Danube Swabian Community
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In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

Villages Helping Hands

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors


Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA
2010 – Landestreffen – German Hungarians, Philadelphia & Trenton
(National Meeting of the German Hungarians)
Hosted by the United German-Hungarian (UGH), Oakford, PA
Aug 6-8, 2010
DVHH Host: Helen Dubas & Betty Mauro
Published at DVHH.org 13 Sep 2010, by Jody McKim Pharr.

Event Review
by Dennis J. Bauer, DVHH Public Relations, 12 Sep 2010

& Host Review by Helen Dubas, DVHH Philadelphia Archivist

This year’s Treffen was held at the United German-Hungarian (UGH) Clubhouse and park in Oakford, Bucks County, PA from August 6th to August 8th. It was the first time a Treffen was held here in the East. Many clubs from afar took in the sights of New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Washington, DC and of course the Jersey Shore either before of after the Treffen. What a great job our hosts, President - Bill Galgon, Treffen Chairman - Joe Reiter and the members of the UGH did.

The Philadelphia Donauschwaben and the Trenton Donauschwaben “stepped up to the bat” and helped their friends at the UGH out with a team of volunteers for the Ausstellung room, the front gate and the kitchen during the three day festival.

The event officially started at 5pm on Friday night with the usual Treffen open house and get together. What a crowd in deed. I cannot remember such a large attendance for a Friday night. The party went on until midnight.

The volunteers showed up early Saturday morning in preparation to the noon opening of the park and the Kindergruppe Workshop. The grand march "Parade" lineup started at 1:30pm with entrance onto the parade/soccer grounds at 2pm. What a view of this gathering from the stands, as several hundred Donauschwaben assembled in their Trachts and carrying their club banners.

Verband President, Robert Fillipi, and UGH President, Bill Galgon, welcomed everyone to Bucks County. Man was it hot on the field. But we all persevered and march off after singing “The Star Spangled Banner”, “O Canada”, “Deutsche Nationalhymne”, the “Volkshymne der Donauschwaben” and several speeches and announcements. It was then time to enjoy some wonder German food (bratwurst, weisswurst, leberkaese, frankfurters, sauerkraut, German potato salad, schnitzel, sarma, goulash and roast pork, and all the desserts), dance and of course BEER.

The Mansfield Kinder were the first to dance at 3pm, followed my 34 other dance groups throughout the day and into the night. A great job by all the dance groups. The fun and entertainment went on into the night as the park closed it’s “doors” after midnight. Those that stayed locally in the surrounding hotels continued to party on at their new residences until the early morning. Some even left their hotels to party at other hotels with friends.

Our Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands (DVHH) staff setup a booth outside and offered genealogical/historical research advice to the crowd. It was manned by locals; Helen Dubas, Betty Mauro and Noelle Giesse. It was supported by our members, Dennis Bauer, Eva Martini and Hans Martini. Dennis presented Helen with a DVHH certificate of appreciation for being the local chairperson and also one to Eva Martini for her hardy work on the DVHH banner. Ann Morrison, author of the DVD “The Forgotten Genocide”, also had a booth next to the DVHH booth and conducted interviews in the Main Hall of genocide survivors for her next upcoming documentary.

Noelle Giesse, Betty Mauro, Dennis Bauer, Helen Dubas & Eva Martini

Dennis presented Helen, the local DVHH Host with a certificate of appreciation.

Dennis presented Eva a certificate of appreciation for embellishments of the DVHH banner.

Sunday’s events started with a Roman Catholic Mass attended by several hundred in the packed Main Hall. The service was lead by our friend Father Hermann-Joseph Rettick from California, who was just in from a trip to Turkey. It was a very moving service.

2010 DVHH Member Give-Away
The drawing was held on Sunday, conducted by Dennis Bauer.

The winner, John Busch of Palatine, IL
Congratulations John!!!
The Prize: Our Family Record Book

The bar and kitchens open at noon for all to enjoy. The Verband President’s Meeting was held under the trees at 1pm while dance group performances began. Our member Dennis Bauer presented UGH President, Bill Galgon, and the UGH with a certificate of appreciation from the DVHH for hosting the Treffen. The event continued until midnight on Sunday with dancing, food, drink and a Youth Group Leader meeting. It is estimated that over 2,000 attended this three day event. Our hats off to the UGH!!! Vielen Dank!

Bill Galgon, accepts the UGH's certificate of appreciation from the DVHH

Trenton Donauschwaben Club

Trenton Donauschwaben Club

See you next year in Mansfield, Ohio followed by the Landestreffen in Kitchener, Canada in 2012!
~ Dennis Bauer

Host Review
by Helen Dubas
, DVHH Philadelphia Archivist, 12 Sep 2010

The 2010 Landestreffen held at the United German Hungarian Club in Oakford, PA has come and gone, but the memories imparted will be with me forever.   

Having accepted the honor of representing the DVHH by hosting the DVHH booth at the event, I was somewhat anxious. Those feelings quickly evaporated when it was evident that many hands from the group were extended to help me from the very beginning to the very end of the event. Special thanks to our President, Jody McKim-Pharr, for guidance and encouragement . . . to Betty Mauro, for graciously housing me over the weekend as well as co-hosting the booth . . . to Dennis Bauer, who handled so many background details with always a smile a mile wide . . . to Noelle Giesse, who graciously gave several hours of helping at the booth in spite of sometimes having to put the needs of her small children who accompanied her on the back burner . . . to Eva Martini for the time dedicated to the banner . . . to Eve Brown for storing, packing, and forwarding all the necessary props we use to help present our mission and our voice to the public . . . to Nancy Wyman for preparing the certificates of appreciation. My apologies if I have missed someone in what is a long list of ever ready helpers.  

Noelle Giesse, long time DVHH Volunteer & Supporter

The weather was hot, but the legendary humidity for the Philadelphia region was absent. We somehow convinced ourselves that it wasn’t so bad since there was a breeze that managed to rustle and disrupt our papers at times.  The DVHH booth was located right outside the main hall.

Information and maps for the Donauschwaben settlement areas were on hand at the DVHH booth to share with our visitors.  A flyer for Jacob Steigerwald's latest book "Finding Vital 1796-1945 Data Regarding German and Hungarian Ancestors of Banat Topola and Novo Selo, Plus an Exposé About the Local 1945-1946 Internment Camp for Germans of Yugoslavia."  DVHH workers watched over Ann Morrison's booth while she was indoors conducting interviews for her 2nd series "The Forgotten Genocide."  Donauschwaben authors didn't set up a booth this year, but Elizabeth and Mike Walters attended the event.

DVHH Booth
(side view of booth) Photos by Helen Dubas

Indoor Dance Activities

Helen Dubas with distant cousin by marriage, Michael Noel of Lansdale, PA

We'd like to welcome all the new DVHH Mail listers who subscribed at the event:

Michael Potnekm Meno Falls, WI
Kurt Maute, Southhampton, PA
Jacob Meisner, Trenton, NJ
Joan Ahern, Parlin, NJ
Mary IZZi (Bruder), Southhampton, PA
Chris Robinson, Levitown, PA
Michael Noel, Lansoale, PA (New found cousin to Helen Dubas)
Richard Dittman
Gordon & Mary Ann Dingman, Longbranch, NJ
Ingrid Huber, Glendale NY (friend of Noelle's)

Over 1000 people arrived via bus, and that figure does not include those that traveled by air, or club members and local residents who also attended. There were thirty-four dance groups that performed with precision.  

Parade to Ceremony

Betty Mauro (DVHH Event Co-Host) spent time with a young fellow named, Richard Dittman, who had come to the Landestreffen at the request of his father, also name Richard; whose ancestors came from St. Peter. Young Richard had no knowledge of the Donauschwaben. Other than pleasing his father, their main interest for the day was to enjoy the beer and the food. After spending time with Richard and a friend with him, they both wanted to know more. When Elizabeth B. Walter, author of Barefoot in the Rubble, stopped at the DVHH booth, he bought the book, and enthusiastically asked if he could be included in our group photo. He stands to the left of Elizabeth in the photo below, holding up her book.

I met Tony Kramlik (DVHH Member), who explained that the name Kramlik was not overly popular, which made his search more manageable, yet in many ways elusive. He talked about the variables of spelling, such as Gramlich.  His face lit up like a Christmas tree when I told him that a Gramlich family lived directly behind me in Philadelphia. The backyard gardens of our row homes were separated only by a small alley between them. I was able to tell him they lived on Marshall Street, and that they attended the same German Catholic parish that I did, St. Henry’s at 5th & Cayuga Streets in Philadelphia, PA. With that information, he eagerly awaits the release of the 1940 census. 

Cultural Exhibit

On a personal note, Betty had the ingenious idea to have t-shirts made for she and I prior to the event. In the photos above, you will see our respective villages printed on the front of the shirts, along with the Donauschwaben emblem.  Betty’s shirt was emblazoned with Bogarosch, while my shirt read both Bogarosch and Gross Jetscha. The shirts turned out to be a magnet for people to approach us. As a result, I found a new cousin, Michael Noel. We are cousins by marriage. The Noel’s married Stahl’s (my familial side of the family), and both families come from Bogarosch. Our connection was close enough that we were able to reminisce about his grandfather, Peter Noel, and my great uncle, Peter Stahl, who owned Stahl Photography Studio in Philadelphia. Both Michael and I shared time at the Wildwood, NJ vacation home of my uncle when we were children. 

In closing, memories of this very day were being created for me and others. It was encouraging to see so many young people in attendance. With enthusiasm, they will carry forward the tradition of the Donauschwaben Landestreffen as it was displayed this very weekend. Rest assured, they will give homage to our ancestors, as they so justly deserve. 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to learn and to serve the DVHH.
~ Helen Dubas

Last Updated: 26 Oct 2020

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