Sauk County Ostf??lisch
[Male speaker interviewed by J??rgen Eichhoff, June 1968, Westfield Twp., Sauk Co.]
|Yes, you see, my father and mother always taught me High German. Low German I learned from the neighbors. There were two kinds of Low German here, there were Hannoveraner [Ostf??lisch speakers] and the other group, from North Freedom, those were the Pomeranians. And of course, I learned from them both, I can speak High German, Low German [Ostf??lisch], and Pommersch. There's no difference, I can speak Pommersch and also Low German. I remember, when the first cars came around here, there were two old boys sitting in church, they were Pomeranians, and the old Pomeranians, they said, "Those old cars, they're pitiful things." They said, "One should just shoot the whole lot of them with revolvers." I'll never forget that, "Shoot the whole lot of them with revolvers."|
Calumet County Holsteinisch
Male speaker interviewed by J??rgen Eichhoff, June 1968, New Holstein, Calumet Co
|So tell us about how it was when the first settlers came to this place; where did they come from, and what did they first do?
Well, they came from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and then they went to Hamburg and went on a sailing ship and then from there traveled on the Elbe River to the North Sea and from there to Newfoundland and then to New York, and from there they followed the river up to Albany, New York. And there they ... well, those who could afford it then traveled by train to Buffalo. Or the others put their stuff on barges and went along the Erie Canal to Buffalo, and then they went by sailing ship over the [Great] Lakes to Sheboygan.And in Sheboygan they went with oxen and wagons overland to Plymouth and then to Greenbush, and then on the third day they arrived in Fond du Lac. And then from Fond du Lac they went by foot, usually, here to the east side of Lake Winnebago, by foot, and then to Calumetville. And there was a hotel there where they could stay until they had a place to live.
And then, let's see, on the 29th of May eleven men walked out into the country and went eleven miles until they found land where there were a lot of stones, because their relatives in Germany had said that if they found land with a lot of stones in it, the soil would be good there.
Marathon County Pommersch
Female speaker, born 1903, Hamburg, Marathon County, WI. Date/Place of Interview: June 18, 1968, Marathon County, WI. Interviewer: J??rgen Eichhoff NAGDA Record Number: EIC 20
|Did there use to be Indians around here?
Yes, but only a few, very few. My father said that often in the winter they had, in the woods, their winter camp, and they made baskets from elm, slippery elm. And they also brought baskets and would trade them for food, bread and whatever other kinds of food there were. And often they also brought venison.
Dodge County Oderbr??chisch
Autobiography of Lester W. J. "Smoky" Seifert, 1940s
|My name is Lester Wilhelm Julius Seifert. I was born in Juneau, Dodge County, that's here in Wisconsin, in 1915, on August 15th. My father, his name was Julius August Seifert. He was born in Hustisford, Dodge County, Wisconsin. My mother, her name was Anna Sophie Ernestine J. She was born near ... between Mayville and Theresa, in the year 1878, I believe, I'm not too sure about that. And my father was born in 1872, but there also I'm not too sure. My grandparents on my father's side, Grandfather Seifert, his name was August Seifert. He was born in Germany, but was just five years old when they came to the U.S., his parents. They settled near Hustisford, had a farm there, but when my grandfather was older, and he also had a farm, they sold the farms and moved to Juneau, and there we always had the same farm.|
Dane County K??lsch
Male speaker interviewed by J??rgen Eichhoff, August 1968, Ashton, Dane Co.
|Where did you learn German?
Well, I learned it at home. I couldn't speak a word of English when I started school. And they couldn't ask me questions because I couldn't understand them. And now my own children don't know any K??lsch. I always said I didn't want to teach my children K??lsch or German because it's so hard to learn two languages properly, so I thought they would be better off with just English, that way they can do better for themselves, and I guess they have come much further than I have. But the kids don't think that way, they think I should have taught them K??lsch.--That's what they think?--Yes, and they wish they could speak it, that's a nice wish, but it didn't happen.