After the First World War: Articles from the Syracuse Union, available through the New York State Newspaper Project

Webpage 4 - September through December 1919


September 4, 1919 p. 4

To Our Readers

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The war has leveled a devastating toll on the German-American Press. Many of the best dailies and weekly newspapers have gone aground and the death thoes have not yet reached their conclusion. All periodicals written in the German language bear deep scars. Bullying and boycotting by advertisers plus intimidation of the readership have severely wounded the periodicals that remain.

Even the Herold has fought and continues to fight in order to survive. Even though it has emerged relatively intact from the recent bad times, ever increasing costs of production threaten its existence. Unless we raise our prices we are unable to keep the newspaper alive. We find ourselved forced to follow the example of other German newspapers, so beginning September 1, 1919 the price for subscription will rise from $2.00 to $2.50 per year. Privately obtained surveys have determined that the readership, which has remained loyally at our side during the difficult times, will gladly make the small sacrifice of one penny per week.


September 11, 1919, p.1

All German Prisoners of War
will be sent Home on September 25th

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Washington, Sept. 9—The State Department has just informed the Swiss Legation that the War Department has decided to repatriate all German prisoners of war in the United States.

This refers to approximately 1350 prisoners of war who were interned at Camp McPherson, Ga.; Camp Devens, Mass; Camp Wadsworth, S.C. and Camp Sherman, Ohio.

These prisoners of war were housed together with civilian prisoners who expressed their desire to return to Germany. They will depart on board a steamship leaving Hoboken for Rotterdam on September 25th and from there transported to the old homeland. Applications for interned civilian German nationals still imprisoned or paroled may be placed with the Swiss General Consulate at No. 11 Broadway in New York city on or after September 10th. Evacuation of prisoners was originally set for an earlier date but the processing of prisoners requires the delay until September 25th.

                              

All German Prisoners of War
will be sent Home on September 25th

_____

Washington, Sept. 9—The State Department has just informed the Swiss Legation that the War Department has decided to repatriate all German prisoners of war in the United States.

This refers to approximately 1350 prisoners of war who were interned at Camp McPherson, Ga.; Camp Devens, Mass; Camp Wadsworth, S.C. and Camp Sherman, Ohio.

These prisoners of war were housed together with civilian prisoners who expressed their desire to return to Germany. They will depart on board a steamship leaving Hoboken for Rotterdam on September 25th and from there transported to the old homeland. Applications for interned civilian German nationals still imprisoned or paroled may be placed with the Swiss General Consulate at No. 11 Broadway in New York city on or after September 10th. Evacuation of prisoners was originally set for an earlier date but the processing of prisoners requires the delay until September 25th.

                              Dr. Yenny,Secretary of the Swiss Legation. Secretary of the Swiss Legation.


September 25, 1919, p.2

The German-Americans

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The critic of the Schenectady Herold Journal and other publications writes as follows:

Perhaps you believe that admitting your mistakes will somehow influence the behavior of German-Americans in the future? You're just fooling yourself. You insult and accuse them. You've been kicking them for the past five years, but they have remained true to their culture even when you considered it foolish behavior. Despite the unspeakably poor treatment you unleashed on them do you really think our countrymen will be pacified by you when it's time to vote again. Do you think they'll be swayed by a politican's words in praise? I'll bet my life that in the next election the German-American voters will not support the same people, the same politicians, and the same political parties that caused them so much heartache and prompted our country to participate in the most vengeful and shameless of all wars.


September 25, 1919, p.2
Food Packages to Germany and German-Austria

It's well known that there are Germans living here who directly send their relatives in the old fatherland packages of food rather than going through the German Red Cross. The Central Relief Committee wishes to offer these guidelines which should be observed by those sending their own packages:

Packages may only be send via Parcel Post (because Express Mail costs too much.)

A. Products

You are advised only to send those products which are most needed in Germany, for example: grease, milk, flour, sugar, coffee, cocoa, rice, soap, and tobacco.

B. Product Line and Weight

Recommended and easy to pack:

  • 2 cans Crisco - 2 pounds
  • 1 can coffee - ½ pound
  • 2 cans Borden's Sweet Milk (condensed) - 2 pounds
  • 1 paper sack flour - 2 pounds
  • 1 paper sack rice - 1 pound
  • 1 paper sack sugar - 1 ½ pounds
  • Carton - 1 pound
  • Total Weight - 11 pounds

C. Packaging

Products must be packed in "corrugated pastebord," total weight not to exceed 11 pounds including carton. The Post Office will not accept wooden crates. Packing paper should not be attached. Sturdy twine (or cord) will suffice.

D. Postage Rates

Postage rates are 12 cents per pound to Germany or Austria. A "Customs Declaration Tag" must be filled out to accompany the package. These can be obtained from the Post Office or the Relief Committee. The Committee can supply additonal information, can fill these tags out for you, or send the package for you if desired. The Relief Committee can purchase the above items cheaper than the individual.

See the Committee's street address in a different section of the newspaper.

Packages should be addressed as follows:

Sent by:
Joseph Metzger
717 Madison St.
Syracuse, N.Y.

Shipped under Export License R.A.C. 52

Stamps [on right-hand side of package]

Send to:
Mr. Wilhelm Haas
Duesseldorf am Rhein
Bahnhof St. 21
Germany


CENTRAL RELIEF COMMITTEE
For Relief of distress in Germany and German Austria
Office: Woolworth Building, Room 1673
233 Broadway
New York, N.Y.

Theo W. Henninger, President, pro tem.
C.A. Overwager, Corr. Secretary.


November 6, 1919, p.1

No Conversations in the German Language

_____

So Police Commissioner Weir of West Hoboken, N.J. has decreed

___

New York, Nov. 3—According to the Police Chief of West Hoboken, N.J., William Weir, not a word in German shall be spoken in the future, at least not a public performances, etc. The Police Chief has ordered all his subordinates to sniff around all city halls and theaters in order to investigate whether any performances are taking place in the German language. If German is uttered anywhere in the city police are supposed to interrupt and squelch such activities. Thus far the police chief's superiors have remained mute on the subject.

As already reported Police Chief Weir of West Hoboken has already banned the German performance schedule for tomorrow at St. Joseph's Auditorium.


November 6, 1919, p.3

German Opera Banned

New York — Performances of German operas in New York are forbidden until the peace treaty is signed. When petitioned by the Star Opera Company, Superior Court Judge Giegerich temporarily lifted the injunction, which had been put in place by the metropolitan authorities in order to hinder the performance of operas in the German language at the Lexington Theater.

Subsequently it was announced that no further performances would be scheduled.

Despite the protest of the American Legion five performances were given. These performances led to rioting.


November 6, 1919, p.7

Definition.

____

(For the Syracuse Union)

No mumbling, no grumbling,
Just praying and sleeping!
The spinning wheels purr,
Awestruck by their whirr!
Wandering without intent,
Enslaved but content,
Such excellent company.

Not forward or sideways,
Tethered with rope.
Like oxen in the field
Lifelong without hope!
Sow oats, plant wheat,
Plow rows for corn,
Feast like a donkey,
On thistles and thorn!

Gaggle like geese,
Don't bother to understand,
Be like an ostrich,
Stick your head in the sand!
Never say no,
Just do as advised,
For then, dear immigrant,
You're "Americanized!"


November 6, 1919, p.11

The Airplane in Service to the City Planning Department

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The American government has begun hiring pilots to create photographic maps of the entire United States. Naturally this enormous untertaking will take years to complete but when the maps are finally finished they will be of great economic and military value. An English architect, who flew during the war, made his countrymen aware of this project and strongly recommended that England also produce topographic maps of this kind. He advised that such maps would be important to the planning of new settlements. The old means of city and village planning whereby lots were divided up into parcels of relatively equal size and joined by local roads was not the most attractive or cost-effective method. The high cost of building cities could be lessened if highway departments could identify the best sites to construct roads. New photographic maps would be of tremendous advantage if they showed the natural rise and fall of the landscape plus all characteristics of the countryside and were outfitted with surveyor calculations. The artistic design of cities would also result since various picturesque vistas could be achieved. The difficulty in this photographic endeavor would be in securing the cameras in a horizontal position during flight. You'd need either a fully stablized airplane camera or a contraption to adjust the camera lens at every moment to a perpendicular position.

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Translator's Note: By 1921 The United States Air Mail Service had published Pilots' directions for various routes in text format. See the New York-San Francisco route at http://www.archivaria.com/PilotDirections/index.html


November 13, 1919, p.1

"Meistersinger" performed in Paris

_____

Applauding Audience carries Two Protesting Women out of the Theater

Paris, November 9th—German music has regained its honored status in Paris. A trial performance was given yesterday as the "Meistersinger" was performed at "Pas de Loup." The audience heartily applauded Wagner's masterwork. Only two women protested and were promptly dispatched outside.

A survey of over 5000 music lovers revealed that only four percent of those polled wanted German musical performances suspended until next year.


November 13, 1919, p.12

Chinese See Another War

MEMORANDUM RECEIVED HERE SHOWS RESENTMENT OVER SHANTUNG

A memorandum prepared under the supervision of a group of commercial and educational organizatons in China, and circulated broadcast has just reached this country. It declares that the Peace Conference, in its treatment of China, has prepared conditions for another war, and considers as the only basis for settlement that all the German rights in Shantung be restored to China, and that the secret treaties negotiated between China and Japan during the Europoean war be declared null and void.

Submitted with the memorandum is a map, concerning which it is said:

"With Japan's hold on Southern Manchuria, Eastern Mongolia and Shantung, she is in a position to avail herself of the Kiao-Chau-Tsinan Railway to control the Kaomi-Tsinan Railway and the Tsinan Shunte Railway; the former, being connected with the Tientsin-Pukow Railway, can easily be extended to the Haichow-Lanchow line: the latter, being joined to the Peking-Hankow Railway, can be connected with the Chengtin-Taiyuan Railway.

"By the control if this system of railways Japan can with facility tap the rich mineral resources of Shansi to her own heart's content. It is evident that such a policy does not only destroy the principle of equal opportunity, but it also endangers the very sovereignty and existence of China.

"The people of China, in their desire to forestall such a condition, wish to declare to the whole world that it is their fervent hope that Tsing-tao may be restored to China, not to be used as a naval base, but to be opened to international trade, so that the principle of the open door may be maintained, and that peace may be assured in the Far East."

Taking up the treaties signed by China as a result of the twenty-one demands, the memorandum states that the treaties were not ratified by the National Assembly, nor have the people of China accepted them. As to the treaties of 1918 concerning railway rights "and other secret pacts of the same year," these, it was said, "were contracted between the trusted servants of Japan on the one hand and the distrusted officials in China on the other. Since these treaties were signed secretly by these men without the knowledge of the people they cannot be regarded as binding upon the Governmwent and the people of China." (New York Times)


November 20, 1919, p. 1

Large German Newspapers of New York agree to Bilateral Savings Pact.

The heads of the New York Staats-Zeitung and the New York Herold have reached an compromise whereby the Staats-Zeitung will issue the evening newspaper and the Herold will issue the morning edition. This agreement goes into effect on December 1st with the Staats-Zeitung ceding the morning readership and the Herold suspending its evening sales. Lack of advertisers and other circumstances relating to the war along with the higher cost of print paper have prompted these two newspapers to this arrangement.


November 20, 1919, p. 1

A LESSON IN SELLING TO FOREIGNERS

The following communication addressed to the New York Times is self-explanatory:

In the course of my business in Holland I came into contact a few days ago with a very prominent and successful Holland merchant. Discussing Germany, he made the following remark:

"When Germans sell to us, they make us feel that we are conferring a favor upon them. When Americans sell to us thet make us feel hat they are conferring a favor upon us."

There is a great message for the American exporter in the terse statement of this wise old Dutchman. The German psychology of statesmanship and war is all wrong, but their psychology of commerce was right and is right, and they demonstrated it thoroughly before the war and they are going to demonstrate it again, and in this if nothing else we can learn from the Germans. The American salesmen (and I have observed their methods closely in Europe) almost universally show every evidence of haughty pride and arrogance. They are selling goods today because nobody else has them to offer, but when world competition becomes normal again the American will wonder why he is unable to do business.

I urge the American exporter to drive home to the intelligence of the man he sends abroad to sell his merchandise the lesson that is contained in the statement of our Dutch critic.

                                     A.W. LEWIS
Rotterdam, Sept. 30, 1919.


November 27, 1919, p.2

The Often-Cited "German Propaganda" was a Myth.

The fact that the often-cited "German Propaganda" was a myth was demonstrated clearly in a report by Princeton professor George M. Priest, who was the head of the Translation Staff for the American Government during the war. As Professor Priest reports, of the 335,884 letters read by his people only 502 were found to be "suspicious." In his report Professor Priest offered this comment:

"Our imagination silenced our reasoning ability when we gave credence to the belief that in 1917 the German-Americans had been fully organized. It led us to prophecized what the German-Americans would do to us."

Concerning this the New York Herold wrote:

It's a good thing that Professor Priest has acknowledged this baseless assertion. Others who have taken part in the rabble-rousing and slander should follow in his footsteps. Once and for all let's set aside the term "German Propaganda" whenever a German song is sung or a German word is uttered. German-Americans conducted themselves splendedly during the war and it's about time that all prejudice and mistrust disappear so that the American people can regain and maintain the necessary unity and singleness of purpose."


December 11, 1919

The German Language is Indispensible

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The Education of Young People demonstrates Its Importance

_____

Louisville, Ky, December 5 — At the annual meeting of the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the Southern States several speakers raised the point that instruction in the German language should not just be given in elementary schools but in high schools, colleges, and universities.

Professor Charles G. Maphis of the University of Virginia and current president of the association declared it is foolishness to ban the German language at colleges and universities of this country. If we were to erase it from the curriculum we would place ourselves in the position of being unable to appreciate what Germany has accomplished in the scientific disciplines.

Dr. Thomas Steckham Baker, Secretary of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, concurred that American youth should not be deviated away from serious scholarship but rather shown how to perform it.


December 11, 1919, p.4

The surveillance of German-Americans by the secret bureau established by the government during the war opened 335,885 letters destined for Germany and only found 502 "suspicious." But despite this people still wish German-Americans to get rid of the hyphenated descriptor.


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Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks