So, no time for a newsletter this month but here is an update on our Baden trip.
Third day in Germany and things are great! We dodged rainfall today when it only rained when we were inside and when we were outside the sun came out. Temps were good too.
After spending the first day in Frankfurt to adjust to time change and jet lag, our group did a fine job of handling luggage and the train on Sunday. We arrived in my favorite Black Forest town and had a great walking tour through town. Picture perfect and history going back to the Romans, medieval monasteries, town walls, gates and wineries, and home to a resident stork couple, it is too good to be true. The town name is a secret until you come with us. 🙂
So after breakfast this morning we headed to Offenburg to visit the City archive to see the exhibit they have on German revolution and emigration. We learned how some of the seeds of revolution were started by groups of people meeting in Offenburg. This was in 1847 and due to Offenburg’s good train connections it was easy to get a group there. Also, in the exhibit they have a database of emigrants who left from Offenburg and seven surrounding villages. There is an interactive program that shows how the emigrant would have left from the southwest area to Strasbourg and then LeHavre port and then the 3 different routes that people would have taken either to New York, Philadelphia or New Orleans. An interesting item they had was an emigrant trunk and the story was that a young man with the surname of Pauli from Altenheim (my ancestral hometown btw) had to leave home quickly due to an indiscretion with a married woman and he made the long voyage and arrived in New Orleans and next boarded a steamship up the Mississippi, only to drown in the river, (how that happened is not known) but his emigrant trunk was returned to Germany to his family and is now on display.
After the tour of this exhibit we were lucky to have a lecture with a local emigrant expert who told us of what the process of emigration was like before 1871 and after 1871. He told us that after 1871 they just needed a passport but sometimes they still would need to get permission to leave especially if they had sons who were eligible for conscription. Also we learned about how they sometimes published the names of those leaving in the newspaper so if they owed someone money or were wanted for something this would be known. Herr Mueller told us that some of these newspapers from the Baden area are now online to look through. When I get the link I will publish it.
Then on to a guided walking tour of Offenburg where one of the sites we visited was a 13thcentury Jewish bath (Mikwe) that was 15 meters underground. All in all we had a very interesting day.