German American Heritage Day 2016

Under the auspices of the German Consulate General of Los Angeles
on October 2nd, 2016 – 11:00 am
At the Alpine Village CenterCelebrations
833 W. Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90502

Germans – and their Contributions to US History

an extended presentation in Cooperation with the Los Angeles Turners

Sponsorship by:         


The previous German-American Heritage Days were celebrated at Alpine Village as well:

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

at Alpine Village, Torrance, CA
833 W. Torrance Blvd., at the Intersection of Freeways 110 and 405

Click here to see photos of the event on Facebook!

And here are some impressions from 2014…

Culture and History “In A Gadda Da Vida”

GAL’s German-American Heritage Day at Alpine Village draws 1,500 Visitors

The GAL’s German-American Heritage Day attracted 1,500 visitors to Alpine Village in Torrance on October 5th to celebrate German contributions to America, as well as to enjoy the traditional foods and dances of Germany Organized by the German-American League of Los Angeles under the auspices of the German Consulate General, the event offered an Oktoberfest-style beer tent with “Blasmusik”, screenings of award-winning short-films, a retrospective on the Berlin Wall which fell 25 years ago, and an exploration of the Rhineland phenomenon known as “Karneval”, a form of pre-Lenten Mardi Gras, and the day concluded with timeless 60’s rock with a German touch.

Dressed in Dirndl and Lederhosen, the 19 member clubs of the German-American League kicked off the event with a procession. The Bluebirds proceeded with traditional German music, and Alexander Hast, Vice President of the League was MC for the event. After singing of the national anthems and The Lord’s Prayer in German and English, which he spoke together with the 2nd Vice President Susan Navarro, followed by a child´s prayer by Joa Navarro, he handed the microphone to Rabbi Mark Goldfarb of Temple Beth Ohr, which GAL-board member Carole Kulzer Brennan attends, who convinced him to participate in the celebration. Rabbi Goldfarb recounted in his speech the achievements of the Germans and German-Americans and the many aspects of positive growth in Germany. Rabbi Goldfarb’s recalling Germany winning the Soccer World Cup brought another round of cheers.

The Goethe Institute and the German-American Heritage Museum of the USA in Washington DC further contributed to the attractive program, which had something in store for young and old.

Alexander Hast extended a sincere thanks to the sponsors, Fredricks and von der Horst, Attorneys at Law, and Warsteiner beer, and handed the microphone to GAL President Theresa Volland. She welcomed the guests and Deputy Consul General Stefan Biedermann, the “Senior Deputy to Supervisor Don Knabe,” Steve Napolitano and the mayor of Torrance, Patrick Furey. Napolitano and Furey presented the DAV-President proclamations from County and the City of Torrance for German-American Day.

Evelyn Matz from Tyrolean and Bavarian Zither Club was named Heritage Queen and took over the insignia from the reigning Heritage Queen Susan Navarro. The court are the candidates together: Ellen Neu from Southbay German Club, Cornelia Zeidler from the German-American Club of Santa Monica and Alyssa Franks of GTEV D’Oberlandler.

The organization of the German schools (GASA) brought some of their children who participated in the program. Christoph Baltes said a prayer and Illana Buholzer, Ella and Tobia Biebl, Vivienne Nguyen recited poems. The Kolping Society contributed three young ladies with beautiful voices to the program at: Christina Railey, Caitlin Gist and Victoria Marrufo, whose performances elicited applause by the audience.

The German American Mardi Gras Association, GAMGA in short, brought Funkenmariechen Virginia along, who impressed the visitors with a Karneval dance that ended with a split on one of the tables. The annual Karneval (German Mardi Gras) celebration of GAMGA takes place in the Tuscany Suites in Las Vegas on 16 and 17 January 2015.

G.T.E.V. D’Oberlandler played Alphorn, cowbells and entertained the audience in their proven way before “Festmeister Hans” proclaimed the Oktoberfest part of the Party in the tent and the Bluebirds surrendered the musical entertainment to the German Aalbachtaler Oktoberfest band that still plays in the Oktoberfest tent of the Alpine Village until the end of October.

The Alpine Club House hosted the exhibitions “25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall”, Civil War and German Karneval (on loan from the German-American Heritage Museum in Washington) in addition an exhibition of artist Hans Peter Trauschke, who presented his “Seven from Heaven” and displayed one of his angels in front of the clubhouse.

Stefan Kloo from the Goethe Institute showed Oscar-nominated German short films throughout the afternoon in the Emerald Room of the Alpine Inn, which attracted many visitors. The documentation about Germaicans, by David Ritter, which was shown afterwards also found interest.

Blue2Music played dance music from 3 to 5 in the Alpine Inn for the Sunday afternoon dance, and the German musician Martin Gerschwitz introduced his own compositions from 5 to 6. Gerschwitz, well known as the keyboardist and singer of Iron Butterfly, and who toured many years with Eric Burdon, Meat Loaf, Lita Ford, and worked with many others, then joined the Bluebirds in the Alpine Village Inn for some rock songs, which, alternating with polka, waltz and other dances, enthralled the audience. The polka version of the famous rock songs “In A Gadda Da Vida” elicited applause. An interesting end to a great event.

As the German American League states, this event will be the first in a series of celebrations on a grand scale. Next year, the German-American Heritage Day will be bigger and more multifaceted than it was this year, and attract even more visitors who are interested in the background of the Germans in America and like to party. Well then, cheers. 

A look back at the history of this day of celebration: in 1683 thirteen families from Krefeld in the Rhineland landed as the first German immigrants in Philadelphia. These families founded German Town, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement in the original 13 American colonies. This event was celebrated until the beginning of World War I on a regular basis. The holiday was revived in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan officially proclaimed October 6, as German-American Day. The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, was followed by the day of German reunification on October 3, 1990, the German National Day. These two events are mixed at the German-American Heritage Day with a pinch of Oktoberfest, and celebrated together extensively.