January 2018

Dear Members of the GR Chapter of Southern California,


We hope that you had a good time celebrating with family and friends and that your new year is off to a good beginning. We are so blessed to live in a country where we have so many precious freedoms and one of those freedoms is to celebrate various religious holidays like Christmas.

All of us certainly enjoyed the festive music provided to us by the Glassando Bells at our Christmas Party! The trio of bellringers inspired us with their delightful Christmas music.

We are planning a number of informative programs for the chapter meetings this year and look forward to your joining us on JANUARY 27 at the Phoenix Club. Because of conflicts we had to reschedule the meeting to a week later than our usual meeting weekend in January.

At the January meeting we will view an interesting video, “John Biel Returns: A Visit to the Volga German Villages.” This video tells the story of John Biel, a German-Russian man living in Chicago who returns to his home village of Enders, Russia, in 1930 to film village life and the “progress” (according to the Soviet government who sanctioned the film” under Communist rule. The film shows Mr. Biel’s family and friends who remained in Russia. It covers the Volga River villages of Enders, Reinwald, Rosenheim, Krasnojar, Reinhard and Grimm. I’m sure that you will find the video very informative giving an insight as to what life was like under the Soviet regime in the years after many Germans had emigrated to other countries.

Many of you who have already renewed your membership for 2018. If you have not already done so, please do so now. The dues remain unchanged at $13 and details for renewal are given in this newsletter.

We look forward to another good year and we’ll see you on Saturday, January 27!


David Karber


March 2017


Your chapter has been able to have great speakers at our luncheon meetings. If you did not attend the last luncheon meeting on January 21st you missed a great presentation treat from our speaker, Karen Jensen, and her discussion on the Bolshevik revolution and her family’s trials and tribulations in fleeing to the United States. Now on March 25th you have the opportunity to hear Paula Garb, professor at University of California Irvine. Her thought provoking presentation will be “My Journey toward Peacebuilding: Navigating Volga German, Russia-Jewish Heritage”. Boy, what an effort to say the least. Let me take the liberty to share about Paula. After growing up in Colorado and California and completing high school in San Francisco, Paula married a Russian and lived in the Soviet Union with her family (two sons) for nearly 20 years in the ‘70s and ‘80s. On her mother’s side, she is a descendant of the Burbach and Nolde families from Baltser and Norka in the Saratov region, and on her father’s side, the Garb family, Jews from the neighboring Tambov region. At the University of California, Irvine, she is a lecturer and researcher in conflict resolution, reconciliation processes between citizens in several conflict zones of the former USSR, the Middle East, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, and Kosovo. This is a program you do not want to miss.

Other yearly activities planned include the chapter’s representation at the CDC meeting on February 25th and the Summer picnic at Bob Freeman’s beautiful home on the beach on July 8th, another venue that is a must on your calendar. You don’t have to swim; just come and have fun and eat. Thinking of fun and eating, don’t forget the upcoming annual conventions of AHSGR and GRHS; places to visit, meet, and greet your friends and ‘long lost relatives’. Yes, that happens.

We wish to thank all new and long-time chapter members and solicit your chapter interests and suggestions for future programs and activities. Again, we welcome our most recent new chapter members: Linda Finnerty, Tricia Tremper, Jeannine Stake, Helen Viviano, Marilyn Reed, and Stan & Marla Deines. If I did not mention your name, I apologize.

In closing, because of you, we have a great chapter and you all are invited to
all of our functions. See you at the March meeting.

Larry Stumpf
Co – President

September 2017

Dear GR Members,

It’s been a long time since most of us have been together!  Some of us enjoyed the summer picnic in July at Bob Freeman’s beachside home.  As you can see from the pictures in this newsletter, it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed good food and good conversation with fellow-GR’s.

Barbara Horn has written a children’s book entitled, “Sophie’s Grandma,” the first in a series of four books Barbara plans to write.  It tells of a grandma and her relationship with her grandchildren.  Of course, Sophie’s grandma is a German from Russia.  In one of the pictures in this newsletter you can see Barbara presenting a copy to Bob Freeman. The book is dedicated to Bob’s late wife, Margaret, who was a very
active member of our chapter.  Kudos to Barbara for her authorship!

Some members attended the GRHS convention which was held in July in Bismark, North Dakota, and others attended the AHSGR convention in Madison, Wisconsin during the last week of August.  We will have brief reports of the conventions at our September 16 meeting.

You won’t want to miss the September 16 meeting when a recently released, highly-acclaimed video, “Waiting for Waldemar,” will be shown.It tells the story of four children’s lifelong search for their father who disappeared during their harrowing escape from Ukraine to Germany during WW II.  The film was produced in Canada and has been shown in numbers of theaters with very positive reviews.

Also, be sure to put December 2 on your calendar when we will have our annual Christmas luncheon and enjoy the beautiful music of the bell choir of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Orange.

We look forward to seeing you at both the September 16 and December 2 meetings at the Phoenix Club!


David J. Karber

December 2017


Dear GR Members,

Happy Holidays to all. Yes it is that time of year that we give thanks with turkey and the thought of toys for tots from Santa. We almost didn’t think it would come with the summer heat some of us experienced a couple of weeks ago. However, fall looks like it has arrived and hopefully maybe winter will be upon us soon.

If you missed last meeting in September, or if you were one of the 35 who attended, the video program of “Waiting for Waldemar” was something to behold. Also at this meeting was the unveiling of Barbara Horn’s (a chapter member), children book titled “Sophia’s Grandma”. Some of us had the opportunity to purchase a copy at the last meeting. Information to purchase this book, one of four in the series, is described elsewhere in this newsletter.

Our next time to meet is Saturday, December 2 at the Phoenix Club. In addition to the great food, we will be entertained by the bell choir, “Glissando Bells” in their “Ring Christmas Bells” presentation. This should be a great program for the holidays that you will not want to miss. So make your reservation now.

Also, in addition to the raffle tickets for the white elephants, (yes, bring a white elephant if you choose to do so), will be the opportunity to purchase “Stollen”, that German Christmas coffee `cake`. So, have I wet your appetite to be one of the guests at our Holiday meeting? I hope I have. As I opened this message, summer is gone (I hope), fall is here, and winter is upon us for a festive holiday season. We hope to see you at the Phoenix Club on December 2.


Larry Stumpf Co-President

P.S. It is that time of year – dues are due.