A Visit to the German American Heritage Museum

The German American Heritage Museum may be one of the smaller museums in Washington DC. Still, their efforts to preserve the history of Germans in America make up for its tiny footprint. (Plus I firmly believe that small museums are the best.) Since 2010, the museum has occupied Hockemeyer Hall on 6th Street NW, in the Penn Quarter just a…

Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift Washington DC

On May 21, 2024, I was honored to represent the Berlin Airlift Remembrance Alliance at the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. The event took place in the shadow of the imposing towers of the US Air Force Memorial in Washington DC. Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift Washington DC The Ambassador of the…

A Visit to the Heurich House Museum in Washington DC

In the early 1940’s,  German-American Brewer, Christian Heurich, owned more land and employed more people in Washington DC than any entity other than the Federal Government. An amazing accomplishment for a man who came to the United States from the small village of Haina in the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen in 1866 with only $200 in his pocket. His mansion, now…

Burning Beethoven: The Eradication of German Culture in the United States during World War

I get messages all the time from people lamenting the lack of German shops and Restaurants… worries from readers because the German clubs are getting fewer… sadness from people wondering why German isn’t being taught in their schools. Regret that they never learned the language from parents or Grandparents… that it was even “forbidden” in the home.  I understand it’s…

The Train to Crystal City review- German Families Locked Up in WW2

I recently read about Democratic Representative from Texas Joaquin Castros Congressional Bill: The Wartime Violation of German American Civil Liberties Act of 2022. Like many American school children, I learned about the Internment of thousands of Japanese who lived in the US, but my teachers never told us about the over 11,000 German Americans locked up at the same time.…

DANK Haus Chicago- A Cornerstone of the German American Community

A few months ago, Monica Jirak sent me an invitation to visit the DANK Haus Chicago. Finally in September, while traveling with my father, I had the opportunity to spend a few hours touring the historic building and learning more about what the DANK organization does. I have to admit, I was astonished! I went in thinking that it was…

The Katzenjammer Kids- A German-American Comic for over 100 Years

On Dec.12, 1897 a comic strip featuring a German-American family with a distinctly Denglish accent made its first appearance in a Sunday Supplement of the New York Journal. The Katzenjammer Kids featured twins Hans and Fritz, two boys who were always up to mischief and pranks. The word Katzenjammer basically means “Cat Wailing” or caterwauling, and that loud yowling is…

The Candy Bomber – The Berlin Airlift & Operation Little Vittles

Cover Image-C-54 dropping candy during Berlin Airlift c1949 – Public Domain In a 2021 newsletter, I mentioned that I would be writing about the Candy Bomber who dropped handkerchief parachutes with chocolate payloads for the children of Berlin during the Airlift. One of my readers, Dorothea Thunig Smith, reached out to me with a lovely memory. “I lived in Berlin…

Who Was Baron von Steuben? A German-born American Patriot

In 1783, in his final letter as Commander of the American forces, George Washington thanked General von Steuben for his “faithful and meritorious Services“. Who was Baron von Steuben? And how did a Prussian Baron end up crossing the ocean, and essentially turn around the American forces to help them win the Revolutionary war? Von Steuben was a talented military…

Was the US Official Language Almost German? The Muhlenberg Legend

One of my FAVORITE urban legends is one I actually believed for a long time… that the official Language of the United States was almost German. It gets better! The legend says that in a Congressional vote, German lost by only one vote, and that’s why we speak English in America. I hate to bust this very exciting bubble, but…

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