Leo Mayer honored with the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Consul General Dr. Stocks presented Leopold Mayer with the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 . Mr. Mayer, was awarded the Cross by German President Horst Koehler, in recognition of his more than 40 years of dedication to retaining and promoting the Danube Swabian culture locally in Southern California as well as on the national level.

Leopold Mayer was born on June 1, 1939 in Franztal, in the former Yugoslavia . In 1944, at the age of 5, he and his family had to flee his native town. They first settled in Austria and spent ten years there. Then the family immigrated to the United States , settling in California . After finishing college, Mr. Mayer started his career as an electrician with IBM.

His first involvement with the various Danube Swabian organizations was as a soccer player in 1964. A short three years later, he took on more responsibility as a representative and secretary of the organization “Danubia”. Leopold Mayer went on to become a board member of the Danube Swabian dance group. Under his presidency from 1987 – 1997, the dance group grew to become quite successful. Since 1997, he has been serving as President of the Danube Swabian Association of Southern California and since 1999 to the present, the President of the Danube Swabian Association on the national level for all of the United States .

Under his tutelage as president, the different sectors of the Los Angeles Danube Swabian dance group have grown impressively in numbers with dancers ranging from the very young to adult level. With performing their folk dances, the dance groups keep their ancestors’ customs and traditions alive while at the same time passing them on to the next generation.

Leopold Mayer has not only dedicated his life to keeping the Danube Swabian traditions alive, but also to fostering international awareness and understanding. To further these goals, he has travelled to many countries such as Germany , Austria , and Hungary . In meeting with representatives of the Hungarian Government, he helped to facilitate dialogue between the officials and the ethnic group of Danube Swabians residing there. In 2000, he took part in talks with government officials of Serbia/Montenegro to build new bridges of understanding, resulting in the establishment of German kindergartens.

Donaus Schwabian

Leopold Mayer Honored with Cross of the Order of Merit

Donaus Schwabian

February 13, 2007

(C) Photos Courtesy German Consulate General, Click photo to enlarge


Christine Stocks and Leopold Mayer


Leopold Mayer, his brother and Consul General Stocks


Consul General Stocks pins on the Cross of the Order of Merit


Mrs. and Mr. Leopold Mayer and Consul General Stocks with certificate


Consul General Stocks congratulates Leopold Mayer


Leopold Mayer and family members

Mayer family members, Mr. and Mrs. Stocks

Leopold Mayer and Rev. Hermann Josef Rettig

Leopold Mayer and Katharina Nysten

Guests mingle at reception

Resi Lengsfeld, Pres. German-America League, and Leopold Mayer

Board Members of the Danube Swabians