German Central Organization
The German Central Organization is an important German-American social organization in the northeastern portion of Ohio.
Following World War I, a sizable number of German immigrants came to the United States of America. Several thousand of them settled in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1924, the Cleveland Germans established the German Central Organization. A social organization, this group intended to assist German immigrants with a social center, job placement assistance, and help with becoming American citizens. The group grew quickly, having one thousand members by 1935 and five thousand members by 1939.
In 1926, the German Central Organization purchased three hundred acres of land in Parma, a suburb of Cleveland. This land became the German Central Farm, a recreation area for Cleveland's German population. Unfortunately, during World War II, some Ohioans, who were upset with the war, vandalized the site. The president of the German Central Organization, Herbert Reichle, also was accused of being a Nazi sympathizer. Despite the tumult of the early 1940s, German culture and institutions, including the German Central Farm, continue to thrive in Ohio today.
- Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.