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雅美之途 (热门博主)
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将德国日尔曼新娘娶回美国

(2019-03-02 11:22:08) 下一个

我们的直接邻居,心脏外科医生Rick Barner(巴勒医生)在去年12月31日去世,享年85岁。照片右手边的尖屋顶的豪宅是他和太太最后20年的家,为18世纪初英国安妮女王时代的建筑风格。周末有个纪念聚会,我们都去了。中国土豪恐怕也受不了这栋建于1891年的房子,现在价值160万美元,但是修起来是个无底洞,据说需要修屋顶的讨价还价的费用是60万美元,他们正与保险公司联系。他们有个年轻的管家住在后面的客楼里,去年他对我们谈及这修屋顶的款项,我说如果我们遇见这昂贵的修复费用,我马上卖房子走人,可是周末他家的么儿子说房顶必须修好才会上市。

圣路易斯的外科名流去了不少,包括Alex Patterson夫妇以及圣路易斯大学的脑外科主任,还有本区那位比较好玩的大律师夫妇。这帮家伙讨论的话题是特定仪式请什么交响乐队到家里表演,选择哪些曲目,哪位小题琴或大题琴手值得请等等。幸好我也懂些古典音乐,但是仍然侧面提醒自己入错了群。与圣路易斯大学脑外主任交谈时,我说自己抵美国后更知道脑外受人尊敬的程度,在我成为美国公民的议式上,法官说“无论你们是脑外科医生,还是家庭主妇,请起立作个自我介绍”。脑外需要在医学院毕业后接受至少七年的住院医生训练才能当主治行医,如果加上专科会更长,所以我说在华大见到快完成脑外训练的住院医生带个7-8岁的孩子不稀奇,他说自己在华大训练完独立行医的年龄是34岁。这位长辈在华大医学院读书的岁月正是华大诺贝尔奖倍出的年代,他说出的获奖教授的名字比我还熟,发现限制性内切酶而获诺贝尔奖的Daniel Nathans比他高两届。

巴勒医生拥有灿烂的人生,他发明的术式现在成为美国心脏外科的常规技术。他在西雅图西面的郊区长大,作为医生的后代,他读的西雅图华大本科和医学院,分别在圣路易斯华大,爱因斯坦医学院和圣路易斯大学任职。他们不喜欢纽约,暂短停留后回到中西部长期工作,三个儿子在圣路易斯郊区的Webster Groves长大。因为喜欢圆艺,有次在房前丢花园的东西时被人误认为是这里的打工仔,看来这不是我们仅有的担心。在这个纪念场合,家人分几处使用文字和照片来反应父亲的人生,有处以Rick的日尔曼新娘为题的文字说明:《Rick’s Teutonic Bride》(“瑞克的日尔曼新娘”)。这德国女性为巴勒医生孕育了三个儿子,我见到的两个都是高个子和蓝眼晴的德国种。他们的儿子分别读了Vanderbilt, Tulane和西北,在文字中提及父亲沒晚交儿子们的私立大学的学费,但是有个现象值得提及,那就是三个儿子基本上都留在了大学所在地或其附近的田纳西、达拉斯或芝加哥。

巴勒医生的日尔曼新娘生于Koenigsberg, Germany, 这地方位于德国中部, 但是成长在德国比汉堡还北的海滨城市Kiel。从与她的美国儿子交谈看,这德国女子是嫁入美国就不回德国的那种人,孩子则不熟德国地理。不少欧洲人到美国后就是美国人了,很少中国人这般的故土情节,这是中国人在世界各地不被信任的原因之一。我的波兰裔美国朋友甚至对我说过这样的观点,即使波兰在地图上消失他都无所谓,我当时听到他说这话时可以说是目瞪口呆。联想起当年江泽民访美时,克林顿总统的演讲稿撰稿人Eric Liu在美国纽约时报等大报上提出过一个尖锐的问题:“他又不是我的总统,我为什么要欢迎他?为什么德裔美国人对德国领导人访美无动于衷?”。几个原因可以解释这位耶鲁骷髅会成员的问题:华裔在美人数太少,以及自身的不自信和对美国文化的排斥。但是华裔人数在马来西亚接近三分之一,也沒有摆脱富而没有政治地位的事实,所以人数不是绝对的问题。想想当年,英裔北美殖民地的民众在稳定后不久,就拿起枪杆与自己的母国英国乔治三世的部队死拚而追求独立。

日尔曼新娘年轻时大幅的晚礼服照片仍然放在正厅的楼梯旁,可惜不好意思在他家拍照。她儿子指着已经去世的母亲的照片说:“她呀,年轻时是会迷倒人的!”,因为我向他证实那介绍材料里使用传言的语气称她与基辛格曾经恋爱过,她母亲认为“基辛格聪明,但个子却太矮”,这莫非道出了她找高大美国心脏外科医生的原因?她儿子说这是老妈亲口告诉他的,儿子在父母都去世后写这些出来取乐。那文字还描述Rick为了营造求婚时的戏剧效果,差点从窗户旁摔了下来。

当年不少美国士兵娶欧洲妇女回美国,《廊桥遗梦》里的太太为意大利裔,在爱荷华过烦了美国乡村生活,与Clint Eastwood般的美国摄影师有外遇。我们女儿钢琴老师的丈夫的母亲,就是美军经过解放的比利时途中娶回的当地姑娘,一辈子说带口音的英语。我以前写过华大传奇教授John Olney的故事,他是在法国南部的街头见到一位奧地利女士而把她追成了太太,当时John Olney为迷茫的美国毛小子,回美国换专业并且补了医预科的课程才读了医学院。这Rick条件好很多,当时已经医学院毕业了,在德国Kiel的美军基地服役,以完成免学费的ROTC义务,而这位叫May(从难叫的德国名Mechtild Boehuke简化而来)在基地从事翻译等秘书性事务。Rick见了May两周就求婚,随后便是在美国的50多年的婚姻。医生太太不需要工作,不找基辛格也不错。

这个追思聚会是巴勒医生的儿子在我们小区每年的例行会议上宣布的。当时我们在附近的私立小学开了三小时的会,确实让我们见识了这些住历史性大房子的家伙们是如何经营社区的,当时居民们为每年25万美元左右的预算争得面红耳赤。有位在这里住了几十年的成功律师曾经起诉过小区的董事会四次,他自称是小区的Donald Trump。但是洋人争论归争论,最终还能以幽默风趣收场。该律师为了他家前院的一块三角土地的归属问题,这次不惜与董事会打官司,他要改变百年来Founding fathers定的规矩。当然董事们会与他在法庭上见,费用5万出自小区的预算,没有办法。查了他和太太是富得流油的律师,就像John Edwards那样专打医疗事故或损伤的案子,拥有上几百个成功的案例,有些是千万美元的赔偿金,这小子完全不差钱。成为个人损伤索赔的律师也不用去超级名牌,似乎只要是爱尔兰裔的白人就行,他们夫妇均为达拉斯的South Methodist大学毕业的。

我太太从另一角度反映了此次会议的精彩:“今天晚上我们小区开了三个小时的会,要讨论小区基金和安全问题,还有一家律师要诉小区居委会用了他们的地盘,真像看了一场好莱坞大片,而且还和自身利益有关。美国式民主,有趣!律师贪婪、自私!和大家格格不入,律师太太浓妆艳抹,衣饰独特,神情高傲,只能说好莱坞的大片真的是来源于生活,那些演员真的没有夸张,有的有钱人就是那个样子。”



古老的房子,美国这么年轻就有雄心复制欧洲的文化。



巴勒医生的工作照。



巴勒医生和圣路易斯艺术圈的名人Elizabeth Sayad。我在网上找不到巴勒医生和他的德裔太太May的照片,May已在2011年去世,享年71岁。巴勒医生在80岁左右则和Elizabeth走得很近,出席各科艺术与捐赠晚会。俩人没有结婚但是分别丧偶,现在都已经去世了。



Clint Eastwood和Meryl Streep的《廊桥遗梦》。

 

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雅美之途 回复 悄悄话 回复 '海陬观者' 的评论 : 谢谢留言,德国人和德语在美国的处境比较难堪,可参考此文:Whatever Happened to German America
By ERIK KIRSCHBAUM. Sept. 23, 2015, New York Times
Berlin — WHAT is America’s largest national ethnic group? If you said English, Italian or Mexican, you’re wrong. Today some 46 million Americans can claim German ancestry. The difference is, very few of them do.
Indeed, aside from Oktoberfest, German culture has largely disappeared from the American landscape. What happened?
At the turn of the last century, Germans were the predominant ethnic group in the United States — some eight million people, out of a population of 76 million. New York City had one of the world’s largest German-speaking populations, trailing only Berlin and Vienna, with about a quarter of its 3.4 million people conversing auf Deutsch. Entire communities, spreading from northern Wisconsin to rural Texas, consisted almost exclusively of German immigrants and their children.
As they spread through the country, they founded church denominations, singing societies, even whole industries — pre-Prohibition brewing was dominated by Germans, whose names live on in brands like Pabst, Busch and Miller. Their numbers shaped the media — there were 488 German-language daily and weekly newspapers around 1900 keeping the language and culture alive — and politics: Midwestern German-Americans were a backbone of the early Republican Party.
The enormous number of German-Americans was also a factor in keeping the United States out of World War I for so long — activists lobbied against intervening on the Allies’ side, while politicians worried about losing a sizable voting bloc.
Partly for that reason, when the United States did enter the war, German- Americans came under intense, and often violent, scrutiny, especially after the revelation of an ill-conceived German plan for Mexico to invade the United States.
There had long been doubts about the loyalty of German-Americans, especially in the myriad pockets of the Midwest where they were particularly dominant. Many had hoped to stave off assimilation by clinging to their language and dual loyalties — but that commitment to their culture suddenly became a vulnerability.
In what is a largely forgotten chapter of American history, during the roughly 18 months of American involvement in the war, people with German roots were falsely accused of being spies or saboteurs; hundreds were interned or convicted of sedition on trumped-up charges, or for offenses as trivial as making critical comments about
the war. More than 30 were killed by vigilantes and anti-German mobs; hundreds of others were beaten or tarred and feathered.
Even the German music of Beethoven and Brahms, which had been assumed to be immune to the hysteria, came under attack. “It is the music of conquest, the music of the storm, of disorder and devastation,” wrote The Los Angeles Times in June 1918. “It is a combination of the howl of the cave man and the roaring of the north winds.” Sheet music, along with books by German authors, was burned in public spectacles.
Not surprisingly, those who could hid their Germanic roots; some switched their names; many others canceled their subscriptions to German newspapers, which virtually disappeared. Whatever vestige of German America remained after the 1910s was wiped out by similar pressures during World War II, not to mention the shame that came with German identity after it.
My grandfather Joseph Kirschbaum lived through this disruption. Born in New York to German immigrant parents in 1891, he didn’t start learning English until he went to school, and continued to speak German at home, with friends and in the shops and restaurants he would frequent with his parents. And yet, later in life, he claimed he couldn’t remember any of it.
In some parts of the United States, there might be appeals by politicians to win over the Hispanic-American vote, the Italian-American vote, the Jewish-American vote, the African-American vote or the Irish-American vote. But you will be hard-pressed to hear anyone — not even the speaker of the House, John A. Boehner, who has never tried to make any hay out of his German roots — canvassing for the support of the German-American vote.
Still, while German-American culture might be extinct, German-Americans have continued to make a mark on the country, from Neil Armstrong, the astronaut, to Robert B. Zoellick, a former president of the World Bank. Steinway pianos were first made by a German immigrant named Heinrich Steinweg (who became Henry Steinway). Chrysler was established by Walter P. Chrysler, whose family was of German descent, and Boeing was founded by William E. Boeing, the son of a German immigrant.
Yet as the centennial of World War I passes and the 25th anniversary of German unification nears, there are some tender shoots of a renascent German-American identity. A German-American congressional caucus was created in 2010 and now has 93 members. The popularity of craft beer has led to a resurgence in German- style Biergartens, while sports figures like the soccer coach Jürgen Klinsmann and the N.B.A. all-star Dirk Nowitzki celebrate their German identity.
It may be that an identity lost can never be regained. But why not try? It would be good for everyone, reminding millions of Americans that they too are the products

of an immigrant culture, which not long ago was forced into silence by fear and intolerance.
Erik Kirschbaum is the author of “Burning Beethoven: The Eradication of German Culture in the United States During World War I.”
commonsense2 回复 悄悄话 最好的态度就是故土情节也要有,但是主动多与美国各族人多打交道,学习他们的优秀之处,不要老是在中国人的小圈子里面转,跟个井底之蛙一样认为只有中国人最聪明。
海陬观者 回复 悄悄话 (之二)

顺便补充一句话。 博主说的 “巴勒医生的日尔曼新娘生于Koenigsberg, Germany, 这地方位于德国中部,...” 可能需要一些注释。
这 Koenigsberg 是历史上德国的 东普鲁士省(East Prussia)的首府。 它几经变迁,但都还在普鲁士或者德国的统治之下。 数学里有一个历史上有名的谜题,名为 “Seven Bridges of K?nigsberg” 就是利用了这个城市河流多桥的地理特点为背景所构成的问题。

不巧的是,这个城市现在已经不属于德国了。 二战以后,它被苏联占领,并且苏、德订立条约,割让给了苏联,连原来的名字都失去了。新的名字是 Kaliningrad。 它原来位于德国的东北角(但是 东普鲁士省的中北部),现在与德国其它领土已经有几百公里的波兰领土居间隔开了。 一个在那个城市生活过的德国人,可以想见 是不大愿意回去面对现况的;连德语人口都遭遇到迁移等命运,所有可能有的旧日回忆都无处印证了。
Rosaline 回复 悄悄话 谢谢海陬观者的评论。我先生父母一代仍然会说德语。他说,放学回家,母亲与女友们一起聚会,是用德语。但是,见到他,就改用英语,并且说,你是美国人。他连祖父辈从哪个镇离开移民的都不知道了。
我年轻时,学过一年德语。印象最深的就是那个语法了,动词和时态在句尾,头疼。
海陬观者 回复 悄悄话 “Rosaline 发表于 2019-03-02 13:05:33
我前阵子想找个地方散散心,放松一下,对先生说,我们去德国,寻找你的“root”, 然后去华沙。先生是第三-四代德国移民后裔。他说:“从小我母亲就告诉我,我是美国人。德国与我没任何关系。”他们整个大家族,百年来没见任何人回去寻亲。”

这位德国后裔说的并不能代表一般的德裔美国人的真实历史。 事实上,历史上的德国移民们对于自己的语言文化的传统是很珍惜的。这里面有一个语言的原因。 学过德语的人都知道,德语的语法比英语复杂,所以比英语更不容易混淆或发生误解。 早期的美国(到20世纪初期为止),外国移民的文化持久不变达到一两百年的,是德国的移民团体。 那些年代,现在被某些人视为威胁正统的 Hispanic 文化根本不构成任何影响力。 只有德国移民还在各地建立德语学校。 所以德国移民到达美国三、四代了还能说德语的很普遍。 但这不是仅仅因为德语。那些年代德国国内的教育、产业都进展迅速。一直到二战以前,大学里理工科的第二外国语还是德语为主。 美国制造原子弹的首脑科学家 Oppenheimer 是哈佛毕业生,但是去德国的哥廷根大学取得物理博士的;即可见其一斑。
这个德国文化的传统在一战期间出现问题。因为德国在一战期间被无聊媒体丑化为 Hun (匈奴),美国各地也萌发了反德的浪潮。德国移民的小社区遭到不法攻击,甚至发生死伤。种种丑陋的 xenophobia 出现。 德国移民与后裔们痛定思痛,才停止把自己的文化骄傲公开表现出来。 我有一位同事是德国后裔,我问他知不知道以前有过 反德的浪潮,他很意外,说从来没听家里说起过。 从办学到主动教育儿女的美国意识,不是自然的,而是有过历史上的一段冤屈作祟的。 我们旁观者不能不忘记这一点。

所以说,许多人说,只有中国移民到了美国还有故土情结,是错误的。 还有其他国家的例子,是我亲身经历见识的,暂且不说了。 但是,请大家不要描画一个 stereotype,无论如何,真实的历史总比虚假的刻板印像 来得好,而且经得起考证。
nightrider 回复 悄悄话 @Donald_Trump:

Actually, you are right. The Jews are not very much trusted even though very much respected in America, even less so in Europe. But the relationship has a tortuous history and their situation is completely different from the Chinese's. The Chinese largely voluntarily move to America and other countries, whilst the Jews were expelled from their land by force. The alienation between the Jews and the locals grew out of a positive feedback loop of mutual distrust. The locals, especially in Europe, discriminated the Jews by prohibiting them from owning land and from many occupations. The Jews kept to themselves and held tenaciously onto their own tradition, language and religion as well as kept a tight biological and cultural lineage. They always viewed themselves as outsiders and longed to return to their promised land, Israel. The Chinese have no such excuses. They largely come to the host country voluntarily, yet they do not assimilate well and many have no intention of doing so. Many have neither a modicum of loyalty for the country they have sworn their citizenship to, nor an iota of respect for the contract they have signed with their employer.
Donald_Trump 回复 悄悄话 哪犹太人几代不放弃宗教,食物,还要回以色列,是否也不为美国人信任?
Donald_Trump 回复 悄悄话 不是非要炫耀自己的文化。与欧洲相比,中华文化在统一,包容,及自身生命力上比欧洲优等许多。中国历史上的帝王将相哪个不以统一大中国为己任?欧洲的希腊,甚至罗马都是些断代文明。两次英法百年战争,两次世界大战还不足以证明劣等的欧洲民族?
kebob 回复 悄悄话 国人的故土情结和国家的悠长历史文化传统相关,德国不过200年不到的历史,文化传承不可比的。不奇怪。
kebob 回复 悄悄话 国人的故土情结和国家的悠长历史文化传统相关,德国不过200年不到的历史,文化传承不可比的。不奇怪。
nightrider 回复 悄悄话 "不少欧洲人到美国后就是美国人了,很少中国人这般的故土情节,这是中国人在世界各地不被信任的原因之一。" 正所谓身在曹营心在汉的间谍偷盗心理。毫无契约精神。怎么让人信任?故国还偏偏利用这种贼人贪便宜心态弄个正式的千人计划不知廉耻地摆上台面,让人抓个正着也是昏头活该了。
雅美之途 回复 悄悄话 回复 'Rosaline' 的评论 : 没有想到你先生是德裔美国人,但是孩子读哈佛是你的功劳!
Rosaline 回复 悄悄话 我前阵子想找个地方散散心,放松一下,对先生说,我们去德国,寻找你的“root”, 然后去华沙。先生是第三-四代德国移民后裔。他说:“从小我母亲就告诉我,我是美国人。德国与我没任何关系。”他们整个大家族,百年来没见任何人回去寻亲。

当然只是喜欢喝德国啤酒,烤猪肘子,用德国造的厨具,开德国车。

我认识的资深律师,没有几个人喜欢自己的职业。是一个如何与人吵赢的,并且常常需要放弃基本原则的职业。:)
如斯 回复 悄悄话 "很少中国人这般的故土情节,这是中国人在世界各地不被信任的原因之一。"-- 同意,也有美国人明白无误地向我指出这一点。
TJKCB 回复 悄悄话 1/4 German descendants including Ike Eisenhower, Albert Einstein. Germans don't speak German in the US. 从与她的美国儿子交谈看,这德国女子是嫁入美国就不回德国的那种人,孩子则不熟德国地理。不少欧洲人到美国后就是美国人了,很少中国人这般的故土情节,这是中国人在世界各地不被信任的原因之一。
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