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Author Topic: Of Teutonic Blood - Early Contributions to Civilization by Germans

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The Barnes Review

Of Teutonic Blood - Early Contributions to Civilization of Germans & German-Americans


German and German-American contributions to civilization as we know it have been massive. Great German philosophers, musicians, poets, film makers, inventors and historians, far too many to mention, have shaped the world’s ways of thinking over the centuries. Germany always has been considered important to European development—at various times it has been called the crossroads of the entire continent—but the economic might of the modern German nation and the integration of the European Union now have made understanding of German culture and civilization, of German contributions to the development of Western civilization, more important to—and worthy of study by—Americans than at any other time since 1945. Here, in Part One (of two articles) we trace today’s German-Americans from the ancient European homeland in 3000 B.C. through the Teutons and medieval Germany to the colonization of America and the War of Independence, wherein one German made all the difference.

By John Nugent

By living in a land that has always been much more oriented toward the present and future than the past, and far more oriented toward itself than the outside world, Americans have become a unique people among the great nations of the Earth. However, they have also become oblivious to geography and history—an interesting trait for a global superpower that intervenes militarily everywhere.

(How many Americans know, for example, that Iraq, an artificial country, has been wracked by ethnic strife since Winston Churchill literally invented it in the 1920s? Apparently not a president who cried, “Mission accomplished!” in 2003.)

Far more than we realize, this ferocious focus by Americans on the here and now, as opposed to the there and then, makes us the regular butt of embarrassing international jokes. (The author, who speaks several European languages fluently and blends in fairly well in Europe, has noticed, at European parties, that whenever the mood needs lifting by a guaranteed laugh, American ignorance of history and geography becomes the target. The British go even further, and to “crack each other up,” after trying to check that no Yankee is around, do uproarious imitations of Texan and Brooklynite accents.)

But just as bad as this superpower’s not knowing which is Switzerland and which is Swaziland is an obliviousness toward our own forefathers and ancestries that causes us to abandon or even break with our own heritages, with the deeper roots of who we are today.

Who most Americans are is, of course, Europeans by blood; only Amerindians, Aleuts and some Eskimos are indigenous Americans, and hence untaxed casino owners.

In fact, could anyone, even a human from a test tube, understand himself without understanding his own ancestors? Can one understand without this why the Northeast (Irish/Italian/Jewish) is so different from the South (Scots-Irish/Welsh/English)? Or why both are very different from the Midwest (German with some Dutch and Scandinavian)? Or the significance of the fact that the “cowboy (Western) states” have all English founders—with names like Cody, James, Earp etc? Is white America perhaps more diverse than people think?

The persisting differences in values, mentality and voting patterns obviously still obtain in 2005, even eight generations after the first Kennedys, Cuomos, Shumers; Wallaces, Calhouns, (Bob) Joneses; Wagners (with Van Dykes and Swensens); and (Bill) Hickocks came to these huge and far-apart regions.

Few would deny that the Germans have long been one of the most important peoples in Western history, science, engineering, music, war and peace. (Incidentally, Germany has waged far fewer wars over the last 1,000 years than Britain or France.)

But few also realize that German (with Austrian/Swiss) is also the biggest ethnic heritage in the United States.

Even fewer white Americans or others realize that the English are a kind of “Germans”; that these two peoples, with the Dutch and Scandinavians, form one original Germanic language group; that they are all closely related to Kelts (Scots, Welsh, Irish etc) and Italic-speakers in language and culture as well as blood; that all Europeans (except the Basques of Spain, the Hungarians and Finns, and a few other small groups) speak what were once mere “dialects” (now tongues that have diverged so far that they are separate languages) of the same original language from the Bronze Age; that this one language and people spread, in the pre-Columbian era, from Ireland to Italy, and from Russia to Iran and India; and that despite World War II anti-German propaganda, this people actually did call themselves “Aryans,” (hence Ire-land and Ir-an, and ar-istos, for the pure, noble Greek founding families, the “aristocracy”).1

Let’s start with the ancestors of today’s 52 million German-Americans, in the so-called European Ur-heimat (pronounced Oo-r HI-mott).2

This German word is the scientific term used in all languages to designate where all the Aryans most probably once lived together, before they split apart around 3000 B.C., no doubt over a woman. (Seriously, their population probably grew too large for the area; game was hunted out etc, although personal squabbles could also have played a part in causing the original tribe to break up and move apart).3

The Proto-Aryans used gold and silver, and used verbs for yoke, weave and sew in their work. They drank a rather tasty honey-based “beer” called mead; worshiped multiple gods (of the sky/thunder, the Sun etc); and believed firmly in life after death, conducting elaborate funeral/burials. (Marija Gimbutas, The Beginning of the Bronze Age in Europe and the Indo-Europeans, 1973)

In their ur-homeland we can be virtually sure they had beech, apple, oak, linden (basswood), aspen (poplar), pine and ash trees; they knew the bear, wolf, turtle and salmon; and had clear concepts of what honey, snow, cold and winter were, because they had words for all these things, according to linguists who have attempted to reconstruct the original language by tracing back words still in use today.

For all these reasons, most experts believe the Aryans or Proto-Indo-Europeans came from Ukraine, or someplace near there, since they clearly could not have come from a place where beech trees did not grow, for example. Since 1492, Aryan languages (including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian and English, as well as many others) have spread over the whole planet, making Indo-European the dominant language family of the Earth.

* * *

The Slavs (especially Russians, Poles and Ukrainians), although warriors, stayed close to their ancestral homelands. Their languages are also fairly unchanged from the original tongue, today usually called “Indo-European” because (until the great European empires began in 1492) it stretched from India to Europe. Today, there are 280 million Slavic-speakers.

All Aryans or Indo-Europeans were Bronze and Iron Age warriors, often with war chariots, war horses, metal weapons, many sky and thunder gods (as well as goddesses), patriarchs and with one single word for snow that started as “snegwu” and ended up as simply “snu.” Their leader was the “reg,” or king, hence the later, derivative words “rex” or “regal” (in Latin), “rajah,” (in Sanskrit), “rik” (in Keltic) and “Reich” (meaning kingdom, or country, in German).

Despite politically correct modern denials, the Aryans were undoubtedly white, no doubt evolving as a race in the Ice Age (and depigmented as are polar bears, white Siberian tigers and winter hares). Their European descendants are white, and their gods are even called blond and light-eyed (examples: blond Apollo and “gray-eyed Athena”).

In The Republic, Plato said of the Athenians, “we call dark-haired men manly, and fair-haired ones the children of the gods.” The Brahmans, the highest noble caste in India, were traditionally fairer than other Indians; today, in personal ads in Indian newspapers, women always mention if they are “light-complected.” Northern Indians and modern Pakistanis, found in areas where Aryans settled in 1500 B.C., almost resemble central Italians.

To this day, European and American leaders are desired to have “chiseled Nordic features” (examples: Alexander the Great, John Kennedy, many Scandinavian kings). Princesses, in the popular imagination, are almost always blond or redheaded.

Unlike Slavs and Lithuanians, most Indo-Europeans used their war technology (metal weapons and “blitzkrieging” by horse and chariot) to travel very far away from the ur-home. The Persians or Iranians, who are not Arabs in nose, lips, hair, mentality or language, and who despise Arabs, think of themselves almost as isolated Europeans and, incidentally, love all things French. (But they and Iraqis are “hereditary enemies.”) Famous for the peach (originally “persich”), the Persian people’s country of Iran means “Aryanland,” just as does the original name of India after the Aryans arrived there, “Aryavarta” (AryanEarth). Around 1500 B.C. the southern Aryans arrived in these countries after crossing the Caucasus and Afghan mountain ranges. The British who conquered India in the 1700s were thus “western Aryans” in an eastern Aryan country.

The Greeks (Achaeans, Hellenes) descended the Balkan lands from the Ur-Heimat also around 2000 B.C. to found Greece; Romans around this time descended into the Italian peninsula to found their civilization, which has left us both gladiator movies and the alphabet used in this article.

* * *

Kelts (k-l or g-l-named peoples) probably moved west first of all the western Aryans, already wearing kilts and tartans, blowing bagpipes, singing and drinking whiskey when they moved out of modern Czechoslovakia and conquered Gaul (now France), aided by bronze and iron weapons and an enjoyment of battle.3 Moving into northern Italy, the Kelts founded Milan and left many blue-eyed northern Italians behind. (They are often more blue-eyed and light-haired than many southern Germans.)

Wales (in French: “Galles”), Scotland, the Emerald Isle (where the so-called “black Irish” of the west coast are perhaps descended from the pre-Kelts), bagpiping northwestern Spain (Galicia), southern Germany and all of Austria, and a part of Asia Minor called “Galatia” (to which the apostle Paul sent a famous letter in the New Testament) all reflect the Keltic invasions. Kelts have the highest incidence of blue or green eyes and red hair and freckles of any group on Earth.4 (Mongolians and Ashkenazi Jews also can have these features, which has led to some speculation of slight Keltic admixture.)

Between the Romans and the Germanic peoples (especially Franks, Germans, Anglo-Saxons and Normans), sadly every Keltic region ended up under the rule of other, even more warlike Aryan peoples between 500 B.C. and A.D. 1600. In 1919, just before Ireland got its independence, there was not one sovereign Keltic country on the globe.5 But then neither do the Kurds, another Aryan group, have sovereignty, and they number about 20 million in population.

* * *

Narrowing things down quite a bit, we arrive at the Germanic peoples. They were called Teutons (Teut or Deut[sch] means “the people”) or Gerr-mans (men of the “gerr,” a very dangerous and accurate close-range short spear that was whipped with a strong wrist flick off a grooved shaft of wood while running forward). They moved from their snowy Urheimat to even more snow, into southern Sweden and Norway, up into southern Finland (where an Asian people, the Suomi, replaced their language with their Finno-Ugric Asian tongue), over into Denmark and into the northern half of Germany.6

The Germanics (Teutons) broke up into two groups, the Scandinavians (the future Vikings) in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and the Germans (now split into Germany, the Germanic-dialect nation called Netherlands and the similar Flemish half of Belgium, German-speaking Austria and most of Switzerland; plus England (created by northern Germans from Angeln and Lower Saxony (home of recent chancellor Gerhard Schroeder), hence the Anglo-Saxons.

The Scandinavians tend to physically be classic, pure “Aryans” with narrow faces, high foreheads, blue or gray eyes and of course, in many cases, golden-blond hair. The Dutch and Flemish closely resemble them, as do the original northern Germans.

Slavic and other blood caused eastern Germans to sometimes have round faces and ash-blond, not golden-blond hair; Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden are all completely Slavic place names. However, the classic German face is square, with a strong jaw and a big build. American football is a sport in which Germans have excelled in the New World.7

Germans, despite American and British war propaganda, are just as commonly brown-, red- or black-haired as the English, with about 30 percent blondes. Roy Scherer (Rock Hudson) and Tom Selleck are typical husky brunet German-Americans, as are natural light brownettes Donna Reed (Mullenger) and Kim Basinger.

* * *

After A.D. 400 many Germanic peoples descended from the north and over the Rhine toward the hated enemy with the lovely climate, Rome. In any case, they were already in the Roman legions, often as generals. The Visi-(West)goths entered Spain, creating the modern Spanish aristocracy (with names like Alberto, Norberto, Eduardo and Sigismundo). The Ostro-(East)goths and Lombards (“Long Beards”) entered Italy, leaving behind the Italian aristocracy with such names as Ludovico (Ludwig), Adalberto and even Adolfo.

The name of our country, “America,” is the Latinized form of Amerigo (named for the Italian aristocrat Amerigo Vespucci who sailed to South America). Fifteen years after Columbus, in 1507, the name was invented and put on a map of both North and South America by the German scholar and professional cartographer Martin Waldseemueller. The name “Amerigo” was one of those Lombard Germanic names the northern Italian aristocracy passed on through the generations, from the Germanic Amal-rik, “work king” (meaning “extremely hard-working”). In Anglo-Saxon and modern English the name Emmeric has become Emory.

The major German tribe to settle (and endure for centuries) in France was the Franks (hence Frankfurt, Franconia in Germany), inventors of the hot dog or frankfurter (which French cuisine never adopted), the stirrup (which meant a mounted knight could wear heavy armor, carry a lance and take a big sword swing without falling into the mud) and many blue-eyed Frenchmen, a cross between the Franks and their native mistresses.

In records of Napoleon’s military draft, 50 percent of French recruits had blue eyes. After he killed most of them, and Sicilians rushed in to replace them, then World War I happened, and Sicilians, Portuguese and Spanish replaced those casualties; the French are now 80 percent brown-eyed.

Ruling and speaking Old High German for 600 years, the Frankish aristocracy was much blonder and taller than the common people, and had names such as:

• Gerhard, which was Frenchified to Gerard; the Norman French carried it to England, where it became Jerry;

• Albert;

• Gwilhelm (>Guillaume >William >Will/Bill);

• Frank;

• Ludwig (>Louis); Dietrich (>Thierry >Terry);

• Adelheid (“noble heathen”) (>Adelaide or Adelle); and

• Rupprecht, which the French called Robert (and pronounced Robe-air).

* * *

Interestingly, the current prime minister of France, nobleman Dominique de Villepin, is 6’4”. Charles (<Frankish “Karl” meaning “manly”) de Gaulle was 6’5”. Their stature comes from the Franks.

Many of les Francs were wiped out in “the Terror” of the French Revolution, after an Abbot Sièyes ruled that the blondish aristocrats at Versailles were Germans. He said the Revolution was the Gauls rising up against the Teutonic barbarians.

Germans have lived in, of course, Germany for many millennia, and were never once conquered before 1945 (exactly as was the case for the Japanese until that year).

In the Middle Ages Germany was a relatively huge country, called (bizarrely) the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.” (Voltaire joked that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.)

The Religionskriege [religious wars] devastated Germany for 120 years, and only ended as the Thirty Years War expired (1618-1648). The French monarchs, descended ironically from the Franks, promoted continuous war in Germany after Luther’s Reformation, using religion and bribes, selling weapons to all and even switching sides whenever one party was gaining the upper hand.

By the time of the Treaty of Westphalia, which settled the religious question by saying that each prince could dictate his own religion to the people, Germany had lost 20 percent of its population (the equivalent today of a limited nuclear war). Wolves entered the villages, eating corpses. The nation was smashed into 300 tiny kingdoms and principalities under a figurehead emperor [der Kaiser]. Switzerland, Alsace-Lorraine and Holland, extremely rich territories, were broken off completely. (Today, Austria has also been broken off, the country that ruled Germany for 600 years through the Hapsburgs.)

The first line of the Dutch national an them, which irritates Hollanders to this day, includes the words “ben ik, van Duitsen bloed” (usually translated to mean “I am of Ger man blood”). The Dutch are still obsessed with anger at German infantry—not for rape or pillage, which basically did not happen (the Dutch being viewed as family), but for stealing their bicycles in 1940 to zip faster into Belgium and France. (Every Dutchman and -woman will bring this up at the drop of a hat.) In fact, the most German-hating country in the world is not Israel but Holland: a case of two feuding brother countries.8

* * *

It has been suggested that the Germans have been a nationally “traumatized people” ever since 1618-48, their “Civil War,” and that the further traumas of World War I (3 million dead) and the Weimar Republic (with its Versailles Treaty, inflation, mass unemployment and the rise of the German Communist Party) were what made them ripe for a seemingly strong, father-like leader and organizer like Hitler. The catastrophe of World War II, where Germans again lost 20 percent of their population and the country shrank by over a third, with millions of women repeatedly raped and with “Holocaust” accusations bombarding them daily from 1945 to the present (including on masochistic German state-owned television), have made the Germans the most insecure people on Earth in the sense of psychological trauma and lack of a healthy sense of national pride.

Having been decimated by neighboring France and by Germany’s imported Christian religion’s divisions, all Germans longed deeply after the Thirty Years War for the reunification of all the different German regions. Hence the phrase in the German national anthem from the 1830s by the poet Hoffmann Von Fallersleben, “Deutschland ueber alles.” It means simply “the common German-land [should be preferred] over all [lands that are mere parts of Germany], and also over anything else [money, fame, foreign and special interests] in the world.” The following lines make this clear, referring to the nation as being “from the Maas River” (near Holland) “to the Memel River” (on the border with Denmark), “from the Etsch River” (on the Italian border) “until the Belt River” (which borders Lithuania). It basically means, “one nation, indivisible.”9

* * *

With France vigilant from 1648 on to prevent its powerful and hard-working neighbor from ever reuniting, Germans began to very reluctantly accept that one of the powerful, militaristic kingdoms in Germany would be the necessary evil able to re-establish “the union” (to use an American phrase), or in German the Reich. The Treaty of Westphalia was, for Germans, as if the Civil War in America had led to 300 different independent states by the grace of France. As late as 1960, a French foreign minister joked, with reference to communist East Germany and capitalist West Germany, “I love Germany so much I am glad there are two.”

Interestingly, in 1943 nobleman Charles De Gaulle, awestruck after visiting the vast ruins of the battlefield of Stalingrad, said of the Germans to his Soviet hosts: “What a great people to have come this far!” Since 1959 French president, by 1963 he was a major advocate of French-German friendship.

Proof à la française of his change of heart: after signing the 1963 Elysée Palace Treaty in Paris10 proclaiming that bygones were bygones between the two nations, De Gaulle attempted a manly kiss and bear-hug with frosty Teutonic chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Adenauer’s advisers saw their boss cringing and (as seen nearly off-camera in the newsreels) literally shoved him in the small of the back forward to at least accept a hug from the giant général who, having fought Germany in combat in both world wars, was now seeking to literally kiss and make up with the ennemi héréditaire.

France today works extremely closely with Germany, buys enormous amounts of German cars (but not wieners or sauerkraut), and rallied with Ger many to oppose George Bush the Second and his invasion of Iraq.)11

* * *

Despite this modern happy ending between la belle France and Deutschland, the 1648 catastrophe meant that a religiously and politically divided, impoverished “non-country” could never field a huge navy like those of Portugal, Spain, France or England during the great ages of European exploration and colonization. (Yet the northern Germans had once run a glorious and wealthy sea federation, the Hanseatic League, in the Middle Ages.) Nor, without an army, were the Germans able to acquire a huge land empire as did Russia and the United States in the 19th century, the one growing east toward the Pacific, the other west toward the Pacific. Hence there is no German-speaking country overseas, although Germany did have a few colonies in Africa.

Pure necessity thus destined that militaristic Prussia (where sergeants literally used whips on dawdling soldiers) should lead Germany after 1870—though only after throwing Austria, a more “normal” country, out of Germany.12 Interestingly, Adolf Hitler, an Austrian, preferred the blunt, precise, extremely disciplined and dutiful Prussians to his fellow Austrians until he realized that his blue-blooded northern German officers resented taking his proletarian Austrian orders and were surreptitiously sabotaging and delaying his blitzkrieg orders to deliberately make him fail. [Noted in Leon Degrelle’s video Hitler’s Blitzkrieg, Part One available from TBR Book Club. See page 84.]

In 1848 Prussia crushed the democratic revolution meeting at St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt and, by beating France in 1870, took over all of Germany, Prussianizing the whole country and especially army service. Germany began to lose millions of talented emigrants. That loss, however, became America’s gain. (It is typical of Americans’ lack of historical knowledge that they have no idea that Germans rose up for democracy in a nationwide movement, as had the Americans and French before them in 1776 and 1789, and as the French (again) and Hungarian masses were also doing in the year 1848, and that only 10,000 Prussian bayonets and firing squads in Frankfurt dispersed this fervently supported movement. The indirect proof that the tragedy occurred is the presence of millions of their descendants living in America today. The group as a whole that came here is called the “Forty-Eighters.”)

Millions of Germans, many very educated, or at least highly skilled and generally law-abiding, and all politically moderate, would sail for a land where they would have lots of German-speaking company: organizations, churches, newspapers, choral societies (a German invention), bowling leagues and beer gardens, a happy time that lasted until WWI. Seven million Germans have arrived in Amerika between 1609 and 2005, mostly in the 19th century.

* * *

Of course, there were waves, minor waves, of German immigration before 1848. The English had wanted more colonists in the 13 frontier colonies of their North American empire, especially to hold the land against the French (up in Canada and down in Louisiana) and to fight Indians as “tomahawk fodder,” all the while being model subjects.

The kings of England from the 1730s on have been Germans themselves (or of German blood) from the House of Hanover (named after the capital of Lower Saxony). Though no longer speaking German after the time of King George III (who lost America in the Revolution), the House of “Windsor” (so-called since World War I) is nearly 100 percent Protestant German.13 The motto on the coat of arms of the princes of Wales, the heirs to the throne, is “Ich dien,” i.e., “I serve.”)

As with their own English poor and African slaves, English ship captains treated German emigrants like subhumans. When 30,000 emigrants from the Palatinate (Rhineland) arrived in England for further transit in 1709, they were so poor and ragged that the English mocked them loudly. By the year 1710, fully 17,000 of the emigrants had died in England while still awaiting transit or during the six-week sea voyage.

In 1750 an emigrating German schoolteacher, Gottlieb Mittelberger, wrote: “During the voyage in the ships there arises every kind of horrific suffering: stench, steaming heat, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, headaches, constipation, tension, boils, cancers and dread of the crew in the dark decks below.” The trips usually lasted six to eight weeks. The food was wretched, and often insufficient; complaints brought beatings. German writer Friedrich Kapp wrote something that African slaves would have understood; “If there were gravestones and crosses on the ocean waves, the route of the emigration ships would seem like one long cemetery.”

On arriving, often in Philadelphia, the many who were destined to be indentured servants could not leave ship until their new owners took them. Frequently, their young children were separated from them to work in entirely different homes and workshops.

It was around 1710 that pious Mennonite refugees from German Switzerland, German Mennonites and Rhineland Huguenots (Protestant refugees from France now speaking German) began arriving in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where some moved farther west or south as Mennonites and others stayed and became the Amish. The “plain people” with their famous immaculate farms, volunteer barn-raisings for neighbors in need, beards and buggies were immortalized in the 1985 Oscar-winning film Witness (with Harrison Ford).

The Mennonites as pacifists had all suffered terrible religious persecution from authorities in the Rhineland and in Switzerland, insistent on drafting their men. Remembering the seemingly fierce full-face beards of the soldiers who arrested and massacred them, the Mennonites vowed that while beards were natural things from God, theirs would look more peaceful. Thus the cheeks are clean-shaven; it is a beard grown underneath the jaw. Interestingly, 75 percent of Old Order Amish children who take advantage of their “English year” to taste the outside world return to their electricity-, telephone- and television-free community. The Amish have now expanded to over 240,000 and moved into central Pennsylvania and Ohio.

By the 1750s Benjamin Franklin was both admiring the hard-working Mennonites and Amish and fearing they would overwhelm the English-Americans in Pennsylvania. That did not stop the plucky entrepreneur, however, from learning German himself and making a killing off his own German-language newspaper, Die Philadelphia-Zeitung. (Incidentally, it is a myth that German “almost became the official language of the U.S. after the Revolution,” in a land that was still 90 percent of British stock. Pennsylvania did, however, consider publishing all laws in German.)

Other Mennonites spread south along the Appalachians, never buying or using slaves, hence not growing cotton in the flatlands below. They stuck to the Blue Ridge and small family farms and businesses, and were welcomed when they arrived as good neighbors. In 1734 there arrived the Silesians (eastern Germans) and Salzburg (Austria) Protestants, expelled from their homes by their Catholic Hapsburg monarch. Many went to Savannah, Georgia—at that time “eine pure Wildnis” (a complete wilderness) as they wrote back home in German. They were horrified at the slavery they found in Georgia (backed by the king) and the English mentality that they perceived as being “money is everything.” But all of this was better than living under one of the 300 tyrannical mini-princes of the old country.

These first Germans, often humbled by abuse, and shy owing to lack of education and English-language skills, were initially at a business disadvantage compared to the English colonists. However, they immediately set to work mastering Englisch, starting bilingual schools or attending existing all-English schools, and enjoying their new right to protest corruption, crime and cruelty.

While the Acadian French, expelled from Canada to Louisiana in 1755-58 by the British (with 30 percent fatalities on the British ships), were pouring in as refugees along the Mississippi Delta, Germans were directly invited in by the gouverneur royal of Louisiana. He wrote back to Paris, pleased, that the Germans had set to work immediately draining the foulest mosquito and alligator swamps and making them arable land: “What we here call the ‘German Coast’ has the hardest-working, most prolific and honest part of the colony’s population.”

* * *

In 1733 German-American immigrant Johann Peter Zenger began publishing The New-York Weekly Journal in Manhattan to voice opposition to the onerous policies of newly appointed colonial governor William Cosby.

Upon his arrival in New York from England, Cosby had plunged into a rancorous quarrel with the Colonial Council over his salary demands. Unable to control the state’s Supreme Court, he removed Chief Justice Lewis Morris, replacing him with James Delancey of the royal party. Supported by members of the popular party, Zenger continued to publish articles critical of the royal governor. Finally, Cosby issued a proclamation condemning the newspaper’s “divers[e], scandalous, virulent, false and seditious reflections.” On Sunday, November 17, 1734 Zenger was arrested and charged with seditious libel.

When Zenger protested that all his criticisms were demonstrably true (which was all that mattered for a blunt German, or for any patriotic American), the court ruled that, under English law, any truth was libelous that damaged the government and “respect for authority.”

After more than eight months in prison, Zenger went to trial, defended by illustrious Philadelphia lawyer Andrew Hamilton. The newspaper-vs-royal governor case became a cause celebre in all the colonies. Rebuffed repeatedly by Chief Justice Delancey during the trial, Zenger’s lawyer decided to plead his case directly to the jury. After the arguments for both sides were finished, the jury returned shortly—Zenger was not guilty. It was an early example of the power of “jury nullification”—the jury simply rejected the law as unjust.

In the February 25, 1733 issue of the New-York Weekly Journal, an article appeared by one “Cato,” a pseudonym for a writer of Zenger’s. This article gave its readers a preview of Zenger’s position 18 months later fighting the government’s libel case against him:

• “The exposing of Publick Wickedness, as it is a Duty which every Man owes to the Truth and his Country, can never be a Libel in the Nature of Things. . . .

• “To me there seems to be a set of Libels, full as Destructive as any of the others can be, I mean Libels against the People. . . .

• “Almost all over the Earth, the People for one Injury they do their Governors, receive Ten Thousand from them.

• “Nay, in some Countries it is made Death and Damnation, not to bear all the Oppression and Cruelties which Men, made Wanton by Power, inflict upon those who gave it to them.”

Zenger’s victory over the government prosecutor was one of the most important cases in the colonial period, leading directly to demands for a First Amendment and Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution in the 1790s: freedom of speech, of the press and religion, of gathering, of guns and of property owners. All were especially sacred concepts to German immigrant refugees of the day.

In 1733, Johann Roggenfelder arrived from the Rhineland. His descendants would become oil billionaires and politicians under the name “Rockefeller.” Typical of some Germans of the time, the Roggenfelders had almost no pride in being German due on one hand to their country’s sorry history since 1648 and the power of English-speakers on the other hand. They assimilated totally into a certain mentality among some American English of getting rich as quickly as possible, and covering it over with religion.

In 1740, on the other hand, Andreas Huber arrived in Frederick, Maryland, a German of the finest sort. His descendant Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) exemplified many German-American values such as humanitarianism, honesty, a moderate but definite religious faith (not holy-rolling, which was English and Scotch-Irish), thirst for education and hard work—but also a woeful lack of cunning, deviousness, ruthlessness and outright mendacity when faced with the likes of the governor of New York state, FDR.

Hoover was elected president of the United States of America in November, 1929, just days after the “Roaring Twenties”—of speculation and wild living he disapproved of—were followed by the October 29 stock market “Crash” which led to the Great Depression. He governed for only one desperate term, 1929-33, while the Federal Reserve actually tightened the money supply. When he died, at 90, his name was still being blackened during the reign of Roosevelt’s protégé, Lyndon Johnson of Texas—by those who forgot what most Americans and all economic experts know, that it was the military buildup to World War II, not FDR’s programs, that “saved” America from the Depression.14

* * *

When the American Revolution began, virtually all German-Americans (including the pacifists cheering anything that would increase freedom and weaken royal government) supported openly or clandestinely the onerous seven-year struggle.

This did not of course apply to the Hessians, libelously called “mercenaries.” The king of Hanover had in effect “sold” some of his young subjects for the duration of the war to his cousin, the king of England, with nifty premiums if they were wounded and double premiums if they were killed. The men were not mercenaries in the sense of professional soldiers but conscripts, debtors or the victims of impressment. Far from being well paid like today’s employees of Halliburton or “Blackwater,” some Hessians received nothing but food for their service.

Needless to say, numerous Hessians did not distinguish themselves for bravery or deep love of monarchism. They frankly deserted whenever and wherever possible into the woodwork of Maryland and other states, and as soon as the British were gone married local girls and openly resumed life as farmers and skilled artisans. There is no doubt that if German-Americans still had an active lobby for their interests like the NAACP or the ADL, this “mercenary” slur would no longer be used against the ancestors of many modern Americans. (They did, but in 1917, during World War I hysteria, the German National Alliance, with its 2.5 million members in 45 states, was crushed.)

Nikolas Herchheimer (Herkimer), Revolutionary militia leader, had grandparents from Heidelberg. Hundreds of Palatine Germans had been worked as indentured servants along the Hudson, then were freed to settle in the Mohawk Valley, the frontier, as a buffer against the French and Indians. And so the Palatine Germans bore the full brunt of their attacks in the French and Indian War, where Herchheimer became a distinguished militia commander.

When the Revolution came, the feisty half-German-half-English-speaking Herkimer immediately joined the American cause, now against British, Tories and the same Indians. Commanding 800 men and boys, he became the “hero of the Mohawk Valley.”

Promoted to brigadier general by George Washington, he prevented his militia from being annihilated in a joint Tory/Iroquois ambush at Oriskany Creek on August 6, 1777. Almost at the outset, Herkimer was seriously wounded in the leg, but he managed to keep command of his men-and-boys militia, which held its ground despite fierce hand-to-hand combat with heavy losses on both sides. For six hours, the bandaged, leg-blasted Herkimer sat on a saddle propped up against a tree and directed the militia while smoking a pipe to demonstrate his confidence in the outcome. The Americans retreated in good order with their numerous wounded; Herkimer died 10 days later due to a botched leg amputation. The survival of the upstate New York militia and of its morale was so critical to Washington’s plans that the U.S. Navy commemorated the battle with an aircraft carrier, the USS Oriskany Creek (in service 1944-74).

A farmer’s son in Germany, Johann Kalb, rose to become a distinguished general “De Kalb” in France. Sent by Versailles to check out the American Revolution, he joined it instead just before Valley Forge as a major general under Washington. Called “Baron” for his distinguished bearing (certainly not his farmer background), the morale-boosting Kalb commanded Delaware and Maryland troops, and then was sent south for the worst of the fighting in South Carolina, where, captured, he died of his wounds in 1780.

* * *

The greatest German-American by far during the Revolution—for symbolism, for morale and for his effect on the entire war—was without a doubt Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm Baron von Steuben, a Prussian officer whose magnificent 30-foot statue stands in Lafayette Park across from the north side of the White House.

It is both well-known and true that the young Frenchman, the marquis de Lafayette, entered American revolutionary history as a fighter, as a son-like figure to the childless Washington, and as a first-rate “nagger” to his French king (the later doomed Louis XVI) to give the Americans more money, troops and naval support.

But Baron von Steuben was Washington’s true right-hand man—from Valley Forge to final victory in the Revolution at Yorktown, where he generaled Washington’s army’s right wing. (Lafayette commanded the left.)

Von Steuben’s key contributions were classically German: military discipline for the troops and endless training to perfection in marching, firing, and hygiene in the field. The unruly, freedom-loving Americans of English, Scottish and Scotch-Irish descent had done very well as snipers, Indian fighters and guerrillas, but not nearly as well as standup soldiers, on the open battlefield, facing the British empire’s professional troops. Any American who has served in uniform or commanded troops, and knows our national character, can see that strict discipline must be instilled in most American recruits; it does not come naturally from the home.

Crossing the Atlantic at his own expense from Berlin and landing in 1775 in Ports mouth, New Hampshire, von Steuben raced by coach and horse through northern New England and down through upstate New York, avoiding British troops to get to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The Continental Army was slowly collapsing, unpaid, freezing, almost without medicine and dejected (to a large extent due to the repeated negligence of the Congress).

When von Steuben arrived, Washing ton had been giving a moving yet pathetic speech to his officers and men against desertion, even pulling his spectacles out of his pocket for effect, revealing that “My eyes have grown dim in the service of my country.” Von Steuben presented himself in French (not speaking English), and proposed forthrightly that he become the new drillmaster and inspector general for the whole Continental Army.

Writing a manual of arms, called The Blue Book, and cursing at the dispirited troops in every language he knew when they returned to bad habits, the baron instilled new backbone, pride and courage into the soldiers—who needed to march exactly when and where told, load, fire and reload in precise sequence (so there would be sustained fire and no lulls), advance, turn and retreat as instructed, change their bandages, and clean their weapons, equipment, uniforms and bodies.

* * *

The idealistic Prussian got the American volunteers believing in themselves as soldaten, proud to instantly obey their officers— many of whom, in supreme dedication, had moved their families in with relatives and sold their farms to pay their men.

As a veteran U.S. Navy commander remarked to the author, Washington was never known as a great general.15 His greatness was in keeping his fighting force intact and “in the field” for seven excruciating, depressing years (1775-81), underpaid and underfunded, occasionally out fought, with Tories and spies all about, until the British, beaten at Yorktown with French aid, gave up—even more exhausted, financially and morally, than the Americans.

But the Virginia planter could not have prevailed in the end without army discipline and the prestige of winning at least some of his pitched battles. Friedrich von Steuben, by helping him build and maintain that discipline, stem desertion, and get the troops to make a decent showing in battles, helped Washington’s army “stay in the field.”

This, together with Steuben’s commanding of the right wing of the Continental Army at Yorktown, the decisive final battle of the Revolution (October 19, 1781), made this German officer immigrant ultimately co-responsible, by any definition, for the existence today of the United States.

While naming a ballistic missile submarine as the USS Von Steuben (active 1963-1994) was a nice tribute to a man who, 182 years before, had given all for his new country, it was abysmally belated.

There was also a troop transport ship by the same name in World War I, actually a German passenger liner the Woodrow Wilson administration had interned in 1915, two years before America even entered the war (that the Calvinist English-American had promised to keep us out of). Used, ironically, to ship Americans off to fight Germans during 1917-1919, it was sold for scrap metal in 1923.

The fact that Gen. von Steuben’s $10,000 pension was never paid him by Congress except in worthless paper, and in land he consequently could not afford to develop, and that the nobleman from afar died in near poverty in the country he had helped save, foreshadowed a schism that would increasingly mar the sunny American future: German- and English-Americans, for all their similarities, did not always have the same values.

And while most Americans (including many English and all Scottish, Welsh, Irish and French Americans, and Catholics) felt after Yorktown that the cleanest break possible with Britain would aid a bright future, there also were intensely pro-British English- Americans. They favored British interests and mentality more and more, especially as non-English immigrants began pouring into the new land. In turn the British would favor them; they would meet and dine over champagne in the same ocean liners. Soon Zionist interests would enter in, creating an alliance triangle. These billionaire “modern Tories” would prove less and less comfortable with the German-Americans.

The German-Americans would come to outnumber the English element as early as 1890; they began to co-build the modern United States with the English and other Americans; they would add many of the traits that have made America renowned until now; and they would collide with an unseen empire that their lack of deviousness would not permit them to defeat.
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Kelts (k-l or g-l-named peoples) probably moved west first of all the western Aryans, already wearing kilts and tartans, blowing bagpipes, singing and drinking whiskey when they moved out of modern Czechoslovakia and conquered Gaul (now France), aided by bronze and iron weapons and an enjoyment of battle.3 Moving into northern Italy, the Kelts founded Milan and left many blue-eyed northern Italians behind. (They are often more blue-eyed and light-haired than many southern Germans.)

The first kilts were essentially a plaid blanket worn much like the Roman toga, made of wool and belted around the waist. Irish Gaels wore similar but made of linen and died saffron. The modern kilt is essentially the skirt part of the wrap around without the extra body covering. It's called  mini kilt.

Modern tartan developed over centuries from the early Celtic checked plaid to the modern interwoven designs and was associated with regions rather than Clans until the 19th century. The change came about after tartan was banned by the London based government in the 18th century. Highlanders caught wearing tartan, carrying any weapons including the traditional sgian dhu (black knife) and even speaking Gaelic could be executed on the spot by government officials. By the time the Tartan Act was repealed, it was no longer the standard style of dress in the highlands and so tartan became the national dress of Scotland with Scottish Highland Regiments wearing kilts and Scottish Lowland Regiments wearing trews (woolen tartan trousers).

Bagpipes come in all shapes and sizes. The most common today which is seen everywhere is known as the war or battle pipe. The common pipes that were and still are found in households were smaller, more melodious and designed for dancing and singing to - rather than scaring the living crap out of your enemies as you charge at them stark naked with a sword (if you were lucky) in your hand and the war pipes blaring away always to heard over the screams of rage and the dying.

Whisky is another invention from the middle ages. Before that they drank brandy.

Cailen.

Reverend Cailen Cambeul, P.M.E.
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Church of Creativity South Australia
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"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain.