18 November, 2014

161st YEAR - THE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER WRITTEN IN THE GERMAN LANGUAGE

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Curt W. Kitter

Curt W. Kitter was born on October 6, 1931, in G. Schläfken (Kreis Neidenburg), East Prussia. When he was 10 years Old his family  moved to Allenstein, East Prussia.

The Russian army was within 5 miles from his home in 1944. That propmpted his mother and three sisters to leave Allenstein. They boarded a cattle box car to the state of Brandenburg. From there to Berlin, Leipzig and ended up in Oelsnitz (State of Sachsen). A short time later the US Army came to town. Curt‘s family moved, after the War ended in 1945, to Wolferschwenda in the State of Thüringen.  After a year time, Curt‘s dad and the family crossed the border one by one to the American Zone to the City of Hamm in Westfalia. A year later, Curt moved again to Lobberich (Nordrhein-Westfalen) and worked for a brick factory. From there he started the process of coming to the United States.  He arrived in New York on January 23, 1953.  After going through the process of immigration, he took a train to Detroit.  He did not speak a word of English. In Detroit, he was picked up by his uncle, Arthur MeyHofer.  His first job was working at the Mt. Clemens Pottery Factory in 1953.  At the same time he studied at the Eastside Design and Engineering Institute in Detroit. His second job was making plastic panels for the 1st Chevrolet Corvette until June 1954.

Curt married Jacqueline Philip Provost in Mt. Clemens on June 26, 1954. On July 8, 1954, he was drafted into the US Army.  After 8 weeks of basic training he left for Frankfurt, Germany. He was assigned to the 4th infantry division and was the driver for the division commander, a one star general.

Curt became an US citizen in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 28, 1955 and came back to the US in June of 1956 with an honorable discharge. Upon his return he started to work for Warren Plastic and Engineering and in 1956 for Fisher Body, at the Technical Center in Warren.  For seven years he worked in the wood, metal and plastic shops.  He continued his education to ultimately become a car body designer. In 1959 he became a Jr. Detailer in Design and Engineering at Fisher Body.  Then in 1980 Curt advanced to  Sr. Product Engineer.   He retired the after 32 years from the GM Tech Center (Fisher Body Group),  but continued  as a contract employee for GM for 14 more years and then retired from BOC in Flint. 

Curt  joined the Austrian Society in 1972. From 1973 to 1975 he worked with Ulli Edelbacher on the Entertainment Committee. From 1975 until 1993 Curt served Alex Suczek as assistant Polonaise Director of the Viennese Strauss Ball. This allowed him to introduce the young people to a special part of Austrian culture, the dancing of the Viennese Waltz.  From 1993 until 2001 he worked with Zdzislawa Gumul as assistant director of the Viennese Strauss Ball. From 1997 until 2011 Curt was the Strauss Ball coordinator.

He was elected assistant treasurer of the Austrian Society in 1975 & 1976. In 1977 he was elected Treasurer, a position he is still holding  today – total of 35 years.  He also held the job of Austrian Society Historian for the last 20 to 25 years. He is Chairman of the Golden Eagle Committee since 1995.  The honor of German American of the year was bestowed on him in 2007 by the GACC. Since 2004 he takes care of rentals in his position as Park Manager.

In 1976 he received a Certificate for participation in building a float for the Austrian Cultural contribution to America for the 1976 Bicentennial Parade in Detroit. In 1983 he was awarded the Austrian Society Gold Pin, foolowed in 1986 Golden Eagle. 1996 brought him the Golden Medaille of the Republic of Austria for promoting Austrian Culture in America. 1997 he became Honorary Member of Austrian Society. In 1998 the Austrian Ski Club honored him with the Gold Pin for 25 Years of membership.

 

 

Last modified on:02/23/2014

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