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500 Years since the Reformation

Imagine life in Germany 500 years ago. The population was at about 14 million and multiple cities in the country were seeing a rise in their economy, including Augsburg and Nürnberg. A little less than 500 km North east of Augsburg was the city of Wittenberg; today it is knows as the Lutherstadt, Luthercity in English, but 500 years ago it was the birthplace of Lutheranism.

Lutheranism is a branch of the Christian religion which traces it’s beginnings to October 31st, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the University of Wittenberg’s chapel door as a critique towards Pope Leo X newest round of indulgences.

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, a small city in Saxony-Anhalt. At age eighteen he entered university in Erfurt where he would get a master of the art in Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric and Metaphysics. Thus, putting him on his way to becoming a lawyer. But, in 1501 Martin Luther had a life changing experience which put him on a new path to becoming a monk and later the dean of theology at the University of Wittenberg.

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Happy Austrian National Day!

Today, October 26th, is Nationalfeiertag, which is also known as Austrian National Day! We at the German-American Heritage Foundation want to acknowledge and celebrate this holiday due to our goal of promoting the cultural heritage of all Americans of German-speaking ancestry. So, Happy Austrian National Day!

Austrian National Day emerged from political developments after World War II. After the war ended, the country was occupied by the Allied Forces (the Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, and France). However, on October 26th, 1955 (ten years after the end of the war), the Austrian Parliament passed a law that stated that the country would have permanent neutrality and this put an end to occupation by Allied forces. Because of this, the idea of neutrality has become a big part of Austrian Culture and is why Austrian National Day exists.

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Happy Labor Day

We at the GAHF would like to wish you a happy Labor Day!

Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. This does not exclude members of the German-American community who represent 15.2 percent of the US population and have played a major role in labor reform in the United States. Germany has a similar holiday, Tag der Arbeit, which is celebrated on the first of May.

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Message from the Executive Director ~ August 2017

This month we would like to highlight the different types of German-American clubs and organizations typically found throughout the country. While there are hundreds of German-American clubs in America focusing on everything from Beethoven to German mustard, we will be focusing on these three common club types: Schuhplattlers, Saengerbunde, und Turnvereins.

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The GAHM will be closed to the public from now until Nov. 3

The German-American Heritage Museum of the USA™ is closed to the public from now through Friday, November 3, 2017. We will re-open on Tuesday, November 7. For urgent matters, please contact info@gahmusa.org. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope to welcome you back in November.

The German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA®
German-American Heritage Museum of the USA™

719 Sixth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001
Copyright 2018 German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA®