The Mission and History of the
The mission of the Deutsche-Amerikanische Kulturvereinigung, founded in 1932, is based on goals taken from our Articles of Incorporation:
1. Maintain a school of German language in order to uphold and pass-on German language, traditions, customs, literature, art and music.
2. Promote, develop and encourage good fellowship and social activities among our member societies.
3. Bring together and strengthen German organizations throughout Wisconsin with common goals of preservation of German culture, language and education.
4. Provide upstanding guidance and purpose to students of the German language and culture.
As an organization founded for the purpose of education, its board members, teachers and students are encouraged to, and do, set examples of good social practices including being respectful and inclusive of all cultures, religions, races, gender identities and political affiliations while participating in school-sponsored activities and in interactions with its members. As part of quality education practices, respectful and inclusive social interactions are expected.
Shortly after the founding of the Kulturvereinigung, the German language school was started in one room, with one teacher, and less than twenty students. This soon became two rooms, two teachers, with four classes in the Jefferson Hall, where enrollment grew to over 60 students.
The Kulturvereinigung, after starting the German school, held its first German-American Day celebration in 1933, with a parade on Wisconsin Avenue. Over 75 German Societies from Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan, and Madison marched or road a colorful Schauwagen to the Eagles Ballroom for this gala fest.
With the coming of the War in Europe, membership in all the German Societies became smaller and some societies disbanded. The enrollment in the German school also decreased. At no time was there any thought of disbanding the Kulturvereinigung or discontinuing teaching the German language.
Also at this time, the German-American Day was celebrated at Carl Schurz Park in Grafton, Wisconsin. Today, we continue to celebrate German-American Day at Carl Schurz Park, Stone Bank, Wisconsin in August.
After the War ended, once again German immigrants settled in Milwaukee, significantly increasing the membership of the German societies. It also motivated the growth of the Deutsche Schule in the late 1960's when there were over one hundred students enrolled. Consequently, it was necessary to add a fifth class to take over-flow from the first grade which had an enrollment of thirty to forty students.
During the early 1950's the Kulturvereinigung became a member of the International Institute of Milwaukee - becoming active in the Holiday Folk Fair and other community activities. In 1972, the German ethnic community was the honored group at Holiday Folk Fair.
For over eighty years, the Kulturvereinigung Deutsche Schule has taught the German language to children of the greater Milwaukee Community every Saturday morning from September through May. Over 4,000 students have attended the Deutsche Schule during this time period.
The Kulturvereinigung is very proud of the accomplishments of its Deutsche Schule and the children that give their time and effort to learn the German language. The Deutsche Schule currently employs 8 teachers and two teacher-aides, who teach Preschool through the Fifth level, plus adult classes.
The support and maintenance of our school, which includes teacher salaries, classroom rental and textbooks, comes directly from the efforts of the member societies of the Kulturvereinigung.
It is vital to understand that these original purposes, so greatly valued in 1932, are dynamically maintained today.