“At home on the Rhine and in America”

The Bergmann brothers at Castle Garden, New York
The Bergmann brothers at Castle Garden, New York

Maybe you live far away now, yet your roots reach back to the Rhine. The most heartfelt words about the Rhineland I found in Heinrich Heine’s “Germany. A Winter’s Tale” and in the “Reminiscences” of Carl Schurz.

Since 1827, Heine’s work was censured, since 1833 it was forbidden in the State of Prussia, and thereby in his native Rhineland. Heine left Germany in 1831, to spend the remainder of his life in France. He only once came back, in 1843, and he wrote “Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen” (Germany. A Winter’s Tale).

Schurz, a young student in Bonn, had to flee after the failed revolution of 1848/49. In 1852, he and his wife Margarethe immigrated to the United States where Carl became a great statesman.

We have an emigrants’ story for you, At home on the Rhine and in America. It begins in the Rhineland around 1715, when our region lay in ruins after two wars, and ends after the Great War when Allied forces occupied the Rhineland. So it is about Rhineland/German and American history, but the historical events just set the stage for the people and tells the story of a family that is at home on both sides of the Atlantic.

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