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Thread: German Legacy in the New World

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torch_Bearer View Post
    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.
    These are not my only requirements, see http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php...&postcount=170 .

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    I've asked for a definition of "German culture" but haven't really received one.
    German culture is written down in works like the Nibelungenlied, Goethe's Faust and many others, it is expressed through witnesses of stone, seen in the Residenz of Würzburg or the Wartburg or in the sculptures of our Kings, and many more, it is carved in our woods through the mere smell of our soil, and the way we used our timber, and it is heard through the songs we sing.
    Above all, it is creativity.
    We sing, write, speak, read, and listen in German, the joy we feel thereby cannot be transported through a translated text, because it is through the eyes of foreigners, and the way we think, what we can think, is determined by how we speak, because we think in our language.

    To deny language its paramount importance seems ridiculous.
    "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)

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    These are not my only requirements, see http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php...&postcount=170
    Or you could just simply say that a German is someone with German blood or of compatible blood who was raised in a German community.


    To deny language its paramount importance seems ridiculous.
    Agreed. I don't see how it's even debatable.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bärin View Post
    Bullshit. The SED welcomed many Germans in the GDR coming as refugees from East Prussia and other occupied territories.
    And like I said, many of them--some of my relatives included--had to later escape. Admit it, the DDR was a disaster for the German people and nation, and the repercussions will last generations. So, again, spoken like a true Communist, who happens to be living in Germany. Communism is un-German.


    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.
    So now it's reading, that's good. So I am a German after all. Thank you very much. Case closed.

    I'm wondering though are you not technically polluting your Germanness by understanding and communicating in English?

    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.
    Accepting "alien languages as part of Germandon"? Oh, I suggest you start reading up on the history of the German language--you're speaking a language that has been heavily influenced by "alien languages".

    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    These are not my only requirements, see http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php...&postcount=170 .


    German culture is written down in works like the Nibelungenlied, Goethe's Faust and many others, it is expressed through witnesses of stone, seen in the Residenz of Würzburg or the Wartburg or in the sculptures of our Kings, and many more, it is carved in our woods through the mere smell of our soil, and the way we used our timber, and it is heard through the songs we sing.
    Above all, it is creativity.
    We sing, write, speak, read, and listen in German, the joy we feel thereby cannot be transported through a translated text, because it is through the eyes of foreigners, and the way we think, what we can think, is determined by how we speak, because we think in our language.

    To deny language its paramount importance seems ridiculous.
    So German culture is defined by architectural works that reflected French and Italian styles, literature written by authors with conflicting or ambiguous views on Germans and Germany and who subscribed to international artistic movements?

    Personally, I think really German culture is epitomized by more provincial and conservative literature, rural building techniques, regional dialects and customs. But apparently I'm not German so I guess my opinion is irrelevant although probably quite valid.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    And like I said, many of them--some of my relatives included--had to later escape. Admit it, the DDR was a disaster for the German people and nation, and the repercussions will last generations. So, again, spoken like a true Communist, who happens to be living in Germany. Communism is un-German.
    The BRD is the real disaster for the German nation, because it polluted previously homogeneous areas with "guest" (LOL!) workers and multicultural policies which never existed in the DDR. Most Germans who fled did it because they wanted more wealth and money, not because of ethno-nationalist reasons. Fleeing to the BRD, or especially the USA, or Canada which were immigrant-friendly societies contradicts that.

    So now it's reading, that's good. So I am a German after all. Thank you very much. Case closed.
    Reading is part of being knowledgeable in the German language too. I'm curious how you could read Kant without an advanced knowledge in the German language (so obviously the ability to speak it too). Kant isn't simple fairy tales for children. With Babelfish translation?

    I'm wondering though are you not technically polluting your Germanness by understanding and communicating in English?
    I only use English to communicate with foreigners. I don't need it to communicate with my countrymen.

    Accepting "alien languages as part of Germandon"? Oh, I suggest you start reading up on the history of the German language--you're speaking a language that has been heavily influenced by "alien languages".
    That's a different thing. And some of these influences aren't a good thing. Nationalist Germans are for example making an effort to rid the modern German language of anglicisms and germanize new words.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bärin View Post
    The BRD is the real disaster for the German nation, because it polluted previously homogeneous areas with "guest" (LOL!) workers and multicultural policies which never existed in the DDR. Most Germans who fled did it because they wanted more wealth and money, not because of ethno-nationalist reasons. Fleeing to the BRD, or especially the USA, or Canada which were immigrant-friendly societies contradicts that.
    Oh, yeah, right, the DDR was an oppressive Communist regime. My relatives wanted basic freedoms, and left everything that they had behind when they escaped. And they ended up working in factories for a modest income.

    Reading is part of being knowledgeable in the German language too. I'm curious how you could read Kant without an advanced knowledge in the German language (so obviously the ability to speak it too). Kant isn't simple fairy tales for children. With Babelfish translation?
    I don't read Kant in German, or English. Actually, Grimm's fairy tales are probably more German than Kant. As are all of the books about East Prussia that I've read.


    That's a different thing. And some of these influences aren't a good thing. Nationalist Germans are for example making an effort to rid the modern German language of anglicisms and germanize new words.
    Not a good thing, but it's still part of the language that you speak, so it has a profound influence on the way you think. So you're very concept and promotion of "German culture" may in fact be all that German after all.

    If you want a more pure German language you'll have to start learning Low German or perhaps Middle Low German.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torch_Bearer View Post
    Or you could just simply say that a German is someone with German blood or of compatible blood who was raised in a German community.
    In essence, but there might be exceptions I just can't think of right now, and thus it is better to have a specific definition . It also demands to define "community", maybe true German parents are enough, or maybe not, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    So German culture is defined by architectural works that reflected French and Italian styles, literature written by authors with conflicting or ambiguous views on Germans and Germany and who subscribed to international artistic movements?
    Not solely, these were examples, but they surely are part of our culture, as are other buildings, we cannot deny that their birth came out of true German minds, and shaped our view on all things earthly for years to come (even if sometimes conflicting).
    E.g. the Faustian spirit is one of the ultimate expressions of German thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardisten View Post
    Personally, I think really German culture is epitomized by more provincial and conservative literature, rural building techniques, regional dialects and customs.
    While these factors do play a(n important) role in our culture, it is not possible to single out a few things from within a continuity of German development and let it solely define our culture.

    In essence keeping it more abstract is the best strategy to describe German culture, so: German culture is about creativity, it doesn't matter whether inspiration has been drawn from foreign sources or not, this cannot be controlled anyway.
    "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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    German culture is an emanation of the German race. A group which creates its own culture and achievements can be deemed superior. A group which doesn't lacks this quality. Importing many "German"-Colonials as parts of our nation would be disadvantageous to Germany, as they have neither managed to create their own culture in the Colonies (exceptions maybe the Amish and the like), nor maintain their old, root culture. They integrated and became anglicized. Groups like the Donauschwaben, Landler, Sudeten Germans have instead created their own local culture and customs. True German enclaves like the ones in Europe rarely exist in the New World. The WASPs instead were creators. American English could be called an achievement and the American culture is an independent invention of this group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todesengel View Post
    German culture is an emanation of the German race. A group which creates its own culture and achievements can be deemed superior. A group which doesn't lacks this quality. Importing many "German"-Colonials as parts of our nation would be disadvantageous to Germany, as they have neither managed to create their own culture in the Colonies (exceptions maybe the Amish and the like), nor maintain their old, root culture. They integrated and became anglicized. Groups like the Donauschwaben, Landler, Sudeten Germans have instead created their own local culture and customs. True German enclaves like the ones in Europe rarely exist in the New World. The WASPs instead were creators. American English could be called an achievement and the American culture is an independent invention of this group.
    You mean German Nation, not German race, right? Race is based on a biological connection with one's ancestors who have specific biological characteristics. All of the criteria that have been present for being "German" have been learned traits: reading, speaking, understanding the German language.

    I think you have an idealized concept of the Amish and their maintaining their culture. There culture, aside from speaking a German dialect, has largely been influenced by their North American environment. Also, the Amish were persecuted in Europe which is why they left, so I'm not sure they really care to be included as part of German culture.

    The Germans in North America did quite well to maintain their own culture, but you have to keep in mind that they often didn't migrate in large groups settling in specific parts of the country. They went to certain areas of the continent where there were many Germans, but these Germans were from all parts of central Europe so I don't think that there ever was enough cohesiveness to allow for the culture to be sustained. Moreover, it was only two or three generations before the First World War began, and then with the Second World War, well, good luck being distinctly German in public...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todesengel View Post
    German culture is an emanation of the German race. A group which creates its own culture and achievements can be deemed superior. A group which doesn't lacks this quality. Importing many "German"-Colonials as parts of our nation would be disadvantageous to Germany, as they have neither managed to create their own culture in the Colonies (exceptions maybe the Amish and the like), nor maintain their old, root culture. They integrated and became anglicized.

    The Germans who immigrated to America recognized that they would need to integrate into American society, and that their children would grow up as Americans. Back when most Germans came over, American society was rather decent and attractive to many people.

    The fact that you denigrate my ancestors for not creating their own culture in the colonies nor maintaining their native culture shows you have no idea what you're talking about. German immigrants brought with them much industriousness and creativity, making great contributions to Anglo-American culture and the "American experience."

    Our immigrants were plucked from amongst the best and brightest people in Europe, which is why America became (for better or worse) the most powerful, dynamic and creative society in modern times. Even Hitler acknowledged this about the American people.

    The Germans who left for Africa or South America may have stayed closer to their roots, but that's only because they were surrounded by third-world savages. The American situation was quite different.

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    Here's a little something that the LoC has put together about German-Americans; there is a link for German language newspapers, which I counted to be 110.

    http://www.loc.gov/rr/european/imde/germany.html


    Here's a short book that may be of interest; click on "Read Online".

    http://openlibrary.org/b/OL7079269M/...n-Nord-Amerika.

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