Talk:German American

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The tidpit on the "American" category[edit]

This section of the wiki seems to be based on no actual data. Nothing but a guess, an assumption that only the English will claim "American". Ive been around loads of people of different ancestries who refer to themselves as solely American including African Americans. Lots of people who select this option are also either making a statement or so many ancestries by now that they no longer feel ties to just one. Others could be a single ancestry or two with no cultural ties to the nation their ancestors came from so they feel "American". The assumption that this is proof of a larger English number seems like a total stretch to me especially considering other ethnic groups have also been here since the colonial days and after including Mexicans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C4EA:CA0:24C8:CE1D:D0D0:8CBA (talk) 13:42, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Based on real data. We know that 30 million English Americans disappeared from the census category between 1980 and 2000 while a huge increase in the American ethnicity occurred simultaneously. Rmhermen (talk) 22:03, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I innitially thought the English number was lower but after doing some research I now know the English are more than likely still the largest. The same thing seems to have happened in Australia. Newer immigrants are likely to use hyphens while the older stock such as the English just go by "Australian".

Something thats very strange to me[edit]

How is the English American number so low, when literally all of the German American examples (Actors, entertainers etc) on this page also have either English, Scottish, Irish, or Welsh ancestry? Sometimes multiple British ancestries? That right there alone should make me people question the legitimacy of the number. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C4EA:CA0:391E:4A01:A34F:8FCB (talk) 03:35, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

This is a known issue that results because the numbers are self-identifications. And German is usually more recent and more distinctive than UK ancestry. Rmhermen (talk) 04:59, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

But see thats what I don't get. Usualy the people who claim the German ancestry have some miniscule ancestry of it making it even less "distinct" than the British isles ancestries (although genetically Germans aren't that different from the British) German-Americans largely blended in and assimilated with the Anglo-American WASP population pretty easily which resulted in a lot of them having their German ancestry diluted by British Americans. Take Brad Pitt for example, he's one of the Americans who claims German ancestry but a look at his family tree reveals that he's about 1/512 German the rest of his ancestors being British isles descended (English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh). This happened to a large portion of Americans. Logically the numbers should be as high, but I guess thats the problem with self identification, people decide what they want to identify with regardless of what they are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C4EA:CA0:391E:4A01:A34F:8FCB (talk) 06:04, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

It is the bratwurst and cuckoo clocks that is distinctive - all (most) Americans eat apple pie and speak English. Rmhermen (talk) 06:23, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Actually there's no way to tell just how much German Brad Pitt is. You're forgetting that most German immigrants changed their surnames. So just because one of Brad Pitt's ancestors may have an Anglo surname doesn't make that ancestor not a German themselves. In my honest opinion (this coming from someone who has been in both Britain & Germany) Pitt looks far more German than he does British. Ive come across many similar to him in Germany, none in Britain. He also has what most anthropologist call a "Faelid" bone structure. Which is apparently most common in Germany & Netherlands, less common in Britain. Google Faelid, a lot of them look similar to Pitt like Charlie Sheerer. The same thing you say about the Germans is the same thing that can be said about the British - Most British Americans also have atleast one German ancestor. I don't think people realize that the English although a very large population in the 1700s they only numbered at around 1 million. Do you know how large our population has gotten since then? a large chunk of our current White population came from immigration, not baby making. Thus I don't think the number is flawed at all. On the contrary I think the number for German Americans should be even higher. Ive even heard more Blacks claiming to have German ancestors over English or Scottish. There were MANY MANY Germans. And unless you're some expert on phenotypes you won't be able to know because surnames sure aren't useful proof for ancestry as even African Americans have Anglo surnames. How many of the Smiths in America actually used to be Schmidt instead? So just because someone has an Anglo surnames does not mean they're British or not German. Also just a little of my two cents, ive been throughout many states and I have to say White Americans as a whole look a lot more German than they do British. Its clear the German impact helped distinquish White American phenotypes from the other Anglosphere nations. Unlike the Australians, Americans don't look totally British, but I do see common American faces throughout Germany. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jessiluvv (talkcontribs) 03:45, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Sorry to burst your bubble but there IS a way to tell how much German Brad Pitt is. We've had his official documents for a while now. His Germany ancestry is miniscule. Based on his public ancestry records he had far more English ancestors than any other. Noone is going by surnames. They're going by census reports, where the ancestors came from. Thats how we know Brad Pitt is majority English. You're fogetting that there are millions of English and British Americans in general. Any German ancestor is more than likely to intermarry with a Brit. That offspring will also more than likely intermarry with a Brit. Thus weakening the German lineage with each generation. Which is exactly what happened with a lot of German Americans. Usually the German element in most German Americans is weaker than that of English. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karmen2013 (talkcontribs) 16:20, 16 December 2013‎ (UTC)

Just fyi I assume you think Brad Pitt is more British just because of surnames? You understand that most Americans with non English surnames anglicised them right? It's something that still persist today especially for celebrities. Unless these documents say "this person is this ethnicity" you don't know what they are you can only guess. Surnames in America mean nothing. Half of the African American population share English surnames, are they British? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kalissa47 (talkcontribs) 22:07, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

What has Einstein got to do with America????[edit]

The bizarre lead mentions Einstein setting intellectual landmarks... correct, long before he retired in America becoming a dual citizen in his 60's, having left Nazi Germany. No one associates Einstein with America (bar living there in old age) after Germany its then to a much lesser degree Switzerland. The loose reference here in the lead lacks credibiity. Its like Iceland having a section on Bobby Fisher as a chess champion as he adopted citizenship in his latter years. The others in the section ARE noted German-Americans namely Babe Ruth, Jack Nicklaus, Leo DiCaprio.. they are Americans of German descent who have been influential while under that label. Yes with Einstein being German and adopting American citizenship in old age, that merits a bullet point in a German-American list, but thats it.BudSipkiss (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:16, 17 December 2009 (UTC).

It's especially funny to see him here paraded around with pride as "German" (as in many other places)... first they try to gas him, chase him out of the country, and then when he becomes famous around the world, they suddenly claim "he was one of us!". Go figure. I won't take this out, considering all the past edit-wars, but he shouldn't be paraded around as "German"... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:09, 23 December 2009 (UTC) It is evident Einstein was German: he was born in Germany, spoke in German language and even his name is German. When you say "they" you forget that in every country there are people with different ideologies and religions and, in fact, millions of Germans didn´t vote for Hitler. We can add that according to the israeli Bryan Mark Rigg in his book "Hitler´s Jewish soldiers" over 160,000 Jews fought for Germany and for Hitler in WWII...-- (talk) 21:54, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
This is typical of the English Wikipedia pronounced anti-German sentiments. It is strongly infused with belittling German achievements and famous people, while trying to lay claim to German achievements with only the slightest American connection. It's like WW2 is being continued online. (talk) 23:32, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Einstein in old age?? -- he was 54 when he moved permanently to Princeton in 1933 and immediately became the most famous American scientist; he was a major American voice on many issues (such as the atom bomb). Rjensen (talk) 09:35, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
LOL... Behave. Einstein as a middle class German, received his Nobel Prize in 1921 for "intellectual landmarks" when he had German citizenship. As a world famous German he was awarded the inaugural Max Planck medal in 1929 from the German Physical Society (the worlds largest org of physicists)..of which he was a previous president. Yeah as the highest profile German he fled Germany when the Nazis took over, and he retired in America whereby in his 60's he had dual Swiss-American citizenship in 1940..then died 15 yrs later. Again, Einstein should only be a bullet point in any German-American the famous German scientist in his latter years retired in America. BudSipkiss (talk) 04:16, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Einstein was born in Ulm. That makes him German. The people who tried to "gas" him were Nazis not Germans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:49, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
How do you get to be a German American? You start out as a German, leave-Germany and move permanently to the U.S. and renounce Germany while taking out US citizenship. Millions of people did that and Einstein was the most famous. Rjensen (talk) 23:13, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
You can also be German-American if your parents immigrated to the US from Germany. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 16:49, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Very strange debate. On one hand we could argue Eisenhower was not German enough. On the other hand, Einstein was not American enough. Rjensen has got it right. That photo of Einstein, taken when he was 68 and an American citizen, is Einstein the notable German-American.--Work permit (talk) 05:59, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
The thoughtlessness with which some people use "Nazis" synonymic with "Germans" is incredibly offensive, and not less so when they don't mean the Germans of today, but the Germans that lived when the Nazi dictatorship was in power. That's like saying "KKK member" when you mean "US American". (talk) 04:59, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
You are quite correct. The view that a "German Jew" is not "German" is Nazi ideology, not the view of Germans. The equivalent statement would be "Barak Obama is not American".--Work permit (talk) 05:52, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Einstein was not a german! Einstein was a Jew!! Einstein went to America because of Nazi Germany and became thus American. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
As stated above, there is no contradiction in someone being both Jewish and German. Cordless Larry (talk) 16:38, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
If it were German, it would have had to go not away. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

How RACIST are some people: KISSINGER and EINSTEIN are two German-Americans. They were/are Germans and Jews. Only the Nazis think that Einstein and Kissinger cannot be German because of their religion.-- (talk) 23:33, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

It seems to me that this article is referring to Americans who belong to traditional German ethnic groups, not that their nationality is German (because obviously, they are American). If this is the case, of course Einstein is not ethnically German at all, seeing as how he is an Ashkenazi Jew. I think arguing over whether he is American or not is beside the point, since the question is of his ethnicity. (talk) 06:16, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
You should read the article. This and all other such 'foo' American articles are about people from the country of 'foo', regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or whatever. Hmains (talk) 04:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Correct, it is about nationality not ethnicity. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 15:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Even from the perspective that this article should only focus on ethnic German heritage, Einstein would qualify. Ashkenazi Jewish communities existed in Germany for nearly two thousand years - The chances that no gentiles married into these communities are next to nothing. Most African Americans and Native Americans east of the Mississippi River have European ancestry, and they've only coexisted with Euro-Americans for a few centuries. -- (talk) 04:13, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

It's pretty clear, in my opinion, that Einstein's presence in this article is justifiable. I don't think anyone is attempting to claim that Einstein was more American than German, or that it is to America that he owes his having been able to achieve such importance in the scientific community. This article concerns all citizens of the United States who also happened to be of German ancestry, or who held both U.S. and German citizenship. By law and under any international standard, Einstein was a German-American individual, even if only for part of his life. It is utterly irrelevant whether he became a German American later in his life, or whether his grandest accomplishments occurred while he was in another country, or whether he came to the United States merely fleeing Nazi Germany or seeking to become an American citizen. The fact remains, he did become an American citizen, and having been born in Germany, that made him a German American. As for his notability as a German American, it is true that he became a Nobel Laureate well before he came to the U.S., but that doesn't mean that he wasn't a notable German-born citizen of the United States. While living in the U.S., he became active in U.S. political and social affairs. Even if he hadn't already been a famous scientist by the time he had come to the U.S., he would have secured a place in this nation's history for what he did when he was here (which, granted, he might not been able to do without his fame as a scientist). All in all, I don't see the point of BudSipkiss. Yes, Einstein's popularity arises more from what he did while he was in Europe than from what he did in the United States, but that doesn't make him any less American than he was when he became a U.S. citizen. He was a German-American and he was notable, therefore I don't see any reason to take him out of this article.--AndresTM (talk) 20:38, 30 April 2011 (UTC)


added Marlene Dietrich · Wernher von Braun · Henry Kissinger. Needed more women, and more German-American immigrants.--Work permit (talk) 06:30, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Regarding addition of Dicaprio by anon user. His mother moved from Oer-Erkenschwick at the Ruhr, Germany, to the U.S. during the 1950s,[4] while his father is a fourth-generation American of half Italian and half German descent. Should he be added? And if so, who should be removed?--Work permit (talk) 01:20, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

===U.S. communities with the most residents born in Germany=== The 10 U.S. communities with the highest proportion of residents born in Germany are:[1]

  1. Lely Resort, Florida 6.8%
  2. Pemberton Heights, New Jersey 5.0%
  3. Kempner, Texas 4.8%
  4. Cedar Glen Lakes, New Jersey 4.5%
  5. Alamogordo, New Mexico 4.3%
  6. Sunshine Acres, Florida 4.2%
  7. Leisureville, Florida 4.2%
  8. Wakefield, Kansas 4.1%
  9. Quantico, Virginia 4.0%
  10. Crestwood Village, New Jersey 3.8%

City-Data is not a source! It has no citation. It is a message board link. TomNyj0127 (talk)


No citation to German born people in America[edit]

City-Data is not a credible resource. It is a message board site. They don't provide any resource (ex. Census records) to show there is a population born in Germany in any of those towns. It has no credibility. Please don't diminish the integrity of this article by allowing shoddy information. With that being said, please don't keep putting it back up there. I have been respectful enough to give you an explanation. I'd appreciate the same. TomNyj0127 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:27, 5 March 2010 (UTC).

Reference to Karl Strauss/Microbrew movement[edit]

I replaced the two sentences removed under the "undue weight" guideline. The point is to clarify that German American contributions to the U.S. brewing industry did not begin and end in 1850 with Bud Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon. There is a bunch of *good* beer in this country too, a lot of it is microbrew, and a lot of that resulted from German influences in the mid-to-late 20th Century. By definition, the most prominent microbrewer is going to be less of a household name than Anheiser-Busch. That doesn't stop microbrew from being important, however, and I chose to mention Karl Strauss as being one of the best known and most prominant of that group. I don't feel it is "undue weight" to clarify that there is more to the German influence on American beer than "Tastes great! Less Filling!" —Rnickel (talk) 16:22, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


A lot of people talk about paranoia about people saying "Jews control America", which is obviously a ridiculous antisemitic claim. However it is true that Germany is very sensitive in matters involving Jews for the obvious reason of WW2 reparations. But what is often not heard is that the majority ancestry in the US is German. Could that be a source of 'shame'? Inclusion of articles from reliable source on the matter for betterment of the article would be appreciated. --Leladax (talk) 17:17, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Are you serious? --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 04:04, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Most Americans have 2, 3 or more ancestry. The Problem is, the Germans. These People looking only for one ancestry in People. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Correct! And 50 Millions Americans are German Americans is a false Info, because, at least 95% Americans have two or three ancestry and not 1. Also Kevin James has two or three ancestry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Alsatians are not Germans ![edit]

Alsatians who emigrated to Texas during the 1840s were French citizens ! Alsace was French since 1648 ! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:17, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

The Region of Elsass-Lothringen did belong as well to France as it did to Germany regarding the historical periods. But this Article is about people with ethnic German background and even if there have been centuries where Elsass belonged to France the people who lived there where about 98% ethnic Germans until WW1. I travelled there a lot. The German history is there everypresent in the architecture. Hell even many champagne houses have German names. And clearly Alsatians are called the German sheppard not the French sheppard. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:03, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

"Alsace was French since 1648" - that is only true for big parts of Alsace not all of Alsace. All of Alsace did not become ppart of France until about 1800178.210.114.106 (talk) 09:25, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

1 errors in the article[edit]

Di caprio is listed as both german and russian. I don't know which he is but the last name does not sound like either, sounds more latin to me —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

He is part Russian and German on his mother's side. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 16:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Which begs the question: why and - more importantly - who says he is the poster-child of German Americans? There's really nothing keeping him from List of German Americans because a couple of partisan sources tend to describe him like that [1], but it's a leap from being simply "a German American" to "an example of all German Americans." Bulldog123 20:18, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
The only Russian nationals allowed to immigrate to Germany are those that can prove either German ancestry or Jewish ancestry or both. DiCaprio's materal grandparents both had roots in Russia, but unless they sufficiently proved significant German ancestry they wouldn't have been allowed to immigrate to Germany. Also, when you consider that DiCaprio's paternal grandmother was German, he is probably at least more than half-German. That is about as German as the average German-American. His paternal grandfather was an Italian immigrant, hence the name. Vdjj1960 (talk) 13:08, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
One ( out of four ) grandparents would make him one quarter German. How does that make him "probably" more than half german ?Eregli bob (talk) 23:03, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
His mother is a German national. As for whether or not having a Russian in the woodpile is irrelevant. Sandra Bullock is another option here, as she too has a German mother and it'd be nice to have another woman in the group. Besides, she speaks German--DiCaprio does not. Erikeltic (Talk) 01:13, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
yes DiCaprio speaks German there are youtube clips where he speaks in German about visiting his Grandmother in Germany — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

This Article has many errors. And DiCaprio is more Russian and Italien. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:45, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

InfoBox Images[edit]

I'm thinking of opening up an RfC regarding the use of ethnic group "representation" infobox images on X-American pages. It's been going on unchecked for years now and has only escalated into a competition to see who can put more famous people in their infobox (painfully exemplified by Norwegian_American). In addition to being original research - in most cases these people are not held as "quintessential examples" of that group by external sources - it's also a WP:BLP issue, as there's no evidence many of these individuals would, could, or should be identified as members of this group. That last comment may be met with responses like, "Why would anyone find offense at being called a German American?" It's not merely about finding offense but about being misrepresented. Given, I doubt leading members of the German American community would appreciate having Leonardo Dicaprio (an individual with 1/4th ethnic German heritage who doesn't speak German or seem to have much association with German culture) seated next to a more authentically German German-American like Werner von Braun -- so that's where the "offense" part might come into play. By and large though, the "finding offense" thing is irrelevant. The main point is that it's not our job as Wikipedia editors to choose who best represents members of a certain community. Right now, the infoboxes are turning into Facebook Interest groups and ethnic-pride/cultural-promotion articles. My proposal is to find consensus at RfC to simply not put any images there and have that apply to all X-American pages. There's a similar issue with population numbers (which German Americans seems to have already implemented), but I'm not going to get into that now. Anyone here would support the RfC? Bulldog123 18:34, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Been a few weeks and no response, so I presume no one is going to have a problem if I start removing the images in about a week. I think we should start taking a closer look at WP:V and understand that unless there are sources suggesting these people are "premium examples of German Americans"... what we're doing is very original researchish. Bulldog123 16:18, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
To reduce conflict and since these images are in most every xxx American article, I suggest you open an RfC for all the artcles collectively and getting consensus that way. This would be prior to making any changes (deletions) to the articles themselves, which will just stir up people (not me, I have no opinion on this content matter) without a prior consensus in place. Thanks Hmains (talk) 19:42, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Problem in the Second Paragraph[edit]

The second paragraph in this article starts off, "None of the historical German states had overseas colonies, so not until the 1680s did the first significant groups of German immigrants arrive in the British colonies..."

First, in the article for Brandenburg-Prussia, it says this:

"In 1679, Raule presented Frederick William a plan to establish colonies in African Guinea, and the elector approved.[68] In July 1680, Frederick William issued respective orders, and two ships were selected to establish trade contacts with African tribes and explore places where colonies could be established.[71] On 17 September, frigate Wappen von Brandenburg ("Seal of Brandenburg") and Morian (poetic for "Mohr", "Negro") left for Guinea.[71] The ships reached Guinea in January 1681.[71] Since the crew of the Wappen von Brandenburg sold a barrel of brandy to Africans in a territory claimed by the Dutch West Indies Company, the latter confiscated the ship in March.[71] The crew of the remaining ship Morian managed to have three Guinean chieftains sign a contract on 16 May, before the Dutch expelled the vessel from the coastal waters.[71] This treaty, officially declared as trade agreement, included a clause of subjection of the chiefs to Frederick William's overlordship[71] and an agreement allowing Brandenburg-Prussia to establish a fort,[72] and is thus regarded the beginning of the Brandenburg-Prussian colonial era.[71]"

So not only did at least one of the princely states have colonies, the one from Brandenburg-Prussia was founded in the same year that this article says that they were emigrating to the British colonies.

Second, the year 1680 *can't be right! and it can't be 1860s either. I actually came to find information on German emigration prior to the civil war, of which there was quite a bit for a number of reasons (and I was looking for those reasons[1]... guess I'll have to keep looking).

stevendolan (whose email is at —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:31, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

That does not show that Germany had colonies at all. Only that they tried once and failed. Also 1683 is certainly correct - see the linked articles and citations. Rmhermen (talk) 02:45, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Proposal to ban user-created montages from Infoboxes[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Ethnic_groups#Infobox_Images_for_Ethnic_Groups. Bulldog123 09:43, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

wrong order under demographics by percentage[edit]

Either the percentage numbers are wrong or the order of places 2 and 3 is. 43<44 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

German Place Names[edit]

I do not agree that there are only very few places with German names. There are several Berlins, Frankforts, there's a Bismarck (ND), New Braunfels (TX), New Paltz (NY) etc. If we can agree that the aforementioned count as "German" place names, I would be more than happy to try and come up with a comprehensive list. --Aquinate (talk) 11:46, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Off the bat, Wikipedia lists over 20 places in the US with the name "Hamburg," over 20 with the name "Berlin," 19 with the name "Hanover," 2 Mecklenburgs, 1 Brandenburg, 1 Flensburg. Names originally from German-speaking Europe (outside modern Germany) would also include places like Carlsbad (4 in the US with Wikipedia articles), Vienna (19 places with Wikipedia articles), Strasburg (9 places with Wikipedia articles named that in the US), Zurich (4 places in the US with Wiki articles), Posen (4 Wikipedia articles), 1 Stettin, 2 Breslau, etc. In any case that hardly counts as "extremely rare!" In fact there are probably too many for a list.Udibi (talk) 10:27, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Infobox Images, part 2[edit]

I am copying this from my talk page. The talk page on this article is a much more appropriate place for this discussion.

Infobox Edits
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Erikeltic, In July of this year, you deleted three longstanding infobox images without discussion: Carl Schurz, John D. Rockefeller and H.L. Mencken. These three images were a part of the infobox for over a year. I have restored the infobox to its' previous state, and going forward I would urge you to state your rationale for such significant changes on the article's talk page before you make them. I think the it makes sense to perhaps limit the number of images in the infobox, but we need to properly discuss which images should stay and which should go. Thanks for your contributions! Vdjj1960 (talk) 18:23, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

The changes you made didn't "restore" it to a state of consenus that existed before July. I have restored it back to how it has been for months, following discussions on the talk page. The rationale for these changes was made when the changes I made then were made against how the article was setup then. I offer you back your own advice and urge you to state your rationale for changing / making additions to the infobox. In addition, the place for this discussion is on the talk page of the article, not my talk page. Furthermore, here [2] is the edit in which you added three brand new and totally undiscussed images to the infobox. That hardly constitutes consensus. Erikeltic (Talk) 23:39, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
The discussions you elude to on the talk page are nonexistent. I see no discussion about removing Rockefeller, Schurz and Mencken, who were all included in the infobox for at least a year, with no objections, before they were deleted by you with no discussion in July 2011. It appears that you removed these images on your own accord with no input from other contributors. I think it makes to sense to seek consensus for any significant edits from this point forward and not get in an adolescent tit for tat, but I don't appreciate your arrogant heavy-handed style. Vdjj1960 (talk) 18:42, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I would like to remind you to remain civil in your discussions with others editors. As far as me removing the images with no discussion that you added without any discussion whatsoever, I invite you to review the talk page history. I also would like to remind you to take these complaints to the article's talk page, as that is the best place for this discussion. The difference of the infobox is pretty minor, so your agrument should really demonstrate how the three additional images of famous German-Americans in any way, shape, or form adds to the reader's understanding of the material. It's really not a game of "name your favorite German." Personally, I think infobox images are way out of hand all over Wikipedia and six should be the limit, however in this particular article there are twelve images. Fifteen is absurd IMHO and your additions do absolutely nothing to support content. So again, I invite you to discuss the changes on the article's talk page and invite other editors to contribute. Any further comments on this topic on my talk pagee will be unread and deleted. Erikeltic (Talk) 23:59, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I encourage other editors to review and contribute. Erikeltic (Talk) 00:09, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

You could argue that infobox images don't add anything to the article's content, but such an argument is purely academic. The reality is that we have infobox images as a tool to enhance the article; therfore, I think it makes sense to showcase the most "significant" German-Americans. Whether that number is six or fifteen is the less important issue in my opinion. The more important and more difficult question is how are we defining "significance". In my opinion, the infobox should include Rockefeller, Schurz and Mencken for different reasons. In any listing of German-Americans, John D. Rockefeller, the first American billionaire, is always listed near the top. Based on the combination of accomplishment and sheer name recognition, he should be in the infobox. Schurz and Mencken were not only very famous and accomplished men, they were German-Americans in a political sense, which is now obsolete. If I had to remove any images, I would remove Marlene Dietrich and Albert Einstein, who are more associated with the countries of their birth and also Sandra Bullock, who would be hard-pressed to make my list of the Top 100 most significant German-Americans. Vdjj1960 (talk) 19:40, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Dutch is not a corruption of Standard German Deutsch[edit]

There is an urban legend that the term "Pennsylvania Dutch" comes from the Standard German word "Deutsch". The story sounds reasonable but is not true.

1. The English word "Dutch" is an old word that has Saxon roots and which shares much of its etymology with the Standard German endonym deutsch but that is not the same thing as being derived from that word. They both evolved from common roots.

2. The English word "Dutch" used to be used to refer to anyone who spoke a Germanic language. Dutch is a Germanic language, as are Pennsylvania German (aka Pennsylvania Dutch) and Standard German. At the time that these immigrants settled in Pennsylvania the term "Dutch" was a perfectly valid way to refer to them, and it was only later that meaning of Dutch narrowed to the point where it now is commonly used just to refer to Netherlanders.

3. The people who settled Pennsylvania for the most part did not speak Standard German and would not have used the word deutsch to refer to themselves. They would have used the Palatinate word deitsch which is likewise not a corruption of deutsch but a parallel evolution from the same root.

4. There is an excellent section on this etymology in the Pennsylvania German page to which I refer anybody who is interested in this topic. It is quite fascinating IMO. (I did not write that section but I have made recent edits to the article and am familiar with its contents.)

I hope this clears up this confusion. I know the "we mispronounced/misheard deutsch" explanation is commonly heard and often repeated but it is not accurate.

Dave (djkernen)|Talk to me|Please help! 19:24, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I have inserted sources that contradict your claims. Those sources should be examined. If you can provide better/more sources that support what you've written above, I'll be the first in line to remove the reference and will applaud your good eye for spotting it. Until that time however, please leave the properly referenced statement where it is. Erikeltic (Talk) 19:28, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure I understand what your position is. The text you just added -- and the supporting references -- all pretty much repeat what I just wrote above, which is that Dutch is an old English word with ancient roots and not a corruption of the Standard German word Deutsch. This is text that you yourself cut-and-pasted out of the Pennsylvania German article and is the precise paragraph that I was hoping you'd read when I started this thread. I am not sure that the text really belongs where you put it but it is quite interesting and I will not be the one to delete it. However, I will point out that it is in contradiction with the practice of placing (Deutsch) in parens after every (archaic) use of the word "Dutch" to refer to Germans, which is what this article is doing0. Maybe we are interpreting that paragraph differently and you do not think it means what I think it means? As it stands now the article is contradicting itself but I will not edit it until this is settled. Dave
Also, the references that you cite in support of the "Deutsch became Dutch" hypothesis don't actually say that. Once of them is a wikipedia page on the word deutsch which does not mention the word Dutch, either in the context of Pennsylvania Dutch or otherwise. The other actually gives a third hypothesis (which I don't agree with btw), which is that the word Dutch is derived from the Palatinate word "deitsch" which as I mentioned before is the endonym that the German-speaking settlers in PA would have used for themselves as they did not generally speak Standard German and therefore would not have used the word "deutsch". And the third does not mention the Pennsylvania Dutch at all and does not even appear to talk about the etymology of the English word "Dutch". (For that, take a look at the very interesting online etymology entry here [3] which states that this word comes from the Old High German word "duit-isc" (which by the way is the origin of the modern Standard German deutsch).
I guess by now you think I'm being incredibly picky because these words are all obviously related and once all meant the same language (and thus people) but this is an encyplopedia and I think we owe it to our readers to be precise, and there is no way we can do that while simultaneously claiming that the word "Dutch" is derrived from modern Standard German when the word is much older than that. (djkernen)|Talk to me|Please help! 19:54, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes I think you are not drawing the same conclusions from the same material. But it is important to note that Pennsylvania Dutch is not related to Dutch (Netherlands). As we Dutch Americans constantly need to explain, we are not related to the Amish, it gets annoying. Rmhermen (talk) 21:31, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
And that's what I don't understand, since the sources all seem clear and unanimous that the term "Pennsylvania Dutch" is not a corruption of the word Deutsch. Please quote me the relevant lines from a reliable source that states otherwise. While sources don't all agree on the etymology of Pennsylvania Dutch they do agree that it does not come from the word Deutsch which after all was not a word in the dialect spoken by the majority of German immigrants in PA. Also the sources that cite the etymology of the English word Dutch are numerous and all agree that the term once referred to all Germanic peoples, including Netherlanders and Germans but also Switzerduutsch and Austrians et al. (Interestingly, the earliest use of a form of the word Dutch in English appears to have been as an endonym for speakers of Old English, which implies that English speakers once thought of themselves as "Dutch"!) Keep in mind that the current nation states in question did not necessarily exist in their current forms during the period in question and the idea of the Netherlander people being a separate people from the Germans is a new one--even the Netherlands' national anthymn makes reference to the Dutch being the same people as Germans. The wikipedia article on Germans says:
The word dutch is attested in English from the 14th century, denoting continental West Germanic ("Dutch" and "German") dialects and their speakers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Djkernen (talkcontribs) 04:27, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Gentlemen, you may want to read this article Low German, and see that nothing is completely clearcut about the German language and its roots. Low German, which has been spoken throughout this entire region (Netherlands to Prussia) of Europe, has been ruled not a dialect and not a completely different language, but somewhere in between. I suggest that the "german" spoken by the settlers in the Pennsylvania region likely spoke a type of low german. These apparently were derivatives of Old Saxon, which is a distinct language. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 13:25, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Infobox pictures[edit]

Why does User:Erikeltic undo addition of famous German Americans in the text and there pictures?

All information are readable in the linked articles and correct. User:Erikeltic, please read the linked articles before destroying the changes or tell us, which person of them you think would not be German American or worth mentioning here. Then we can decide about each of them. But please don’t destroy everything. It took hours of work. -- (talk) 13:14, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Because the infobox is not a collection of "my favorite German." If you can produce a convincing argument that other editors agree with as to why we need more than triple the amount of pictures in the infobox, then this is the place for you to do that before you make the changes. There is a current consensus for who is in the infobox, which was brought about through a long discussion. Nobody is "destroying" anything here -- except, potentially, you in your attempt to override consensus. Erikeltic (Talk) 13:38, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

OK, in order to discuss it, here is the suggested infobox: -- (talk) 13:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

German Americans

Marlene Dietrich John J. Pershing Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben Dwight D. Eisenhower Synyster Gates John Jacob Astor
Norman Schwarzkopf Meryl Streep Albert Einstein Henry Kissinger John Steinbeck Frederick Muhlenberg
Sandra Bullock George Westinghouse Donald Trump Walter Chrysler William Boeing John D. Rockefeller
Wernher von Braun Marcus Goldman Lehman Brothers Mark Zuckerberg Eric Schmidt
Herman Hollerith Meyer Guggenheim J. Robert Oppenheimer Charles Pfizer Carl Schurz Friedrich Hecker
Walter Gropius John A. Roebling Eberhard Anheuser Adolphus Busch John Denver David Hasselhoff
Levi Strauss Henry E. Steinway Carl Laemmle Marcus Loew Henry Morgenthau, Jr.

John Kay

Marlene Dietrich • John Pershing • Baron von Steuben  • Dwight D. Eisenhower • Synyster Gates • John Jacob Astor  • Norman Schwarzkopf • Meryl Streep • Albert Einstein  • Henry Kissinger  • John Steinbeck • Frederick Muhlenberg • Sandra Bullock  • George Westinghouse  • Donald Trump  • Walter Chrysler  • William Boeing  • John D. Rockefeller  • Wernher von Braun  • Marcus Goldman  • Samuel Sachs  • Lehman Brothers  • Mark Zuckerberg  • Eric Schmidt  • Herman Hollerith  • Meyer Guggenheim  • J. Robert Oppenheimer  • Charles Pfizer  • Carl Schurz  • Friedrich Hecker  • Walter Gropius  • John A. Roebling  • Eberhard Anheuser  • Adolphus Busch  • John Denver  • David Hasselhoff  • Levi Strauss  • Henry E. Steinway  • Carl Laemmle  • Marcus Loew  • Henry Morgenthau, Jr.  •

John Kay
Total population


17.1% of the U.S. population (2009))
Regions with significant populations

United States Throughout entire United States
Plurality in 23 states [3],

American English, German
Protestant (Lutheran, Reformed, Mennonite, Amish, and others)
Roman Catholic

Related ethnic groups
Austrian Americans
Swiss Americans
Pennsylvania Dutch
German diaspora
German Canadians
By adding so many pictures, it makes the pictures so small that they stop adding any value to the article—the people are no longer recognizable. Likewise, the additional names in the list almost mean that people are less likely to look through the names (too long, didn't read), plus it makes it hard to match picture to name. —C.Fred (talk) 15:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Just move over the picture with your mouse and you will see the name.
-- (talk) 22:11, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Only until the alt text is properly configured. —C.Fred (talk) 22:33, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference I_.2Asuspect.2A_the_failed_post-Napoleonic_rebellions_were_at_least_part_of_the_cause._If_anyone_.2Aknows.2A_and_wants_to_write_that_up.2C_I.27d_love_to_read_it._I_may_come_back_and_write_it_up_if_I_find_it_elsewhere was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Census 2009 ACS Ancestry estimates
  3. ^
  4. ^

Levi Strauss was Ashkenazi Jew, not German[edit]

Ethnic German or Ethnic Ashkenazi Jews? I think this question will upset some but Jewish people don't consider themselves anything but Jewish ethnically and it is intellectually dishonest to put a non-ethnic German in the picture montage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Albert Einstein?[edit]

Wouldn't he be a better fit for the American Jews page? Ashkenazi Jews and Germans are not the same people.Evildoer187 (talk) 12:06, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

I sincerely hope you're joking and not actually paraphrasing one of the main points made in Mein Kampf. Erikeltic (Talk) 15:28, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
First of all, I am Jewish myself. Second, your argument is an ad hominem fallacy. This brings me to two points...
1. According to John Stachel (“Einstein's Jewish identity,” in: Einstein from ‘B’ to ‘Z’ (Boston, 2002), p. 57-75), Einstein’s parents “unhesitatingly identified themselves as Jews and continued certain Jewish customs” although they “did not practice the Jewish religion”; "the central characteristics of the Jews as a nation were ethnic lineage, 'a sense of being different,' and 'predominantly' non-religious traditions"; Einstein referred to the Jews "time and again" as "ethnic comrades (Stammesgenossen), thereby illustrating the primacy for him of the ethnic bond with his fellow Jews”; Einstein saw the "assimilationist strivings of the urban, bourgeois majority of German Jewry" as "undignified mimicry"; “like other members of the German Jewish minority, the Einsteins clearly maintained a ‘Jewish familial 'inside'’ and a ‘German ‘outside’’—a condition defined by one German historian [i.e. Till van Rahden] as the “situative ethnicity” of the German Jews”.
2. If we're gonna bring antisemitism into this, it's worth noting that the consideration of Jews as "simply Europeans who converted to Judaism" has been the official party line of antisemitism for decades now. We can't pretend that Ashkenazi Jews are "just Europeans" because it's not factual.Evildoer187 (talk) 20:56, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Uh huh... the fact remains that the question is ridiculous and using the fact that you are Jewish as an excuse to pose it is completely irrelevant to its content. Erikeltic (Talk) 21:44, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
It depends on what "German American" is supposed to mean here. Einstein did have a German background in that he was raised in Germany, took part in German culture and society, and had German as his native language, and from this perspective he may be called a "German American". However, the term "German" would be far less appropriate, I think, if used in the ethnic sense, for he seems to have identified exclusively with his Jewish heritage (cf. the source cited above), and this appears to have been inspired by the ethnic anti-Semitism prevalent in Germany at the time. Iblardi (talk) 18:57, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
The question is valid, and you made no effort to address any of my points. I think I'm going to file an RfC for this section. Show me some sources that say Jews and Germans are of the same ethnicity (which is what this article is about), otherwise they're gonna have to go.Evildoer187 (talk) 02:49, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Build a consensus based on primary sources and I suppose you can do just that, barring of course that the consensus involves fringe elements. Erikeltic (Talk) 16:41, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
What kind of sources do you require?Evildoer187 (talk) 18:06, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

I concur with Iblardi.Evildoer187 (talk) 00:13, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

if german jews should not be listed as german american - logically polish/czech/hungarian/... jews should not be listed polish/czech/hungarian/... american either — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Bruce Lee[edit]

Why not have Bruce Lee as a German American? He was born in the USA, and his mother was half German genetically, although she was not born in the USA. (talk) 23:40, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

High-quality, free, peer-reviewed German-American biographical encyclopedia online[edit]

I added this to the bibliography section, but wanted to call attention to it for anyone doing research:

It has detailed, cited, scholarly biographies written by academics. For example, picking a random subject:

I hope that is helpful! guanxi (talk) 16:57, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Alleged 'privacy concerns'[edit]

Listing basic demographic statistics such the percentage of a given people per state is not an infringement of personal privacy. -SFK2 (talk) 09:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Related SPI case[edit]

I deleted some of the pictures that do not show german americans[edit]

I deleted some of the pictures that do not show german americans — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

How exactly are you, by yourself, determining who is and who isn't a German American? freshacconci talk to me 22:50, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

civil war discussion[edit]

I've been teased and picked on by being german due to what the germans did in the civil war and was wondering if the civil war part can be edited out if that was ok? I would greatly appreciate it. I don't like the bullying from people and they poitn to this article. thanks Erik bjohnson (talk) 10:42, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

No, it cannot. Wikipedia is not censored; we do not edit information from articles that is based on reliable sources just because some parties may misuse the information. —C.Fred (talk) 17:28, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

English Americans[edit]

I have red-added the citations from scientists, demographers and genealogists about English Americans and the serious under-count, according to all research this sudden surge in German Americans makes absolutely no sense; six million more people self-identified as 'German-American' recently yet only 1200 Germans arrived and when the dna results came in only 5.8% of all Americans are descended from Germans while the English and British dna results come in as by far the largest at 42.6% which makes sense as in the 1980 census the largest group by far were English Americans then in 2000 the census added an 'American' category which allowed the English who have lived in the USA so long to identify as indigenous. Twobells (talk) 22:32, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Meryl Streep and Dwight D. Eisenhower[edit]

seem to be both German-Americans and Swiss-Americans, see here and here. --Kantischüler (talk) 20:57, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Arendt and Einstein[edit]

They were Jews. Not Germans. They are not of, as the articles states in the lead, "German descent". JDiala (talk) 07:52, 29 October 2014 (UTC) Einstein isn't in the collage, he's mentioned as one of the Germans that emigrated to the US following the rise of Nazi Germany, perhaps it should say: "Including Albert Einstein (a German citizen of Jewish descent)". Arendt is in the collage, and perhaps he should be removed because he's not of German but of German Jewish descent. I have no problem if they're removed altogether or simply classified as German citizens of Jewish descent. Guy355 (talk) 12:33, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Ah, you're right. He is not in the collage. I must be seeing things. Regarding Ardent, yes, I think she should be removed. Most WP:RS sources consider Jews a distinct ethno-religious group with a distinct identity and ancestral lineage. They are not Germans. JDiala (talk) 22:49, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
We have had this debate more than once before. Bottom line, Americans think you can be Jewish and German - and then American too. It is about citizenship, not only ethnicity. Rmhermen (talk) 03:10, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Fair enough, I really don't mind, this is all very arbitrary. Guy355 (talk) 05:23, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

In what ways are they "distinct", JDiala? to make it a fact that they can never ever be German is incorrect and may even sound fascistic. Because despite the history of persecution and other differences, many Jews also lived in Germany for centuries, spoke German, "looked" German, contributed as Germans etc. Not every German is really of the ancient Germanic tribes you know. Yuvn86 (talk) 15:01, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
I am only going by definitions. Jews are considered a distinct "people" or ethnic group. This isn't about what I say, or fascists say, this is what they say and the sources say. German Americans, at least from what I can tell by looking at the article, refers to Americans of German descent, or ethnic Germans, not distinct ethnic groups who just happen to have lived in Germany. JDiala (talk) 06:10, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

That's also true. This subject is very contrevirsal, considering the fact that there were Jews in Germany since at least the 4th century C.E. The fact that Yiddish is a German dialect, and that many Jews attempted and managed to assimilate. (talk) 06:32, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

If someone is born and/or raised in Germany and/or lives there for a time, feels German and has the citizenship, he's German. It's as simple as that. EOT. -- Horst-schlaemma (talk) 14:46, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Well that's just your left wing political opinion. Others may disagree. JDiala (talk) 05:13, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
How's that a left wing political opinion? It's the way this is handled in Western Europe. WTH are you trying to say? -- Horst-schlaemma (talk) 14:08, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Mention of the self report[edit]

I feel like this page is trying to undermine the German influence in some way to the point it almost makes it sound like it was edited by an anglophile. Especially in comparison to the English American page that tries so hard and gives us parapragphs basically trying to convince us that the English is dominant and the real one. There's not one mention on that page that the English number TOO is self reported just as the German number is. Fact of the matter is the English number is not 49 million. If you look at the 1980 census it also showed more than half of the people of these ancestries were multi-ethnic overall if I remember the paper correctly only around 20 million English Americans checked off being only English while the rest checked off being more than one ancestry. So do people honestly think that number that was already so low in the 80s miraculously grew? American's aren't homogeneous and it's not like German ancestry doesn't run through the veins of most English Americans and vice versa, they intermarried and lived in the same neighborhoods. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kalissa47 (talkcontribs) 22:04, 24 September 2015 (UTC)