Impact of World War I on the Language and Identity of German Australians
Sumona Rani Saha
Abstract: The motives that drove German immigration to Australia in the 1830s were essentially religious, economic, political, and social. Though shifted to another country, German Australians maintained strong ties with their German heritage up until World War I. But the reversal of this situation began with the rising tension between the British and the German Empire on the eve of the First World War. It is evident from a church periodical titled The Australian Lutheran, published from 1913 to 1921, that there was a dramatic language shift from German to English in the Australian Lutheran church as severe anti-German attitudes developed among the Australian people during the war. This anti-German attitude affected religious as well as cultural and ethnic identities of the German Australian community. This paper aims at exploring how the First World War impacted the language choice of the German Australian community in Australia and consequently how it crippled their identity.
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Published in 2017