Das Buch der Deutschen in America: Pages 790 - 794

one year it was held in the western portion of the country and the next year in the East, was accepted without debate.

Delegates Keller and Löper proposed holding the 1905 convention in Indianapolis; the motion was supported by Emil Mannhardt of Chicago, H. I. Nienstedt of St. Paul and H. Theumer of Cleveland. The motion was accepted with applause. Joseph Keller of Indianapolis thanked everyone in the name of the Association of German Societies of Indianapolis for the honor.

A proposal from the State Association of Ohio: There was a large amount of legislation, called Blue Laws, in the individual states of the Union, which did not serve to maintain public order but merely marred municipal and state law books as monuments to puritanical intolerance and which became tools of hypocritical zealots in order to rob peaceful citizens of their personal freedom. It should be resolved that the state associations, which have gone to battle to fight for the repeal of these laws in the various state legislatures or were about to undertake the task, be given the full moral support from the National Alliance by its participation, both oral and written, in order to assist these state associations in achieving victory for the rights of personal freedom. Accepted.

With the reelection of the alliance officers the second National Convention closed on September 15th.

On October 4, 1905 the Third Convention of the National Alliance began more days of deliberation in Indianapolis with a hearty greeting from Mayor John W. Holtzmann. In his convention report Alliance Secretary Adolph Timm gave with pleasant brevity an overview of achievements and the current status of the National Alliance:

The achievements of the National Alliance since its founding are:

The Pro-Buren Petition with 1½ million signatures.

The public letter to Major-General McArthur.

The successful protest against a limiting in immigration and repeal of the "head tax" for immigrants.

The successful battle against the Hepburn-Dolliver Bill.

The successful protest against a proposed law before Congress to insert a 21-year prohibition clause into the constitutions of the new states of Oklahoma and Washington.

The successful submission of a proposal before Congress for a Steuben Memorial.

The granting of a pension for General Peter Osterhaus and his enrollment on the old soldiers list of the regular army.

The successful agitation of the Regent Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, so that the planned monument to General Herkimer also includes on the inscription "Herchheimer," the German spelling of the name.

The established Schiller Scrapbook to the Schiller Museum in Marbach.

The current roster of the National Alliance is as follows:

State Associations and Municipal Groups
The Central Alliance of Pennsylvania; 6 Municipal Groups.
The State Association of New Jersey; 6 Municipal Groups.
The State Assocation of Ohio; 6 Municipal Groups.
The State Association of California; 5 Municipal Groups.
The State Association of Indiana; 4 Municipal Groups.
The Central Alliance of Minnesota.

The Independent Ctizens Association of Maryland.
The Central Association of the District of Columbia.
The Central Association of Boston and the surrounding area.
The United German Societies of New York and the Municipal Unions of Troy, Rochester, Herkimer County.
The Branch Association for St. Louis and Southern Illinois.
The Central Alliance of Idaho.
Individual Associations belonging to the National Alliance from the following States:
Alabama - 3
Colorado - 5
Connecticut - 4
Delaware - 2
Illinois - 8
Iowa - 8
Kansas - 1
Louisiana - 5
Michigan - 3
Montana - 3
Nebraska - 8
Oregon - 2
South Carolina - 1
Tennessee - 1
Texas - 24
Vermont - 1
Washington - 3
Wisconsin - 9
Total: 91

With 12 states represented by state associations and municipal unions and 18 more states represented by individual associations, the National Alliance extended over 30 states.

The best illustration for the growth of the National Alliance, presented by the Secretary, is as follows:
At the Baltimore convention Mrs. Richter represented a single society, the Schiller Society of St. Louis. Today she is a delegate with Mr. Leo Osthaus of a large association for Missouri and southern Illinois. In Baltimore Mr. Carl Eberhard represented the Boston Turnverein; today he is a delegate along with Mr. Philip Rappaport of a large municipal union of Boston and the surrounding area, which may further expand in the near future into a statewide association for Massachusetts. Mr. Emil Mannhardt, who represented the Historical Society of Illinois in Baltimore, kept his word to organize Chicago by the next convention. On October 3rd there was an organizational meeting in the hall of the Chicago Gymnastics Club.

In his convention message the president indicated that "Don't sit back and don't be quiet" seems to have accomplished something in the national fight. Active people become victors and he hopes that they are Germans. But this isn't accomplished through beautiful oratory but through persistent agitation, perpetrated not just in one's inner circle but in the outside world. The individual must be convincingly serious about the matter; this cannot be a momentary exercise to gratify petty vanity - it must be handled as a sacred duty, indeed a life goal. German-Americans could take in example the American willingness to sacrifice. It may be true that a statue will be erected in Washington to honor Steuben, partly due to the efforts of the National Alliance, but it's also true that at the Baltimore Convention an enthusiastic resolution was passed to erect a memorial to Pastorius and no further steps have been taken since. It cannot be oratory alone; the issue must be dealt with, financial donations must be secured. Each within his circle must, according to conscience and feeling, donate money for German schools, German churches, German theater, German hospitals, German singing, gymnastic, charitable, school and continuing educational associations, etc.

In short, there has to be vigorous support for each German cultural movement.

From the report of the district of Washington, news of the successful founding of the District German Historical Society on April 12, 1904 was emphasized. It was founded because almost all American books dealing with the history of the United States - both large scholarly works and smaller instructional texts - contain historical inaccuracies particularly in sections pertaining to German-Americans, where they are either completely silent, dispatch the subject with a few sentences, or totally distort and degrade their work, contributions and endeavors. The Society hopes to correct these incongruities with the energetic deployment of educational programs.

There was an interesting exposition by Mrs. Fernande Richter of St. Louis concerning the Branch Association of Missouri, which was founded at the suggestion of the Schiller Society of St. Louis on May 20, 1904. The association consisted at the time of 47 societies and 43 individual members, which have declared themselves solidly in line with the purpose and goals of the National Alliance. At the time of the convention the association was involved in active opposition to the reactivated Sunday Laws, which serve as a means of gauging reaction to the introduction of prohibition legislation.

The Branch Association has engaged in this battle as part of its agitation agenda for the National Alliance by attempting to inform its fellow citizens through pamphlets and letters on its opinions and it has won energetic support in the various English language newspapers.

Philips Heiser delivered a report on the German Alliance of Nebraska, consisting of 63,000 members and standing strong, like the German oak in a state where a German has already been elected governor. After this, Rudolf Cronau spoke on behalf of the United German Societies, which has 312 societies representing 30,000 members. He discussed the following:

Here is not the place to give detailed picture of the operations of the United German Societies for the past year. I will only illustrate a few examples of its activities.

The most important announcement was the organization of commemorative services for the thousand unfortunate souls, which died in the General Slocum Disaster. As all of New York, especially the German community, was staggered by the tragic blow, caused by the dreadful sinking of the steamship "Slocum," the United German Societies did their most noble work. They not only energetically contributed to relief efforts for the survivors but also held a moving and impressive public memorial service such as the City had never seen before. An inconceivable number of people attended this service at the Weiss Gardens on July 14, 1904.

The German Day was a wonderful success. Participation in the celebration was enormous. Facilities were filled to their utmost capacity.

The Schiller Celebration of May of this year also experienced a thoroughly welcome outcome. It was a four-sided affair with three other groups taking part, the Union of Old German Students, the United Singers of New York and Columbia University.

Secretary Timm reported that Philadelphia held a five-day Schiller Festival. A German theater was erected at a cost of a quarter million dollars. It is a people's theater

in the truest sense of the word since the money was raised through subscriptions. The Lehigh Singing Society has joined the Central Alliance of Pennsylvania and good prospects are at hand that the Central Alliance will also include an Erie branch.

The Central Associations of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Maryland reported about their progress since the last convention. It was particularly interesting what the representative from Maryland had to say about gymnastics instruction. It could be reported that there had been a significant increase in the past two years both in the public schools and among young Americans. Capable German gymnastics instructors have been placed in the public schools and gymnastics instruction has won so many friends that this year (1905) on September 12th there will be a marvelous gymnastics tournament, which has attracted the attention of thousands of curious people and will be perceived as a powerful victory towards the education of the populace. The generosity of one American, Mr. Robert Garrett, has amounted to thousands of dollars each year towards equipment, etc. and it pays for the appointment of German gymnastics instructors in the public gymnasiums in the parks of the city.

In early 1904 measures were taken to annex the State of Indiana in the National Association. At the constitutional convention of August 13, 1904 representatives from Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Jeffersonville and Terre Haute were present and by early 1905 there were Schiller Festivals in three areas of the State.

A bureau was established the protection of rights under the law and work mediation services.

A professorial chair will be established for German-American history at an American university.

The National German-American Alliance may see to it that instructional texts, citing the famous deeds of people of German heritage in war and in peace, will not be lacking in the public schools.

It will keep in mind that the books dealing with such history in the public schools will deliver non-partisan descriptions of historical events and will contribute nothing to cause the development of prejudice against the foreign-born in the student.

It was recommended that it be left to the individual central associations whenever possible to engage theater troups of actors to perform in their respective districts for shorter or greater lengths of time. It should be the purpose of the various municipal and district associations to appoint special committees for their theaters. It may also be understood that so-called amateur theater companies should only find support when no professional theater troup can be engaged.

The National Alliance resolves to lobby for the reintroduction of the Army Cantine by the next session of Congress and to give its moral support to the Germanic Museum in Boston.

The biography of Pastorius, which Prof. Learned will finish in early 1906, should be published by the National Alliance and the net proceeds shall be used for the Pastorius Memorial Fund.

The by-laws were annexed to the National Alliance's constitution.

The stipend for the Alliance's secretary was set at $250 per year

and travel costs to conventions for Alliance officers will be reimbursed.

The invitation by New York to hold the next convention there was accepted.

After this, Alliance President Dr. C. J. Hexamer reported that a man in Philadelpha offered a $1000 endowment payable upon his death. The interest from this sum was to be set up as an award for some male of female German student. The Alliance decided to accept the donation and offered thanks to the donor.

Next came the nomination and election of alliance officers as follows:
President: Dr. C. J. Hexamer, Philadelph.
First Vice-President: Joseph Keller, Indianapolis.
Second Vice-President: Noah Guter, Newark, New Jersey.
Secretary: Adolph Timm, Philadelphia.
Financial Secretary: John Yenny, East Pittsburgh.
Treasurer: Hans Weniger, Philadelphia.

Let is also be marked that the convention of October 6th coincides with the "National Celebration of German Day," at which the Vice-President of the United States, Charles Warren Fairbanks, delivered an address. A vote was held and it was decided that the National Alliance would offer him their thanks. For this occasion numerous telegrams of congratulations and declarations of approval, as well as poetic greetings, came from all parts of the county to the Alliance and these were affixed as an addendum to the recorded proceedings of the National Convention of 1905.

After an official greeting was delivered by Mr. Rudolf Cronau, representing the New York City Branch and Comptroller Herman A. Metz in the name of the Convention Office of New York City, Dr. C. J. Hexamer opened the Fourth Convention of the National Alliance on October 5, 1907 in the Terrace Garden of New York.

Dr. Hexamer was please to announce at the beginning of his report that what had been a hopeful wish at the time of the Alliance's founding in 1900 was now a fact. Germans had united already in 40 states of the Union and there were more than 1 ½ million members.

"The major difficulty with which we had to contend," stated Dr. Hexamer, "was finding suitable leaders in many districts, for it is not easy to discover men with the qualitities needed to offer up their time and money out of sheer love for ideal matters without ulterior motives. And yet, what would serve better to give these qualities to well-off young German-Americans than service to our lofty agenda. Is it madness to put forth serious effort in promoting all that is good and beautiful and noble within the culture and character of the German people of the world and to cast these seeds before the American people? Indeed, the best American is one who does not rest and does not keep quiet until "americanization" also means "germanization." It is our most urgent task — wherever the cradle of our existence stands — to set in place German knowledge, German art, the profundity of German feeling and to fight against English hypocrisy and ill will."

He again spoke of the maintenance and promotion of the mother tongue and urgently recommended proposals made by Dr. W. A. Fritsch of Evansville, Indiana:

1. We should speak German with children in German-American homes within the family circle. The same should hold true in public

Go to Pages 795 - 799

Text provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Buffalo NY
Imaging and translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks