To Echoworld Homepage

To Echo Germanica Homepage
November 2007 - Nr. 11


Click to view the Front Page

GS Hospitality Connections



The Editor
A Plea
At Lake Huron
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Echo Art Report
Barber of Seville
KW & Beyond
Annual Blitzer Event
Club Affairs
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Musik - Good Bye
Kids Ski Free
National Ballet: Nutcracker
Bach Children Chorus
AGO Youth Council
AGO > 3 New Works
Art History: November
Musician in Ordinary
A Christmas Celebration
A Christmas Chorus
Orchestra Toronto Event
Christmas by Lamplight
Largest Christmas Stocking
Real Christmas Tree
For Best Results, Go Topless
Human Right Trumps Trade
The Imprisoned Writer
Single Complain Book Removal
Enviro Law
Power of the Sun

Letter from the Editor

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister  

Dear Reader

The month of October was quite hectic with activities that celebrated parts of our German heritage. On top of a gloriously warm fall with nature’s pallet in full splendour we can admire still, until next year, a German ceramic sculptor of importance in the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, we celebrated Pioneers Day in Kitchener, and a Flag-Raising Day in Toronto. We honoured the German National Holiday "Tag der Einheit" in the premises of the future View from the top (future site of the German Consulate General)Consulate General in Toronto; we visited the Toronto International Art Show, which offered several entries from Germany among the many displays. There were alls sorts of musical adventures including the Bach Festival, German schools had their heyday with conferences and honours being bestowed and teachers learning how to rap so kids stay interested in the language and and and… there was a lot to do… you get the message.

And all this is happening while our community had also the annual insider events, dances and fundraisers at the clubs and so on. And then there was the symposium at the University of Toronto on the subject of German suffering, whether it is legitimate to acknowledge that Germans did in fact also suffer or if it needs to be categorized as fishing for sympathy. It was an academic approach, and as such devoid of much actual human understanding, as academic exercises often seem to be. Since academics are often specializing in one or another field there is always some data missing from where the viewpoint springs that is forwarded. For instance, a professor from New York voiced that German soldiers did not suffer during the war, only afterwards as prisoners of war.

Well, I guess this Professor did not talk to many German soldiers of that time, certainly not to any I have met inside or outside of my family, or could not meet, because they gave their lives for a cause they did not necessarily believe in, but they had to do their "duty" nevertheless. But there was also wisdom apparent and the clear effort to divide the subject between people that are allowed to suffer because they did not commit any war crimes, those who were only caught in the situation as victims, and those deemed to have committed war crimes. The latter certainly appear to have no right to claim suffering. It is quite clear that not everything fits neatly into categories like certain shoes into their respective shoeboxes. And it is also quite clear that the way mankind divides what is right and what is wrong and why is based on old concepts that lack understanding of the human condition, what it is that makes a person" bad" or "good". As long as that lack of understanding is the basis of determining truth, evaluations and punishments will be wrong and do nothing to better mankind.

In-between all those things we had to do Halloween, put the last bulbs into the ground, making sure there were enough daffodils in-between the tulips planted so squirrels would be deterred, cutting the grass one last time, (or was it?) and in Toronto we are now waiting for all the leafs to fall. Unlike in Kitchener, where trees are showing their bald winter costume, where thick frost has already covered the ground like snow, in Toronto we still have a few green and many yellowing trees among some flaming red maples. My geraniums are still displaying multiple blooms and I am fighting to keep them alive as long as I possibly can.

It is a certainty that we are now turning our attention more towards Christmas, with the first, and it appears, only Christmas Fair happening in the Danube Swabian Club in Toronto. The Kitchener Christkindl Market will happen early December.

Several other markets are no longer being held. They died a quiet death for one reason or other, the most important being the lack of support from communities, which are shrinking naturally. Just like our German Delis are disappearing because the offspring is pursuing other professions than their parents, so are our clubs and old customs on the way of slowly disappearing.

Of course everyone is working hard to keep everything alive for as long as possible and in some venues the going is still very good as in the Concordia Club in Kitchener; but even there the numbers of members reaching the status of honorary member are rising each year, and less and less of past honorary members show up, when old age keeps them at home.

It is not that we are a more aging community than other Canadian groups. We have plenty of children and grandchildren; but like in other communities our children and grandchildren also integrate to a degree that makes their parents heritage less interesting to them in a world that has so much more to offer then ever before. Choices have to be made and no one can be everything to everyone.

Thus we celebrate what we can for as long as we can and rejoice in the fact that our German culture has permeated the world with the best it has to offer on a grand scale. It might be that our radio shows become less supported and one or the other has to close shop for lack of financial support, like it happened in Hamilton after 30 years with Gerd and Inge Brachlow. It is sad! However, we thank them for their valiant efforts to keep a difficult situation alive for as long as they did with their personal efforts and dedication, all for something that is so dear to many, the music of their homeland.

We invite you to contribute as much as you possibly can to the survival of our culture, be part of it, go to events, support the arts and the clubs, shop at our own stores, and use our own services. If we all try we can make it last longer and make it better!

Think about it, it will be worth your while.

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister


Comments to:


To Top of Page

Send mail to  with questions or comments about this web site.
For information about Echoworld Communications and its services send mail to .

Copyright ©2007 Echoworld Communications