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View Full Version : Why Do Some People from USA, Canada, Call Themselves German, English, Etc.?



-Walküre-
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Hello everybody,

I have a question of USA or Canada residents. Why they call themself German or English when they aren't? Americans who come to Germany can't speak German and have American accent but some who are racist call themself German. Why? USA and Canada citizens should accept their colonies identities don't you think?

With German greeting,
Walküre

Veritas Ĉquitas
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:30 PM
Hello everybody,

I have a question of USA or Canada residents. Why they call themself German or English when they aren't? Americans who come to Germany can't speak German and have American accent but some who are racist call themself German. Why? USA and Canada citizens should accept their colonies identities don't you think?

With German greeting,
Walküre

Because there's no such thing as Canadian or American blood. And I don't think "colonial" is a very accurate depiction of one's racial identity.

Mrs. Lyfing
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:30 PM
Well my dear I can't answer your question as well as some others will & Oh,they will ...:).

Some people may be American Or Canadian but they may have German ancestors or family in Germany. Just because someone doesn't speak German,doesn't mean that they don't have German blood or ancestors.

I think most people here know there identities very well.

-Walküre-
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Because there's no such thing as Canadian or American blood. And I don't think "colonial" is a very accurate depiction of one's racial identity.
I am not speak of racial identity but of nationality. Americans and Canadians are Europeans racially but not nationally and culturally.


Well my dear I can't answer your question as well as some others will & Oh,they will ...:).

Some people may be American Or Canadian but they may have German ancestors or family in Germany. Just because someone doesn't speak German,doesn't mean that they don't have German blood or ancestors.

I think most people here know there identities very well.
To be German you must speak German and be cultural German, blood is not enough. They should call themself Americans with German ancestry but not German. In Germany we wouldn't consider them German.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Galloglaich
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Because it's natural for an American to dichotomize between ethnic identity and national identity. It's the result of mass non-homogenous immigration. If you ask an American if he is German, he assumes you are talking about ethnic identity.

-Walküre-
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Because it's natural for an American to dichotomize between ethnic identity and national identity. It's the result of mass non-homogenous immigration. If you ask an American if he is German, he assumes you are talking about ethnic identity.
I'm not speak of ethnic identity, please read my sentences. I'm speak of Americans and Canadians who say they are the same as Germans, English, usw. Peoplen who refuse to identify with USA and Canada and want to identify with Germany and England, but they never visited and lived there and they don't know our national problems. Sorry if my English is not good.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Veritas Ĉquitas
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:37 PM
I am not speak of racial identity but of nationality. Americans and Canadians are Europeans racially but not nationally and culturally.


To be German you must speak German and be cultural German, blood is not enough. They should call themself Americans with German ancestry but not German. In Germany we wouldn't consider them German.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Anybody living in the US or Canada and calls themselves a German National either has dual-citizenship or is a flat out liar.

-Walküre-
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:40 PM
Anybody living in the US or Canada and calls themselves a German National either has dual-citizenship or is a flat out liar.
That's exactly what I mean Veritas Aequitas. Peoplen with no citizenship who never lived in Europe but they call themself German or English usw. I'm not understand why.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Galloglaich
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:43 PM
I'm not speak of ethnic identity, please read my sentences. I'm speak of Americans and Canadians who say they are the same as Germans, English, usw. Peoplen who refuse to identify with USA and Canada and want to identify with Germany and England, but they never visited and lived there and they don't know our national problems. Sorry if my English is not good.

With German greeting,
Walküre

I read your sentences, I just started writing my reply before your second post (sorry I type slowly). I don't know any Americans who claim German or English nationality unless they actually hold dual citizenship. Most of the people I know identify strongly with being "American" regardless of their ethnicity (which they view as something separate).

Veritas Ĉquitas
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:43 PM
That's exactly what I mean Veritas Aequitas. Peoplen with no citizenship who never lived in Europe but they call themself German or English usw. I'm not understand why.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Where is this question coming from then? Give an example of people who call themselves German when they're American or Canadian?

Allenson
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 04:44 PM
What they mean is that: "I am of German heritage". I doubt very much that they mean that they are German citizens or even ethnically or culturally German.

Read it this way:

"I am of German heritage".

"I am of German ancestry".

"My family background is German".

Something along those lines.

-Walküre-
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 05:00 PM
Where is this question coming from then? Give an example of people who call themselves German when they're American or Canadian?
Some American racist who come to Germany as tourist call themself German. They say Americans, Canadians, Australians can be like German, English nationals even without nationality and birthright. Here on this forum I receive PN from Canadian who say they're English.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Ĉmeric
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 05:18 PM
Calling oneself 'American" or "Canadian" can be tricky, because of the differnet ethnic groups that have settleed in North America. Hell, in the US we have to share the American label with Negroes & Mestizos. Some persons of Anglo-Germanic stock from the colonial era call themselves American, but they live mainly in areas without racial minorities & that were not affected by the wave of ethnic Europeans in the 19th & early 20th centuries. In Canada, Canadians of Protestant British stock have always shared the Canadian label with the Quebecois & with Irish-Catholics & subsequently with a variety of other Europeans & now large numbers of Asians & Midlle Easterners.

If restricitve immigration laws had been adopted circa 1830, giving preference to English & Protestant Celts & a limited number of Germans, then Anglo-Germanics in the US might have developed a new ethnic identity as "American". The descendents of the French settlers in Canada became Quebecois because of the lack of infusion of new immigrants, allowing them to develope a sense of ethnic identity. The same thing happen in South Africa with the Afrikaners. But the continued waves of immigrants to the Us made this difficult. Even the Germans who were racially compatible were difficult to assimilate because of the large numbers that came in the mid-19th century & their tendency to settle in ethnic enclaves. And the fact that many 19th century Germans did not translate their surnames into English or Anglicize the spellings - unlike many 18th century German settlers, meant that their names still standout as German after several generations in America.

So this is why so many Americans & Canadians feel the necessity of eleaborating on their heritage. Many Americans of English heritage do not do this however. Americans of English descent have in many cases been in the America so long their is no longer a folk memory of having lived anywhere else & ethnicity to them means something other then English or Old Stock American.

Veritas Ĉquitas
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 05:41 PM
Some American racist who come to Germany as tourist call themself German. They say Americans, Canadians, Australians can be like German, English nationals even without nationality and birthright. Here on this forum I receive PN from Canadian who say they're English.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Well then the only explanation to that is their confusion and/or shame of being Canadian, American, Australian. I don't share their sympathies and I don't know of any on here who do either. I am, above anything else, a Canadian.

Imperator X
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 06:27 PM
Americans who come to Germany can't speak German


Ich kann Deutsch.

Emder
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 09:53 PM
I am not speak of racial identity but of nationality. Americans and Canadians are Europeans racially but not nationally and culturally.


To be German you must speak German and be cultural German, blood is not enough. They should call themself Americans with German ancestry but not German. In Germany we wouldn't consider them German.



There are Turkish persons living in Germany that speak the German language fluently and have assimilated into German society yet they have no German bloodline. Do you consider them Germans?

OneEnglishNorman
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 10:29 PM
Is it a big issue what people call themselves or is it an excuse to be snotty and look down at others (generally speaking).

Veritas Ĉquitas
Thursday, February 7th, 2008, 10:33 PM
Is it a big issue what people call themselves or is it an excuse to be snotty and look down at others (generally speaking).

Just some more anti-colonial garbage/resentment that some German Nationals just can't help but spout.

-Walküre-
Friday, February 8th, 2008, 04:43 AM
There are Turkish persons living in Germany that speak the German language fluently and have assimilated into German society yet they have no German bloodline. Do you consider them Germans?
No of course I don't. They aren't racially compatible to be German.


Is it a big issue what people call themselves or is it an excuse to be snotty and look down at others (generally speaking).
I'm not understand what is snotty but I think it's a big issue. When people want to be called my heritage and they're not it angers me. Self identify isn't enough, you have to be accepted or rejected by other too, that's how ethnicity is recognized. We German nationalists don't accept colonial who call themself German.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Bridie
Friday, February 8th, 2008, 05:10 AM
I'm not understand what is snotty but I think it's a big issue. When people want to be called my heritage and they're not it angers me. Self identify isn't enough, you have to be accepted or rejected by other too, that's how ethnicity is recognized. We German nationalists don't accept colonial who call themself German.

I can understand your concerns for sure Walkure.... but if you ask a question, then surely you must be willing to listen to the answer... and I don't think you're really listening as yet. I think Allenson said it best (and most concisely), maybe you should read it again :


What they mean is that: "I am of German heritage". I doubt very much that they mean that they are German citizens or even ethnically or culturally German.

Read it this way:

"I am of German heritage".

"I am of German ancestry".

"My family background is German".



From a personal point of view...

I myself say that I am ethnically English (because my family came from England and culturally, linguistically etc I am still English), and as an ethnic nationalist this is my nationality too... but my country, my home and my region is Australia. This is a HUGE part of my identity. I am distinctive from an English person who was born and raised in England... much like someone who was born and raised in London can easily be distinguished from someone who was born and raised in Liverpool. Both my ethnicity (English) and my regional home (Australian) are both important parts of my identity.

If you were to ask me to identify myself I would say that I am an Australian of English heritage.

I should not have to relinquish my English ancestry and my personal history simply because I was born and raised in a faraway part of the former British Empire. (And I certainly won't do it to appease continental Europeans who do not understand for a second what it is to be a "colonial".) However, I would never relinquish my Australian identity either. :)



Here on this forum I receive PN from Canadian who say they're English.Well, Freydis is a bit unusual in her insistence on being 100% English and 0% Canadian. :P She's the only "colonial" I've ever heard of to do this... Nevertheless, she is adorable and we love her just the way she is. :tea

SwordOfTheVistula
Friday, February 8th, 2008, 05:13 AM
I'm not speak of ethnic identity, please read my sentences. I'm speak of Americans and Canadians who say they are the same as Germans, English, usw. Peoplen who refuse to identify with USA and Canada and want to identify with Germany and England, but they never visited and lived there and they don't know our national problems.

Question for you regarding the Germans in the Habsburg Empire in the late 1800s and early 1900s who considered themselves 'German' and even 'German nationalists', despite actually living in Austria-Hungary: were these people also wrong to declare a German identity? If so, what makes them different than Americans and Canadians who consider themselves both 'Americans' and 'Germans', in the same way a Londoner might call himself both 'British' and 'English'

Perhaps another example, if you grew up on a family farm which had been in your family for generations, and then moved to the city and left your brother behind to manage the farm, you would still consider the family farm your 'home' and become upset if it was mismanaged or otherwise imperiled.

Talan
Friday, February 8th, 2008, 05:22 AM
Dear Walküre,

At birth, my grandfather cried over my Mongolian Blue Spot (a congenital marker of Etruscan descent) and promised to rear me as a European. I suggest you stop claiming to be "German" and go back to the Levant.

:mad::mad::mad:

Matamoros
Friday, February 8th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Here when you fill out a form you are often asked to put in your ethnicity. "New Zealander" is not an option, it would not be accepted. So I write "English", just like a Chinese writes "Chinese" and an Indian writes "Indian".

My blood? English. My language? English. My culture? English. This is why I describe myself as English.

Allenson
Friday, February 8th, 2008, 04:11 PM
I think Allenson said it best (and most concisely), maybe you should read it again :

From a personal point of view...

If you were to ask me to identify myself I would say that I am an Australian of English heritage.

I should not have to relinquish my English ancestry and my personal history simply because I was born and raised in a faraway part of the former British Empire.

Kind thank yous, I offer to you. :)

I could even edit out the "ethnically" part of my post and leave it at just "culturally"....although that might be a little bit slippery me being from America and all. Even though I am an American of English ancestry (amongst a few other things), I wouldn't feel particularly "right" calling myself ethnically English. I am English genetically and linguistically but not culturally.

So, does genetics + language + culture = ethnicity? I don't know the answer but this might not be too far from the truth. So, maybe I'm two-thirds ethnically English. ;) Oh but wait, what about the Dutch, German and Scot blood coarsing through my veins? :o ;)

Also, I think you Aussies are closer to an English ethnicity than us Yanks of English heritage. You know, we threw off the yoke and all. :D

That's why I call myself "New English".

Walter
Wednesday, April 9th, 2008, 01:49 AM
I am not speak of racial identity but of nationality. Americans and Canadians are Europeans racially but not nationally and culturally.


To be German you must speak German and be cultural German, blood is not enough. They should call themself Americans with German ancestry but not German. In Germany we wouldn't consider them German.

With German greeting,
Walküre

Most Americans of German descent recognise that they aren't actually Germans. When an American says: "I'm German" or "I'm Swedish", ect, they're using a kind of verbal shorthand. It takes too long to say "I'm an American of German descent". We tend to shorten our sentences for the sake of time.

My father was born in Germany. I was born in The States. Growing up, the difference between the two was self-evident. I am an American of German ancestry. My father is a German w/ US papers.

It sounds as though you have encountered some North Americans who have taken their ethnic identity to the extreme- for whatever reason. There is nothing that either of us can do about this.

Let me assure you that most of us don't. We celebrate our ethnicity, but know that we're North Americans.

heathenwolf
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009, 03:21 PM
An American that can trace his ancestry back to Heidelberg in the 1600s? What do you call us that are tired of the American hypocrisy and wish to move back to the motherland? Yes we are Americans but we wish we weren't. We are tired of the lies and trash that our government is spouting. We want to come back and be a part of Germany and Europe again.

TheGreatest
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009, 05:28 PM
The original poster was probably just a Turk. :D


He is one of those Germans who dismisses German-Americans as traitors. Even though half a million Bund members were thrown into prison or on watch during the Second World War. Similarly, there were thousands who were interned during the Great War.

That is not including the tens of thousands who returned home, in spite of repercussion and the risk of incarceration, to serve in the Imperial Army and the Wehrmacht.


The film ''Passchendaele'', based on a true story, was about a German-Canadian family during WW1, where the father died at the battle of Vimy Ridge and the surprise twist was the man died fighting for Germany, not Canada.

The film also exposed the treatment of German immigrants during WW1.

There were also cases during both the First and Second World War of Americans killing and maiming dog breeds such as German Shepards and St. Bernards, because those dogs were ''Huns''.

Germans were so ill-treated during the interwar that it became common practice to Anglicized their surnames and a lot of German traditions were stamped out and destroyed.


Even surnames which sounded German (but were not) were also Anglicized. My Norwegian Great Grandfather changed our surname into a rather boring and generic-sounding Anglo surname. I imagine had he known how America would had turned out in the present day, he would had kept it.


And there is nothing inferior about the German-Americans. It seems odd to me that the Germans bended forward when it came to integrating the Volksduestche. A lot of those ''Volksduestche'' were nothing more but ethnic Russians and you know it.

Don't tell me Alexei Miller has more German blood and is more Germanic, than a 1922 immigrant (such as my Great Grandmother) or a 1950 immigrant from Austria or Bavaria.

Nachtengel
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009, 09:28 PM
The original poster was probably just a Turk. :D
Yet the rejection of "German-Americans" as Germans among German nationalists is not alien.


He is one of those Germans who dismisses German-Americans as traitors. Even though half a million Bund members were thrown into prison or on watch during the Second World War. Similarly, there were thousands who were interned during the Great War.

That is not including the tens of thousands who returned home, in spite of repercussion and the risk of incarceration, to serve in the Imperial Army and the Wehrmacht.
Tens of thousands out of a group of millions? That speaks clearly where the loyalties of the majority laid. How do you call taking up arms against your country of origin?


And there is nothing inferior about the German-Americans. It seems odd to me that the Germans bended forward when it came to integrating the Volksduestche. A lot of those ''Volksduestche'' were nothing more but ethnic Russians and you know it.

Don't tell me Alexei Miller has more German blood and is more Germanic, than a 1922 immigrant (such as my Great Grandmother) or a 1950 immigrant from Austria or Bavaria.
We shouldn't accept either "German-Americans" who are long cut from their cultural and linguistic ancestry, nor Russians who have few drops of German blood left in their family lines. Simple as that. German-Americans are rejected because they want to both have the cake and eat it. Well, that can't happen. Most German-Americans I met want to be embraced with open arms by German nationalists although they make little effort to return to their roots. And I don't consider "German-Americans" inferior, but I don't think you can be part of two nations. Sooner or later one'll have to make a choice. Those millions of German-Americans who didn't take up arms to help Germany in the wars made it. Those who changed their names from German to something else made it.

Here is why the ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe (the Germans, not the Russian frauds) are accepted while Americans aren't:
- they speak German
- they practice German culture and habits
- they don't consider themselves part of two nations, only of the German nation.
I have no doubts someone like Hrodnand is German. He doesn't consider himself "German-Romanian". But I have doubts to accept the majority of German-Americans as part of my nation. I'm not saying there aren't exceptions. But they certainly don't make up the majority or enough to generalize. If they had, then Germany could have won WWII.

TheGreatest
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009, 10:04 PM
Yet the rejection of "German-Americans" as Germans among German nationalists is not alien.


Tens of thousands out of a group of millions? That speaks clearly where the loyalties of the majority laid. How do you call taking up arms against your country of origin?


We shouldn't accept either "German-Americans" who are long cut from their cultural and linguistic ancestry, nor Russians who have few drops of German blood left in their family lines. Simple as that. German-Americans are rejected because they want to both have the cake and eat it. Well, that can't happen. Most German-Americans I met want to be embraced with open arms by German nationalists although they make little effort to return to their roots. And I don't consider "German-Americans" inferior, but I don't think you can be part of two nations. Sooner or later one'll have to make a choice. Those millions of German-Americans who didn't take up arms to help Germany in the wars made it. Those who changed their names from German to something else made it.

Here is why the ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe (the Germans, not the Russian frauds) are accepted while Americans aren't:
- they speak German
- they practice German culture and habits
- they don't consider themselves part of two nations, only of the German nation.
I have no doubts someone like Hrodnand is German. He doesn't consider himself "German-Romanian". But I have doubts to accept the majority of German-Americans as part of my nation. I'm not saying there aren't exceptions. But they certainly don't make up the majority or enough to generalize. If they had, then Germany could have won WWII.

Well I'm speechless. How would I settle for a sad panda emote but this will do :(
Not that the Brits will consider us to be English but it does seem that most ''Americans'' in general seem to be Anglophile in their orientation.

prodeutsch
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009, 10:08 PM
Todesengel,

the only I would add is that I'll pit my Blood coursing through my veins with any real "German" such as the millions of Turks, Russians, Poles, Indians, Africans, Arabs, etc....My German language skills may not be great. but that does not make me any less German than an Iranian that can speak it flawlessly!

I thought of one more thing, I don't like the collective guilt thing and I certainly will not allow anyone to put an earlier generations transgressions on my back. It was the American mid-west that did not want to go to war with Deutschland both times. However, the elites on the east coast did. I may be slightly older than you but not old enough by a long shot to have participated in WWII.
S

Freigeistige
Thursday, May 21st, 2009, 01:27 AM
As an American, the United States represents an ideal to me, but I consider myself ethnically German. This applies to describe myself in some contexts, but it's sort of the same thing as being a woman and also a student. Ethnically, I am German, while I am a citizen of the United States. My national loyalties lie with the United States, and my ethnic loyalties lie with the Germanic people. I have no loyalty to Germany as a political entity or a physical land, simply to the people of similar ancestry.

Ward
Thursday, May 21st, 2009, 02:06 AM
Yet the rejection of "German-Americans" as Germans among German nationalists is not alien.

In the end, I think blood is what's most important, but I think that everyone would (or at least should) agree that "German-Americans" are not truly "German," and they never can be -- even if they are of pure German blood, move to Germany, learn the language, abandon all American habits, and fully assimilate into the community. Every country has its own unique psychological mindset and temperament, or "quirks" if you will, that just cannot simply be erased from minds of the people who grow up under them, no matter how hard they try.

A good example would be each nations unique sense of humor. There are some things that Germans find funny that would leave most Americans scratching their heads and wondering what was so funny. And vice-versa of course. I became aware of this because I know several German ex-pats where I live, and I also had a German girlfriend and have been to Germany several times.

Although there might be some indelible psychological differences between us, that's not to say we can't get along with each other and can't assimilate enough to be comfortable living and becoming part of each others' respective nations on a very small scale (at least with regards to German-Americans relocating to Germany).



Tens of thousands out of a group of millions? That speaks clearly where the loyalties of the majority laid. How do you call taking up arms against your country of origin?

America certainly had no business getting involved in that war, but it's not really fair to blame the sons of German immigrants who took part, most of whom had no choice since they were drafted into the army anyway. Besides, they were American citizens at that point who probably liked living in America (at that time it was a nicer place to live than today).

I would also imagine that many of those 1st or 2nd generation German immigrants who had maintained close ties to the fatherland probably did their best to be deployed to the Pacific theater.



We shouldn't accept either "German-Americans" who are long cut from their cultural and linguistic ancestry, nor Russians who have few drops of German blood left in their family lines. Simple as that.

Agreed. It's entirely up to you guys to decide, not the descendants of immigrants.


German-Americans are rejected because they want to both have the cake and eat it. Well, that can't happen. Most German-Americans I met want to be embraced with open arms by German nationalists although they make little effort to return to their roots.

To be totally honest, I have always been struck by how warmly I've been treated by Germans in real life, including staunch German nationalists. I think they know a kindred spirit when they see one. ;) However, my physical appearance blends in very well amongst native Germans, I have a good German surname, I try my best to speak the language (even if it does get a lot of laughs :P), and have studied a lot of German history, so I'm sure that has helped me.

Sadly, I agree that most Americans are too lazy or indifferent to bother to put forth any REAL efforts to get in touch with their roots.