6 November 2011
Having many ethnical backgrounds running in my family, it is hard to just pick one. I classify myself as a mutt because I am Irish, German, Czechoslovakian, Austrian, Hungarian, Scottish, and Turkish. Being that most of my heritage is Irish and German I am taking this opportunity to learn more about my German side. Even though people could look at me and tell I am Irish it is not the same when it comes to being German.
Back in 1608 is when several Germans were among settlers who came to the United States and settled in Jamestown, Virginia ("European Reading Room", 2010). In 1683, thirteen families seeking religious freedom arrived in Pennsylvania and purchased 43,000 acres of land. By doing this they founded Germantown in Pennsylvania, six miles North of Philadelphia ("European Reading Room", 2010). Later in the 1700’s, the settling continued and the central colonies received the greatest amount, especially in Pennsylvania. Half of the immigrants were redemptioners that agreed to work four to seven years for a free pass across the Atlantic ("European Reading Room", 2010). During the 1850’s is when nearly 1 million immigrated to America. In 1854 alone is when 215,000 Germans immigrated ("European Reading Room", 2010). Eventually in 1933, the power of Hitler rose. This caused a significant immigration of leading Germans. By the end of World War II there were 130,000 German and Austrian refugees in America ("European Reading Room", 2010).
Many German Americans are very skilled and have helped our nation in many ways. Most of the ones who immigrated were scientists, writers, musicians, scholars, and other artists. Due to this, I have found no evidence or findings that say Germans faced prejudice, segregation or even racism. When people think of Germans, four things come to mind; Stout otherwise known as beer, bratwurst and sauerkraut, Hitler and the Nazis and World War II....