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American Bicentennial German Scroll

The commemorative scroll was made by the DANK Pittsburgh chapter in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Germans arriving in the United States. At the time of the scroll's release in 1976 many German American's purchased and framed this scroll to remind them of the important role their ancestors played in the early years of American history.

The popular poem "Da waren Deutsche auch dabei", which was written over 100 years ago by the German-American poet Konrad Krez, was chosen to be placed on the scroll. Through the poem, Krez took pride in the contributions made by German-Americans in the United States. It is to honor the many German immigrants that have helped shape our country.

German Flag IconDa waren Deutsche auch dabei

Als Bettler sind wir nicht gekommen
Aus unserem deutschen Vaterland.
Wir hatten manches mitgenommen,
Was hier noch fremd und unbekannt.
Und als man schuf aus dichten Wäldern,
Aus öder, düsterer Wüstenei
Den Kranz von reichen Feldern,
Da waren Deutsche auch dabei.

Gar vieles, was in früheren Zeiten
Ihr kaufen müsstet überm Meer,
Das lehrten wir euch selbst bereiten,
Wir stellten manche Werkstatt her.
Oh, wagt es nicht, dies zu vergessen,
Sagt nicht, als ob das nicht so sei,
Es künden's tausend Feueressen,
Da waren Deutsche auch dabei.

Und was die Kunst und Wissenschaften
Euch hier verlieh'n an Kraft und Stärk',
Es bleibt der Ruhm am Deutschen haften,
Das meiste war der Deutschen Werk.
Und wenn aus vollen Tönen klinget
Ans Herz des Liedes Melodei,
Ich glaub' von dem, war ihr da singet,
Ist vieles Deutsche auch dabei.

Drum steh'n wir stolz auf festem Grunde,
Den unsere Kraft der Wildnis nahm,
Wie wär's mit eurem Staatenbunde,
wenn nie zu euch ein Deutscher kam?
Und wie in Bürgerkriegestagen,
Ja schon beim ersten Freiheitsschrei:
Wir dürfen's unbestritten sagen,
Da waren Deutsche auch dabei.

American Flag IconAt your Side There
Were Germans Too

Not as burdens to these shore we throng,
From our cherished German Fatherland.
Indeed, we have brought so much along,
Unknown to you, yet by our hand.
And when from the dense forestal shields,
and the open wilderness you
wreath'd your vast and verdant fields,
at your side there were Germans too.

So much of that which in early days
you brought here from across the sea,
We taught you how to prepare, and ways
to produce more goods, yes, 'twas we.
Dare not forget this, deny it n'er --
Say not that we did not so do,
For a thousand forges witness bear:
At your side there were Germans too.

And though your art and your sciences now
Bring their strength and power to this land,
their fame rests still on the German brow,
'Twas mostly done by German hand,
And when from your songs melodies ring
memories of hearts once so true,
'Tis known to me, in the songs you sing
is much put there by Germans too!

Thus, with great pride on this soil we stand,
Which from the wilds our strength brought claim,
Ever wonder then, what kind of land,
'Twould be if n'er a German came!
And so we declared in Lincoln's day,
And that day freedom's horn first blew --
Yes, we dare undeniably say:
At your side there were Germans too.

Translated by Dr. Robert E. Ward