My Denglish Life- German Culture in America
I was born in California, but my heart has always been in Germany. You see, my parents are German, and emigrated to the US in the 60’s to start a new life. Fortunately for me, much of the life they thought they’d left behind came along with them.
My first language was German. I ate German foods, wore German clothes, went to a German school on Saturdays, we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve… My family was German.
This was the 60’s and 70’s, so travel and communication wasn’t like it is now. No Skype or e-mail. Instead, we had occasional scratchy long distance phone calls and packages wrapped in brown paper and twine covered in stamps and full of delicious treats. Family would visit, and once in a great while, we would board a plane, usually Condor Charter, and fly 10 hours to visit the people we loved.
Growing up this way was normal for me… but I could see how different I was from the other kids. You could say, the salami sandwiches on black crusted rye bread in the lunchroom made me stand out…. but maybe it was the leather Schultasche, complete with reflectors, or perhaps it was my ability to speak Denglish (Deutsch/English)?
Why am I putting all this online? I guess that writing it helps me remember…and allows me to share the German culture I grew up with. The good, the bad; the traditions and the misconceptions about what it means to be German in America.
If you have a story to share… send me an email at [email protected]…. We’d love to hear it!
I came here from Germany when I was almost 6. I started school a couple of months later speaking no English. I have lots of stories. Ich bin noch ganz Deutsch aber bin auch ganz Amerikanisch. I go back as often as I can and often yearn for it. I have no home town as we are East Prussian refugees who settled in western Germany for a few years and then Mutti got all of us over to California.
Where are you from? My parents both came from the East… Mama was from Schreckendorf in Silesia, and Papa came from Bamburg.
I would love to hear your stories… maybe we could share them? I think there are so many people who would like to hear.
My mother was from the East, too. She was born and raised in Poessneck, Thuringia. She was raised during the war years. It was a terrible time, but she always talked about the Christmas Eve night celebration of lights in the city. She said the children walked to the city with their lanterns, and sing Christmas songs at the market square. I saw a video on the internet last year about Poessneck’s Christmas Eve celebration of lights. It made so happy that I cried happy tears. I finally got to see what my mother had told me about. She passed away in 2005, but she was able to go back to her home city and visit with her brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, and cousins. I will never forget the first time she went back to Poessneck. I was there with her. It was a wonderful time of celebrations!!
What a wonderful story. It’s so good you got to go home with her. And it’s good that she shared her stories with you, the good and the bad ones. These things shouldn’t be forgotten or swept away.
You are correct. She always told her children not to think what happened in Germany couldn’t happen here.
I just came across your post. I know where poessneck is, I was born in Saalfeld, also my cousin’s husband is from Poessneck. Small world !!
It really is tiny!
Mein Vater war in Stolp geboren und Mutti in Treugenkohl.
Both of my grandparents came from Silesia! I am doing genealogy right now in that area. Very interested in the site and following you!
My mother was from Silesia… here is a link to a post I wrote about her family
My Nana came from Bamburg. I hope to go there some day.
Ich bin in Zatec Czech Republic geboren before WW2 we got kicked out from there in 1940-41 and ended up in Neuburg/Do after a long trek from the Czech Republic we lost everything there including a Apt Bldg and a Home my Dad was a Manager of a local Bank . So I grew up in Bavaria also my older Bro . I did my Schooling and learnt a Trade .Then I desided trough my Aunt I come over to the US in 59 with no English at all .I worked for one Comp 28 years my Boss was also German it was a Comp with dif National Workers . In 62 I got drafted in the Army and ended up in Germany for 18 Month in Landshut,NB also was 9 Month on the Czech Border ,so my Dream I had it came trough . My Boss then past away and I found another Company I worked for 12 years also drove Semi and worked my self up to Headpainter among other Duties . I worked 43 years in Fabrication . I have 2 Amazing Daughters with 7 Grandkids in Wa State living .i retired after 9/11 in NY that time not my choice and me and
my present Wife live up on PriestLake,ID i been back in Germany several times in my Life and still speak my Mothers Lang and American slang English please go on our Website PriestLake.com we call it the jewel of northern ID . Have pleasant Holidays 2017 .
My mother was from Silesia.. she was kicked out too… Sounds like you were in the American Army when my dad was.
Happy Holidays to you!
My father was born in Boehmen and found himself in Nuremberg after WW2, got married and then I came along. I was married to a GI and settled in Texas. I still visit Germany – not as much since my parents passed away. I didn’t have much trouble adjusting to US etiquette and can easily switch between both. My children were born in Texas. Texas is my home and Germany is where I was born and reared and love both of them dearly.
My wife was from Neumarkt bei Breslau im Schlesien. Came from there to Grafenwoehr I’m Oberfalz in 1945.
Grafenwöhr is close to my hometown Weiden in der Oberpfalz.
Met my husband in Grafenwöhr in 1979/80
Hi, my family emigrated in 1883 from Schreckendorf,, Silesia. Bill Wolf
I know exactly the things that you posted. I am of Prussian heritage. Parents were German/Latvian and immigrated in 1946. I love my heritage!
You should, it’s a great heritage!
Hello what part of east prussia did you come from? My father was born in Duenen east prussia and moved 1944/45 to insel rugen where family still are and then moved to melbourne in 63 . Would love to hear back from you
Father came from Brandenberg….just east of Berlin. Mom came from Schreckendorf in Silesia. Both ended up in Nord-Rhine Westfalen after the war.
Mandy: Any relationship to the Chemical company Hentschke and Sawatzki in Neumuenster? Both came from East Prussia.
Came across your site yesterday while waiting in a doctors office and thought of my kids. My kids both were born in Germany and we moved to the US when my daughter was 3 and my son was 9 month old. Although my husband is American and my kids lived most of their live in the US they probably feel the same way you do! They love being in Germany, they eat bread with a little bit of butter and a slice of Schinken or Salami on it, celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, used to receive their presents from the Christkind and Sankt Nikolaus ( when they still believed 🙂
I never really thought about that they might feel that they are different from their friends. For sure I do but I came here as an adult. This might be a interessting conversation this weekend when we will be all together!
It’s funny the things my kids notice… the way they use a knife and fork, the way I taught them to greet people, the foods. My kids are more Americanized, but they love traveling to Germany, and they love celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve too.
My story is almost identical to yours. My parents immigrated to Canada in 1946 and I was born in Canada. When I started school I could only speak German. Now I prefer speaking German whenever the opportunity permits.
Great grand parents are buried at Schoenbrun Im Steigerwald near
Bamberg. I’ve been back to Germany many times and hope to go again next year at Kristkindlmarkt time.
I want to take my girls to the Kristkindlemarkt next year too. Dad went to Canada first, then got permission to move to America. He brought mom over just before I was born.
I’d love to hear any stories you have to share… go ahead and email me at [email protected]
We are going to check out the Christkindl markt in Chicago. It starts the day after Thanksgiving:)
Ohhhh… I want to go…
We live in the Chicago area and go to the Christkindl market every year. It is the largest in the US. We just love it.
I have to get to that one some year
So happy to have been invited to like your facebook page and then come across your website. I was born in Germany and came to America with my parents and brother when I was 5 (in 1961). I long for Germany lately and not sure why. I feel like I missed out on so much. I have only been able to travel there about 3 times, family is not real close so there is not a lot of communication however I do have a cousin I am keeping in contact with. I feel a real home sickness for my German roots.
Welcome to the website Maggie… I’m glad you found us!
My family came to America in 1952 when I was five years old. I ,too, feel an intense longing to keep returning to Germany. I have read that many people have this llonging for their country of their birth. I. Was very fortunate to take my 14 year old grandson to Germany last year when he was 14. We were able to go to Bremer haven, the point of our departure for America. Also went to the church where I was baptized.
How wonderful that you were able to take your grandson “home”.
I just want to mention I’m very new to weblog and seriously enjoyed you’re blog site. Probably I’m going to bookmark your website . You definitely come with outstanding stories. Cheers for sharing your web-site.
I enjoyed reading all you comments. I did not grow up in the US, was 23 when I came over to work in New Jersey as a nanny for one year. Stayed with “my” family for another year, and then left for Mexico to spend one month before returning to Germany. Decided to stay in MX for five months, then lived in San Francisco for two years. Went back to Mexico, met my husband there, lived in Connecticut for 3 years and then moved to Pennsylvania where I still reside. Went back to visit my family in Germany frequently and they came to visit us seven times. I did miss a lot of German things: the food, especially the bread and baked goods, the holidays and of course my family and friends.
WOW! Sounds like you have been back and forth a lot. How lucky you are to visit, and have family visit you… but it isn’t quite the same as being there, is it?
I love reading about others experiences living here in the us. I have been infatuated with the American people since receiving quaker food after the war in school. I had a little enamail cup I took to school, and boy did I love that split pea soup and the hot cocoa until I reached the grit in the bottom of the cup, all of it was so thankfully received. after that once in a while a care package arrived in school , we had to draw numbers to see who would get something there were too many kids in the class, I was lucky to get a bar of Palmolive soap as my gift. I kept that soap for years and after marrying an american in 1960 I brought that still wrapped in crepe paper bar of soap with me. unfortunately with the move it was lost and I was very sad , the soap was not packaged like that anymore. well last year at an estate sale, I found an identical bar and that totally made my day, that soap has a place of honor in my guest bathroom with my collection of old shaving and various toilette memorabilia. this is just a little look into my life here, I always say, Germany is my home but Georgia is where I am at home. writing this brings so many memories I just could go on forever. thanks for letting me share.
I love your story! Mom told me about the gritty chocolate too.
Mein Papa ist in Königsberg geboren, meine Mutti in Bialistok und ich in Dorsten, Westpfalen. Wir sind in 1956 nach USA eingewandert. Danach kammen etliche Freunde meines Eltern in die USA. Wir haben immer alles zusammen getan. Im Sommer waren wir alle zusammen am Strand, Decke an Decke, manchmal soviet wie 7 Ehepaare und 10 Kinder. Oft sind wir mit 2 oder 3 Familien auf Urlaub gefahren. Fast jeden Sonntag gab es bei irgendjemand Kaffee und Kuchen, da konnten auch 3-4 Familien zusammen gekommen sein. Solch wunderbare Errinerungen!
Eating salami in a peanutbutter world caught my eye! That’s me..salami & liverwurst have always been my preference. I was born in Heidelberg and spent most of the ’60’s & early 70’s living there near my Oma & Opa and lots of aunts, uncles & cousins…Mom’s side of the family. Dad was American (Army) though and we moved back to the U.S. in the ’70’s. Had a fantastic 4 week visit to family in Heidelberg & Hamburg this past June with hubby after 18 years away! I am so looking forward to reading all of your blog. I see SO many familiar topics ! 🙂
Welcome! You must have some fantastic stories… I’d love to hear them.
i lived in Bitburg for three years, had a child while over there. Loved the country and surrounding countries. You have much to be proud of. Your country is so full of good things. I wish all could experience it!
Lucky you to be able to have lived there!
hi! Thanks so much for sharing your memories and thoughts. Me and my husband, we are German and moved to the US almost 10 years ago. I had to when I read how german your parents raised you in America – first language, your Pausenbrot, christmas eve and so on- because that’s exactly what we do with our kids. I alwyas wonder how they feel so please keep the reflections coming they are highly appreciated!! Thank you!
They may act grumpy from time to time… but overall, I’m sure they love it. The world has changed a bit from when I was a child (at least, in California it has). I think people are more accepting of different cultures now.
And if nothing else… they will have stories to tell their kids!
A few weeks ago we talked on the German American hour from Toledo. Your story is the same as mine. I have been to Germany 17 times to see my family and friends we have there. My grandmother looked like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies TV show. When I was younger, I thought all Grandmother’s looked that way. She lived to the young age of 101. In Germany the older you get the higher you live in the house. She would walk down 3 flights of stairs to work in her garden until she was 95. We had a big party for her 100th birthday. We all made the trip to celebrate. My mother and father a gone now, but I still have my Tante Olga here in the states which is 93 and still drives and lives on her own. I dance with the Toledo Holzhacker Baum. Even though we come from north Germany, anything is possible in America. I have introduced a lot of my German Heritage to my step children and they are proud to have step roots in Germany. Enough from me now.
Keep up the good work
I think all those stairs keep people young!
Thank you for sharing your story…
I was also born in California to German immigrant parents in the 1960’s! I experienced the same lifestyle as you mentioned…including flying Condor to Germany every so often. My family would mail cassette tape recordings back and forth (less expensive than the phone calls) particularly at Christmas time, where my younger sister and I would have to recite “gedichte” and sing the songs we learned in German School. It’s funny to think about the peculiar ways my parents worked to pass along their culture. But I will say that I do have a sense that Germany is as familiar as a second home to me, even if I didn’t grow up there. I totally love my cultural heritage. So I guess my parents efforts paid off. Passing it on to my own children (second generation American)is difficult even in this digital age. I hope I see a similar appreciation in them someday.
I love the way your family sent cassette tapes! I certainly remember when phone calls were wildly expensive… NO ONE just picked up the phone to call.
I’m hoping that our kids enjoy and appreciate the culture that we try so hard to pass along!
My family in America sent cassette tapes to my family in Germany, and they sent cassettes to us, especially at Christmas. We sang Christmas songs in German for them and they sang Christmas songs to us in English. We always looked forward to receiving their cassettes! I love that memory. Now, we send Christmas messages to each other from our cell phones!
we would get cassettes sometimes too… how the world has changed.
As an American living in Germany, it’s really interesting to hear about you growing up in America with German traditions. I also didn’t have the most “all white bread” upbringing in the States either. My grandparents were from the Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia back then…), and my mom was the first generation to be born in America just a few years after they moved there as refugees. So I grew up with a love of Czech customs and traditions, which is part of what led me to pack everything up after college and move to Prague!
Wow… brave. I just couldn’t take that step when I was younger… and now, family and obligations make it too big a leap.
Love your page!
Cool! You have a blast in the states.
This is a great story. I can imagine how you stood out. I moved to the States almost 3 years ago from Germany (Berlin). I am very German still, but even though I do miss Germany at many occasions I found lots of reasons to stay here in New York. I got married and expecting my first kid. I am wondering to keep German traditions and my culture alive, so my son will know his heritage. Of course traveling to see my family in Germany will do a big deal, but I will also try to keep it alive here. I am looking forward to read more about your stories.
Thank you…it can be difficult, but with effort, it can happen!
Ich habe gerade deinen Blog entdeckt und schicke liebe Grüße aus dem Odenwald.
Ich bin sehr gespannt auf deine deutsch-amerikanischen Geschichten.
Nina von Butterzart
Danke! und Herzlich Wilkommen!
Hallo Nina! Ich bin im Odenwald aufgewachsen und lebe seit 22 Jahren in den Ozarks in Missouri. Die Landschaft ist dem Odenwald sehr aehnlich und es gibt viele Orte mit deutschen Namen. Der Missouri River zwischen Kansas City und St. Louis erinnert mich sehr an den Rhein. Bestimmt haben sich deshalb auch so viele Deutsche dort niedergelassen als dieses Land besiedelt wurde. Aldi hat seit vielen Jahren hier Geschaefte die ihren Laeden in Deutschland sehr aehnlich sind (sogar die Fussbodenplatten). Aldi is somit mein woechentlicher Ausflug nach Deutschland geworden.. Ich halte immer nach deutschen Producten ausschau, vor allem um die Weihnachtszeit. Liebe Gruesse, Anita
I came to this country in 1970. Raised my children here kept visiting Germany almost once a year in the beginning due to the fact that I terribly homesick! I am still living here and when I go back to Germany now I get homesick for this country now.
I get homesick for both places…. nice to have 2 countries that feel like home
I am so happy to have found this website! I moved back to the states when I was 6 years old because my german father had passed away and my american mother could not bare to remain in the place where everything reminded her of what happened. German was my first language and i disliked speaking English in Germany because i thoyght it made me stick out. When i left Germany I had just begun first grade and because my English was not very good, i got placed back into kindergarten to assist with improving my English. I have been lucky enough to visit my Oma every single year since then and I sometimes can even afford to go twice. I never knew how lucky I was to be a dual citizen until I got older. I now cherish every single memory i have made in Germany. I have more friends there than I do in the states even though i havent lived in Germany for almost 16 years now. I have a deep yearning to move there and start a career and its painful sometimes. I know deep down I will end up raising my children in the same town I grew up in. Ich komme aus Beilstein, Hessen im Westerwald und ich bin sehr stolz Deutsch zu sein. Liebe grüße
I hope you have a chance to get back there! It’s possible to go and study, then stay for work.
I have come here in 1981…what a culture shock….miss it, have not been back…so much changed, my friends are not to be found, many of my male friends got married and stopped writing…no Germans where I live in New Hampshire, except a family who owns a restaurant and they are not to keen on talking to other Germans…
I am the opposite, born in Chicago. Live in LA, CA until we moved down to Bavaria for a few years when I was a 7-9 years old. Not for military, just a parents job transfer. Ended up in a small town 40 miles’ish outside München.
Wie can back to the states, my grandfather was ill.
I left my heart in that town and many friends I still talk to today some 30 years later. I have literally lived all over the US. Nothing compares. Or even comes close. Now that my daughter is in University. It is time to save up and return to my heart and home.
I hope you can get there soon!
I was 9 when I first came from Hamburg in 1954 with my mother and my younger brother . My father came over first in 1953 to set things up for us.. I was very homesick for many years. I missed the garden. We had an acre of land, which was completely farmed with fruit trees, vegetables and berries. What we did not eat ourselves was sold or traded for other goods. I use to help my grandfather pluck chickens in the backyard. A lot of fond memories of my friends and neighbors there. Growing up in the rural outskirts of Hamburg did not prepare me for apartment living in Bayside, New York. We use to sit on the fire escape and cry. To make matters worse, I was placed in the 1st grade to learn English, which thankfully happened very quickly. It was difficult being German here so soon after the war, especially as a child. I was branded the resident ‘Nazi’ by the other kids. Kids can be very cruel. Things got better over the years. I followed in my father’s footprints in the electrical industry, got married, raised 3 sons (all of whom are now married and have kids of their own) and served my country in Vietnam as a combat infantryman in 1966-67. So that’s it in a nut shell. I can still speak, read and write German after all these years. I try to practice as often as I can. Although I no longer have any senior family members to reminisce with.
Thank you so much for sharing your story.. I can’t imagine going from rural Germany to the city in New York. It must have been so difficult.
Yes, it was very difficult. We moved from the country house to an apartment in Queens. My mother, me and my little brother use to sit on the fire escape and cry. It was very sad.
I bet! That must have been the ultimate culture shock!
Manfred Spikereit, I started school in Georgia in 1954. I got called a Nazi lover. It hurt my feelings real bad. Until today, it still bothers me when I hear anyone being called offensive names.
Isn’t it awful… people say the stupidest things without any knowledge.
Wow, your story is so similar to mine! I was 10 when my parents emigrated in 1956 . Our destination was Chicago and I experienced pretty much the same things. We came over on a ship “General Langfitt” ….a horrendous 2-week journey!! Enjoy reading all the comments!
Isn’t it funny how big this group is? So many of us with similar stories
I also feel “German,” although simultaneously thoroughly American. Through family research I found out that I am almost entirely German in heritage through 4- 6 and possibly 9 generations. My “shortest” number of generations comes from my great grandmother, whom I knew, and who immigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1882 when she was five years old. Figuring out how German I am explains a lot! We ate sauerkraut, we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, we said Gesundheit, my other grandmother (3rd generation) used lots of little German expressions and loved Lawrence Welk, etc. I even read an ethnography of communication that attempted to understand German characteristics, and it was me! This may seem a stretch to many of you who actually *are* German (born there or parents immigrated here), but believe me, it has been eye-opening to realize who I am.
I understand… It’s interesting how traditions get mixed into family habit, and then wonderful when you discover why!
Love this page. We too enjoy Christmas Eve and our German food and drink traditions. My grandparents were 1st generation German Americans from Bremen, Hamburg and Dresden. We do know that my Dad’s family were Huguenots who fled France through Geneva in the late 1400’s. Unfortunately none of our grandparents were allowed to speak German at home growing up due to WW1 so our parents could not pass on the language to us. During WWII we had relatives killed in action on both sides. After WWII our German family was disconnected from us for many years. We have since been reunited and visit back and forth since the Wall came down. When we visited I immediately felt at home even though I had never been there before. I was even asked for directions in German!
Wonderful!! What a great story!
Hi, I just found this side and love it. I moved from Rheinland Pfalz to Florida in 1963 at the age of 19. I was a little homesick at first and missed so many things. There were no German stores and my Mother would sent packages every so often. After I married and had children, it was always exiting for them to visit Oma in Germany. We did have the opportunity to move back to Germany within six miles of my small Hometown and enjoyed it for 10 years. My Children attended the American Schools, but otherwise we lived the German Lifestyle. They had the best of both worlds. To this day, all three of them think of Germany as home. The Grandchildren enjoy visiting the Family in Germany as often as they can. I never had regrets moving to the U.S, but Germany will always have a special place in my heart. My friends always look forward coming to my home for good German food and Wine. It’s wonderful how so many things are available now, including a German Butcher. Life is good.
How lucky that you have both worlds so strong in your family!
Your story is so interesting to me in Port Charlotte FL, as I research my grandmother Anna Thielen who came from Ehlenz 1882 with sister Luzia Thielen. Did you live near Ehlenz?
My family is from the area around Munster in NRW- a bit north and east of Ehlenz
My family and I came to the US in 1957 as WWII “displaced person” refugees from Linz, Austria. When people ask where I am from, I say that I straddle 3 countries: my parents are ethnic German born in Yugoslavia (Donauschwabian) and I was born in Austria after my parents fled Yugoslavia from communist partisans’ death and destruction of ethnic Germans. The Lutheran World Federation (their symbol, a cross in a boat) sponsored our journey to America.
We have a long gardening tradition and grew tomatoes. peppers. rhubarb. parsley, and of course Kohlrabi. My mother made wonderful strudel (unfortunately, I never took the time to learn). My father always made a very lean, flavorful Bratwurst for Christmas. I now understand why ethnic Germans from the Slavic countries are nicknamed “Paprika-deutsche”–we like to put paprika in many dishes. I visited relatives in Nickelsdorf, Austria in 1986 and and out of curiosity, bicycled to “no man’s land” of the Eiserne Vorhang of the Austrian-Hungarian border. Saw the barbed wire and the soldiers with their machine guns.
I keep up my German heritage by singing with the Washington Saengerbund (saengerbund.org) and every 3 years joining with others at Saengerfest. I hope to visit germany next year to visit the important Martin Luther paces.
thank you so much for sharing your story… if you ever want to share more, let me know, I’d be happy to have you write up a guest post. So many people don’t know about the Donauschwaben refugees.
I am so impressed with the stories which awaken so many memories of my immigrating from Stuttgart, Germany to California in l960 – aber ich schreibe/uebe mich lieber in Deutsch. Meine Tochter war fast 3 Jahre alt, nach ein paar Monaten in L.A. wollte sie nur noch Englisch sprechen und wir folgten ganz brav -. nun glaube ich bereut sie es, da sie bei ihrem Doktorexamen an UCBerkeley in Deutsch allein keine Honors hatte, sondern DURCHFIEL! (2. Mal bestand sie und unterrichtet nun Englisch, viktorianisch!)
Auf alle Fälle bedaure ich, dass ich nicht zwei staatlich bin, sonst würde ich wieder zurück nach Deutschland (schäme mich, Amerikanerin by choice zu sein, wegen Politik) Habe blog zufällig entdeckt, denn ich bin weit über 80 und Technophobin! Werde aber weiterlesen und vielleicht schreiben!
Love what you are doing, Karenanne.
All of the stories are so interesting to read. Most of the stories are relatively recent and make me wish for relatives in Germany and a closer tie to my heritage. The paternal side of my family emigrated to the US before it was the US and before Germany was Germany. I’m thankful knowing how many of our German traditions survived a few hundred years. My fathers paternal family emigrated in the very early 1700s from the Hesse region. His mother’s family from what is now Alsace. My mothers family emigrated in the 1800’s. Her father from Bavaria (he was very proud of his Bavarian heritage), her mothers family Austria/Switzerland. From holidays, Christmas Eve was Christmas, and the food, German heritage was strong. Growing up in Pennsylvania, it was normal because of large German population here. My first trip to Germany in 2002 was amazing. I immediately felt “at home”. My daughter and I have been returning every 2 or 3 years ever since. So much to learn and experience and it has explained a lot. Thank you for creating a place for the stories to be shared.
I love shared stories! Thank you for passing along yours.
Loved the story on growing up German in America! It had me grinning ear to ear as it pretty much described my childhood. I was born in Ludwigsburg and my parents emigrated to Southern California when I was 3 months old. My father, along with many other young German “engineers” were hired and “imported” by Mattel in the late 60’s. These other young men together with their wives and eventually their children were our social group for most of my early childhood. I remember lots of get-togethers at the beach on Sundays, parties at homes where all of the kids were put in the master bedroom to sleep (not that any of us slept!), and meeting at the Phoenix Klub in Anaheim and Alpine Village. German school on Saturday was mandatory until I managed to wheedle out of it as I started high school.
With all of my extended family still living in Germany, we made trips back every few years when I was young and got reacquainted with our cousins. I remember my aunt picking us up at the airport with fresh pretzels and “Kinder Bier” (which tasted much better to me then than it does now). I went back last year – first trip in 19 years – and immediately felt “at home”. It is amazing to me how homesick I can be for a place I never really lived! I love to speak German every chance I get (doesn’t happen very often) and am thrilled to have come across your site Karenanne! Love what you are creating here! 🙂
Oh Gosh! I wonder if we crossed paths! A good friend of the family was one of those Mattel Engineers! (does the name Karl Patz ring a bell?)
I can relate to this! My mom and her family emigrated from Austria and never lost their European ways 🙂
You have a small typo on your list of places…
Meridian Should be MERIDEN, as below. And, yes, they are great. Known them since they opened in the early 60s
–Noacks Meat Products
1112 E Main St
Meriden, CT 06450
(Nicholas Licht says they are a great German Butcher)
Thanks… I will make the corrections!
I loved your article. It was the same for me in a lot of ways. I was born in California, and my fathers came over in the sixty. I am a dual citizen and speak Denglish. Thank you for your experiences.
Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, as well as the
I’m not sure why but this site is loading incredibly slow for me.
Is anyone else having this problem or is it a
issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.