“The Fatherland” weekly covered The Great War in Europe from a German-American perspective

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2018-12-07 12:57

Very first issue of The Fatherland weekly dated August 10, 1914 appeared immediately after war "broke out" on July 28th following the assasination of the Austrian Crown Prince exactly one month earlier.

By Carolyn Yeager

SINCE GEORGE SYLVESTER VIERECK CAME TO MY ATTENTION, I haven't been able to get enough of him. Being especially intrigued by his publication THE FATHERLAND, you can imagine my delight upon finding a website with every issue available for reading. Credit for this goes to Pensylvania's Villanova University and the 'digital library' project of its Falvey Memorial Library. Pennsylvania has thankfully not forgotten to recognize its large ethnic German population—the 2000 US Census reports it at over 3 million, the highest total number of any U.S. state outside of California. [The highest in percent of population is North Dakota. My home state of Illinois is way down in 17th place, yet because of greater overall population still numbered almost 2.5 million Germans in the 2000 census, higher than Wisconsin's 2.2 million, though Wisconsin stands in 2nd place on the list.]

These 'Fatherland' magazines are an excellent way to learn the history and politics of WWI from a more German-friendly point of view, which we otherwise never see in mass media. Even I was at first a little scandalized at the boldness to put such a name on an American periodical, but I soon agreed that for so many German-Americans of the early 1900's Germany was their fatherland and there was nothing wrong with having an interest in what was going on there. No one seemed to object in the beginning, either, maybe because it wasn't foreseen that we would necessarily join in the war ourselves. Plus, the various nationalities of immigrants was shown great respect at the time by US politicians, and it was also recognized that the vast majority of immigrants were completely loyal to their new country. None more so than Germans.

Don't be put off by any confusion you might have in using this site. Once I figured out how it worked, I found it very easy and satisfying to read any part of any magazine I wanted. It's seamless technology.

In the very first issue, Viereck explained the purpose of “The Fatherland” magazine. On the first page of Vol. 1, No. 1, August 10, 1914, it reads:


It is the purpose of this publication:

First: To place the German side of this unhappy quarrel fairly and squarely before the American people. Hitherto the American Press has offered its readers a quite amazing volume of anti-Teutonic prejudice in place of historical information. The fact that the German people are engaged in a desperate struggle for existence against Cossack aggression is absolutely ignored.

In the case of some papers this is due to a palpable, sinister and thoroughly disingenuous malice. But in the case of others it obviously springs from an honest misunderstanding. For years all European news dealing with German policies has come to America filtered through British, i.e. Prussophobe sources, and this out of sheer economy. The consequence is that Americans have not had a fair chance to form a fair judgment of the real issues. It is the aim of this publication to afford that fair chance by giving Americans the facts as Germans see them from the best available sources.

Second: To review, week by week, the actual events of the war so far as they can be authoritatively ascertained. Only the real unquestionable facts, as admitted by the governments will be given and the reader will not be confused by unsubstantiated rumors or fakes.

Third: To review, week by week, the attitude of the American press, to combat, as far as lies in our power, the misstatements and prejudices of the Slavophile [referring to Russia -cy] and the German-hater, to point out discrepancies and to protest against injustice towards a race that has rightfully earned the sympathy and admiration instead of the jealousy of the so-called civilized world for its industry, its art, its philosophy and its humanity.

The editors and contributors of “The Fatherland” are giving their services and their time in the interests of what they believe most sincerely and feel most keenly. It is impossible to read the mass of biased, misinformed and frequently venomous words that have hitherto been written on this topic without the utmost indignation. Hence this protest and endeavor for truth and justice so far as they are humanly within our grasp.

The Editors.

It should be remembered that in 1914, and up to 1920, there was only one form of commercial news transmission – the printed word, i.e. newspapers. No radio yet; certainly no television. It was referred to as “the press” and it had a monopoly on news. But the governments also had monopolies. In the Oct. 7, 1914 issue #9, Viereck reveals in an editorial titled “What England Fears Most” the following message from the Canadian postal service.

We know that even Canada is by no means unanimous in its support of England. We have received messages and support not only from Germans in Canada, but from Irish families and from representatives of other nationalities. We [also] acknowledge the receipt of the following communication:

Gentlemen:--The following extract from a letter from the Postal Administration of Canada, dated the 17th instant, is communicated to you by direction of the Second Assistant Postmaster-General:

I have to inform you that THE FATHERLAND, a weekly paper published by the International Monthly , etc, etc has been placed on the list of publications prohibited from transmission by post in Canada.

You are accordingly notified that copies of THE FATHERLAND are not mailable to Canada, and are requested to see that no copies for Canada are mailed hereafter.

Very respectfully,

E. M. MORGAN, Postmaster

Per THOS. F. MURPHY, Assistant Postmaster

Henceforth, except for such copies of THE FATHERLAND as may be smuggled into Canada, the Dominion will receive only the tainted news of Paris, London and Petrograd.

The editors of THE FATHERLAND in the beginning were listed as George Sylvester Viereck, Frederick F. Schrader and Louis Sherwin. After the Aug. 24 issue (No. 3) the last name was gone and only the first two remained until Vol. II, No. 17, June 2, 1915 when only Viereck's name appeared. It continued that way until the last issue under The Fatherland name, Vol. VI, No 1 of Feb. 7, 1917. The following week's magazine had a new name: THE NEW WORLD but it was the same magazine. The reason given for the name change was “to avoid misunderstanding” and “unnecessary provocation.”

“THE NEW WORLD is not the mouthpiece merely of the German Americans, but of all Americans who believe in maintaining the Declaration of Independence and the advice of George Washington, abhor an entangling alliance with the ancient enemy of the United States. Between England and Germany, these men, like ourselves, are for Germany. We are for Germany against Russia, Japan, France, Serbia, Montenegro, Belgium, Portugal, Italy and Roumaina. Between America and Germany, or between America and any other land, we are for America always.”

By February 1918, the magazine was still going, but now called "Viereck's The American Weekly."

On April 4th 1917, in what was now simply named VIERECK'S, the following editorial titled “Peace or War? A Last Appeal” appeared:

Gentlemen of Congress:

Though this appeal bears the date of April 4th, it will be in your hands on or before the 2nd of April. The 2nd of April ushers in the most important session of Congress since the Declaration of Independence made us a nation. In your hands rests not only the issue of peace or war, but the decision of the momentous question whether or not we shall disown forever the traditions of our Fathers. Shall we join the ensanguined circle of the war-crazed nations of Europe? Shall we sacrifice our cherished ideals, our interests, and the lives of our sons for the benefit of Great Britain, Russia, France and Japan? [Viereck did just that when his son Louis was killed in the 2nd world war, fighting with American forces in the battle of Anzio -cy]

Before you consent to plunge our nation into the maelstrom, consider calmly the forces that are at work to precipitate us into the war. Fortunately Wall Street has shown it's claws: they protrude under the velvet cant of donating billions of dollars of our money to France. Wall Street is hungry because it cannot live on a paper diet. Wall Street discovers that the paper of the Allies is indigestible. Wall Street desires to change that paper into gold even if the blood of the American people is needed to accomplish the transmutation. The shameless attempt to foist upon the American taxpaper the war debts of the bankrupt Entente too clearly reveals the cunning of J. Pierpont Morgan and his associates.

[Following a paragraph attacking various pro-war politicians, he turns to the Wilson administration …]

The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations asserts that a cabal of newspapers is attempting to dragoon us into war. Would it not be advisable to investigate the statement of [anti-war] Senator Stone? In a question of peace or war, his word should count no less than a message from President Wilson. Would it not also be desirable to ascertain from Secretary [of State] Lansing why he omitted from the official White Book submitted to Congress the British Order in Council declaring the North Sea a war zone. This order is the root of all our evil. It is responsible for Germany's policy of retaliation. Without this order in Council, there would be no subsea [submarine] warfare. If the Secretary of State had not done his utmost to obscure this fact, would the country, would Congress be ready to go to war? What powerful influences, what sinister machinations, what egregious blunders, were responsible for his ommision? Before you plunge into war, let us have the truth.

[After much more detailed condemnation of the administration, he closes with …]

The people want no war. Those who desire war are a small, vociferous group whose shrill voices, raised again and again, awaken no echo save in the vaults of Wall Street. The war mongers represent millions—dollars, not men. Madness, with ravages exceeding in horror those of the Plague, has seized all continents but one. Dare we open our gates to that madness without consulting the people? Shall we deprive common sense and humanity of their last refuge, so that the angel of peace has not where to lay her head? War, even in Sherman's time, was hell. It is ten times as hellish today. Gentlemen of Congress, will you unloosen hell to redeem Mr. Morgan's coupons? GEORGE SYLVESTER VIERECK

I've read the first seven issues now, and some parts from a few others, and it just confirms what I've known and believed all along, but the bonus is that the political infamy and/or selfishness of the pro-war position becomes so crystal clear when presented by the illustrious writers that grace these pages. They are mostly associated with prestigious American universities as professors or in other high-level positions. There are pages devoted to short news items, and later on advertisements were fairly plentiful, along with political cartoons and other graphics. All in all, a very professional and responsible job. It must have kept Viereck very, very busy.

My View

By getting more familiar with the particular disputes between nations previous to the time of this war, it becomes clear to me that the World War of 1914-18 is when it all went off the rails. It solved nothing, as the very same causes were still operative for World War II but with the additional grievance of the incredible crimes perpetrated on the Germans and Hungarians by the Versailles, St. Germaine and Trianon Treaties--plus the terrible stupidity of creating the Republic of Poland and Czechoslovakia, two foolish and failed enterprises. The professed principle so bandied about by the Allies that all nations must enjoy self-determination was abandoned with these two new states. The many minorities trapped in them against their will were deprived of their rights that had been guaranteed to all by the Poles and Czechs. It's as if they were living in an insane asylum with the most insane being in charge. The whole set-up was indefensible, and indeed brought on more war.

It occurs to me that WWII gets the lion's share of attention now only because the Jews want it to. In their own minds, they play the starring role and want to keep themselves forever in the spotlight. In this, they dictate, we follow.

The Centenary of WWI has just concluded with November 2018 and yet now I'm ready to get more deeply into it. Well, there's still December before the year is over, and I will see what I can add. In 2014, wanted to focus special attention on WWI, and I did do some podcasts and write some articles over the four years that I probably would not have done otherwise. I learned a lot doing that and found it vastly interesting too. But 100 years is a long time ago for most people, who would rather keep their attention on today.

It's vitally important, though, to understand that America's decision in 1917 to join the war on the British side was world-changing and determined the course that has led us to where we are today. I have, over time, become convinced that England is the greatest foe mankind has ever had, the most damaging to other nations and peoples, the most underhanded and treacherous, deceitful and domineering to their own European racial brethren.

George Sylvester Viereck after World War II and 5 years of imprisonment by the U.S. government (1942-1947). While he was in prison his son was killed in the Battle of Anzio, fighting on the American side.

The English have formed a natural alliance with the Jews that goes way back in history; welcomed them into their national life because they felt the Jews were useful to them. Of course, they have now  been taken over, polluted their blood, and there is not much of a difference between the English ruling class and the Jews. Not surprisingly, the English cannot tolerate any success of the Germans whom they know to be their natural cousin-competitor in the modern world. I could enumerate a thousand examples of their anti-Germanism, as well as their practices of deception toward their 'friends' as well as their enemies, and I dare say I already have over the life of this website.

I say this in spite of the fact that I have many English or part English friends who I know as admirable people. It remains true, though, that the English are responsible for more large-scale evil and mayhem than any other nation and I think it needs to be brought out in the open more than it is because they're not done yet. It was evident with what became known as WWI, and it became WWI because they brought on another war only 20 years later which was in reality just more of the same, meant to finish the job, and so was very appropriately named WWII. How many millions of the finest Western European young men were killed in these wars that they blamed on Germany but were in reality due to England's long-standing "balance of power" policy vis a vis Europe? These were major, major slaughters of the best of the White race! The tendency has been to forgive the sins of the English, to overlook or to justify their criminal behavior in the name of the “stability” and “positives” they bring to the world. Their charming manners and general good looks have brought the rest of us to heel, more often than not. Sad to say, the Germans are among those most taken in by this cold, cruel Island people! It's time to hold them responsible for their destructive influence on Europe (and America), in the hope of saving our common homelands.


Carolyn, you have truly discovered a gold mine! Viereck's publication is invaluable to the pursuit of knowledge and TRUTH. Thank you for sharing your findings! I remember replying to you about Viereck a short while ago, that in my view, he was a true partiot, a fine writer, and a man of great courage. The Fatherland makes all that apparent. Keep up your fine work, dear friend!!!

In a nutshell, Carolyn, England is " perfidious Albion." You can take a number and stand in a long line as to understanding English politics. For more on the subject, see http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfidious_Albion
It appears to go as far back as far as the 13th century?
A coleague once told me that most, if not all people have a bias towards their own self- interest. You, me and others of this website, not withstanding; however, we tend to put faith, race and heritage ahead of selling ourselves out to the devil. It's how far do we put out in order to gain something for ourselves. 
 As always, you reach down to the most germane issues of topic, and we so admire your pugnaciousness. You're the best.

I've just read Vol 1, No 9, dated Oct. 7, 1914, and it's the best one so far in my opinion. Everything in it is just great, including the very funny little poem on page 7, "Dot Leedle Tommy Adkins." You don't want to miss that.

Of special note is "The London Populace and the War" that begins on page 6, and "A Word from Germany" on page 9. But it's all excellent. I know I might be a bit unusual, but I love reading this magazine. I think it's probably because I'm starved for such a place as this where Germans are cared about, and not falsely maligned and hated. To speak well of Germans is NOT being one-sided or a sign of racial  partiality. The Germans are a civilized people with a "kindly family life", they are not and never have been anything like their portrayal in the English Press and its numerous allies starting about 1910, I guess,  and continuing even up to today. It's amazing what reach they have. But of course, the Jews joined in and have taken over a great deal of it, but not all.

Very interesting and revealing information, followed by an accurate interpretation of it. Thank you Carolyn.

Thank you for your vote of confidence, Viktor.