German-American League for Culture records
MSGALC72

 An inventory of the collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Summary Information

Repository
Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives
Creator
German-American League for Culture.
Title
German-American League for Culture records
ID
MSGALC72
Date
1906-1958
Extent
2.5 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract:
On July 25, 1938, the German-American League for Culture was incorporated under the laws of Illinois. At that time its stated goal was "... to oppose by lawful means subversive propaganda against the Constitution of the United States of America, and to its guarantees of liberty, of free press, free speech and free assembly, and further all cultural achievements of the American citizens of German origin and to disseminate American principles of liberty to German Americans." The collection contains nearly a complete run of the Volksfront (1935-1939), an account book, the articles of incorporation, German theses, German poetry, political memorabilia, brochures, newspaper clippings, notebooks, and scrapbooks of the German-American League for Culture, as well as notebooks and other personal memorabilia belonging to Eric Von Schroetter.

Preferred Citation

German-American League for Culture records, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Administrative History

In 1935, thirty-eight German-language-speaking associations in Chicago joined together to form the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der fortschrittlichen deutschsprachigen Vereine von Chicago, or the Action Committee of German Progressive Organizations of Chicago. Opposed to National Socialism in Germany and alarmed by its appearance in the United States, they banded together to fight "... all fascist tendencies anywhere." They deplored fellow German-Americans who joined the Bund and other pro-Nazi organizations, and were determined to display their patriotism by opposing and exposing Nazis in Chicago.

The committee began to publish a German and English language newspaper in November 1935 called the Volksfront, or People's Front. The editor was an assistant professor of languages at Northwestern University, Dr. Eric Von Schroetter, himself an emigre. In February 1936, the Action Committee of German Progressive Organizations of Chicago became the local branch of the German-American League for Culture (Deutsch-Amerikanischer Kulturverband or DAKV). The DAKV had been established in New York City in September 1935 as a national umbrella group for German speaking organizations opposed to Nazism. It was to represent those organizations as the principal fighter against fascism. Its function was also to promote German culture. It pointed out to Americans that traditonal German culture was suppressed by the Nazis, and therefore German literature, music, drama, and art could still be performed or studied without supporting the enemy. Von Schroetter was elected national secretary of the DAKV.

On July 25, 1938, the German-American League for Culture was incorporated under the laws of Illinois. At that time its stated goal was "... to oppose by lawful means subversive propaganda against the Constitution of the United States of America, and to its guarantees of liberty, of free press, free speech and free assembly, and further all cultural achievements of the American citizens of German origin and to disseminate American principles of liberty to German Americans." In Chicago, the DAKV sponsored informational forums where people spoke out against conditions in Germany, concerts of German music, picnics and recreational activities for its members, and anti-Bund rallies.

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Scope and Contents

The collection contains nearly a complete run of the Volksfront (1935-1939), which has been microfilmed. It also contains an account book, the articles of incorporation, German theses, German poetry, political memorabilia, brochures, newspaper clippings, notebooks, and scrapbooks of the German-American League for Culture, as well as notebooks and other personal memorabilia belonging to Eric Von Schroetter.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives 2006-08-14

801 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60607
312.996.2742

Revision Description

  07/22/2010

Restrictions on Access

None

Restrictions on Use

None

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • German-American League for Culture. -- Archives

Subject(s)

  • Anti-fascist movements -- Illinois -- Chicago.
  • Chicago Ethnic Groups.
  • German Americans -- Illinois -- Chicago.

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Collection Inventory

Series I: German-American League for Culture Records 

Box Folder

Account book, 1942 

1 1

Articles of Incorporation, 1938 

1 2

Dissertation - Die Ballade "Es spielt ein Ritter mit einer magd" Kapitel I bis III. Die Formen der deutschein Uberlieferung. (The Ballad of "The trifle of a Knight with a maid" verses 1-3, The Form of German Tradition), by Harry Schewe, 1917 

1 3

"Ballade von den 3 Gefangenen" (Ballad of the 3 prisoners), 1928 

1 4

"Die Berfussung des Deutschen Reichs. Nach den Beschlussen der National versammlng." (The Formation of the German State. After the close of the National Assembly), undated 

1 5

47th ward All German-American Democratic Organization of Cook County., 1942 

1 6

"It Did Happen Here." Benjamin S. Adamowski, 1942 

1 7

Newspaper clippings, 1938-1942 

1 8

Notebook, 1938-1940 

1 9

Notebook, undated 

1 10

Personal miscellany of Von Schroetters, 1906-1958 

1 11

Scrapbook, 1937-1942 

1 12

Volksfront, 1935-1940 

2 1

Volksfront, 1937 

2 3

Volksfront, 1938-1939 

2 4

Volksfront, 1938-1939 

2 5
Box

Scrapbook, 1939-1940 

3
Reel

Volksfront microfilm, undated 

1

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