72 Years Ago Today

I’m not very good at internet research. I can put words into a search engine and find a few things, but I know there is a whole science to finding information that goes beyond a basic search. There are reliable and unreliable sources of information; sometimes it’s hard to parse between the two.

We live in a ‘just Google it” world. Words and information hang suspended in space, disconnected from thought.

Reggie Black is skilled at internet research. He always finds something interesting and sends it to me. I can barely keep up with the fascinating articles and websites he sends me. Some days, it’s like an electronic Tower of Babel. I appreciate it and I mourn how little time I have to think critically about anything.

One day, he sent me this link to an archived copy of The Lewiston Evening Journal for Wednesday, April 2, 1941. This part was relevant to me.

“Michael Leo Baumer of Lisbon Falls, was also asked many questions before being sworn in, because of his having been a national of Germany. Baumer stated he felt no remaining loyalty for the Reich and would be glad to support his American citizenship with arms if called upon to do so.”

He was 42 years old.

My grandfather became an American citizen, 72 years ago today. I had always assumed he became a citizen when he got here from Germany in 1924, but this relatively reliable source of information states different facts. I present them here, so that they may hang suspended in space and time. I don’t have any profound thoughts about citizenship; here I am, by some choice of a man who lived and died. He came here seeking a better country, but he surely remembered the country from which he came.

I’ve reached the end of the time I’ve allotted to critical thinking for today.

I, too, seek a better country.

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2 Responses to 72 Years Ago Today

  1. RB MMM says:

    Twasn’t hard, I just used the magic google thingy and his name (use variants of Michael) and there it was. As always, glad to be of service.

    I find it interesting they asked his loyalty to the “Reich,” and even capitalized it. Your grandfather left long after the fall of the Kaiserreich, and well before Hitler’s “das Dritte Reich.” The ancient Reich he grew up in was long gone, and he had nothing to do with the new one.

    • Yes, MMM RB, I thought the capitalization of the word “Reich” was interesting. The war propaganda had begun and there was a need for a common media enemy to stir people up. What is that expression? The more things change, the more they stay the same?

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