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Annual dinner marks 175th anniversary of German Lutheran communities

Thu, Nov 15th 2018 11:50 am
The Historical Society of North German Settlements recently celebrated the 175th anniversary of the settlement of the three original German Lutheran communities and churches in Wheatfield in 1843.  
Descendants of original settlers Paul Haseley from St. Peter's; Gail Stoelting Carrier of Holy Ghost; and Dennis Sattelberg of St. Martin, brought historical items and presented a short history of their congregations.  They relayed some of the reasons for the immigrants leaving their homeland, including religious and educational freedom, and the difficult conditions of the eight- to 12-week trip sailing across the Atlantic Ocean and settling in their new homeland.
The organization runs the Das Haus German Heritage Museum in the hamlet of Bergholz.  At this dinner, it was announced that the Das Haus will be sister museums with Heimatmuseum der Stadt Brüssow/Uckermark in Brandenburg, Germany.  A certificate entitled "Kooperationsvereinbarung zwichen den Partnern," in German and English, was presented by three gentlemen: Torsten Schirrmeister, Roland Strate, and Heiko Kerner from the community of Bergholz, Mecklenburg/Vorpommern. This is one of the ancestral villages of the original settlers.
The agreement includes preserving the history of the original and connected villages of ancestors, aiding with researching ancestors and descendants, preserving and promoting the use of Plattdeutsch, a dialect still spoken by some descendants in both countries, and encouraging and assisting those wanting to visit each other's museum.   
Greetings and congratulations for the agreement were sent by Burgermeister Michael Rakow of Stadt Brüssow and Günter Trester, director of the Heimatmuseum and by Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Matthew Collard of Buffalo.
The museums will participate in a new initiative called "Wunderbar Together Deutschlandjahr USA," which celebrates the connections between the two countries. From their website, wunderbartogether.org, Deutschlandjahr will showcase how closely the two countries are linked by heritage, common values, and shared interests.

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