“If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much,” or so the saying goes. However, if you are German you are actually part of the biggest ancestry demographic in Iowa, making up 35 percent of the state’s residents.
Set to debut on Wednesday, Sept. 27 in the DeWitt Learning Commons is traveling exhibit “German Iowa and the Global Midwest.”
Panel displays from the Old Capitol Museum at the University of Iowa will cover significant points in history for German immigrants, including the initial immigration waves and the skills Germans brought to Iowa farms and communities.
One of the most impactful periods for German immigrants was the widespread discrimination and suspicion of German individuals, businesses and homes in America during World War I.
According to Access Services Coordinator Sara Huyser, the library has archives dealing with WWI and immigrant experiences. These archives will serve as part of the exhibit.
Notable in the German Iowa exhibit is the similarity with Dutch history.
“There are a lot of parallels [in Dutch immigration and German immigration],” Huyser said.
The exhibit will be on display in the library through Oct. 9.