German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum The German-American Heritage Museum of the USA tells the story of all Americans of German-speaking ancestry and how they helped shape our great nation.
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Entry to the museum ranges from $5/person to $10/person, depending on the current exhibit.

Operating as usual

03/03/2021
German Ingenuity Interview and presentation

Watch our executive director Katja Sipple’s interview with "How German Ingenuity Inspired America" author Lynne Breen to find out what inspired her to commence this writing project, what she learnt on this journey, how she conducted her research, and what she hopes readers will take away from her work.

The interview is followed by a book presentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7U8Sz51lj0&feature=emb_logo

Germans, including German-Americans, have left their marks all over the world. From the art of famous German painters, inventions in the fields of medicine, ...

Today is the 117th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss (btw, that rhymes with voice...
03/02/2021

Today is the 117th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss (btw, that rhymes with voice), who authored and illustrated such beloved children’s classics as “The Cat in the Hat”, “Green Eggs and Ham”, “Fox in Socks”, and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”.

Theodor was born on March 4, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Henrietta (nee Seuss) and Theodor Robert Geisel, a German-American family. The German community of Springfield numbered around 1,000 people in 1900, and Theodor’s family was well respected and prosperous. His grandfather had immigrated from Muhlhausen. At age 14, he had found work in his native country as a jeweller’s apprentice in the German “gold town” of Pforzheim. Although he initially opened a jewellery shop in Springfield, he soon realized that there were other opportunities, and bought a small brewery in 1876 that he soon developed into one of the largest breweries in New England.

Young Theodor had all the stars aligned until the outbreak of WW I with its resulting anti-German sentiments, and the arrival of Prohibition that closed the brewery. His family valued education, and Ted attended Dartmouth College where he joined a fraternity and edited a humor magazine called Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern. An incident involving gin almost resulted in his removal from university, and created his famous pen name Dr. Seuss, which enabled him to keep writing and editing despite having been banned from all extracurricular activities.

He graduated in 1925, and travelled to Oxford, England where he wanted to pursue a doctorate in English literature. His books and papers were always filled to the brim with the most marvelous drawings of animals and fantastic creatures, and it was the woman who later became his wife, Helen Palmer, who encouraged him to abandon his plans of an English degree, and instead pursue a career as a cartoonist and illustrator. He drew for Vanity Fair, created advertisements for Standard Oil, and also drew political cartoons during WW II, including a brief stint at the US Army’s animation and film department, but his real passion was children’s books.

Following the publication of his first work in 1937 “And To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, he illustrated and wrote more than 60 books, which had sold more than 600 million copies by the time of his death on Sept. 24, 1991. Many of these books were inspired by his German-American neighborhood in Springfield, and you can read more here: https://www.seussinspringfield.org/
His birthday has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.

You can probably name a few German car brands off the top of your head, but Germany is likely not the first thing that c...
02/11/2021

You can probably name a few German car brands off the top of your head, but Germany is likely not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of aviation. Yet it was Karl Wilhelm Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), Germany's famous "flying man" whose groundbreaking and successful experiments with gliders paved the way for other pioneers. He developed a dozen models of monoplanes, wing flapping aircraft, and two biplanes. In 1894, he filed a U.S. Patent, which directed pilots to grip the "bar" for carrying and flying the hang glider. This A-frame is still used in modern hand gliders and ultralight aircraft.

Speaking of aviation, Orville and Wilbur Wright, the famous Wright brothers, who invented, built, and flew the world's first successful motor-operated plane, were also of German descent. Their maternal grandfather, Johann Gottlieb Koerner, immigrated to the U.S. via Baltimore, Maryland, and their mother Susan Koerner grew up in Loudoun County, Virginia, about 40 miles west of Washington, DC.

Last but not least, the quintessential American aviation company Boeing, was founded by German-Austrian-American Wilhelm Eduard Böing (1881-1956). His mother was Viennese and his father was from Hohenlimburg in Northern Germany. He spoke fluent German, and even attended boarding school in Switzerland. In 1916, he and a partner founded the Pacific Aero Products Co., and in 1917, changed the name to Boeing Airplane Company, and the rest is history.

You can find out more about the story of Lilienthal in "How German Ingenuity Inspired America."

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum's cover photo
02/04/2021

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum's cover photo

He was a Prussian to the core, who admired and loyally served his emperor, and proudly wore the Prussian uniform of a hi...
02/04/2021

He was a Prussian to the core, who admired and loyally served his emperor, and proudly wore the Prussian uniform of a highly-respected military band leader. His name was Gustav Sabac el Cher, the son of August Albrecht Sabac el Cher, who had been born in Sudan and came to Germany as the personal servant of Prince Albert of Prussia in 1843, and his German wife Anna.

Gustav was the only Afro-German imperial bandmaster in German history. He was born in Berlin on March 10, 1868, and showed an early interest in music. At age eight, he began taking violin lessons, and at age 17, as was common for young men in Imperial Germany, he joined the military: the Fusilier Regiment Prinz Heinrich von Preußen (Prince Henry of Prussia) as a military musician. He rose quickly through the ranks, and in 1893, he began studying at the Royal University of Arts and Music in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Just two years later, still only in his 20s, he became the conductor of the Grenadier-Regiment „König Friedrich III“ (King Frederick III) band in Königsberg. He was well-known and highly respected, as evidenced by numerous newspaper accounts, and not only composed music, but also adapted several Mozart pieces.

He married Gertrude Perling in 1901, and, together with their sons Horst and Herbert, he returned to Berlin. Gustav left the army, and found employment as a civilian bandleader. In this capacity he toured Germany, and gave concerts in many different cities. During the Weimar Republic, he was one of the first musicians to realize the potential of radio broadcasts, and conducted some of Germany's largest and most important orchestras.

Gustav died on October 4, 1934 in Senzig, and his widow received a sympathy telegram from the exiled Emperor William II and the Crown Prince in whose regiment he had served. Gertrude and Gustav are both buried in Berlin. Their older son Herbert survived World War II, but Horst died in 1943 whilst serving as a medic on the Eastern Front.

SAVE THE DATE Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, 6 - 7 PM ESTBook Presentation of "How German Ingenuity Inspired America: More Fun, ...
02/03/2021

SAVE THE DATE

Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, 6 - 7 PM EST

Book Presentation of "How German Ingenuity Inspired America: More Fun, More Beauty, More Freedom"
via Zoom with author Lynne Breen and a special guest appearance by Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of President Harry Truman. A gifted feature writer and actor, Mr. Daniel is known for portraying his famous grandfather on stage. You can find out more about Mr. Daniel and his performances at https://www.ctrumandaniel.com/

This will be a virtual event, and registration ([email protected]) is required as we have limited capacity. The Zoom link will be sent to registered participants on Friday, Feb. 12. Please also check your spam/junk folders.

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum's cover photo
01/28/2021

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum's cover photo

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum's cover photo
01/28/2021

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum's cover photo

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum
01/28/2021

German-American Heritage Foundation and Museum

"How German Ingenuity Inspired America: More Fun, More Beauty, More Freedom" by Lynne BreenNow available for purchase: h...
01/28/2021

"How German Ingenuity Inspired America: More Fun, More Beauty, More Freedom" by Lynne Breen

Now available for purchase: https://gahmusa.org/product/how-german-ingenuity-inspired-america-more-fun-more-beauty-more-freedom/

GAHF's long-awaited book about how Germans and German-Americans through the centuries enriched our culture and society, featuring the contributions of close to 1,000 individuals in many different fields, is now available for purchase for $39.99 plus $7 for shipping & handling.

This beautiful coffee table book with more than 300 illustrations and pictures covers famous individuals including Carl Schurz, Albert Einstein, and screen legend Marlene Dietrich, as well as lesser-known historical figures such as 19th century sculptor Elisabet Ney and architect Walter Gropius. Author Lynne Breen takes you on an entertaining and informative journey, explaining the German origins of many beloved customs that brighten our days and inventions that make our lives easier and more comfortable.

•Full article can be accessed from link in our bio••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••With the inauguration festivities and th...
01/22/2021

•Full article can be accessed from link in our bio•
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With the inauguration festivities and the resulting street closures now behind us, we hope to return to a more normal modus operandi. Washington, DC is still in Phase II of its reopening process, with several activities on hold, until Jan. 22. We will keep you updated about new developments and their impact on our foundation and museum.
Whilst we were focused on the many issues and activities preceding and surrounding the inauguration of President Biden, Germany celebrated a noteworthy, but also underreported, anniversary that holds some important lessons for us today: 150 years ago, on Jan. 18, 1871, Germany became a modern nation state with the proclamation of the German Empire. Learn more about the chain of events that led to this proclamation, the hidden message in Anton vor Werner's famous painting, and how and why this empire implemented some truly progressive ideas.
https://gahmusa.org/150-years-of-germany-how-the-empire.../
#inauguration #germanamericanheritagemuseum #150yearsofgermany #germanamerican #germanamericanheritage #washingtondc

With the inauguration festivities and the resulting street closures now behind us, we hope to return to a more normal mo...
01/21/2021
150 Years of Germany — How the Empire Shaped the Modern Nation State

With the inauguration festivities and the resulting street closures now behind us, we hope to return to a more normal modus operandi. Washington, DC is still in Phase II of its reopening process, with several activities on hold, until Jan. 22. We will keep you updated about new developments and their impact on our foundation and museum.
Whilst we were focused on the many issues and activities preceding and surrounding the inauguration of President Biden, Germany celebrated a noteworthy, but also underreported, anniversary that holds some important lessons for us today: 150 years ago, on Jan. 18, 1871, Germany became a modern nation state with the proclamation of the German Empire. Learn more about the chain of events that led to this proclamation, the hidden message in Anton vor Werner's famous painting, and how and why this empire implemented some truly progressive ideas.
https://gahmusa.org/150-years-of-germany-how-the-empire.../

As executive director of GAHF, I am often asked to provide an overview of Germany’s history. This is an understandable question considering that some 50 million Americans today claim German descent…

Many of us not just love, but depend on, a nice cup (or two) of coffee in the morning. The history of coffee goes back t...
01/12/2021

Many of us not just love, but depend on, a nice cup (or two) of coffee in the morning. The history of coffee goes back to the 15th century, and within 100 years, coffee consumption had spread to the Middle East, Northern Africa, and the Mediterranean. The word coffee became a part of the English language in the 1580s, via the Dutch term "koffie", which in turn was borrowed from the Ottoman Turkish "kahve". Of all the German-speaking cities today, Vienna, the capital of Austria, has a reputation as the coffee capital. Viennese Coffee House Culture, or Kaffeehauskultur, is listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, and the city is host to dozens of famous cafes where you can enjoy coffee in various combinations and sizes.

However, Vienna was not the first German-speaking city to have coffee houses. These were established in Bremen (1673) and Hamburg (1677), where the beverage was known by its English name coffee. And it was another German, the housewife and entrepreneur Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz (1873-1950), who invented the paper coffee filter brewing system in 1908, making good coffee accessible to all of us. Coffee percolators of that time frequently over-brewed the coffee, and other machines usually left grounds in the beverage. Melitta Bentz was tired of tasting coffee grounds, and using some of her son's blotting paper and a brass pot that she had punctured, came up with a delicious cup of brew. Her invention and the resulting concoction were so well-received that she decided to start a business: Melitta. The company has remained in the family, and still sells paper coffee filters, coffee makers, and coffee.

Do you still use a coffee maker with filters? Share your favorite coffee preparation method with us in the comments!

Happy New Year to all of you!Although we are already four days into 2021, we wanted to share some German New Year's Eve ...
01/04/2021

Happy New Year to all of you!
Although we are already four days into 2021, we wanted to share some German New Year's Eve and New Year's traditions with you that you can still enjoy in early January.

The long and dark winter nights are perfect for cuddling up on the sofa with a warm Glühwein and a good book or a nice film. Glühwein, a type of mulled wine, is easy to make and a delicious treat. Follow our foolproof recipe, and enjoy. Prost!

Ingredients:
1 bottle of dry or semidry red wine
1 orange
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
4 pieces of star anise
2 tablespoons of cane sugar
2 tablespoons of honey

Wash the orange and cut into slices. Pour the wine into a pot (Dutch oven is ideal), add the orange slices, the spices, sugar and honey and warm over medium heat. Do not bring to a boil! Remove the spices and use a ladle to pour into mugs. If you prefer a more aromatic wine, you can let it sit for an hour, and then reheat the beverage.

It's one of the most beloved Christmas carols of all times: Stille Nacht or Silent Night. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
12/24/2020

It's one of the most beloved Christmas carols of all times: Stille Nacht or Silent Night.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGA6djLsDgs

In 2018, this carol celebrated its 200th anniversary. It had premiered on Christmas Eve 1818 in the St. Nicholas Church of Oberndorf, a village near Salzburg. Joseph Mohr, the young priest who had written the lyrics as a poem, played the guitar and sang along with Franz Xaver Gruber, the choir director who had written the melody. Although legend claims that mice had settled in the old organ or that water from a recent flood had damaged the instrument, we don't know why the old organ couldn't be played. The only thing we know is that the villagers loved the carol, and it began to spread around the world.

During the first Christmas of World War I, in 1914, German and British soldiers sang the song from their trenches and then together during the famous Christmas truce. Today, this beautiful carol has been translated in 320 languages and dialects although only three of the six original verses are typically sung. In 2011, it was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

12/17/2020
Fireside Chat with The American Virtuosi

We hope you enjoyed our Beethoven 250 Tribute Concert, which premiered here on Facebook, yesterday. As a bonus, we are adding a specially produced fireside chat with the artists of The American Virtuosi. Find out how Beethoven inspired them at a young age and why Beethoven is still relevant today. A special thank you to the German Embassy Washington who helped make this possible.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6K4hHaGlkk

Here is the full video of The American Virtuosi fireside chat for the Beethoven 250 Birthday celebration. 2020 is the 250th anniversary year of the musical g...

Mark your calendars for a very special Christmas performance featuring the word-famous Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and ...
12/17/2020

Mark your calendars for a very special Christmas performance featuring the word-famous Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and other stars of the classical music scene. This event will premiere this coming Sunday, Dec. 20 at 4 pm EST right here on Facebook.

This is suitable for the entire family, and we hope you can tune in and let yourselves be entertained with Christmas favorites.

Please visit the German Embassy's page to watch the performance: https://www.facebook.com/GermanyinUSA/posts/10158146722446795

As we come to the end of a difficult year, we teamed up with Washington Performing Arts to invite you and your loved ones to a free virtual holiday concert.

Our concert will feature the internationally renowned Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, The United States Air Force Band, their colleagues from the Big Band der Bundeswehr and The String Queens, a dynamic trio that is praised for its authentic, soulful, orchestral sound.

Check in here when the event goes live on Sunday, December 20 at 4:00 pm (EST). A Premiere post will become available Friday evening, so you can hit the start and get a notification when the video goes live.

German Ambassador Emily Haber will welcome you to the presentation with a message for the holidays.

See you on Sunday!

Address

719 6th St NW
Washington D.C., DC
20001

The Museum is located across the street from the Verizon Center and can easily be accessed with Washington’s public transportation system. Red, Green, and Yellow line: Gallery Place-Chinatown

General information

Entry to the museum ranges from $5/person to $10/person, depending on the current exhibit. Please call before visiting to find out current rates. For more information, visit https://gahmusa.org/museum/ and click on "Exhibits." Donations are encouraged and always very much appreciated. To inquire about the cost of museum rentals please contact [email protected]

Opening Hours

Tuesday 11:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(202) 467-5000

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Our History and Mission

The German-American Heritage Museum of the USA™ opened in March 2010 in a building once known as Hockemeyer Hall. Renovations were completed by the GAHF after acquiring the building in 2008. Located on 6th Street NW in the heart of the old European-American section of Washington, the Museum sits in what is now a thriving commercial neighborhood.

The Heritage Museum’s mission is to collect, record, preserve and exhibit the rich cultural legacy of Americans of German-speaking ancestry and make their contributions to American history available to audiences of all ages.


Comments

German reunification 30 years: We remember Germans displaced from their homes in East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, the Sudetenland, Germans who helped them get a new start in West Germany, Germans who did the hard work of reconciliation, the bearing of the cross of the Nazi legacy. We remember those who nursed the seeds of democracy and charted a new course for the barely alive German ship of state into the safer waters of international cooperation, especially this man:
Celebrating the 4th (an image from my collection)
My Father Dr Guenter B Finke arrived in the United States of America aboard the USS America in the fall of 1960 as a German Citizen and he later was honored to be naturalized a US Citizen as required for his technical work in the area of advanced electromagnetic sensors. My father taught me to love the ideals and principles of the United States of America and I am grateful to the love and support of Philadelphia German American Community in grieving his passing and embracing his legacy in engineering excellence and service. I now know what he meant when we discussed the concept of ZUSAMMENHALTEN.
Proud to have joined as a member
do you have any ww11 u-boat german binoculars on show ???????????????
Buy your German imported coffee and foodstuffs now, because new tariffs will soon boost prices.
An interesting German-American in the news.
An interesting vignette from the North Sea border area.
Last week we all witnessed the destruction a fire caused at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I was born and raised in Cologne, Germany, and the below clip gives a general introduction to the magic that is Construction of a Cathedral, and it concludes with the details of the 'Fertigstellung' - Completion of the Cathedral in the Holy City of Cologne. The caveat: The clip is in German, and, thus, the perfect opportunity for the members of the group to brush up on their German Skills...You are welcome. LOL!
Hard to watch, Trump claiming his father was born in Germany (he was actually born in NYC).