Live Virtual Lecture: “Thousands of Rhine-Hessians Are Living Here” — The Southwest German Immigrant Experience in 19th Century Wisconsin”
Thursday, October 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
In the mid-nineteenth century, emigrants from the present-day German state of Rhineland-Palatinate settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in rural clusters in surrounding counties, such as Washington, Sheboygan and Fond du Lac counties. This presentation will focus on their socio-economic background, the importance of chain migration, and the acculturation that took place in Wisconsin. It will touch on agriculture and urban occupations (especially beer brewing and wine import businesses), architecture, and social life. The final part of the lecture will illustrate how some communities in the home country benefited from the support of public projects and remittances made by their former citizens who had become successful in Wisconsin.
Dr. Helmut Schmahl is a lecturer in the History Department at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany, and a high school teacher of History and English. His scholarship focuses on German immigration to North America, particularly emigration from Southwest Germany.