Abendpost -- January 28, 1916The German Emperor's Birthday Three Well-attended Meetings with Professor Kuehnemann as a Speaker
The fifty-seventh birthday of the Emperor of Germany, his second war birthday, was celebrated at the Germania Club yesterday evening in conformity with traditional custom. The music, songs, and festive decorations were all in accordance with the present solemnity of the occasion: the war abroad, the future of Germanism on this earth. Professor Eugen Kuehnemann said:
"During periods of peace the people celebrate the Emperor's birthday because it gives them a sense of unity. Now such a festival in Germany would be superfluous; the Emperor has prohibited it because the nation 2there stands united in its lofty, tragic greatness, and before it the individual, even the Emperor himself, becomes submerged and disappears."
"Here it is different. We assert our pride because we are of German origin, and are willing to make sacrifices in this new land, a compensation for the gifts our native country bestowed upon us."
The speaker reminded his audience that the present potentate is not merely the sole or personal leader of the Army and State, as during the regime of Frederick the Great, for only the tragic element remains; he shoulders the responsibilities of the leaders, the people, and the future Teutonic history..... A festival in the true sense, that the Emperor would approve of is one where in the thought of Germany's greatness and fortunes would be aroused. . . . . During the short time of the war Germany made history. When one viewed the map, one was well justified in fearing that they could not accomplish it. They were surrounded by enemies and vastly superior forces, yet it was done. It 3shows reality. Germany, the finished product.
Where is the Russian steam roller, the hoped for revolution in Alsace, the French army in Germany, the English fleet? The schemes of the allied enemies have been frustrated; gone is Russia's dream of World power, with Constantinople at its hub, and gone is England's rule of the waves because Germany will obtain liberty on the oceans.
Prof. Kuehnemann told how the war actually created a German people. Whereas formerly the absolute non-political nation was in need of great leaders it now has become unified, regardless of caste, aware that its existence is threatened. The single thought of its future pervades all; therefore, that great idea of its enemies , of starving the Germans, simply failed. The complete change in its agricultural and economic status was successful. Germany has shown the world the most magnificent 4example of morals, yet it had to endure atrocious slander. But heroic Germany bore this burden also without becoming embittered.
The Source of Germany's Strength
"The love for the native land, the State's consideration of the welfare of its citizens, and other theories were advanced as an explanation for this concerted action, but they do not prove it..... It is the thought that the individuals' personal fortunes are of little value, that one must live for something more serene, a greater future, the inner achievement."
The German World Power
Professor Kuehnemann then told how the foundations for an empire of world significance have already been laid, stretching from the Red Sea to the boundaries of East India. This domain cannot be created by subjugation, or 5dissension among the inhabitants; it will be based upon liberty for the befriended nations and will present an opportunity for their unrestricted development.
Lastly, he declared that the German soldier has shown in this war that he is the carrier of true civilization and culture. He reminded the assembly of the distress in Eastern Prussia and of the readiness of the Western German cities to promptly provide for the restoration of the demolished cities. The German-Americans have always regretted the fact that Germany considered them last, but the war changed this. German-America may now show its brotherly love and assist in the rehabilitation program of the boundary district Ragnit. The German-Americans can become a living symbol for future generations, proving that all Germans are but a single group. To co-operate in such rebuilding and to help create a new German world are deeds that express the sentiments of the Emperor.
Prof. Kuehnemann's inspired words received enthusiastic acclaim. . . . .6
German patriotic songs were then sung by the Male Chorus of the Germania Club and Ballmann's orchestra played. . . . .
Ernest J. Kruetgen, president of the club said: "The German-Americans are proud of their past in this land, all are good American citizens, but as descendents of the great German people they have a right to proclaim the importance of their origin.
"What they send abroad, alleviates sorrow and suffering, shipments from the others contain only death. But the victory of a virtuous nation over narrow-mindedness, conceit, and slavery will come as a triumph for the noblest possessions of humanity, and Germanism in America will share it."
Festival of the Teutonia
The German Austro-Hungarian Alliance Teutonia would not miss this occasion 7and also made festive preparations for the Kaiser's birthday celebration. Such an immense crowd gathered at the North Side Turnhall that it was necessary for the police to deny further admission, because of fire regulations. Hundreds of people were turned away. For the opening Ballmann's orchestra played a medley, consisting of German, Austrian, Hungarian, Turkish, and Bulgarian marches. Each melody was received with enthusiasm.
Mrs. Nanny Oesau recited a poem composed expressly for this evening. . . . . A comedy depicting army life entitled "To Command, Mr. Lieutenant," was presented by the members of the German Stock Company. . . . . A tableau of the Allies expressing deference to the Emperor, proved to be the highlight of the festival. . . . . Dancing then followed.
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