Between the World Wars: Articles from the Syracuse Union, available through the New York State Newspaper Project

Webpage 2 - January through April 1919

January 2, 1919 p.2

Accusations against Foreign Language Newspapers misguided

The testimony given before the Senate Investigation Committee by Louis Hammerling, President of the American Association of Foreign Language Newspapers, that the association of reportedly six hundred newspapers and periodicals may have been used for propaganda purposes by the German Government and the American Brewers Association gives rise to erroneous accusations primarily against the German language press, thus necessitating a declaration in its own defense.

First of all we wish to say that as far as we know the German Government has neither a direct nor an indirect relationship with the German language press and apart from that not one single German language newspaper belongs to Hammerling's association. Hammerling, a Bohemian by birth, has refused alignment with the German language press. A portion of those newspapers under his control has publically and bitterly opposed any alignment with it and this can only be interpreted as racial bias. Collaborative work has been totally ruled out and if the Brewers Association happened to offer a portion of the goodly sum at its disposal in order to influence the foreign language press, the coffers of the German language press did not receive a penny of it. We state this firmly without questioning whether the Brewers had the right to further its own interests in this manner. We are only attempting to expose Hammerling's "revelation," which would lead to a new level of agitation, for the unfounded libel it is. And we will use all the resources we have to defend ourselves against anyone, no matter who he is.

In reality the German language press has been treated like a poor stepchild in the advertising campaign by the Brewers. While newspapers in favor of prohibitionist activities sold it thousands of dollars in advertising space the German newspapers would have been happy if a few hundred dollars had fallen their way. We don't mention this as a rebuke since every businessman has the right to divide his advertising as he sees fit. We only mention it as a matter of fact. We have always been opposed to prohibition and we still are and this has nothing to do with the Brewers Association or any other special interest group. This is a basic tenet based on the deep conviction that forced temperance runs counter to all American teachings and institutions and it will lead to the opposite of its intended purpose. Our opinion is supported by what has happened in so-called "dry states" since prohibition was enacted: hypocrisy and lawlessness have led to dangerous ventures. The use of opiates has increased dramatically and informants have burgeoned to such an extent that neighbor no longer trusts neighbor. These are the conditions against which we should protect our beautiful country. For this and no other reason we support the preservation of drinking establishments while advocating strict control since we do not hide the fact that lack of control in earlier times led to misuse thus imparting the appearance of legitimacy to demonstrations against distilleries and breweries. The German language press has publically opposed any form of illegal alcohol activity and most certainly the German language newspaper reader is among the smallest number of owners or frequenters of these dens of iniquity. For this reason we must protest even more vigorously being identfied with such foreign language periodicals which give up a portion of their news or editorial pages to paid propaganda. If they can be used by the brewers, then they can be used by other business interests. However, in the end this is their business, not ours—they may do as they please. We make only one request: that they not limit their reporting to half-truths concerning the present investigation, as is the case as long as the collective term "foreign language press" is used without making important distinctions. —W. Post.

[Translator's Note: A Collection of Ads and Articles published by the New York State and United States Brewers' Association during World War I can be found at http://www.archivaria.com/WorldWarOneBeer/WorldWarOneBeer.html]

January 2, 1919. p.5

A Refreshing Change

While battling over the many unpleasantries published against German language newspapers which lead to erroneous conclusions, every once in a while there is a refreshing change which offers encouragement and puts us once again in a hopeful state of mind.

Last Friday night at 10 o'clock a special delivery letter was sent to us. It was late at night and the letter caused more than a little concern. But how great was our surprise as upon opening the envelope we found a two dollar bill in advance payment for a 1919 subscription accompanied by encouraging words and a "Happy New Year" greeting from an old and true reader of the "Union," a widow in Baldwinsville.

Such encouragement stands in sharp contrast to another letter cancelling subscription about 3 months ago, which read in broken English:
            "I want to bay for Unyon what I owes,
            I luff it an wud like to keep it,
            buy eet hurts my bisness to keep the
            German paper dese days."

"Thanks," we replied. "It makes us especially happy to strike your name from the subscription list. You are 100 percent American!"

January 9, 1919 p. 2

Theodore Roosevelt †

Theodore Roosevelt is dead. As far as can be determined, he died on Tuesday morning at 4:15 without anyone being at his bedside as he drew his last breath. The entire country is in a state of mourning and the newspapers of all persuasions and political agendas have only words of highest praise for him and his great achievements. In truth it can be said of him: He was the greatest American of them all; he was the greatest private citizen of the world. He had his faults, and there were many which did not and could not be aligned with what he said and did. However one thing is clear. He was an extraordinary human being—courageous, fearless and the ultimately loyal American who gleaned the attention of friend and foe alike.

His name will hold a high place of honor among the great personalities of the world.

The good things he did, particularly with the awakening of American vigor and American thought will live on forever. This is not the place to mention his weaknesses, his biases and his overexuberant declarations. These shall be left to future historians.

America was and ever shall be the melting pot of the world and Theodore Roosevelt is a true product of that pot.

Of his heritage Roosevelt himself wrote: "I myself represent an example of the mixing of bloods from various races which happened to live here for the better part of two hundred years. The greater portion of my blood heritage comes from the lowlands of Scotland. Proportionally next comes blood from Holland with an intermingling of French Huguenot and Gaelic sources.

"My Dutch ancestors kept their blood pure until the days of my grandfather, that is, for about one hundred and fifty years. His father was the first in the family to speak English at home."

From the above citation we see that Roosevelt's own ancestors fell victim to their inherited language, customs and practices just as do Americans of German ancestry who hold fast to their mother tongue. In one of the last statements before his death Roosevelt wrote: "We only have room for one language and that is English. We have to make certain that the melting pot produces Americans, with American as their nationality and not just residents of a multilingual boarding house. We only have room for one loyalty in our souls and that is loyalty to the American people."

Overexuberance in the surveillance of "one loyalty in our souls" to America could have attributed in great extent to Roosevelt's faulty logic.


De mortuis nihil nisi bene

"Of the Dead say Nothing but Good" is a bit of Latin wisdom enscribed upon the grave of a departed individual who possessed a great number of personal flaws along with his good qualities.

This customary eulogy is justified when the good qualities of the deceased do not produce enough fruit to aspire others to emulation, whereas silence concerning the deceased one's faults might serve to promote healing in one's lifetime.

With this in mind most eulogies prompted by Roosevelt's departure will be made by those who had few good words to say about him when he was alive.


Theodore Roosevelt

Colonel Roosevelt is dead. The American people encountered the death of the former president quite unexpectantly. Until recently when asked how he felt his usual answer was "I feel bully!" Even though a few weeks ago the Colonel had to visit the hospital no one thought that he was a sick man. Roosevelt was the last person in the world who wanted to play that role. Perhaps the illness to which he succumbed was more serious than he allowed his friends to know. In any case the entire world was unprepared for his quick departure from life's stage and the sense of dismay will affect all, including the ex-president's political opponents.

In the Colonel America has lost an energetic and unique contemporary. It will scarcely seem possible to many that in these days of feverishly rapid world development and political restructuring Roosevelt has been swept away and he himself would have applied all his energy to prevent this, however the boatman on the River Styx just wouldn't wait any longer.

Thus he travels to a land from which no one returns. In the next few days many attempts will be made to sketch Roosevelt's life portrait and emphasize its significance. Naturally such character portraits will be influenced by party politics with greater fluctuation as time goes by. But no one in the world can dispute the energy of the deceased, his inspiring vigor, his authoritative leadership, or his greatness. — N.Y. Herold.

January 9, 1919 p.9 col. 2-3

It just makes sense!


The English Language Alone does not make You American!

In Milwaukee recently recognized educator R.H. Pestalozzi conducted a very interesting lecture about basic tenets, which should be observed during the Americanization of foreign language speakers in the United States.

"Good schools," the orator stated, "exemplify good Americanism and conversely, good Americanism exists there because there are good schools here at home. In this state barbers, apothecaries, etc. must have a license but anyone can conduct classes if he or she secures a position and if he or she cannot find employment no one can stop him or her from opening a school. The surest means to americanization in this country is to americanize the schools, to create good schools, and make certain it provides certification for capable teachers at the urban and rural level by paying them a sufficient salary so we can retain good staff to fill the large number of vacancies.

"The idea that a foreign-born individual cannot be a good American if he does not speak fluent English, that his loyalty to this country cannot be measured due to his pronunciation or vocabulary, is not substantiated by facts. When the foreign-born individual first learns English he learns to curse since this is what he hears first. He learns to pray last because he's never heard a prayer before. It is our task to provide imitation-worthy examples. During the Revolutionary War the Tories spoken fluent English, indeed quite good English. The settlers in the Mohawk Valley fought under the commands of Mühlenberg and Herkheimer," who bled and died for the Republic and spoke Pennsylvania German. I would like to know which of the two George Washington considered the better American patriot? The rebels in the South, Stonewall Jackson, Lee, Jeff Davis, etc. all spoke fluent English while a large percentage of the soldiers in the Army of the Northern States, between 200,000 and 300,000, either spoke no English at all or English with a pronounced German accent. Again I ask whom would Abraham Lincoln considered the best patriots? Is is necessary to have just one language, namely English, the official language of the country? Just one language does not make one a true American; it's the spirit which determines it. In earlier times no language was ever attacked. Deeds were required; deeds were accomplished and only after this was patriotism assessed. It was said that in these times many rich men cried hurray to the flag yet when our sons went to the front the government was short changed when it came to income tax amounts. Perhaps it would be better if the energy expended on americanizing the foreign-born was redirected to the americanization of Americans.

"People expected a lot from the night schools with regard to the americanization of the foreign-born. From my personal experience with night school I believe americanization is lacking. After working a ten-hour day I attended night school in Chicago. I gave up after a few visits because I was forever falling asleep from fatigue.

"In order to tackle the question of how we can best reach the foreign elements in order to americanize them, first we must ask what social status they have. Are they educated people, artists, or workers? The first English and German settlers came here because they were persecuted for their religion. Other groups came for political reasons seeking refuge. However now the main reason people immigrate here is to earn money.

"We encourage immigration from Poles, Italians, Greeks, Jews, etc. because they work for lesser wages, which those born here will not do. We pay little attention to these people and look upon them with scorn. Anyone who believes he can americanize these people because he teaches them English is making a mistake. These people are not able to do it because no one still has the desire to learn after a hard ten-hour workday. Give the worker an eight-hour workday and a healthy abode, give him sufficient income to feed his family, and then he will be of a mind to study at night.

"Americanization begins not with the school, but with the family. We must see to their welfare. We must care for the head of the family, the father. His family must see him as a worthy and respectable man. Here is a situation which arises every day yet never seems to be appreciated, In most factories there is little or no opportunity to wash. The factory worker must go home covered in sweat and dirt. He goes home to his family greasy, filthy, sweaty and smelly. He does not present a imitation-worthy model to his children. His wife won't put her arms around his neck out of happiness for his homecoming. And this behavior becomes habitual. Children, mother, and father become indifferent to each other. The dirt that is brought into the house from outside becomes a permanent resident. In most worker's homes there is little and infrequent opportunity for basic bodily cleansing. The next thing we should do is provide washing facilities in the workplace. Urge the worker to wash up before he leaves the workplace so he'll look like a human being. A cleaner workman will become a better and more loyal American patriot.

"Send children to school instead of the factory. In our state 57 percent of all children between the ages of 14 to 14 ½ go to work. They go along with their fathers to work in order to earn a wage. Such circumstances create a huge impediment to americanization. Give children schooling, food, and clothing. Guard their health.—We have the money, billions of it! Let old people retire in peace. One can't expect old dogs to do new tricks. Let children receive education. The investment will pay interest and produce 100 percent Americanism."

January 9, 1919 p. 9

Noteworthy Causes of War

The history of warfare offers many examples of conflicts which trace back to extremely petty and almost laughable circumstances. One of the many wars between Turkey and the Republic of Venice could have been avoided if it hadn't been the custom of men in Venice to shave themselves smooth and not wear a beard. The Grand Vizier asked the ambassador from the Republic to show respect to Muslim tradition and swear agreement to a contract by his beard and that of the prophet. The ambassador coolly replied that no man in Venice wore a beard. "Then your people are apes!" the Grand Vizier blustered. The ambassadore felt so insulted that he tore up the contract. The result was a bloody conflict and great resentment which led to a war in which around 20,000 Christians and 120,000 Turks were killed.

In 1654 a war broke out between Sweden and Poland. It was the result of a communication which the Polish court sent to the king of Sweden. The king discovered that this communiqué addressed the king by his name, his title and office followed by etc., while there were three lines of honoraries after the title of the Polish king. A heated exchange of letters ensued and the result was a declaration of war.

Further ominous consequences followed the unreasonable "act" of a Huguenot child who threw a stone at the Duke of Guise. This insult was the immediate cause of the Massacre of Wassy and of the war which lasted thirty years and turned France into a bloody battleground.

In closing let us remember the war between Modena and Bologna: the cause of that war was a stolen water bucket.


The Classics in Yiddish

The Jewish migration during the 14th and 15th centuries out of Germany and into Lithuania and Poland transported at lot of Middle High German words into these regions. Over the course of time as the Jewish colonies took over the area Hebrew was added to the jargon and became melded into "Yiddish." Early during this process a unique and rich literature in translation was created. The works of German authors were translated almost word for word into Yiddish without changing, or with little change, with regard to the sensibilites and religious views of the Jewish people. The translations varied from the originals only by their transcription into "Yiddish script." Almost all the stories, fairytales, and legends which appeared in German after the 16th century were dispersed in the Yiddish language by the "Pack Bearers" to the various communities.

Of particular interest is the relationship to the German classics. They had already been translated many times. Most of them had various Yiddish editions. Of Goethe's works we find excepts in the "Wilnaer Zeitung" [Published in Vilnius, Lithuania.] Faust is available in an entire series of translations, such as those by Baschower, Bleicher, and Hermalin. Hermalin also translated "The Sorrows of Young Werther," Götz from Berlichingen," "Clavigo," and "Egmont."

As a specimen here are a few lines from Werther: And you, good soul, you who feel the same sorrows as he did, take comfort from his sorrows, and let this little book be your friend. Whether from destiny's decree or from your own fault, you will find no closer friend.

Schiller, whose historic pathos finds less correlation to the Jewish spirit, is not translated as often. Kassel translated "The Robbers." There's also a parody by Godlober of "The Song of the Bell." Translation of Schiller's poetry were done by Finkel and Harenstein, including "Der Jüngling am Bache" [The Boy by the Brook,] which in Yiddish is called "Dos jingel beim Teich."

Lessing's works also enjoyed translation into Yiddish. Naturally at the head of the list is "Nathan the Wise." The public figure Moses Mendelssohn [historian and grandfather of Felix Bartholy Mendelssohn,] who was esteemed by the Jewish community, was Lessing's model for Nathan and thus a preferred source for translation. There is a word for word translation by Linetzle titled "Nathan der Chochom," and another in prose form by Garin. "Emilia Galotti" was also translated by Judson.

Many of Heine's works have been translated. Jakubowitsch transcribed "The Harz Journey" and the "Rabbi from Bacharach." Many of Heine's poems were translated by Bowschower, Boruchowitsch, Katz, and Reisin. Here is the well-known "Frühlingslied" [Song of Spring] (Gently flowing through my mind) in a translation by Korman:

         Gently flowing through my mind,
         Lovingly sung,
         Lovingly sung.
         Resound my little springtime song,
         Swaying as it sings
         Making its way to every house
         Bringing springtime flowers,
         Is that a rose I see?
         Bringing greetings to me!


In Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors

An exciting adventure unfolded at Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors in London, where a pert young Parisian played a truly wretched game. He came up with an original idea when by acident he found himself all alone in the viewing gallery. Among the various torture devices and historic murder instruments on display was a prototype for the guillotine on which Marie Antoinette was beheaded.

"What a romantic notion it must have been," the young man thought, "to stick your neck in the same lunette that held the neck of the unfortunate queen!"

Thought about it, did it. He knelt down, pressed the lever, and closed the neck band over himself. When he had satisfied his gruesome sense of curiosity he tried to get back out. He had a dreadful thought. If he touched the incorrect lever the horrible blade might come down on his head rather than releasing the lunette. He shouted out loud in horror. He wimpered and whined and called for help.

Fortunately a guide of the establishment came in with a group of visitors. He immediately grasped the situation since he was fluent in French and understood the call coming from the lower section of the guillotine. He took the opportunity to explain the bad situation the Parisian was in for the amusement of his guests. He gave a talk on the guillotine and illustrated using the example at hand, from time to time calling to the terrified Frenchman, "Cry louder!" Vigorous trashing about and more shouts for help.

The audience was astonished by this demonstration and highly impressed by the excellent mimicry of the man about to be beheaded. The man who provided the demonstration, once released, yelled several curses, retrieved his hat, and ran out of the gallery like a man possessed.

January 16, 1919, p.8 col.3

Statement issued by the American
      Friends of German Democracy

   The war has been America's "time of testing." All elements among our people have been tried in the grim balance. But the most crucial trial has been that of the German element in our population. The German Government was not alone in suspecting the loyalty of this element. If it had clung to Germany as the Tories clung to England during the American Revolution there are many who would not have been surprised.

   The prophecies of evil have been happily unfulfilled. With very few exceptions the servants of Kaiserdom in this country have not been American citizens of German descent. There have been Pro-German influences at work among our people of German origin, but everywhere their efforts have been fruitless. Hundreds of thousands of young men of German ancestry have valiently fought Prussianism on the Western front as their forefathers fought autocracy before them. In the great effort of our civil population to support the fighting men and maintain the national life under the stress of war, our citizens of German blood have done their full share. Many of them have gained renown among those who have made great sacrifices and contributed disinguished service to the national cause.

   These loyal Americans have had a special interest in the ultimate fate of the German people. Some of them knew the horrors of Prussianism as other Americans could not know them. They understood how German minds had been perverted and German political institutions debased. In part, their efforts to defeat Kaiserdom was born of the conviction that military defeat was the only road to fundamental political reforms in Germany. On the other hand, they realized that the encouragement of revolution in Germany was the best means of awakening the Hindenburg home front. They therefore carried on a vigorous campaign to open the eyes of the German people to clear recognition of the deplorable and utterly hopeless part which they were playing in the great world tragedy.

   In the effort made by Americans of German descent the lead was properly taken by the American Friends of German Democracy, On this side of the water members of this Society did their utmost to enlighten their fellow citizens with regard to the important issues of the war. Their speakers covered every State having an important German element. Their speeches and articles were reproduced in hundreds of papers printed in German and English. Over seas their speakers and writers appealed to the people of Germany to recognize the Imperial Government as the real and only enemy and cease their savage attack on the civilization of the world. In these efforts the Society has met with most gratifying success. Hundreds of American representatives of every element and from all parts of the country have cheerfully given the Society credit for the honorable record of our citizens of German extraction. The Society has many special reasons to feel deep satisfaction at the happy outcome of the war. Kaiserdom has been defeated both on the battle fronts and in the heart of Germany. The chief ends we sought, have therefore, in large part, been gained. But our work is far from finished. Germany has not yet established a stable and truly democratic government.

   During the trying period of constitution building men and women of German origin who have enjoyed years of life under democratic institutions can do no less than place their experience at the disposal of the new democracy in the fatherland. On this side of the water a great task is also ready to hand. The German elements of our population must be so assimulated, so throughly imbued with democratic idealism that the problem of so-called German-Americanism will disappear forever. This is a matter not merely of language or custom, or of any outward observance. I touches the deepest forces of heart and mind. With its multitudinous and important connections and close contact the Society of American Friends of German Democracy stands ready to make its own contribution to this work of complete Americanization. To this end it asks renewed and increased efforts on the part of all its members and loyal friends.

   The Society has adopted the following restatement of principles:

   "The Society was formed to advance the cause of democracy by aiding the German nation to establish a government responsible to the people. The imperial and autocratic government having been overthrown the Society will continue to aid the German people in establishing a democractic German Republic on a sound and lasting constitutional foundation.

   "It will also continue its work of Americanization so as to bind together the different elements of our population into one friendly fellowship of service to our country and loyalty to its ideals."

         National Executive Committee.
         Adopted: January 2, 1919.

January 16, 1919 p.8 col.4-5

"Friends of German Democracy" Banquet.

The "Friends of German Democracy," New York and Surrounding Areas and it president Franz Sigel, whose father, Franz Sigel was a well-known 48er, held a banquet last Sunday evening. The banquet was held to honor Dr. Jacobi, another old 48er and honorary president of the Society, and its current president.

About 250 ladies and gentlemen attended the festively decorated ceremonial hall at the Elkburg.

Among the speakers were Friedrich L. Hoffmann, Franz Sigel, Dr. Jacobi, Jacob H. Schiff, Major Georg H. Putnam, Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf, and Dr. Walter Damrosch, who gave the opening address.

In this address Dr. Damrosch stated that the majority of German nationals still have not recognized the guilt of their deposed ruler but that the dormant spirits of Luther, Kant, Goethe, Schiller, and Beethoven who always preached the truth to the German people will awaken and lead them out of the wildernis so that Germany may take its place among free nations. Crimes of the German government such as the sinking of the Lusitania, the invasion of Belgium, and the execution of Edith Cavell would have horrified Americans of German ancestry yet no one would have dared say that the cry of condemnation could never be lifted. Remembrance of Germany's great accomplishments in science and the arts plus contributions to American civilization by German born men would resurface.

The first speaker after Dr. Damrosch was Dr. Frederich L. Hoffmann, vice-president of the society. He is a distinguished and well-known figure and a model American. Dr. Hoffmann began with a eulogy for the two men in whose honor the banquet was being held. His speech went as follows:

The "American Friends of German Democracy" could not have provided better service to the German people during this critical period in its history than to point back to the experiences of the past 130 years under the American constitution whereby the greatest measure of personal liberty had been granted provided it coexisted with others' freedom and pursuit of happiness.

The next speaker, Franz Sigel, received a grand ovation as he was introduced by the Toastmaster.

Mr. Franz Sigel,the president of the host organization, gave a well thought out speech describing the impact of honorary president Dr. Jacobi, who brought the living spirit of the German revolution to the assembly as a man who played a part in the premier battle for democracy which eventually led to the crowning achievement of victory.

The speaker closed with some appreciative words for Köttgen and his staff (editor for the publications of the Friends of Democracy.)

Next the Toastmaster introduced Dr. Jacobi, who received a stormy round of applause.

Dr. Jacobi gave a thoughtful address concerning all things related to the future development of Americans of German birth or abstraction. "We must not wait too long," he said at the climax of his speech, "in creating a new American nation. A system of cooperation must be worked out according to Woodrow Wilson's model. He was a schoolmaster and a true teacher. We Germans have to undergo a renewed assimulation. What we need is to be reborn."

This was the quintessential message of his political and philsophic teachings stemming from years ago. What he said to the audience was "I told you so, long ago."

"I told you years ago that the Americans expected you to become Americans. We owe our existence to the generosity of this country and the open heartedness of the men and women, who gave us this life and the opportunity to make a living." Then the speaker discussed his ties to Germany and Prussia. "Regarding my ties to the Hollenzollerns, which seemed like a holy institution to many here, I will state briefly that I was one of those mentioned in a historic interview between Friedrich Wilhelm IV and Stieber. Stieber was summoned and told that certain men were to be placed quickly into Prussian prisons. It was an honor for me as a young man of 21 to be named together with Carl Marx, Ferdinand Freiligrath, Hermann Becker and others. I am proud of that to this day and I am proud to be here today among you and other Americans."

Then he spoke of ideal democracy.

"Allow me as one of those still living after 1848 to say that a cry of joy still resounds in my heart. Two weeks ago ideal democracy lived beyond the last dynasty. None of you could experience more rejoicing than I, who lived a full 70 years past March 18, 1848."


Roosevelt's Last Will and Testament

His Widow will have use of approximately $500,000

Oyster Bay, N.Y. January 9. The reading of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt's last will and testament took place today amid the circle of family members at Sagamore Hill. The will was written back in 1912 and filed yesterday with the probate court judge of Nassau County.

Although the extent of the estate was not made public it is not believed that the former president left behind more than $500,000. The deceased bequeathed that the widow have sole use of the estate, except for the silverware. After her death it should be distributed as deemed appropriate. If she does not leave a will, then the estate should be divided equally among the surviving children. The silver shall then be distributed in equal portions among the children along with a $60,000 trustfund, which was left to Colonel Roosevelt by his father. First Lieutenant Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and W. Emlin Roosevelt, the Colonel's cousin, were named as executors.

January 30, 1919, p.2

The History of the Parachute

Universally it has been man's desire to conquer the air. The very beginnings of such attempts have been fraught with danger. Even trials to swoop down from a high point and settle on the ground below, including the first parachutes, reach back to ancient times. The oldest record of glided flight comes from the year 67 A.D. The magician Simon attempted to soar above the arena of Circus Maximus in Rome. The attempt, which was supposed to be a demonstration for Emperor Nero, failed. Simon dropped down close to Nero and spattered blood on the emperor's clothes. It was first during the World War that the parachute proved useful. In the incredible span of time between Nero and the present there has been no lack of attempts to construct an apparatus with moveable kites for wings. As Franz M. Feldhaus tells us in "Prometheus," around the year 1600 an Italian named Fausto Veranzio wrote a book on machines in which kite sheeting was stretched over a wooden framework. In the French novel "Ariane" by Desmaret, which was published in 1639, it was told how a prisoner tied himself to a bed sheet. In 1783 the Parisian physicist le Normand jumped out of a pruned linden tree with two open umbrellas. In a tragi-comic intermezzo the famous aerial showman Blanchard rose up in a gas balloon and was tied to a large parachute between the gondola and the balloon. In 1784 just as Blanchard was about to ascend a classmate of Napoleon's from the military school at Chambou jumped into the gondola. Since the balloon was only meant for one person Blanchard tried to prevent the intrusion. A fist fight broke out and the chute was destroyed. Soon thereafter from a height over Hamburg Blanchard released the first living creature, a ram, attached to a parachute. The animal descended from a height of 3000 meters and landed seven minutes later unharmed. The first human to jump from a balloon was the Frenchman and military balloonist Garnerin. His chute had a small opening in the center so that the compressed air could escape slowly, thus avoiding chute collapse. In 1777 an inventor created a para-suit into which he put a man, who had been condemned to death. The suit slowed the descent to the extant that the prisoner landed safely after 133 seconds. The freefall would have taken only 11 seconds. Over the course of time experiments with parachutes have naturally claimed many victims but since man have taken command of the sky he no longer has to shy away from a trip back to earth in a parachute.

February 6, 1919, p.2

Women in the New Times


From an Article by Meta Stropp in the "Woche" of November 30th

The old fashion German "housewife," whose sphere of activity was expressed through the phrase "Children, Church, and Kitchen," no longer exists!

In the issue of the "Woche" from November 30th Emma Stropp published the article "Women and the New Times" in which she passes on the changes in the periodical Deutschland Revue.

"We're living in a topsy-turvy era, which for some brings about the long-awaited fulfillment of a dream while forcing others to give up their previous ideal existence. All of those who encounter this new situation with quaking or joyous hearts find themselves face to face with unaccustomed challenges, which given the forced and rapid demobilization of troops, has thrown off all preparation previously made for the transition period.

"A field of unmeasurably greater activity opened up for women. They were not unprepared because for the first time in Germany's history women survived a war in which they were not just limited by the charitable work of others but rather worked side-by-side with men in order to protect the home front."

The writer continues that German women have outgrown their previously limited circle of activity and that they have awakened to a greater understanding of life choices.

"The war became as great a teacher for the women of Germany as it was for the men. Women consider themselves fully prepared to take part in the new order of things with confidence. Their reasoning ability matured during the harsh days of wartime. For this reason women will take full part in the rebuilding and redirection of a new Germany."

The entire article exudes an unaccustomed degree of forcefulness by German women, if perhaps a slightly overemphatic transformation from the old model of the German housewife who brought her husband his pipes and slippers as he returned home, who set the table with his favorite dishes and who darned his socks after dinner while he had time to play Skat [a card game.]

The writer also contends that the returning German troops are in for an unexpected surprise since their wives and fiancées have expanded their fields of interest and in the absence of men have developed into very different women. The trusting Gretchen of earlier times has disappeared, leaving only the literary figure.

Emma Stropp challengers members of her gender to involve themselves fully in the political life made available to them by the events of last November 9th. In her opinion the future German parliament should hear women's voices if they are to make themselves at home in this new institution. German women must make clear which female politicians they wish to represent them and their interests.

It is the writer's opinion that some marriages will have to start anew. Warriors returning home will place new and greater demands on their women only to discover that previously obedient puppets have turned into thinking human beings. Bridges will have to be built so that man and wife may find each other again.

The old fashioned "housewife" disappeared during the war years and will never be seen again. The future of Germany requires a tough and active race so that the wounds of war may heal and the country can have a happy future.

The writer closes her article with the challenge to her sisters to fulfill their duty at the voting poll as well as the home.


Concerning the arson fire in Beihingen, Württwmberg, we can now add that two farms with buildings and stalls were set on fire. Both farmsteads were far away from each other. The suspected arsonist was captured by two country policemen in Oberschwandorf and taken to Nagold. The men found an army knife and a Browning revolver on the suspect. It is believed that the arsonist was one of the convicts who was freed from prison.

Anyone who does everything for money will eventually do anything for money.

March 6, 1919, p.1

Louis N. Hammerling Resigns

Louis N. Hammerling, president of the "American Association of Foreign Language Newspapers" (in which there are no German newspapers) has resigned from the presidency of that association. He became widely known and was named many times in the propaganda investigation.

March 13, 1919, p.2 col.1-2

A Word against Unamerican Agitation

In an article which takes a stand against the ban to deter church services and church business in the German language, former President Taft says:

"One of the difficulties in this situation is that people want to appear patriotic through such extreme and unreasonable declarations while considering other people, who are also good Americans, unpatriotic because they do not follow the same hysterical rhetoric."

In response to this the Cincinnati Volksblatt writes as follows:

"With regard to the German population in this country the situation has been correctly described. Reasonable people do not wage war on the Germans of this country. There's no justification for it. The maintenance of the German language and customs in this country has nothing to do with pledges of loyalty. The roster of many German names on casualty lists prove this and it is an undisputable fact that proportionately the Germans have made more physical and financial sacrifices than any other nationality.

"Under such circumstances it would appear that ongoing persecution of the Germans displays an ungrateful and unreasonable attitude by America as a whole. We are firmly convinced that this assumption is not justified. As a whole the American people are just people. Former President Taft does not stand alone in his conviction. He is expressing the attitude of the majority of his fellow citizens. He rightly notes that the persecution is the product of a small group of hysterics and fanatics who are not choosy with their methods of agitation. As is so often the case, this hysterical and fanatical minority is terrorizing the majority.

"With this in mind we are convinced that the storm will blow over if the German people do not give in but rather stand firm, as is proper for brave men and women. And they will stand firm when looking themselves in the eye. They cannot falter without dishonoring themselves. If they waiver before the fanatics they'll call their previous lives lies. Then others can accuse them of having failed in their duties to the citizens of their adopted country because they maintain German language and customs. If anyone stops speaking or reading German because someone tells him he's committing treason, it's only by ceasing these activities that he admits to having committed treason. No honorable man and no honorable woman would want to punch him or herself in the face that way. Do not deny truth out of cowardice for it is certainly true that before heaven and earth the German people of this country have fulfilled their duty. More than once they have responded to the nation's call. They have placed themselves and their property in service to the American Republic. The contributions of German people of the United States cannot be expunged from the recorded history."

The above valient words might also mention that the all to great zeal for americanization might be considered suspect since it's not valid.

March 13, 1919, p.12

German Names
W. Lancaster Lingenfelder quotes Theodore Roosevelt on a vicious Prejudice.

A gentleman of German descent, who is not ashamed of his good old name of Lingenfelder, writes to the New York World as follows:

A few days ago it was announced that Hamburg Avenue, Brooklyn, had celebrated the change of its name to Wilson Avenue. About the same time the newspaper contained accounts of the ovations given in Brooklyn and New York to aviation aces Meissner and Rickenbacher, both heroes of German name and blood, who many times risked their lives in combats with German airplanes over the western front in France.

Recently at the Hotel Astor the writer was solicited by women of the American Defense League for a contribution and membership. When he inquired the purpose of the league he was told that it was to crush out everything German in America—names of German streets, institutions, societies, etc. When the writer asked if the women were aware that the name of the Hotel Astor was of German origin, they said that they had never heard of such a thing.

Yet we know that Mrs. Vincent Astor, wife of a man whose ancestor came to America from Germany, was one of the most helpful and efficient workers for American soldiers in France. Nobody had asked Rickenbacher, Meissner, the Roosevelts or the Astors to change their German names to others of so-called English style. It is true that the royal family of Great Britain, of the German house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, recently changed their name of Windsor, but that does not eradicate their German blood and close kinship to the royal family of German, nor does it affect their loyalty.

Among New York business men and among the welfare societies recruiting men for overseas service there has been an undisguised and unreasoning prejudice against any one with a German name, no matter how remote, nor how intensely loyal the applicant for service might be. That prejudice still persists today, despite the fact that fully one-fourth of our army and navy was made up of men of German name or descent. When this fact is mentioned in deprecation of unfair prejudice and discrimination, the answer is made that such men were under strict discipline in the army and navy and did not dare to be disloyal. As if such as Rickenbacher, Meissner and Roosevelt would have been disloyal if they had not been under constant surveillance! How absurd and unjust!

In this connection let us bear in mind what the late theodore Roosevelt said in a letter sent to me a few months before his death"

"It makes my blood boil to have the government permit any discrimination against such a man as your father was. I go further than that. It makes my blood boil to have them permit any discrimination against the son of such as man as your father was...I don't believe in men being transplanted second-rate English any more than I believe in their being transplanted second-rate Germans. We are all Americans and nothing else."

Is it not about time for us all to judge true Americanism by loyal hearts, purpose and deeds rather than by names? The English names Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr and John Wilkes Booth did not wipe our their perfidy and dishonor. Nor do such names as rickenbacher and Meissner detract from the honor and glory of their heroic deed.

               W. Lancaster Lingenfelder,
               (By birth and descent a son
               of the American Revolution.)

March 27, 1919 p.12 col.1-2

How We Abused the Loyalty of Our Foreign-Born.

Too much "I-spy" was played here during the war, according to Mr. George Crel [sic], chairman of the committee on Public Information, or, as he puts it in a more foral [sic] style, 'Never was a country so contra-espionaged." For every spy, even for every alien of doubtful allegiance, we have thousands of industrious and patriotic citizens anxious to get on his trail. "Americanizers," a sect which, says the writer, was particularly active in the months that followed April 1817, went around buttonholing people and demanding "are you an American?" in the same general manner of deacons demanding "Are you saved?" at a revival meeting. Writing in Everybody's Magazine, Mr. Creel gives a typical instance of this method of looking after our indidivual and national salvation:

With a passion for minding other people's business, that is the distinguishing mark of the sect, some of its disciples descended upon the humble tenement home of a Bohemian family in Chicago during the first summer of war.

"We are here," the spokesman announced impressively, "in the interests of Americanization."

"I'm sorry," faltered the woman of the house,"but you'll have to come back next week."

"What!" The cry was a choice compound of protest and reproach. "You mean that you have no time for our message! That you want to put off your entrance into American life?"

"No, no!" The poor Bohemian woman fell straightway into a panic, for not even a policeman has the austere authoritativeness of those who elect themselves to be light-bringers. "We're perfect;y willing to be Americanized. Why, we never turn any of them away. But there's nobody home but me. All the boys volunteered, my man's working on munitions, and all the rest are out selling Liberty Bonds. I don't want you to get mad, but can't you come back next week?"

This incident, "true as gospel," says Mr. Creel, is as valuable as several volumes on the subject would be in setting forth the attitudes of both native-born and alien immigrants toward the war. He continues with some lively criticism of our patriotic, dyed-in-the-wool Americans:

On the part of the native American there was often a firm conviction that our declaration of war carried an instant knowledge of English with it, and that all who persisted in speaking any other tongue after April 6, 1917, were either actual or potential "disloyalists," objects of merited suspicion and distrust; on the part of the overwhelming majority of aliens there was an almost passionate desire to serve America that was impeded at every turn by the meannesses of chauvanism and the brutalities of prejudice, as well as the short-sightedness of ignorance.

Yet as long as history is read it will stand as a monument to the democratic experiment that in an hour of confusion and hysteria the American theory of unity stood the iron test of practise. For the most part, those of foreign birth or descent kept the faith in spite of every bitterness—the great mass of the native population held to justice in spite of every incitement to hatred and persecution. And out of the test emerged an America triumphant, strengthened, and unstained!

Speaking in terms of percentage, the amount of actual disloyalty was not large enough even to speck the shining patriotism of the millions of the Americans that we refer to as "adopted." Nothing in the world was ever so smashed by developments as all those prewar apprehensions that filled us with gloom. Who does not remember the fears of "wholesale disloyalty" in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati; armed uprisings here, there and everywhere; small armies herding thousands of rebellious enemy aliens into huge internment camps; incendiarism, sabotage, explosions, murder, domestic riot. No imagination was too meager to paint a picture of America's adopted children turning faces of hatred to the motherland.

As we declared war and gathered an army against Germany, another army was gathered and sent out over the land "to watch, to search, to listen." The meager results obtained by this second army form the strongest kind of an indorsement of the loyalty of our aliens, in Creel's opinion, for it was a strong and numerous and determined army, and it reenforced another army trained to watch, to search, to listen. that was already in the field, He describes the situation:

The Department of Justice had already in the field a large, intelligent, and well-trained organization. There was also the Secret Service of the Treasury swiftly sprang Military Intelligence, Shipping Board Intelligence, etc., etc.; and by the way of climax, the American Protective League, an organization of two hundred and fifty thousand "citizen volunteers" formed with the sanction of the Attorney-General and operating under the direction of the Bureau of Investigation.

Never was a country so thoroughly contra-espionaged! Not a pin drop in the home of any with a foreign name but that it rang like thunder on the inner ear of some listening sleuth! And with what result?

A scientific system of registration, prescribed by law, revealed that there were about five hundred thousand German "enemy aliens" living on the United States, and between three and four million "Austro-Hungarian enemy aliens." These figures, as a matter of course, did not include the millions of naturalized citizens, or the sons and daughters of such millions. Out of this large number just six thousand were adjudged sufficiently disaffected to be detained under Presidential warrants! Even a percentage of these, as a matter of common sense and justice, were eventually released from the army internment-camps under a strict parole system.

As for criminal prosecutions, one thousand five hundred and thirty-two persons were arrested under the provisions of the Espionage Act prohibiting disloyal utterance, propaganda, etc.; sixty-five persons for threats against the president; ten persons for sabotage, and under the penal code, with relation to conspiracy, nine hundred and eight indictments were returned, the last group including the I.W.W. cases. Even this does not spell guilt in every instnce, for there have been acquittals as well as convictions, and many trials are yet to be held.

Mr. Creel does not hesitate to speak in a frank, free and open way about our treatment, past and present, of the strangers within our gates. The moral of much of it seems to be "O Patriotism! What crimes are committed in thy name!" As we read:

Nothing is more true than that people "do not live by bread alone." The great majority live on catch phrases. For years the United States had discharged its duty to the immigrant by glib reference to the melting-pot, and yet it has been years since the melting-pot has done any melting to speak of. These hopeful thousands, coming to the land of promise with their hearts, have been treated with every indifference, and only in the most haphazard way have they been brought into touch with the bright promise of American life.

Cheated by employers, lawyers, loan sharks, and employment agencies; excluded from American social and religious life as "wops," "dagoes," and "hunkies;" given opportunity to learn English only at casual night-schools after brain-deadening days of toil; herded in ghettos and foreign quarters by their poverties and ignorances, and then, after all this, when war brought millions to our attention, we actually wondered why they had not been "Americanized," and cried out against foreign languages, a "foreign press," and a "foreign pulpit" as evidences of disloyalty.

In spite of the past, with all of its cruelties and despairs, the foreign-born were loyal, and, what is even more inspiring, they grew in loyalty despite new persecutions initiated by mistaken patriotism. For instance, the Governor of Iowa proclaimed the following rules:

"First—English should and must be the only medium of instruction in public, private, denominational, or similar schools.

"Second—Conversation in public places, on trains, or over

"over the telephone should be in the English language.

"Third—All public addresses should be in the English language.

"Fourth—Let those who can not speak the English language conduct their religious worship in their homes."

In other States, similar prohibitions were put into effect, and sudden and fundamental changes were worked not only in the schools, churches, and the press, but in the whole social structure. No effort at distinction was made—the language of Allied and neutral countries being put under the ban as well as enemy languages.

There can be no denial of the evil that was attempted to be cured. In our schools, our churches, our press, and in our social life, English should be the one accepted language, and this must of necessity be our goal. But it was criminal to let the ideal of to-morrow alter the facts of today...

Even the Army itself was not without its part in this tragedy of supersensitive patriotism. Young men of various opprest [sic] nationalities of Austria-Hungary volunteered early in the war and asked for service in France. "These ardent spirits," says Mr. Creel, "many of whom had not been in this country long enough to learn English, were put into companies of 'casuals' and set at menial tasks in the various camps." Even tho they could not have been put at once into English-speaking companies, this treatment humiliated them, and was a waste of fighting energy. "And all the while," he continues, "the foreign-born patiently, indomitably, were writing a record of devotion shot through with service and sacrifice."

It is a record that could be stretched out into pages, for there is not a foreign-language group in the United States that did not answer America's call with devotion and understanding, pathetically proud of their Liberty Bonds and their service flags, and feeling every individual instance of indifference or disloyalty as a stain and a shame. But never at any times were we able to fix this record in the consciousness of the American people or to induce the press of the United States to give it prominence or even recognition. It was infinite labor to get noted Americans to address the foreign-language groups, and great loyalty meetings of the foreign-born, where thousands pledged lives and money and love, either went unnoticed by the papers or were given an indifference little note of two or three lines.

Politics played "an ugly part" also in "the drama of confusion," especially in the Northwest. A policy of "brutal intolerance" spread to other commonwealths, and "tarring and feathering took on the appearance of a popular outdoor sport in Washington, Idaho, and Montana." The Praeger lynching, with its sacrifice of a victim afterword proved to have been rather more than innocent, and the President's appeal against mob lawlessness helped to keep this brand of "patriotism" from too greatly handicapping "the fight for national unity." Mr. Creel concludes with a prophecy:

We are even now so close to the trees that we can not see the forest. All that we have known is the underbrush of irritation, the tearing vines of prejudice, and the poison ivy of politics. But when the day is come that we are on the hill, blessed with vision and perspective, it will be seen that the rallying of America was not sectional nor yet racial, but that it was the tremendous response of a unified whole, with men and women from other lands standing shoulder to shoulder with the native-born, serving and sacrificing with the same devotion, and in equal measure pouring their blood on the altar of freedom.


Our Boys in France and in Germany


Last month we reprinted a remarkable letter from Father Duffy, Chaplain of the 69th Regiment, testifying to the friendly relations between the American Army of Occupation and the Germans. Father Duffy's statement received startling confirmation in two articles from the pen of Mr. Ralph Pulitzer, one of the principle owners of the New York "World." Mr. Pulitzer is one of the most implacable foes of what is called German Propaganda. Nevertheless his articles have been attacked as such in the French press. However, Mr. Pulitzer's articles speak for themselves. They are evidently not propaganda, but truth based on close and conscientious observation of facts. Our Tories are beginning to fear that the American Expeditionary Forces, who left our shores as German foes, will come back as Germany's friends. They have learned the justice of President Wilson's distinction between the former German government and the German people. Mr. Pulitzer's article [sic] are so remarkable that we reprint them with only a few eliminations. Premier Clemenceau replied to some of Mr. Pulitzer's charges against the French, but his answer, in the parlance of the law, was "a plea in the confession and avoidance."

The most disheartening surprise which awaits the American landing in France is the disappearance of the cordial sentiments of admiration on the one hand and of gratitude on the other which originally flourished between the A.E.F. and the French and the substitution of mutual resentment and even antipathy.

When the American observer reaches the United States zone of occupation in Germany this surprise becomes even more bewildering; he finds the Americans—officers, men, Red Cross and W.Y.C.A. alike—constantly drawing insidious contrasts between the mode of life, the methods of business and the national characteristics generally of their allies and their enemies.

In France and in Germany

Ask any M.P. (military policeman) who has been moved from France to the Rhine and he will tell you frankly that, whereas in France an important part of his daily duties lay in keeping the peace between the doughboy and the native, in Germany the most important duty consists in the rigid prevention of fraternization.

To give publicity to this situation of our men and the French is a peculiarly ungrateful task. Yet our returning troops are bringing home but one version of this situation—there is a certain amount of fault on both sides, plus an irreconcilable difference in racial point of view, from which neither side is to blame. Frankness, therefore, in ventilating the condition seems to be the best method of preventing the spread of individual prejudices which, it is to be hoped, will be temporary, to communal sentiments which always threaten to become permanent.

No exact truth can possibly be established in such a complex mass of foibles, of sensibilities and of grievances, but if the extreme statement of the case by each side is given, any impartial mind should be able to arrive at an approximate mean between the respective responsibilities for the present strained relations.

"Systematically Stung," They Say.

Begin with the American officer or private and he will tell you that the French have systematically "stung him" or "soaked him" since he set foot on French soil. According to him, as soon as he moves into a district the shopkeepers all double or treble the price of their wares to him, while keeping it down for their own civilians; the farmers do the same for their products, the restaurants do the same for their meals and wines, the hotels do the same for their rooms; some even of the enchantresses do the same for their enchantments!

And it is on a crescendo scale. As one mud-plastered doughboy in a shell-shattered village in the Argonne ruefully informed me: "I thought it was fierce when they set me back one franc for a little box of cheese at Brest, but up here I had to pay five francs now for the same size box." And when the American gets to Paris or one of the larger towns on leave the situtation was summed up by a monologist at a recent military vaudeville: "Take it from ME—they take it from YOU!"

According to the officers, not only are the men individually

exploited, but the bills for damages brought against the Americans are exorbitant and often fantastic. Two trivial examples brought forward range from a charge of 200 francs for a damaged wheel on a farmer's wagon, which we replaced with a new wheel for 30 francs, to a claim that a pebble, dislodged by a passing United States automobile had broken a pane of glass in a third story window.

I shall not discuss the charges and the claims on the United States by the French Government, as these are but matters of hearsay to the bulk of our troops and officers and therefore do not direct affect their attitude.

The Farmer's Treasure

The second grievance of the A.E.F. is the lack of cleanliness and orderliness in France. No sooner had I sunk foot in the mud of Brest (which, incidentally, the most expert and organized American efforts have failed to clean away) than I began the aphorism that in any French village you can tell the most prominent citizen by the height of the manure pile right in front of his house. This exact location of the Frenchman's fertilizer seems to have a peculiarly exasperating effect on our men.

Lack of Efficiency

The third American grievance is what our entirely practical doughboys consider the French lack of efficiency. In the vineyard districts of Champagne the amount of physical labor devoted by the French to converting the growing grapes into wine struck our boys as little short of imbecile. To them the traditions and the local customs of a thousand years were but subject for derision. The statement that labor saving machinery had been tried by some progressive proprietors and had produced inferior wine was received by them with incredulity as a mere excuse for "stick-in-the-mud" methods.

The fact that modern improvements were neither introduced nor even desired in the villages filled them with disdain. As one naive American sergeant remarked to me, pointing at some beautiful, massive old farm buildings: "Just because that frog's ancestors happened to build them houses with walls three foot thick so that they would go on forever standing by themselves is no reason why he shouldn't make some alterations, even if he can't find no repairs to make."

This sums up briefly the American Doughboy's case against his French hosts.

The French point of view as intimately as a foreigner may hope to understand it is as follows:

The Americans, immediately on landing in France began throwing their money around like drunken sailors. French small currency perplexed them. They handed out bills and told the shop keeper or the restaurant proprietor to keep the change. Thus they demoralized prizes and made the French consumer suffer for their extravagence. It was a common sight to see an American private sitting in a restaurant eating an elaborate meal, drinking champagne and giving lavish tips, while at the next table a French Colonel would be eating a modest meal and trying in vain to secure the attention of the waiter who was hovering around the more lucrative customer.

Some Profligate Expenditures.

Americans will approach an engaged taxicab waiting outside a shop and will offer the chauffuer the charge already marked on the clock plus the charge for their own trip plus five francs and thus seduce the chauffeur into abandoning his unfortunate original fare (I myself have seen this happen.)

Apart from raising the prices on themselves by their own profligate expenditure, the Americans came chiefly in contact with the small shopkeeping class who in any country are notoriously grasping, and they judged the French nation by certain specialists in extortion.

The American visitors treated the habits of life of the French, which, after all, were their own habits in their own country, with tactlessness and intolerance. They expressed unconcealed contempt and disgust for any standards of cleanliness or hygiene which differed from their own, and ridiculed any methods of work which varied from their own quasi-Prussian efficiency. They took the valuable family manure pile and ignorantly scattered it over the fields at a season of the year when it would not fertilize the fields and would go to waste, and then, when the village authorities made them collect this manure again and restore it into a pile diluted and now ofdiminished efficiency, the Americans had the effrontery to express indignation at the extra work involved.

Contemptuous of French

Finally, the American soldier, who was modestly personified when he arrived in France, at the end of the war had become self-satisfied and either contemptuous or patronizing in his attitude toward the French, boasted constantly that he had won the war, and treated superciliously the French veterans who had been fighting for four years. His whole offensive point of view of the French was illustrated by his name for them, which he used indiscriminately to their faces as well as in their absence. To him they were not "Frenchmen," but "Frogs."

Is [sic] is very dangerous to generalize from individual occurrences, but I cannot refrain from giving two personal experiences to try to make comprehsnsive to Americans the French side of the unfortunate issue. I was sitting at dinner in one of the best restaurants in Paris. Besides the usual cocottes and soldiers there were many respectable French family parties dining quietly around me.

Suddenly two American Army officers, a First Lieutenant and a Captain, appear in the middle of the dining room, squaring off for a fist fight. The Lieutenant is very drunk, pale and ugly and apparently the aggressor. Two other American officers grab them just in time to prevent blows and try to quiet them. The excitement and the sense of personal outrage of the French people present at their outburst of raw brutality at a time and place where even vice is refined cannot be described. All around shocked exclamations can be heard: "But, my God, what kind of people are these American when their officers behave like stevedores in a place like this! What can one do with people like that? Have they no discipline even if they have no manners?"

Dragged out in Chains.

In the mean time a tall American Major has been reading the riot act to the two pugilists. The Captain has become perfectly quiet and is evidently trying to explain and apologize for the situation. The Lieutenant, as white and ugly as ever, pays no attention to the Major, but tries again to break away and get at the Captain. Finally the Major gives an order and through the revolving door enter a Military Policeman and an M.P. officer. The latter produces a pair of handcuffs, claps one cuff on the wrist of the Lieutenant, who finally looks dismayed, and at the end of the chain drags him out through the revolving door.

At this sight the French people swing to the other extreme of indignation. "Ah, but this it too much! It is an outrage! He was a brute, but to drag an officer out of public restaurant in chains—that is unheard of! What kind of people are these, for God's sake, who come and act like a horde of Cossacks in our midst! If they behave like this here in France, what must it be like in their own country?" And this is but a sample of the invective which rises from the surrounding tables, coupled with the pious wish that the soil of France be cleared as promptly as possible of these uncongenial guests.

At another fashionable restaurant in the middle of lunch a few days later an American Major, wearing the shoulder badge of the Army of Occupation and very much the worse for liquors, gets into an altercation with the head waiter regarding his lunch charges. He stands in the middle of the restaurant and apostrophises the head waiter and all other Frenchmen within range of a very loud voice:

"I tell you, you Frogs are a lot of thieves. I didn't know what a rotten lot of Frogs were till I got to Coblenz among Germans who are white men!" And much more to the same effect.

(To be continued.)


Transcriber's note: Part 2 of this article never appeared in the Syracuse Union but is available through Google Books here

The Most Successful Purufication of the German Language


How Campe freed the German language from many foreign words.

Undoubtedly the most successful purifier of the German language, for at least as long as there have been such attempts, was Joachim Heinrich Campe, who died on October 22, 1818. He was born on June 29, 1746 in Deensen, a village near Stadtoldendorf in Braunschweig. In 1792 at the suggest of Munich's Count Herzberg the Berlin Academy of Science issued the following contest questions:

  1. Is the complete purification of a language, German in particular, possible?
  2. Is it necessary?
  3. How much effort can and must be put forth to purify our language?
  4. Which portion of German vocabulary would best benefit from the exclusion of foreign elements and in which sections would exclusion be unfeasible or detrimental?
  5. How and according to what standards should the purification and enrichment of the German language occur?

No one was more qualified to answer these questions than Campe. He had already written much about them. He had already found many German equivalents for foreign words which were in common usage; for example, Mundart for Dialekt, Unwälzung for Revolution, etc. The title of his prize-winning essay, which was published at the expense of the Academy was "Ueber die Reinigung und Bereicherung der deutschen Sprache," Concerning the Purification and Enrichment of the German Language. Campe then worked on additional issues of language purification through the journal Articles for the Further Development of the German Language. However the journal soon ceased publication. Admittedly Campe was alreay well-known for his work on the juvenile publication Robinson Crusoe although this project was a failure in comparison to the original work. It still exists in many editions published since his death. The great number of words he invented and which acquired legitimacy in the German language attests to the magnitude of his effort and the fruitfulness of his skill in purifying the German language. No poet of the German language could be considered as linguistically inventive as he. The following is but a brief selection of Campe's introductory offering of words for the German language:

Beweggrund for motive, Oeffentlichkeit for public, geeignet for qualified, Tondichter for composer, Söller for balcony, Häkchen for apostrophe, Mundart for dialect, Ureinwohner for aborigine, prickelnd for tingly, Dienstalter for seniority, Sterblichkeit for mortality, Bannware for contraband, schlechterdings for utterly, verwirklichen for realization, Ersatzmittel for surrogate, Misserfolg for fiasco, trübsinnig for melancholy, Hochschule for university, lecker for appetizing, Eilbote for express messenger, örtlich for local, Rentner for pensioner, zweifellos for evident (or doubtless), wortkarg for laconic, Uebertreibung for exaggeration, Selbstsucht for egotism, and many, many other of Campe's construction live on in our language, giving evidence of his creativity even if the name of the inventor no longer lives on.

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Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks