See all my books!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Anti-German hatred among Americans as WWI begins; lynchings, riots, prejudice abounded

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, many in the USA exhibited anti-German attitudes. Newspapers ran cartoons that vilified the Kaiser and his soldiers and allies. Yet more than 1/3 of Americans were of German descent.
If cartoons in magazines and newspapers were the most visible, other actions showed American fear and bias toward the British and French.

Riots broke out in many cities. In Chicago, one man was hanged on suspicion of being a German sympathizer.
In my own German-American family where my father's family were 3rd generation Americans and where they spoke German, my grandfather warned his children to speak only English outside the house. My father remembers clearly that among his friends who were German-Americans, they had this warning, too.

While much of this editorializing might be understood as an effort by the government to propagandize the war effort—and gain support financially from the citizens, it is also a representation of what happens to people's emotional predisposition when attacked or when war seems to be the most viable solution to a political problem.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 4 "the lamps go out all over Europe" as we begin Commemorations of Start of The Great War

Sir Edward Grey
    Tomorrow night, August 4, in the United Kingdom at 10 p.m., all there will be asked to turn off their lights for one hour in commemoration of the official notice by British Prime Minister that the Cabinet had declared war on Germany August 4, 1914. The Lights Out project symbolizes the statement by then  British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey who said, “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time."
     Read more about this event here on the BBC site:

     And to read more about Grey's famous speech, do visit:

     The world today has been shaped by that war in countless ways. One of them is a constant questioning by many of the necessity and value of spending blood, tears and treasure to kill others.
On the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the event that ignited the conflict, leaders of those countries who went to war months later in 1914, gathered in Belgium. They promised each other then to work toward peace. Among them here you see the leaders of France, Germany, United Kingdom and Belgium.