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.

Origins of our German Names

The sur names many of us bear today, of course, have been passed on down to us through the generations. They, perhaps, more than anything else, indicate where we or our ancestors came from. Although the roots of their original forms date back to ancient Germanic times, the development of their final forms were generally not fixed until the 17th century and onwards after Gutenberg's press and Martin Luther's bible set the grammatical standards that evolved into the modern German language. 

Germanic Origins of English

You may not speak German as perhaps your German immigrant parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, etc. did, but you, like most Americans whatever their ethnicity or race, are speaking a Germanic language! In fact, it's called English, the international language of the world we now live in!

GAPA Chicago, 35 Years!

A brief history of the German American Police Association in Chicago from its inception in 1975 to the present! Remembering who we are, from whence we came and where, God willing, our journey should lead!

Speaking Truth to Power, Rupert Mayer, the Apostle of Munich, Part II

As the Nazis ascended in popularity, however, Rupert Mayer did not hesitate to take increasingly courageous stands against their ideology whether from the pulpit, the street or other public forums. Mayer recognized, "Hitler is a great speaker and is very popular, but he stirs up the people by distorting the truth. . . . I’m going to tell you, here and now and unequivocally, that no German Catholic can ever be a National Socialist. When the rights of God are defied and interfered with, we have an obligation to defend them even if it entails fighting. There can be no peace where the things of God are trampled underfoot."

Speaking Truth to Power! Rupert Mayer, the Apostle of Munich!

Outspoken as he was, once the Nazis took over, Rupert Mayer was closely monitored by the Munich Gestapo who put together quite a file on him. In 1937 when he began to speak out against the closing of Catholic schools from the pulpit of St. Michaels in Munich, the Gestapo attempted to ban him from speaking in public as well as the pulpit. When he continued to disregard this prohibition, the Gestapo arrested him in early June. At his trial, Mayer defiantly told the presiding judge, “It gives me far more pleasure to be here as the accused than as judge."

Pope Benedict XVI: In Christian Hope We Are Saved!

In an age of moral relativism, rampant secularism, mindless consumerism, a seemingly unending battle against global terrorism, increasing economic insecurity in our domestic as well as the global markets and declining marriage and birth rates, etc., in what  may modern man place his hope? Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, illuminates what real hope to Christians is, no matter what trying circumstances they may ever find themselves or the state of the world in, and on what it is ultimately based.

The Coming Global Population Implosion!

Much has been made about the low birth rates that presently exist in the developed lands of the Western World, i.e., the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia including Japan. Far less known, however, is that this trend has actually evolved into a global phenomenon. Both of these extraordinary developments run quite contrary to the long held popular contention that the world's population is exploding without pause. It can be more accurately stated, as well as statistically supported, that in another couple of generations, the global population will, in fact, begin imploding! 

4 Billion Marks for a Stein of Beer! Recalling the Hyper Inflation of the Weimar Republic

With the American economy in a downward spiral for the last several years, fears of the potential for rampant inflation are causing some to recall the hyper inflation that devastated the Weimar Republic in Germany in the aftermath of World War One; a dire economic situation many historians agree left Germany ripe for the Nazis or quite possibly the Communists during the early 1920s. This also marks a time in which many of our German parents, grandparents or great grandparents fled Weimar as economic refugees by immigrating to the United States years before Hitler even came to power.

St. Michael, Riding Spiritual Shotgun!

Behind the material veneer of the world in which we live and work, a spiritual battle between good and evil is raging, as it always has since God created man. Police officers serve on one of the many fronts in this war, and as much as police officers may think they need pay raises, promotions and more days off in fighting it, they may need much, much more, spiritual fortification! Along with their body armor, police officers must also put on their spiritual armor (prayer) daily and without hesitation. St. Michael and our guardian angels are always ready to go lights and sirens for us when our soul's (and others') survival demands it!

Back in the Day, The Chicago Police Department of Hermann Schuettler, Part II

Chicago was growing exponentially throughout the course of Hermann Schuettler’s career, its more refined and sophisticated citizenry in tandem with a burgeoning Prohibition movement were also becoming preoccupied with reforming the city’s reputation as a bawdy, brawling and uncouth den of corrupt politics and vice. These late 19th and early 20th century reformers were making considerable efforts to shut down saloons, gambling and prostitution via state law and municipal ordinances.  Getting the laws enacted were easy enough, enforcement was the real problem.

The Chicago Police Department of Hermann Schuettler, 1882 - 1918

A glance back at the Chicago Police Department Hermann Schuettler rose through the ranks from and eventually commanded. Schuettler's 3,200 man CPD seems rather small compared to today's CPD stated strength of approximately 13,000, especially when considering that it served a population of only 700,000 citizens less (2,185,283 per the 1910 US Census) than Chicago's present population of approximately 2.8 million. What we can also note is that despite all the technological advancements and modern training methods employed now, many similarities in police work from that day and age still exist today.

Hermann Schuettler, Chicago's Greatest Policeman

A man whose courage and ability had pushed him up through the ranks to become and be hailed as the greatest police chief Chicago ever had. . . His integrity and honesty as a public official were never assailed. . . Hermann Schuettler left behind him as priceless heritage a name untainted and a record of achievement that time will not dim. . . . Chiefly notable is the fact that through his whole career, there was never suggested the smallest hint of dishonesty, an item most noteworthy in connection with a business that has caused the downfall of many men.Chicago Tribune 23, Aug. 1918