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Status: Emigration from Southwest-Germany > Famous Emigrants

Famous Emigrants

Emigration from Southwest-Germany

There are many facets to the history of emigration. To trace the life of a single person is as interesting as exploring the different stages of emigration itself. There have been a lot of warnings concerning the passage as not only the crossing itself but also the new living conditions turned out to be more difficult than expected. The loss of home was compensated by the foundation of many German societies - some of them still existing today - which kept German tradition and culture alive.

We want to introduce the following emigrants:

Johann Jakob Astor: Astor left Baden for economic reasons. He started his career by setting up a music store and became one of the richest people in America. He is known worldwide through the "Walldorf-Astoria".

Johann Jakob Beck: After his emigration in 1853 he fought in the American civil war on the side of the Union and was fatally wounded in 1864 (June 10) as member of the Waterhouse Battery.

Lorenz Brentano: In 1849 he was leading the revolution government in Baden. After his flight he became a newspaper editor in Chicago and an important supporter of Abraham Lincoln's policies. Later he became member in the House of Representatives and a diplomatic representative of the USA in Dresden.

Wilhelm Kohlreuther: He was a pharmacist in a small village, but fortune didn't favour him. As a committed supporter of the revolution in 1848/49 he had to leave the country, but returned to Baden in 1856 - being a broken man.

Friedrich List: He was persecuted during the "Vormärz" (period from 1815 to March revolution of 1848), but succeeded in establishing a political career in America. He came back to Germany in 1834 holding the position of an American consul. He was one of the most influential economists of the 19th century.

Johann Georg Rapp: He emigrated to America for religious reasons. In the "New World" he tried to found a community which was based on early Christian beliefs.

Johann August Sutter: The "Emperor of California" was born in a village in the south of Baden. His wealth was destroyed by the goldrush in the American west. Stefan Zweig has left him a literary monument in his book: "Sternstunden der Menscheit".

Graf Zeppelin: The man who later became world-famous by inventing the airship went to America in 1863. As an officer of the Württemberg army he observed and commented on the American civil war.