[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] German speaking churches in WWII and WWI

Kenneth Browne kbrowne01518 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 13 06:29:24 PDT 2013

On 09/13/2013 12:50 AM, Charlotte Dubay wrote:
> During WWII they had to stop all services spoken in German, and had to go to English - even though some members didn't understand English.
"had to" implies government intervention. My understanding of this 
issue has always been that German immigrants chose to not speak German 
(in public, at least) because it would expose their German-ness to 
their non German neighbors, and given that America was at war with 
Germany, that's not hard to understand. Japanese-Americans had no such 
option because of their obvious facial characteristics. Hence the 
internment camps that put loyal Japanese-Americans in prisons...for 
the duration.

My maternal grandfather, born of German-Polish father and mother 
(brick wall, but possibly from Alsace-Lorraine), was born in Chicago 
and though the family was Lutheran, I've discovered the possibility 
that they were Jewish in a 1931 letter from great-grandfather Samuel 
Lachmann's "sister in law" Beile Lachmann. Gpa Lachmann died when I 
was in my 30's but I never saw him after he 'vowed not to come back' 
to Boston again when I was just 5 or 6 years old. He and mom split 
over different religious views. Interestingly, two of his siblings 
shared the same religion as my mom (an I).

What I know of my grandfather supports the idea that he "hid" his 
German-ness. He was in the U.S. Marines during WWI and was stationed 
at the Charlestown, MA naval yard. He spent his entire time in the 
military, apparently on shore watch on Cape Ann, MA. My theory is that 
the military didn't send him to Europe over fears that his ethnicity 
could lead to disloyal conduct.
In addition, Grandpa Lachmann became a radically disposed hater of 
Jews, blacks, and other "inferior" types. He likely was a member of 
the John Birch Society although based on some published letters to the 
editor, of which I have copies, the JBS may have been a little too 
liberal for his tastes.

I don't know if he was aware of the cited 1931 letter (written in 
Yiddish) but if it turns out that his father was Jewish, but converted 
to Lutheranism after migrating to the U.S. Gpa Lachmann would "roll 
over in his grave." AFAIK, Great grandpa Lachmann and his younger 
brother Andreas were the only siblings who left Poland/Volhynia for 
the U.S. Via the Momose database I've discovered there were as many as 
nine boys and girls born between 1855 and 1877. Two males other than 
Samuel and Andreas were Daniel (b. 1868) and Karl (b. 1870). I don't 
know anything about them beyond dob. Two other males were born and 
died as infants. Daniel and Karl were born in Vincentow and Witschin, 

Kenneth Browne researching: BROWN(E) LEIGHTON TAYLOR CLOUGH/CLUFF 

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