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
2013 Tag der Donauschwaben USA & Kanada – Detroit, Mi (100th anniversary)
(Day of the Danube Swabians)
Hosted by The Carpathia Club, OH
Aug 31 - Sep 2, 2007
DVHH Host: Eve Brown
Published at DVHH.org 2 May 2014 by Jody McKim Pharr.

DVHH Event Report
by Rita Tomkins
DVHH Correspondent, 17 Jan 2014

          The Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA (Danube Swabian Association of the USA) holds a convention every year that has rotating themes. Every three years is “Tag der Donauschwaben,” then "Landestreffen der Donauschwaben," and then "Landestrachtenfest und Tanzwettbewerb."  The 2013 convention was "Landestreffen der Donauschwaben." It was held at the Carpathia Club in Sterling Heights, Michigan, on Labor Day weekend (August 31-September 2, 2013) and was, by all accounts, a well-organized event blessed with beautiful weather.  DVHH booth organizer (and Mail List Administrator) Eve Brown, who lives in Michigan, notes, “This year was the 100th anniversary of the Carpathia club and so a lot of extra effort was put into the event by club members to make this year special.”

Darlene Dimitrie
DVHH Representative

          DVHH member Darlene Dimitrie, who traveled from southwestern Ontario to help staff the DVHH booth, describes the layout of the event like this: “The clubhouse (where most of the dancing was held and the main food entrees—schnitzel and sarma—were served) was out front.  Then perpendicular to the clubhouse were a number of tents, either with historic displays of clothes and photos, or selling products like dirndls, lederhosen, and jewelry.  Between the clubhouse and these tents was a wagon like the ones our ancestors used when they fled in 1944. The DVHH tent was in the middle of this row of tents.  Past this collection of tents was an area where they were selling

t-shirts  commemorating this event and also the 100th anniversary of the  Carpathia Club.  Adjacent to this was the big tent where people gathered to  eat, drink and be merry.  Behind this were tents with sausages and other plates of food for sale. The DVHH tent was in a good location because it was in the area between the big tent and the clubhouse, with a children’s play area right next to us—and the shops—so all in all, a lot of traffic.”


Eve Brown
DVHH Detroit Host

           This was no accident, it was a choice that came by way of experience.  Eve explains, “This is the 2nd Treffen at the Carpathia Club I’ve attended to set up a booth for the DVHH website and mail list, and the 5th year I have worked in our booth.  In 2009 we were situated just inside the door of the club and just outside the door to the main dance hall.  You would think this a great spot, but as it turned out it ended up being more of an information booth for people wanting to buy tickets and find out where different activities were taking place.  With this in mind I requested a booth outside this year and our club contact Michelle Egger was happy to comply with my request. We shared our booth with author Elizabeth Walter  and filmmaker Ann Morrison.”  These booth-mates were a special thrill for


Darlene: “It was an immense pleasure to meet both of these women, Elizabeth Walter, who had a number of books for sale including her own "Barefoot in the Rubble" and her new book about Kirchweih, and Ann Morrison, a filmmaker who produces documentaries about the genocide following and near the end of WWII in Eastern and Central Europe.  They have produced unforgettable works to allow future generations to know and remember what happened.”

          Working the DVHH booth along with Eve and Darlene were Roy Engel (the other Mail List Administrator) from Ontario, Helen Tyrybon, and Sophie Souza.  “We also had several DVHH members that stopped by and spent time in the booth visiting with us.  It is always so great having the chance to put a face to a name.  Some I have now embedded in my brain finally, after having met them other years and also at our Michigander gathering last winter!” says Eve.

At the DVHH booth
Rear: Roy Engel, Helen R. Tyrybon, Susan Horn, Elizabeth Walter,
Eve Brown, Noelle Giesse, Front: Sophie Souza, Darlene Dimitrie. [Image: Eve Brown]


          The younger generation was also represented, as Eve and Sophie both had their daughters with them.  “Introducing another generation to our heritage,” says Eve.  DVHH member Noelle Giesse, who traveled by bus with a club from New York City, brought her husband (“who is the Donauschwabe, not me”), her two sons, and her daughter, who wore a dirndl they had bought in Munich earlier in the summer.  Noelle didn’t have much time to spend at the booth, but, says Eve, “Noelle always brings her Crvenka scrapbook to use at the table.”
         “We had quite a few visitors to our booth,” says Eve.  “We had 41 visitors sign our guest book, some new and some we’ve seen in years past."  Darlene estimates that two thirds of the visitors had never heard of the DVHH website.  She says most people were interested in finding their town on the map and wanted to find any material available on their town.  “I met people who were born in Donauschwaben settlements as well as their descendants.  I don't remember anyone from Slavonia or Swabian Turkey, where my family hails from.  Visitors were mainly from the Banat, Batschka and Srem.  I really enjoyed all the conversations I had—there’s something special about attending an event where you don't know many people, but you have something in common, so that you can talk like you've known them forever!” 

         Two particular conversations have stayed with her: “I talked to John Mueller, who has a story on the DVHH website about what happened with his family—it was a very sobering story. Also, I talked to a gentleman from the Chicago Aid Society—I think it's now called the American Aid Society of German Descendants—about their museum and about how we need to think about what to do with our collections of books and research when we pass on.  In some cases, there may not be anyone in the family who is interested in carrying on.  He mentioned how many of the clubs had their origins with the Aid Society.”

Genocide, Horror & Survival "1944-1948"
by John Mueller

A most descriptive first-hand account of a Banater who suffered and survived Tito's concentration and extermination camps from 1944 to 1948.

My family lived in Mastort and our ordeal began with the arrival of the Red Army, followed by Tito's partisans, on October 6, 1944.   At first, we were concentrated in a few houses in Mastort but soon were transferred to the death camp of Molidorf.   From Molidorf, we were shipped in open cattle cars to the extermination camp of Gakowa, from which we escaped to Hungary in September of 1947.  [Read Story]

         The consensus is that the weekend was very well spent.  “It was absolutely superb,” says Darlene.  “I've never seen so many people wearing trachten and lederhosen in one place.  People-watching was a great activity all on its own. The dancers were awesome, especially the group from Germany and the band with them.  They weren't young, but boy, were they in good shape.  That dancing didn't look like it was light activity.  The Los Angeles teenagers were easy to identify—their outfits had a lot of pizzazz and glitter.  My favorites were the little children's dance groups.”  Eve remembers the parade of the clubs around the tents, and the food: “Of course the food was fantastic, schnitzel and cabbage rolls to make your mouth water.”

         Darlene has a closing thought for any DVHH members who may be thinking about helping out at the DVHH booth at a future event: “I was worried about not knowing enough information to be a good ‘booth person,’ but I did know enough and there were other people to draw on for assistance.  I would love to work the DVHH booth again.”

More photos . . .

Banater Schwaben Tanzgruppe & Musikanten from Germany
(Image courtesy of Trenton Donauschwaben Newsletter, April 2013)

Preparing the DVHH Booth

Line up for parade

Having fun!

Lessons from Oma "What effect has the Donauschwaben Culture had on me?
The Oma lessons were many different entries and age groups.

2013 Tag der Donauschwaben - Detroit, MI
Hosted by The Carpathia Club,
(Celebrating their 100th anniversary) www.carpathiaclub.com
38000 Utica Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48312-1753
Friday, Aug 30-6:00pm to Sunday Sep 1, 2013

United Donauschwaben of Milwaukee 2013 Treffen Review (PDF)

Last Updated: 26 Oct 2020

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