Category Archives: Zeitung

January Zeitung

Newsletter for January 2019

When a small book by a German named Gottfried Duden, A Report on a Journey” was published in 1829 it was an instant best seller. In the decade that followed, approximately over forty thousand Germans would immigrate to Missouri, many of which were inspired by Duden. Arnold Krekel, had come to Missouri in 1832, one of the first Germans to encounter a State where the “peculiar institution” of slavery was practiced. He had grown up in a country, ruled by monarchs where there was no room for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” yet embraced his new homeland. He would spend the rest of his life working for the education, justice, and freedom for all in the land where his mentor Friedrich Muench said “the sun of freedom shines” known as the great State of Missouri.


Missouri Germans Consortium [], in collaboration with Gitana Productions’ will present the “The Face of Love” symposium which will explore and celebrate the remarkable shared history of African Americans and German immigrants in their quest for freedom, and the abolition of slavery in Missouri. With the Symposium on the Common History of German and African Americans, historians, community leaders and artists will come together to discuss the shared African American and Missouri German history on Saturday, February 23 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the German Cultural Society’s Jefferson Hall at 3652 S. Jefferson Avenue. This event is free to the public. Please register at

Germans came to America in the 1800s seeking freedom from oppression in Prussia. Remarkably, many German immigrants in Missouri also fought to free oppressed African Americans. Using the lens of history, the symposium will bring to life what it means to strive for social justice for “others” while also advocating for one’s own cultural group.
The rich and shared history between Germans and African Americans in St. Louis isn’t widely known and we want to change that,” said Cecilia Nadal, executive director of Gitana Productions. “Many German immigrants, who often spoke no English, recognized that the hope for a growing democracy in America could only be realized if slavery was abolished. Often threatened and even run out of town by Missouri slaveholders, these men and women even started newspapers to spread their ideals for a color-blind democracy.
The symposium also will explore the challenges created by contradictions in values and belief systems. While many German immigrants who settled in the Midwest before and after the Civil War staunchly defended freedom for slaves, some chose to set aside those values to survive. Those tensions, with roots in the past, continue today within many American cultural groups. KETC-TV “Living St. Louis” producer and reporter Ruth Ezell will moderate the symposium, with special guests Colonel John Hayden, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Police Commissioner, and Herbert Quelle, German Consul General.

Speakers include:
● Dr. Sydney Norton, assistant professor of German Studies at Saint Louis University and author of German Immigrant Abolitionists: Fighting for a Free Missouri
● Dorris Keeven-Franke, executive director of Missouri Germans Consortium and author of Missouri – Where the Sun of Freedom Shines in “Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America”
● Dr. John W. Wright, author of Discovering African American St. Louis – A Guide to Historic Sites
● Rev. Starsky Wilson, CEO and president of the Deaconess Foundation and social activist appointed in 2014 by Governor Jay Nixon to head the Ferguson Commission

Entertainment will be provided by the local German and African American communities. In June, Gitana Productions also will present a provocative original play inspired by the amazing stories of remarkable German immigrants who became leading abolitionists in Missouri. The performances will be held Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23 at Kranzberg Art Center.

For more information, visit or contact or 314-721-6556. Partial funding and support for Gitana Productions are provided by the Missouri Humanities Council, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Regional Arts Commission and Missouri Arts Council. Additional co-sponsors include Saint Louis University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the African American Studies Program.

Gitana Productions, Inc. is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural awareness and collaboration using music, dance and drama in the St. Louis region. Gitana events present a rarely seen diversity of international and local artists exhibiting an array of traditional and innovative artistic expressions. Gitana also developed Global Education through the Arts, a community project that uses the arts to promote intercultural competence between youth of diverse backgrounds. For more information, visit or contact Gitana Productions at (314) 721-6556.


September Zeitung

Every fall as the leaves turn, and the weather softens, we begin to hear the sounds of a German band playing in the distance. The announcements of Oktoberfests spring from every corner, and the beer kegs are stacked in readiness. What if there was another way to celebrate your German-American heritage, and get in touch with the culture and the community?

Join us for this family friendly week of programs that celebrate the St. Louis region’s wonderful German-American heritage with several programs, events, and even a feast as we celebrate German American Day in the St. Louis region! Don’t worry… there will be some German beer, brats and music as no German celebration is complete without them!

German-Americans: History, Culture and Community

Germans have been part of America’s history since 1683, when a group of immigrants, thirteen families, from Krelfeld landed at Philadelphia, and founded Germantown, Pennsylvania. In 1688, they filed the first petition ever written, to abolish slavery, in the colonies. In 1883, German Americans in Philadelphia, began to celebrate this heritage with Deutsch-Amerikanischer Tag or German American Day. This spread throughout the United States, and every German-American community would also use this day to honor this heritage. This tradition has even survived the anti-German sentiment of World War I and II. And, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6, 1983 officially German-American Day.

In St. Louis, Missouri, one of the largest strongholds of German-American heritage, the German-American Committee of St. Louis, was officially founded. We work to preserve, educate and promote the German-American heritage of St. Louis. Please join us at the following events:

  • Oct 3 –  Germans in St. Louis: History, Culture, Community – What Makes Missouri So German?  Missouri’s German roots run deep, but why? What were the driving forces behind German emigration, and why did so many Germans end up in our region? Join Dorris Keeven-Franke, Missouri Germans Consortium, for a look at the earliest waves of German settlers in Missouri, from the early 1800s through the Civil War. This program is free and takes place at the Missouri History Museum, at 7pm in the Lee Auditorium.
  • gadaysmallOct 6 GERMAN AMERICAN DAY = FEST & FEAST  Start by soaking up the culture and heritage of Missouri’s German American community, then enjoy an afternoon feast highlighting the culinary specialties of Germany!
    This event opens at the German Cultural Society of St. Louis at 3652 S. Jefferson Ave., 63118 when the Hall opens at 10 am. Visit the hall and meet representatives of all 18 active German-American organizations in the St. Louis region. The Fest is free and is open until 4pm!  The Feast begins at 1pm and is a delicious German meal and is $25 per person (or $20 for MHS members) and registration is required at There will be lots of German entertainment and celebration throughout the day!

For more information and updates see our German American Day website

  • Oct 10 What STILL Makes Missouri so German – Missouri Germans Consortium – This Panel will include Consul General Herbert Quelle, Dr. Steve Belko, and others. It explores the German-American culture and community of today –  the topics will include the German Heritage Corridor, Sister Cities and German Language Initiatives, and more. This event is free and takes place takes place at the Missouri History Museum

This series is presented by The German American Committee of St. Louis, the Missouri Historical Society, and the Missouri Germans Consortium.  Please visit one of our websites for more information:

GermanAmerican Committee of St. Louis

Missouri Historical Society

MissouriGermans Consortium

April News

Spring is in full swing and we are so busy!  The month is almost over but wanted to let you know about some upcoming events this month and some other news to put on your calendar!

The Annual Spring Dance & Concert for the Mannerchor is this Saturday April 22nd, at the German Cultural Hall at 3652 Jefferson. The doors open at 6:00pm and a $10 donation is asked for.  Food is available for purchase.

The St. Louis German Cultural Society’s Annual Wurstmarkt is this Sunday, April 23rd from Noon-3pm at the German Cultural Hall at 3652 Jefferson.

The St Charles County German Heritage Society will be having its Annual Maifest Dinner on Sunday, May 7, 2017. The tickets and more information is available at this link!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!  Missouri Germans Consortium and the St. Charles County German Heritage Club will be hosting a BUS TOUR once again, to Missouri’s German Heritage in St. Charles County. The date will be Sunday, September 17th and more details will be out in the May News!