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March 200
3 - Nr. 3


The Editor
Vorsicht Satire!
Elizabeth Kuehn
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Ball Austria 2003
Echo-Lines 2
Herwig Wandschneider
Those Crazy Germans
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
SOS Villages
German-Russian Arts
Mozart im Sudan
Old Masters Collection
Berlin's New Landmark
New Luther Exhibition
Steinway Anniversary
Praise for BMW
Poet Klopstock Celebration
Einen Guten Klang
Lack of Education
Computer As Boss
Int'l Book Club
Humbolt's Mexican Trip

Dick reports...


Dick Altermann at his computer

It’s a Family Thing!

…this "Lachfest" by the Szauter Family. You cannot really translate this into "Laugh Fest" but it is the closest thing to a comedic variety show that I can imagine. I can still remember the first Lachfest, at the Danube Swabian Club some time ago. The King and IYou may recall Sybille writing about it last October already. It was great entertainment then and now it has evolved to a degree where it would be welcome entertainment throughout North America.

The various skids are of course done in English – which we all understand by now – the material comes from well-known sources in the entertainment industry and has been adopted and adapted for suitability in venues like the Danube Swabians Club, the Hansa Haus and other similar ones.


Mary Poppins

Foolish Little Girl

At the station

Duke of Earl

The 3 Tenors

Wishin' and Hopin'

Sound of Music

Sony & Cher

Dolly Parton & Porter Wagner

Fiddler on the Roof

La Traviata


The lip-synching was flawless, which means that all the songs had to be learned by the participants – and so was the choreography. The costumes were fabulous and mainly homemade, but immediately recognisable and identifiable with the actors or situations portrayed. Some scenes were from the ‘King and I’; ‘Mary Poppins’; the ‘Three Tenors’; ‘West Side Story’; ‘Sound of Music’; ‘Sony and Cher’; ‘Gigi’and many, many others. One really outstanding performance was Annie Scully as flapper from the 20’s with ‘Ma, he’s making eyes at me’. Ingrid Szauter herself - as Carol Burnett - performed the closing act with ‘So long’. And it was fun, fun, and fun! Somebody even said: "selten so gelacht!"

Final curtain

The audience was in stitches almost continuously. I noticed one lady who had tears streaming down her face from laughing so hard. I should also mention that the house was sold out and the Hansa kitchen even ran out of ‘Goulash’ early in the evening. A good indication that people were happy – not only with the performance, but also with the food.


Narrhalla ’58 goes "West"

Albert Kergl…in spirit anyway. The theme of this year’s annual costume ball was "Steel City Hoe-Down" and the response by the visitors was overwhelming. I have never seen so many cowboy hats or Stetsons and ‘western’ garb in one place except maybe at the Calgary Stampede. Even the food that was offered in the upstairs ‘Chuck Wagon’ lounge had a western "flavour": Davie Crocket?Pan-fried Texas Longhorn ‘Schnitzel’; ‘Smoking Guns’ BBQ Chicken and Baked Beans; Mama’s ‘Yee-Haw’ chilli and Nachos (an excellent choice prepared by Heidi Frank herself!) were offered at very, very reasonable prices.

The Bareback RidersThe "Bareback Riders" played Country & Western style tunes that were easy to dance to. A number of members and students of the Hamilton-based "Danceline Studios" demonstrated "Line-dancing" and invited the audience toIntroduction to the dance participate. Many enthusiastically responded to this invitation and some even got the hang of it after a few tries. (www.dancelinestudios.com)

The Brantford Gang - Emmy & Karl Kurtz, Inge Wagner

The Hellmanns

The Kruses

Kathleen & Cornel

Line Dance demo...

...with participation

The Prince goes west

Delicious steak-tartar


Narrhalla's ShowdanceThe Narrhalla Junior Guard also performed a well-received show dance that fit the overall ‘western’ theme.



"Einmarsch" of the Kitchener HofstaatSome of the visitors came from Kitchener with the reigning ‘Royalty’ Prince Richard and Princess Kerstin – plus Hofstaat -, Narragonia, Brantford had sent a delegation that even included a wannabe ‘David Crocket’ – complete with racoon hat and six-shooter – Ascendia, Hamilton participated for the first time at this venue and the "Treue Husaren, Mississauga" showed up with a large retinue of wonderful fools. Great support! There were more distinguished guests that were introduced by Albert Kergl in his initial address, but too many to list here.

Flowers for the Princess

I felt that this was an experiment that didn’t fail and is probably worth repeating. When the word gets around of how much fun some of the people had, you might even get a larger audience the next time – even though this event was well attended already.


Ascendia - still "ascending"

Kitchener and Detroit RoyaltiesThe recent costume ball by the K. G. Ascendia, Hamilton – at the Continental Austrian Club – was a well-attended – actually a ‘sold out’- event. Two royal couples were present: Prince Richard and Princess Kerstin from the Narrenzunft, Kitchener and Prince Timothy and Princess Karen from the K. G. Downriver, Detroit. This couple had arrived from Detroit in the morning already, to make sure that nothing interferes with their attendance at this event. That’s what I call dedication!

 The hosts, Cornel & Kathleen

Prince Timothy, Princess Karen & Armin HellmannAddresses by the president of the BDKK – Armin Hellmann – and the president of the KG Ascendia officially opened the festivities with well-chosen words of welcome.

Narragonia Seniors ShowdanceThe Narragonia, Brantford Seniors performed a wonderful show dance – no guard-dance since it is too close to Manöverball – but the "very Junior" dance guard from the host group performed a guard-dance in their new uniforms. IAscendia's Dance Guardt needs a little work yet, but it is a good start in any case. They also functioned as "Honour Guards" to escort the attending VIPs from table to stage and back. Tradition, tradition, tradition!

Joe Lindlau - Three of "The Golden Two"Joe Lindlau’s "Golden Two" performed very well during the Mardi-Gras parts of the ceremony, (Einmarsch etc.) all ‘three’ of them! They also kept the dance floor full during the rest of the evening with a wonderful repertoire of dance-music.

The club’s kitchen provided some delicious food for the hungry and the bar had an admirable selection of beers and other beverages – at the proper temperature – on hand.

The food service was also excellent since the table numbers were recorded when the food was ordered – eliminating any mistakes!

Costume balls during Mardi-Gras (or Carnival) are always an opportunity for the guests to let their hair down and wildly exercise dormant creativity. This event was no exception. However we noticed that the Narrhalla 58 now has an "Admiral" in its retinue. Exactly what the Hamilton Coast Guard needed.

Narragonia Brantford

They have an admiral now!

Narrenzunft Kitchener

Two of the 3 Graces

Latest fashion

"Have a bite..." - Alfred Halbig & Princess Karen

The new uniforms


Unfortunately the KG Treue Husaren – both Mississauga and Toronto – didn’t all make it because of the weather and a few people – me included – left early to beat the snow home. I am glad I did because traffic conditions were not very good on the way back to Toronto.

Unfortunately I missed the sketch the hosts put on – the theme of it was: "The Bells of Rome" – a usually reliable source told me that it was hilarious and that the audience thanked them with a "rocket" after the performance. Maybe I will catch it the next time. Well, that may not be until the First of November 2003 when they open the "Carnival" season at the same "Continental Austrian Club".


It was gratifying to see so much support for this relatively young group that shows that it is being accepted in the Mardi-Gras community here in Ontario.


Mardi Gras at Hansa

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Crazy Ladies in Kitchener but I did cover the last costume ball of the season at the Hansa Haus and the KG Hansa. Angelica Kaltz provided a whole new set of "uniforms" for the group. (That girl is wasting her time on costumes for carnival – she should design fashion.)

Visitors from GermanyClose to 250 guests attended this function including a group from Germany. They felt that this event was not all that different from smaller local functions in Germany since the Harmonie Brass played the same music that they know from back home. They also enthustically applauded the ‘Funky Solo’ and the ‘show dances’ by the Treue Husaren, Mississauga - Dance Guard.

Treue Husaren Mississauga Juniors

Food and drink from the Hansa Kitchen and the ‘Adler Bar’ was at its best, as usual.

Treue Husaren Mississauga SeniorsBoth ‘Treue Husaren’ societies sent representatives to this event, with Mississauga also providing the dance guard entertainment. It is gratifying to see the two groups talking to each other again.

The Missus & the sheriff

The pirate and his treasure

Masked mystery

American Natives?

Wilfried & Ullrich



Albert Dittgen (The Band)Also, thanks to Albert Dittgen for providing musical entertainment before the official start of the event, to get the guests into the mood. He sure plays a mean accordion.

Our representative on site, Herwig Wandschneider, will cover City Hall takeover in Kitchener on ‘Rose Monday’. Read about it in our next issue, as well as about the events that are happening after we go to press. I hope you attended the various "Herring Feasts", on Ash Wednesday – at the various locations.

Then comes the long suffering during the spring, summer and fall until we meet again in November.


Kindermaskenball at the Donauschwaben

Brigitte Wecker welcomes the guestsWhy should only grown-ups have fun at carnival? The Danube-Swabian Club introduced a carnival-type atmosphere by inviting the member’s children and grandchildren to participate in a Sunday afternoon of fun, games, face painting, cookies, soft drinks and more fun.

Enter the costumes

Face painting by an angelAbout 50 youngsters had congregated in a great assortment of costumes, some very creative and original. It was apparent that the children were very proud of their own costumes, but they also enquired from their peers who they were supposed to be – if it wasn’t obvious – and who helped them to make the costumes. I am sure some of them – and some of the parents - picked up ideas for costumes suitable for next year’s event.

Young lady in waiting

How do you like my dress?After the children had marched in to the great hall and formed a large circle, the recently elected president of the Danube-Swabian Club, Brigitte Wecker, welcomed the children and other guests. After the youngsters had danced the "Chicken Dance" and settled in a large circle on the floor in front of the stage Nicole Hudson walked among them and asked each child to identify itself and explain the costume. Hawaiian maiden and CinderellaShe and other members of the club’s Youth Group were a great help in organizing and guiding the various activities. Rachel Szauter for instance, dressed as an angel, painted beautiful fantasy faces.


Look at the pigtail

The interviewShould this be played?





Günter Sanders, - known to us as a bandleader - had brought his wife and granddaughter. He mentioned that for him the idea behind the event is to familiarize the children with their ethnic background and their roots. I think this point of view has a lot of merit and should be explored by those who are looking for ways to keep our culture and the clubs alive and functioning.

As always,

Dick Altermann


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