Notes on the September 1918 issues

As one can imagine, “The War” was the major topic in Die Abendschule in September 1918, with over 12 million American men ages 18 to 45 registered for the draft. During this time, the German-speaking populace of the US was under scrutiny. Witness the fact that since October 1917, any article printed in newspapers in any language but English that had to do with the war had to be registered with the United States Post Office. That is why a number of news articles in Die Abendschule carried the notice, “True translation filed with the postmaster at St. Louis, Mo, on [date], as required by the Act of October 6, 1917.” Articles in this month’s Abendschule with this “Vermerk” include:

“Das neue Wehrpflichtsgesetz”

“Amerikas Friedensbedingungen”

“Fremdgeborene und 3. Freiheitsanleihe”

“Österreichs Friedensfühler abgewiesen”

“Lloyd George des Sieges gewiss”

“Das Bierbrauen hört auf”

“Das Heizen der Wohnungen nächsten Winter”

That is a wide range of topics that all had to be “filed.” One especially interesting one is about beer brewing. Since Prohibition was about to go into effect, one would think that was the reason, but, no, the main reason given in the article was that various war-related industries needed resources and workers. Brewing was not essential.

On a different topic, on pages 145–46 there is an article about the city of Milwaukee. On September 14, 1818, the first European to settle there was the Canadian “Pelzhändler” Solomon Juneau. He was also the first postmaster and mayor of what would soon become Wisconsin’s largest city. The first German resident of the city was Matthias Stein, originally from New York. Apparently he subscribed to Die Abendschule, which is no doubt another reason why he is mentioned! Milwaukee is often called “das Deutsche Athen,” but this article refers to another nickname for the city, “das lutherische Nicäa,” because of the 60 churches in the city.

In 1840 Milwaukee had 1,712 residents; by 1898 the number had risen to 280,000. In 1834 Milwaukee County was created, dividing off from the first Wisconsin county, Brown County, which at the time was the entire eastern half of the state. For those of you who are Green Bay Packers fans, Brown County has shrunk quite a bit in the last 182 years! In the meantime Wisconsin has added 70 more counties, including one named for the first European settler, Juneau (county seat Mauston). For you German teachers living in Wisconsin, this is a short but easy article to read and discuss with your students.