Los Angeles Donauschwäbische Tanz Gruppe

Sharing Our Past With The Future

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This website is dedicated to promoting and perpetuating the story of the Danube Swabian people so that future generations can take pride in their heritage and pass it on to their children. Thank you for taking this opportunity to visit the Los Angeles site and learn more about our group and our activities. We invite you to visit each of our pages as well as the other Danube Swabian sister sites throughout the United States, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hungary and Yugoslavia.



2018 Koenigsball

Presenting the Los Angeles Danube Swabian Dance Group's 2018 King & Queen, Nicolas Mansir and Miss Hanna Theer. Completing their court are Princesses Elea Kerins, Heather Wagoner, Sienna Kerins and Stephanie Kolbusz. Congratulations to them and to all of the members of the Dance Group.

As is always the case, our annual gala Koenigsball is the social highlight of the year. While we congratulate the King and Queen and their court of princesses, we are equally proud of all the members for their dedication and efforts in taking pride in our heritage and traditions. Each year members of the Dance Group participate in German community functions and while it's the Jugend Dance Group that shine at Koenigsball we can't forget the Kinder, Middle and Kultur Groups activities.

We also wish to thank all those that worked tirelessly to make this event a continued success as well as our generous sponsors who make our events possible.


For pictures of the event, please click here.


Christmas Celebration

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Santa came again to all the "brave" Kinder this year. We checked the list and not one of them was on the "naughty" list. (I've been asked by a few of the parents to re-check the list!)

How could Santa not come without a sack full of presents, especially after the children's annual Christmas play?

For pictures of the celebration, please click here.


Cincinnati Trachtenfest

Each year, one of our Donau Swabian sister cities hosts the annual Trachtenfest. Groups from more than 20 cities get together to perform and share experiences. It's an event that all of the members of the Jugend Dance Group look forward to all year long.


For pictures of the event, please click here.


St. Stephen's Kirchweih

In 1938 a young priest started a small church in Los Angeles. Although small, it changed the world for thousands of Germans and Hungarians seeking a new beginning in the New World. The priest was Father Lani and the church was St. Stephen's. I'd like to think that Father Lani is still looking over his church by always sending new pastors to watch over his flock. We still remember.

Last Sunday we celebrated the founding of St. Stephen's with our yearly Kirchweih. Father Paolo officiated at German Mass. The kitchen staff arrived early to prepare a luncheon of Schnitzl, the Kirchen Chor sang and of course all four dance groups (founded by Father Lani) performed. As is traditional, a Rosemary bouquet was auctioned in support of the dance group. Matt and Heidi Kolbusz won. Congratulations to them and a grateful thank you for all those that supported the auction.

For pictures of the event, please click here.





Tag der Danube Schwabians

It's the day that Schwobs from all over Southern California gather at The Phoenix Club to renew relationships and take pride in their heritage. Ernie Star and his German-American Brass Band provided the music and all four of our dance groups performed. It was a real joy to see the hall absolutely filled to capacity, including the balcony. All I can say is that it was a good thing the Fire Marshall wasn't there!


The kids especially loved the Tombola gifts and the pinata event. We wish to thank all those that volunteered their time and efforts to make this year's event successful.


For pictures of the event, click here.



Happy Birthday Father Rettig!
Each year that I attend Father Rettig's birthday I wonder if we're going to fill the room at the resturant only to leave smiling and saying to myself - "we're going to have to get a bigger room next year"! It's a testament to what he means to our community. Father reminisced about coming to St. Stephen's 38 years ago; according to him, a meer teenager at the time. (I'm pretty sure that shaving a few years off ones age is only a venial sin.) He spent his best 19 years at St. Stephens. Anyway, we wish him another 38 years. And he has some good news to share with us. He's being relocated ... closer to us. His new parish is Holy Angels Church in Arcadia (379 Campus Ave., Arcadia 91007) effective July 1st. I know that it would make him smile to see a few of us in Tracht some Sunday.


Fronleichnam - The Feast of Corpus Christi

Traditions have a special meaning for members of St. Stephen's parish. Whether you are English, Spanish, Hungarian or German speaking the Feast of Corpus Christi or Fronleichnam celebrates the joy of the Eucharist being the body and blood of Jesus Christ. At the end of Mass, there is a procession of the Blessed Sacrament displayed in a monstrance. The procession is followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For more than 50 years, St. Stephen's parishioners have decorated homes near the church for the procession.


For pictures of the event, please click here.




Our Annual Picnic!

If we had a "best dressed" contest, Elizabeth and Karl would have won!

We held our picnic this year at Old World in Huntington Beach. We thank them for the use of their hall. As usual, we were entertained by Ernie Star's German-American Blaskapelle. They are always a treat. There was plenty of food and drink and every opportunity to catch up on the latest community news.

For pictures of the even, please click here.



Happy Mother's Day

It takes a village of Oma's to raise children ... and a few Opa's as well. Although we're a small community, we certainly have some great Omas. At St. Stephen's this last Sunday, we took the time to tell them all how much they mean to us. From the "most experienced" to the "newcomers" like Frau Hess and Mitzi Kurz, we thank them all.

And speaking of thank you's, we can't forget Father Paolo's homily and all the volunteers that make the day special. Months ago, plays were being practiced, dances choreographed, meals planned, songs rehearsed, desserts prepared and it goes on and on. All to make the day a success. So to all our volunteers that selflessly take the time year-after-year to help out --- Thank you!

If you would like to see pictures of the event, just click here.





2017 Gala Koenigsball

The Dance Group's season was officially kicked-off with our annual Koenigsball. Father Rettig opened the evening giving thanks to the current and past generations for their devotion to the heritage of the Danube Schwabians.

It was heartening to see that even after more than 30 years, the attendance at the Ball remains enthusiastic and strong. The Dance Group thanks all the volunteers and sponsors for their continued support of our children.

Last but certainly not least was the crowning of the King and Queen and their court. We are pleased to present King Christopher Schegetz and Queen Calista Kerins for 2017. Their court is made up of Sienna Kerins, Elea Kerins, Stephanie Kolbusz and Eva Kerins. For pictures of the event please click here.


Presenting Mr. & Mrs. Alex & Lauren Hurtado

Our very own Lauren Weitmann married the love of her life Alex Hurtado, yesterday, November 5th in Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Downey. Afterward, the bridal couple, family and friends danced the night away at the Rio Hondo Country Club. Members of the Dancegroup celebrated the event with "Das Fenstl". The couple plan to honeymoon in Maui as they start their new life together.

We wish the new Lauren and Alex every happiness.


For pictures of the event, please click here.



2016 St. Stephen's Kirchweih

For nearly 90 years, there has been a Kirchweihfest at St. Stephen's Church celebrating its founding. It's a chance for all Donauschwaben to get together to celebrate Mass, eat, drink, dance and just to catch-up with old friends. We can't forget to thank all those that got up early to begin making the Schnitzl lunch and those who tended the bar.

It's also a fundraiser for our dance group in support of their activities. This year's Kirchweih Strauss was won by Liz Goldbach. Congratulations!

The dance group thanks all those that so graciously support our children. They always make us proud.

For pictures of the event, please click here.

( I just had to add Anya Wendel's picture. She's just so cute!)




Annual St. Stephen's Oktoberfest

The Oktoberfest season starts off each year with the St. Stephen's celebration. The dancegroups of both our Hungarian cousins and the Danube Schwabian dancegroups come together to perform. It's always a good time and the hall becomes standing room only.


For pictures of the event, please click here.



St. Stephen’s Schule Anfangs Messe
One of the tenants of our heritage is getting a good education. Many of us remember our parents and grandparents instilling upon us, “Get a good education. They can never take that away from you.” The importance of an education was once again highlighted with last Sunday’s St. Stephen’s annual Schule Anfangs Messe. Father Timothy celebrated the start of another school year along with our Kirchen Chor.  Nearly 40 of our children were in attendance.

After Mass, Elke (Schreiner) Czomiak treated the children to a reenactment of their forefather’s European migration. She explained that in the late 1700’s, people (later to become Donau Schwabians) were granted land by Maria Theresia of Austria to populate areas know as Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia. Many of those pioneers left from the Swabian city of Ulm. Many traveled on barges, known as Ulmer Schachteln (Ulmer Boxes), to the newly opened territories along the Donau. They were granted 160 acres if they developed the land by draining the marshes, building farms, and constructing roads and canals.
The highlight was when the children built their own Ulmer Schachteln. The Schachteln were inscribed with their family names and the towns in which their families originally settled. It was both an educational and moving moment as the children paid tribute to their forefathers. Thank you Elke!

And here’s the rest of the story. Maria Theresia’s settlement program was so successful that it was enacted one more time: in America! At high noon on April 22, 1889, the Homestead Act opened the Oklahoma territory for pioneer settlement. At the appointed hour, settlers raced over rough land for an opportunity to stake out their future homestead and make a new life. (Some of them jumped the noontime start and later became known a “Sooners”.) These settlers were once again offered 160 acres if they farmed the land. Now considering that one of the largest immigrant groups to settle in America in the 1850’s were German, you just know that one of those “Sooners” had to be a Schwob. Now you know why the University of Oklahoma’s football team is called “The Oklahoma Sooners”. Just one last thing, here are the names of some of the "Sooner" football players: Meier, Daimler, Mann, Mittermeier, Pfau, Seibert, Schafer, Wren, Bedenbaugh and Schmidt. Go Sooners! For pictures of the event, click here.


2016 Tag der Danube Schwabian

Each year, members of our community get together at The Phoenix Club to celebrate our heritage. Members from 4 years old to ... well more than 4 years old entertained the crowd. I don't know when we've had more dancegroup members dancing at the same time.

We would also like to thank all of the volunteers and generous supporters to the Dancegroup's Tombola raffle. It remains one of the largest fund raisers and of course all proceeds go to supporting our children. Thank you!

For pictures of the event, please click here.


It turns out that we have TWO birthdays to celebrate! Happy birthday Father Herman Rettig and introducing Fraulein Louisa Magdalena Ritter.

We celebrated Father's birthday last week and the overwhelming comment was "next year we're going to need a bigger room!" Father was touched by the outpouring of love from his former parishioners and in particular the Dancegroup's gift presented by Justin Lubetski, this year's Koenig. People from far and wide attended (his Dad, Eberhart always wins for the person who traveled the farthest - Arkansas!). In his prayer homily, he thanked all those in attendance and those that came before us. Please view the pictures of the event by "Clicking Here".

Speaking of birthdays, Father Rettig is thrilled to share his birthday wishes with our latest member, Miss Louisa Ritter. She was born on July 1 at 8:17 am, weight 8 pounds 13 oz., height 21 inches in Detroit. Mother and daughter are well and healthy. Her parents, Christoph and Karin (Schulz) and their parents and grandparents before them are life-long members of the Los Angeles Dancegroup and Detroit Danube Schwabian Community. I'm sure that the Omas are looking through their closets for a little Dancegroup Tracht as we speak. Congratulations from all of us.


Ella Duncan

Dancegroup's Annual Picnic

If you come to our picnic ... expect to get wet! You can also expect bratwurst, beer and lots of catching-up on the the latest news. The kids of course love the pinata, squirt guns and comradery. As in past years, we were entertained by Ernie Star and the German-American Blaskapelle. For pictures of the event, please "Click Here".

2016 St. Stephen's Church Fronleichnam

For decades, going back to Father Lani's founding of St. Stephen's, there has been a Fronleichnam procession through the streets neighboring the church. The German, Hungarian, American and Spanish communities decorated homes to honor the Feast of Corpus Christi. We were honored to have both Father Theodore and Father Paolo celebrate the event. As in past years. the Dance Group, the German American Blaskapelle and St. Stephen's Choir were in attendance. For pictures of the event, please click here.

Happy Mother's Day!

The Dance Group wishes all mothers a special day from those that count on them the most. We celebrated at St. Stephen's. As usual, the Mom's didn't have to cook thanks to our wonderful kitchen staff that woke early to make a wonderful Schnitzl lunch. All four dance groups performed with a special Mother's Day play. One of the highlights was Mass celebrated by both Father Ernie and Father Tim culminating with First Communion for Reily and Danielle Stabio.

Mitzi Kurz won this year's prize for the youngest mother while Frau Krispel won for the most "experienced" Mom! For pictures of the event, please click here.

2016 Gala Koenigsball

Congratulations to Koenig Justin Lubetski and Queen Heather Wagoner and their court.

For more pictures of the event, please click here.

Los Angeles Landestreffen

"So jung kommen wir nicht mehr zusammen"

Frs. Herman Rettig & Peter Zillich

The 2015 Landestreffen was our opportunity to host Donau Schwaben dance goups from throughout the United States and Canada to Los Angeles. Although there were many highlights throughout the weekend, the high point was easily Sunday's Mass officiated by Fathers Herman Rettig and Peter Zillich from Munch. I cannot remember a time when I've seen The Phoenix Club's Ballroom with so many people. (We're fortunate that the Fire Marshall wasn't in attendance.) Through both their sermons (and by song!) both encouraged the groups to dance and celebrate their heritage but to remember as well their roots and the sacrifices that their Großeltern and Urgroßeltern endured to make a better life for us all. They reminded us that "Landestreffen" is a celebration of of where our families began. Many endured to provide a better life for this generation. I'll let Father Rettig and Father Zillich say it better than I can. Click on the links below.

Father Rettig's Sermon

Father Zillich on the accordian

Pictures of the Landestreffen

Videos of the Landestreffen Dances

Lastly, we'd like to thank all those unsung volunteers for their countless hours of planning, late nights and efforts that made the event so successful. So "Thank You" for all those that serve in the kitchen, the bar, Tombola, Dance Group leaders, florests, venue hosts, And lastly, a special "Thank you" goes to Virgina and Albert Becker and their "Family Album Project". They spent the entire two days taking portrate pictures of our community. You may see all the pictures at www.Virginiabecker.Smugmug.com. To learn more about their efforts, please visit www.The FamilyAlbumProject.com.

Beach Party!
California Love!

Surf, sand, food and it seems California Love too, that's what makes the dance group's annual summer beach party memorable. But this year was even more special, since we got to share it with our sister dancegroup cities throughout the US and Canada. They got to experience a true beach party that we hope they never forget. And for those girls from all the groups that participated, you may know consider yourself a "California Girl"!

For pictures of the party, click here!

60th Commemoration of Father Lani's Death

It's been said that if all the Los Angeles Danube Schwabien families were to write their history, one name would be included in all of them; Father Lani. If there is a Danube Schwabian Guardian Angel, he surely is it. He took us in when few wanted us. He met refugees at the train station, found them a place to stay and workplaces to provide for themselves. He founded the St. Emmerich Society, the Danubia Soccer Club and the Donauschwaebische Tanzgruppe, among others. It was not uncommon for him to say German and Hungarian Mass in the morning, cheer Danubia on in the afternoon and join in a dance that same evening. He was there for weddings, baptisms and when we needed him most. He was always there for us. Where would we be today without him? He gave us a new life.

For pictures of the commemoration, please click here.

Mathias Lani

Father Rettig's Eulogy

Wir sind zusammengekommen, um unsres großen Wohltäters zu gedenken.  Das Gedächtnis Father Lanis lebt und brennt in unseren Herzen auch nach 60 Jahren, denn er war ein unvergesslicher Mensch.  Im Namen der deutschen Gemeinde, im Namen der vielen Flüchtlingen, denen er geholfen hat, im Namen der unzähligen Menschen, deren Leben er irgendwie berührt hat, sagen wir heute unseren Dank.  Wir geben ihm die Ehre; er hat uns weit mehr gegeben.  Er hat das Unmögliche getan und war für sein Volk in Wahrheit der Vater.  Arbeit, Wohnung, neuer Anfang und neue Heimat:  das alles bedeutete er, das alles hat er selber geschafft.  Und wegen ihm ist zu unserer Hass-erfüllten Welt ein Bisschen mehr Verständnis, ein Bisschen mehr Hoffnung, ein Bisschen mehr Liebe gekommen.  Er betet bestimmt noch für uns, wie er auch im Leben so viel getan hat:  er betet, dass wir noch zusammenhalten, als ein Volk, als sein Volk.  Er betet, dass wir den Weg gehen, den er uns gezeigt und vorbereitet hat.  Er betet, dass wir anderen helfen, wie er uns geholfen hat.  Wir beten für seine unsterbliche Seele:  Gott schenke unserem Father Lani den ewigen Lohn für seine heroischen Taten und für sein treues priesterliches Leben.

You can make a donation to the Tanzgruppe anytime! And it's so easy! Just click on the "donate" button below and make a pledge to the children. All of the proceeds go to supporting the children and their activities. Remember, "it's better to give than to receive". Trust me, you'll feel better knowing that you've helped to continue the heritage of the Tanzgruppe.

Please make comments and suggestions to our President

Elisabeth Burmeister

To be added to our mailing list, please send a note to karlseitz@hotmail.com

February 4, 2018

Copyright © 2014 Donauschwäbische Tanz Gruppe of  Los Angeles.


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