Kriegs-Album announcement of Dec. 25, 1915
the only German illustrated
is an expanded continuation of our
The first issue of Deutsch-Amerika, v.2 no. 1 of January 1, 1916, p.3 contained this welcome to its readers:
Deutsch-Amerika’s [German-America’s] Greeting to its Readers
“German-America” – a designation which a person would not find if he looked in an atlas or geographical textbook. In this sense there’s never been a German-America and there never will be. However as a concept German-America was created when the first German immigrants set foot in this country bringing with them German manners and the German way of life, German diligence and German loyalty. The precious metal of these assets was mixed in the huge melting pot out of which was forged the American character.
Decades ago on the lower eastside of the state of New York “White Garden” developed as a true German settlement, which was called “Little Germany.” In a geographical sense “Little Germany” had as little true identity as “German America.” Little Germany was the gathering place for the Germans of New York. Here German life evolved on American soil. Here German cozy existence took root; here they planted German songs and practiced German family life. Here they lit their German Christmas trees – in order to enjoy their existence, honor the old fatherland, and bring blessing to their new homeland. Little Germany IS their newly consecrated homeland.
In Little Germany Americans of German heritage gained respect through honesty, wealth through diligence, and respectability through moderation.
Hundreds and then thousands of Americans of German extraction came from Little Germany and flocked to the aid of their country, for the Star-spangled banner was worthy of protection — thus German-Americans demonstrated their loyalty to their new homeland.
Little Germany was the middle point of German life and existence in the eastern metropolis. German-America should be the spiritual midpoint of German life and culture. Deutsch-Amerika should be the locus in which German-Americans come together. German-America should unite everything which brings honor to the designation German and American. It should be the focal point to joy in being German-American.
German-America – under this name, under this star-spangled banner with the eagle of the republic, in a unity of word and image the reader should discover what was most dear to him in the old and the new homeland: everything beautiful which he exalts as the highest good and should never be forgotten; everything he has accomplished and considers his highest achievement and worthiest goal. In Deutsch-Amerika the reader will recognize beauty in the saying “Germania is our honored mother, Columbia our truly beloved wife.” For millions of German-Americans this weekly magazine will become the spiritual bonding agent, the hyphen between German and American. The war in Europe, our worries for the old homeland, the hostility in America, and the worries for our new homeland are the elements which will bind us more closely together. In this new German-American weekly magazine we create a bond which will bind us together “with malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right.” The year 1915 came to us as a time of dreadful, unholy, and thunderous gunfire. It also left us amid that thunder. 1915 stands as a bloody entry in the annals of history. With hope we welcome 1916 as a new year of promise. May it bring the joy of peace to a pain-ridden world. Once the sword saturated in blood is dedicated to a new purpose which humanity deems pious and good, hope will be able to soar above the destroyed meadows, the smoldering rubble and the endlessly long rows of graves.
Deutsch-Amerika is a child of war. It was born as Kriegs-Album and as such has won many friends. In the coming days of peace let Deutsch-Amerika form a bond of friendship with its readers. We will learn how to be an amicable servant to our readers if they do not withhold their desires, their suggestions, their praise and their reprimands. As German-Americans we are one big family whereby one should help and counsel the other. One should be a friend whom one welcomes as good company and as a trusted advisor who opens his heart to all.
The notion of the hyphen uniting the German with the American becomes a theme in the Sept. 30, 1916 edition of the magazine with an article in English: The Hyphen in American History, which was published a week later in German as Der Bindestrich in der Geschichte Amerikas.
Address delivered by Mr. George Seibel, Editor of the Pittsburgh "Volksblatt und Freiheitsfreund," at Johnstown, Pa. on German Day, August 31, 1916.
During the past two years a new disease has made its appearance in the United States, a malignant malady, which no one has ever suspected before. It originated in something that seems to be harmless enough — a mere mark of punctuation. Of course, those who are familiar with the history of medicine have heard of the dangerous comma bacillus, discovered by Dr. Koch. He had some ideas of the perils which lurked in the printer's case, yet even he couldn't have realized what a dire menace was hid in the seemingly innocuous hyphen. It remained for a famous Doctor from Princeton to discover this, and his horrifying discovery was verified by the researches of another wise man — the peerless navigator of the River of Doubt, the eminent founder of the Annanias Club, the mighty hunter of the Whiskered Bird, the discoverer of the Ten Commandments. It is not necessary to mention his name. Let us try to forget him along with Harry Thaw!
The hyphen, however, is dangerous only in certain combinations. You may be an Anglo-Saxon, or a British-American, or Scotch-Irish or a score of other things with hyphens, and the hyphen will be a mark of distinction and a bade [sic] of honor. But if you are a German-American — that is, during the past two years — the hyphen is as dreadful as the brand of Cain. Formerly, when a careless workman smoked a pipe in a powder factory and was blown up, people said it served him right. Now-a-days, when hundreds of careless and unskilled workmen all over the country, raked up from everywhere to manufacture munitions, blow up themselves and the factories where they work eighteen hours a day, the cry is at once raised "Hunt the Hyphen!"
If somebody with a German name, having heard that an American nurse in Germany died of blood poisoning because she had no antiseptic rubber gloves, attempts to smuggle some sheet rubber into Germany, he is at once halled before a tribunal for the violation of American neutrality. He or she is bitterly attacked in scurrilous articles on the front pages of papers which circulate especially in the circles that year after year swindle the United States Government by smuggling silks and furs from Europe though they could well afford to pay the duties. But it makes a great deal of difference whether a British-American hyphenate smuggles furs and silks into America or whether a German-American hyphenate tries to smuggle rubber into Germany. The one is only cheating the American people but the other is disobeying the British Foreign Office.
It would take all day to tell you all the horros [sic] and crimes committed by these wicked Hyphens.
Why, did you know, some have even had the audacity to say that they would not vote for the re-election of President Wilson! They don't care it seems how bad the "London Times" might feel if King George's American viceroy should be deposed. These wicked Hyphens are utterly devoid of Human sympathy. Some of them even had the temerity to criticise this same President Wilson when he refused to attend the unveiling of a monument to General Nathaniel Greene. Who was General Greene? Second in command to George Washington. Who was George Washington? He was a hyphenate of 1776.
Do you know that if you printed extracts to-day from the writings of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, and their associates, and attempted to smuggle them into Canada or Ireland or India, you would probably be arrested? Why, there is even a little pamphlet written by William Jennings Bryan, to bring which into India would subject a man to being cast into jail.
Sometimes I wish that old Johann Peter Zenger could come back to us. Zenger, a German hyphenate of the year 1773, was the first apostle and martyr of the American free press. He founded the first newspaper in America that tried to tell the truth. The truth, then as now, was unpalpable to the English authorities, so Zenger's paper was ordered to be burned by the hangman, and Zenger was thrown into jail. A trifling inconvenience like that did not scare a man like Zenger. He kept on editing his paper from his cell, giving instructions to the printers through a crack of the door. After years of persecution he established in America the principle of the free press, free until it was again fettered by chains of British gold.
Remember that it was a German-American hyphenate who first secured for America the liberty of the press. The hyphenates have been first in a great manyy things, their connection with which in our days has almost been forgotten. Above all, they have always been first in every fight for liberty, in every battle against oppression, in every war for human rights.
Do you know that the first protest against negro slavery voiced on this continent came from Germantown in the year 1688, and the arguments were such that it was impossible to refute them? It took nearly 150 years for the Puritans of New England to catch up with the humane idealism of Franz Daniel Pastorius and his comrades, which Whittier has called "The German-born pilgim who first dared to brave the scorn of the proud in the cause of the slave."
Do you know the first rebel against British tyranny was a hyphenate, Jacob Leisler? Just as, two centuries later, the first men on this continent to preach the new economic gospel of Socialism were hphenated [sic] Germans?
Do you know that the first Bible printed in America was printed by Christoph Saur in 1743, forty years before any other Bible was printed in America?
Do you know that fully two hundred years earlier a German hyphenate, Johann Cromberger, had established the first printing office in the new world, in the city of Mexico?
Do you know the first book on education written in America was written by Christoph Dock in 1754, and that the first kindergarten was brought over in 1826 by Frederick Rapp?
Do you know the first American encyclopedia was compiled by Francis Lieber in 1828?
Do you know that Wilhelm Rittenhaus in 1690 erected the first paper mill in America?
Do you know that Thomas Ruetter in 1716 founded the first ironworks in Pennsylvania?
Do you know that another German, Kaspar Wuester, in 1738, founded the first glass factory in America?
Do you know that a hyphenated Pennsylvania Dutchman, Thomas Leiper, in 1806, constructed the first railroad in America?
Do you know that a German build the first steamboat that plowed our western waters, and another German as her captain made the first trip to New Orleans?
The things of the mind and the spirit were always their first concern, but the German Pilgrims have been no less conspicuous as pioneers in the fields of industry and commerce.
Do you know that the first suspension bridge was flung a hyphen a steel, across the American river by the hyphenated Johann August Roebling, as if he wished to impress upon the world the fact that the hyphen unites, it does not separate?
Do you know that a hyphenated German-American is "the foremost electrical engineer of the United States and therefore of the world?" I am quoting the words of the President of Harvard University in conferring a degree upon Karl P. Steinmetz.
How many of our giant enterprises were founded by these despised hyphenates! I shall name only four. The great United States Steel Corporation sprang from the furnaces of Andreas and Anton Kloman, started about 1859; the family of the man who may be regarded as the father of the modern Department Store, John Wanamaker, was originally known as Wannemacher; the ancestors of the founder of the Standard Oil business was called Roggenfelder; and all over the world, in 57 languages, you will see the praise of the 57 varieties associated with the hyphenated name of Heinz.
Even so in the contiguous realms of beauty and of truth, in the radiant creations of art and the stupendous achievements of science, the Germans in America have done their share and need not be ashamed.
Do you know that the Capitol at Washinton, the most majestic structure in the new world, is the work of a German hyphenate? Do you know that the most beautiful building in the new world, the Library of Congress, is also the work of two hyphenated Germans?
Do you know that the two largest telescopes and the two most important observatories in the United States were the gift of two hyphenates, Lick and Yerkes? A German-American, Heinrich Schliemann, dug up the buried grandeur of Greece and raised the mighty men of Homer from the world of shades.
Do you know that Johann Behrent, in 1775, built the first American piano? Do you know that you can't buy an unhyphenated piano worth playing?
The Germans have given us the singing society and the symphony orchestras, two great agencies to uplift and civilize the human family. But in more utilitarian fields of humanitarian endeavor we also owe to them some of our most admirable institutions. It was a German Bar-
barian, Henry Bergh, who founded the socieities for the prevention of cruelty to animals and children. It was a German Hun, Arthur von Briesen, who started the first Legal Aid Society, the precursor of hundreds, in the new world and the old, that have helped to bring justice to the poor man.
There is another field in which the Germans of America have not been so prominent — the field of politics. They have a constitutional incapacity which they will have to overcome for the sake of democracy. Politics in a democracy is the art of asking for something and getting your neighbors to think they are making you take it. The average German prefers to earn what he gets and to owe no man anything, and this has kept him away from the grab-bag. But so far as he has gone into politics, he has also been the idealist, the statesman of pure purpose and lofty courage.
Do you know that the original Lincoln man was Gustav Koerner, a bold bad hyphenate — what our whipped curs would call a "professional German"? Do you know that Christian Roselius, a hyphenate from Louisianna, was one man who had the patriotic courage to refuse to sign the Confederate constitution?
Do you know that the first treasurer of the United States was a hyphenated German-American, Hillegas? He served for fourteen years, and helped pull Uncle Sam out of many a hole. Look at his picture on the next ten dollar bill you hand over to the German Red Cross Fund.
Do you know that the first speaker of the American Congress was a hyphenated German-American, Muehlenberg? And in our generation the father of Civil Service Reform was that great champion of liberty in two worlds, the dauntless fighter of 1848 and 1861, the sage and statesman Carl Schurz.
If they had not held so many offices. the German-Americans have fought more of the battles of America. In every great conflict they have poured their blood, blood from the Rhine and the Oder, from the Elbe and the Danube, upon the altar of patriotic devotion.
The war of American Independence was largely fought by German soldiers. When Washington called for volunteers, the first to arrive were German sharp-shooters from Berks County. Squads of American riflemen tramped six hundred miles from Virginia and Massachusetts to help throw the British out of the American colonies. It seems that they did not succeed in throwing all of them out, and a few more squads should go up to Boston and finish the job.
When a conspiracy against Washinton's life was discovered, it became necessary to provide him with a body-guard that could be trusted absolutely. Where was such a body-guard to be found? Where but among the Germans of Berks and Lancaster counties, Pennsylvania? Their captain was Major Bartholomeus Von Heer, a Prussian. If any one had come to George Washington, the friend of Heer and Steuben, and told him it was necesaary to crush the Prussians, George Washington would have had the Tory scoundrel locked in the guardhouse.
It was not only the one hundred and fifty stalwart men of Washington's body-guard that showed how the Germans stood during the war of Independence. When Congress ordered Pennsylvania to furnish six companies, our hyphenated state furnished nine, four of them entirely German. A German manufacturer furnished most of the cannon and rifles for Washington's army, and when the soldiers were starving nine Germans donated $100,000 to buy provisions. When Congress was at the point of refusing more money for the purchase of arms, one man got up and said: "I am only a poor ginger-bread baker, but write my name down for two hundred pounds." His name was Christoph Ludwig and he was a hyphenate. I have often wondered whether he was related to the heroine Molly Pitcher, who was also a hyphenated American. Molly's maiden name was Marie Ludwig, lest we forget.
The German bakers played a considerable role at the time. Frau Margareta Greider for several months provided the American soldiers with bread, refusing to accept payment, and in addition she subscribed 1500 guineas for the American cause.
To tell of Johann von Kalb, who died at Camden, would require an epic. His death was no less heroic than that of Nathan Hale. "This is nothing," were his last words; "I am dying the death I have longed for. I am dying for a country fighting for justice and liberty." Yet he was only a Barbarian, only a Hun like Baron Steuben, who came from the armies of Washington.[Translator's note: The German version of this sentence reads "And it could only be a barbarian, a hun like Baron von Steuben, who came over from the army of Frederick the Great to drill Washington's army."] Steuben found at Valley forge an untrained mob, ready to disband in desparation. Some officers were in gowns make of bedspreads. It took $400 to buy a pair of boots. Steuben changed all this. From the time he came upon the scene, there was an American army. At Yorktown the last British army on American soil surrendered to this Prussian. So the Germans drove the British from America. Alas, they have come back and taken Washington. Ah, would that Muehlenberg and Herkimer, Kalb and Steuben could come back to-day!
No names in American history shine more radiantly than those of Muehlenberg and Herkimer. See Muehlenberg in his pulpit preaching his last sermon: "There is a time for prayer. But there is also a time for fighting. This time has now come!" He throws off his clerical cassock and beneath it is the uniform of Washington's Continentals. Several hundred members of the congregation enlisted in his regiment.
That other hero, Herkimer, paid with his life for the victory of Oriskany, which sealed the fate of Burgoyne's army. Smoking his pipe and reading the 38th Psalm, his spirit passed into the realm of shadows, to walk beside Leonidas and Winkelried. [Translator's Note: the sentence in German continues "in order to sit with Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone and all the other brave heroes who gave up their lives so that freedom might live."]
Do you know that Armistead, who defended Fort McHenry against the British, was a hyphenated Hessian? But for him it would have been sad mockery to ask with Francis Scott Key, "Oh say, does that Star Spangled Banner still wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
During the Civil War also, the despised and maligned hyphenates played a prominent part in the preservation of the Union. As compared with other nationalities, the Germans furnished fifty per cent more than their quota of men to the armies of the North. One German family, the Pennypackers, furnished 88 men, from cannon soldiers to a major-general. The first volunteers to enlist were the German Turners of Washington. Three days afer Lincoln's call, twelve hundred Germans in Cincinnati were ready to march. That was real preparedness! To-day preparedness consists in being ready to sell ammunition to the government at a flat profit.
No less than forty-eight Germans rose to the rank of General in the Union armies. Their names are not as familiar as some others, because they did not think that their service entitled them to be kept on the public payroll the remainder of their lives. But there are no more distinguished names that those on this roster:
Gen. Franz Sigel
Forty-eight names — and there are others.
If it had not been for the Germans, both Missouri and Maryland would have been lost to the Union. One third of the Union armies was of German blood. One man out of every ten was born in Germany. General Robert E. Lee said, and Mrs. Jeff Davis repeated the sentiment: "Take the Dutch our of the Union Army, and we could lick the Yankees easily."
Yet this man Wilson in Washington dares to question the loyalty of the German-Americans! Where were the Wilsons in the great crisis of the rebellion? Some were too proud to fight. Others were shouldering guns for the Confederacy, shooting down Union soldiers with British bullets! Is it any wonder that Wilson insists we must furnish ammunition to England? He is paying off a family debt.
Let me tell you that if some Gibbon of the future will have to write the Decline and Fall of the United States, there will be no German names in his roll-call of infamy. Germans have cemented with their sweat and their blood the battlements of Liberty's citadel. It was not they that admitted the treacherous island pirates to our gates. Aside from one man, who made the name of Betlehem [Bethlehem] a mockery of peace, they were not Germans who sold to our worst enemy the bombs and bayonets to murder our best friend.
Remainder of text on page 14 was not imaged. Starting with the last sentence from page 13 of the English text, the following translation is added from the German text.
The Germans in America weren't the ones who stood by smiling as Russia murdered its Jews and as Japan strangled China. The German-Americans weren't the ones who gave up their birthrights for a Carnegie pension or a Rhodes scholarship. The German-Americans weren't the ones who betrayed to England the plans drafted for the establishment of the Irish Republic and they didn't have the blood of Dublin's heroes on their consciences. The German-Americans weren't the ones who spit upon the Emancipation Proclamation and knelt before the blood-spattered fools who called Abraham Lincoln an ape.
German-Americans believe in the hyphen but they also know that the hyphen is a sign of unity rather than segregation.
As strong as a wall of iron, they have defended true Americanism. They will continue to stand as a block of granite against the stream of lies and slander in order to protect our country from new attempts at conquest by England. Tomorrow John Bull may disband our banks and buy up our newspapers, but righteousness is mightier than gold, and truth defies the treacherous arrows of evil. We may call out with Brutus: "For I am armed so strong in honesty that they pass by me as the idle wind, which I respect not."
Like Armistead in Fort McHenry, like Kichlein on Long Island, like Herkimer at Oriskany, like Osterhaus on Lookout Mountain, like Schurz and Steinwehr at Cemetery Ridge, like Custer at the Little Big Horn, like Barbara Fritchie, who wavered her flag before the eyes of the traitors, so shall the Germans stand in the line of fire in every crisis — not attentively waiting but rendering blows for the honor and glory of our flag and our country, for the invaluable legacy of freedom, for the radiant hope of humanity — so government by the people and for the people shall not disappear from the face of the earth.
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