Ethnicity

The other day while reading the Economist Magazine, I found an article about Germans in America. If you divide Hispanics into their respective home lands, Mexico, Cuba etc. Germans are the largest ethnic group in America. My father was from a family that came from Merrie Old England to America in 1640, but my mother was born in Germany. My father’s mother was also German. So I am ¾ Kraut.

During the World Wars it was dangerous to be German. You had to prove your loyalty to America by buying war bonds. In WW I Germans were spit upon in the streets. Sauerkraut was renamed “liberty- kraut”, as our Congress relabeled French Fries, “Freedom Fries” when the French refused to join our Coalition to attack Iraq. (We didn’t offer to send the Statue of Liberty back.)

At the beginning of WW II we were stopped at a highway checkpoint and asked where we were born. My German grand mother was considered too old to be a threat and was not detained. My Mom had been here since very young. During WW II our German neighbors, the Switzers, were accused of not closing their blinds at night and giving the German bombers a signal light so that they could bomb our California mountain village. We survived. Every other local patriot closed their blinds.

Les

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