My Lack of Appreciation for My German Blood
by, 4th July 2013 at 10:43 PM (1519 Views)
You might think this is kind of silly, but I really feel ashamed of having German heritage. I really think it sucks. Sometimes I wish that my German ancestors had been Jewish so people would be more interested, but no, they were mostly Catholic and the ones that weren't were Protestant.
There's nothing in my area for people of German background. Most of the people of German heritage aren't really interested in their heritage either. (Still, at least German food is somewhat easy to find where I live. My sister lived in Massachusetts for a few years, and German food was almost impossible to find there since New England has few people of German descent.)
People can't sympathize with Americans of German descent. My history professor last semester had nothing but contempt for German-Americans (and also Polish-Americans and Russian-Americans, unless they were Jewish) because there were German-Americans who supported Hitler during WWII. I told him that I had relatives in the US Army during that time. He ignored me and went on a long tangent about Jewish-American POWS in WWII. I wanted to groan because of his ignorance. I'm not anti-Semitic, but we don't need to talk about Jews as if they're victims who can't defend themselves. He also discredited the resistance movements in Eastern Europe. (This professor was of Italian and Irish heritage.)
It's also annoying seeing very few German last names on TV. Most TV characters with German surnames seem to be Jewish. There are more non-Jewish Germans in the US, yet you don't see many non-Jewish Germans on TV - even in shows taking place in places like the Midwest where Germans are often a majority.
Then there's the whole Nazi thing. I get tired of hearing all these references to Nazism and anti-Semitism when referencing Germans. I'm not a Nazi, and no one in my family was Nazi. Critics will also talk about other German diaspora communities rudely, especially the millions of Germans who live in South America. The "Nazis in Argentina" thing drives me nuts, since it accuses loads of innocent people of being Nazis, when in fact almost all of the Germans there (even the elderly) were born and raised in South America, and most of them speak only Spanish (or Portuguese if they're from Brazil).
People also don't appreciate German culture enough. They equate it with Nazism or other anti-Semitism. German music is equated with Richard Wagner (who Hitler was influenced by). German names are thought of as hideous, especially feminine ones. Come on, there's no questioning that a name like Gertrude or Hildegard is feminine. They might not be that attractive, but it would be refreshing to see one after all these little Isabellas, Sophias, and Madisons running around. Not every girls' name is soft like Isabella or Julia. (Sadly, people in Germany seem to think that about the Germanic names. That's why many of them are out of fashion. They still use the non-Germanic German names a lot, though.)
You can't change your heritage. You're stuck with it all your life. I'm sure a lot of you would love to be Japanese people from Japan, since it would mean getting anime a lot quicker and in its unedited form. But we're stuck in other places. I know I can't change my heritage. Maybe I should try to think of the positives of German heritage instead of the negatives.
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