time in Mansfield in 2003; this year was the second time.

Congratulations to Jacob Hunsinger, the Mansfield Liederkranz members and all the clubs for providing us with an event to remember!

The Mansfield Liederkranz provided the DVHH a great location for our booth, along with a huge sandwich tent, tables and chairs.  Being situated between the main hall and the pavilion, we were right in the midst of pedestrian traffic.

Our presence at the Tag der Donauschwaben was a milestone and a weekend to remember for the DVHH.  We've come a long way in just five years, from fluff to tough, maintaining our focus in collecting and providing historical and genealogical information of the ancestral Danube Swabian for their descendants & working towards preserving the contributions entrusted to us.

Early Saturday morning we gathered to set up our booth for the big weekend event ahead of us. Everyone was busy planning and preparing.  What a great weekend it was for an outdoor event -the weather was wonderful!

I must admit, in all modesty, that we have some of the best Donauschwaben contemporaries worldwide aboard the DVHH.  It was with great pleasure that we humbly attempted to represent them and their contributions to all those who stopped by the DVHH booth.  Donauschwaben Clubs from all over the country attended the event and we were glad to be there to introduce the DVHH to them. I was touched to witness the commitment and involvement of our DVHH representatives working in the booth.

Linda McKenna, of Mansfield, OH and the Mansfield Coordinator for the DVHH, was a vital part of the event planning.  Early on, she met with Jacob Hunsinger at the Mansfield Liederkranz and took pictures of the layout. Linda helped to pave the way for our presence.  She utilized her creative abilities to make posters for the DVHH booth.  In spite of several serious health matters in her family & weathering the floods that hit her home just 2 weeks before the event, she continued her commitment to the DVHH and the event.  Linda wrote, "Now, I can release a sigh of relief -mission accomplished." . . . Read more

Linda and her husband Wayne were our anchors, thank you both.  Linda proudly carried the DVHH banner along with Suzanne Gross and Kathy Mettler Ward, three cousins meeting in Mansfield!

Beth Tolfree, from Bakersfield, CA. and the DVHH, Inc. Secretary, initiated the first contact with Tom Thornton, which led up to our participation in the Tag der Donauschwaben. Beth was a very good advocate for the DVHH and for our Donauschwaben heritage.  Moreover, she is the DVHH Apatin Coordinator.  Fortunately, she brought with her a large notebook filled with information about Apatin; and thankfully so, as she met many people who actually immigrated from that town.  She stayed on her toes during the entire event. Thank you Beth for all your hard work in making the debut of the DVHH a special event for us all to remember.

We are very fortunate that Tina Leto, a DVHH Board Member and Public Relations Chair, is a professional photographer. Her capabilities stood out in the graphic arts and printed items that she has designed for us, especially the very first DVHH banner, which made its debut in Mansfield. How exciting it was when I received the beautiful 6-foot banner from the CAD Company.  We were all so impressed.

The banner includes our long time DVHH poppy logo along with the beautiful new logo that Tina designed for us recently, bringing to life the long time DVHH slogan, "Remembering Our Donauschwaben Ancestors."  The hands with open palms represent all the efforts of the DVHH volunteers, coordinators, and all who have lent their helping hands.  The boat is a stylized version of the Ulmer Schachtel upon which our forbearers traveled as they made their way to the six regions they occupied for nearly 200 years. The six figures, dressed in traditional costume represent the six regions: Banat, Batschka, Hungarian Highlands, Sathmar, Slavonia -Syrmia, and Swabian Turkey.

Tina surprised the Event Committee
with our cool DVHH buttons!

Tina's hard work and thoughtfulness will always be remembered, as well as her talents. Thank you Tina, for bringing color to the event for the DVHH!

The "Meet the Authors" part of our venue proved to be mutually beneficial.  Between both of our agendas, our goals were met. The authors were Katherine Hoeger Flotz of Crown Point, IN, Elizabeth Walter of Palatine, IL, and Hans Kopp of Cleveland, OH. 

Kathy Flotz has been a part of the DVHH for a long time now, and has shared her "Memories of Gakowa" that is published at the dvhh.org in the Batschka section. Kathy wrote. . . "From the moment I stepped up to the "DVHH booth, I noticed the big sign "Meet the Authors" and I felt welcome."  Read more . . .

We are glad that Elizabeth Walter has joined our DVHH circle. She displayed her Mother's prayer book. . . "The worn, purple velvet cover of Mutter's Gebetbuch not only holds prayers, scripture, holy pictures, pressed flowers and ferns but it also holds the only material thing I have left from my homeland." Elizabeth wrote... I believe that the DVHH and their web site is one more way of getting our story - all over the world."  Read more . . .

English TWIRLER game, shown by Elsa

Hans Kopp, one of the DVHH most avid emissaries, has contributed an extensive amount of material to the dvhh.org, which he compiled into a book and had on display.  He thus provided our visitors insight to just some of the information that can be found at dvhh.org. See Hans Kopp Files. Hans wrote... "The DVHH.org group is indeed eye opening and in my opinion through them we finally find the missing links to our history in the USA and Canada." Read more. . .

It was a pleasure to meet these authors in person and we look forward to sharing a booth again next year. I recommend all of their books.

We signed up 34 new DVHH mail list subscribers, who we hope will come to know the DVHH as a special group of folks, all extending helping hands.

As an added treat, we raffled off a set of four Donauschwaben settlement maps, donated by John Reiser, with the winner to be chosen from among new DVHH Mail list subscribers.

Dennis Bauer took the microphone and made the announcement in the pavilion as Tina Leto assisted.  We solicited a nice young lady to draw the winning card.

The winner, Trudi Ward of Ohio. Congratulations!
contributed by John Reiser of North Brunswick, NJ:


Barbara Hilderson, of Machipongo, VA and a long time DVHH supporter attended with her husband Ozzie. Barbara was especially kind to grace us with flowers for our booth.  Because of the brisk winds, we unfortunately had to remove them from the tables.  Barbara said. . . "The faces of those who visited the DVHH booth were curious at first, then we noticed an emotional response to the information we had available." Read more. . .

It was a pleasure to meet some of the members from the Trenton Donauschwaben Club who are associated with the DVHH. . . Adam Martini, of Hamilton, NJ, who has contributed several memoirs from his life in the old homeland to the DVHH.org; Josef Brandecker, of Trenton, NJ, President of the Trenton Donauschwaben Club; and Dennis Bauer of Levittown, PA, who publishes their newsletter and is the DVHH Batschka Regional Coordinator.

Hans Martini of Hamilton, NJ and Secretary for the Trenton Donauschwaben Club, visits us with his wife JoAnn and mother Eva, who was born in Batschka Palanka, (wife of Adam Martini). Hans wrote. . . "While there have been many authors and interested folks in the Verband who’ve been doing wonderful research and scholarship over the years, nothing comes close to making all the information, the stories and pictures as accessible and user-friendly as the DVHH has –and the site just keeps getting better."  Read more. . .

The event was exciting and the crowds came in spurts, thereby making it difficult at times to engage in long conversations. 

When Jacob Hunsinger was not checking on things himself, his son Jake Hunsinger was.

Visitors were able to preview a slide show, prepared by Tina, previewing many images published at the DVHH website. 

Karl Seitz, webmaster for the Los Angeles Donauschwaben Club, takes a look.

Joe Stein, President of one of the largest Danube Swabian organizations in our country "The American Aid Society" of Chicago, IL, produced a DVD titled "The History of the Donauschwaben from 1690-present." Watching the DVD, I learned some new things about the Donauschwaben.  Thank you Joe for making this DVD, I recommend it to all. 

Walter Scheffrahn, Publicist for The American Aid Society stopped by and shared with us that, in addition to their usual club activities, articles and stories on Danube Swabian customs, culture and Germanic history are published in their newsletter.  I received a copy of this newsletter & highly recommend everyone to subscribe to it!

Walter & Erika Scheffrahn

The Mayers

John Pappert, President of The German Cultural Society located in St. Louis, MO.  This club has its origin in the St. Louis Chapter of the American Aid Society, which was founded in 1945 to help the German refugees of Eastern Europe who fled to Germany and Austria.

Walter Weinhardt of Mansfield, shared his family story about his grandfather and his wagon, which was on display at the event. You'll be able to read more about this story soon to be published at DVHH.org. Walter expressed an interest in becoming the Neu Pasua Village Coordinator.

Mansfield Liederkranz

Jacob Hunsinger being interviewed by WMFD, a local TV station.
Image courtesy of WMFD.

Thomas "Tom" Thornton, the man who we were frequently in contact with for almost a year during the planning of the event.  He was great to work with & he went overboard to assist us. 

On Friday night at the dinner hall, he was cooking and over the weekend he was cooking, I don't think I ever saw him without an apron on.

Mansfield Liederkranz Food Fare

"Chef" Tom


Frank Wolf


Herman Baur


I hope you've been enticed to make plans to attend next years Labor Day Tag der Donauschwaben which is being held in Cleveland, Ohio.

I'm looking forward to it and I hope to see you there!

Jody McKim

[Published at DVHH.org 12 Oct 2007]

Jacob Hunsinger










Tina designed the brochures that we passed out at the event, a nice DVHH keepsake for our visitors. I am sure these brochures will find their way into future DVHH events.


Name tags designed by Tina

Authors’ place cards, designed by Tina - what a nice touch!


Katherine Flotz & Elizabeth Walter


Hans Kopp

David Kemle & Hans Kopp


Dennis Bauer & Tina Leto


Tina, Barbara & Jody


Jake Hunsinger


Karl Seitz


Joe Stein


Maria Abt of the Milwaukee Club, the mother of Joe & Rose Abt of the (Cincinnati Club) & Hermine Linz (DVHH Slavonia Village Coordinator for Keschinzi & Semelzi).


Anna Schmahl of Mansfield.


Walter Weinhardt


Jacob Hunsinger


Thomas "Tom" Thornton

Sharlene &Tom Thornton


Jackie Berger Finley & Betty Newberry


Do these desserts look scrumptious! They were!


Mary Frey







Read what others
had to say...
"In their own words..."

Jugend (youth) & Dancers

Parade & Ceremony

About the images...


If images will enlarge, place mouse over image and it will read...
"Click Image to Enlarge"


If you can identified people in these photos, please contact us.


Tag Der Donauschwaben 2007 photos contributed by Beth Tolfree, Linda McKenna, Suzanne Gross, Kathy Mettler Ward, Elizabeth Walter, Tina Leto and Jody McKim.

Busy DVHH Booth...

Parade & Ceremony


















[Published at DVHH.org 12 Oct 2007]


At the ceremony, each club represented was announced and given individual recognition.

At the end of the ceremony, the young people were instructed to introduce themselves to 4 new people and introduce them to their friends, as a way of extending friendships. 

Those who met these young folks were impressed with them being very articulate and friendly.  They were fine representatives of their DS heritage group.
[Suzanne Gross]


About the images...


If images will enlarge, place mouse over image and it will read...
"Click Image to Enlarge"


If you can identified people in these photos, please contact us.


Tag Der Donauschwaben 2007 photos contributed by Beth Tolfree, Linda McKenna, Suzanne Gross, Kathy Mettler Ward, Elizabeth Walter, Tina Leto and Jody McKim.


Jugend (youth) Dancers & Kinder (children)
Our future Donauschwaben leaders. . .

One of the highlights of event was to watch "The Friendship Dance", of choice called Frohlicher Kreis "the happy circle."  This dance was performed by all groups attending
this special annual function in Mansfield, Ohio. 











"Entetanz" or
"Chicken dance" for "Vogeltanz" 

Und wir machen Kvicki-kvack,
und wir machen Vicki-vack,
und wir gehen in die Knie,
der Volgeltanz.

Alle machen Kvicki-kvack,
alle machen Vicki-vack,
alle machen so wie sie,
der Vogeltanz.

Und das schöne Kvicki-kvack,
ja das schöne Vicki-vack,
freut uns alle wie noch nie,
der Vogeltanz.

nach dem schönen Kvicki-kvack,
nach dem schönen Vicki-vack,
nach der schönen Melodie,
der Vogeltanz.


|: Ja, wenn wir alle Englein wären,
dann wär' die Welt nur halb so schön.
Ja, wenn wir nur auf Tugend streben,
dann könnten wir, doch, gleich schlafen gehen.

Und die Mutter Kvicki-kvack,
und der Vater Vicki-vack,
und die Kinder in die Knie,
der Vogeltanz.

Alle machten Kvicki-kvack,
alle machten Vicki-vack,
Alle machten so wie sie,
der Vogeltanz.

Und das schöne Kvicki-kvack,
ja, das schöne Vicki-vack,
freut uns alle wie noch nie,
der Vogeltanz.

nach dem schönen Kvicki-kvack,
nach dem schönen Vicki-vack,
nach der schönen Melodie,
der Vogeltanz.

|: Refrain: :|

 Have fun,

Thomas Thornton


Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA
Tag der Donauschwaben USA & Kanada 2007!
Hosted by The Mansfield Liederkranz

"In their own words..."

jody mckim | beth tolfree | linda bautz mckenna | tina leto | barbara hilderson | dennis bauer |
hans kopp | hans martini |
katherine hoeger flotz | thomas thornton | kathy mettler ward |
suzanne gross
| elizabeth b. walter

jody mckim

I'm very pleased with the DVHH debut at the 2007 Tag der Donauschwaben in Mansfield.  It was great to meet DVHH associates and to make acquaintances with new ones. 

Having been to the Treffen in Ulm, I'd have to say, the LUSA tag der Donauschwaben is my preference.  It was so much fun and I can't wait to attend next year.  I appeal to all DS to make a point to attend.  It was great to see the enthusiasm among the youth, as well as all the traditional Trachts.

A special thank you to all those who contributed to our success, especially our event committee: Linda McKenna, Beth Tolfree & Tina Leto; and Nancy Fredenberg too!

Without their tenacity and hard work, we would not have reached our ultimate goal of getting the word out to the DS clubs what the DVHH is all about.  In the last few weeks before the event, the committee pulled out all stops to finalize everything.

Jody McKim, Linda McKenna, Beth Tolfree & Tina Leto.

A special treat for me was to finally meet Barbara Hilderson, after years of corresponding online and talking on the phone it was great to lay eyes on her.  She's a sweetheart!

I would like to thank Beth Tolfree, Kathy Mettler Ward, Suzanne Gross, Linda McKenna & Tina Leto for contributing material & images used in the production of this report. A special thank you to Gabi Bugaisky, report Copy Editor.

While publishing this report and reading all the positive comments made about the DVHH, I was touched. Thank you all for your support and encouraging words.  Without people like you. . . who deem our organization significant, the DVHH project would still be --just an idea.

. . . Jody McKim
Acworth, GA
DVHH Founder
2007 President
DVHH.org Webmaster

"Never doubt that a small group
can change the world. In fact,
it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

tina leto

Tag der Donauschwaben, for me, is always like being in a room full of my own family- just multiplied by about 500.

At one point I looked up, after having just finished talking to someone and saw that every single person at the DVHH booth, DVHH volunteers and the authors, was each busy talking to someone else. 

It was great to see the level of interest.  I think that what  we are doing is going to be bigger and more important than we can even imagine right at this moment.  That's the beautiful part of it.

. . . Tina Leto
Chicago, IL

thomas thornton

It was great having the DVHH represented in Mansfield at the 2007 Tag der Donauschwaben.

Our collaborations can only enhance the drive to promote & preserve the Donauschwaben heritage.

People at the club did not initially understand the nature and mission of the DVHH. So having the presenters available at the event gave all of the members and visitors an opportunity to learn from you and be able to relate their own experiences in an open and friendly atmosphere.

I hope that we can mutually promote our websites and have continuous collaboration for future events.  We need to keep constantly in touch and coordinate future associations.

We need to reach out to other viewers and organizations that have a similar mission.

I hope that you would let me know any time if there is anything else I may do to help. I would like to see you or any of your presenters members submit articles, items, pix, etc. for inclusion in our newsletter, etc.  We need to keep our web links intact, accurate and up to date.

. . . Thomas C. Thornton, M.D.
Webmaster, Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA
Webmaster, Mansfield Liederkranz

katherine hoeger flotz

Author of ...
A Pebble in My Shoe

From the moment I stepped up to the "DVHH booth, I noticed the big sign "Meet the Authors" and I felt welcome.  The whole atmosphere at this booth was friendly, excited and anxious to meet and greet our Landsleut.

The authors, Elisabeth Walter, Hans Kopp and Anne Jung Holden sat next to me and we all promoted each other's books.  We were close enough to the pavilion where the youth groups and adults danced, where people visited and ate, and the music played.  We never missed anything and yet were able to do what we came to do -- sell our books, talk about our heritage and help others find theirs.  It was a glorious day!

. . . Katherine Hoeger Flotz
Crown Point, IN

kathy mettler ward

The highlight for me and my husband Art was meeting my fifth cousin Suzanne Gross and her husband Fran for the first time after meeting online and several years of emailing and researching our Metzger lines.  

It was wonderful to see children of a young age dancing traditional dances and to watch the friendship dance with all the groups after the parade (I took an amateur video of it).

Kathy & Hans Kopp
Hans Kopp & Kathy

We also enjoyed meeting Tina and her husband because we share some of the same interests (photography).

Tina Leto and husband Kevin
Kevin & Tina

Linda McKenna and I are third cousins and spent a lot of time together over this weekend.  I had worried that Art and Linda’s husband Wayne would get bored at the festival and take off but they enjoyed their time with Fran.  We all got along so well!

Kathy & Suzanne

Art Ward, taking a snooze
Art Ward "wore out"

. . . Kathy Mettler Ward
Stoney Creek, Ontario Canada

beth tolfree

One of my main impressions from the weekend was how welcome we were made to feel by everyone from Jacob Hunsinger, Dr. Tom Thornton and Leo Mayer to people we met either at our booth or on the Event grounds. 

I met many who were from Apatin, in Batschka and enjoyed talking to them about their family history. 

Helga Momirov
(from Apatin)

It was really wonderful to see all the youth dance groups in their beautiful trachts.  The groups came from all over and their enthusiasm and sense of community were catching.

The big thrill of the weekend and the nicest surprise was to meet Eva Muhl who had written to the DVHH List the week before for the first time seeking research help. 

Eva Muhl

All of us were touched by Eva's story and many on the List responded to her post. When Eva heard that the DVHH would be in Mansfield she made the drive to come and meet us there.  One of the most gratifying things about being part of the DVHH is being able to help others connect to family and it was really special to me to meet Eva in person after our correspondence. 

. . . Beth Tolfree
Bakersfield, CA

barbara hilderson

Oh, how I enjoyed listening to the music of my childhood and watching the youngest children and teenagers who really enjoyed performing their dances, wearing their elegant clothing, and beautiful lace.  The food...what can I say... "wonderful!"  

The friendliness of those hosting the Liederkranz was outstanding.  I enjoyed hearing those around me speak in their "Mother tongue" --German.

The faces of those who visited the DVHH booth were curious at first, then we noticed an emotional response to the information we had available. We heard with pride the stories of those who survived the aftermath of WWII and their remembrance of those terrible times.

The authors presenting their works talked with many of the attendees; and I heard sad stories of their childhoods.

Many of the attendees were eager to see the maps to locate their ancestors villages; and were met by the welcoming arms of our representatives at the booth. 

It's one thing to discuss online what happened to our families; but quite another to listen to those who lived it, describe and to see the anguish on their faces.  

The wonderful people I met through Jody, Beth, Linda, Tina; and not least of all. . . Dennis Bauer made me proud to be of Donauschwaben heritage. 

Meeting all the DVHH people confirmed what I've observed online, great people who share the same goal-finding, --our heritage. The sharing of information without expecting anything in return proves all of you have a heart for what you're doing for the rest of us on the list.

Those of you who worked to make our presentation are to be saluted; and gratefully thanked by those of us who attended.

Barbara & Ozzie Hilderson

Ozzie described the Donauschwaben event as a "10" 

. . . Barbara Hilderson
Machipongo, VA

hans kopp

Author of ...
The Last Generation Forgotten and Left To Die

The DVHH.org group is indeed eye opening and in my opinion through them we finally find the missing links to our history in the USA and Canada. The majority of DVHH members and their mail list subscribers did not learn of their Donauschwaben heritage until after they began to seek out their ancestral roots.  

Their discoveries continue as they search for their ancestors and forefathers, the towns their ancestors were born in and the drama and tragedies surrounding their lives.  They search for a connection to their ancestors past, which had been lost mostly during the first part of the 20th Century when most of their ancestors arrived on the shores of North America from their homeland. 

The DVHH has yet to realize the service they have done for our Donauschwaben community in North America.  I hope I can speak for all of us in saying thank you and by all means keep it going and do not stop.

. . . Hans Kopp
Cleveland, OH

suzanne gross

Suzanne & husband Fran

I was one of the early DVHH list members when I was researching my maternal ancestors from the Banat. I met wonderful caring sharing people. I did not think that it could get any better. Well, you have done it, Jody!! Having been unsubscribed for several years because my research turned to my father's ancestors from Baden, Germany and Missouri, I was truly amazed and delighted at the progression. One thing that does not appear to have changed is the people on the list. They still remain caring and sharing.  I very proudly have recommended the dvhh.org to a number of people and will continue to do so. 

I must thank Hans Kopp for spending time (and being very patient) with me answering my questions and clarifying areas of my research that puzzled me. It was a pleasure to meet him. 

Art Ward and I were honored to carry the DVHH banner in the parade. Tina's design so perfectly depicts the purpose and ideals of the website.

During the ceremonies on the parade field, we received a wonderful applause as DVHH was announced. I really got the feeling that people were glad that DVHH was part of Tag der Donauschwaben.

What was really wonderful to see children of a young age dancing traditional dances and to watch the friendship dance with all the groups after the parade.   What really impressed me throughout the day was the Jugend and Kinder, fine representatives of their Donauschwaben culture. They were very mannerly, knowledgeable and articulate and not embarrassed to speak to a senior citizen-- who turned out to live about twenty miles from my home in Pennsylvania. 

Linda McKenna should be commended for her hard work as the DVHH Mansfield host at the Tag Der Donauschwaben 2007. She spent many hours to make this event successful. . . and the bonus of 34 new members signing up for the list is spectacular.

It was a great idea for the DVHH to have a booth and bring the DVHH.org to the attention of the visitors attending the festival.  My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie that enveloped the dvhh booth. It was a joy to meet all of you.

. . . Suzanne Gross




linda bautz mckenna


Tag der Donauschwaben 2007 was a success for DVHH.  Beginning early in the year I happily contacted Jacob Hunsinger, President of the Mansfield Liederkranz and Dr. Thomas Thornton, MD.  Both welcomed me graciously and worked unceasingly to accommodate our group throughout our planning up to the event. 

It was great to finally meet in person those I've corresponded with through the DVHH.  The DVHH banner and handouts were great; and the map drawing was a success as well. 

It was good to meet the authors and to hear their personal reasons for writing. As well, it was nice to meet all the people who were interested in our program. 

We enjoyed the weekend at the fest along with cousins, Art and Kathy Ward of Canada and Suzanne and Fran Gross of the Philadelphia area. 

The sausage sandwiches and the cream-puff like dessert were my favorites, along with a cold glass of 'water'.  Never did acquire a taste for beer, but my husband enjoyed it. 

As the Mansfield Coordinator I was deliriously happy that the weather cooperated, and that my fellow event committee members were pleased with the set up and for all the attention the DVHH received at the fest.  I wanted so much to please. 

Now, I can release a sigh of relief -mission accomplished. 

Thank you to all who made this a great experience.

. . . Linda Bautz McKenna
DVHH Mansfield Coordinator
Mansfield, OH

dennis bauer

"The Treffen was a success especially with the addition of the DVHH booth and staff.

The sharing of genealogical information and resources and the making of new Danube Swabian contacts and friends was great.

. . . Dennis J. Bauer
Levittown, PA

hans martini

DVHH Receives Enthusiastic Welcome in Mansfield

The Mansfield Treffen this past Labor Day weekend was a big success by any measure.  In fact there continues to be a spirit and enthusiasm at the annual Landesverband der Donauschwaben Treffen few could have imagined not that many years ago.  Fears that as the older post WWII generation of immigrants died out, so too would the Verband have not been borne out. Carrying the movement forward with great energy and passion are those who were teens and 20 something’s when they arrived in this country, their descendants, friends, and now a growing group of members who are discovering their Donauschwaben roots through research and scholarship over the internet. 

This burgeoning interest in one’s family heritage has not only brought new and contributing members to the individual clubs, it’s also giving existing members another compelling reason to stay involved.  Perhaps even more importantly for many of us baby-boomer club members is that keeping the connection to the old country is falling more and more on our own shoulders.  In most cases we can’t just turn to the Oma and Opa anymore and often even mom and dad were too young to remember the details, much less the history, etc.  We’re the generation taking on the responsibilities of running the individual clubs and we need help!

Enter the DVHH.org.  The wealth of information this group of devoted and energetic individuals provides on how our ancestors came to the Danubian Basin, how they lived, and what they were like comes at just the right time and just the right place – at home on the family computer.  With its slick graphics and easy to navigate pages, finding out about mom’s hometown of Palanka, for instance, is just a keystroke away.  While there have been many authors and interested folks in the Verband who’ve been doing wonderful research and scholarship over the years, nothing comes close to making all the information, the stories and pictures as accessible and user-friendly as the DVHH has – and the site just keeps getting better.

It came as no surprise then to have seen how well the DVHH was received at the Mansfield Donauschwaben Treffen. The enthusiasm was evident on both sides of the information table!  Located right between the two main venues, the Helping Hands tent attracted an almost continuous stream of Treffen attendees at various times throughout the two day festival. Led by Jody along with Tina, Beth, Dennis and other friendly “info-Schwobs”, the group made an excellent impression on everyone they met.  In fact, it appeared to this writer that native Donauschwaben finding out about the organization for the first time were taking the whole thing quite personally.  They seemed delighted and perhaps even proud of what the group was doing. 

It’s quite clear the Donauschwaben Village Helping Hands brings something special to the Verband’s ongoing efforts to promote and perpetuate the culture of our ancestors.  Individual clubs like ours in Trenton and Philadelphia spend hundreds of hours keeping the various Kindergruppen, Jugendgruppen, and Schulen, etc. going in an effort to keep our culture alive, never mind just working to keep the clubhouse doors open.  The DVHH provides all Verband members with a central collection and distribution point, if you will, for the facts, figures, pictures and stories that will serve as a ready resource for every club.  For members of the Verband, the DVHH is a welcome partner in the ongoing efforts to keep our cherished heritage alive now and for the generations to come.

. . . Hans Martini
Hamilton, NJ

Trenton Donauschwaben Club Secretary
16 September 2007


elizabeth b. walter

Author of
Barefoot in the Rubble

I would like to thank the DVHH for inviting me to join their  "Meet The Author" table at the Tag der Donauschwaben in Mansfield.

The DVHH members were just wonderful.  I am happy to now be a part of this great group and hope to meet many more members in person at the coming events over the next few years.  

Those of us who are brave enough to record, video or write down our experiences of our homeland and how we came to America, Canada, Europe, Brazil or Australia will give today’s generation the greatest gift that anyone can give -their identity.   Our grandchildren should be STOLZ or proud of their heritage. 

I believe that the DVHH and their web site is one more way of getting our story - all over the world.  I was impressed by what I saw and I am happy that I am now a new member of this special group. 

. . . Elizabeth Walter
Palatine, IL



Last updated: 02 Mar 2019

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