The following essay was written by and posted by in in March 1996. I formatted the text for HTML.

The fleet reached its peak in 1917 when 146 U-boats were on patrol.

124 Americans were among the 1,198 casualties.

The Prison Called Hohenasperg:An American Boy Betrayed by His Government during World War II
At this point the practice of allowing the crew to disembark before the vessel was sunk (usually by deck gun since torpedoes were conserved if at all possible) was still generally followed.

On 30-Aug-1915 Germany prohibits further action of this type.

The clean shaven crew is an indication that this photo was taken dockside and not at sea.
The English-only nativists who attacked the Germans used arguments similar to those heard nowadays against newer immigrants. Benjamin Franklin considered the Pennsylvania Germans to be a "swarthy" racial group distinct from the English majority in the colony. In 1751 he complained, "Why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion?" (The papers of Benjamin Franklin. Ed. Leonard W. Labaree. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1959. vol 4:234).

 

U-boat activity would be at a lull for the next several months.


The Germans were accused by other eighteenth-century Anglos of laziness, illiteracy, clannishness, a reluctance to assimilate, excessive fertility, and Catholicism. They were even blamed for the severe Pennsylvania winters. (Feer 1952, 403; Mittelberger 1898, 104). Most irritating to Pennsylvania's English-firsters in the latter 1700s was German language loyalty, although it was clear that, despite community efforts to preserve their language, Germans were adopting English and abandoning German at a rate that should have impressed the rest of the English-speaking population.


Anti-German sentiment spread along with German immigration, and the nation as a whole resisted both the German bilingual schools that were established in parts of the Midwest in the 19th century and the common practise of publishing legal notices in German American newspapers. On a number of occasions the U.S. Congress again rejected motions to print laws or other documents in German as well as English. The motions were often treated jocularly and were shouted down amidst racist cries of, "What! In the Cherokee? [and in] the Old Congo language!" (Congressional Globe 1844, 7)


1916 would see this lull come to an end.

Opponents of moves to make English the official language of the United States frequently suspect that English-only advocates are motivated by more than political idealism. This suspicion is certainly justified by the historical record. For the past two centuries, proponents of official-English have sounded two separate themes, one rational and patriotic, the other emotional and racist. The Enlightenment belief that language and nation are inextricably intertwined, coupled with the chauvinist notion that English is a language particularly suited to democratically constituted societies, are convincing to many Americans who find discrimination on non-linguistic grounds thoroughly reprehensible (see Baron, 1990). More prominent though, throughout American history, havebeen the nativist attacks on minority languages and theirspeakers: Native Americans, Asians, the French, Germans, Jews and Hispanics, to name only the most frequently-targeted groups.

By 1917 the situation was getting difficult for Germany.

Antagonism toward Germans and their language resurfaced in the Midwest in the late 1880s and early 1890s, and again across the country during and after World War I. Between 1917 and 1922 most of the states dropped German from their school curricula. Nebraska's open meeting law of 1919 forbade the use of foreign languages in public, and in 1918 Governor Harding of Iowa proclaimed that "English should and must be the only medium of instruction in public, private, denominational and other similar schools. Conversation in public places, on trains, and over the telephone should be in the English language. Let those who cannot speak or understand the English language conduct their religious worship in their home." (New York Times, 18 June 1918, p. 12). Such attitudes had a chilling effect on language use. As many as eighteen thousand people were charged in the Midwest during and immediately following World War I with violating the English-only statutes. (Crawford 1989, 23.)

America declares war on Germany on 6-Apr-1917.

The anti-German school laws were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1923. In Meyer v. Nebraska, the court ruled that "the protection of the Constitution extends to all,--to those who speak other languages as well as to those born with English on the tongue." (262 U.S. 390). Similar anti-Japanese laws were invalidated by the court in Farrington v. Tokushige in 1927 (273 U.S. 284). And the high court reaffirmed the states' responsibility to educate non-English speakers effectively in Lau v. Nichols (1974)(414 U.S. Reports 563), though the court did not specify how this was to be accomplished.