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August 2014 - Nr. 8
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

We are nearing an almost perfect summer, as far as I am concerned, with days that are not too hot, and nights that let one sleep without an air conditioner running. You might have noticed that we took a month off to enjoy an extended holiday. When we did meet up with the community it was always fun. To the beach we only managed to go once because it was simply not hot enough for us. On top of a sand dune it needs to be 30 degrees Celsius, or the wind is too chilly. Maybe there will be an odd hot day in August or September to let us enjoy our favorite spot on Lake Erie. The front page is a picture taken from our vantage point.

1:0 Germany - a jubilant crowd at the Hansa Haus [photo supplied by Ekko Hildebrandt]
1:0 Germany - a jubilant crowd at the Hansa Haus [photo supplied by Ekko Hildebrandt]

I know we all enjoyed the Soccer World Cup Games and especially the fact that Germany took home the ultimate trophy. That last winning goal has made soccer world history. We watched and went to as many games as possible and just marveled at the many interesting stories the World Cup provided, but the most fantastic one has to be the German story.

And while it is already older news it has to be said that not everyone was happy to see the German team do so well, In Belleville a radio commentator felt that the German team reminded him of Nazi Germany. Obviously these kinds of comments are NOT politically correct and thus a non-German individual wrote a brilliant letter to his website educating this misguided commentator in the error of his ways.

Upon request I will email the “correcting” letter to anyone who wants to know.

In the past the German Canadian Congress would have responded to this blatant misrepresentation of the German team and the “feelings” it evoked in a person with a public forum available to him to pour yet again oil onto an old and long extinguished fire; or so we thought and have a right to expect. The newest version of the Congress however just promotes German culture with links to Germany’s official offices like consulates, embassy’s and Goethe Institutes and thus is more a German German Congress, not a German Canadian Congress. I guess the idea is that German Canadians have no point of view worth commentating on or defending anymore. That is very sad. Last year was a perfect opportunity for the Congress to spring into action when a German farmer, whose family got the land title guaranteed forever by King George V. was bullied out of his land by the Trenton airport. The mainstream Media reported for days on this story, non-Germans tried to rally to the cause to preserves some historical justice.

Where was the Congress then? The last two presidents lost all momentum created by their predecessors by not being active in the office they were elected to; and so far it looks as though the current board is also not motivated to “speak for us”, the German community, as the past mission statement used to say. This Congress apparently does not even have a mission statement, as far as can be seen.

As a founding member of the German Canadian Congress Ontario and a past long time board member I feel I have to state my disappointment together with a lot of other people. The German Canadian community is shrinking incredibly fast and any organization that is claiming to represent us better do something fast and become active if we want to keep our presence known as valuable contributing members of Canadian Society, not by borrowing news from Germany but by actually being involved in the community. Some board members are, but we have not heard anything in the last few years about much, if anything.

Echo Germanica has been very active in reporting on local concerns in print and online, as no one else has. And we shall continue as best as we can.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Sybille Forster Rentmeister

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.
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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica, comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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