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>is 'Stammler'; so that would fit. But how did they >come to adopt as a family name what was in fact >a derision? I don't know; I repeated, in my post, all I was told. >You mean it's still in the collective family memory? >Or did they have hard time in America as well? I think they must have, but for a different reason. My great grandfather was a master wood carver who came to the US shortly before 1900. My grandfather was born in Germany, and went back there to study chemistry. Nothing was said on the subject about that time in the family, but a neighbor told me of remembering a lot of persecution during WW I of those deemed as "pro-German". Neither did my grandfather ever speak of WW II, although he did refer to someone he had known as a "damned Nazi". One branch of the family was Jewish, and I heard stories by one lady how she and her mother had "passed" during the Nazi regime in Germany, and what a scary time it was for her. I did hear some about the blacklist and McCarthy from my parents (my father was in radio then), but mostly in passing. In general, history (other than names and dates) seems to be a non-subject in the US -- at least in the suburbs of NJ where I grew up -- both in families and schools. I wonder if this is not more an American (and immigrant) attitude than elsewhere: leave the past in the past and forget the "old world". Although, there was one well-loved old immigrant in the Scouts who told war stories, -- engaging the enemy, the terrors of war, the hardships -- around the campfire, which fascinated the boys: then what a shock when he pulled out an ancient photo of his unit -- in the uniforms of the Kaiser. Perhaps much of the trouble we have today is from the advent of television, and the demise of families and neighbors telling traditional stories and relating their memories. We lose contact with what is real, and live in a "television world". We accept the stereotypes as portrayed by the warlords and propagandists, and do not realize how *human* -- how like *us* -- the "other" is. And yet we also suffer from isolation, from living only with "our own kind", with our own tribe -- whites or blacks, Palestinians or Israelis, Americans or Iraqis, folks from cave number 4 or cave number 23. We see cultures which emphasize differences and competition rather than celebrate complementarity and cooperation: Yankees vs Dodgers, sports teams from rival schools or nations, the advertising department vs the accounting department, Macy's vs Gimbals, middle class vs upper middle class -- and, of course, our religion, culture, and language vs their's. The much praised "Great American Melting Pot" is all wrong: someone once said that the Canadian ideal was not a melting pot -- all identities lost in a uniform goo -- but a mosaic. The "bell tolls" for lost tiles, each an individual, with it's own history and identity, even while part of the whole -- but this is a truth which the American culture has lost. The American idea of "peace" seems not so much integrating differences, but eliminating them. ________________________________________________________________ The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand! Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER! Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today! _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk