Home | Origins | Psychology | Christmas & Music | Beer | Communities | Americanization | Legacy | More | Sitemap


Learn More



Some references for further reading about the distinctive mentality and culture of the Swabians:

Menzel, T.M., Friedrich Schmid: pioneer missionary to the Germans in Michigan. Bulletin Theological Seminary of the Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1954. 25(4): p. 35-46.

Geldmacher, A., Die Deutschen in Ann Arbor: eine Studie über das Leben deutscher Einwanderer in den USA, 1810-1918. 1993, Essen: Die Blaue Eule. 442 p.

Shackman, G., Ann Arbor observed: selections from Then & now. 2006, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. vi, 271 p.

Carroll, M., Romans, Celts & Germans. 2001, Stroud, Gloustershire: Tempus.

Weitnauer, A., Keltische Erbe in Schwaben und Baiern. 1961, Kempten: Verlag für Heimatpflege.

Sommer, C.S., From conquered territory to Roman province: recent discoveries and debate on the Roman occupation of SW Germany. Journal of Roman Archaeology-Supplementary Series, 1999. 32: p. 160-198.

Drinkwater, J.F., The Alamanni and Rome 213-496:(Caracalla to Clovis). 2007, New York: Oxford University Press. 408.

Straub, R., Zur Kontinuität der voralamannischen Bevölkerung. Badische Fundberichte, 1956. 20: p. 127-137.

Scharfe, M., Die Religion des Volkes : kleine Kultur- u. Sozialgeschichte d. Pietismus. 1980, Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus Mohn. 179 p.

Vogt, A., Der schmale Weg, der zum Leben führt, in Schwabenbilder: Zur Konstruktion eines Regionalcharakters, A. Brieschke, Editor.1997, Tübingen Vereinigung für Volkskunde: Tübingen. p. 71-78.

Röhm, H., Geschlossene Vererbung und Realteilung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Abhandlungen des Deutschen Geographentages in Köln, 1961: p. 288-304.

Brieschke, A. and Universität Tübingen. Projektgruppe "Schwabenbilder.", Schwabenbilder : zur Konstruktion eines Regionalcharakters : CTübingen: Tübinger Vereinigung für Volkskunde. 232 p.

Triandis, H.C., The psychological measurement of cultural syndromes. American Psychologist, 1996. 51(4): p. 407-415.

Peabody, D., National characteristics. 1985, Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York: Cambridge University Press ix, 256 p

Unseld, W., Schaffensparenputzen, in Schwabenbilder: Zur Konstruktion eines Regionalcharakters: : Begleitband zur Ausstellung Schwabenbilder im Haspelturm des Tübinger Schlosses, 18. Apr. bis 1. Juni 1997., A. Brieschke, Editor. 1997, Tübinger Vereinigung für Vokskunde: Tübingen. p. 79-88.

Herter, D.R. and T. Stollsteimer. A History of the German settlers in Washtenaw County 1830 to1930. 2007; Available from: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~miwashte/washtenawgermansettlerhistory.pdf.

Gumperz, J.J., The Swabian dialect of Washtenaw County, Michigan. 1954, University of Michigan Ph.D. thesis: Ann Arbor. p. 196.

Barnett, J.H., The American Christmas : a study in national culture. 1976, [New York]: Arno Press. xi, 173 p.

Restad, P.L., Christmas in America : a history. 1995, New York: Oxford University Press. x, 219 p.

Nissenbaum, S., The battle for Christmas. 1996, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. xiii, 381 p.

Hermann, M., Die Kunst der Spagats, in Schwabenbilder: Zur Konstruktion eines Regionalcharakters: Begleitband zur Ausstellung Schwabenbilder im Haspelturm des Tübinger Schlosses, 18. Apr. bis 1. Juni 1997. A. Brieschke, Editor. 1997, Tübinger Vereinigung Für Volkskunde: Tübingen. p. 125-132.

Barnett, L.R., Never on Sunday. Michigan History Magazine, 2006. 90(4 (July-August)): p. 16-23.

Wineberg, S. and J. Weiss, The Allmendinger Piano & Organ Company : a book based on the exhibit in the lobby of the Allmendinger Building, South First Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1991, [Evanston, Ill.: J. Weiss]. 16 p.

Engelmann, L., O, Whisky : the history of prohibition in Michigan. 1971, University of Michigan Ph.D. thesis. p. 2 vol. (p. 691).

Holian, T.J., The German-Americans and World War II : an ethnic experience. 1996, New York: P. Lang. xii, 243 p.

Vogt, A., Die anderen Schwaben, in schwabenspiegel, in Schwabenbilder: Zur Konstrucktion eines Regionalcharakters: Begleitband zur Ausstellung Schwabenbilder im Haspelturm des Tübinger Schlosses, 18. Apr. bis 1. Juni 1997. A. Brieschke, Editor. 1997, Tübingen Vereinigung für Volkskunde: Tübingen.p. 133-142.

Smith, A.R., College town radicals : the case of the Ann Arbor Human Rights Party. 1980, University of Illinois Ph.D. thesis: Urbana-Champaign.

Sand, H., Warum sind die Schwaben anders, Thaddäus Troll? 1975, München: Ehrenwirth. 204 p.

Bradshaw, M. and C.G. Ellison, Do genetic factors influence religious life? Findings from a behavior genetic analysis of twin siblings. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2008. 47(4): p. 529-544.

Nilsson, K.W., et al., Genes encoding for AP-2β and the serotonin transporter are associated with the personality character spiritual acceptance. Neuroscience Letters, 2007. 411(3): p. 233-237.

Chiao, J.Y. and K.D. Blizinsky, Culture–gene coevolution of individualism–collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2010. 277(1681): p. 529-537.


A full account of the immigrants from Schwabenland is available in Celtic Germans: The Rise and Fall of Ann Arbor's Swabians. The printed book of 100,000 words contains over 400 pages. There are 160 illustrations. Many of the illustrations on this website are reproduced there. Many additional images come from the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library. There is a full index as well as 300 references in English and German for further reading and research. A Kindle eBook version of Celtic Germans is also available.

book cover for Celtic Germans by George Wieland


To find the Kindle version of the book on Amazon, click here. To find the print version on Amazon, click here.

Besides Amazon, the book Celtic Germans: The Rise and Fall of Ann Arbor's Swabians is available locally at Nicola's Books in the Westgate Shopping Center, Bookbound at 1729 Plymouth Rd., Downtown Home & Garden at 210 S. Ashley St., and at the bookshops at the Washtenaw County Historical Society Museum at 500 N. Main St., the Rentschler Farm Museum at 1265 E. Michigan Ave. in Saline, and the Waterloo Farm Museum at 13493 Waerloo Munith Rd., Grass Lake.


From the back cover of the print book:


Barbarian Germans mingled with Celts to combine their genes, their psychologies, and their cultures, creating the Swabians. In Ann Arbor, Germanic  conscientiousness helped the Swabians replace most Americans downtown and on nearby farms. The Swabians also overcame Puritanical hatreds of Christmas and musical entertainments on Sabbath afternoons. Celtic spirituality blossomed until the feisty individualism of the Swabians splintered their religious community.

Wieland shows how this inability to join together led to Swabian defeats. Carry Nation and others won the hundred-year fight against the German and Celtic love of alcohol. During the 1970s, radicals took over Ann Arbor and instituted the famed $5 fine for marijuana. Still, many individual Swabians in Ann Arbor today stubbornly display their Celtic and German ways of thinking and feeling.


Another book about Swabians by Wieland is: Stubborn & Liking It: Einstein & Other German Immigrants.

The summary:

Germans are often stereotyped as stubborn. Among Germans, Swabians like Albert Einstein are considered the most stubborn. Some stubbornness is positive, a single-minded focus on personal projects. Such people are happy, doing what they love. Einstein spent three decades unsuccessfully trying to combine gravity and quantum mechanics. He once explained: “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.” 

Other immigrants from the last three centuries include Conrad Weiser who learned the Mohawk Indian language and spent his life mediating between colonists and Iroquois Indians—even after he lost his pay and official position. Nineteenth-century German communistic communes came to await the Second Coming of Christ. When it didn’t happen, they continued to hope, and their communes lasted much longer than others founded by Americans. Similarly, personal interviews of second and third generation Nebraska homesteaders describe how they endured privations and outlasted Americans who sold out. 

Such persistence is based on intrinsic motivation, on internal feelings of satisfaction. In contrast, extrinsic motivation is aimed at external goals, such as money, prestige, or avoiding pressures. These objectives can be withdrawn or their potency may wane. People with intrinsic motivation have an enduring internal focus, not an external one. 

Intrinsic motivation also fosters effective behavior. One psychological experiment described by Wieland had two groups of writing students. One group heard of the extrinsic reward of getting into graduate school and the second, that people can write even in the absence of external goals. The latter group produced more creative and accomplished writing. Other described experiments illuminate the process of intrinsic motivation. 

Playwright Bertolt Brecht is another historical character with intrinsic motivation. Forced by the Nazis into exile, he no longer had German-speakers for actors or audiences. However, over thirteen years he continued writing “for the drawer.” 

German Jews were also stubborn. For five years after the advent of Hitler, they remained committed to remaining Germans despite abuse. Immigration quotas for America remained unfilled. With the terrible Crystal Night pogrom, Jews finally started to relinquish their intrinsic commitment to Germany. 

Other examples of changes in motivation are described. One destitute post-World War II immigrant wanted to become a millionaire. His excessive emphasis on extrinsic rewards created health problems, which he finally solved by emphasizing the process of work, doing good workmanship, not maximizing the money. Another postwar immigrant, a war bride, tells of religion being taught in school, the grades being extrinsic rewards. After years of struggle with the doctrines of the Catholic Church, she developed a personal intrinsic spiritual path. 

Interviews detail people’s backgrounds in Germany including the ascent of the Nazis to power, membership in Hitler Youth, being bombed, and living under the American occupation. 

Important in the development of intrinsic motivation is autonomy, the freedom to act. Parents and teachers relying on extrinsic rewards, even praise, will not create durable intrinsic motivation. Children with the freedom to choose will sometimes fail, but even negative experiences may foster intrinsic commitment. A classic psychological study found that the hazing of fraternity members could paradoxically foster strong intrinsic commitment. People try to make sense of experiences and integrate negative outcomes to yield durable commitments. Thus, a lover can come to see the beloved as desirable, warts and all. 

Wieland explains that with our instinctual drive to grow, for curiosity and efficacy in actions, we all have, like Einstein and others in the book, the potential to develop intrinsic motivation. 

Stubborn & Liking It is available on Amazon in both a print version for $14.85 and a Kindle ebook version for $9.85.

Book cover for Stubborn & Liking It showing Einstein on cover


In Ann Arbor, the book is available at Nicola's Books in the Westgate shopping center and at Bookbound, 1729 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan - in the Courtyard Shops across from University of Michigan's North Campus.

A website about the book is at:


About the author: B.A. in psychology from Stanford and a Ph.D. in combined sociology and psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Originally from New York City, he lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, often visits his relatives in Swabia.

Email comments on this site. This will open your email program.


Websites with information for visitors to Ann Arbor wanting to learn more about the Swabians:

1. Kempf House Museum, 312 S. Division St., Ann Arbor. http://www.americanheritage.com/content/kempf-house-museum

2. Allmendinger Piano and Organ Museum, 100 S.First St., Ann Arbor. http://www.aadl.org/allmendinger_brochure

3. Waterloo Area Farm Museum, 13493 Waterloo Munith Rd., Grass Lake. http://www.waterloofarmmuseum.org/

4. Rentschler Farm Museum, 1265 E. Michigan Ave., Saline. http://salinehistory.org/index.php?content=rentschler_farm&section=sites

5. John F. Schneider Blacksmith Shop, By appointment), 324 E. Main St., Manchester. http://www.michigan.org/property/manchester-area-historical-society-john-f-schneider-blacksmith-shop/

6. Bethlehem United Church of Christ, 423 S. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor.

7. Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. http://zlc-aa.org/

8. Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Phone: (734) 995-7281 Toll free: (800) 888-9487 http://www.visitannarbor.org/

9. German Heritage Driving Tour of German Farms and Settlements in Washtenaw County http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/community-and-economic-development/workforce-development/historic_preservation/Feb%2009%20site%20update/histweb/histweb_tours/german_ag_tour.pdf

10. History of the German settlers in Washtenaw County, by Dale Herter and Terry Stollsteimer http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~miwashte/washtenawgermansettlerhistory.pdf

11. An exhaustive list of family names, dates of immigration, and origins of the Germans who settled in Washtenaw County. This is an appendix to the previous publication and may be accessed from this page: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~miwashte/washhis.html

12. Seven dozen historical plaques and displays scattered around Ann Arbor. See especially Site 5 at Washington and Ashley, "Germans in Ann Arbor." http://aastreets.aadl.org/aastreets/exhibit

13. Alber Orchard and Cider Mill, near Manchester at 13011 Bethel Church Rd. (734) 428-9310. http://alberorchard.com/

14. Washtenaw Dairy, Old West Side hangout at 602 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor. http://washtenawdairy.com/

15. Christkindlmarkt, Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Kerrytown, the beginning of December (usually the first Friday).

16. German Park Recreation Club, The last Saturday of June, July, and August, a massive picnic with German foods, music, and dancing. Pontiac Trail, seven miles north of Ann Arbor. http://www.germanpark.org/

17. Metzgers Restaurant, 305 N. Zeeb Rd, Ann Arbor (734) 668-8987 http://www.metzgers.net/

18. Heidelberg Restaurant, 215 N. Main St, Ann Arbor (734) 663-7758 http://www.heidelbergannarbor.com/

19. Haab's Restaurant, 18 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti (734) 483-9676 http://www.haabsrestaurant.com/

20. Arbor Brewing Company, 114 E. Washinton St., Ann Arbor (734) 213-1393 http://www.arborbrewing.com/

21. Old German, 117 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor (734) 741-7554 http://www.oldgerman.net/og/old-german

22. Historic buildings. See the guidebook: Reade, M., S. Wineberg, and Ann Arbor Historic District Commission (Mich.). Historic buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 2nd ed. 1992, [Ann Arbor, Mich.]: Ann Arbor Historical Foundation and the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission. xxiv, 232pp.


Some books about Ann Arbor you might like to read (click on the titles):

Jonathan Marwil's A History of Ann Arbor

Grace Shackman's Ann Arbor Observed: Selections from Then & Now

Grace Shackman's Ann Arbor in the 19th Century: A Photographic History

Grace Shackman's Ann Arbor in the 20th Century: A Photographic History