Association of American Physicians

Association of American Physicians, Berlin [Association amerikanischer Ärzte]. — “Americans in Berlin also had their own medical organization. An Association of American Physicians was founded in the city in 1891 under the leadership of the American dentist Willoughby Dayton Miller, who by this time was in charge of dental teaching at the University of Berlin. Also instrumental in establishing the new association were Dr. Fred Weber of Milwaukee and Dr. Judson Daland of Philadelphia. Weekly meetings were held in the Dental Institute to hear lectures on medical topics. This organization lasted two years but there is no record of further meetings or activities after 1893. It was followed by the more successful Anglo-American Medical Association of Berlin, which was organized in 1903 and flourished until the First World War.” | Source: Thomas Neville Bonner. American Doctors and German Universities: A Chapter In International Intellectual Relations, 1870-1914. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1963: 85. [link]

“Berliner Heim”: Mark Twain’s first Berlin residence (Körnerstraße)

During the winter of 1891 and early 1892, Mark Twain and his family lived in a house at Körnerstraße 7, Berlin. Click on this link to find a historic map of the city of Berlin (1891) to see where the family resided. Körnerstraße is located south of Tiergarten, between IV and III, left (west) of Potsdamer Güterbahnhof.

Englisches Haus

Located at Mohrenstraße 49, adjacent to Gendarmenmarkt. “Das Englische Haus” was a very fashionable private dining establishment in Berlin. It was originlly owned and operated by Adolf Huster, “Hof-Traiteur Seiner Majestät des Kaisers und Königs” [Cook to his Majesty the Kaiser and King], an official title granted by the Kaiser. After his retirement, ownership changed into the hands of Max Huster and Ernst Brandt. In her book Berlin zur Zeit Bebels und Bismarcks (Berlin: Dietz Verlag [DDR], 1976), Annemarie Lange describes the place as a very exclusive establishment: “Die besten Kreise Berlins feierten bei Huster, dessen auf große Gesellschaften eingerichtete ‘Stadtküche’ zur unentbehrlichen Einrichtung selbst des Hofes geworden war; in seinem ‘Englischen Haus’ in der Mohrenstraße feierte die ‘gute Gesellschaft’ und gab sich die Hautevolee von Industrie und Börse glänzende Feste” (507-508). [The best circles of Berlin’s society held their banquets and festivities at Huster’s, whose ‘city kitchen’, designed to accommodate large groups of people, had become an indispensable institution even for members of the Court; in Huster’s ‘English House’ at Mohrenstraße, the city’s ‘elite’ and the leaders of industry and finance threw magnificent parties for each other.] | Source: Rabelais Bookseller, “Catalog for the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair 2015.

“Einzug des amerikanischen Schweins”: German-American Pork War

From 1880–1891 the so-called German-American Pork War took place. In Germany, a disease related to American pork that was infested by parasites and had been imported from the United States to Germany vitiated German-American trade relations. From 1880–1883 Germany imposed a ban on the import of American pork, which led to almost a decade of disputes between the US and Germany but was resolved by the American Meat Inspection Act of 1890 and 1891. This law officially required the inspection of meat before it was cleared for export (Spiekermann 98–99).

Spiekermann, Uwe. “Dangerous Meat? German-American Quarrels over Pork and Beef, 1870–1900.” Bulletin of the GHI 46 (2010): 93–110. Web. 12 Sept. 2020.

The gentle diplomatic persuasion techniques applied by American Minister at Berlin, William Walter Phelps, were ultimately successful: “[A]s Mr Phelps wittily expressed it, the American pig ‘marched in triumph through the Brandenburg Gate'” (Herrick 239). For more information on American efforts relating to the admission on American pork into Germany and the role played by Phelps, see Hugh M. Herrick, William Walter Phelps: His Life and Public Services (New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1904: 238f). [link].

Mark Twain on the German Language

After his first visit to Europe, Twain published A Tramp Abroad (1880), mainly an account of his travels through Germany and Switzerland. His famous essay “The Awful German Language” appears as Appendix D. He describes the complexities of German grammatical rules in humorous fashion, summarizing his thoughts by saying that “[t]he inventor of the language seems to have taken pleasure in complicating it in every way he could think of” (606).

Mark Twain. A Tramp Abroad. Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1880. [Full text of 1880 edition]. Wikipedia entry A Tramp Abroad.

Mark Twain’s Visit to Berlin (9 Oct 1891 – 1 Mch 1892)

In an interview with The New York Times, Mark Twain stated that he and his family were visiting Berlin for work reasons (Scharnhorst 362). | Scharnhorst, Gary, ed. Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews. U of Alabama P, 2006. Web.

For more information on Twain in Berlin, see
Mark Twain’s Notebook, Prepared for Publication With Comments by Albert Bigelow Paine. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1935: 218ff.
– Paine, Albert B., ed. Mark Twain, A Biography: The Personal and Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Vol 3 of 3 vols. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1912: 929-944.

Phelps, William Walter (1839-1894)

William Walter Phelps (1839-1894) was an American politician who was appointed by President Harrison to represent the United States in Germany at the International Congress on the Samoan Question in 1889. He was later appointed envoy of the United States in Berlin and held this position from 1889-1893.

“Phelps, William Walter (1839–1894).” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: 1774–Present. n. d. Web. 12 Sept. 2020.

Santa Hermandad

In Spain during the 12th and 13th century, brotherhoods (hermandades) were created as paramilitary organizations that controlled commerce and protected town districts. In the 15th century, those brotherhoods developed into more political entities like the Santa Hermandad that took on a police-like position and became a part of the royal administration of Fernando II of Aragon. The brotherhood was known for its “heavy taxation and rigorous interpretation of the law” (Kagay 221).

In a travel letter published in 1892, Mark Twain addresses Berlin’s tax regulations and states that “[w]hoever comes to Berlin must furnish these particulars to the police immediately; moreover, if he knows how long he is going to stay, he must say so. If he take[s] a house he will be taxed on the rent and taxed also on his income” [link]. In alluding to St. Hermandad, Mark Twain apparently assumed readers would understand the connection between heavy taxation and the Spanish brotherhood.

Donald J. Kagay. “Santa Hermandad.” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology. Ed. Clifford J. Rogers. Vol. 1. Oxford UP, 2010. 220–21. Web.

Mark Twain, “The Chicago of Europe.” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 3, 1892. Transcribed and reproduced with original illustrations by Dan Beard and Harold R. Heaton by Barbara Schmidt [link]. The travel letter from Berlin also appeared as “The German Chicago” in The Sun (New York) 03 April 1892, p. 4, c. 4-6. The text was reprinted in the essay collections The £1,000,000 Bank-Note, and Other New Stories (New York: Charles L. Webster, 1893: 210-232) [link], The American Claimant and Other Stories and Sketches (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1899: 502-517) [link], and In Defense of Harriet Shelley, and Other Essays (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1918):  244-262. [link]


Welt (Newspaper)

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