German Americans

By: Kurosh Nouri

Why did they leave Germany?

The Germans left because they thought that America had better opportunities like jobs and better life. Many Germans wanted farmland to plant crops because most of them were farmers. They also wanted their own religious freedom to practice what they wanted. They had a difference of opinion with their government. Many came to make money because most Germans didn't have much money at the time.

What difficulties did they have on the journey?

The Germans had difficulties with sicknesses on board like lice and vomiting. They had bad food and water. Many people experienced horror and people didn't have toilets or showers. They had narrow bunk areas and the ship smelled like vomit. Diseases spread quickly because of the bad conditions.

Where did the Germans settle?

Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were the most popular places for Germans to settle. In Wisconsin, Watertown, Sheboygan and Milwaukee became huge German settlement areas. In Pennsylvania, a large group of Germans settled and were known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

What jobs were Germans hoping for in America?

Early 1800s

Watch Maker

Early 1900s

  • Mill Worker
  • Railroad Worker
  • Farmer
  • Factory Worker

What were the fist years in America like for the Germans?

When the Germans immigrated to America the farmers lived in sod homes that had dirt floors or in old train boxcars. Also families living in cities lived in small houses and apartments. In their homes it was often dirty and were packed full of people. They often had no furniture or cooking pots.

What traditions did the Germans bring with them?


The Germans had different traditions like Oktoberfest. The first one celebrated Prince Ludwig's wedding and then it became a harvest festival.


Karneval is the celebration before Lent (a time to give something up that you really like) which leads to Easter. During Karneval people dress in costumes and parades are everywhere on the streets.


Most of the things we do to celebrate Christmas come from German traditions. Christmas trees, nutcrackers, advent calendars, gingerbread houses and songs like Silent Night and Oh Christmas Tree all started in Germany.


The Germans had Easter egg hunts, they made chocolate bunnies and Easter egg baskets.

German Food:

Spätzle (Flour Dumplings/Noodles)
Big image

Spätzle (German dumplings/noodles) Recipe

Basic recipe

You will need (for 6-8 portions):

8 eggs

7 Cups plain flour

1/2 tspsalt

In addition you will need some seasoning such as ground pepper or sweet red pepper powder.

You will also need the tool to make the Spätzle – this is called a “Spätzlepresse” and is similar to a potato ricer, so you could try using one of those.

First steps
Break the eggs into a large bowl. Add the salt. Now slowly add the flour and seasoning and stir with a spoon until the mixture is firm with small bubbles.

Now prepare a large pot of bowling water.

Through the press

Load the Spätzlepresse with the mixture and hold it over the saucepan. Now press the mixture through the press so that the Spätzle land in the water. Cut off with a knife if necessary.

The Spätzle will sink and then rise. Once risen, leave for 2 minutes and then remove from the water with a sieve. Place them in a covered bowl.

They can now be served in this form as a side dish.

German Spätzle Recipe

Interesting Fact 1

  • Germans always eat with a fork in the left hand and a knife in the right hand. No eating with your hands!

Interesting Fact 2

The Pennsylvania Dutch aren't Dutch at all, they are Germans. They left Germany so they could practice their religion in the US. Many of the Pennsylvania Dutch still speak a form of German today.

**My great great great grandfather came from Germany to Pennsylvania and was also a Pennsylvania Dutch. Later, his son moved to Wisconsin to start a family.**