Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Answer

The first Thien's on this continent were German. They came seeking not just religious freedom, as so many Germans did, but freedom FROM religion. Johan Heinrich Thien was a Freethinker. In the town he founded, Thiensville, Wisconsin, no churches were permitted and the only symbol was the cap of freedom on a pole.

For three generations the Thiens spoke only German. My grandfather put a stop to that; he refused to teach my father German. Dad only knew what he picked up here and there.

What did my ancestors contribute to the U.S. American culture, in spite of being hardheaded about holding onto their language and culture? Kindergarten and early childhood education, and jelly donuts!

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