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Thread: The German Americans: An Ethnic Experience

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    Post The German Americans: An Ethnic Experience



    A German-American Chronology

    Adapted from: The German Americans: An Ethnic Experience
    by LaVern J. Rippley and Eberhard Reichmann

    1608 Some Germans accompany Captain John Smith, founder of Jamestown, VA

    1618 The Thirty Years' War devastates Germany; the country disintegrates into numerous independent principalities

    1626 The Rhinelander Peter Minuit (Minnewit) -- director of the Dutch colony-purchases Manhattan from the Indians and builds Ft. New Amsterdam

    1633 First publication in Germany encouraging emigration to America

    1661 Georg Hack from Cologne settles in Maryland

    1670 Hudson Bay Co. founded with Prince Ruprecht as governor

    1676 Nikolaus de Meyer from Hamburg becomes Mayor of New York

    1683 Early German settlers come to the American colonies for religious reasons, including the Mennonites and Quakers who arrive on the "Concord" and found Germantown, PA with Francis Daniel Pastorius as their leader / Vienna defended against Turkish invasion

    1688 Germantown's Pastorius pens first protest against slavery

    1691 British execute Frankfurt-born Jacob Leisler, first elected governor of New York and champion of American independence

    1709 First mass emigration from the Palatinate (Pfalz)

    1710 650 Palatines and Swiss settle at New Bern, NC

    1720 Augsburg and Marienthal founded in Louisiana

    1728 Seventh-Day Adventists under Conrad Beissel build Ephrata Cloisters in Pennsylvania

    1732 The "Philadelphische Zeitung" (newspaper) appears

    1733 Schwenkfelders from Silesia arrive in Pennsylvania

    1734 Salzburg Protestants come to Georgia

    1735 Printer John Peter Zenger's acquittal -- landmark victory for freedom of the press / Moravians (Herrnhuters) under Count Zinzendorf settle in Georgia

    1736 Moravians found Bethlehem,Nazareth, and Lititz, PA

    1741 President Eisenhower's ancestor-Hans N. Eisenhauer-arrives

    1743 First Bible printed in America by Christopher Saur-in German

    1768 Barbara Heck, German-lrish, founds first Methodist church in New York

    1772 Pennsylvania Germans ("Dutchmen") form their own militias / Moravians found Schoenbrunn mission in Ohio

    1776 The Great American Revolution / Braunschweiger and Hessian troops land in Quebec (and introduce the decorated Christmas tree to North America); more than 10,000 remained in America

    1777 Gen. von Steuben trains American army / Molly Pitcher (Maria Ludwig) fights in several battles / Christopher Ludwig is the army's director of baking / Major F. von Heer commands Gen. Washington's German body-guards / Gen. Nicholas Herkimer and the Germans of the Mohawk Valley defeat the British at Oriskan

    1779 Gen. von Steuben writes first handbook for U.S. Army

    1784 Johann Jacob Astor arrives and becomes richest American / German Society for the Protection of Immigrants founded in New York

    1786 Prussia's Frederick the Great recognizes the independent USA

    1804 The Harmonists under George Rapp arrive in Pennsylvania. Their Indiana settlement, Neu Harmonie (1814- 824), becomes the economic "Wonder of the West"

    1806 Defeated by Napoleon, The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation ceases to exist 1807 Martin Baum, riverboat pioneer on the Ohio and Mississippi, becomes mayor of Cincinnati

    1815 Boston's Germans found Handel and Haydn Society / Napoleon defeated by British and Prussian forces

    1817 Joseph Baumeler and his German separatists found the Zoar commune in Ohio

    1820 Joseph Heister becomes Governor of Pennsylvania

    1825 German introduced at Harvard University / Harmonists build their third town, Old Economy, now part of Ambridge, PA

    1827 Francis Lieber from Berlin begins editing the Encyclopedia Americana in Boston

    1829 Gomried Duden's published travel report encourages thousands of Germans to come to America, especially Missouri

    1835 The Giessen-Society aims at a "New German Fatherland" in America; this and similar attempts failed / Philadelphia Maennerchor founded

    1837 Pennsylvania publishes laws and governors' messages in English and German

    1840 German Lutherans found Concordia College, Ft. Wayne, IN / First "Volksfest" celebrated in Richmond, VA

    1842 William Bouck (Bauk) becomes Governor of New York

    1843 German Inspirationists settle near Buffalo and later move to Amana, IA

    1844 German aristocrats found the "Mainzer Adelsverein"for settlement in Texas. They build New Braunfels and Fredericksburg

    1847 Lutheran Missouri Synod organized, C.F.W. Walther, president

    1848 The German Revolution for "unity, justice and freedom" / J.J. Astor donates $400,000 for the Astor Public Library in New York City / New York's Germania Orchestra founded / Cincinnati Turnverein founded

    1849 Arrival of "Forty-Eighters" after the failed democratic revolution in Germany / J.A. Sutter loses his land and fortune in the California gold rush

    1850 Levi Strauss produces first pair of jeans!

    1853 Heinrich Steinweg creates the Steinway piano in New York

    1854 221,253 German immigrants arrive in this peak year

    1856 Mrs. Carl Schurz establishes first American Kindergarten in Watertown, Wl

    1859 Abraham Lincoln acquires the "Illinois Staatsanzeiger" paper and struggles through German grammar

    1861 The Civil War (1861-65) / German-American militia safeguard Missouri for the Union / Julius Sturges brings first pretzel on the market in Lititz, PA

    1862 Homestead Act / Sioux Uprising in Minnesota results in an attack on the German Turner town of New Ulm, MN

    1865 Union army volunteers born in Germany numbered 5,000; 41 reached the rank of Major General / Young Count Zeppelin spent some time as a balloon observer during the Civil War

    1866 After Prussia' victory over its arch rival, Austria is no longer a member state of the German Federation / Adolf Pfannenschmidt from Rinteln founds Pfannenschmidtstadt-better known today as Hollywood!

    1867 America's first Socialist party formed in New York City

    1868 Joseph Pullitzer becomes a reporter for a German-language newspaper in St. Louis, MO. He later the New York World and turned it into a successful newspaper. The prestigious Pullitzer Prizes in literature and journalism are named in his honor.

    1870 San Antonio, TX is 50% German / The Franco-Prussian War (1870-71); Chancellor Otto von Bismarck unites German states in the "Second Reich" (1871-1918)

    1872 Brewers Philip Best, Valentin Blatz, Franz Falk, Frederick Miller, Jacob Obermann, Frederick Pabst, Joseph Schlitz and others make Milwaukee the leading beer exporter

    1873 Bismarck's 14-year "Kulturkampf"- power struggle with Catholicism over control of education, civil marriage, and church appointments-motivates Catholic emigration

    1877 Carl Schurz, Secretary of the Interior (1877*81)

    1878 Bismarck's Socialist Law leads to wave of Social Democrat emigration / "New Yorker Volkszeitung" becomes organ of Socialist-Labor party

    1880 Wisconsin has more German-Americans than any other state. It still does!

    1882 250,630 German immigrants come to America, more than in any other year

    1883 15,000 German Mennonites from Russia settle in Kansas / Brooklyn Bridge opens -- built by the Roeblings

    1884 Ottmar Mergenthaler revolutionizes type-setting

    1886 The Haymarket Riots in Chicago lead to arrest and execution of radical socialist editor August Spies of the "Arbeiter Zeitung"

    1888 Some 800 German-language publications represent more than 50% of America's foreign language press

    1892 Henry Heinz, a German-American living in Pittsburgh, creates ketchup.

    1893 Hesse-born John Peter Altgeld becomes Governor of Illinois

    1901 The National German-American Alliance founded

    1904 St. Louis Germans bring the "hamburger" on the market

    1910 German-Americans developed 672,000 farms on a total area of 100,000,000 acres (an estimate)

    1914 WW I begins in Europe. Pres.Wilson issues proclamations of neutrality / Frederick Weyerhaeuser, German-born lumber king, dies. His fortune: $300,000,000

    1915 A German-American, Irish-American Alliance formed to keep the US out of the war

    1917 The US enters the conflict. Anti-German hysteria throughout the country; German-language instruction ends in most states; hundreds of German-language publications cease to exist; many a Schmidt changes to Smith

    1918 End of WW l; the imperial "Second Reich" ends / National German-American Alliance dissolved

    1919 Germany's "Weimar Republic" founded / German instruction banned in Indiana and Nebraska; Steuben Society founded

    1920 Prohibition until 1933; dark days for beer makers!

    1921 First Quota Law limits immigration

    1923 Supreme Court rules prohibiting German in schools unconstitutional / Charles P Steinmetz, GE's wizard of electricity, dies / Inflation rocks young German republic / Hitler arrested after failing to seize power in Munich

    1928 Herbert Hoover (originally Huber) elected -- first president of German ancestry

    1929 "Black Friday" on New York Stock Exchange leads to worldwide depression / baseball stars Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, Frank Frisch, all of German descent

    1933 Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. Beginning of mass exodus of Jewish and non-Jewish intellectuals and artists from Nazi Germany, including Bauhaus members

    1934 The Steuben Society and most German-Americans oppose Nazi movement in the USA / the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation (National Carl Schurz Association) publishes the "American-German Review" and assists refugees from Germany

    1936 The German-American Bund (Deutsch-Amerikanischer Volksbund) with Fritz Kuhn as "Fuehrer," a Nazi organization

    1937 The American Nazi Party claims 200,000 members

    1939 Fritz Kuhn jailed for misappropriation of Bund funds / Hitler starts WW II with his Blitzkrieg against Poland

    1940 Most of the 114,058 Germans coming to the USA between 1931 and 1940 are opposed to, or escape from, Nazi tyranny

    1941 Following Pearl Harbor, Hitler declares war on the USA

    1942 Gen. Eisenhower commands US Forces in the European theater. Like "Ike," Adm. Nimitz, Gen. Spaatz and others are also of German descent

    1945 May 8, WW II in Europe ends with Germany's unconditional surrender / CARE packages and other American assistance during post war hunger period in West Germany are a big help

    1948 The Marshall Plan, in conjunction with currency reform, jump starts the German economy into the "economic miracle" of postwar recovery

    1949 The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic founded; Germany divided until 1990

    1950 128,600 Germans immigrate

    1952 Gen. Eisenhower elected President

    1968 Society for German-American Studies established

    1969 Wernher von Braun and other German-American scientists provide leadership for US space program and moon landing

    1973 Fuerth-born Henry A. Kissinger becomes Secretary of State and receives Nobel Peace Prize

    1983 Tricentennial of German Immigration (landing of the "Concord" with 13 Krefeld families and founding of Germantown in 1683). German-American Day, Oct. 6, reinstituted

    1990 According to the US Census, German-Americans are largest ethnic group with nearly 58 million (more than 23% of the population) claiming at least some German ancestry. Wisconsin has the highest percentage of Americans of German descent (nearly 54%), and Milwaukee is the US city with the largest % of German-Americans.


    Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, President of the Society of German-American Studies, points out that the German category does not include Germans from other German-speaking states and regions of Europe and the Americas. Hence, to the German statistic the following can be added:

    1 Alsatian 16,465
    2 Austrian 870,531
    3 Luxemburger 49,061
    4 Swiss-German 700,000*
    5 German-Russian 10,153
    6 Pennsylvania German 305,841
    * 70% of the total Swiss statistic

    These six additional German ethnic groups total 1,952,051. The total combination then of all the seven German ethnic categories is:

    German category 57,985,595
    Other categories 1,952,051
    Total 59,937,646

    The results indicate that German-Americans constitute a full one-fourth of the population (Deutsche Welt-U.S.A., July/August 1992).

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    Post German America

    The Start :
    The Germans when first immagrating to U.S. were picked upon because of their accents, the Americans making fun of how they talked... when the Irish came over they were picked on as well, only worse for I have no clue what reasons. But Germans kept quite and stayed to themselves - they made themselves a backbone by being hard workers which made most of the Americans shut up.
    Pre-WW2/Start of it :
    During this time there were a few Nazi Auslands-Organizations (AO) that were established in America to promote Nazi political strains into the country. The statistics showing more than 5 million Germans lived in U.S. would give Germany hope to making them a German colonization, Adolf Hitler often pointed out the selective breeding and how the Germans stayed on top.
    Now days...:
    Though German is still the largest ethnic group in America - it is being interbred and taken out of the picture faster than the others because it is the largest. It is the germans whos emotions are stomped on by the jews for making the Germans feel sorry for them. If Germans are the largest ethnic group, how are they being stomped on by a ethnicity/religion almost everyone despises ?

    I know there is not much to this right now , but if others could add more about German America that'd be great

    'German boy, do not forget you are a German,' and, 'Little girl, remember you are to become a German mother.'

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    Great topic! As a german american, i know excatly what you mean. It is quite suprising to here that german is the largest ethnic group, because that is definantly not the case where i live. There are only 5 other people that i know with significant german heritage, yet we are still looked down upon by the jewish people at my school ( about 20%). I have no problem being looked down upon and ridiculed, but there are some who i have met that have given in, and whenever someone says something about NS germany they appologize immedeatly for there ancestors actions. I find it disgusting, it makes me sick that our/my people have turned so weak.

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    Well, I'm another German-American on this site, and there's a lot I could say about this/my/our topic but I'll keep my comments brief.
    Quote Originally Posted by blut-ehre
    The Start :
    The Germans when first immagrating to U.S. were picked upon because of their accents, the Americans making fun of how they talked... when the Irish came over they were picked on as well, only worse for I have no clue what reasons. But Germans kept quite and stayed to themselves - they made themselves a backbone by being hard workers which made most of the Americans shut up.
    The first white folks to set foot on the ground at the Jamestown Colony were indeed English, but this does not mean that ALL the subsequent feet to set foot on that earliest, permanent, colony were English--there were a tiny minority of deutsch folks at Jamestown too, so even at the earliest stage of the development of 'English-America' there were deutschers present.

    I'd like to know where you got this idea that German immigrants to America were picked on due to their accents? I've done extensive research on Colonial German-America, and I've no where read of this. This doesn't mean such things didn't happen, I'm sure they did, but this is something that all immigrants to a foreign land with a different language have to endure. Colonial English-Americans generally welcomed and helped German immigrants in their settlements, I would list all the reasons for this, but the list would be too lengthy. In a nutshell, and by and large, the early English colonists never to any appreciable extent persecuted or oppressed German immigrants.

    Over time, I think it was true that non-German-Americans came to have overall positive views of German-Americans precisely for the reasons you state. Ger.-Americans generally were in the habit, esp. in the earliest of Colonial days, of living in their own communities and minding their own business. Definitely, by the 19th Century, Ger.-Americans had acquired a reputation (as you say) of being hard-working, taciturn, and industrious.

    Quote Originally Posted by blut-ehre
    Pre-WW2/Start of it :
    During this time there were a few Nazi Auslands-Organizations (AO) that were established in America to promote Nazi political strains into the country. The statistics showing more than 5 million Germans lived in U.S. would give Germany hope to making them a German colonization, Adolf Hitler often pointed out the selective breeding and how the Germans stayed on top.
    Prior to WW1 there was no such a thing as anti-German sentiment in the U.S. During that war most Ger.-Americans were supportive of the war effort, although surely more than one had more than one reservation about it. There was a minority of Ger.-Americans who were opposed to the U.S. entry into that war against Germany and some of these even covertly supported Germany. During and after that war began the rise in anti-German sentiment in the U.S., esp. among those of non-German blood.

    During the interwar period, there were indeed a small # of Ger.-Americans who were involved with and supportive of 'Nazi' style organizations, esp. Kuhn's German-American Bund. These orgs. were doomed to failure from their beginning for all sorts of reasons. The vast majority of Ger.-Americans during this period were either indifferent to (most) or opposed to (many) the activities of Hitlerian Germany.

    WW2 marked the beginning of a new and more strident anti-German sentiment in the U.S. Of course, there were all sorts of reasons for that too. The simple fact of the matter was that the vast majority of Americans were not of German descent, so naturally the country as a whole developed a negative attitude toward any and all things German (Ger.-Americans excluded). Most Ger.-Americans during those days still clung to their heritage (after all, it's not easy to throw your ethnic heritage away) but refused to in any way be associated with Hitler and his ilk in Germany.
    Quote Originally Posted by blut-ehre
    Now days...:
    Though German is still the largest ethnic group in America - it is being interbred and taken out of the picture faster than the others because it is the largest. It is the germans whos emotions are stomped on by the jews for making the Germans feel sorry for them. If Germans are the largest ethnic group, how are they being stomped on by a ethnicity/religion almost everyone despises ?
    All White ethnic groups are in decline in the modern U.S. Ger.-Americans are not alone in this. I think the greatest challenge for Ger.-Americans today is to maintain the consciousness of being deutsch by blood and all the means necessary to that end. On my part, I view all Ger.-Americans who say: 'I'm German' or 'I'm German-American' in a positive light; but those here who are of German heritage and blood and deny this by saying such things as: 'I'm not German, I'm American, etc.' I think little of them and more than one of them in my life I've come to down right hate, as sad as it is for me to say that.

    I don't think you have much to worry about when it comes the complete destruction and end of German-America. There are just too many of us Ger.-Americans, like you (I suppose), me, and MANY, MANY others who don't want this end to happen, so it will be a LONG time (if ever) that this will come about. The 'Oktoberfest phenomenon' of modern American culture has become too strong. There are plenty of Ger.-American girls out there that will wear dirndl at this or that function. There are plenty of Ger.-American boys that like to think of themselves as macho men of German blood. And then there are all these Ger.-American elders that can tell you precisely where their forefathers and foremothers came from in the old 'Vaterland.' German-America is all-in-all in good health these days, I think. It's a wonder that things are not FAR WORSE here in this regard.

    Per this topic, I've attached a set of images in my possesion: (1)the first tells the illustrated story of a group of Salzburger (Austrian) Protestants who emigrated to America in the 1730-40s via Rotterdam and England. These folks went on to settle a specific Ger.-American community in the American South.; (2)the second is a painting by the leader (a German nobleman by the name of Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck, from the von Recks of the Harz Mountains) of a specific transport of Protestant hochdeutschers in 1735 to the same community in the Amer. South. This was one of the ships in this transport and was painted 'live' during the journey in the English Channel at the 'Needles and Shols' by the Isle of Wight. Enjoy.

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    I very much enjoyed it , I found a new link for this , it is a timeline
    http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/european/imde/germchro.html , rather if you wish to go to the beginning of the site it is
    http://www.loc.gov/rr/european/imde/germany.html

    i have statistical reports ^.^ --- from that website there are 58 million americans claiming they are from german descent.

    'German boy, do not forget you are a German,' and, 'Little girl, remember you are to become a German mother.'

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    Not entirely serious: Years ago, in boring school lessons I sometimes have made fun by drawing detailed maps of the U.S.A. and Canada with all geographic and place names Germanized or translated in an imaginative way: Los Angeles became Engelsheim, San Francisco Franzensburg, Vancouver Wenkufer, Baltimore Baltenmuhr, Detroit Treuth, Toronto Tronden, Miami Maien and Chicago Schickach am See. I made Kansas to Kansaß, Texas to Techsaß Manitoba to Manitobel, Ohio to Ohei, Wyoming to Weimingen, Oregon to Arichen, Vermont to Grünbergland and New Mexico to Südmark. The Missouri got the name Missuhr, the Mississippi Misselsippel.

    Hmm... how about Judenburg for New York? ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tryggviulf
    Los Angeles became Engelsheim, San Francisco Franzensburg, Vancouver Wenkufer, Baltimore Baltenmuhr, Detroit Treuth, Toronto Tronden, Miami Maien and Chicago Schickach am See. I made Kansas to Kansaß, Texas to Techsaß Manitoba to Manitobel, Ohio to Ohei, Wyoming to Weimingen, Oregon to Arichen, Vermont to Grünbergland and New Mexico to Südmark. The Missouri got the name Missuhr, the Mississippi Misselsippel.

    Hmm... how about Judenburg for New York? ;-)
    Judenburg, Kansaß and Techsaß.. LMAO!

    I love it! I'm so going to steal those from you!

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    The German ethnicity in America has become more and more subsumed into the 'white' ethnicity/race in America. That's my guess/estimate of the situation. Irish and English hostility and seperate identity has largely faded in Australia, and only South Europeans still hold seperate identities in white Australian society, basically because A) they do look a bit different (I was raised in a suburb that was initially near-dominated by Greeks and Italians - I have respect for them, possibly more respect than I do for a lot of apathetic Anglo-Celt Australians) and B) because of this, and the fact they are a rather recent arrival into Australia (Adelaide had a large population of Germans - they're almost totally assimilated), they still hold to their own identity. I think with more and more problems caused by non-Europeans this identity will fade and merge with normal 'white Australian' identity.
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    In a broader sense even those English Jamestown settlers were Germanic being the descendents of the Anglo-Saxons who came from the German forest. That would be interesting if someone could adequately explain (in a thread) why powerful elements of the English seemed to have turned against and want to forget their roots. Excessive self-centerdness and pride?
    Turman found a copy of The Graduate, and thought highly enough of the story that he made a movie he considered to be 90-percent faithful to the book.

    But Turman and director Mike Nichols made one key adaptation, changing the Braddocks from WASP-y blonde characters into a dark-haired, more ethnic-looking family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blut-ehre
    The Start :
    The Germans when first immagrating to U.S. were picked upon because of their accents, the Americans making fun of how they talked... when the Irish came over they were picked on as well, only worse for I have no clue what reasons. But Germans kept quite and stayed to themselves - they made themselves a backbone by being hard workers which made most of the Americans shut up.
    Pre-WW2/Start of it :
    During this time there were a few Nazi Auslands-Organizations (AO) that were established in America to promote Nazi political strains into the country. The statistics showing more than 5 million Germans lived in U.S. would give Germany hope to making them a German colonization, Adolf Hitler often pointed out the selective breeding and how the Germans stayed on top.
    Now days...:
    Though German is still the largest ethnic group in America - it is being interbred and taken out of the picture faster than the others because it is the largest. It is the germans whos emotions are stomped on by the jews for making the Germans feel sorry for them. If Germans are the largest ethnic group, how are they being stomped on by a ethnicity/religion almost everyone despises ?

    I know there is not much to this right now , but if others could add more about German America that'd be great

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