German Immigrants

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Moving to a foreign country is definitely not accomplished without its various obstacles. Unable to bring the majority of their possessions, many German immigrants were forced to start all over. Another challenge presented to them was while some immigrants already had family settled in the United States, the majority did not. In fact, a large number of German immigrants knew no one, therefore, propelling them to adjust to their new environment without the help of friends or family. Finally, to add to their difficulties, early German immigrants struggled with the language barrier, as their ability to read and speak English was extremely limited. Fortunately, these early German immigrants adapted quickly and pinpointed communities to settle…show more content…
Until World War I (1914-1918), millions of German immigrants continued to speak their native language as well as live in German-speaking enclaves. However, following the war, things drastically changed. “Their days of peaceful obscurity in the United States” ended, and the Germans quickly became the enemy as well as subjects of violent harassment (German Immigration). Books burned, street names changed, music disappeared, and German businesses were boycotted –anything regarded as German was attacked or even obliterated. After the war, thousands fled the disaster in Germany. “Between 1919 and 1933, roughly 430,000 Germans immigrated to the United States” (German Immigration). As a result of the anti-German prejudice now extremely prevalent in the U.S., German immigrants began trying to hide their ethnicity. Many even chose to Americanize their names. At this time of conflict, new immigrants joined in this hopeful attempt to be assimilated, and in doing so, lost some of their German characteristics and traditions (Waves of German Immigrants). As a result, the new generations of German Americans born in the United States easily adapted to and accepted American culture and traditions, being that they were raised as Americans. Certainly many would still observe some German traditions and celebrations, but as the decades passed, these…show more content…
He found himself struggling with the quality of ingredients and specifically the preparation of certain dishes. In German, the main meal of the day was definitely lunch, while cold cuts got served for breakfast and dinner. Germans greatly valued fresh food. Many would walk to the market every morning to buy fresh bread and any other items they needed. Hans-Dieter routinely performed what the Germans refer to as “cake hour,” which was when they would eat pastries and drink coffee in the late afternoon every day (Wohlschlegel). This tradition did not exist in America, and it took some time for him to adjust to this
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