2015 Wendish History and Knowledge Extravaganza

The 2015 Wendish History and Knowledge Extravaganza (WHKE) was held on 14 March in the newly renovated Kilian Building. Speakers included David Goeke of San Antonio, David Zersen of Austin, Joyce Bise (our Executive Director), Wilbert Noack of Northrup, Ken Kesselus of Bastrop and Kathe Richards of Austin. A delicious coffeecake was prepared by Laurie Kasper of Serbin, and snacks throughout the day and a sandwich lunch were provided by TWHS. The organizer for the event was Weldon Mersiovsky, Vice President of the Wendish Society. There were about 50 participants and presenters.

David Goeke’s presentation included his recent trip to Lusatia, the Wendish homeland, and the strip mining that is  endangering his ancestral home of Schleife.

“The Impact in America of the Smallest Slavonic Nation” presented by David Zersen was a unique retelling of the Wendish story, emphasizing, the contributions made by Wends in America since their migration in 1854. His presentation was a prelude to the article’s publication in the Lutheran Digest in the near future. Zersen asked for input from those in attendance and others who might know of Wendish achievements in the various social spheres and contributions to life in the United States.

Joyce Bise gave a brief update on projects and needs of the museum and society.

Wilbert Noack’s informative and lively water witching presentation showed how a person, if he/she has the gift, can determine how deep water is beneath our feet by the use of a green switch from certain trees.

Ken Kesselus’ video presentation, introduced by George Nielsen, concentrated on Bastrop County and Serbin during the turbulent era of Reconstruction after the Civil War. The video can be seen online at the Wendish Research Exchange. A narrative of the presentation along with examples of violence in the Serbin community can be found in Wend Blogs, George’s Journal. The video presentation was provided courtesy of Dan Carter of Texas Video Makers.

Kathe Richards spoke briefly about the Genealogy section of the Wendish Research Exchange and then gave a highly informative and interesting presentation on the use of DNA in genealogical research.

Another WHKE is being planned for 2017. If you have a question that you would like answered, a topic you would like discussed or if you know of a presenter you would like to hear or would like to be a presenter on any Wendish topic, contact Weldon at (512) 635-6429 or use the form below.


Weldon Mersiovsky

Weldon Mersiovsky is a noted Wendish historian; author of many papers on all subjects Wendish; and special contributor to the Texas Wendish Heritage Society Newsletter.

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