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Third Generation Decline: It’s For Real!

A subtopic under the generally sore topic of immigration in the United States is the phenomenon of Third Generation Decline. We may like to believe that progress is continual for Americans beginning with the first generation of immigrants, but that is myth. The proof on the ground points in the opposite direction: “By the third generation, families absorb American cultural values, lose the feverish immigrant zeal to succeed and cease being, in any real sense, immigrants at all.”  (Ryan Park)

I submit a first person account. My grandfather’s family emigrated from Germany in the 1850s. Adam Vogt was a successful jeweler, manufacturer, realtor and “notable man” in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

 

 

 

His first son, my father Clarence W. Vogt, was a prolific inventor whose innovations revolutionized refrigeration and packaging. He was a decorated officer in both world wars.

 

 

 

Now consider Adam Vogt’s youngest grandchild, born 99 years after his parents departed Freinsheim, Germany, for America. Well, uh, errr…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Generation Decline: It’s For Real!

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