The Heritage That Inspired

14 Dec

When asked what nationalities are in my family, I will always start by saying German.  I am fifty percent German, if not more.  My interest in my German heritage has grown over the years, as I learned more about my family on my father’s side.  My great-grandfather, James Riddleberger, was the U.S. ambassador to Austria; over the course of his career he met Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.  He also heard Hitler speak before a large crowd (he was not impressed).

My father lived in Austria for two years with the ambassador and his wife.  They refused to speak English to him and when he returned to the U.S., he had forgotten how to speak English.

The German language has always interested me.  It is said to be an ugly-sounding language, as opposed to the romance languages.  But after six years of French, I wanted to take a different approach, even if it meant that I had to take a language when I could have placed out of the requirement.  I wanted to learn it to honor my family, to better understand where they came from.  I wanted to share something with my father’s parents and maybe even remind my dad of the language he spoke for two years.  The German language is a way to connect with my family.

KR

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: