And no, it’s not time for a dye-job either! We’re talking about those wonderful German roots that connect so many of us in the United States. Over the past few hundred years they have grown and woven together to form the foundation of this country. With some 42 million people claiming German heritage in the United States it would be nearly impossible to dismiss the impact those ancestors have had on this country’s formation, growth, and prosperity. As you venture off on family vacations this summer, take the opportunity to visit a German-American neighborhood, town, attraction, or business. By doing so, you’ll help acknowledge and support the commitment our ancestors made when they left everything behind but their character, strength, courage, and resolve—all to carve out a better life for themselves on this side of the Atlantic.
The June/July issue brings our annual focus on the theme of German America and this year is no different. From destinations to lifestyles, we have a number of articles that show fine examples of the merging of these two cultures. First up, our culinary expert, Sharon Hudgins, shares the story of her great-grandmother’s life in the American West and her relationship with both the Sioux and Sitting Bull as a Prussian Pioneer (page 40). Moving along to Texas, Pam Windsor reacquaints us with the rich German culture you’ll find in Hill Country with a visit to Fredericksburg (page 55). Claire Gebben traces the journey of German Separatists who ultimately settled and thrived in Zoar, Ohio (page 20). Then Marlene Fanta Shyer visits a theater troupe in Brooklyn where the Galli Theater (page 37) uses interactive theater to help a new generation of children learn the German language.
From a different perspective, Anna Cramer takes a look at the divisive process of Fracking (page 14) as Germany debates the use of the controversial practice. With immigration being a hot topic, Hannah Selig looks back at the relationship between Kaiser Wilhem II and Sultan Abdul Majid II (page 24) that opened the door between Germany and Turkey and led Turks to become the largest ethnic minority in Germany. Finally, we are excited to welcome Robert Bestor, former publisher of the travel newsletter Gemütlichkeit, as a regular contributor. Robert will be sharing his vast travel knowledge with us by offering travel tips and secrets to make your journeys to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland the best they can be! This issue, Robert looks at the warmth and charm of Country Inns (page 60).
With that said…sit back, pour yourself a cold glass of German punch (page 52), and enjoy this issue of German Life! Have a wonderful summer!