BOOKS

This book contains Weekly Thoughts and sayings of Martin Luther taken from his copious writings. The German term is “Wochensprüche”. Lutheran photographs illustrate each of the history and inspirational sayings of Martin Luther.


During the American Revolution, Great Britain hired thirty thousand German troops to fight rebellious colonists. Five thousand of those troops marched across New Jersey from Princeton and Trenton all the way to the northern tip of Sussex County. Though popular legend would cast them as cold and vicious mercenaries, many were prisoners of war with little choice. Stories of their exploits still circulate in New Jersey, from the headless Hessian of the Morristown Swamp to the mysterious Ramapo Mountain people. Join author Pete Lubrecht as he navigates the myth of Hessian troops in New Jersey to separate fiction from fact.


Liebe Kück! A German Soldier’s Story from the Great War is based on the letters Vice Feldwebel (Staff Sergeant) Alwin Ficke of the Seventy-Fourth Reserve German Infantry, stationed on the Western Front of the War, wrote home to his wife and family from August 1914 until his death in France in February 1915. Sergeant Ficke’s viewpoint was contrary to the popularized media reports of German military actions in Belgium and the Champagne Valley. This ugly war is best understood not through popularized media reports but as it is seen though the personal wars of soldiers and their families. His is the story of the journey taken from home to battle representing the struggles and turmoil in the lives of legions of others.


In the last year of the Civil War, the Union formed a traditional European cavalry unit known as the New Jersey Butterflies. They enticed men to join a galloping, dashing, romantic cavalry unit that would charge its enemy armed only with sabers. Officially named the Third New Jersey Cavalry and also called the First American Hussars, the unit fought in decisive battles with General George Armstrong Custer and General Philip Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, forcing and following Lee’s retreat. Many of them German and Irish immigrants, these “Jersey” men lie buried in their native soil from one end of the state to the other. Author Peter T. Lubrecht traces their histories, providing detailed information on their lives before, during and after the war.


German immigrants and their descendants are integral to New Jersey’s history. When the state was young, they founded villages that are now well-established communities, such as Long Valley. Many German immigrants were lured by the freedom and opportunity in the Garden State, especially in the nineteenth century, as they escaped oppression and revolution. German heroes have played a patriotic part in the state’s growth and include scholars, artists, war heroes and industrialists, such as John Roebling, the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, and Thomas Nast, the father of the American cartoon. Despite these contributions, life in America was not always easy; they faced discrimination, especially during the world wars. But in the postwar era, refugees and German Americans alike—through their Deutsche clubs, festivals, societies and language schools—are a huge part of New Jersey’s rich cultural tapestry.

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