July 2017 Jefferson Award Winner: DuWayne Zamzow

DuWayne Zamzow is proud of his Pomeranian heritage. For his volunteers efforts he is being recognized with a Jefferson Award.

Zamzow and his brother co-founded the Pommerscher Verein of Central Wisconsin.

Members of the cultural group trace their lineage to the former Pomeranian region of Germany, which became part of northern Poland after World War Two. 

Thousands of them settled in Marathon County, many in the Town of Berlin. 

"We have an appreciation and want to show and enjoy doing things our ancestors did and keep those things alive," Zamzow said.

To do that group members share their folk dances at parades and cultural festivals. Plus, they hold monthly meetings and speak Plattdeutsch or Low German.

In the Berlin Town Center they have a museum filled with pictures and artifacts and a library to trace local genealogy. 

"The theme of this whole operation and two rooms in this building is all volunteer work," librarian Laurel Hoffmann said.

So the area’s settlers aren’t forgotten, the group raised money to buy a granite memorial with paver bricks.

There is also a state historical marker, a short walk from the intersection where our story began, the heart of Marathon County’s Pomeranian settlement.

"I love history and I think it is so important to leave for the generations after us," Zamzow said.

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