On Friday April 22nd, The United German Hungarians of Philadelphia & Vicinity traveled westward for the Annual Meeting of the Verband der Donauschwaben USA (Verband). For the first time since 2019 in Chicago the Verband gathered in person for their Annual Meeting. Happy to put the events of the last two years behind us, we gathered on Friday evening at the Clubhouse of the German Family Society of Akron, Ohio. Hugs and handshakes, beers and brats, and maybe of schnapps or two, were easy to find as we re-acquainted with our friends from across the country. I had flashbacks of our triumph and celebrations from May of 2021 when we last enjoyed Akron’s wonderful hospitality and we drank out of the Mike Talan Wanderpokal as Champions of the National Donauschwaben Tournament! We returned to the hotel breakfast room and caught up with friends into the early morning hours.
On Saturday morning the official agenda began at the Clubhouse with a lunch and welcome reception. Robert Filippi, President of the Verband welcomed all Representatives and roll was called. The Verband encompasses all of USA with clubs representing from California, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our friends from Canada were also represented as a courtesy each year, although they compose of their own Association. Reports from the Officers and individual Clubs followed. As much of the focus was spent on recovery from the mandates and lockdowns, it is always nice to hear brief reports from the daily, weekly, and monthly business of our “sister cities.”
President Janet Malofiy gave a positive and forward-looking report on the status of our organization, our families and our traditions. Regional President Marlene Fricker then reported on behalf of the current state of the Eastern Region as well as the successes of our Book Club / Cultural Exchange that continues to meet by zoom. Gaining new interested participants from further across the USA has been a nice development of this venture. Trenton then gave a lively and informative presentation regarding the 2022 Trenton Treffen to be held this Labor Day weekend at the grounds of the German American Society in Yardville, New Jersey. The Eastern Region looks forward to hosting people from across North America at this great event. An Ausstellung exhibit, traditional Kirchweih celebration, and performances from the visiting dance groups are some of the highlights of the festivities planned. Visit www.trentontreffen.com for more information and we hope to see you in Trenton on Labor Day Weekend!
In the afternoon during the individual group sessions, we had representatives at the following meetings: Presidents, Children’s’ Groups, Youth Groups, Soccer Clubs, and Ladies Auxiliary. Productive discussions were had by all sessions and the representatives of Region East took the opportunity to snap a quick group photo.
After a delicious schnitzel dinner, elections took place for the next two-year terms. Our Members were some of the individuals to be elected: Werner Fricker Jr. was elected President of Region East (Ost) , Michael Fricker was re-elected Verbandspresse, Anna Martini as Stellvertret. der Landesjugendleitung (Assistant Youth Director), Ray Martini was re-elected Second Vice President, Kathleen Martini as Landesjugendleiterin, Katlin Schmieder as Landeskinderleiterin. Saturday night was spent back at the hotel with comradery, beverages and plenty of wurst, cheese and other snacks.
Sunday’s agenda included the annual meeting for the Danube Swabian Foundation of the USA or “The Stiftung”. The Stiftung was founded by the Danube-Swabian Association in 1982 to provide financial support for the educational activities of all associated organizations and other educational institutions. The Foundation meeting is the true business meeting of the weekend. The Officers of this organization work strenuously to manage, protect, and ensure the funds donated to our organization are appropriately used to serve the mission statement.
I could not finish this report on the weekend without noting the highlight of all the items on the agenda. It’s a known fact that most of us Donauschwaben, or German-Hungarians can’t go 48 hours without our dose of paprika. From the kitchens, following the meeting, came a goulash so hot and phenomenal many people were asking if it had been flown in from Szeged direct! Following this delicious meal, we said our “see you next times,” and made our way home.
Werner Fricker III