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The Deutsches Haus has a monthly free lecture series called "Coming to America." Volunteer speakers talk about their findings on topics such as "German Immigration to Louisiana" or "Researching Chinese Immigration in NOLA." Most topics involve Germans or Louisiana, sometimes both, sometimes neither... the common theme is some aspect of the immigrant experience.

On Sunday, March 3rd at 4:00 PM, our own Marti Scheel is taking a turn!

More information is below. Please consider attending this event, and feel free to invite others. The event is open to all at no charge, but there will be food and drinks available for purchase. Save the date. You don't need to RSVP, but if you'd like seats set aside for you and your guest(s) to sit together in the "Grace Section," drop an email to Charlotte Lewis ( or sign up on a sheet in the GLC Narthex on March 3rd.  Charlotte plans to arrive early to set aside a block of seats  for us. 

Regardless, it is suggested that you arrive by 3:30 if possible (no later than 3:45) to get your seat and have time to get food and drink.

TITLE: Finding Family in the Former East Germany

TEASER: As a child, Marti Scheel learned her great-grandfather Scheel had immigrated to Wisconsin from a village in Pomerania in 1880 and that the family's trans-Atlantic connection was maintained into the 1930's. Unfortunately, the story seemed to end there, due to the Depression, the 1934 death of "The Immigrant" and then World War II. But maybe some displaced German Scheels had managed in 1945 to flee westward and resettle across the Oder? ‘Snooping around’ in East Germany wasn't possible—but suddenly, The Wall came down. So in 1991, Marti went snooping…

BIO: Marti Scheel grew up in Illinois and Wisconsin, fascinated by stories of her great-grandfather Scheel's 1880 immigration and especially those of her grandparents' 6-month stay in Berlin almost 50 years later, when Grandpa Scheel represented an Illinois manufacturer, Dad attended kindergarten, and the threesome traveled to Pomerania to visit and take lots of photos.

Motivated in part by family history, Marti started learning German in 7th grade. At age 17, her persistence was rewarded when she won a Wisconsin-wide German contest for high schoolers and flew off for a month-long stay with families in Bonn, West Berlin and Munich. She went on to spend her college junior year in Munich and then receive a BA in German from Northwestern University.

After a dozen years in various careers (and detours), Marti earned a Master of Library Science (MLS) at The Catholic University of America and worked for over two decades in library automation in academic and federal libraries in the Washington DC area. She retired early to travel and do volunteer work. Volunteering in NOLA after Katrina gradually convinced Marti to move south in 2017, where the winter bicycling is a lot better and there is (usually) Köstritzer on tap at the Haus!