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April 1990


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Echo Germanica's
Writers and Staff


Alide Kohlhaas

Alidë KohlhaasThis consummate professional is best described as a passionate advocate for the truth, especially when German Canadian history is concerned. She was born in Germany and came to Canada as a six year old girl. While she is writing her views and reviews of the art scene in and around Toronto and Ontario’s heartland, she has done a lot of research into the field of German contributions in North America, with a special emphasis on Canada, where the German part of history is still largely ignored in history books, school curricula and almost totally unknown to current generations. While she is preparing a major book on the subject she is writing a regular column for Echo Germanica, which has enlightened even experts on this subject and captured the imagination of many.


Eberhard Gerlitz

egeKnown as ege he came to Echo Germanica almost at the beginning. Before he retired in Canada he was employed by a major German newspaper as a humorist. His ditties in English and German deal with life in general as well as current events. The art of his sharp wit make some of our troubles a lighter load for all of us to carry. He stays fit by participating actively in sports and renewing his German Sportabzeichen every year.


Dr. Richard Altermann

Dick AltermannKnown as Dick he roams the countryside in his racy red car, wishing he could fly again. He already has his eye on a plane. He has been a newspaperman for a long time and brings to the job a lot of know-how and a multitude of interests. To Mardis Gras or Karneval organisations, as well as many other community related clubs and associations he is the perfect "propaganda minister". But he will do the same good job for a technical or scientific project. He likes to eat and also can cook, which makes him a good food critic, especially if the criteria depends on spices. Watch out for him asking for Penne Arabiata and declare whether the pasta dishes are good, bad or indifferent. Otherwise he should probably be called the candy man since he likes anything sweet. Along side his reporting duties he handles also sales and distribution.


Klaus Christian Hofer

Klaus Christian HoferWe also reconnected with Klaus Christian Hofer who some of you might remember as a contributor to Echo Germanica a few years back. His parents hailed from Europe but he grew up in USA and Australia. During a visit he fell in love with Canada, stayed and earned a degree of experimental Psychology at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Travelling all over the world to teach materials he developed for his company ‘Communications & Training’ he still finds time to freelance as a journalist. Like a prodigal cousin he returns to us with interesting tales. Afterall, it is only right that he should have a column. Doesn’t TV’s Frazier have a radio show?


Rolf Rentmeister

Rolf RentmeisterHe is the quiet one in the outfit, but probably works the hardest of all the crew. Billed as the executive director his duties include layout and all other pre-print work. He is a computer wiz with considerable talent for graphics, as the front pages attest to. Servicing everyone’s computers, coordinating the administration on top of his other duties keep him so busy these days that he has not written any articles recently. But it is hoped that he will return to producing such thought provoking articles as "The Canadian Dream?", which was published in the last book of a trilogy by a professor of the University of Toronto. Without his technical genius Echo Germanica would have never made it in print or onto the Internet.


Antje Steiger

Antje SteigerShe is a new addition to the paper. She studies law in Dresden, Germany, and has a strong interest in becoming a writer. Her outlook on life is fresh and interesting, because it brings to us the viewpoint of a young German living in a Germany, which was united when she was just 14 years old. She is in the unique position to know both Germanys and represents something new and in the making. Her special interests are human rights and the environment. Otherwise she explores with her unique brand of exuberance everything beautiful in life, without walking past the seedier side of humanity.


Eberhard Kurt Walter

This slightly long in the tooth WWII veteran draws on his powers of observation and his conclusions result out of a long life in which he has seen the world go insane, or so he says. He utilises a mild Berliner dialect in his often humorous, sometimes serious comments about our world. From the lofty point of age his philosophy has an ethics presence, which has made him many friends. He operates quietly and as an unknown to the public. That’s the way he likes it.


Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Sybille Forster-RentmeisterWithout her there would be no Echo Germanica. She wrote for two other strictly German publications in Canada before she realized that Germans in Canada suffer from a special malady. Somewhat isolated from the rest of the Canadian landscape by political stigmata of long duration, and at the same time fully integrated out of necessity, people of German decent have not blown their own horn for fear of resentment. She realized that within the German Canadian community there was a need to validate the daily good deeds of individuals and organisations, not only for the sake of the members of this still very large contingent of Canada’s population, but also to demonstrate to other communities the richness of a canvass woven out of dedication to this country. Her goal was and is to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, to bring together generations and countries, to illustrate some of the rich culture of the German-speaking people.

"We know who we are, but not everybody else does!" That is how she explains her choice to publish much of the paper in English. "If everything would be published in German then only we would know what we are doing, what our interest are and what our people have and are still contributing to this country and elsewhere."

She is still building on this ever-expanding theme. The Internet is the next logical step to build bridges between people, communities, generations and countries.

She won for Echo Germanica three rewards after the first year of publication and some of her articles have been published elsewhere like the award winning "What is German?" which is part of the Germanistic curriculum at York University, Toronto. Professor Webber included it in the workbook.

She has been an avid advocate of the German culture and as such spoken often at different occasions. "Art and War" was the theme she was asked to discuss at Upper Canada College at North America’s biggest student forum in the spring of 2000. But she also retold German fairy tails to audiences at the German Fairy tail Garden in City Hall, Toronto and other venues. In the past she was an actress/performer, having developed a reputation for her Marlene Dietrich style in singing chansons. She is also an award-winning painter and prefers to work on paper. One Canadian television host introduced her as a renaissance woman on his show.

Whatever she does comes from the compassionate point of view of an artist.



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