Brennpunkt Online Archive

All archived articles written and/or edited by Mike Haas, Retired CPD,
B.A. Sociology, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1977;
M.A. History, DePaul University, Chicago, 1998;
GAPA Chicago's Secretary Editor and Webmeister.

Adobe Acrobat files are password protected. Please use gapa1975 to access.

GAPA Salutes Charlotte Gonzalez (Holzinger), Chicago Police Department Award of Valor Recipient!

Responding to a crime scene where a man had been fatally shot on the street, Officer Gonzalez and her partner cornered the vehicle from which the offender had fled. While Officer Gonzalez took control of the driver of this vehicle, her partner followed the shooter into a parking lot where he exchanged shots with the offender in a gun battle which resulted in the offender's fatal wounding.

GAPA salutes Paul Heyden, Jr., Chicago Police Department Award of Valor Recipient!

In the early morning hours of a Spring day in 2010, Chicago Police Department Gang enforcement officer Paul Heyden, Jr. was on patrol with other gang officers in plain clothes and in an unmarked vehicle on Chicago’s far west side when they heard shots fired a short distance away. Minutes later Officer Heyden encountered a man in an alley who raised a gun toward him. After commanding this individual to drop his weapon to no avail, Officer Heyden, in defense of his own life, fired several shots at this individual, striking him as many times until he fell mortally wounded.

The Battle of Chicago! Cultural/Class Conflict during the 1968 Democratic National Convention at Street Level Part I

Part One: Prelude to a Rumble! As developments in the Amphitheater exposed the internal dissensions within the Democratic Party itself, the drama on the streets revealed the cultural/class divide of an America that was beside itself in coming to grips with not only the war in Vietnam, but the Civil Rights Movement, the sexual revolution and the increasing alienation and use of illegal, mind altering drugs by their youth.

US Doughboy! Part I

A Review of GAPA Director & Northeastern Illinois University Adjunct Professor Tom Hoff's well researched study of the men who served in the American Expeditionary Force during World War One!

The Psychological Assault on German American Consciousness during World War One Conclusion

Conclusion: As World War One ended most German Americans were emotionally numb after four years of severe stress on the psyche of their ethnic self identity. The government sanctioned, openly predjudicial psychological assault on their once proud German American consciousness left an emotional scar that has never completely healed. Tired of persecution and compromising situations that German ethnic identity might incite, the war hastened their assimilation, especially among the second and third generations. Intimidated by what had transpired during the war years and leery of calling attention to themselves as German Americans, many found it easier to drop the hyphen and get on with their lives.

The Psychological Assault on German American Consciousness during World War One Part V

Part V: Chicago’s Germans were generally spared from some of the more extreme forms of harassment the nationwide hysteria promoted primarily because of their numerical strength in the city, a political fact the mayor of Chicago, William Hale Thompson, nicknamed Kaiser Bill by the Chicago press, was well aware of. Chicago police chief, Herman Schuettler, a second generation German American, was widely esteemed as Chicago's greatest policeman. Another second generation German American, John Traeger, was the Sheriff of Cook County as was the Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, George Mundelein.

The Psychological Assault on German American Consciousness during World War One Part IV

Part IV: American Entry into the war in Europe in support of England and France eventually led to the censorship of the German American press by the US Congress in September of 1917. This resulted in the total suppression of not only any divergence of opinion concerning Germany and the war itself, but any and all independent German American opinion regarding it. As part of the “Trading with the Enemy bill, publication of war commentary in the German language press was prohibited by law unless accompanied by a parallel column translated in English.

The Psychological Assault on German American Consciousness in Chicago during World War One Part II

Part II: When a British ocean liner, the Lusitania, went down in 1915 with the loss of 1,198 lives including 128 Americans after being torpedoed by a German U boat in the Irish Sea, the entire nation erupted in a frenzied uproar, and Chicago’s Germans were further forced onto the defensive. Most, it seemed, were cognizant by now that arguing the German side of any issue concerning the war had become futile, especially now that American lives had been sacrificed. It was only too apparent by now that American bankers were financing the Allied war effort. Furthermore, the US government was allowing the British navy to blockade German and other neutral trade to the United States, while at the same time permitting trade and monetary support by American manufacturers to the Allies to circumvent the spirit of “Wilsonian neutrality.

The Psychological Assault on German American Consciousness in Chicago during World War One Part I

Part I: Without going into the causes of the conflict that raged on the European mainland from 1914 to 1918, by early 1917 it was apparent to Chicago’s German Americans that entry into the war was imminent, if not preordained by the pro British Wilson government. Naturally enough, they were largely against American involvement, for the majority of Chicago’s sizeable German community was only one to two generations removed from their old “fatherland.

Blessed are the Peacemakers: The Christmas Truce of 1914!

Secret alliances, exaggerated national pride, economic rivalries and failed diplomacy, etc., by their respective governments whether in Germany, Great Britain, or France had, by Christmas Eve 1914, bogged down much of the full flower of western European manhood deep into the stinking, muddy quagmire of trench warfare along a 300 mile wide western front that extended from the Belgian/French coast on the English Channel to the Swiss border on the south. Certainly not the glory many of them had perhaps envisioned the previous August when this most unnecessary war had commenced. The war was only in its early innings though, and each side was still fully convinced that victory would be theirs' once the next Spring's offensives were launched. Thus the Allied and German frontliners were only beginning to hate each other when in the early evening hours of Christmas Eve, His most Holy Spirit began to seep through the muck, mire and misery.

The "Unquiet Ghost of the RMS Lusitania"

A tale that unravels the mystery behind one of the most controversial episodes in American history, as well as one which sounded the death knell of a once proud, pre WWI German American consciousness that saw its demise in the midst of circumstances beyond its control!