DAVENPORT, IOWA (October 16, 2019) — 

Pickles and Canned Goodies

Being a German American Heritage Center & Museum, it wouldn't be right if we didnt have pickles and other goods fully stocked in our gift shop. Stop by the Museum and pick up your favorite German goodie today!

Darker Side of Davenport

Do you like mystery, ghosts, and local history? Join the GAHC for our Darker Side of Davenport Walking Tours. Tours will take place during select times Fridays and Saturday throughout October. Tickets are available on eventbrite!

Freistaat Flaschenhals — The Republic of "Bottleneck", October 19, 2-3PM

Join us on Saturday, October 19 at 2PM for a talk by Wolf and Linnea Koch about the 100-Year Anniversary of Germany's "Freistaat Flaschenhals" — The Rhine Valley's Free Republic of "Bottleneck."

History is full of coincidences and accidents which may result in major consequences or none at all. This is the story of an insignificant bureaucratic mistake resulting in the declaration of a new republic inthe middle Rhine valley: World War I ended on November 11, 1918 with the Armistice of Compiègne; the 100-year anniversary of the event was commemorated throughout Europe last year. The Armistice agreement required the withdrawal of all German forces to the east bank of the Rhine, Allied occupation of the Rhineland, and Allied bridgeheads surrounding Cologne, Koblenz, and Mainz extending east of the river. These Allied bridgeheads were mandated to have a 30-kilometer radius, with British forces controlling Cologne, American forces Koblenz, and French forces Mainz.

Unfortunately, while these bridgeheads were supposed to overlap, Allied experts had failed to notice that the Koblenz-Mainz corridors did not, resulting in a narrow strip of no-mans-land shaped like a bottleneck with a width of less than 0.5 miles at its most narrow point, stretching from south of Lorch to north of Kaub along the Rhine and extending east to Limburg into the rest of Germany. The region included 11 towns with about 17,000 people, which were now isolated on three sides by the river and the Allied bridgehead borders, with no roads or other infrastructure connecting them to the rest of Germany.

While post-war shortages of food and coal existed throughout most of Germany, they became especially severe in this isolated region. As a parital solution to the escalating problem, the mayor of Lorch, Edmund Pnischeck, declared the area to be independent and proclaimed the "Freistaat Flaschenhals," the Free Republic of Flaschenhals (Bottleneck), on January 10, 1919. During the next four years, the region became the center for smuggling goods, providing a black market outlet for wine production otherwise controlled by the French and necessary staples for area inhabitants. While the French wanted to annex the region to their bridgehead, they were prevented by the US-controlled Koblenz bridgehead-administration until 1923 when they occupied the Rhine region due to a lack of war-reparation payments by the Weimar Republic.

This presentation will trace the events leading to the formation of the "Freistaat Flaschenhals," explore the years it operated as an important region for black market operations in post-war Germany during the formation of the Weimar Republic, and will finish with the current 100-year anniversary of the declaration and its impact on promoting local tourism. Information on this rather bizarre, but interesting part of the history of the Rhine Valley has been preserved in local archives in the form of photos, documents and currency printed by the Freistaat Flaschenhals.

Wolf Koch grew up in the Rhine Valley in Oberwinter, a small town dating back to 886, located halfway between Cologne and Koblenz. He has previously prepared presentations commemorating the end of World War II, the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation, and covered various local historic as well as photography topics. He and his wife Linnea travel extensively; their interest in history has taken them to many historical sites in European countries, covering the period between the Stone Age and medieval times. Locally, they have been studying accounts of the Hopewell civilization, have traveled to many mound builder sites in Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois and given many talks on the Hopewell civilization in the Rock River Valley. Dr Koch, a Sterling resident, is a consultant to the oil and petrochemical industry and has been a professor of chemical engineering. Linnea Koch, a graphic designer specializing in exhibit design and interpretive signage is an accomplished photographer.

8th Annual Cheers and Biers: Beer Tasting, October 19, 6-8PM

The German American Heritage Center is excited to bring back our 8th annual Cheers and Biers home-brew beer tasting! Come and sample a wide variety of craft beers, German Glüwein, and more! There will be modern interpretations and even traditional German recipes spanning centuries!

Home-brews will be provided by local craft brewers including MUGZ, REFS, The Powder Keggers, and Trade My Homebrew. Delicious soft pretzels and Jerry's Market brats will also be available for purchase! Live music will be provided by The Muzik Krauts! Come and enjoy some cold beer, great music, and good company at the GAHC!

The beer tasting will occur Saturday, October 19, 6-8 PM, at the German American Heritage Center and Museum.

Tickets are $10 in advance for Members and $15 in advance for Non-Members. Tickets will be $20 at the door.

Call 563-322-8844 or visit Eventbrite.com to purchase tickets

We hope to see you there! PROST!

Marine Mammals: Environmental Science in the US and Abroad, October 20, 2-3PM

Join us on Sunday, October 20, at 2PM for this presentation by Laura McCreery!

Laura McCreery will be presenting on the research that she has been part of with the Orca Survey and crabeater seal vocalization studies. She will also spotlight some of the environmental research of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, and the scientific contributions of Victor Hensen, German zoologist and pioneer of biological oceanography.

This program is included with general admission:

Adult $5 | Senior $4 | Child $3 | Member Free

Ghosts of the Quad Cities Book Talk, October 23, 6-9PM

Join us on Wednesday, October 23, 6PM, for this book talk by authors Mike McCarty and Mark McLaughlin!

Divided by state lines and the Mississippi River, the Quad Cities share a common haunted heritage. If anything, the seam that runs through the region is especially rife with spirits, from the Black Angel of Moline's Riverside Cemetery to the spectral Confederate POWs of Arsenal Island. Of course, the city centers have their own illustrious supernatural residents — the Hanging Ghost occupies Davenport's City Hall, while the Phantom Washwoman wanders Bettendorf's Central Avenue. At Igor's Bistro in Rock Island, every day is Halloween. Michael McCarty and Mark McLaughlin hunt down the haunted lore of this vibrant Midwestern community.

Mark and Michael will provide an overview of the book, share anecdotes, and answer questions. Books will be available for purchase.

Free Admission!

QC Archives Fair, October 26, 12-4PM

Do you love history? Archives? Museums?

Get excited for the 2nd annual QC Archives Fair on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Starting at 12PM, the 4th floor of this year’s host site, the German American Heritage Center, will be full of tables from various archives, libraries, and museums from around the Quad Cities area. Visit tables to learn local trivia from the unique collections of these organizations. Stick around and listen to talks from local historians. You may even win a door prize of swag from local history organizations!

Free and open to the public.

More information: https://sites.google.com/view/qcarchivescrawl/home

From Grain to Glass: The History and Science of Brewing, October 27, 2-4PM

Join us on Sunday, October 27, 2PM, as Brad Sturgeon shares his brewmaster and professional tasting skills and explains why we like some beers and ales better than others. Free samples? YES!

Brad received bachelor's (1987) and master's (1989) degrees in chemistry from Illinois State and his PhD in Physical Chemistry (1994) from the University of California, Davis. For the past 13 years Brad has been a chemistry professor at Monmouth College. In 2015, Brad and Steve Murmann opened a small (1.5 bbl) brewery in Monmouth IL called DeNovo Beverages of Monmouth LLC.

Tickets are $5 per person and are available to purchase online.

The Romantic Road and more on the way to the Passion Play — July 16-25, 2020

The German American Heritage Center is proactive in scheduling and sponsoring trips to Germany, Austria, and other related trips to members and non-members alike. For questions, contact Linda Meadors at Blue Horizon Travel and Yacht Charters at linda@bluehorizon.net OR the German American Heritage Center.

For trip details, visit our link below:

Germany Trips

Come Volunteer with Us!

We are looking for volunteers in 4 different areas: Front Desk Volunteers, Special Events Volunteers, Docents, and Building and Grounds Committee!

Front Desk Volunteers: Help greet visitors to the GAHC! Training provided. Work as little or as much as you like- scheduled days available. Shifts are from Tuesday-Saturday, 10AM-1PM or 1-4PM; Sundays, 12-4PM. Want to help only on Special Event days — let us know! Give the gift of time this year at the GAHC! If you'd like to volunteer at the front desk, contact Corey at info@gahc.org

Special Events: The GAHC holds special events throughout the year which require a larger number of volunteers to be on hand. Examples of these events are: The Best of the Wurst Sausage Competition, Annual Bier Tasting, Christkindlmarkt Holiday Craft Fair, etc. We may need assistance with ticket sales/check in, directing the increased number of visitors, etc. These are often fun but busy events and are not possible without the help of volunteers. If you're interested in volunteering for special events, contact Corey at info@gahc.org

Docents: The GAHC offers guided tours of our exhibits led by volunteer docents. Docent volunteers must have an interest in history and be comfortable with public speaking. Tours are scheduled only when one has been requested. There is no experience or specialized knowledge required — new docents will be trained by museum staff. This is a good position for anyone interested in history and museum education. If you're interested in becoming a docent, contact Corey at info@gahc.org

Building and Grounds Committee: Do you have knowledge of building issues, historic structures, or are just plain handy? The B&G committee is seeking new members to attend 6 meetings per year and help deal with the many issues that arise with a structure like ours! Meetings are on the first Wednesday of every other month at 10am and typically last one hour. Contact Kelly at kelly.lao@gahc.org

Volunteer Today

Are You a Member Yet?

In 2019, the GAHC is celebrating our 25th Anniversary. Celebrate with us by joining as a member this year! There are many benefits to membership with the GAHC. Members receive:

Quarterly issues of the Infoblatt newsletter

Free Admission to exhibits

Free Admission to many programs and events

Access to special members-only events

Discounts on classes, events, and trips

Discounts on facility rental

Want to be sure you never forget to renew? Sign up for automatic renewals online by clicking on the button below!

Would you like to save paper and receive your quarterly Infoblatt newsletter digitally? Give us a call at (563) 322-8844 or email Corey at info@gahc.org and let us know!

Join or Renew Today

Join or Renew Today

Looking For a Venue For Your Next Special Event?

Have your next gathering here at the GAHC and save big! Your rental dollars help us fund our educational programming. In addition, more people will see our beautiful event space and learn about our facility! We can help save you from the cleaning and hassle of having guests at your home. An event at GAHC allows your guest ample parking, we set up the room for you, and you can bring your own food and beverage!

We have many openings- even at the holidays! Hold your class reunion, baby shower, wedding gift opening day, potluck, anniversary party, club or organizational meeting, family board game night, graduation or anything you can think of in our gorgeous space that looks out onto the Mississippi River and Centennial Bridge! We seat up to 100 comfortably, or 150 cocktail style, and can add on Museum Tours!

Call today to speak with Corey and let us do the work for your next event! Call 563-322-8844 or email info@gahc.org

Banquet Hall

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