Crest of the Bukovina Society of the Americas The Bukovina Society of the Americas
P.O. Box 81, Ellis, KS 67637, USA 
Martha McClelland , President
Bukovina Society Headquarters & Museum, Ellis KS 67637

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Vol. 04, No. 3   -   September 1994

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Oren Windholz, President
Raymond Haneke, Vice President
Joe Erbert, Secretary
Bernie Zerfas, Treasurer

Editorial response to
P. O. Box 1083
Hays, KS 67601-1083

Bukovinafest 1994

Many stories can be told of one of the most memorable of our annual celebrations. The questions I heard most were, "when is the fashion show, and the strudel pull?" This shows the balance this year between the formal presentations on our historical heritage and demonstrations of the culture. The fashion show featured immigrant dress from the late 1800s and early 1900s with models Eileen Goetz, Jeannie Bollig, Sharon Keller, Sara Zerfas, Marlaina and Marlena Schoenberger, and Melissa Fisher. The show was coordinated by Pat Windholz and moderated by Laura Deckert. The demonstration on pulling dough for strudel marveled the audience, many who had not seen such a skill. Shirley Kroeger, Irene Zerfas, and Martha Armbruster concluded the show with distribution of the recipe and samples. Story telling in their Deutsch-Boemish dialect highlighted the feather slicing party reminiscent of the early days by Joe Erbert, Ralph Honas, Martin Flax, Mary Agnes Lang-Wagner, Barbara Cameron, and Gisela Staab.

International board members Irmgard Ellingson, Paul Massier, Steve Parke, and Aura Lee Furgason traveled to the meetings again this year with fine presentations. Werner Zoglauer attended his first convention from Naperville, Illinois and brought his computer. He was able to share information with many people and learn from newly discovered cousins. The dancers from the Romanian Canadian Cultural Club in Regina, Canada thrilled the members at the dinner and dance. Many other people contributed to the success of the convention and the board appreciates all the volunteer work. Information and dates for the next Bukovinafest will be announced in issue No. 4 of the newsletter later this year.

Eminescu Romanian Dancers

They arrived from Canada at 11:00 p.m. at the German mixer in Ellis in the rain after 26 hours on a bus, one time consuming wrong turn, and a quick shower at their dormitory on Ft. Hays University Campus, but came as promised. The dancers were here after three years of communication back and forth trying to establish the trip. Hugs and get acquainted conversation quickly ensued among friends who met on a trip by the Bukovina Society board to the Saskatchewan area in 1991 to visit Bukovina German settlements. Bukovina, the ancestral homeland of members of the society, was a crownland of the Austrian Hungarian Empire before being absorbed by Romania after the First World War. It is because of this common tie that the society has established relationships with Romanian groups. The host in Canada, Mr. Carl Buehler, introduced us to the leadership at the Romanian Canadian Cultural Club in Regina where the board first saw the dancers in practice. After being hosted in great Romanian tradition, the Bukovina Society board invited the dancers to Kansas.

The twenty six dancers ranging in age from 13 to 45 performed at the main event of the annual convention. Leading the tour was John Toma, Cultural Director, Larry Lascu, Secretary, his wife Paula, Maestro Petre Bodeutz, and Gordon Gieni, Social Director and star dancer. Chaperons and costumes were handled by Mrs. Milanka Turcoane and Mrs. Bev Carter, with technical sound by Kurt Gieni. The dancers practiced for three hours at the hall in preparation for their two hour performance. After lunch with their local host, Darrell Seibel, the group enjoyed some of historical Ellis County and a sidewalk bazaar.

Lifetime Endowment Club

We were pleased to add the following lifetime members to the plaque in the entry of the headquarters building:

  • 60. Sunflower Chapter AHSGR, Hays and Western Kansas
  • 61. Joseph and Betty Augustine, Oakdale, MN
  • 62. Dr. Rudolph Geimer, Germany
  • 63. Anne E. Doerfler, Hays
  • 64. Minnie M. Haarsager, Springfield, OR
  • 65. Dorothy Slaughter, Kansas City
  • 66. Werner Zoglauer, Naperville, Ill.
  • 67. Frank and Roma Boschowitzki, Ellis
  • 68. Adolph and Marcella Baumgartner, WaKeeney
  • 69. Rebecca Hageman, Wichita

[Picture not available]
Shirley and Erwin Kroeger stand by their old family stove donated to the museum. It was placed in the exact location of the wood and coal burning stove originally used in the historic church building, now the society headquarters.

ABC of Brazil
(Association of Bukovina German Culture)

We greatly appreciate the invitation of Prof. Ayrton Goncalves Celestino to attend the Fourth Bukowina Week sponsored by the Association of Bukovina German Culture. Their celebration this year was scheduled for July 2nd through the 10th, nearly the same time as our Bukovinafest. We hope a delegation can be there in the future. They featured an exposition of Roman Tapestry from the Village Museum of Bucharest, Romania. This was made possible by the General Consul of Romania in Brazil, Mr. Vasile Macovei. Prof. Goncalves will visit the Bukowina Institut during his return from the August trip to Romania. The professor sent the society a copy of his 21 page article on the migration from Buchenhain in the Bukovina to Rio Negro/Mafra, Brazil. He also generously shared the manuscript with other interested parties.


Richard Carruthers-Zurowski sends word for the newsletter that he is doing a study of all Bukovina Germans who settled in Saskatchewan, especially in Edenwold and the Ar(r)at district. He has set up a committee in Ottowa to extract the Radautz R.C. registers fully. These were filmed in 1991 at Leipzig, Germany by the LDS Church and are now available, though not yet in the published catalogue. His current mailing address for interested -parties to write and contribute is: 2770 Rosebery Ave, West Vancouver, BC V7V 3A2.

Michele Joubert is working on a family history of her roots to the villages of Landestreu and Katharinendorf in the Bukovina. She hopes to travel there in 1996. Her great grandfather is Friedrich Alfred Geib of the bellcaster family of Landestreu who originated in Staudernheim, Germany. Anyone with a similar interest is encouraged to write to her at P.O.Box 32212, Juneau, AK 99803.

Kurt Kuppetz, a Bukovina descendant living in Ulm, Germany has requested our assistance in locating a woman who wrote to him. In May 1994, he received a letter from a woman named Marlene, about sixty-five years of age, who lives in Kansas. Marlene wrote that she found a letter from Irmgard Ellingson in her parents' estate possessions. Kurt drafted a reply to Marlene but cannot mail it because he lost her letter and the envelope. If you are the Marlene who wrote to Kurt or know who she is, please contact Irmgard at P.O. Box 97, Ossian, IA 52161-0097, telephone 319-532-9265.

Bukovina People & Events

Josef Neuburger, born in Poiana Micului (Buchenhain) in the Bukovina, died at his home in Germany several months ago. He was the principal author of the history of the German Catholics who moved from the Bohemian forest region of Austria to found the town of Poiana Micului. His book Buchenhain, die Heimat unserer Deutschboehmen is a comprehensive history of the origins of the people, their life, religion, work, and culture in Bukovina, and relocation after the Second World War. Two migrations from the village occurred in the late 1800s when colonies went to Rio Negro/Mafra, Brazil and Ellis, Kansas. A son of Mr. Neuburger spent five years in Texas while in the Air Force.

Dr. Kurt Rein sent a greeting to the people attending the Bukovinafest wishing us every success. He is working on the English version of Emigration from Bukowina to the New World. German professors from Kansas University, and Dr. Helmut Schmeller, retired professor at Ft. Hays State University, are assisting in the publication. Dr. Rein would like persons from Canada to write to him on their ancestral migration experiences. During one of several trips to Ellis in the spring of 1994 he was accompanied by Dr. Rainald Buecherl. Both of the professors used the opportunity to study the dialects of the Ellis Bukovina Germans. Dr. Buecherl was presented with a hat and mug from the society by Ray Schoenthaler and Ralph Honas.

Gabi Lunte of the University of Kansas presented a paper in Pennsylvania recently on The German Bohemian Cultural and Linguistic Heritage of the Catholic Bukovinians in Ellis. Her many hours spent researching in the Ellis area have paid off, and she will also use her work in completing a doctoral program at KU.

Dr. Edward Brandt wrote that he is revising and expanding the Research Guide which he previously donated to the Bukovina Society library. A book review will be placed in the newsletter sometime after publication this winter. Ed and John Movius are working with the new Federation of East European Family History Societies. John called several times to assure us that the Bukovina Society was well represented with brochures and membership information at their first annual meeting.

Werner Zoglauer spent time gathering information at headquarters during the Bukovinafest to add to his computer records. He said he will attend the next convention to again share and learn with other members.


In an earlier issue, we noted an organization of Jewish immigrants from Bukovina in New York existed for several years. The Bucovinaer Cultural Society published a bulletin, copies of which were given to the society library by Dr. Jerry Glenn. We learned from the Information Bulletin of the Romanian American Heritage Center that the Bucovina Society of Detroit, Michigan, celebrated its 65th anniversary. Among the events featuring their ethnic food and customs was a children's choir performing in traditional dress. There were once 165 Romanian fraternal societies in the United States and Canada, with the Bucovina Society being a successful survivor. The spellings of the homeland are Bukowina (German) Bukovina (English) and Bucovina (Romanian). In German it is also know as Buchenland, land of the Beech trees.


After the annual meeting, new officers were elected as noted in the newsletter heading. Treasurer Bernie Zerfas gave a financial report to the society and reports to the board each month. His diligent work since the founding of the society is appreciated.


In the last issue, the recipe for Pflaumen Knoedel (Plum Dumplings) contained the ingredients for both Green Beans and Dumpling Soup (prior issue recipe) and the Plum Dumplings. Some of our sharp cooks noticed the error and said it would be quite an interesting, but probably not very tasty, dish. Society board members and spouses have discussed the possibility of creating a cook book, so the editor will turn over recipe publishing to them. The next Bukovinafest will again feature demonstrations on ethnic food preparation and we hope a cook book will be available by then.

Armbruster Coat Of Arms

On a silver back ground a red crossbow placed like a stake; on the helmet, which has a silvery-red top is a silver wing in front of a red wing. (Extensive helmet ornament) The Armbrusters (also other spellings) are an oh Marburg family traced back to Rev. John Armbruster, a Lutheran pastor born in 1548. Master cobbler Anton Armbruster moved his family to Illischestie in the Bukovina while others remained in the homeland.

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