German American Family Album
Thompson, Mary. "The German American
Family Album." Fargo Forum,
25 August 1996, C-12.
By Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, Oxford University Press, New York
City, NY, 1996, 127 pages, softcover and hardcover. Germans from
Russia E184.G3H65 1995. (not available on interlibrary loan).
Book available at the following Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
website page: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/general/hoobler.html
Book review by Mary Thompson
German American Album is a vivid and varied portrait Includes
immigrant memories of life on the Dakota prairies with Pauline Diede,
Fred Martin, Sally Roesch and others
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler have assembled an educational, entertaining
portfolio featuring Germans who immigrated to the United States,
beginning with the colonial period. Descendants of German immigrants
form the largest single ethnic group in the U.S.
The book is composed of sketches, interviews, historical documents
and quotations from letters and individual perspective. The striking
photographs are wonderful. The result is a vivid and varied portrait
of German Americans as they were then.
German immigrants treasured their language and culture after they
arrived in the new and strange land. They worked to preserve both,
but things changed radically when the United States entered World
War I. Almost overnight the German Language was banned, treasured
German literature was burned and symphony orchestras were prohibited
from playing Bach and Beethoven. Some kindergartens were closed
because they were the brainchild of a German American. German Americans
The persecution faced by the ethnic group during World War II
was less severe. Perhaps Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, a military hero
in Americans' eyes long before he was a president, was part of the
reason: His parents were German American.
Other well-known German Americans whose reminiscences are included
in the book are Babe Ruth, Herbert Hoover, Lawrence Welk, author
Kurt Vonnegut and recent hero Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf.
The German American Family Album features immigrant memories
of life on the Dakota prairies with Pauline Neher Diede, Fred Martin,
Sally Roesch, Sister Reinhardt Hecker andSophia Kallenberger Beck.
Michael M. Miller, North Dakota State University's bibliographer
for the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, details his 1994
journey to Odessa, Ukraine. This is the latest volume in the American
Family Album series, which profiles various ethnic groups. The
Hooblers have written more than 60 books and have been honored by
the Library of Congress.
Reviewed for The Forum, Fargo, ND, by Mary Thompsen
of Moorhead, MN.
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael