Libby, a Second Generation German American

    Last night I got an email from Heidi, who passed along this wonderful essay by her daughter Libby, on what it means to grow up a second generation German-American. I loved it so much, I had to share (thanks for the permission Libby!!).  I know that my kids have had so many of the same experiences. It’s my…

German Genealogy Databases Online -Find your German Family

For many German-Americans, tracing their history is not so easy. Records were lost or destroyed, and the old script can be difficult to read. While I am by no means an expert, I have found some German Genealogy Databases online that can help you find a little more about your German Ancestry. If you know of any websites or pages that…

What Does a German Look Like? Dealing with Stereotypes

  I’ve been thinking about stereotypes a lot lately… and what does a German look like? Whenever Germans are portrayed in advertising, or in festival invitations, they always seem to be wearing Lederhosen or Dirndls. But, as I’m reminded EVERY TIME I post such a photo, that is not how the typical German looks or dresses. So, the question is……

German Fairy Tale Wall Art -Colorful Wandfiguren for Children

See what I found while clearing out the closet? Like many German kids in the 1970s, my room was decorated with colorful wooden Fairy Tail wall art, Wandfigur, that depicted some of my favorite Fairy Tales. Made by companies like Mertens Kunst and Ravi Kunst, these bright and cheery wall hangings have become collectible today. Designs all came from fairy…

The Black Forest Lodge- A Slice of Germany in America

  In the 1970s travel to Germany was expensive, but my parents still wanted that German Vacation experience. So, instead of hopping on a cheap flight to Germany on Condor, they packed up the family’s green 1970 Monte Carlo with supplies and headed north to Chester, California near Lassen National Park where we would stay at a German run hotel…

Schreckendorf, The Home My Family Left Behind

  Note- I told this story without any extra input from my mother… I’m sure that she will add to the story some day. This isn’t really my story to tell, but, I’ve cobbled together a few bits and pieces from stories my mom told. I remember the old picture from photo albums… it was just always there. The newer…

Christmas 1970 – Remembering a German Christmas in America

On Christmas 1970 I was only 3 years old… just old enough to get really excited about Weihnachten. The lights, the tinsel, and wonder of wonders… the presents! You can see me on Mama’s lap… somewhat wide eyed (hard to see behind those glasses…. those days finding stylish eyeglasses for children was a difficult thing). Opa was visiting, as he…

Losing a Language- How I Tried to Teach my Kids German and Failed

German was my first language. ( In fact, I sometimes joke that I could be an ESL, English as a Second Language Student, and apply for benefits.) You see, even though I was born in California, my parents are German… and had just recently arrived in the country. It’s only logical that they spoke German in the home, and I…

More Christmas Tablecloths than Tables Mehr Tischdeckchen als Tische

November is when I start cleaning the things I will need for the holidays. Glassware gets a polish, the “good dishes” get a wash, and the tablecloths all get checked for a touch-up iron. So, yesterday I went to the drawer were I keep the smaller Weihnachts Tisch Deckchen (Christmas table cloths) and I realized something… over the past few…

Once there was a Wall- A Visit to the Berlin Wall in 1988

I visited Berlin in 1988…. when there was still a Wall. It was a rainy July, and the whole city seemed to be in black and white. Who knew that a year later there would be color. The next time I saw Berlin was in 2018. The Wall had been down for for close to 30 years, longer than it…

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