Valentin J. Peter
|Valentin J. Peter|
Born in Bavaria, Peter immigrated to the United States in 1889. Within several years he became involved with German language newspapers in Peoria and Rock Island, Illinois. In 1907 Peter moved to Omaha, Nebraska and opened a newspaper called the Omaha Tribüne. Within several years he consolidated it with several other German language newspapers from across the state. The Omaha Tribüne became highly influential within a few years.
Peter was a devout Roman Catholic, an Elk, and a number of social and charitable German immigrant organizations in Omaha. In November 1910 Peter founded and became the president of the Nebraska chapter of the National German-American Alliance. Using his position as publisher and editor of the Omaha Tribüne, Peter followed the NGAA's policy against Prohibition and rallied against Nebraskan politicians and policies he saw as working against the distribution of alcohol.
An active businessman, Peter continued buying and consolidating other German language newspapers throughout the Midwest for several years. His dominance of the German language newspaper industry in the United States was established by the 1930s. After spending 50 years operating the only German newspapers in the U.S., Peter's company sold its final publications in 1982.
Both here and abroad, the enemy is the same! Perfidious Albion! Over there England has pressed the sword into the hands of almost all the peoples of Europe against Germany. In this country it has a servile press at its command, which uses every foul means to slander everything German and to poison the public mind. - Valentin Peter (1915)
However, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Peter published a statement in his newspapers that reflected a change of heart. He wrote, "time for political disagreement about international affairs has passed" and that "all American citizens of German blood" needed to "stand behind their government."
The business Peter used to print the Omaha Tribüne, the Interstate Printing Company, still functions today in Omaha. It is owned by Valentin's son, Eugene, who is 83 years old. The company has been located in the Near North Side neighborhood of North Omaha, Nebraska since the 1950s.
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- Folsom, B.W. (1999) No More Free Markets Or Free Beer: The Progressive Era in Nebraska, 1900-1924. Lexington Books. p 66.
- Knoche, C.H. (1980) The German Immigrant Press in Milwaukee. Ayer Publishing. p 223.
- Rippley, LV.J. (2007) "F. W. Sallet and the Dakota Freie Presse," Germans from Russia Heritage Collection. Retrieved 9/6/07.
- Kurt Kinbacher, K. (2006) Immigration, the American West, and the Twentieth Century: German from Russian, Omaha Indian, and Vietnamese-Urban Villagers in Lincoln, Nebraska. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. p 171.
- Luebke, F.C. (1999) Germans in the New World: Essays in the History of Immigration. University of Illinois Press. p 17.
- "Our German Heritage" Retrieved 9/3/07.
- "Company history," Interstate Printing Company. Retrieved 9/6/07.
- "North Omaha printing company can't be duplicated", TMCnet.com. August 22, 2008. Retrieved 9/1/08.