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Thread: The German Americans: An Ethnic Experience

  1. #131
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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Thumelicus
    Passive submission is unbecoming of anyone. Someone needs to remind you that we don't all want "peace at any price". This thread suggested to me that some of you were getting the wrong idea.
    It isn't an issue of passive submission: but assimilation. The real issue is Anglophobia - which can manifest as a hatred of 'White America'. The needless and artificial rivalry between Anglo and Germanic is pointless, and serves the good of neither (and, if an Anglo is in Germany, best he assimilate there as well.)

    I'll remind you that I've already posted the law on who is or isn't German.
    Yes, which is what I quoted on my original post on this thread: from FRG immigration law (from which, I understand, I could make a case for dual-citizenship - something I would not follow through on because of principle.)

    My viewpoint probably wouldn't shock you as much as it apparently does.
    Shock? No. Annoy? Yes. Victim mythology is about one of the most annoying things. So is Anglo Germanophobia (England's historical rival was *never* Germany), or German Anglophobia (same true as for England.) Add to it that the behavior of Moderns with losers writing the history, 'minority rights', ghetto culture (ethnic enclaves trying to live outside of the reality of the society around them) - *immenently* frustrating. The point being, until the creation of the 'Multi-Cult' - German immigration to America was not to create 'German ghettos', 'German minorities', or to make 'German North America'. They knew they were coming to an Anglo country, and put their loyalty there (including learning the laws, folklore, customs, language, etc.) Such a choice was neither passive (quite the contrary), nor 'submission' in the negative sense.

    I should point out *why* German immigrants were preferred by the Anglo colonies here in America: they were considered far more assimilable to English culture in sharing a sense of cleanliness, order, responsibility, industriousness... America was fully aware of its Anglo-Saxon-ness from the beginnings, and fully aware that the Anglo-Saxons came from Germania (consider Pres. Thomas Jefferson, who traced American ideas of liberty and freedom back through the Anglo-Saxons, to the heroic Saxon life in the woods of Germany.) Other than Hessian mercenaries (emphasis on mercenaries), America always had a solidly Anglo pro-German approach (which is why we modeled our Army and Education on Prussian models - while we were yet still a solidly Anglo country.)
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  2. #132
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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Bran Fendigaid
    Yes, which is what I quoted on my original post on this thread: from FRG immigration law (from which, I understand, I could make a case for dual-citizenship


    Actually, I don't think that you do. It's much more difficult than a question of simply having some remote German ancestor. According to the law, one must have proven German nationality in order to be considered as a German.

    In order to directly qualify as a German national you at least must be second generation if you were born in the USA and at least one of your parents shouldn't have naturalized and you should have been born after January 1st, 1975. In other words, most Americans of German ancestry (I would say 98% at least) will not have an easy time of it. As for maternal cases, marriage (like in the 1950s) used to automatically strip wives of German nationality and naturalization to the USA generally strips you of other foreign citizenships unless you get a waiver from your consulate (only available very recently). Cases with grandparents, etc. generally require a German immigration lawyer, can take up to two years to arbitrate, and are increasingly difficult because of abuse. However, you can get one, apply for a Staatsangehörigkeitausweiss, and start learning German

    In short, it is very difficult to obtain dual citizenship between the USA and Germany unless you were born with it. The German consulate wants certain guarantees before they allow you to have a waiver so you can naturalize as an American. They're trying to reinterpret the law to make this easier (a lot of people have elderly parents, don't want to lose their pensions, etc.).

    something I would not follow through on because of principle.)


    Refusing to take advantage of an opportunity that simply falls into your lap is a very unAmerican thing to do, which is why I don't believe for a second that any of you would actually do as you claim.

  3. #133
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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Thumelicus
    Actually, I don't think that you do.
    The lawyers said I do, and yourself further down in your post explain just why...

    Cases with grandparents, etc. generally require a German immigration lawyer, can take up to two years to arbitrate, and are increasingly difficult because of abuse. However, you can get one, apply for a [/COLOR]Staatsangehörigkeitausweiss[COLOR=black], and start learning German
    Which is exactly what post on 'What it Germanicity?' explained - what the BD laws require. And, it wouldn't be an issue of 'learning German', but relearning it (though I hear there is still official discouragement of Plattsdeutsch).

    Refusing to take advantage of an opportunity that simply falls into your lap is a very unAmerican thing to do, which is why I don't believe for a second that any of you would actually do as you claim.
    My - what a caricature. You're the arbiter of what is American or unAmerican? Forgive me - I didn't know. I'll go right out and start stealing from every unlocked car... ... end sarcasm.

    The reason I won't pursue German citizenship is simple - 'no man can serve two masters'. I don't believe in Internationalism. I believe the locality is the basic and most complete place for government and belonging. I don't believe in burning fossil fuels to 'jet set' on a passport collection, the schizophrenia of having responsibilities to multiple publics, etc. And, especially the maxim 'cursed is the man who hates the land of his birth'. I do believe in rootedness, the sense of place, of making the place one lives a place worth caring for (living for and dying for). If I put my energy into Germany, the UK, or any other country I had the opportunity for citizenship into, I'm not going to waste my energy on double-timing that country. I'm no polygamist. I can appreciate the one I'm not married to, but I'm not going to cheat on the one I'm with (or make her share.)
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  4. #134
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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Bran Fendigaid
    until the creation of the 'Multi-Cult' - German immigration to America was not to create 'German ghettos', 'German minorities', or to make 'German North America'. They knew they were coming to an Anglo country, and put their loyalty there (including learning the laws, folklore, customs, language, etc.) Such a choice was neither passive (quite the contrary), nor 'submission' in the negative sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bran Fendigaid
    The only attempts to 'keep it German' were with the Amish and Mennonites (already covered in this thread), and the Marxist '48ers' who in many cases were German Jews (those who created and ran the German language newspapers in the Mid-West.)
    You'll apparently be surprised to learn that there were many old German communities that wished to retain their identities.

    Fredericksburg, Texas, is a typical example of a 19th century German-American community that resisted assimilation into the American "melting pot":

    The bitter experience of the Civil War did nothing but bolster the traditional German determination not to get involved in state and national affairs, which in turn solidified the German community over time. The Germans tried to maintain their independence by steadfastly refusing to learn or use English, an isolationist move that they had given up by 1900.
    More detail here.

    Germans immigrating to America typically sought out other Germans, not Anglo-Americans:

    Like other immigrant groups, the Germans followed the natural instinct of forming neighborhoods with their countrymen where they felt at home far away from home. They preferred to head for a region where they could still acquire reasonably priced farm land in areas where German-language churches and perhaps German schools already existed. Thus, the path taken by an individual often turned out to be but a link in a growing chain that bound the Old Homeland to the new target region. Scholars address this as "chain migration" and cite, for example, the fact that many Hannoverians, Oldenburgers, and Braunschweigers traveled by way of Bremen and New Orleans to Ohio and Missouri.
    [source]

    The tendency of German immigrants to settle in close proximity to each other encouraged the continuation of familiar lifestyles. Significant problems of assimilation and adjustment were more easily solved when at least some behavioral patterns of everyday life could be retained, such as, shopping at a German baker or butcher, and enjoying a beer in a German tavern or beer garden. Likewise, if a German worked together with Yankees and other immigrants, he much preferred to spend his free time with his fellow countrymen. This resulted in enterprising German-language organizations that encompassed all aspects of life, extending from the singing society to the gymnastics club and all the way to the mutual aid society [early forms of mutual health and funeral insurance]. In colonial times already, especially in harbor cities such as Philadelphia and New York, well to-do Germans founded charitable institutions to better assist newcomers.
    [source]

    Following the War of Secession, and especially after the 1877 reintegration of the South, American nationalism grew stronger than ever before. In the following decades the United States identified with Anglo-Saxon racist and superiority attitudes, with a strategy of naval supremacy in the Pacific, and with Protestant missionary zeal in order to justify its participation in the great power rivalry for colonial possessions. Before America's entry into the First World War, therefore, the public activities of pro-Kaiser German-Americans and of other large polyglot immigrant groups in many big cities reminded President Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt and other vocal American "preparedness" supporters of certain signs of malfunction in the "melting pot." Meanwhile, the orgies of European nationalism also aroused America's nationalism with the result that in 1916 a massive Anglo-Americanization campaign was launched. The resulting "loyalty" hysteria that accompanied the United States entry into the War led to an accelerated end of organized German-American culture.
    [source]

    As far as economic, social, political and cultural matters are concerned, the majority of German immigrants and their descendants have not only been fully integrated into the American mainstream, in many respects they have even co-created it. But the anti-melting pot vision of a separate German-style "model state" within the Union was occasionally discussed until about 1850. Travel-guide author Franz Löher, writing in 1847, describes the dream of a German state that was to be situated somewhere between the Missouri River and the Great Lakes:

    They will become Americans, good republicans and good businessmen. They will mix with the non-Germans and will intermarry and will assume many of their manners. But the general tenor will remain German through and through. Our people will be able to produce wine on the riverbanks and drink it, accompanied by cheerful songs and dances. They will be able to have German schools and universities, German literature and art, German science and philosophy, German regiments, courts and state assemblies, in short, they will be able to build a German state in which their language will be the official language, just as English is now, and in which the German way of life will live, thrive and predominate exactly as the English way does everywhere now [Franz Löher, Geschichte und Zustände, 502].
    The "ghettos" or the "colonies" of individual immigrant groups in certain sections of the big cities have long since been acknowledged by American immigration researchers as useful transition stages on the long and tedious path to integration into the English-speaking middle class. To illustrate the support which group settlement of immigrants affords, we can compare it with a "decompression chamber" which, as in a diver's case, eases the step-by-step ascent into the new society. This metaphor is meant to belittle neither the life-threatening living conditions in the New York tenement houses of the 1880s, nor the concentration of foreign children in the inner city schools of the 1990s. No doubt, the process of acceptance and integration of ethnic minorities will suffer setbacks in urban centers everywhere in the world. A functioning multicultural society does not come about without the best effort on the part of all concerned. However, the German-American experience can shed some light on the process and help strengthen our rationality in the face of doom prophets and nativistic hate mongers.
    [source]

    Sadly, the ultimate assimilation of Germans into America is often seen, as it is here, as a model of multicultural adaptation. And so it is.

    Certainly there are many "German Americans" who have been fully assimilated into mainstream American culture. But there are also some who were (and still are) more accurately described as transplanted Germans living in America. As Germanics, both groups are worthy of respect - the German American who wishes to retain his ancestral heritage no less than the Germanic American who is proud of his New World heritage.

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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegmund
    You'll apparently be surprised to learn that there were many old German communities that wished to retain their identities.

    Fredericksburg, Texas, is a typical example of a 19th century German-American community that resisted assimilation into the American "melting pot":
    Yes, that would be in the later settlement - the 'old' German settlements are from the 18th c. However, if you've been to Fredericksburg (or any other German settlement in Texas) you'll know they are more Anglo than anything. (I grew up near those settlements.)


    Germans immigrating to America typically sought out other Germans, not Anglo-Americans:
    That was particular with the 48ers, from what I can tell. (Being those with 'Carl Schurz' societies today.)
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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Bran Fendigaid
    Yes, that would be in the later settlement - the 'old' German settlements are from the 18th c. However, if you've been to Fredericksburg (or any other German settlement in Texas) you'll know they are more Anglo than anything. (I grew up near those settlements.)
    I have to agree with Siegmund regarding Fredericksburg (and also New Braunfels-- mentioned on the link he gave) and I have been to both places. In fact, I live in New Braunfels.

    I am not sure how you call them "more anglo than anything." Can you please expound on this statement? How do you define them as such? Do you see them as anymore "anglo" than places in the rest of the world, mimicking American culture?
    "I do not know what horrified me most at that time: the economic misery of my companions, their moral and ethical coarseness, or the low level of their intellectual development." Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Bran Fendigaid
    The lawyers said I do, and yourself further down in your post explain just why.
    If you don't have at least a German grandparent, you should ask for your money back... and if you do, WTF are we arguing?

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    Re: German North America

    This is silly. Racially I'm probably closer to the "Anglo-Saxons" than you are.

    I never claimed that anyone is "keeping me down", what a transparent attempt to color my words. You have no idea of what I do, how much I earn, or where I reside. It's pure conjecture on your part. What I said is that your country is anti-German. I learned to get around this simply by not discussing my heritage with anyone. This is actually much worse than if my viewpoint were simply unpopular but tolerated... and why not? I come from a Germanic culture. You should let us coexist. Yet you refuse to view this matter objectively.


    Here's the irony in english/anglo-saxons being anti-german:
    'anglo-saxon' is an umbrella term for a group of germanic tribes who resided in germany most notably the angles (england, english or perhaps angland, anglisch) named after angledt where they lived, and the saxons, named after saxony. What's more, modern germans descend from these same exact tribes and are literally 'anglo-saxon' as well.
    That is just general knowledge, but I wonder how many anti-german anglos who stop to think that they, by definition, are virtually germans themselves.

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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer
    I have to agree with Siegmund regarding Fredericksburg (and also New Braunfels-- mentioned on the link he gave) and I have been to both places. In fact, I live in New Braunfels.

    I am not sure how you call them "more anglo than anything." Can you please expound on this statement? How do you define them as such? Do you see them as anymore "anglo" than places in the rest of the world, mimicking American culture?
    My family are from just an hour north of where you are at (I left there about 7 years ago.) And yes, the Hill Country is more 'Anglo' now (preserving more of old Anglo-American life or a similitude of it) than much of the rest of the country, or especially the global 'pop culture' that some keep mistaking for American.

    Like it or not, English and German ways of life were not that different to begin with. Anglicization, in terms of language, was about the most important change (and names) - that German-Americans did adopt English as a spoken language, and names (German-Americans even in Texas Hill Country overwhelmingly use Anglicized names, even in the cases of many surnames.) In fact, it is why Germans were preferred over other nationalities in America (even the Irish, whom I also count as ancestors.) Consider the old American saying "The dirty, dirty Dutch, ain't worth much - but a damn sight better than the Irish." Sure, a bit xenophobic with reference to the 'Dutch' (meaning Deutsch in the case of this saying, not the 'Dutch' proper) but beyond clique maintenance, we can see that Germans were preferred over the Irish (who, were overwhelming preferred in turn over other nationalities - US Ancestry numbers do accurately reflect American's preferences for whom they felt most comfortable with in their Anglo society.)

    And, the fact that the Old Settler German-Americans were anglicized goes much towards explaining why Fritz Kuhn's movement had its only great impact with recent immigrants - being a non-event for most German-Americans with generational history in America.
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    There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong. ~G.K. Chesterton

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    Re: German North America

    Quote Originally Posted by Thumelicus
    If you don't have at least a German grandparent, you should ask for your money back... and if you do, WTF are we arguing?
    Because it takes two to tango - and because it wasn't my money (just my decision, despite what some other family members in the US, Germany, or other countries, may want.)
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