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Thread: German Legacy in the New World

  1. #31
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    The view on language is another cultural difference. "German-Americans", "German-Canadians" and the like consider it's enough to be considered volksdeutsch without speaking the German language. I've seen many colonials who claimed to be part of the German nation but never bothered to learn German. Out of laziness, or because they didn't consider it necessary since everyone speaks English anyway. The fact is, you can't be a member of the German nation without speaking our language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bärin View Post
    The view on language is another cultural difference. "German-Americans", "German-Canadians" and the like consider it's enough to be considered volksdeutsch without speaking the German language. I've seen many colonials who claimed to be part of the German nation but never bothered to learn German. Out of laziness, or because they didn't consider it necessary since everyone speaks English anyway. The fact is, you can't be a member of the German nation without speaking our language.
    There's really much more to it, but I don't see the point in beating a dead horse. People of German ancestry number in the hundreds of millions world wide and in Germany there are only about 80 million people, not all of whom are of German ancestry. To become so arrogant as to deny Germans outside of German inclusion simply because of where they reside or not being 100% fluent really doesn't help Germany in the long run. It certainly didn't prior to 1914. Many Germans had to leave the country because of population pressures--this is still a problem today--and they did form German communities and German associations. This meant that there was a large base of potentially pro-German supporters to influence domestic politics. But Germans seem to have a penchant for exclusivity, and as is now the case, Reichsdeutsche simply can't accept Volksdeutsche as being real Germans. Even when those Germans maintained their language and tradition for centuries in virtual isolation. Only briefly did this change when Hitler came around, but this was really only for pragmatic purposes.

    So Germany is now a country that's starting to disintegrate internally from the influx of non-German immigrant; are Germans really in a position to be hostile to their own people abroad?

    Personally, though, I still find it ironic that a teen-age Communist thinks that her concept of Germaness is somehow legitimate. After what the Communists did to my Prussian homeland, and to members of my family, I will never tolerate Communism.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    There's really much more to it, but I don't see the point in beating a dead horse. People of German ancestry number in the hundreds of millions world wide and in Germany there are only about 80 million people, not all of whom are of German ancestry. To become so arrogant as to deny Germans outside of German inclusion simply because of where they reside or not being 100% fluent really doesn't help Germany in the long run. It certainly didn't prior to 1914. Many Germans had to leave the country because of population pressures--this is still a problem today--and they did form German communities and German associations. This meant that there was a large base of potentially pro-German supporters to influence domestic politics. But Germans seem to have a penchant for exclusivity, and as is now the case, Reichsdeutsche simply can't accept Volksdeutsche as being real Germans. Even when those Germans maintained their language and tradition for centuries in virtual isolation. Only briefly did this change when Hitler came around, but this was really only for pragmatic purposes.
    We accept Volksdeutsche, and they were accepted centuries ago by the German Empire too. What we don't accept is false ones. To be volksdeutsch you have to speak the German language and belong to the German identity and culture. You are either American/Canadian, or German. You can't serve two masters. Some colonials who want to be volksdeutsch want the language requirement ditched because it means one less worry for them, they can be lazy and not learn German yet still be accepted as part of the "club".

    So Germany is now a country that's starting to disintegrate internally from the influx of non-German immigrant; are Germans really in a position to be hostile to their own people abroad?
    I'm not hostile to Americans and Canadians at all. I am hostile to people who are too lazy to learn the very basics of their culture, like language, yet still expect to be regarded as parts of our nation, no matter where they come from.

    Personally, though, I still find it ironic that a teen-age Communist thinks that her concept of Germaness is somehow legitimate.
    It's not my concept of Germanness, it's the concept of Germanness that has been used for centuries in nationalist Germany.

    After what the Communists did to my Prussian homeland, and to members of my family, I will never tolerate Communism.
    That's ok, as i said I can live with that.
    A nationalist Germany doesn't particularly need the tolerance or approval of Canadians. Tolerance is an alien value to us.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torch_Bearer View Post
    That's not to say that an American of German blood can't assimilate for the most part into German society, it's just that it will take some effort on his part and he'll probably never be able to rid himself entirely of the American worldview in which he was raised. If he was married to a German woman and his kids were raised in German society, however, I think his children would end up to be basically normal Germans. So on a small scale I don't think there's much harm in colonials returning to their homelands.
    Well, many of the "Germans" on this forum subscribe to ideological worldviews that are really un-German. If my grandfathers were alive to read what the likes of Barin or some of the pagan/heathen "Germans" on here have to say about German identity, they'd no doubt be outraged. These were men who actually fought for the Kaiser and had no sympathy for the existence of Socialism and Communism in the country. Moreover, these "Germans" live in a society that is so heavily westernized and subject to non-German influences, I dare say that their notion of "German culture" really adheres to what previous generations considered "German culture". I've asked for a definition of "German culture" but haven't really received one. What more than "speaking German" is there to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bärin View Post
    We accept Volksdeutsche, and they were accepted centuries ago by the German Empire too. What we don't accept is false ones. To be volksdeutsch you have to speak the German language and belong to the German identity and culture. You are either American/Canadian, or German. You can't serve two masters.
    You mean like the Communist Party? The Volksdeutsche were never considered as equals. Especially when they started showing up in Germany in 1945.


    I'm not hostile to Americans and Canadians at all. I am hostile to people who are too lazy to learn the very basics of their culture, like language, yet still expect to be regarded as parts of our nation, no matter where they come from.
    So now it's "the very basics" is it? What exactly are the "very basics"? Now I'm thinking back to all of the books that I've read--in German as well as English--on German history, politics, and culture; the time that I've spent in Germany studying, and associating with our German friends, whether this constitutes "the basics"? No doubt you'll just keep changing the criteria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    The Volksdeutsche were never considered as equals. Especially when they started showing up in Germany in 1945.
    That is to be expected, you would observe similar feelings towards e.g. Bavarians if Bavaria were to be dissolved, and all Bavarians would immigrate into the remaining German lands.
    Even I can expect to be eyed suspiciously if I simply go to a neighboring village, and the people there don't know me, and I am not with someone they know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    So now it's "the very basics" is it? What exactly are the "very basics"?
    She already gave an example, language.
    Communication is indeed fundamental to any community.

    I am not sure what you are arguing about though, do you think someone can be German, part of a German high culture, while not being able to communicate with Germans properly on a high level?
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    I am American with German/Swiss blood, I call myself American. The term German-American or German/Swiss-American sounds silly to me. I do not speak German other than a few words that were spoken when I was a child. Yet alot of the foods we eat and our values are Germanic. That being said Germanic people and values are being assulted and we should work together to fight back.
    I'm sure that the people who want to destroy our ways of life are smiling at this thread.
    Education is our strongest weapon in this fight, if it means all Germanic people around the world should learn to speak German than lets start learning. By teaching and learning we might pull ahead in this struggle.
    As Americans we have learned to adapt to almost anything. They(who ever is try is destroy us) use that against us. We need to learn to use this as tool to stop " Them".
    I would like to see all Germanic people working to preserve all of our cultures, but maybe I'm dreaming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    She already gave an example, language.
    Communication is indeed fundamental to any community.

    I am not sure what you are arguing about though, do you think someone can be German, part of a German high culture, while not being able to communicate with Germans properly on a high level?
    Well, I think she simply means "speaking" rather than "communicating". Communicating can occur with more than one language being used at a times, and the inability to speak doesn't mean that a person cannot understand and appreciate "German high culture". Besides, most people do not use speaking for engaging in "high culture". It's easy for someone like her to hide anonymously behind a computer and make grand statements about "culture" but my guess is that her involvement and understanding of German culture is perhaps not so grand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    Well, I think she simply means "speaking" rather than "communicating". Communicating can occur with more than one language being used at a times, and the inability to speak doesn't mean that a person cannot understand and appreciate "German high culture".
    A high level communication cannot be achieved through simply "more languages", or with broken speech and writing, and without such a communication, being part of a high culture is not possible either. That is not "appreciating" a high culture, or do I get the meaning of the word the wrong way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    Besides, most people do not use speaking for engaging in "high culture".
    They use language, which includes the written form, and in thus, language is an integral part of high culture.
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    You mean like the Communist Party? The Volksdeutsche were never considered as equals. Especially when they started showing up in Germany in 1945.
    Bullshit. The SED welcomed many Germans in the GDR coming as refugees from East Prussia and other occupied territories.

    So now it's "the very basics" is it? What exactly are the "very basics"? Now I'm thinking back to all of the books that I've read--in German as well as English--on German history, politics, and culture; the time that I've spent in Germany studying, and associating with our German friends, whether this constitutes "the basics"? No doubt you'll just keep changing the criteria.
    Language is the very basics of a culture. It shapes world view. You can't understand German culture if you have poor German knowledge. To understand the characteristics of our people's minds, you have to read them in German. Reading Goethe's poems or Kant's philosophy in English is just not the same. You have to read them as a German.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    Well, I think she simply means "speaking" rather than "communicating". Communicating can occur with more than one language being used at a times, and the inability to speak doesn't mean that a person cannot understand and appreciate "German high culture". Besides, most people do not use speaking for engaging in "high culture". It's easy for someone like her to hide anonymously behind a computer and make grand statements about "culture" but my guess is that her involvement and understanding of German culture is perhaps not so grand.
    You can appreciate German high culture without being able to speak German, but only as a foreigner. A German has to speak his native language. Not all Germans speak English and resorting to communication through sign language is an inferior (and at times even insulting) way of dealing with us. If you want to be German you have to speak German, there is no way around it. There is no excuse. Americans complain all the time about Hispanics who don't speak a word English and they would never embrace them as their own. Why should we lower the standards and accept alien languages as part of Germandom? When in Rome, do as the Romans do, or keep out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    Well, many of the "Germans" on this forum subscribe to ideological worldviews that are really un-German. If my grandfathers were alive to read what the likes of Barin or some of the pagan/heathen "Germans" on here have to say about German identity, they'd no doubt be outraged. These were men who actually fought for the Kaiser and had no sympathy for the existence of Socialism and Communism in the country. Moreover, these "Germans" live in a society that is so heavily westernized and subject to non-German influences, I dare say that their notion of "German culture" really adheres to what previous generations considered "German culture". I've asked for a definition of "German culture" but haven't really received one. What more than "speaking German" is there to it?
    A lot of what Jaeger says sounds crazy to me, but I'd say he's being very generous here if he's saying that the only requirement for being considered "German" or volksdeutsch apart from blood is fluency in the German language.

    Canadians/Americans/Germans all lead relatively similar lives materialistically speaking. But there's still slight differences in our cultural temperaments and behavior. These differences between us are steadily dwindling, but subtle ones still exist, especially with respect to our cultural temperaments and attitudes.

    I'm not saying one can't integrate into the other, I just think the process for one to become successfully integrated goes bit beyond language alone.

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