Greetings from Washington, DC! Our museum is open, and thanks to the generosity of our board and members of the German-American community, we are now equipped with a brand new bamboo floor. With a fresh, yet timeless look, our exhibit hall has become an ideal space for receptions, film and book presentations, and much more.
While the pandemic has not defeated us, many in-person events had to be canceled, and our annual gala, usually a calendar highlight and an important fundraiser, was postponed for the second year in a row. Now, more than ever, we rely on your generous support to preserve the past and carry it forward. On Oct. 6, or National German American Day, we are officially launching our 2021 Annual Fund Campaign Drive with a $30,000 goal to support our work of promoting and preserving our cultural ancestry.
Where does the money go?
Last year, we kicked off our Oral History Project, and we are still looking for contributions—especially in the form of audio recordings accompanied by photos. In 2021, we launched a new project about the bravery and patriotism of German-Americans soldiers, going back to the Revolutionary War, which we want to expand with additional biographies. The ties between Germany and the U.S. date back centuries, and we have usually focused on the German immigrant perspective. However, in the spirit of transatlantic relations, we want to explore that connection from a different perspective, namely through the lens of American military personnel stationed in Germany following World War II. The objective is to not only conduct research and collect experiences in the form of audio recordings and archival records, but to develop an interactive exhibit available to our members, German-American audiences, and all interested parties.
Next month, we ask you to mark your calendar for Nov. 16 to celebrate the launch of award-winning author David Stewart’s new historical novel, The New Land, featuring a German immigrant family in 1750s coastal Maine. This event will most likely be a hybrid function, i.e., a mixture of in-person and online elements, or it may be exclusively virtual. We also have a very special online film screening about the life of German World War II veteran Peter Ertel, followed by a Q&A session with producer and director Joseph Cahn, planned for the first week of December. The exact date has yet to be determined. As you can see, we have many exciting projects in the pipeline, and we are counting on you to make them happen.
When Pastor Hans Haug founded GAHF in the wake of the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration in 1977, he not only envisioned an organization that would allow Americans to rediscover our heritage and make it accessible to younger generations, but to become a voice that speaks to all German-Americans in the country, a hub of the German-American family, some 45 million people strong, from coast to coast. It’s an ambitious objective, but as the old proverb says: Many hands make light work.
Thank you for your generosity and your support!