German-American experience in WWI?
January 6, 2014 8:58 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for books (preferably), journal articles, or documentaries on the difficulties German-Americans faced on the homefront during WWI.

I would prefer books, journal articles, or documentaries that focus entirely on the German-American experience rather briefly mentioning it while discussing WWI in general. My preference would be something that focuses on the state of Iowa in particular, but a nationwide look would be almost as fine, and something specific to another state would be less desirable but still appreciated.
posted by entropicamericana to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
John Meints was a German-American living in MN during WWI. He was tarred and feathered.

War Hysteria and the Persecution of German-Americans is a good general overview article on the subject.

I can't recall where I've read them, but I thought it was in relation to Minnesota, actual copies of letters that people sent to the Public Safety Committee wherein they narked on the alleged disloyalty of their neighbors. Some of the letters were downright creepy, with lurid speculation about why Farmer So-and-So down the road had sons who didn't work in the fields, etc. This Minnesota Public Radio article will shed more light on this particularly shameful bit of "Minnesota Nasty."
posted by kuppajava at 9:41 AM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Posted too soon! I also found this in relation to Wisconsin.
posted by kuppajava at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks kuppajava, I'm aware of these sites, I'm looking for something more in-depth...
posted by entropicamericana at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2014

Here are a couple of books. I haven't read either of them, just found them in google books and worldcat. I don't see one about Iowa.

Luebke, Frederick C. 1974. Bonds of loyalty: german-americans and world war I. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press.

DeWitt, Petra. 2012. Degrees of allegiance: harassment and loyalty in Missouri's German-American community during World War I. Athens: Ohio University Press.
posted by interplanetjanet at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you have access to JSTOR here's an article. It's not exactly what you want but it's about the suppression of German in Iowa during WWI.

Divided by a Common Language: The Babel Proclamation and its Influence in Iowa History
Stephen J. Frese
The History Teacher , Vol. 39, No. 1 (Nov., 2005) , pp. 59-88
Published by: Society for History Education
Article Stable URL:
posted by interplanetjanet at 11:00 AM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Here's a thesis:

The Rise and Impact of Anti-German Sentiment In Iowa 1917-1921
Allen, Leola Faye
posted by interplanetjanet at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, interplanetjanet! You're a real galaxy girl!
posted by entropicamericana at 12:53 PM on January 6, 2014

What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany
Eric A. Johnson, Karl-Heinz Reuband (1)

It's a great book!

Should fit the bill!
posted by misspony at 1:16 PM on January 6, 2014

Ah! Just caught that you need German-American experiences, sorry!
posted by misspony at 1:17 PM on January 6, 2014

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