WASHINGTON — After more than 400 years of German immigration to the United States, the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA has opened the first national German-American Heritage Museum as the newest addition to the museum circuit in Washington, D.C.
From Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben to Levi Strauss, from Carl Schurz and Adolf Cluss to Babe Ruth, Americans of German descent have helped shape the United States. The German-American Heritage Museum, which opened March 21, presents the rich history and many contributions Germans have made in building America through historical narratives, as well as state-of-the-art multimedia installations and exhibits.
Located in historic Hockemeyer Hall at 719 Sixth Street NW in Washington, the home of the German-American Heritage Museum is itself a testament to the achievements of German immigrants in the United States. Built in 1888 by John Hockemeyer, a German immigrant who became a successful merchant, the Victorian townhouse is part of the Penn Quarter, which was originally settled by German immigrants.
The new museum features permanent exhibits on German immigration and migration across the United States and famous German-Americans, as well as smaller, temporary exhibitions on German clubs and immigrant families, and the influence of German music in the United States.
It also includes a small auditorium that serves as a venue for lectures, multimedia presentations, and conferences. A multimedia kiosk informs visitors about Germany as it is today.
The German-American Heritage Museum is working with the following museums and institutions around the globe to provide top-quality information, resources, and services to its visitors: The Ellis Island Foundation (www.ellisisland.org), the German National Tourist Office, New York (www.germany-tourism.de), the “Ballinstadt” Museum, Hamburg (www.ballinstadt.de), the German Emigration Center, Bremerhaven (www.dah-bremerhaven.de), Deutsche Welle (www.dw-world.de), the German Information Center, Washington (www.germany.info), and the American Association of Teachers of German (www.aatg.org).
The museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.gahfusa.org.
© 2010 German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA®. Used with permission.