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June 6, German brass band parades, however, were once common. In the election of — , Edwards won the governorship after finishing first in a field of seventeen candidates in the Democratic primary, including the final race of former governor Jimmie Davis and Gillis Long , a relative of Huey Long. Edwin Edwards hospitalized, recovering from pneumonia". DRSI is building disaster recovery know-how among local leadership and equipping them to better respond to future disasters. Water is life, and where there is not enough water families starve, babies die from diseases caused by poor hygiene, hungry adults are increasingly unable to work, and nations whose economies are hobbled are increasingly unable to help their people as food prices reach unattainable levels.

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After the surrender of the Africa Corps in May , and in the latter part of World War II, thousands of German prisoners of war were shipped to Louisiana to work in the northern cotton fields and in sugarcane fields in the coastal parishes. The German POWs made up the shortage in agricultural labor after white boys were drafted into the military and African-American sharecroppers moved to industrial jobs at places such as Higgins Boats in the cities.

After the wars, Germans immigrated to Louisiana seeking to escape post-war poverty and hardship. When they arrived here, though America was generally unfriendly toward Germany, they found a well-established community that was able to welcome them and help them assimilate. Restaurateur Blanca Volion taught herself English by studying the newspaper and grocery signage, and following along with the televised 64, Question but, typically for Germans new to Louisiana, mostly through the invaluable German friends she met who had been in Louisiana a little longer than herself.

Organizations such as the Deutsche Seemannsmission and the now-defunct German Club played a crucial social and psychological role in immigrants' lives. Volion and her friend Marianna Nicholas formed a weekly Kaffeeklatsch at which "We'd make cake and we'd have coffee and talk.

A lot of people [are] coming out now, to say "I'm of German descent. Later, some people changed it back to the German way, but a lot of people didn't. See, they used to hide everything in their attics, so people wouldn't know that they were German, because of the war. You know war can be a darned terrible thing. I had a very hard time when I came over here. You know, for being German, and people didn't forget-their daddy got killed in the war, their brother got killed in the war.

And it wasn't my fault; I was just a child. But it doesn't matter; I was still blamed for it. So that's why some people didn't come out. Now people, just the last years, is all coming out, you know. But I mean the tradition is kind of forgotten. That's what good with the German club.

They have a nice Christmas party there with the candles and all that stuff. I used to never miss a meeting. In Louisiana, the cultural revolution of the s most notably saw the resurgence of "Cajun pride," but the state's Germans have also been making forays into more public expressions of culture. Over time the Maifest has been reinstated in several communities, Oktoberfest has become extremely popular with Germans and non-Germans, and today German and some mostly-German community and cultural organizations are thriving.

Though German-language events became more public during and after the s, loyalty to the new homeland remained important to American Germans. Sevilla Finley says, "I returned from living in Palo Alto, California, in and dedicated the last 20 years of my life to the 'movement' with the goal of establishing the German-American Cultural Center.

In the s, I was president of a local German club when we had our first big Maifest; several hundred people were all assembled at the Red Maple Restaurant [in Gretna]. Ira Milan's Polka Band was about to start the evening and he asked everyone to stand up for the anthem.

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I went from room to room and, with both hands, urged everyone to rise.

Then Ira and his piece band started playing, but it wasn't our American anthem. I was a little surprised and embarrassed. When it was over everyone sat down and started to eat. An older club member and his grown daughter came over to me. The daughter said, seriously but with a smile, "My father has threatened to break up all the band's instruments if they don't play the American anthem.

Later I discovered that whenever Ira's band played at the Deutsches Haus, they'd always open with the German anthem, just as the people of French heritage do with La Marseillaise when they're holding a cultural event. The shift toward public expressions of cultural pride is often described as a grass-roots movement. People joined by the hundreds in this. Perry adds, "The old volksfest parade rolled before the Civil War, stopping for the 5 years of the war then continuing in They paraded until the early 20th century.

The early history is in the old newspapers, The Star, I believe. Finley responds, "It wasn't a movement until we all got on the bandwagon to do the parade and create the German American Cultural Center, and Richard Kuntz and Bill Gunn headed the efforts to revive and increase membership at the Deutsches Haus.

Down the coast, the German Coast people particularly the German Coast Historical and Genealogical Society were doing their thing and we networked. It is open to the public and offers exhibits, programs and cultural activities that interpret the German immigrant history and the contributions, to Louisiana and the United States, of German Americans.

The cultural center resulted from twelve years of cooperative efforts among the above-named groups with "the City of Gretna, Jefferson Parish, our congressional delegates, the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve and the Delta Regional Preservation Commission" to lobby for a museum in Gretna, explains Ms. Finley, who took a leading role in the center's development.

Today the center features regular lectures and presentations, hosts annual holiday celebrations, and partners with non-German festivals and the local arts market. Membership in the various clubs and societies overlap, so that one may see the same people at meetings and events in Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, or further out along the German Coast.

In southeast Louisiana, Germans have been known for their fierce work ethic to the point that "It takes a German to do it" was once synonymous with accomplishing the near-impossible; this expression is occasionally repeated, often humorously, today. David Moore, a member of the Deutsches Haus, rediscovered his commitment to that organization after Hurricane Katrina.

He observed that it, like the other organizations mentioned in this essay, presents a rare opportunity for many different waves of immigrants to socialize with each other, helping new arrivals to assimilate and invigorating interest in the traditions of the homeland among fourth- and fifth-generation German-Americans. He also noticed similarities among the members who turned out to voluntarily rebuild the storm-damaged Haus.

The men reminded him of his own German ancestors. My grandfather was into everything-he had all kinds of tools. If he was gonna build a plant stand, it would have posts that big [hands about a foot apart]. An elephant could stand on it, much less him. Anything he build was just totally, totally overdone.

I guess you could call it eccentric. Well, when I was growing up I thought it was eccentric, just his way. But I guess you could call it the German way. I tell you, when working at Deutsches Haus and watching these younger guys They are pure German, and their whole families were German, and I could see my grandfather in them.

Just the way we rebuilt the Deutsches Haus-if something required a floor joist this big [hands six inches apart], they were putting in one this big [hands ten inches apart]. I mean, that sucker was going to be there for the rest of time! The way they engineered that place and built the place, and the way they were going about restoring it, you could just tell it was being done by some [people with] German ancestors.

It was never good enough to just do it. It had to be done this way. And it was always overly done. It's a German thing, I guess. Many of their first enterprises continue in a variety of forms. Germans largely instituted the brewing industry in Louisiana; in its heyday the Jax Brewery, established by Joseph and Lawrence Fabacher in , employed a high percentage of the area's Germans.

According to Larry Fabacher, "It was a relatively unusual place to work. It was actually written into the union contracts that a worker would get 'X' number of beers per shift. Each department had its own keg and its own kitchen. Today Germans comprise much of the membership of the Crescent City Home Brewers, and individuals like David Moore of Slidell continue to brew for private consumption at home, and also to can sauerkraut and other dishes, using traditional techniques.

Both mention with pride that they strictly adhere to the German Purity Law of , known as Reinheitsgebot. In New Orleans, Creole gardens historically utilized white, heavily scented, flowers to mask the smells of the streets. Germans are largely credited for bringing their traditions of riotously colorful gardens. Germans established many of the area's first florist shops, some of which are still operating or remembered today, such as Eble the Florist, Kraak's Florists, Rohm's Floral Designs, and Scheinuk the Florist.

Other enterprises to which Germans notably contributed, and in which many still work, include politics, restaurants, agriculture, and dairies. Many Germans who were interviewed for this project report that the first question a German will ask, when exploring a new place, is, "Where can one find good bread?

Lifetime baker Alfons Kleindienst, who emigrated from Hamburg, explains,. America is a little different than Germany. In Germany, when a young man goes to a bakery, he becomes an apprentice, and he works at this place for 3 years. You got no pay, but you learned the whole bakery from the bottom up, and you learned everything in the bakery. A lot of times in America, a guy will join a bakery and they'll show him how to make pies, and he might make pies all his life, but he doesn't know how to make a loaf of bread, or he can't make a cream roll, or an apple turnover and stuff like that.

That's why Germans, in most places, are sought after, because they had to go through this tedious way of learning. But when they've learned it, they know it! Kleindienst is now retired, but names like Leidenheimer, Reising, Binder, and Haydel continue to dominate New Orleans baking. Smaller boutique bakeries continue to be owned and operated by bakers of German heritage, sometimes under French names.

The connection between German baking and local heritage is made humorously, unambiguously clear by artist Bunny Matthews' decorations on the Leidenheimer's bakery trucks, on which locally-beloved cartoon characters Vic and Nat'ly proclaim, ""Sink ya teeth into a piece a New Orleans cultcha, a Leidenheimer po-boy!

Louisiana historian Earl Higgins, in his book, The Joy of Y'at Catholicism , 8 describes the blending and blurring of cultural boundaries where food is concerned this way. The paradox of y'at reality is illustrated by the following true story, an event that took place several years ago after Sunday morning Mass at St. Agnes Church on Jefferson Highway.

Standing across from the church was a small neighborhood bakery that drew a crowd after each Sunday Mass. An elderly lady was poking through the stack of fresh French bread loaves until she found one wrapped in paper showing that it had been baked at Falkenstein's, a local bakery that supplied French bread to retail bakeries. Falkenstein brought the recipe with him from Germany.

The French have never made French bread. The Germans made it. Other German names strongly associated with everyday baked goods, and childhood memories, are Elmer and Hubig. Though devastated by Hurricane Katrina, after which its Bywater bakery in Orleans Parish was forced to close for 16 months, Elmer's Fine Foods has recovered and is still going strong. Today, Alan, Stephen and Paul Elmer are the fifth generation of the family to run the bakery.

Their candies are sold at most drugstore checkout counters, and the name of its signature snack, "CheeWees," has become synonymous locally with any bagged chip-type snack. The Simon Hubig Pie Company remains extremely popular as well; in fact, more than one pie fan sports "Savory Simon," the Hubig logo, as a tattoo!

The company proudly displays their photos on its website. Their Faubourg Marigny bakery was less affected by the storms, and employees handed out pies to locals and rescue workers from their familiar red and white pie trucks. In addition to daily fare, German holiday food traditions remain strong. Holidays, of course, combine special foods with deeper customs that connect us to family, community, and homeland.

The Advent season, which begins the first Sunday after November 26 th , marks the arrival of Christmas. The popularity of the Advent wreath spread throughout Germany after World War I, and remains important there and with Germans in America. The Advent calendar was first documented in , but the custom may be older than that.

Frieda Arwe makes the wreaths for some of the community holiday events, but notes that anyone can begin with commercially available greenery wreaths and can make a German-style Advent wreath. The Advent wreath is placed on a flat surface and consists of a bough of greenery formed into a circle, around which are placed four candles. A fifth candle, larger than the others and white, is placed in the center.

On each Sunday in Advent one of the four candles on the wreath is lit so that on the first Sunday, one candle is lit, on the second Sunday that one plus another is lit, and so on. On Christmas Day, the large center candle is lit. Decorated but candle-less wreaths are hung in private homes and public places.

This is a way for children to mark the days until Christmas. Both feature holiday foods and live music performed by community members in the German language. A highlight of the Deutsches Haus party is the appearance of "a more authentic" version of St. This evening is called der Heilige Abend the Holy Evening , and is the time that the tree may first be brought into the home and decorated.

In America, Germans must balance the desire for a traditional Christmas with the demands of American holiday-making. This is a time when German families talk about the importance of this night, commemorating the night the Christ child was born. In German custom the belief is that it is the Christkindl Christ Child who delivers gifts as he himself received them on the evening of his birth.

The custom of the Christmas tree may have begun in Germany, was certainly prevalent there for centuries, and was popularized in Europe and the United States beginning in by those who admired illustrations of trees decorated for the children of Queen Victoria and the Saxon Duke Albert, Prince Consort of the United Kingdom, who was from the area now designated as Bavaria. Today's German Christmas trees are decorated with a mixture of store-bought and traditional ornaments-stars woven of straw, decorations of foil or glass, apples, nuts wrapped in gold foil, pastries in the shape of rings and Lebkuchen spicy ginger biscuits , decorations of candy or marzipan, carved or crocheted angels, cones of fir or pine, candles or electric lights.

Louisiana Germans report that, if candles are used, they only are lit on Christmas Eve and afterward the electric lights are used. Presents may be placed under the tree or on a nearby table for the purpose called a Gabentisch. When the adults have the tree decorated and lit, they ring a little bell to let the children know that it is time to see the tree.

Often songs are sung before the children receive their presents. The exchange of gifts is called die Bescherung. The tradition of the "Christmas pickle" is becoming popular with some non-Germans as well. This is the custom in which the adults hang a pickle-shaped ornament, usually made of glass, on the tree on Christmas Eve after the young family members have gone to sleep.

The child who finds the pickle the next morning trades it in to the adults for a special small prize. There are a few people who still know how to make the straw stars and for several years St. Matthew's Church operated a Christmas bazaar at which these locally handmade items and others were sold. Some prefer carp, herring salad, and Louisiana seafood, possibly carrying on an old Catholic custom of refraining from meat on Christmas.

Special desserts may be the highlight of the holiday menu. The Christmas Stollen is a dense, aromatic, bread-like fruitcake referred to in its various regional formulations as Dresdner Stollen, Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen. The shape of the bread is thought to represent the shape of the swaddled baby Jesus, but was thought by miners to resemble the entrance to the mines literally stollen , and over time the cake was commonly renamed so that the original name, Striezel , is all but forgotten.

Several women who are active in South Louisiana's German community make Stollen as a holiday specialty and a prized gift. Other special foods of the season include marzipan cookies, der Lebkuchen ; various other cookies and pastries; apples and apple butter; Gluehwein "glow wine" or "glowing wine" , a spiced mulled wine, usually red; and spicy mulled cider.

This is not a gift-giving day. In Germany, the custom is that, unnamed and unseen, "three kings" visit homes and businesses, leaving a chalk sign that they had been there. In America this is a day for community visiting as opposed to the family emphasis during Heilige Abend and Christmas Day. One family's traditions are described by Adrian Juttner;.

But, I grew up in a German neighborhood [here in America]. Mom would fry donuts. A quarter went in one, then a dime in another, then a penny in one. Those who picked the money became, [in descending order], the Konig , Kaiser [emperor], Hosenscheiser [rabble]. Of course, a kaiser outranks a konig , but it rhymes better that way. The hosenscheiser is the one who messed his pants-hence the brown penny.

Dad usually got that one. The food Mom would cook would be a melding of German and Hungarian fare: The smell of it boiling would make me declare, "I know what's cookin' today! The Christmas season is most often mentioned in interviews and articles about German holiday customs, but other less well-known seasonal customs are also observed in Louisiana.

The medieval custom of heralding the beginning of spring, Maifest "May Day" in other cultures, though Maifest is not always celebrated on May 1st as is May Day , is spreading in popularity across the United States. This custom has its roots in pre-Christian agricultural rites entreating fertility for crops, livestock, and the human population. In Germany this is an occasion for planting, but as respondents point out, in Louisiana May is late for first planting, so this aspect has been dropped or has become merely ceremonial.

In Germany, the Maypole or Maibaum artistically documents the various trades that are practiced in each town, and they are prominently displayed as expressions of community pride for the entire month or longer. The Maibaum and the winding, ribbon-braiding dance around it symbolize the rekindled hope and energy of spring.

This is also a time to re-connect with neighbors, to dance, sing, and drink outdoors after the cold winter. Here in south Louisiana, the German American Cultural Community Center in Gretna has an outdoor Maifest with music and food, though the Maibaum is only up during the festivities.

Maifest , now also celebrated as Volksfest the people's festival , has been celebrated in Louisiana for decades, and visitors to the grounds of the German American Cultural Center or the Deutsches Haus can enjoy the camaraderie of the celebrants and partake of the varied sausages, pastries, and beers on offer, as well as the breads, kraut and cabbage, and special large pretzels.

Frieda Arwe remembers the Maifests of her childhood in the Frankfurt area:. In Germany, they go for hikes, bike rides, celebrating the springtime. And in cities like the city my husband is from, the city of Bruschal near Heidelberg, that city is known for their Maifest.

They have this Maipole , the Maibaum , and it has a huge wreath and bands flowing down. And then they have each trade-let's say you have a plumber, you have a butcher, you have a baker, each organization, and they have a coat of arms and that's carved in the Maipole or that's painted on the Maipole. And they get together-like I said, the baker, the butcher, the candlestick maker-the guilds-and they dance around the Maipole.

And they have the youth groups that dance around the Maipole. And in my husband's town, they bake pretzels, they bake huge pretzels, not like the ones here, they bake them from a special dough, and they even have a song about the Maipretzel , and the most famous song they all sing is that sings in German , translation, "May has arrived; The trees are blooming and sprouting; Everyone is on the go; The ones who don't want to participate, they just have to stay home while the others are celebrating," something like that.

In Louisiana, the decorations on the Maibaum are usually a wreath of spring flowers at the top of the pole, with colorful streamers affixed to the center. In decades past, there have been dances at public events and also in schools; more recent events may feature the May dance but this is not performed with regularity anymore. Several people who participated in interviews expressed the desire to revive the dance and, since it has not had time to fall out of memory or direct experience, this is entirely possible.

The traditional Maibaum dance begins with each dancer holding the end of a ribbon, so that they form a circle of dancers around the pole and the ribbons are fairly taut. Usually one dancer is male, the next female, and so on, and there is an even number of dancers. The dancers alternate facing clockwise and counterclockwise.

Each dancer moves in the direction he or she faces, passing one person on the right, the next on the left, and so on. The greatest challenge is toward the end of the dance when ribbons shorten; outside dancers must lift their ribbons in order for inside dancers to pass beneath them, then the inside dancers are on the outside and must repeat the action until the ribbons become too short to work with and the music ends.

At this point the ribbons form a braid around the Maibaum , decorating it for the day or until another dance. Sometimes the dancers all turn and then unwind the ribbons using the same technique. Today only the Cultural Center has a Maibaum , and its vestigial ribbons are purely ornamental, but this may change.

For over a hundred years all of the public and private schools in New Orleans celebrated a May Festival with music, maypoles, performances, etc. This was a given, and probably stems from the German influence. My favorite school Maifest was the one in when my 8th grade class at Robert E. The boys wore matching bowties. There was a raised stage for the performances, and each class had a dance or musical performance.

Foods associated with Maifest are hearty whole-grain breads, ham, cheeses, mustards, pickles, and baked goods. Beverages include Maibock May beer and Maiwein , a white wine flavored with Waldmeister sweet woodruff. Waldmeister grows wild in Germany but the wild American version is not palatable.

It can be grown in containers here, though, and the young spring sprigs used to flavor the distinctive special-occasion wine. A group of local cooks, none of whom rely on written recipes for familiar dishes, have reviewed the following recipe compiled from notes by the author and agree that it will produce a fine Maiwein.

Remove the sweet woodruff. Stir and pour over a block of ice placed in a large punch bowl. Oktoberfest is not, as anthropologists define it, a folk festival since its modern origins are clearly known, and it has its roots in the celebration of an elite event, a wedding among Bavarian royalty. However, among German immigrants to other countries where it is celebrated, Oktoberfest serves to bring together people of German descent who maintain their German celebrations, language, and other customs.

The event dates to , when citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the royal wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The public festival honoring the newlyweds included horse races, games, and foods. The first agricultural show presenting Bavarian food products was added the following year, and in the city of Munich became the official organizer of the event.

Today in Germany, at noon on September 17, the lord mayor of Munich cracks the first barrel of Oktoberfest beer with a traditional announcement of " O'zapft is! More than Oktoberfest events are held throughout the United States in cities and towns where German culture, food and beverages are celebrated. This two-week festival is held annually during late September and early October.

With some six million people attending the Bavarian event every year, and millions of others celebrating all over the world, it is easily the world's largest fair. Traditionally, the event takes place during the 16 days up to and including the first Sunday in October. In Louisiana, Oktoberfest celebrations open with a ceremonial keg-tapping, modeled after that in Munich, by a person of honor in the German community or by locals enacting ceremonial roles as Ludwig and Therese.

A special Oktoberfest beer, slightly darker and stronger, is brewed for the occasion. The German-American Cultural Center sponsors a "German village" at the October Gretna Heritage Festival, and the Deutsches Haus's Oktoberfest lasts five weekends and is so popular that visitors wait in lines around the block to enter, and may have trouble finding room on the crowded dance floor to dance to the live German music played by local musicians.

Numerous participants wear Alpine hats, Lederhosen , Bundhosen leather or cloth breeches , short embroidered Miesbacher jackets, dirndl dresses, and some serve refreshments in peasant garb. Today's Germans will happily tell anyone, "Where there are Germans, there is music," and this has always been true in Louisiana.

Current residents who moved here from Germany report that they learned music from family in their homes and also at school. In fact, schools provided children with books containing traditional folk songs specifically so that there would be a shared repertoire of music that all Germans could sing together. Soldiers were provided with similar books when they were sent out of the country, so that they could retain that familiar connection to their homeland.

Sevilla Finley, Marietta Herr, and others proudly display for guests in their homes or at the German American Community Center examples of these patriotic collections of traditional folk songs. Short Narrative Film Screening — 3 — 5 p. Student Poster Competition Judging — 1 — 3 p. Faculty Poster Viewing — 8 a. Student Art Showcase Reception — 2 — 5 p. Student Art Showcase Awards — 2: Colonel's Retreat Creative Writing readings by students and faculty.

Leader's Suite NAACP will host their chapter meeting to discuss organizational tasks; talk about the campus community and promote diversity. Le Bijou Theater Panel discussion on practicing good habits when interacting with women. Lafitte Room Monthly club meeting. Student Poster Competition Viewing — 8: Reception following.

Student Union Front Sodexo will serve coke floats. Galliano Cafeteria Breakfast will be served to the students in the dining hall. Then students will move to the ballroom for a dance. Carnival Room. BWLA Presents: Colonel' s Retreat As part of Greek Week festivities, students can form teams to compete in a fun game of trivia.

Mary M. Stopher Gymnasium Greek Life will perform skits to celebrate Greek week. Winners will receive awards. The event will also include refreshments for sale and a silent auction. To sign up, call or email trivia nicholls. Cotillion Ballroom We will host our annual fashion show. Our focus will be the testimonies taken from slaves and their allies in these conspiracies.

We are transcribing, translating, tagging, and collating these testimonies, along with other archival documents related to the conspiracies, for the first time. Bollinger Suite 70th Anniversary event featuring faculty writers who will read from their work.

Promotion for the event will provide valuable name recognition. John C. The event is free and open to the public. Le Bijou Theater A panel of 5 women come and answer questions about their experiences at work and give insight on what it is like to be a woman in the media industry.

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As we discussed logistics and long-term plans, these counts were reminders of the humanity at the core of our work. All of the Above. Le Bijou Theater A panel of 5 women come and answer questions about their experiences at work and give insight on what it is like to be a woman in the media industry.

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