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

We hope you enjoyed our Beethoven 250 Tribute Concert, which premiered here on Facebook, yesterday. As a bonus, we are a...
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!

12/16/2020

2020 is the 250th anniversary year of the musical genius Ludwig van Beethoven. GAHF, in collaboration with the German Embassy in Washington, DC and The American Virtuosi (http://www.theamericanvirtuosi.com/)

December 2020 is all about Beethoven and his 250th anniversary!Please join Consul Thomas Meister and the German Consulat...
12/10/2020

December 2020 is all about Beethoven and his 250th anniversary!

Please join Consul Thomas Meister and the German Consulate General of Houston for a performance by renowned pianist and University of Houston Professor Andrew Staupe on December 16th at 4 pm CST. Delight your senses and enjoy a selection of Beethoven's beautiful works including audience favorites such as "Für Elise" and other well-known music. Please join:
http://www.facebook.com/GermanConsulateHouston


Following the recital is a musical tribute at 5 pm titled "The Beethoven 250 Concert" featuring The American Virtuosi group, courtesy of the German American Heritage Foundation and the German Embassy in Washington, DC. Please join us:
https://www.facebook.com/GAHMuseum


Prepare to be engaged and entertained!

Did you get a visit from Saint Nicholas this weekend? Yesterday, Dec. 6, was Saint Nicholas Day, and for many children i...
12/07/2020

Did you get a visit from Saint Nicholas this weekend?

Yesterday, Dec. 6, was Saint Nicholas Day, and for many children in Germany, Austria, but also in Poland, and the Netherlands that day has special significance. Saint Nicholas was a third-century bishop who lived in Myra, Asia Minor, which back then was culturally Greek, but part of the Roman Empire. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the poor, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
He became an inspiration for the modern-day American Santa Claus and Father Christmas in the UK.

Saint Nicholas visits those children who were well-behaved throughout the year, and rewards them with chocolate, fruit and nuts, as well as small presents, which are deposited in a shoe or boot that is left in front of the door. To further impress the good man and his helpers, including Knecht Ruprecht or Krampus in Bavaria and Austria, as they wander from door to door, children often recite short poems. A true classic, although it's not really short, is Theodor Storm's "Knecht Ruprecht" poem, which can be found here: http://www.theodorstorm.co.uk/Life/knechtRuprecht.htm

With Christmas fast approaching, it's also a busy time for preparing delicious baked goods. Today, we bring you an authe...
12/04/2020

With Christmas fast approaching, it's also a busy time for preparing delicious baked goods. Today, we bring you an authentic Austrian recipe for "Vanillekipferl" or vanilla crescents - a buttery delight that literally melts in your mouth!
This and many more recipes, along with traditions for Advent, Christmas and beyond, can be found in "The Flour is Different" by Trudy Gilgenast. You can purchase it on our Website through this link: https://gahmusa.org/product/the-flour-is-different-das-mehl-ist-anders-german-recipes-and-customs/

Vanillekipferl Recipe

500 g flour
160 g confectioners' sugar
400 g butter (unsalted is best, but salted will not destroy the taste)
200 g finely ground almonds/almond meal
20 g vanilla sugar

For dusting:
5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
10 g vanilla sugar

Combine all ingredients to a dough, knead thoroughly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Shape dough into a roll (4 cm thick), cut into 1.5 cm thick slices, and form these slices into crescents. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until light brown. Let cool slightly and dust with the sugar mixture. Guten Appetit!

The Advent season is a special time in the German-speaking countries. Of course, many of the traditions, such as baking,...
12/03/2020

The Advent season is a special time in the German-speaking countries. Of course, many of the traditions, such as baking, writing wish lists, decorating the house, and visiting Christmas markets (perhaps not this year), will be very familiar to Americans, but the beloved tradition of the Advent wreath with its four candles, one for each Sunday of the Advent season, is not widely known. The Adventskranz, as it's called in German, was invented by Pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881) who worked with children in a Diaconal educational institution. He would constantly field questions about how much longer it was until Christmas, and to make the time of waiting a little easier, he created the Advent wreath that guided the children to Christmas.

It began as a simple wooden ring decorated with fir sprigs and candles. Originally, there were four large and 19 small candles.
The large ones would only be lit on each Advent Sunday.

Yesterday, was the first Sunday of Advent, and In Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, it would have been easy to find a ready-made Advent wreath at a local garden centre, a florist, or even a local supermarket. Here in the US, we have to be a little more creative. You can buy a wreath intended for the front door, and decorate it with candles (use stiff wire to secure the candles to the evergreen), pine cones, cinnamon sticks, artificial flowers or other materials.

However, you can also get creative and bind your own wreath or even use a small log, a beautiful glass plate or a bowl to arrange candles and decorative items. Here are some ideas:

Beethoven 250 -- A Virtual Tribute Concert with The American VirtuosiPlease mark your calendars for GAHF's first live Fa...
12/03/2020

Beethoven 250 -- A Virtual Tribute Concert with The American Virtuosi

Please mark your calendars for GAHF's first live Facebook premiere on Dec. 16 at 6 pm EST

2020 is the 250th anniversary year of the musical genius Ludwig van Beethoven. GAHF, in collaboration with the German Embassy in Washington, DC and The American Virtuosi (http://www.theamericanvirtuosi.com/), will honor this giant of classical music whose work is so important that it features not once, but twice, on the Voyager Golden Record sent into outer space via NASA’s two Voyager probes demonstrating humanity’s greatest achievements.

His music has also been used to great effect in numerous films, and his famous "Ode to Joy" serves as the anthem of the Council of Europe and the European Union.

Enjoy a selection of Beethoven's beautiful works from the comfort of your home. This is a free event, and you won't need a Facebook account to watch the premiere.

The Advent season is a special time in the German-speaking countries. Of course, many of the traditions, such as baking,...
11/30/2020

The Advent season is a special time in the German-speaking countries. Of course, many of the traditions, such as baking, writing wish lists, decorating the house, and visiting Christmas markets (perhaps not this year), will be very familiar to Americans, but the beloved tradition of the Advent wreath with its four candles, one for each Sunday of the Advent season, is not widely known. The Adventskranz, as it's called in German, was invented by Pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881) who worked with children in a Diaconal educational institution. He would constantly field questions about how much longer it was until Christmas, and to make the time of waiting a little easier, he created the Advent wreath that guided the children to Christmas.

It began as a simple wooden ring decorated with fir sprigs and candles. Originally, there were four large and 19 small candles.
The large ones would only be lit on each Advent Sunday.

Yesterday, was the first Sunday of Advent, and In Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, it would have been easy to find a ready-made Advent wreath at a local garden centre, a florist, or even a local supermarket. Here in the US, we have to be a little more creative. You can buy a wreath intended for the front door, and decorate it with candles (use stiff wire to secure the candles to the evergreen), pine cones, cinnamon sticks, artificial flowers or other materials.

However, you can also get creative and bind your own wreath or even use a small log, a beautiful glass plate or a bowl to arrange candles and decorative items. Here are some ideas:

We wish you all a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. It's been an extraordinary year, but within every c...
11/25/2020

We wish you all a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. It's been an extraordinary year, but within every challenge is an opportunity, and we at the GAHM are so thankful to have so many loyal and faithful followers/fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter who have liked and commented on our posts, watched our videos, and generally boosted our spirits. We have put a lot of content online, and will continue to do so next year.

Wherever you are, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you celebrate, and stay safe and healthy.

For the first time in our 43-year-history, we have published a book, and we are excited about presenting our latest work...
11/19/2020

For the first time in our 43-year-history, we have published a book, and we are excited about presenting our latest work to you: "How German Ingenuity Inspired America: More Fun, More Beauty, More Freedom" written by Lynne Breen.

It's a colorful kaleidoscope of German contributions to American culture that goes well beyond the stereotypical bratwurst and beer (not that there is anything wrong with those), and covers the arts, music, science, medicine, engineering, the history of Hollywood, and much more. Or as Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of President Harry S. Truman, put it: "Germany has given us so much in the way of art, architecture, literature, music, film, food, science and medicine, not to mention Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny."

It's an entertaining and informative journey through the centuries illustrated with more than 300 pictures. The beautiful hardcover coffee table book (9" x 12") will be available on our Website starting in January for $39.99 (plus shipping & handling). To pre-order, please contact Katja Sipple at [email protected].

Another German lesson in word and picture from our friends in Davenport, Iowa. German has lots of compound nouns, and he...
11/13/2020

Another German lesson in word and picture from our friends in Davenport, Iowa.
German has lots of compound nouns, and here is the longest one in the German Duden dictionary: Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung

Have a great weekend!

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for the German Lesson of the Week! #gahcqc

Today is St. Martin's Day in Germany, Austria, and parts of Switzerland. St. Martin of Tours was a Roman soldier, who on...
11/11/2020

Today is St. Martin's Day in Germany, Austria, and parts of Switzerland. St. Martin of Tours was a Roman soldier, who once shared his cloak with a beggar to save his from the cold. Martin eventually converted to Christianity and became a bishop in modern-day France. From there, the celebrations in his honor spread into Germany and other countries.

The traditional food of Martinmas are "Martinswecken", a sweet bread filled with raisins in various forms and shapes, roasted goose, often served with red cabbage and dumplings, while children can be seen parading through the streets with homemade lanterns and singing songs. Sometimes, they are accompanied by a rider on horseback as in this video from Mariazell, Austria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m56Nez5wqMA
Another popular way of spending a usually cold November evening is by lighting a bonfire. How do you/did you celebrate St. Martin's Day?

P.S. The song in the video is called "Ich geh mit meiner Laterne"

Today is St. Martin's Day in Germany, Austria and some parts of Switzerland. According to legend, St. Michael of Tours w...
11/11/2020

Today is St. Martin's Day in Germany, Austria and some parts of Switzerland. According to legend, St. Michael of Tours was a Roman soldier who shared his cloak with a poor beggar to prevent the man from freezing to death. He later converted to Christianity, and became a bishop in what is now France. From there, the celebrations in his memory and honour spread to other parts of Europe. Even today, you can see children parading through the streets carrying homemade lanterns and singing songs, as in this video in Mariazell, Austria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m56Nez5wqMA
Sometimes they are accompanied by a rider on horseback and wrapped in the red cloak of a Roman soldier.

The traditional foods of Martinmas are "Martinswecken", a sweet yeast bread filled with raisins in various shapes, and roasted goose with red cabbage and dumplings. In the evening of Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 bonfires, called Martinsfeuer, are lit to ward off the chill. If you are familiar with the holiday and its traditions, how did/do you celebrate? Let us know!

Millions of people from German-speaking lands came to these shore in the last 400 years. Are you an American with German...
11/11/2020
German-American Oral History Project – Everybody has a Story!

Millions of people from German-speaking lands came to these shore in the last 400 years. Are you an American with German/Austrian/Swiss ancestry or born in one of these countries? Let your voice be heard, and participate in our Oral History Project. You can send us your recording (mp3 file is best) via email to [email protected]. Everybody has a story -- we want to hear yours!

Here are some pointers for your consideration, and to help you get started:
What does being an American of German/German-speaking descent mean for you?
How has your image of Germany and/or the United States changed over time?
Do you have personal memories of Germany/Austria, etc?
What do you see as typically German?
Do you have a favorite tradition or custom?
If you were born outside of the United States, why and at what age did you leave?
Do you speak an unusual dialect? Do you have relatives who speak such a dialect?

Click on the link for additional information.
https://gahmusa.org/oral-history-project-everybody-has-a-story/

Dear Members and Friends, We recently announced a revival of our oral history project for Americans who are either immigrants from a German-speaking country themselves or whose ancestors immigrated…

11/06/2020
Spooks and Spirits- Legends from Germany and Beyond.

Are you still in the Halloween spirit? Here's our long-awaited recording of "Spooks & Spirits: Legends from Germany and Beyond". Light a candle and listen/watch with the lights out. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to never miss a new video again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrgM1bBPKK0&t=513s

Spooks and Spirits - Legends from Germany and Beyond Originally aired Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7 pm EST via Zoom. This Halloween virtual event featured stories c...

Thank you to everybody who participated in our Spooks and Spirits event via Zoom for Halloween yesterday. Let us know wh...
10/30/2020

Thank you to everybody who participated in our Spooks and Spirits event via Zoom for Halloween yesterday. Let us know what you thought, and if we should do this again. A video recording will be available soon.

10/28/2020

Check out our Youtube page to see our recent Fall 2020 virtual exhibit video about our vinyl records collection!

#germanamerican #vinylcollection #victorandvictrola #victrolarecordplayer #rcva #telefunken #radiofunken #deccarecords #recordcollection #germanamericanheritagemuseum #washingtondc

Elvis Presley on German traffic signalsPedestrian crosswalk signals in Germany feature the figures shown at left, known ...
10/22/2020

Elvis Presley on German traffic signals

Pedestrian crosswalk signals in Germany feature the figures shown at left, known as "Ampelmännchen", the "little traffic signal man." The figures first appeared on East Berlin signals in 1961, and they have been one of only a few vestiges of communist East Germany to have survived the reunification with the west. In fact, Germans have taken quite a liking to the little man, resisting efforts to update the symbols. Over the years, some permanent and temporary changes have been made to include...

Elvis Presley! How did this come to pass? Perhaps you remember that Elvis joined the US Army in 1958, at the peak of his rock 'n' roll popularity, and got stationed at Friedberg, Germany. He didn't spend much time in the barracks, but instead rented a hotel room off base in Bad Nauheim. While in Germany, he met his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu. Both Friedberg and Bad Nauheim claim to be Elvis's second home in Germany, and both feature a likeness of Elvis as the Ampelmännchen on their crosswalk signals at right -- 60 years after his 18-month visit there!

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.


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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).