Madeline Akers (student at Austin College):
"In what context did you learn about Germany? In what context do you think Germans first learn about the United States? My first exposure to German culture was a positive one: Bach, Grimm’s Fairytales, and Martin Luther. In the small-town Lutheran school I attended growing up, many of my peers were of German descent, and very proud of their heritage. They told me stories of how the school had taught German until is was banned during the Second World War, and how a pastor had to hide German Bibles and hymnals in his attic so that they wouldn’t be confiscated and destroyed by the local, Texan government. However, not everyone has had such a positive first impression of Germany; many villains in movies are portrayed as having German accents, and I even have relatives who find my choice to study the German language somewhat unusual. Both Germany and America have complex, dynamic and intertwined histories; the real question is, how will we deal with our future?"