Way Back When: Anti-German Sentiments During WWI

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Way Back When: Anti-German Sentiments During WWI
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(Image: Moving Picture World, May 1918)

By Betsy J. Green

Negative feelings about Germany were strong in 1918 during World War I. “Flying A” star Margarita Fisher had originally spelled her surname “Fischer,” but in 1918, she removed the letter C because it sounded too German.


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John Swepston May 10, 2018 12:55 PM
Way Back When: Anti-German Sentiments During WWI

Our family also had to change their last name during WWI. They lived in St. Louis and couldn't get jobs because of their German surname. Once it was changed they received employment

Concerned4Calif Apr 08, 2018 01:48 PM
Way Back When: Anti-German Sentiments During WWI

RHS – No one who knows war likes war. I think the modern German have it right for the Germans – their leaders were evil and committed terrible acts and should not be venerated or forgotten. I think the American leaders of WW2 were not evil but fighting evil. It would have been a terrible mistake for America to stay with an isolationist policy. Yes it is very comfortable for you to say you are against war and the military people who participate should not be “venerated” but war is not always just a choice or a political opinion. Ask Poland, or the Netherlands, or France, or Great Britain, or Belgium, or Denmark, Greece, Norway, Russia, Yugoslavia, Luxemburg, if they were “against” taking military action in WW2. I think they will tell you they wish they were better prepared and they did not have a choice.

RHS Apr 09, 2018 09:00 AM
Way Back When: Anti-German Sentiments During WWI

This story was about the hatred engendered for the Germans immediately upon the entry of the US into WW I. That was manufactured to motivate sons and fathers to go off to kill and be killed in a war that had nothing to do with the US. Read Wilson's "to make the world safe for democracy" speech and you will see that the underlying rationalization of his position is to protect international trade, not international democracy. WW II is different but remember that the roots of WW II were in the settlement imposed on Germany after WW I.

RHS Apr 08, 2018 10:30 AM
Way Back When: Anti-German Sentiments During WWI

More proof as to how gullible the public is. We are so quickly taught to hate. The Germans of WWI were no worse than the "allies." The whole war was based on absurd nationalism and stubborn treaties. In truth the German state was closer to the US in its social policies than to the Austrian monarchy. The ruling classes on both sides had no inhibition against sending millions (!) to die in absolutely futile effort. Then we promised never again but every new generation is taught (propagandized) to venerate the wars of the past by worshiping the flag cheering military style parades or bomber fly-overs at sporting events. We should do as the modern Germans due and aggressively remember the evils of the leaders that caused these tragedies to happen.

BCS Apr 08, 2018 09:10 AM
Way Back When: Anti-German Sentiments During WWI

I recall a Sierra Club hike on veteran's day when the two veterans present had fought on opposite sides. One had been a German prisoner who had returned to live here.

Flicka Apr 07, 2018 08:38 AM
Way Back When: Anti-German Sentiments During WWI

Interesting, Betsy. During WWII German prisoners were kept in Goleta, working on farms and ranches. They probably thought they were lucky to be caught, no fighting and wonderful weather. At least one man moved here after the war. He lived in Carpinteria and died a few years ago.

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