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German veterans found support in Syracuse society

        f there is one thing I love about                           George M. Merschroth of St. Paul's                           diers  fighting  in  the  Great  War.
      Imy local American Legion is the                              Evangelical   Lutheran   Church,                             Since America was still uncommit-
      amazing  dinners  it  holds  every                            “mayor of the North Side” William                            ted to either side of the war, politi-
      month. They usually have a pretty                             Mirbach, Turn President Valentine                            cians such as Syracuse mayor Louis
      good fish fry but they have recently         GREGORY          Schilly,  and  Dr.  Francis  E.  En-                         Will and former mayor Thomas Ry-
      started  doing  a  plate  of  German         WITUL            gelhardt each spoke at the event.                            an each contributed $100.
      brats  with  coleslaw.  While  the                              When the city of Syracuse held                                As  America  joined  the  Allied
      American Legion is made up of vet-                            its first Deutscher Tag in 1908 the                          Powers  and  the  veterans  began  to
      erans to better the lives of American                         veterans of the 1870 war were front                          push into their ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s,
      veterans, similar societies existed in  ety  percolated  at  the  end  of  the and center in the day’s parade. As          the German Veterans Society effec-
      the  German  community  for  their  1800s,  the  first  official  event  they part of the first division, the former       tively disbanded. After the war the
      veterans.  In  Syracuse  the  German  took part in was the golden jubilee soldiers were sixth in line riding in            handful  of  Franco-Prussian  War
      Veterans Society was a social orga-  picnic  and  parade  of  the  Syracuse decorated carriages and only behind            veterans and the German-American
      nization  made  up  of  the  veterans  Turn Verein in July of 1904.  Goettel's  band,  the  Knights  of  the and  Martin  Birklin  past  away,  a Civil  War  veterans  would  get  to-
      and for the veterans of the Franco-  Once organized, the group held Cross, the Knights of Holy Trinity, leading indicator of the membership gether at Turn Hall to share stories
      Prussian War.                  their meeting at Gang’s Hall at the the  officers  of  the  German  bund, loss  that  would  only  accelerate  in and spend time with others who saw
         Fought from July 1870 to Janu-  corner of Catawba and North Salina, and the keynote speakers.  the coming years.        the horrors of war firsthand. While
      ary 1871 between the North German  near  Assumption  Church.  There  In 1910, Jacob Buck was elected  Even as their numbers were di- most of the Syracuse veterans were
      Confederation and the French Em-  they would celebrate their glorious captain  and  president,  with  John minishing  the  veterans  were  still gone  by  the  1930s,  Karl  Glockner
      pire, the six month conflict sped up  victories such as the Battle of Sedan Doll  as  treasurer,  August  Stack  as very active in the greater German- would be the last German army vet-
      the German unification process and  where  Emperor  Napoleon  III  was colonel, and Carl V. Viola as major. American community. In 1914 the eran  of  the  Franco-Prussian  War
      helped  give  birth  to  the  German  captured,  or  just  get  together  to That same year longtime members men were able to raise $50 for the passing in 1953 at age 107.
      Empire. As the veterans of the war  swap war stories.         William Webber, Sebastian Heckle, widows and orphans of German sol-
      left  Europe  for  America,  many  For larger events, the almost 100
      formed societies to relive their glory  members of the society and the rest
      days and organize for the benefit of  of  the  community  would  gather  at  Christkindlmarkt featured homemade goods
      the  members  who  were  down  on  the Turn Hall for celebrations. One
      their luck. The local group in Syra-  of  the  largest  was  the  1904  Pio-    from page 1  tion  of  Christmas  during  the  four Nuremberg  and  Dresden  markets
      cuse  organized  around  the  turn  of  neers’  Dinner  which  was  held  for                weeks  of  Advent.  These  markets draw about two million people each
      the  twentieth  century  and  named  the German veterans and those who  "It's  been  a  really  fun  experi-  originated in Germany, but are now year;  the  Stuttgart  and  Frankfurt
      themselves  the  German  Veterans  were  in  America  for  at  least  35  ence,"  said  Kerrie  Matyjas-Buell,  held in many countries. Christmas markets attract more than three mil-
      Society. While inklings of the soci-  years.  Led  by  toastmaster  Rev.  whose business has been in opera-  markets  date  to  the  Late  Middle lion visitors.
                                                                    tion for the past seven years, based
                                                                                                   Ages in the German-speaking part  The two most visited Christmas
                                                                    on College Parkway. "We have all  of Europe and in many parts of the markets  in  Germany  are  found  in
                                                                    kinds  of  pickles,  and  those  in  the
                                                                                                   former  Holy  Roman  Empire  that Dortmund, with more than three and
                                                                    community  seem  to  like  what  we  included  many  eastern  regions  of a half million visitors of 300 stalls
                                                                    have to offer."
                                                                                                   France. They became a popular Ad- around  a  gigantic  Christmas  tree
                                                                      Brad  Olmstead's  Belov'd  Cre-  vent  custom  during  the  Reforma- that stands 148 feet tall, and in Co-
                                                                    ations specializes in custom wood-
                                                                                                   tion era.                     logne with 4 million people. Addi-
                                                                    working  and  hand-made  crafts,
                                                                                                      Famous Christmas markets are tionally,  the  City  of  Berlin  claims
                                                                    based in Silver Creek. 2022 marked
                                                                                                   held  in  the  cities  of  Augsburg, more than 70 markets, which open
                                                                    the first time Belov'd has been at the
                                                                                                   Dresden, Erfurt, Frankfurt, Nurem- in late November and close just after
                                                                    market, and Olmstead described the
                                                                                                   berg,  and  Stuttgart,  making  them Christmas.
                                                                    experience as rewarding.
                                                                                                   popular  tourist  attractions  during
                                                                      "We've  been  around  for  just
                                                                                                   the Christmas holiday season. The
                                                                    over a year, and this kind of market
                                                                    is  something  that  really  brings  the
                                                                    community out," said Olmstead.
                                                                      Gnomes, coasters and other Buf-
                                                                    falo-themed goods were said to be
                                                                    top sellers for his business.
                                                                      Nicole Crawford, who operates
                                                                    Penelope's Treats in Lancaster, said
                                                                    the  event  hits  especially  close  to
                                                                    home and heritage, with her family
                                                                    ancestors  originating  from  the  Al-
                                                                    case-Lorraine  border  area  between
                                                                    France and Germany. Crawford said
                                                                    she enjoys German-themed and his-
                                                                    torical events, with the 2022 Christ-
                                                                    kindlmarkt   being   the   second
                                                                    consecutive  year  Penelope's  has
                                                                    been a vendor.
                                                                      "We  absolutely  loved  it  last
                                                                    year,  and  this  year  is  more  of  the
                                                                    same,  a  tremendous  event,"  said
                                                                    Crawford, whose business is unique
                                                                    in that its dog treats contain no sug-
                                                                    ars  or  preservatives  and  are  hand-
                                                                    made,  using  natural  peanut  butter
                                                                    and other ingredients. "We  devel-
                                                                    oped our goods in a healthier way
                                                                    than  (traditional,  current  pet-food
                                                                    distributors)."
                                                                      Three Chord Bourbon has been
                                                                    visible at various community events
                                                                    over  the  past  few  years,  including
                                                                    the market as well as the Hamburg
                                                                    Oktoberfest.  Its  blended,  easy-to-
                                                                    drink style is described as popular
                                                                    with  liquor  connoisseurs,  with  the
                                                                    bourbon creme flavor being a win-
                                                                    ter-cold weather favorite.
                                                                      For  more  information  on  the
                                                                    Christkindlmarkt  at  Hofbrauhaus
                                                                    Buffalo,   visit      www.hofbrau
                                                                    hausbuffalo.com or call (716) 939-
                                                                    2337.
                                                                      A  Christmas  market,  is  said  to
                                                                    be also known as Christkindlmarkt
                                                                    –  or,  Christ  Child  Market,  but  the
                                                                    term "Christkind" usually refers to
                                                                    an  angel-like  "spirit  of  Christmas"
                                                                    rather than literally the Christ Child
                                                                    and  Weihnachtsmarkt  –  is  a  street
                                                                    market associated with the celebra-
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