Wednesday, September 11, 2019

An Evening with Kurt Tucholsky

Berlinica will present Harold Poor's landmark book, "Kurt Tucholsky. The Short Fat Berliner Who Tried to Stop A Catastrophe With A Typewriter" at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York next Monday, September 16, at 6.30pm. This is part of the commemoration of the Weimar Republic that was founded hundred years ago in November 1919.

I myself will be on the podium and talk about Kurt Tucholsky, as will Atina Grossmann from the Cooper Union, who will also comment on how Harold Poor's work fits in the historiography of Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when a fascination with the cultural and intellectual life of the Weimar Republic occurred, also in America. And Mark Anderson, Professor at Columbia German Department will speak about Weimar literature.

Harold Poor was a beloved professor at the History Department of Rutgers University; his biography of the iconic German Jewish author, journalist, satirist, playwright, and poet is still the most important and thorough work on Kurt Tucholsky in the English-speaking world; a labor of love by the Rutgers history professor that is still unmatched. For this book, Poor has not only spent years of research in American Universities, he also visited Tucholsky’s widow Mary Gerold in her home in Rottach-Egern, Germany, his family in tow, and unearthed material, letters, and pictures previously unknown.

This book is a well-written gem that has finally been rediscovered, with a new introduction by Rutgers-professor Belinda Davis and a preface by Chris Poor, Harold Poor's son. After the panel, there will be an opportunity for a Q&A and also a cookie-and-wine reception.

Your publisher, Eva C. Schweitzer

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Steuben in New York: See You in September

The annual Steuben Parade is just around the corner!  On September 21, we will be participating in the parade along New York City’s Fifth Avenue. And it’s one we definitely can’t miss: the Steuben Parade is one of the largest gatherings of German- Americans in the world!

Thousands of participants and spectators attend the annual parade, and we can’t wait to be among them! Let's take a look at who this large event is named after:

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730-1794) has long been a symbol of German-American friendship. The Prussian-born military officer fought in two major wars, but is best known for his contributions on American soil. His experience gained during the Seven Years' War equipped him with a wealth of military knowledge that helped the young man rise in the ranks. When he was in his thirties, he found himself in debt, and hoped to find employment in a foreign army to gather funds. In 1777, the young baron was introduced to General George Washington by means of a letter. Soon thereafter, he was on his way to the United States, where he offered to volunteer his services without pay. Arrangements were made so that Steuben would be paid for his services after the war, based on his contributions.

And he did not fail to impress: Von Steuben became inspector general and major general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and he is often credited as being one of the founders of the Continental Army. In the final years of the war, the Prussian-born military officer even served as General Washington's chief of staff. Finally, in 1784, he became an American citizen.

Today, there are celebrations throughout the US that are named after Von Steuben, including the German-American Steuben Parades in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. There is also a Steuben Society, an educational and fraternal organization that was founded in 1919 to help organize the German-American community. We even have a statue of Von Steuben at the German Embassy in Washington!

As we celebrate German-American friendship, culture and heritage, Von Steuben is a name that we will always remember.

Nicole Glass, Editor, The Week in Germany


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