Akron German Family Society

Akron German Family Society

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Megan Landis wins 3rd place in the Oma Abt writing contest!....Akron German Family Society

Megan Landis, a longtime member of the Youth Group at the Akron German Family Society, received such a high honor while sharing her personal story! With much pride, love, and dedication to the Donauschwaben culture, Megan tells in such a meaningful and beautiful way what her ancestors and German heritage means to her. She has been dancing with the GFS groups since she was 3 years old and has been actively dancing with the club for the last 15 years.
Megan truly enjoys her many friendships that have been made through these years.

Megan Landis
What is the future of the Donauschwaben, and what can you do to ensure the continuation of the Donauschwaben and the Donauschwaben Verein?
Our ancestors came from a long line of Catholic peasants and poor artisans, who
escaped the Ottomans, settled along the Danube River and formed a unique cultural
heritage and language. The Swabians, as their neighbors called them, later migrated to the Unites States and created organizations to bind their communities together.

"Megan performing at one of her favorite events - at the Vienna Night"

The future of the Donauschwaben rests in the hands of me and other youth to pass on the legacy of our ancestors.
At the age of 20 years old, my great-grandfather emigrated from Germany to resettle in the "Land of the Free," specifically Akron, Ohio. Alfons Frank did not know the English language, and he carried few belongings. In the late 1920s, the job market in Germany was not promising, and despite my great-grandfather's immense pride of his German heritage, he felt he would find more opportunity in the United States. Shortly after arriving in this country, be joined the Akron German Club where he met his future frau and participated in the Maennerchor - the men's choir.
After Alfons passed away, my mother decided to join the German Family Society
(GFS) of Akron to stay connected to the German community. She wanted to raise my
brother and me under the Donauschwaben influence so that we would grow up knowing
the background of our family. My brother and I have danced in the Akron group starting
as young children. The youth groups remain the most important key to continuing the
Donauschwaben Verein.
To ensure the continuation of the spirit of our Donauschwaben ancestors, I can uphold the virtues that our ancestors possessed including freedom, individuality, endurance, and integrity. I can support policies that welcome immigrants to this country, realizing that we, too, once sought the United States of America as a refuge, a place to escape the destruction of our people. I believe that part of ensuring the continuation of the Donauschwaben and Donauschwaben Verein is through allowing other religions and peoples to exist peacefully amongst our own, encouraging the liberty to practice all aspects of their culture.
I can also join with my family, friends, and our club to preserve the cuisine, songs, dances, and customs celebrated so dearly by the Schwobs. By reaching out to the whole community, including all German and non-German descendants, everyone can enjoy the Donauschwahen culture. Friendship and cheer and acceptance should be the common themes prevalent in the groups.
I can also use education as a tool to interest others in their own history. We can tell the real story about how our relatives escaped devastation in the midst of WWI and WWII or offer to teach the Swabian dialect. Finally, I can assist with accruing funds from the festivals to organize trips for members of our clubs across the U.S. to the Donauschwaben region in Germany. The future of the Donauschwaben looks bright, as long as I and others like me collaborate to ensure the continuation of the Donauschwaben and the Donauschwaben Verein.
Thank you Megan for sharing this special part of your life!

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