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Kirchweih Fest: A Donauschwaben Celebration from Europe to America
ISBN #9780965779357
Elizabeth Walterís book, Kirchweih Fest, is a beautiful 11-inch by 11-inch hardcover, with 26 full color illustrations. The vibrant illustrations, which Elizabeth created using an etching and aquatint method, show how a Kirchweih Fest was celebrated in her hometown of Karlsdorf, and how the tradition is continued here in America.

Kirchweih is a wonderful tradition of the Donauschwaben culture. The celebration of the Kirchweih Fest took place in almost every village where Donauschwaben lived. (For a description of Donauschwaben, see our History page .) The Kirchweih celebration was brought over to America by Danube Swabians who emigrated here, and is still celebrated by young and old in a lot of Donauschwaben clubs in America.

Why Elizabeth wrote the book:

Many young people who come to the Kirchweih Fest in America donít know its meaning or history. So I decided to illustrate and write a book depicting this joyful festival.

Also, after writing Barefoot in the Rubble, which told about the horrific experiences that our people went through during and after World War II, I wanted to show some of the good times that the Donauschwaben have. This book, Kirchweihfest, shows that we enjoyed life before the war and still continue some of our wonderful traditions here in America.

The original illustrations in this book were printed by hand from etched and aquatinted copper plates created by Elizabeth B. Walter.

An etching is created by coating a copper plate with a thin tar-like layer of asphaltum. Drawing through the asphaltum coating with a needle leaves lines in the metal plate that are exposed and unprotected. When the plate is submerged into an acid bath those exposed areas are etched away, while the coated areas of the plate are protected. The action of the acid bites into the lines.

After the plate has had the lines etched into it, the second step is to aquatint the plate to add tonal variation. Aquatint uses powdered resin which is melted to the surface of the plate. There are tiny openings in this resin coating through which acid can enter. The tonal variation is controlled by covering those tiny pores with protective asphaltum painted onto the surface. The plate is placed into the acid and removed. Then more asphaltum is painted on to protect other areas of the surface, resulting in variations in the biting action of the acid into the plate. Those areas that are bitten lightly hold less ink and print as lighter areas. Those areas that were more severely bitten print as darker areas.

After the plate has been cleaned, ink is applied to the plate surface. To create a multi-hued print, several colors of ink are used. Excess ink is wiped clean from the surface of the plate, while ink remains in the etched lines and the aquatinted pores. A dampened paper is placed onto the inked plate and both are put through a press under pressure. The ink transfers out of those lines and pores onto the paper, and a print has been made!

What other readers are saying about KIRCHWEIH FEST:

"A real GEM of a book just reached me, Elizabeth B. Walter's "Kirchweih Fest", A Donauschwaben Celebration from Europe to America. Elizabeth's copper plate etchings are better than even her story teller fame! Its so charmingly done you can visualize yourself not only attending the Kirchweih festival but being the leader of the event or in Swowish the Kirchweih Herr or Frau. We are all familiar with the excellent artistic presentations of our Danube Swabian way of life by Sebastian Leicht, Stefan Jaeger and now we have Elizabeth Walter! What fortune!" ------ R.S.

"We received the Kirchweih book before Christmas and I must say you outdid yourself. No wonder it took so long to finish, but it's beautiful. Thank you for preserving our wonderful heritage." ----- Kathy and George

"THANK YOU so much for the wonderful book. I've read it twice already and really looked at the prints and read how they were made. You will be receiving my check shortly. When you do receive it please send another autographed copy of the book to me as I plan to give it to my sister for her birthday. Thank you again for the wonderful book. It is both educational and brings back lots of memories! Congratulations on your achievement!" ----- P.E.

"We have received it! Love it! Many thanks for your hard work on these wonderful books. Stories that need to be told and kept alive for history. God's Blessing." ----- T.R.

"The book is WONDERFUL!!!!!! Of course, I thought the artwork was wonderful when I first saw it! But the writing is good too! And the two together is FABULOUS! Thank you for your labor of love!!!!!" ----- B.C.

"I was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy of your new book in the mail. I read the book. I cried so much at the ending when you acknowledged your former country and then gave tribute to your new country. It was a very powerful ending. I loved the book and the celebration came alive for me and I felt as though I were right there celebrating with everyone." ----- K.M.

To order your personally signed, autograph copy of KIRCHWEIH FEST A Donauschwaben celebration from Europe to America, please see our Pannonia Press Book Purchase Page or,
Send a check or money order in U.S. funds in the amount of $20 plus $4 shipping and handling for each copy.
( For shipments to Canada please add an additional $7 each item for shipping. )

Make check or money order payable to:
Elizabeth B. Walter
Pannonia Press
P. O. Box 1062
Palatine, IL 60078-1062

To request a copy via email, send an e-mail to:


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