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Rhoen Emigrants

Emigration from the Brückenau region
by Walter Kömpel, Oberbach

  • Poverty/destitution
  • Source of income: little or no income
  • Escaping from wars and fleeing war service
  • Bad harvests (long cold winters, short wet summers, month of drought)
  • Political oppression
  • Pestilence and desease
  • To escape persecution
  • Seeking adventure
Brückenauer Anzeiger, 28th July 1881
Brückenauer Anzeiger, 28th July 1881

The first settlements in this area were founded already in the 9th century (i. e. Schondra and Oberleichtersbach). Irresistibly, further villages followed. Nevertheless entire families emigrated and some resident families disappeared completely from this region.

Also many jewish families, who had found their home in the Rhön (in the villages of Zeitlofs, Schondra, Brückenau, Unterriedenberg and Platz) left.

Even in the middle of the last century, some years after WWII, the same happened in Wildflecken. At the so-called UNRRA Camp (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), administered by the United Nations (Dutch, New Zealanders, Belgians, Venezuelans, French and Americans) and described in Kathryn Hulme's "The Wild Place", displaced persons (DPs) and their families were prepared for emigration within Germany, Europe and mainly overseas countries.

After take over of Camp Wildflecken by US troops friendships grew during the years. Marriages followed in many cases. Also, innumerable young women followed their husbands to America and their descendants area living there in the 2nd or 3rd generation.

Numerous links about emigrations can be found in chronicles, as described by Kaspar Gartenhof, Gerwin Kellermann and Leonhard Rugel, only to name some of them.

Links:
Symbol: Externer Linkwww.historisches-museum-bremerhaven.de
Symbol: Externer Linkwww.rootsweb.com
Symbol: Externer Linkwww.geocities.com/mppraetorius
Symbol: Externer Linkwww.handelskammer-bremen.de

Historical research of emigration from the Rhön area during the time frame 1780 - 1920 by: Walter Kömpel, Oberbach, Symbol: E-Mail LinkWKoempel(at)t-online.de

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