100 years ago in Spokane: German-American Society takes issue with Zittel’s ‘darned Dutch’ statement
Tue., Aug. 2, 2016
From our archives, 100 years ago
Julius Zittel, the Spokane County chairman of the Democratic Party, was lambasted by the local German-American Society for allegedly saying, in print, “We don’t want the darned Dutch running this country anyway.”
The chairman of the society wrote an outraged letter charging that Zittel was pandering “to the ignorant prejudice of some American citizens,” although even most of them knew the difference between the Germans and the Dutch. He charged that Zittel meant it as an epithet of contempt.
Zittel was uncowed. He immediately fired back, “Did I refer to the Germans as the darned Dutch? Allow me to say that I did, and am prepared to be shot at sunrise for the offense.”
It’s worth noting that Zittel was a native of Germany. He came to the U.S. as an architecture student. He also said he was “heart and soul with Germany in the present struggle … as long as the conflict is confined to Europe.” But if the U.S. became involved he would be “absolutely loyal to the Stars and Stripes.”
From the campaign beat: Republican presidential candidate Charles E. Hughes was planning to spend two days in Spokane as part of a cross-country campaign swing next month.
The chairman of the Spokane County Republican Central Committee planned to meet with other local leaders to “take up plans for the entertainment of Governor Hughes.” Hughes was a former governor of New York and former Supreme Court justice.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.