Find German restaurants, stores and events in Arizona.
Germans in Arizona
Unlike in many U.S. American states, a German ethnic enclave never developed in the state of Arizona. The reason wasn’t that Germans never immigrated to the state, but that they were more sparsely distributed and assimilated more quickly into the anglo-American culture. However, the lack of a distinctly German town in the state doesn’t mean the state doesn’t have any history that includes Germans. In fact, Arizona was the location of the largest World War II German prisoner of war escape in American history. On December 23, 1944, twenty-five Germans escaped from a tunnel out of Camp Papago Park, near Phoenix, Arizona. They fled into the surrounding desert and headed south for Mexico. However, within a few months, all escaped prisoners had been detained and brought back to the camp.
Today, Camp Papago Park is now a National Guard base that houses the Arizona Military Museum. For those interested in learning more about German prisoners of war detained in Arizona, this museum is a great place to start. However, for those with less interest in military history and more interest in German language and culture, Arizona also offers plenty of opportunities for this as well. The German American Club of Tucson promotes German culture, language, and customs through their various events. Some of the events hosted by the club include a Frühlingstanz (spring dance), Erntedankfest (harvest festival), Oktoberfest, and Fasching (carnival). Although the German heritage sites in the state of Arizona are sparse, the Gemütlichkeit isn’t hard to find. Whether joining a German club, language class, or festival, there are plenty of opportunities to experience German culture in Arizona.