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Loose Creek hosting 45 Germans in quadrennial cultural event

From left, Marylin Kliethermes and her brother, Glen Kliethermes, chat with Ute Geller, who recently retired after a 40-year teaching career in Lank, Germany. They were among several dozen people who attended a pool party on Sunday as part of a German Heritage Society event. The Loose Creek-based society visits its German ancestors every four years, and welcomes its German counterparts every four years. This year, about 25 families are hosting 45 German residents.

From left, Marylin Kliethermes and her brother, Glen Kliethermes, chat with Ute Geller, who recently retired after a 40-year teaching career in Lank, Germany. They were among several dozen people who attended a pool party on Sunday as part of a German Heritage Society event. The Loose Creek-based society visits its German ancestors every four years, and welcomes its German counterparts every four years. This year, about 25 families are hosting 45 German residents. Photo by Gerry Tritz.

To some, Sunday’s pool party for a group that celebrates the ties between areas around Loose Creek, Mo., and Lank, Germany, might have seemed a bit like a culture clash.

To members of the German Heritage Society, it was the perfect cultural blend to celebrate their 20-plus year friendship, and a heritage that goes back much further.

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Between 1834 and 1852, some 700 Germans around Meerbusch (which includes Lank) immigrated to Missouri, and about 400 of them came to the Loose Creek area, according to Franz-Josef Radmacher, whose interest in regional history led to the founding of the society and the partnership between the German and American cities.

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