A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

The Associations / Clubs

by Peter Lang
Translation by Brad Schwebler

          The Germans in Beschka were very happy to join clubs.  On the one hand their established association served to care for the German customs, especially the German songs and literature.  On the other hand the associations served as the fulfillment of the community’s problems, such as the Fireman’s Association.

          As already mentioned Friedrich Steinmetz was a German teacher in Beschka from 1862 to 1869.   He was very musical and found joy in it, especially in teaching the children the German folk songs.  Whether or not there was already a singing club during his time is uncertain.  There is proof, however, that there was already a men’s singing club in Beschka in Andreas Betsch’s younger days (vgl. Reg. No. 148), around the turn of the century.  This club not only cultivated the songs but also performed plays.  For these the stage scenery was stored by Andreas Betsch and used by other associations.  In the time after World War I there were no more secular singing clubs but several church choirs of individual religious communities used it.  I have already made reference to it in the paragraphs about the individual religious communities.  The church choirs of the Evangelicals and the Reformed were essentially under the leadership of the choirmaster.  In addition to Andreas Betsch there were also Katharina Philippi, Franz Kniesel, Isidor Henn, and other citizens who I no longer remember who were active choir leaders. 

          From the year 1928 on there were several plays in the school setting and in the setting of the German reading club, as well as musicals which were performed.  I especially remember the successful plays “Annele’s Ascension to Heaven” and “The Seven Geißlein?” which I was allowed to run.  The plays were greatly promoted by the reading club, especially by Dr. Reich, which I expressly said, the reading club paid for everything I needed.  The collaborations of all Germans was generous.  The women sewed the costumes free of charge, and indeed they did this in the long open hall of the so-called choirmaster’s living quarters in a cheerful community.  The musical band worked with joy with these musicals.  I can still remember that Robert Scherer in the year 1938 with the unorganized youth of Beschka and the…  …had to be performed and it was held outside because there was no inn that could accommodate the number in attendance.  Unfortunately Robert Scherer could not direct the performance of the musical himself because his sister died shortly before it.  Therefore I had to step into his position.  I can also remember that teacher Kühbauch also performed a piece.

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr, 2005]