The War to End All Germans: Wisconsin Synod Lutherans and the First World War
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The First World War came to the United States to the consternation of many of its citizens, especially its German Americans. On the home front, government officials required complete adherence to the war effort. This also included religious adherence. The Wisconsin Synod Lutherans, a German-speaking religious group, met tremendous difficulties during the war years. In addition to the crusade against all things German, the synod faced religious persecution because it doctrinally abstained from religiously sanctioning the war aims and programs of the United States. The repression of the synod came from both patriotic citizens and government agents who typically misunderstood or disdained the religious practices of the synod. The situation created predicaments for German Lutherans as they attempted to serve both God and country.