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Old 06-21-2015, 09:26 AM
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,252 posts, read 26,220,119 times
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Originally Posted by LINative View Post
I was thinking of the Amish myself. But when you think about it, the Amish and the Mennonites are more a religious minority then representative of the majority of German-Americans.

To answer your question, this map shows where the German speakers are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German..._United_States . Ground zero seems to be parts of the Dakotas.

Interestingly out of 50 million Americans who claim German ancestry, less then 1.5 million actually speak German. What is that like 3%? That means the great majority of German-Americans, 97% or so, do not speak German. Or they might speak just a few German words like my family.

German-Americans are speaking English.
But even if you don't speak the native language, you can still feel "ethnic" in some meaningful sense. There are only a handful of American Jews who can speak Hebrew or Yiddish but many still strongly identify with Jewish ancestry and culture (even the secular ones). I mean, I don't know if there are many places on Long Island that feel like Haifa or Tel Aviv, but I'm sure there are many communities where American Jews support Jewish causes and Jewish organizations.

You also see this in New York's Italian-American community with the Calandra Institute and the Conference of Italian-American Legislators. Few Italian-Americans actually speak Italian but there is clearly a strong "Italian" identity in the Tri-State area and other cities.


So I'm wondering how German-Americans feel "ethnic" other than saying things like Oktoberfest and sauerkraut.

Old 06-21-2015, 09:34 AM
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,252 posts, read 26,220,119 times
Reputation: 11706
This was written by Professor James P. Leary at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The diversity of religious expression among German-speaking immigrants was paralleled by a high degree of heterogeneity stemming from differences in regional and linguistic origins. This situation differed from that of other nineteenth-century immigrant groups, notably the Irish, but also Italians and people of other European backgrounds. The resulting lack of a unified and clearly definable German-American community explains in part why only few Americans, including those of German descent, have any idea when Steuben Day or German-American Day falls, whereas the Irish St. Patrick’s Day is one of America’s most popular celebrations, and Columbus Day, named after the Italian explorer, is a federal holiday.
Today Milwaukee is known for its “beer and brats,” symbols of local culture that cut across ethnic lines and transcend their origins in the foodways of German-speaking immigrants. Perhaps we can say that Milwaukee is now “the most unconsciously German city in America.”
How German Is American? Building Communities

Not my words.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 06-21-2015 at 09:43 AM..
Old 06-21-2015, 12:36 PM
350 posts, read 607,274 times
Reputation: 352
Originally Posted by WRnative View Post

I don't believe that German-Austrian traditions are dominant in the U.S., just very significant, and I don't see how that can be disputed. I just enjoy history and have read a lot of it, including about the history of science (I didn't even mention the impact of the German Nazi rocket experts on NASA and U.S. ballistic missile development) and education. As I mentioned in my first post on this topic, America's industrial success was very heavily achieved due to the influence of the German educational model and German mathematics. Do you dispute this???
Ah okay. Reading you, I had the impression that you thought German-Austrian culture was dominant. I'm also interested about history, more specifically the origins of America and it's just I've the feeling people, especially in C-D forum, are more interested about the contributions of 19th & 20th century immigrants.

Originally Posted by WRnative View Post
Please enlighten us with some documentation as to how the Spanish/Hispanic, and especially the French, influence has exceeded that of the German-Austrians in music, or overall in American culture.

The French obviously were essential to the U.S. gaining its independence. Additionally, French political philosophy heavily influenced America's founding fathers. Yet, personally, absent any evidence to the contrary, I still believe that German culture overall influenced the U.S. very significantly, likely second only to that of the British. This shouldn't be surprising given the massive German immigration to the U.S.

In culinary traditions, in the Midwest, German and eastern European cuisines still are popular. Do you like beer??? Likely I'm influenced because Cleveland's rising culinary reputation is based on ethnic and mod ethnic culinary traditions, but that does extend to "Mod Mex" at Momocho. Fusion is alive and well in Cleveland and in all of the U.S., even as the Munich-based Hofbrau Haus chain is expanding across the U.S. and recently opened in Cleveland with a bier garden with a 1,000-person capacity (I'm curious if they survive in Cleveland because its product actually isn't as good as many of Cleveland's legacy offerings and I'm not fond of the location, but apparently the chain is doing well elsewhere).

Restaurants and Brewpubs | Hofbräu America
Latin American music in the US

Hispanic American music is much more known and popular. I agree with what you wrote, it's just German contribution to music isn't the first thing I think about when you say German influences. Brewing would be the first thing in my mind.

Originally Posted by WRnative View Post
What's your ethnic background, and why are you so dismissive of German cultural influences in the U.S.?

I've nothing against German cultural influences, I respect and recognize their contribution to American culture. I'm interested about American ancestries and many historians or demographers are agree English ancestry is underestimated and it's more likely to be the largest ancestry among Americans but people keep quoting the U.S Census numbers like if it was the absolutely true. It's more about posters that I'm dismissive
Old 06-21-2015, 06:21 PM
7,906 posts, read 4,866,693 times
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A big factor in the suppression of German culture was both world wars. Even German place names were changed all across the country, and cultural events weren't celebrated.

In Columbus, German Village saw its Schiller Park renamed Washington Park (it has reverted to Schiller Park) and many German-based street names permanently changed.

Schiller Park

Keep in mind that Italy (and Japan) was an ally of the U.S. in WWI.

In WWII, the perception was that the Italians (especially after Italian partisans executed Mussolini) had been the victims of a war-minded dictatorship against the wishes of the Italian people.

This was never believed about the German people, likely because they largely did support the Nazi war effort, at least until the tide turned against Germany.

Given the atrocities of the Nazis, it likely became unpopular even among German Americans to celebrate their German heritage. Of course that has changed in recent decades in the Midwest, with Octoberfests becoming quite common and major cultural festivals once again.

Many of the great American military leaders of both wars were of at least partial German descent (e.g., Pershing, Eisenhower and Nimitz), but this did not mitigate anti-German feeling, especially heightened by government propaganda.

The German language used to be commonly taught in American high schools, perhaps because many technical journals were written in German. German language instruction no longer is as prevalent.

War Hysteria & the Persecution of German-Americans

Old 06-22-2015, 07:00 AM
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,252 posts, read 26,220,119 times
Reputation: 11706
Originally Posted by WRnative View Post
Given the atrocities of the Nazis, it likely became unpopular even among German Americans to celebrate their German heritage. Of course that has changed in recent decades in the Midwest, with Octoberfests becoming quite common and major cultural festivals once again.
It's crazy how Oktoberfests have sprung up all across the U.S. in the last three decades. It seems like every major city has one now.
Old 06-22-2015, 08:34 AM
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,226 posts, read 19,525,937 times
Reputation: 12969
The U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Scandinavian countries, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland and other small countries all share a pretty similar western culture and philosophy.

However, out of all those places the U.S. is the closest to England. That is where we derive from to the greatest degree.
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