Page 2 - GC-Aug-Sept-2017
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Viewpoints . . . The Roman heritage of Central Europe

Some recent political discussions might seem to indicate that it by Martin Ederer Herrmann Memorial near Det- ized Germans in charge of the
is impossible for people simultaneously to be who they are ethni- mold, Germany. western armies with their own ad-
cally and to be good Americans. The attitude is hardly new. As Als die Römer frech geworden ministrative and tribal agendas.
we remember the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World is the opening line of a very The Austrian region of Carin- Consider that the last supreme
War I, we recall that German-speaking Americans were heavily nationalistic German student song thia is named for the prosperous commanders of the western armies
pressured – often by otherwise well-meaning fellow Americans – celebrating the German chieftain Roman town of Carnuntum, which were Germans: figures like Rici-
to give up who they were. Herrmann’s victory over Varus’ once dominated the region. The mir and Odovakar. But, by that
legions in the Teutoburger Forest Romans established Linz (Lentia) time Germans and Romans had
Practical people – an awful lot of immigrants among them – in A.D. 9, proof positive (!) of in the Danube valley. After a Ro- intermarried and carried on regular
will readily acknowledge that concessions to a new homeland are German superiority. The defeat – man takeover, Celtic Vindobona diplomatic and economic relations
necessary for easing the “getting-through-life” stuff: Learning the three Roman legions were wiped on the Danube went on to become for centuries.
new language, staying out of trouble, getting a job and paying taxes out – was so serious that the Ro- a major city: Vienna. We could
help to get the life stuff done. But, too much outside pressure to mans began to rethink their policy easily continue the Roman tour Germans had become Roman-
accelerate ethnic integration can create its own set of problems, of continuous expansion against down the Danube valley out of ized and had gained citizenship
among them marginalization, resentment, and sometimes a self- the barbarians to the north – albeit Germanic territory to Budapest and leadership positions within the
fulfilling prophecy of refusal to integrate. only after several punitive expedi- (Aquincum) and well beyond, but empire. Romans and Germans
tions against the Germans. the point is that Romans, Celts and alike had become Christian.
It’s always good to ask under those circumstances if an “either- Germans mixed and mingled, and
or” mentality is the only valid solution to whatever problems we The lyrics are obviously high- Central Europe was never the Sometimes I facetiously tell
face. Could the solution be “both-and” instead? spirited, celebratory, pro-German, same for it. my wife (born in Italy) that the
best sung with alcohol – and not Italian government owes Germany
As most of us acknowledge, our Central European heritage still always accurate: The first line Anyhow, by the time the Ro- restitution for Roman destruction
matters, and yet we consider ourselves good Americans too. translates into English as “When man Empire fell in the West, the of our culture. Her response
Maybe these are good discussions to have this summer as we head the Romans got cocky….” Ironi- situation (at least initially) was less (equally facetious) is that until the
into prime season for celebrating our heritage and as we head to our cally, Herrmann – the Romans one of hordes of barbarians pour- Romans shaped up the Germans,
favorite events and venues. called him Arminius – was a Ro- ing over the walls of the city of they amounted to nothing. And so
man citizen. Short form: It’s com- Rome – Rome was no longer the we merrily keep a 2000-year-old
German American plicated. capital – but more that of Roman- grudge going. Still, I smile politely
Calendar of Culture as I recognize that there is more
The reality, of course, is that a blond hair and blue eyes in her
AUGUST Roman presence and Roman cul- family than in mine.
5 & 6 - The Syracuse Bavarian Oktoberfest, Long Branch Park, ture established themselves quite
Liverpool, NY. www.germanamericanscity.com. thoroughly in many parts of pres- History can be funny – espe-
11 & 12 - German Fest - Spencerport Firemen’s Field, 75 South ent-day Germany, Austria and cially when we too rigorously
Union St., on the canal, Spencerport Village. Authentic homemade Switzerland. These areas included cling to tidy official civic narra-
German food and beverages, music, folk dancers, kids’ activities. Friday much of the Rhine and Main val- tives. Yet the complicatedness of
4 - 11 p.m., Saturday noon - 11 p.m. leys, the Mosel valley, as well as who we all are is what makes us
12 - German-Polish Celebration - Spring Garden Park, 3838 Two pretty much the entire Danube val- and our histories interesting – as
Rod Road, East Aurora. Park opens 3:30 p.m. rain or shine. The Aus- ley, which became an important the whole Herrmann episode itself
landers and New Direction 4:30 - 9:30 p.m. Dance performances by element of Roman northern trans- shows us.
SGTV Edelweiss and Polish Heritage Dancers of WNY. Admission $7. portation and communication from
www.springarden.com southwest Germany to the Black Have a question, com-
16 - Steuben Society of America, Samuel Helm Unit 144 of Sea. ment, or concern about the
Buffalo dinner meeting - Scharf’s, Clinton St., West Seneca. 5:30 p.m. Upstate New York German
drinks, 6 p.m. dinner/meeting Stammtisch, self pay, lou1dan2@aol.com. Many important northern cities community? Contact us at
26 - Bierfest, Scharf’s German Restaurant and Bar, Clinton St., West owed their existence to the Ro- mail @the germancitizen.com
Seneca. Craft beer tasting. Music by New Direction 3 - 6 p.m.; Aus- mans, who established camps and
landers 7 - 10 p.m. settlements of Roman veterans to Since 1970 the Buffalo Standard
keep an eye on Roman acquisi- Printing Booster Club has raised funds
SEPTEMBER tions. In Switzerland, Zürich be- to support our family of publications.
2-3 - German Fest presented by German-American Societies - gan its life as the Roman town of
Cheektowaga Town Park, Harlem Road - noon - 10 p.m. German food, Turicum. Basel, a pre-Roman set- These funds have been used to off-set some of the
beer, wine bar, bands, SGTV Edelweiss/Bavarian folk dancers, contests tlement, nonetheless bears a Ger- publication costs, increases in postage, and affords
and more. buffalogerman.com. $5. manized Roman name, Basilius. the ability to secure the best writers in Western New
10 - Schlachtfest - Spring Garden Park, 3838 Two Rod Road, East York. The German Citizen is published to serve the
Aurora. Park opens at noon, Burgerwehr Spielmannszug-Endingen Band In Germany the cities of Co- German-Americans of Upstate New York. Donors to
from Germany 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.; Auslanders 3 - 8 p.m. Food from 1 p.m. logne (Colonia Agrippensis), Trier the Press Fund will be thanked in the last issue of the
$6 per person. www.springarden.com (Augusta Treverorum, which actu- year, unless otherwise instructed by the donor.
15 - 16 - Oktoberfest Kickoff -Scharf’s German Restaurant and Bar, ally served as a northern imperial
Clinton St., West Seneca. capital and has wonderful Roman MAIL TO: Buffalo Standard Printing Press Fund
16 - Oktoberfest, Our Lady of Pompeii School Hall, 129 Laverack ruins), Augsburg (Augusta Vin- 3620 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga, NY 14215
Ave., Lancaster. 5 - 11 p.m. German food, best dressed contest, waltz delicorum) all have Roman ori- I want to make sure the German Citizen continues its
contest. Music by Auslanders. $5 donations welcome. gins. Passau started out as the service to the German-American Community.
20 - Steuben Society of America, Samuel Helm Unit 144 of Roman Batavis. The Romans put
Buffalo dinner meeting - Black Forest Adler, Niagara Falls Blvd., the old Celtic settlement of Radas- Enclosed is my contribution of $ _____
Amherst. 5:30 p.m. drinks, 6 p.m. dinner/meeting Stammtisch, self pay, bona – Regensburg – on the map Name:__________________________________________
lou1dan2@aol.com. when they founded the fortress Address_________________________________________
30 - Old Falls Street Oktoberfest, downtown Niagara Falls, 1 - 8 Castra Regina at that location. City, State, Zip___________________________________
p.m. Live music and dancing, beer tent, German cuisine, and music by Similarly, Frankfurt am Main has
German American Musicians. Fallstreet.com a Roman prehistory. Please { } Include
30 - Springville’s 12th annual Oktoberfest, Firemen’s Park off { }do not include my name in your list of contributors.
Waverly St., Springville. 2 - 11 p.m. German car show 2 - 5 p.m. Live Austria had Roman settlements
music. Best Apfel Dessert Contest, Best German Dress Contest and 2nd all over the place. And the Romans
annual Weiner Run. www.springvillechamber.com. were usually the key to turning any
30 - 50th Anniversary Party -Scharf’s German Restaurant and Bar, settlements that already existed in-
Clinton St., West Seneca. - Music by Auslanders 8 p.m. - midnight. to cities. Bregenz, a Celtic settle-
ment (Brigantion) was seized by
2 • • August - September 2017 Rome in 15 BC. Innsbruck (Oeni-
pons) grew near a Roman army
base established at Veldidena
(Wilten). Juvavum became Salz-
burg after Saints Rupert and Ver-
gilius brought some Christian
urban renewal to the place after
Rome had fallen in the West.
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