Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

East Rutherford Streets Celebrate German Culture

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

East Rutherford Streets Celebrate German Culture

Article excerpt

One of North Jersey's more unusual public tributes is in East Rutherford in the form of a six-block street named for Mozart, among the greatest - if not the greatest - of Europe's classical composers.

There is no record of Mozart's having visited America. So what could be East Rutherford's connection to him?

For that matter, what is the story behind two other interestingly named thoroughfares in East Rutherford - Humboldt Street, which honors Alexander von Humboldt, the renowned German explorer and geographer of the 18th and 19th centuries, and Uhland Street, named for the German romantic poet Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862).

The three streets lie in a part of town where Rutherford, Wallington and East Rutherford meet. About a century ago, this property was owned by a German fraternal organization and was within the municipal boundaries of Carlstadt, another town neighboring East Rutherford, said Jeffrey Lahullier, a member of the East Rutherford Borough Council who has an abiding interest in local history.

The names were chosen to celebrate Germanic culture and accomplishments and have stuck, possibly due to the large number of people of German ancestry in the area's population.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was not German. He was born in the western Austrian city of Salzburg on the German border. He began studying music at age 3 and turned out his first symphony when he was 8. In all, he turned out such works as the "Jupiter," "Prague" and 39 other symphonies, 22 operas including the familiar "Marriage of Figaro" and "The Magic Flute" plus concertos for what seems like every instrument in the orchestra.

Even some people who are not musically trained have heard, and can identify, Mozart's popular Serenade No. 13, most often referred to as "Eine Kleine Nacht Musik."

In all, Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces, which might seem unremarkable but for the fact that he died when he was just 35.


Alexander von Humboldt was born into German nobility in Berlin in 1769. He was a man of science.

After studying mineralogy and botany as an undergraduate, Humboldt worked for four years with Prussian mine owners and miners to develop improved safety lamps for use in the shafts. …

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