German New Orleans

New WYES-TV/Channel 12 Documentary Highlights German Heritage in New Orleans

“It takes a German to do it.”

In the 19th century, that became a New Orleans saying for accomplishing the near impossible. By that time, Germans had been a driving force in the community for over a century. Though time has blurred the significant contributions of the German people to the Crescent City, there are many contemporary reminders of the tremendous impact of this ethnic group on New Orleans culture. From the Garden District’s stately homes to the quintessential French bread, the city owes much to its German ancestors.

As the largest group of foreign-speaking people in New Orleans from 1848 to 1900, Germans entered almost every trade and profession, frequently beating out the native competition. Spotlighting the many success stories in the community’s history, GERMAN NEW ORLEANS, WYES’ latest cultural documentary, premieres on WYES-TV/Channel 12 Monday, August 9, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.

Davis Lee Jahncke discusses Fritz Jahncke, who paved the city’s streets and supplied the materials for most of its landmarks, including Lee Circle and Tulane Stadium. Lawrence Fabacher, of the Jackson Brewery Fabacher family, shares firsthand memories of the brewery that once dominated the French Quarter’s riverfront. John F. Schwegmann talks about the supermarket chain where generations of New Orleanians made groceries “Schwegmann style.” Robert “Bobby” Whann III, grandson of George Leidenheimer, describes how his family still bakes Old World-style bread, using the same methods since the bakery’s founding in 1896. Other German-Americans, including Johann Bultman and Bernard Eble, Sr., talk about their families and the businesses they founded.

WWL-TV anchor/reporter Eric Paulsen narrates GERMAN NEW ORLEANS, which was written and produced by Terri Landry. The associate producer is Dawn Raymond, and the editor is Larry Roussarie. Funding is provided by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the Producers Circle, a group of viewers dedicated to supporting quality local programming on WYES.

Contact Aislinn Hinyup, WYES-TV/Channel 12 – 504-587-9464 ahinyup@wyes.org