Several hundred thousands of US and Canadian citizens still speak the language of their ancestors, who left Europe as many as ten generations ago. This dialect (“Pennsylvania German” or “Pennsylvania Dutch”) is very similar to the speech of the Palatinate, “Pfaelzisch”.
They not only share a common linguistic, historical and cultural heritage, but also a strong interest in Germany and the main areas of origin of the 18th century transatlantic emigration to North America, located in the present-day German states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Baden-Wuerttemberg as well as in Alsace (France) and Switzerland.
There exist today numerous sister-city programs between communities in Germany and Pennsylvania (but also in Ohio and Ontario, Canada, where Pennsylvania Germans also settled). There are exchange programs on the university level, archives, Mennonite and other research centers, and many individuals interested in various linguistic, anthropological, genealogical, touristic, or other aspects of the subject.
The German-Pennsylvanian Association was founded in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas between all these initiatives in Germany, to intensify the cooperation between the Old and the New World, and to provide US and Canadian institutions with a central contact address on this side of the Atlantic.
Our website aims at continually providing all interested in the Pennsylvania Germans (Pennsylvania Dutch) with up-to-date information from the various initiatives, institutions and groups in Germany, the USA and Canada.
We hope to be able to enhance the cooperation within the various areas of interest, thereby creating a German-Pennsylvanian network which will aid in reminding Germans and Americans of their common heritage.