The Right Coast

September 23, 2004
Old Multiculturalism - Alte Multikulturalismus
By Maimon Schwarzschild

Colonel Walter Staudt, retired Brigadier of GWB's National Guard unit, gives an interview to his hometown newspaper:
    He maintains no one did Bush any favors -- no one had to. "He was a good candidate, well educated", he said. "We needed pilots, and he wanted to be one."
The name of the newspaper? The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.

It's an English-language paper -- nowadays. But New Braunfels is the heart of Texas German country. When you visit the town, you will see the big, German-style town hall: Kaiser Wilhelm would feel at home. The town even has a Hummel-figure museum.

German language and German culture were alive and well, of course, for many decades among German immigrants and their children (and grandchildren) throughout the US. Many Germans came as quasi-refugees after the defeat of the liberal uprising in Germany in 1848. It's plausible that Hohenzollern militarism, and even Nazism, succeeded politically in Germany in part because so many liberal-minded Germans, and their descendants, had departed for the US after 1848.

Germans gravitated to many parts of the US: Cincinnati (there's a reason that a medium-sized midwestern town always had a good symphony orchestra and first-rate museums); St Louis (the Germans were instrumental in keeping Missouri in the Union); Baltimore (home of H. L. Mencken, whose parents and relatives spoke German).

But Texas was a major destination. The Herald Zeitung opened in 1852, and had a German-language section until 1964 (!).

Prosit, Colonel Staudt! Es lebe New Braunfels!