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Pommersche Tanzdeel
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Pommersche Tanzdeel
Freistadt’s Art Form

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Pommersche Tanzdeel Freistadt

Pomeranian Dance, Music and Song
Freistadt, WI


17th century: the years 1600-1699.
Accurate: Correct.
Choreograph: (sounds like, KORE-e-o-grafs) To design or arrange.
Components: Parts
Context: Situation, circumstance.
Documentation: Records.
Ensemble: (sounds like, on-SOM-bull) Group.
Freistadt: (sounds like, FRY-schtott) free city.
Host: To receive and entertain others.
Lutheran: A member of the Protestant Christian religion Lutheranism.
Lures: To attract.
Lyrics: (sounds like, LEER-icks) Words of a song.
Performing art: Art performed before a live audience.
Personal identity: A person’s understanding of himself or herself.
Pomerania: a region in Europe along the Baltic Sea. It used to be part of the Prussian Kingdom, and then part of the German Empire. Now it is a part of Germany and Poland.
Pommerntag: An annual festival to celebrate Pomeranian culture held in Mequon, Wisconsin.
Pommersche: (sounds like, PUMM-sheh) Pomeranian.
Popularity: Regard, reputation.
Reenact: (sounds like, ree-en-ACT) To act out a past event.
Replica: A copy of an original item.
Revive: (sounds like, ree-VIVE) To make alive again.
Strive: To try very hard; to make every effort.
Suite: (sounds like, SWEET) A group of connected things, like songs or dances, that together become a unit or collection.
Tanzdeel: (sounds like, TONTS-dale) Dance group
Tracht: (sounds like, TRAHKT) The clothing of a particular group of people at a particular time in history.
Translation: The meaning of a word in another language.
Troupe: (sounds like, TROOP) Performing group.

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Journal Questions

QuestionHave you ever had a really good idea on the bus? What was it? Did you make your idea happen?

QuestionIs a part of your personal identity connected to your ethnic heritage? Do the foods you eat, the songs you sing, the holidays you celebrate, or the games you play come from your ethnic heritage?

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Resources For Teachers

Web ResourceThe Pommerscher Verein Freistadt, or Pomeranian Society of Freistadt, is one of the three Pomeranian groups in Freistadt. Their site tells about the Society and upcoming events, and supports genealogical research for Pomeranian ancestors. It is available in German also.

Web ResourceThe Max Kade Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is an excellent resource for German-American studies. They provide special resources for educators, including workshops and lesson plans. Look for their on-line articles about German-American Wisconsin history, such as Some German Contributions to Wisconsin Life by Lester W. J. Seifert (1983).

Web ResourcePomeranian History by Myron Gruenwald is an article that traces this history from Europe to the United States, including Wisconsin.

Web ResourceFor archival research, see this listing of the holdings on German Americans in Wisconsin held by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee library.

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Resources For Students

Web ResourceThe oldest Lutheran church in Wisconsin was founded by Pomeranians in Freistadt in 1839. Learn more about the church’s and community’s history in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper article, “At Trinity, History is Family.”

Web ResourceWant to see what the annual Pommerntag celebration in Mequon looks like? Then take a look at these photos taken by Mark Justesen.

Web ResourceThe Pommersche Tanzdeel Freistadt performs at the annual Holiday Folkfair International. This is a very popular event in Milwaukee; about 45 different ethnic groups participate, sharing their culture in interesting ways.

Web ResourceInterested in Pomeranian food traditions? The Wisconsin Gardener, a show on Wisconsin Public Television, aired a program on historic Pomeranian gardening traditions. Read the transcript here for An 1880’s Historic Ethnic Garden.
The show was filmed at one of the Pomeranian houses in Old World Wisconsin, in Eagle. Have you ever visited there? It’s a great place to learn about Wisconsin’s immigrant traditions! Go on a virtual tour of the 

Web ResourceMilestones in Pomeranian History outlines the history of Pomerania from 1200 BC to 1991.

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Text written by Jamie Yuenger, edited by Anne Pryor.

Sources consulted include phone interviews with George Radtke by Jamie Yuenger (September 2002), The Atlas of Ethnic Diversity in Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1998; Pomeranian Customs and Culture by Pommerscher Verein Freistadt: Germantown, WI, 1986 (housed at Max Kade Institute).

Sound clips from Sie Haben Die Musik Nicht Vergessen! by Pommersche Spadeel Freistadt (compact disc).

Map “Provinz Pommern 1939” used with permission of creator, Gunthard Stübs: http://hinterpommern.de/.

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Wisconsin Folks

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Tanzdeel Freistadt



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