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Deutsche Militaer Brigade


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#1 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:04 AM

Deutsche Militaer Brigade
 
Collecting items issued by German Veterans Groups in America has long been one of my collecting interests.  Some of these items can be very challenging when trying to determine where in America the issuing group was located.  Case in point is this lapel button issued on May 24, 1914.  Made by Bastian Brothers of Rochester, N.Y. this piece with the crossed German and American flags is clearly from a group in the USA. After many years of collecting I was able to put together a listing of German Military Veterans groups active in the United States which I published on the OMSA web site. Given the unique name “Deutsche Militaer Brigade” on this badge  which appears only once on my list I am sure this group was located in Buffalo, N.Y.   By the way veterans of the US military of German ancestry were also members of this group.

 

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#2 doyler

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:16 AM

Very intresting Fred.
First I have seen.

#3 Proud Kraut

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:16 AM

Very interesting, I've never realized the existence of these groups before. I reckon they disapeared completely during WW I or WW II at the very latest?



#4 firefighter

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 11:59 AM

They had these groups from the late 30s - 41.

Very cool pin.

 

https://en.wikipedia...n_American_Bund



#5 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 12:18 PM

Thanks guys! Most of these groups went extinct with the US entry into WWI (1917).  As with the other German non-military groups most eventually folded due to lack of interest at about the 3rd generation.



#6 gwb123

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 08:50 PM

They had these groups from the late 30s - 41.

Very cool pin.

 

https://en.wikipedia...n_American_Bund

 

The German American Bund was a pro-fascist political party.  Many of its members were not even German.

 

The German American clubs and Societies that flourished with the immigrant communities from the 1860's onward were a different story.

 

They were formed to preserve ties to the homeland as well as to provide a social outlet for people who had resettled in the US.  You had similar societies for Poles and Czechs.

 

Naturally among the German communities you had veterans who had fought in the Franco Prussian War and other conflicts.

 

I had posted an article on a small museum in Omaha that had a display for one of our veteran's groups, but it appears it has been archived.  I will see if I can locate my photos.



#7 SARGE

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:14 AM

A fascinating subject.  This particular button indicates this military veteran Verein (society or association) was active on the eve of WWI.  



#8 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 08:34 AM

Thanks gwb and sarge.  There was a big difference between these pre WWI German vets groups in the states and the Nazi era Bund.



#9 gwb123

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:35 PM

These photos were taken at a small museum in the basement of the German American Society located in Omaha, NE.  Here is a link to their history.

 

http://www.germaname...ion/our-history

 

As noted, due to the large number of German immigrants living in Nebraska around the turn of the century there over 30 German organizations in Omaha alone.  Despite additional waves of immigration, by the 1960's there were only 3 such organizations.  These were merged into the present group.

 

The society is open for different events during the year, and during those times the building is free to wander.  For other times, you may wish to call ahead.

 

 

 

 

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#10 gwb123

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:37 PM

Here is the display as it was shown in 2011:

 

 

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#11 gwb123

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:51 PM

Closer views:

 

 

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#12 gwb123

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:53 PM

Sword belt:

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#13 gwb123

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:53 PM

Weapons:

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#14 gwb123

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:55 PM

Steins, helmet, and pipe:

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#15 gwb123

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:56 PM

And finally, the proud veterans themselves, in their new home in the heartland of America:

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#16 SARGE

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 07:38 AM

A wonderful military display at the Bavarian Octoberfest in Omaha Gil.  Kansas City has a large outdoor Octoberfest celebration and our Metro city has just completed a restoration of a pre-1900 Turinhalle that was the meeting place for local German immigrants prior to WWI.  Times got hard for these German-Americans during World War I and many of these organizations either ceased operations or closed their meeting halls.  It is good to see some survive.  

 

Veterans of Japanese ancestry had these same issues arise during WWII.  I don't know what sort of Japanese-American US Veteran organizations sprung up after World War II but it would be interesting to know.  

 

I know there were some US Civil War veterans of German extraction that formed a Verein.  The German veterans from St. Louis who flocked to fight with US General Franz Siegel come to mind.  Their motto was, "I fought with Siegel" and many fought with him to preserve the Union in their adopted country and to prove their patriotism.  



#17 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 09:02 AM

Great pictures GWB!!  That display looks like it would be worth a trip out there just to see it.  By the way the initials "WKB" stand for Westlicher Krieger Bund or Western Veterans Association. These groups were  modeled on  the German Krieger Bund. Starting at the top with a North American organization, then regional levels and then state and local level groups. The system looked very organized on paper but in reality there was a great variation through out starting with names and internal rules. some were set up as mutual aid groups for the sick and with death benefits. Some were only for combat veterans while others were open to any military veterans of German ancestry including auxiliary groups for wives.



#18 gwb123

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 09:34 AM

You're welcome.  

 

I've come to realize that sometimes small, local museums can turn up some really unusual stuff. They actually had a lot more memorabilia related to the sports associations, post cards and photos of the various associations and meeting halls. 

 

My wife, whom you see reflected in the glass, waited very patiently while I photographed every inch of the case.



#19 gwb123

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 09:40 AM

A wonderful military display at the Bavarian Octoberfest in Omaha Gil.  Kansas City has a large outdoor Octoberfest celebration and our Metro city has just completed a restoration of a pre-1900 Turinhalle that was the meeting place for local German immigrants prior to WWI.  Times got hard for these German-Americans during World War I and many of these organizations either ceased operations or closed their meeting halls.  It is good to see some survive.  

 

 

I thought this was pretty clever... from the link on the Society's website above:

 

"World War I, the prohibition years, the great depression years and World War II were very difficult times for the Society. Wise leadership however kept the Society going through these trying times, which was an accomplishment in itself. Fearing vandalism, the Society housed Father Edward Flanagan and his boys from 1918 to 1921. After more than 1,200 boys lived at the German Home, the Club was returned to the Omaha Plattdeutscher Verein in 1922."

 

From what I have heard locally, despite the high percentage of German immigrants in this part of the country, there was still a very strong anti-German sentiment even in Nebraska during the WWI years. 



#20 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 11:33 AM

By the way the Austro-Prussian War was 1866.



#21 gwb123

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 12:44 PM

By the way the Austro-Prussian War was 1866.

 

 

LOL!  Their sign, not mine.



#22 easterneagle87

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 12:15 AM

Saw this posting a little while ago and remembered I had this medal.

 

Is this a medal from one of those German Bund Veteran organizations? Dated, 14 January 1886, St. Louis, MO

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#23 SARGE

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 07:17 AM

Yes, it is.  An 1886 meeting badge from the "Deutsche Militar Verein"  (German Military Society) of St. Louis, MO.  

 

Very neat!



#24 easterneagle87

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 05:17 PM

Found this picture today and I thought I'd add it to this discussion. German vet with his medals. Using a magnifying glass, I'm pretty sure the first medal is the Kaiser Wilhelm 1897 Centenary medal. I can't make out the second one. Early 1900s photo. And of course, it is glued to a backing and the back is un-named. Would've been cool to know who these people were and where this was taken. 

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#25 Vpep

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 05:00 PM

This thread is extremely interesting. I thought I would show this certificate. Ive had it for about ten years now and never got around to really researching it.  

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