Max Kade Institute

for German-American Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Monograph Series

Cover of the book Other WitnessesOther Witnesses: An Anthology of Literature of the German Americans, 1850–1914
Edited and with introductory essays by Cora Lee Kluge
xiv, 423 pp., ill.
ISBN 0-924119-41-1
Cloth $19.95

The "other witnesses" represented in this volume are foreign-born immigrant authors who wrote in German of their experiences and insights. Their work provides today's readers with a unique perspective and a new understanding of America's growth and development between 1850 and the First World War. The collection includes poems, plays, prose fiction, reports, and memoirs by Christian Essellen, Reinhold Solger, Mathilde Franziska Anneke, Theodor Kirchhoff, Udo Brachvogel, Robert Reitzel, Julius Gugler, Lotta L. Leser, Fernande Richter, and others. Some of the works presented have never yet appeared in book form, and others are published here for the first time. Many have remained unknown, and all are difficult to locate. Introductory essays to each chapter provide biographical information, elucidate the cultural context, and point the way for further research.   

Introductions to the authors and their works are in English, while the original texts are in German.

Publication announcement in German (PDF)

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Wisconsin German Land and Life
Edited by Heike Bungert, Cora Lee Kluge, and Robert C. Ostergren
300 pp., ill., maps
ISBN: 978-0-924119-46-0
Paper $ 16.95

This volume, the cooperative project of a group of German and American scholars, represents an innovative approach to immigration research. The focus is on migrants from farming communities along the Rhine who relocated to Wisconsin in the nineteenth century: from the Westerwald to Reeseville; from the Cologne area to Cross Plains; from the Eifel to the so-called Holyland in Fond du Lac and Calumet counties; and from Rhine Hesse to Washington and Sheboygan counties. The authors of each essay take unique approaches to reveal the migrants' relationship to the land, utilizing official records on both sides of the Atlantic, such as census and family records, land registers, plat maps, and land surveys. The broad picture presented here includes the migrants' situation in their original home, the migration process itself, and their experience in Wisconsin.

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The Wisconsin Office of Emigration 1853–1855
and Its Impact on German Immigration to the State

Johannes Strohschänk and William G. Thiel
125 pp., 10 b/w photos.
ISBN 978-0-924119-22-4
Paperback [OUT OF STOCK]

This book can now be accessed online at UW Digital Collections

In 1852 Wisconsin established the Office of Emigration to attract European—mainly German-speaking—settlers to the state. Drawing on contemporary newspaper articles and privately published emigrant guides, as well as official publications of the emigration office, the authors document the office’s influence on the settlement history of early Wisconsin and assess that influence against the backdrop of state politics in the mid-nineteenth century.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2005.

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Regionalism in an Age of Globalism. Vol. 1: Concepts of Regionalism
Edited by Lothar Hönnighausen, Marc Frey, James Peacock, and Niklaus Steiner
xvii, 196 pp.
ISBN 0-924119-12-8
Hardcover: $19.95 





Regionalism in an Age of Globalism. Vol. 2: Forms of Regionalism
Edited by Lothar Hönnighausen, Anke Ortlepp, James Peacock, and Niklaus Steiner
xv, 388 pp., ill.    
ISBN 0-924119-13-6
Hardcover: $19.95   

In an age of rapid globalization, regionalism might seem to be a notion better suited to the nineteenth century than the early twenty-first. Far from vanishing, however, regionalism has actually flourished in the last half century. During this time there have been an increasing number of conflicts based on territorial identities, while new regionally based political, economic, cultural, and religious groupings have emerged.

This two-volume set, Regionalism in an Age of Globalism, examines the concepts of region and regionalism in today's rapidly shrinking world. Building on the insights of a diverse group of scholars, the first volume, Concepts of Regionalism, showcases the wide range of theories and methods that are being applied to regionalism today in the humanities and social sciences. Linking these volumes are many common themes, most importantly that regions are social and cultural constructs. The second volume, Forms of Regionalism, presents case studies exploring regionalism in literature, governmental policy, architecture, and other fields in areas as diverse as the American South, Pacific Northwest, Eastern Europe, and the Canadian North.

The international contributors represent disciplines including American studies, Canadian studies, folklore, history, anthropology, linguistics, literature, geography, sociology, and political science.

©Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures 2005.
Two-Volume Set: $49.95
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Vol. 1
Vol. 2

Ach Ja! Traditional German-American Music from Wisconsin
Compiled by Philip Martin and James P. Leary
2 compact discs: $16.00

Originally released as a 1985 double LP by the Wisconsin Folklife Center, Ach Ya! was selected as an outstanding American folk music recording by the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Featuring acapella singers, yodelers, zither players, button accordionists, and full-fledged "Dutchman" bands from Watertown to Wausau, from Cedar Grove to Birnamwood, this compilation's nearly 50 performances were chosen by folklorists Philip Martin and James P. Leary following a year of intensive field and archival research. Accompanied by an extensively annotated booklet, the CD's tracks follow four themes: Around the Table, Children's Songs and Rites of Passage, Across the Generations, and Dance Melodies and Marches. A valuable resource for teachers of German, especially in the Badger State, the lives, lyrics, and melodies captured on Ach Ya! help reflect and define the German American experience in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest.

©Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures 2005. ISBN 0-924119-14-4
Ach Ya! at UW Press

German-American Immigration and Ethnicity in Comparative Perspective
Edited by Walter D. Kamphoefner and Wolfgang Helbich
450 pp., 28 tables, 3 figures, 1 illustration.
Hardcover: $29.95

Out of Stock

Making comparisons is unavoidable in the study of immigration and ethnicity because these fields by their very nature examine the interaction of different groups with each other. Using a comparative approach allows historians to prove or disprove traditional stereotypes about various immigrant groups, point out their defining characteristics, and explain why certain cultural patterns persist within an ethnic group while others disappear. As the editors claim in their introduction, "National history can get by or at least limp along without a comparative dimension; immigration and ethnic history cannot."

Although each essay uses a comparative approach to study the history of German immigrants to the U.S. and their descendants, this is where their similarities end. Chapter topics range from a study of the similarities and differences between German Catholics and other Catholic groups in America to a comparison of the political activities of nineteenth-century German and Irish immigrants to a look a the German-American response to the differing policies of Weimar and Nazi Germany.

The contributors to this volume are as diverse as the articles that they penned. They include not only an equal mix of German and American historians, but also two different generations of scholars—both established historians and those who are just starting out in the field.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2004. ISBN 0-924119-18-7 (Cloth)
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German-Jewish Identities in America
Edited by Christof Mauch and Joseph Salmons
172 pp., 2 figures, 2 tables
Hardcover: $14.95

Changing political, social, and cultural circumstances have led German Jews in America to take on many different identities. While on some occasions German Jews have associated with other German-speaking immigrants to the United States, at other points they have identified more closely with the general American population. The various identities German Jews have constructed for themselves reflect, to differing degrees, influences from their places of emigration, their connections to the ancestral land of Israel, and their identification with American institutions and ideals.

This book explores these varied German-Jewish identities in America from a wide range of perspectives and disciplines. Essays examine such varied topics as the relationship between German and Eastern European Jews in America, the development of the B’nai B’rith, nineteenth-century Jewish community-building in Chicago, German Jews’ role in the building of modern American show business, and the correlation between date of emigration and language loss among Jewish emigrants fleeing to America from Nazi Germany. Although most of the contributors are historians, there are also chapters from a linguist, theater and literature professors, and even an award-winning documentary filmmaker.

Christof Mauch is director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC, and has authored several books including Für eine Welt ohne Krieg: Otto Umfrid und die Anfänge der Friedensbewegung (with T. Brenner) and American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler.

Joseph Salmons, professor of German at University of Wisconsin–Madison, is currently beginning work with Robert Howell and Paul Roberge on the Cambridge History of the Germanic Languages.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2003. ISBN: 0-924119-07-1 (Cloth)
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Mennonite Low German Dictionary / Mennonitisch Plattdeutsches Wörterbuch
by Jack Thiessen
628 pp.
Hardcover: $24.95


The Mennonite Low German Dictionary is the most extensive reference work to date on the vital language of thousands of Mennonites in places as far flung as Russia, Canada, and Latin America. Aside from a concise history and grammar of the language, this dictionary contains more than twenty-five thousand entries ranging from Äajdatjs (lizard) to Resse'rieta (prankster) and Zyreen (siren) taken from everyday speech, popular sayings, and literature. This work offers a fascinating view of the history and present state of Mennonite Low German, which, unlike most minority and immigrant languages worldwide, continues to thrive and grow. Jack Thiessen, a retired professor of German at the University of Winnipeg, co-authored Mennonitische Namen/Mennonite Names with Victor Peters and wrote Mennonitische Jeschichten, a collection of short stories. He is considered one of the leading contemporary writers of Mennonite Low German.

"Jack Thiessen's Mennonite Low German Dictionary/Mennonitisch Plattdeutsches Worterbuch is one of the finest tools I possess in aiding my writing of Low German stories and plays. Though often used as a language of great comedic worth since the words are so earthy and expressive, this dictionary confirms the Low German language has the potential to evoke every emotion of the human experience. The book is very 'readable', the words and definitions sensible and easy to find. By creating this dictionary Jack Thiessen has given common folks, Mennonite and others the gift of keeping the language alive and growing. This book is a must have for all who love the Low German Mutta-sproak."
-- Anne Funk, playwright

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2003. ISBN: 0-924119-09-8 (Cloth)

Land without Nightingales: Music in the Making of German-America
Edited by Philip Bohlman and Otto Holzapfel
310 pp., 30 b/w photos,
17 musical transcriptions, 2 maps, 9 illus.
Hardcover $19.95

Despite the laments of some nineteenth-century German immigrants that America was a land bereft of poetry and song, a "land without nightingales," the history of German American music is a rich one. This book explores the wide variety of forms of musical expression among German-speaking immigrants to America and their descendants from the eighteenth century to the present. Topics range from Moravian music in colonial America to musical life among twenty-first century Canadian Hutterites, from polka music to German singing societies, from Lutheran hymns to the songs of German-speaking Catholic and Jewish immigrants, and from the songs of German-speaking Swiss settlers to the music of immigrants from the Burgenland region of Austria.

Underlying these diverse contributions is a common theme—the constant interplay between the German and American sides of the hyphen of "German-American" to be found in all these musical styles. A companion CD includes musical selections that complement and expand upon this theme.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2002. ISBN 0-924119-04-7 (Cloth)
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An English reprint of a nineteenth-century cookbook for German-Americans: Pickled Herring and Pumpkin Pie
by Henriette Davidis
with an introduction by Louis A. Pitschmann
563 pp., 9 illus.

This book can now be accessed online at UW Digital Collections 

This fascinating mix of Old and New World recipes is a reprint of a best-selling nineteenth-century German cookbook adapted for German-Americans. Its recipes range from traditional German dishes to popular American foods to frontier cuisine--how about some roasted beaver tails? Pickled Herring and Pumpkin Pie also offers a glimpse into life in a nineteenth-century immigrant household and how immigrants tried to preserve the old ways while adapting to a new environment. Features of the cookbook include advice on how to use such "new" ingredients as corn or equipment like the Dutch oven, and how to shop in America, grow a proper kitchen garden, preserve food, cook medicinal dishes, and entertain.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2002. ISBN 0-924119-05-5 (Cloth), ISBN 09-24119-06-3 (Paper)
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Dictionary of German Names
by Hans Bahlow
Translated by Edda Gentry
Second Edition

656 pp., 3 maps
Paperback $22.95

Second Edition Remarks: A boon for genealogical research and an interesting browse for the merely curious, this detailed dictionary is an English-language reference for more than 15,000 German family names, including variant spellings as well as the meaning and origin of each name. Some entries will provoke a chuckle, others a bit of embarrassment, still others a sense of wonder and pride. This Second Edition of an already popular resource has been expanded throughout and includes many corrections and enhancements.
"A classic for anyone interested in their German ancestry and an invaluable tool for North Americans trying to determine what part of Germany they came from."—Helmut Schmahl, Johannes Gutenberg University–Mainz

First Edition Remarks: This volume makes available in English for the first time the work of the noted German scholar Hans Bahlow. The book, in dictionary form, lists over 15,000 German names, together with variant spellings, and gives the meanings and history of each name, often citing occurrences of the names, and where the names appeared. This book will be invaluable to those doing genealogical research and of considerable interest to a general public wanting to know what names mean. Some entries will provoke a chuckle, others a bit of embarrassment, still others a sense of wonder and even pride. Everyone will feel the sense of satisfaction that inevitably comes with knowledge.

©Friends of The Max Kade Institute 2002.
ISBN 0-924119-36-5. Cloth $39.95
ISBN 0-924119-37-3. Paper $24.95

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A Word Atlas of Pennsylvania German
by Lester W. J. Seifert
Edited by Mark L. Louden, Howard Martin & Joseph C. Salmons
260 pp., 160 maps
Hardcover $19.95

Also contains a biography of Seifert by Howard Martin and an introductory essay on the history of Pennsylvania German linguistics by Mark L. Louden.

This is the most extensive reference work on Pennsylvania German (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch), the dialect now spoken primarily by Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities in the United States. It displays 160 maps showing regional variants for a word or grammatical form throughout the former German-speaking regions of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2001. ISBN 0-924119-02-0

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German-American Urban Culture: Writers & Theaters in Early Milwaukee
by Peter C. Merrill
128 pp. Paperback $19.95

Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century and continuing well into the twentieth, Milwaukee was home to a remarkably vibrant and complex German-language intellectual scene. This collection of essays presents Milwaukee's most notable German-speaking writers and their works, including Wisconsin-written plays and operettas, prose, poetry, serial novels, and Feuilleton contributions. A number of essays treat the cultural context these writers worked in, especially Milwaukee's most important German-language theaters, up through the renovation of the Pabst Theater. This book concludes with a broad, synthetic essay on German-American urban culture in the city.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2000. ISBN 0-924119-03-9

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German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee: A Biographical Dictionary
Compiled by Peter C. Merrill
192 pp. Hardcover $22.50 Out of Stock

Throughout the late nineteenth century, the city of Milwaukee was known as the center of German-American life in the Midwest, if not the entire United States. German-language newspapers flourished; an active German-language theater brought eager Milwaukee audiences German stage productions, both musical and dramatic; and German institutions and customs permeated daily life throughout the city. For at least a century, the local art scene in Milwaukee was similarly dominated by German influences. Many of the early artists who worked in Milwaukee had emigrated from German-speaking countries and, having been trained in Europe, brought with them artistic impulses current in their homelands. These immigrants not only worked in Milwaukee, they also trained the generations that followed. This biographical dictionary represents a valuable resource and research tool for a wide audience, ranging from students of American art and art history to readers interested in early Milwaukee and its cultural history to scholars of German-American life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Through painstaking research, Merrill has produced a reference work that is striking in its richness. Compiled from newspapers, census documents, city directories and local documents, dictionary entries provide biographical information on a diverse group of influential cultural figures, including Milwaukee's most renowned and most remote artists. The result is a detailed picture of personalities and institutions that played a significant role in shaping the character of Milwaukee's artistic life in the period between 1849 and 1949. Photographs of artists scattered throughout complement the reproductions of art works, lending a vital visual attraction to this scholarly reference work.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 1997. ISBN 0-924119-01-2.

The German Language in America, 1683-1991
Edited by Joseph C. Salmons
337 pp. [OUT OF STOCK]

This book can now be accessed online at UW Digital Collections

This volume presents seventeen articles, revised and expanded from a Max Kade Symposium, on the German language in North America. It includes historical studies (colonial German in contact with Native American languages, the language of Pietism among colonial immigrants), dialect descriptions (Donau-schwäbisch in the Midwest, Low German in Kansas, Volga German in Kansas) and investigations into the impact of German on English (German ethnic varieties of English, German in advertising, German loanwords in American English). Research on language maintenance and shift is especially well-represented, with a theoretical overview of the subject and case studies of Alberta, Black Sea Germans in the Dakotas and the Amana colonies. Methodological and theoretical issues include case loss and morphosyntactic change (East Franconian in Indiana); a comparative study of German in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; and several papers on Pennsylvania German, treating linguistic convergence, language attitudes and sociolinguistic variation.

©Friends of The Max Kade Institute 1993. ISBN 0-924119-61-6.

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The Golden Signpost
Translated from the German by Colin D. Thomson
391 pp. Hardcover $24.95

This translation of an extremely popular guide for immigrants appeared in several editions during the 1880s in Cleveland. It was written in German to help recent arrivals in the United States cope with their new and different cultural surroundings. Advice is offered on just about every facet of life, from furnishing a home and what sorts of greenery to purchase, to proper social and occupational ethics and behavior, to activity of a political nature, to marriage and family life. Very little is left without a practical word of advice. The book gives today's reader fine insights into the values and codes of behavior in late nineteenth-century America within a specific ethnic group whose numbers were at that time being swelled by yet another massive wave of immigration. In his translation, Colin D. Thomson has managed to recapture in English the tone of the original German. The book has an introduction which provides a historical context and a preface that analyzes the content of the work itself.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 1993. ISBN 0-924119-30-6.

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The Life and Works of Charles Sealsfield (Karl Postl) 1793-1864
Edited by Charlotte L. Brancaforte
302 pp. Hardcover $24.95

This book, with contributions in both German and English, investigates the life story and manifold interests and achievements of one of the most enigmatic writers of the nineteenth century. Karl Postl was the son of an Austrian bourgeois family, and a Catholic cleric who was caught up in the resistance to the post-Napoleonic restoration. In 1823 he exiled himself from his name and his homeland. A restless traveller through the Americas, a much-read literary critic, a social visionary and a sometimes diplomatic courier for the exiled Bonaparte family, Karl Postl became "Charles Sealsfield, Citizen of the United States, Clergyman, Native of Pennsylvania." His literary reputation never really faded even though tastes have changed many times. His search for common human traits in the political and social systems of Europe and the Americas has been relevant through the last 150 years. Quite apart from the literary merits of his works, his dispassionate observations on non-European races and their customs and aspirations have aroused the interest of scholars in the academic disciplines of anthropology and ethnic history.

©Friends of The Max Kade Institute 1993. ISBN 0-924119-72-1.

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The German-American Press
Edited by Henry Geitz
270 pp. [OUT OF STOCK]

This book can now be accessed online at UW Digital Collections

Though it will never be possible to establish an exact number, scholars of the German-American press have estimated that about 5,000 newspapers and periodicals have been published in German in the more-than-300 years of German immigration to the United States. This collection of essays on various aspects of the German-American press shows clearly the role of that press in the process of acculturation of German immigrants on the one hand, and on the other, retention of some of the old institutions, most notably the German language. Bracketed between articles on the press of the colonial period and that of the present is a rich collection of essays on various aspects of the topic. While no one volume can adequately deal with all or even nearly all aspects of the phenomenon, this contribution to the field of German-American Studies does present a rather broad spectrum of topics and, thus, serves as both a source of valuable information and an introduction to further work.

©Friends of The Max Kade Institute 1992. ISBN 0-924119-50-0.

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The German-Speaking 48ers: Builders of Watertown, Wisconsin
by Charles J. Wallman
110 pp. Paperback $12.95

In this book the author follows those Forty-Eighters who fled German-speaking countries in the aftermath of the failed revolution of 1848 and influenced the building of Watertown, which grew to be the second largest city in Wisconsin. By consulting source materials in English and German, Charles Wallman has skillfully unravelled the threads that tie the Forty-Eighters and their descendants to the history of Watertown. He has chronicled not only the Forty-Eighters who subsequently became prominent in the German-American community but also those who never moved again and helped make their new hometown a thriving place. He has shown that energy and industry, the love of intellectual and cultural life and the capacity for friendship were outstanding traits of the Forty-Eighter families. This book, with some sixty illustrations, is an indispensable guide for anyone who wants to understand the past and the present of the Watertown community.

©Friends of the Max Kade Institute 1992, reprinted 1994. 0- 924119-23-3.
Also available for purchase through Mallach's Bookstore,
107 N. Third Street,
Watertown, WI 53094.

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Witness to History: A Refugee from the Third Reich Remembers
by Joachim von Elbe
416 pp. Hardcover $18.95

This book helps the reader understand and appreciate the author's work in the legal profession both in his native Germany and in the United States. The downfall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazism are described, as is the post-World War II era that led, ultimately, to West Germany's participation in NATO as a sovereign nation. This volume originally appeared in German with the title Unter Preußenadler und Sternenbanner [Under the Prussian Eagle and the Stars and Stripes], with a most appropriate subtitle Ein Leben für Deutschland und Amerika [A Life for Germany and the United States]. The author's background and varied experiences make him uniquely qualified to present the reader with an extremely interesting, stimulating, and highly personal account of a tumultuous era.

©Friends of The Max Kade Institute 1989. ISBN 0-924119-00-4.

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