Witter’s German-English Primer; Originally printed in 1887, reprinted in 1987; 103 pp; 5x7, perfect bound; Item #IGH02
When a school-book makes it back into print, and sells well after 130 years have passed since its first publication, there must be something extraordinary about it. This is indeed the case with Witter’s German-English Primer / Deutsch-Englishe Schrieib- und Lese-Fibel in its revised edition of 1881. This reprint, though, is no longer intended for school children; it rather meets the needs of serious students of the German language, and genealogists for whom a knowledge of old German script is essential when it comes to deciphering old manuscripts, letters, and diaries, church records, and entries in old family Bibles.
Due to Witter’s bilingual arrangement of the text, no previous knowledge of the German language is necessary. This makes it perfectly suited for individual learning. This bonus feature was the principal reason for reprinting the book. The publishers also felt that learning German script from an original German-American school-book – a book thousands of our forebears used – would be a welcome experience for the historically minded.
I recommend the book to any English-speaking person who is attempting to read the old German script, both Gothic lettering, as well as cursive handwriting. This is an excellent addition to anyone’s genealogy library, especially those who have Germanic ancestry.