The war against Germany from a German immigrant’s perspective

My German immigrant grandfather wrote in his diary some of his thoughts and experiences during the first world war against Germany:

The Emperor’s days are numbered. Almost every day here, boys are leaving to get soldier training. I went to many farewell parties for my friends.

In March, I bought a war bond for $100 which I can redeem in 1928 for an additional four and a quarter percent interest. Big Freedom, Red Cross and many other parades are being held from time to time.

After July 1st all men in store positions, waiters, theater employees and so on must look for a spot in factories and women are taking their places. Five million men were sent to France in order to beat the Emperor. I hope the war will find an end soon.

I believe you feel sorry for me, but do not fear, all Americans treat me well. All German language was exterminated in the schools and even in the churches. The high schools have burned all German books. You can’t believe how everyone hates the Emperor, even I.

If what all the papers write is true, it must be horrible. Prisoners are being treated badly. Arms, ears and noses are cut off and they are being hanged. Belgian and French girls, women and children are murdered, burned alive and buried. The hospitals are bombed. In an American theater, a picture was shown entitled “The Emperor, Beast of Berlin” and a man in the audience was so angry that he shot at the screen in his rage. He made a big hole in the white curtain and said, “If I can’t get him there, I will get him here.” I could relate a thousand things of how hated the Emperor is, but soon they will get him and then it will be the end of the war.

This was a big day. All men from eighteen to forty-five have to register. In Peoria alone, 14,000 men had to go. When they are all deployed, it’s good night Germany. I wished I could go too. I am safe and sound despite the fact that, now, I don’t have much money. All my savings are being used up. Food and clothing are very expensive. I hope the war will be over soon.

You can read my grandfather’s entire journal by clicking below.  It’s quite interesting!  Of course, I’m biased!   🙂

Thanks for your interest!

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