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In the mid-1820s, the newly independent country of Brazil invited Europeans to settle its southern lands and provide a bulwark along the borders to Argentina and Paraguay. These efforts coincided with a period of economic hardship in the rural regions of Luxembourg and neighboring German lands. Fueled by the propaganda of emigration agents, it did not take long for “Brazil fever” to set in. In 1828, after a harrowing migration experience, the first thousand Luxembourgers arrived in Brazil — a generation before the first Luxembourg settlement in the US Midwest. Since then, immigration to Brazil has continued quietly and steadily. Today 30,000 – 50,000 Brazilians are estimated to have Luxembourg ancestry.
In this presentation, Carlo Krieger and Jean Ensch will focus on the Luxembourg presence in southern Brazil today and the history of Luxembourg immigration to the region, while drawing comparisons to the experiences of Luxembourg settlers and their descendants in the United States.
Carlo Krieger holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology and is a retired Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg who had his final posting in Brasilia, Brazil. He is President of the Roots and Leaves Association in Luxembourg and serves on the Board of Directors of the Luxembourg American Cultural Society & Center in Belgium, Wisconsin.
Jean Ensch is President of the Institut Grand Ducal (Section of linguistics, ethnology, and onomastics), a founding member of the Luxembourg Genealogical Society (ALGH), and a member of the Board of Directors of the Luxembourg American Cultural Society & Center in Belgium, Wisconsin.