History of L'Union Alsacienne
February 19 th, 1871
L'Union Alsacienne of New York was founded by Arbogaste Adam, George Kumpf, Edward Merklen, Emile Hirle and Francis A. Schilling.
“ Most naturally, the early days of the society were troublesome and indeed stormy ” wrote Gustave E. Gerrer in 1931, historian for L'Union Alsacienne.
“ But under the steadying hand of George Kumpf, the first President, and his successors in office, Francis A. Schilling, Louis Jaeck, Laurent Specht, J.D. Rodelsperger, Louis Spach and Antoine Steinmetz, the ship of state was brought into calmer waters. At this point, our tour through the Hall of Time is interrupted. The great gap in our history is explained by the fact that nearly all records up to 1909 were destroyed by fire, a calamity deeply felt by all “.
December 4 th , 1935
The original Certificate of Incorporation of L'Union Alsacienne Inc. was filled with the State of New York. The subscribers to the Certificate, Carlos Stoetzel, Eugene Rihn, Gustave Senft, Peter Anthon and Camille Riss stated that the purpose for which the association was founded is:
“To promote fellowship among its members, who shall be men born in Alsace, or of Alsatian parentage; to engage and participate in social, cultural and benevolent activities, and in matters of general or public interest or welfare; to assist such members as may become sick or needy, or the family of a member, upon the decease of a member or his wife ”.
1965: 94th anniversary of L'Union Alsacienne
Under the auspices of the hononary president Mr. Michel Legendre, General Consul of France in New York, the dinner dance of l'Union Alsacienne commemorated the 94th anniversary of the association as well as the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Alsace.
At the dinner held February 27th at the Sheraton-Atlantic, President Albert Halm presented the Gold Medal to Mr. Florent RISS from Rosheim (67), a member of the association for over 40 years and awarded the Silver medal to Mr. Emile and Marcel FOUR of Chatenois, for 25 years of service.
Also in attendance at the function were : James O'BRIEN from the Mayor's Office of New York, Georges ITTEL, President of the Central Committee of the French Associations, Mr. William LEIBU, President of the French Israelite Society, Mrs. Germaine MORIN, President of the Alsatian Ladies; Mr. Gaston HERTRICH, President of the Philantropic Culinary Society; Mr. Jean RUEFF, former President of the Central Committee; Mr. and Mrs. MICHELETTI, delegates from the Corsican Association; Francois and Eugene VONTHRON, loyal flag bearers of l'Union; Henri MAYRAN, the representative of Vins d'Alsace Boeckel.
See picture in the picture gallery.
1968: 97th anniversary of L'Union
More than 100 people gathered at the Sheraton-Atlantic hotel in celebration of the 97th anniversary of the foundation of l'Union Alsacienne and also the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Alsace-Lorraine in 1918. The Gold Medal honoring 40 years of service was presented by President Victor SCHAUNER to Jean TCHENN, Antoine SIMONIS and Virgil FUHREL. The national anthems were sung and dancing went on until one o'clock in the morning to the music of the orchestra of Mr. Le Roy Weill, former president of the French Israelite Society.
1971: Celebration of 100th anniversary
See picture in the picture gallery.
2001 : New Constitution and By-laws
Under the Presidency of Christian Rolling, the Constitution and By-Laws were revised in 2001 and unanimously adopted by the members present at Dec,8 2001 Christmas dinner. Ad Hoc Committee on By-Laws was composed of Christan Rolling, president; Richard Emmich, Vice-President and treasurer; Claude Zeller, Trustee; Florence Zeller, Secretary; Jean Claude Bayle, Trustee and Sonia Schmitt, Trustee; with the participation of Michel Beck, Bruce Boeglin, John Elser, Blythe Kropf and Jean Pierre Stoehr. L'Union Alsacienne is now a non-profit organization and since November 7, 2005, registered with the New York State Attorney General pursuant to ARTICLE 7-A of the EXECUTIVE LAW (Article 7-A) and SECTION 8-1.4 of the ESTATES, POWERS AND TRUSTS LAW (EPTL).
New Website in 2005
With the creation of a new website in 2005, members and Alsatians from all over the world can have access to L'Union Alsacienne activities. In the future, together we will play a better role in this international network of Alsatian through the world.
Former Presidents of L'Union Alsacienne
1909-1910 : Achille GEIGER
1911 : Paul MATHIS
1912 : Michael MAURICE
1913-1918 : Alfred FUERST, creator of the Fund for the widows and orphans of Alsatians killed during the WWI
1918-1920 : Louis ROUSSELOT
1920-1925 : Celestin WEIGEL
1925-1937 : Carlos M. STOETZEL, credited for the creation of a monthly Bulletin, the adoption of the first emblem and the founding of the Ladies Auxiliary
1937-1939 : Joseph M. FRIEDRICH
1939-1941 : Raymond J. JENNY, founder of the War Relief Fund for Alsatian Refugees
1941 to 1966 : Albert J. HALM, instaured the annual pilgrimage to the Statue of Liberty
1966 to 25 August 1974 : Victor SCHAUNER
25 August to 9 September 1974 : Yvan CHAMSER
From October 1974 to 23 November 1975 : George BELOW, Trustee and Acting President
1976 to 1984 : Alain DICK, Honorary President, responsible for the incorporation of the Ladies Auxiliary
1984 to 1988 : Robert SCHMITT, Honorary President
1988 to 1994 : Sonia SCHMITT, Honorary President and first woman elected to the highest Office
1994 to 2006 : Christian ROLLING, Honorary President
2006 : Thierry KRANZER
2007 to 2012 : Catherine ZWINGELSTEIN, second woman to the highest office, first from Haut-Rhin
2012 to today : Thierry KRANZER