Wednesday, May 24, 2006


When the war broke out in 1914, German-Americans valiantly cheered their homeland. America was not yet involved in the war, so the German-Americans did not feel they had to hide their German patriotism. The fear and suspicion of German-Americans had not begun to spread. read on for an excellent essay

Rickie Lazzerini concludes :-
It was important for the United States and our allies to win the war, but was it necessary to use propaganda, the American Protective League, and other organizations to scare the country into conformity?
These actions taken by the government, and by individual citizens, created a national hysteria, which led to the harassment of innocent German-Americans and the murder of Robert Prager. Loyal German-Americans were punished for the actions of a few spies and their ancestral homeland.

German culture came to a screeching halt during this time, and German-Americans were afraid to show any pride for their ancestry.
The number of people in Illinois who claimed German heritage declined from 191,000 in 1914 to 112,000 in 1920.

During WWI, the Americanization process destroyed what German culture that did exist in place names, landmarks, clubs, and restaurants.
A German subculture has not been able to resurrect itself in America, leaving those with German ancestry at a loss for signs of their German-American cultural identity in the United States.


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