Idaho’s relationship with Germany began when Germans first arrived to the Idaho Territory as miners, assayers, farmers, brewers and bakers in the 1860s. Thereafter, German immigrants continued to settle in Idaho, bringing with them brass bands, Oktoberfest and the Feast of St. Nicholas. These traditions endure. It is estimated that one-fifth of all Idahoans have German ancestry, making them the state’s second-largest ethnic group. Thus, it stands to reason that town hall meetings to discuss the significance and future of this critical transatlantic relationship have landed in Boise.
Today, Germany and the United States maintain a range of partnerships in all areas of society — business and industry, foreign and defense policy, science and academia. Much of the cooperation occurs with little fanfare or visibility in our daily lives. However, if one looks around the world, the U.S. has more common interests with Germany than perhaps any other country.