In Their Own Words: German Americans in the World War I Era

Drawing on the resources of the Max Kade Institute Library & Archives, this exhibit showcases German-language documents published in the United States during the World War I Era. It offers a glimpse into German-Americans’ view of the world, as well as their position in American society. The exhibit was created in conjunction with an international conference titled “Outside the Kaisserreich: The German Diaspora in the World War I Era,” held at the Max Kade Institute in October 2015.

The following are eight posters that accompany the exhibit. They interpret German-American materials from four distinct periods in the World War I Era: 1) the years preceeding the beginning of the war in Europe; 2) the early war years before the entry of the United States; 3) the war years after the entry of the United States; and 4) the years immediately following the end of armed conflict.

German-American Publications Before World War I

The Importance of the German Language for German Americans

The War Years Before April 1917

The War At Home Before April 1917

A Story of Greed and Duty to the Fatherland

After the American Entry Into the War in April 1917

The German Language in America After April 1917

German-American Publications in the Early Post-World War I Years

American Music from the WWI Era

Hancock, Hank, Peter Klem, Harry Carroll, and Ballard MacDonald. The War in Snider’s Grocery Store. New York: Shapiro, Bernstein, & Co. Music Publishers, 1914.

Listen at the National Jukebox (Historical Recordings from the Library of Congress):

Donahue, John J. Don’t Blame the Germans. Lawrence, Mass: J.J. Donahue, 1915.

Berlin, Irving, Edgar Leslie, George W. Meyer, and Everett J. Evans. Let’s All Be Americans Now. New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder, 1917.

Listen on YouTube: