“Heaven, Hell, or Hoboken:” Anti-German Sentiment in Hoboken, 1917-1918, Some Examples

Jonathan Lurie

Abstract


In the early 20th century, urban centers in New Jersey, especially locations such as Newark, Hoboken, and Camden, were home to many immigrants from Europe. Hoboken stands out amongst these as it was the major port of embarkation for American troops en route to the World War I. The city saw American immigrants supporting the war effort in varying ways. Irish immigrants, for example, may well have looked at American support for Great Britain in a different light than native-born American citizens. Similarly, German-Americans, especially between 1914 and 1917, were ambivalent as American “neutrality” towards Germany shifted towards outright hostility. What can local newspapers, some of which catered to ethnic interests, tell us about the tensions between ethnic loyalties and the call for patriotic support for the Allies as the United States went to war? This paper focuses in part on editorial comments on the need for “loyalty,” and/or “patriotism” once war was declared in April, 1917. It was originally presented as a paper at the NJ Historical Commission’s 2017 conference, “New Jersey and The Great War,” held November 3-4, 2017 at Rowan College at Burlington County and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14713/njs.v4i1.101

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