The St. Stephanis Kulturkirche in Bremen, Germany is the latest to become an exclusive location to meet the Traveling Summer Republic, a group of artists, photographers, film makers, writers, historians, and script writers and share in a journey to Utopia! Their exhibition Utopia-Revisiting a German State in America reveals an almost forgotten moment in Germany, when nearly 500 joined leaders Friedrich Muench and Paul Follenius in their plan to create a German State in America…and headed to Missouri. You decide. Their plans may have failed but Missouri still has one of the largest populations of German heritage today.
Who were these Utopians?
After answering the founders “Call for Emigration” members of the Giessen Emigration Society drew up their Statutes in Friedberg, and teachers, lawyers, doctors, farmers, blacksmiths, and tanners banned together in their quest for a new life in Missouri, where the sun of freedom shone for them. These families were from cities large and small, catholic, protestants and free thinkers they all envisioned a new life for their families, that others ridiculed and called Utopia.
The Traveling Summer Republic began examining this portion of history in 2004 in Germany, and in 2009 visited Missouri in search of what remains. Visit the exhibition, read the accompanying book, and share in the story of Utopia, then and now. After experiencing the emotions of emigration, or hearing the stories of those that have, you can decide what Utopia means to you. What would you do to give your family a better life today?
Share in the story in Bremen today. Or, visit the German-American Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. in September, or the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis, Missouri where it becomes one of the STL250 events, exploring the history of St. Louis.
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