"Ted" & Zita Siegmund
Dr. K. “Ted” Siegmund and his
Pembroke, Ontario, Canada
Photo taken in 1988
There are many “unsung heroes” among the thousands of
Donauschwaben scattered throughout 4 continents.
They are working quietly to keep alive their local Societies,
writing poems, songs, books, filming their grandparents’ stories of
life in the Camps for viewing on FaceBook or a Web Site - knowing full
well, if they don’t tell the Story, no one will.
“Heimatliebe” (the love of the Homeland) is still strong;
and despite the gratitude to their new homes and new countries, their
hearts still dream of the Danube Lands they were forced to leave.
One such Unsung Hero was Dr. Siegmund.
Allow me to give you a brief, but belated Obituary tribute.
I received a telephone call from Ted in 1984, probably Frank
Schmidt referred him to me. He
was excited to know that a woman in Australia had written a book, in
English, about her experience in Mitrovitca - one of the larger Camps
in Yugoslavia. He begged
me to find any others and offered to buy 20 to 50 copies of each of
them to send to University Libraries in the U.S. and Canada.
Well, who could say “no” to such a generous offer?
I met Traudie Muller Wlossak at the home of Mike Stoeckl in
Chicago. She had brought
with her 100 copies of her book. So
with Mike, Dr. Siegmund, Traudie and Frank Schmidt (all from Kernei)
we got to work. The good
doctor sent the money for
the books and the mailing costs: The Whip, My Homecoming (Traudie’s);
In the Claws of the Red Dragon by Father Wendelin Gruber; The Innocent
must Pay by Maria Horwath Tenz; Danube Swabian People with Portable
Roots by Katherine Stenger Frey. We
also obtained Nemesis at Potsdam by Professor Alfred de Zayas.
Mailing the books (mostly to Universities with East European
Studies Departments) was my assignment.
These were the only books available at the time (in English) on
the Camps and Expulsions. Sadly,
we learned that some of the Nemesis books (by de Zayas) mysteriously
disappeared. This was in
the same time Libraries had not yet used micro-chips to keep such
things from happening - OR, there may be other reasons they were
Not wishing to be responsible for such large amounts of money -
I sent the Doctor all the receipts of purchases and especially, all of
the acknowledgements from the Acquisition Departments of the
Libraries. He did not
require proof of purchases, but I felt more comfortable with providing
him with proper fiscal reports to show how his money was spent.
His wife kindly put all of the Acknowledgements into a neat
Binder - and I wonder where it is now.
We have learned (I think, last year) that Dr. Siegmund and his
wife, were generous and thoughtful enough, and trusting, to leave
instructions to bequeath a very large sum of money to be divided by
the U.S. and Canadian Associations (the Landesverband). He
would be thrilled to know that the book by Adam Mueller Guttenbrunn
(The Great Swabian Migration) was recently superbly translated and
published and is now selling well.
I believe (excuse me, if I’m wrong, that the cost of this
project was met by the Stiftung.)
Traudie and I often talked (on the telephone, not Skype, or
-email, in those days) and hoped that someday his dedication would be
acknowledged by a Dr. K. Siegmund Literary Scholarship or something
akin to that title.
I must add, that I was personally shocked and surprised to find
a large carton on my porch one day - a shipment from Germany of 300
copies of Traudi’s book, now translated into German - and in hard
cover, and a call from Ted a few days later, explaining: “please
sell what you can and send the money to Traudie”.
We were able to sell 200 and donated the remainder to the
Stiftung to do with as they wished - in other words, she gifted them
to the Foundation.
I will never know if Ted’s generosity was acknowledged in is
lifetime, but he was so modest, never asking for a thank you.
For all those of you who knew him and those who did not - this
is my “Thank You” on behalf of all of us (I must say, I was
curious to see how much he had spent for all those 300 books.
Of course, he would never tell, but Zita did, very quietly, and
it was close to $10,000.00!!!) Oh
yes, he certainly deserves a scholarship named after him.
What do you think?
(Still a Danubian)
Konstantin Siegmund Memorial Award
Awarded to students entering the
3rd year of the B.Sc.N. program who demonstrate
kindness, caring, and compassion when dealing with
patients and their families in all circumstances,
and demonstrates financial need.*
DR. KONSTANTIN SIEGMUND MEMORIAL
AWARD – 2 bursaries available in the amount up to
Awarded to two full-time students
currently in their 3rd Year of the Bachelor of
Science in Nursing Program, Pembroke Campus.
Award Criteria: The applicant
must demonstrate the following criteria:
• Student must demonstrate
• Student should exhibit
kindness, caring and compassion when dealing with
patients and their families in all circumstances.
Zita Siegmund Obituary
August 27, 1914 to
September 5th 2010
Adela Zita - Peacefully at Marianhill on Sunday,
September 5th, 2010 in her 97th year. Adela Zita
Siegmund (nee Radicevic) of Pembroke, beloved wife
of the late Dr.Konstantin "Ted" Siegmund.
Visitation at the Neville Funeral Home, 491 Isabella
Street, Pembroke on Saturday, September 25th, 2010
after 9 a.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our
Lady of Lourdes Church, Pembroke on Saturday,
September 25th, 2010 at 11 a.m., followed by
cremation. Online Condolences may be left at www.nevillefuneralhome.ca