DEUTSCHAMERIKANISCHER BÜRGERVEREIN VON MARYLAND, INC.
(German-American Citizens Association of Maryland)
9 May 1900
8 April 1904
To strive for a closer union of German clubs, organizations and citizens of German descent in the promotion of German culture, language, gymnastics and soccer through cultural, educational, social and charitable endeavors.
|Vice President||Betty Niemann|
|Recording Secretary||Kathy Kotowski|
|Corresponding Secretary||Bill Reamy|
The DEUTSCHAMERIKANISCHER BÜRGERVEREIN von MARYLAND is an “umbrella” association consisting of eleven German-American organizations within the State of Maryland. The “Bürgerverein” represents the German ethnic community and is the spokesman of it and its members on a city, state and national level.
The “Bürgerverein” serves as a coordinating and facilitating body for its membership and the community as a whole by providing a forum for matters of concern and the “airing” of any grievances or disputes at its regularly scheduled monthly meetings. A community “Calendar of Events” is maintained by the “Bürgerverein” to prevent date and activity conflicts among its member organizations.
The “Bürgerverein” plans and promotes all major cultural and educational activities and exchanges with the primary objective of maintaining and enhancing German customs, traditions and culture within its own community as well as maintaining good relations with the German Embassy and groups abroad and at home.
While specific activities of the “Bürgerverein” may vary from year-to-year, depending upon that which is either considered timely or that which circumstances may provide, the Association generally serves as the agent for the weekly German language newspaper articles about events in which the German member organizations are involved, actively supports two local German language radio programs, and participates in the “Sister Cities Program” and the “International Week Program”, both of which are sponsored by the City of Baltimore. The “umbrella” association hosts visiting crews from German naval ships as well as other international guests, and sponsors public cultural performances by visiting musical and dance groups from Germany and elsewhere.
Periodically, the “Bürgerverein” publishes for public distribution an information handbook which lists all German-American organizations currently active in the area, whether affiliated or not. The handbook lists each organizations stated purpose, some pertinent background information and the names of its current officers; it is an invaluable resource for those seeking an organization suited to their interests!
As the Bürgerverein celebrates its 100th year, the past several years has seen the inception of a World Wide Web site. This web site makes it possible to introduce the Baltimore German community to those interested. The group has set up the Frank J. Plogman German Community Scholarship fund for students majoring in German language at UMBC. A delegation from the German community attended the inauguration of the new Baltimore City Council. Several opportunities to host visitors from Germany have been available one of which was the visit of the newest frigate in the German Navy, the Brandenburg. The Bürgerverein has also just recently hosted the German group, the Fanfarenzug Zell from Wiesental, at the Zion Adlersaal.
The primary source of funds of the “Bürgerverein” is the Annual German Festival, formerly held three days in conjunction with the City of Baltimore’s “Showcase of Nations”, recently moved to the State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD. This annual event is one of the “Bürgerverein’s largest program activities, and one of the principal means in which the member organizations promote their various endeavors; e.g., native dance and costume groups, singing societies, crafts, language and sports displays and exhibits. This is the oldest celebration of ethnic pride in the State of Maryland, being held continuously, though not as it is today, since 1900!