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Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America

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Visit Germany and the Dawn of Utopia

Missouri Germans Consortium is planning A Trip to the Dawn of Utopia in September 2015! From September 23, 2015 through October 1, 2015 you can TRAVEL to Germany and experience the cities of Giessen, Nieder-Gemünden, and Bremen, GermanEmigrationCenterGermany! Walk Harriersand Island and visit Brake where Friedrich Muench’s and his brave group spent weeks waiting for a ship.  This is a rare opportunity you won’t want to miss to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors or of the Giessen Emigration Society NiederGemundenmembers. Experience your proud German heritage first hand! Visit their homes, and churches, where they lived and learn about the Germany they left behind. The trip will be led by leading German-American historians and the curators of Germany’s  traveling exhibit
DawnofUtopiaUtopia – Revisiting a German State in America
. This specially designed heritage tour would also share other cities and sites, spend the night in a castle, and cruise the beutiful rivers of Germany. Broaden your understanding and appreciation of your German heritage. Truly a trip of a lifetime!  For more information, the trip itinerary and more details visit our TRAVEL page today. Use Missouri Germans Consortium’s promo code and receive 10% off.

Join Missouri Germans as it makes a trip to the Dawn of Utopia!  Visit Germany and experience their lives as they were forced to face the unknown and take their first brave steps to the Land of Opportunity!

DAY 1 (Wednesday, September 23, 2015) FRANKFURT
Arrival and meeting at the hotel for a short city tour. Drive to DawnofUtopiaSachsenhausen and dinner.
During the city tour, you’ll pass by all the major attractions (Financial District, Fair, Palm Garden, Stock Exchange, The Zeil, the Main Station, Alt-Sachsenhausen, museums, and the Alte Oper. A combined 20-minute-Römerberg and modern city tour will be optional. Transfer to Sachsenhausen, Frankfurt’s beer and Äpplewoi (apple wine) garden district. The evening is at leisure. Enjoy one of the local restaurants in Frankfurt and try Handkäs mit Musik.

stephaniviertelDAY 2 (Thursday, September 24, 2015) GIESSEN
Transfer to Gießen and visit of the Old Town city archive
After breakfast, depart to Gießen. There, you ‘ll participate in a 1.5 hour tour of the city archives with special focus on the Giessen Emigration Society. After lunch visit the old town and learn more about Ludwig Brake - Dorris Keeven-FrankePaul Follenius’ life. In the afternoon, you visit Nieder-Gemünden and the church whereKirche und Pfarrhaus Nieder-Gemünden Friedrich Muench used to work. A pretty Protestant church set in a beautiful landscape, reminiscent of Missouri. Dinner and overnight stay in a castle.

DAY 3 (Friday, September 25, 2015) BREMEN
The Huguenot city of Bad Karlshafen, followed by lunch and tour of castle Hämelschenburg. Arrival in Bremen.
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, the tour takes us along the Weser to Bremen. In theCastleHämelschenburg morning, you make a stop in the Huguenot and Baroque town of Bad Karlshafen where many members of the Giessen Emigration Society were embarked to get to the port of Bremen. The next stop gives you a glimpse of the noble life of the Renaissance: You will visit one of the most important buildings of the Weser Renaissance, the castle Hämelschenburg, near the city of Hameln. The castle is family-owned and we will have lunch at the Schlosscafé Hämelschenburg. Later, you will be in for a real treat: The lord of the castle will take you personally on a guided tour through the home of his ancestors! Evening arrival in Bremen, dinner and overnight stay at the booked hotel.

DAY 4 (Saturday, September 26, 2015) BREMEN
City tour to the Bremen Town Musicians and to the Schnoor DistrictSchiff MEDORA, 1834 - Handschriften der GAGO, Nr. 351 Bd. 1, S. 16a - 0096 - StAAl - HiRes
After breakfast, join a guided tour to the city’s attractions, inter alia, Marketplace with the Town Hall, part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and the Roland as well as the statue of the Bremen Town Musicians, Böttcherstrasse, Schnoor and St. Peter’s Cathedral, as well as the Bremer Bleikeller. After an individual lunch break, the afternoon is at leisure.

How about a visit to one of the many museums in the city, e.g. the Übersee-Museum or the Universe Museum. We are happy to help you!

DAY 5 (Sunday, September 27, 2015) BREMERHAVEN
Transfer to Bremerhaven’s German Emigration Center
In the heart of the city of Bremerhaven, visit the German Emigration Center, where you can empathize with the lives of many immigrants and can follow directly the traces of the Gießen Emigration Society. The afternoon is at leisure.
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Enjoy the cool breeze while taking a walk on the mile-long embankment promenade or a visit to the zoo by the sea. Stroll along the harbor with the traditional ships and a submarine Wilhelm Bauer. Relax on the beach in the heart of the legs dangle or shop adjacent by the new pedestrian area and covered Columbus Center immediately at your hotel. A special treat is certainly also a visit to the Climate House Bremerhaven Eight Degrees East and offers its visitors the possibility of a virtual trip around the world along the 8th degree east longitude.

We are happy to assist you with requests for additional options. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel

DAY 6 (Monday, September 28, 2015) BREMERHAVEN
Harbour Cruise and Maritime Museum – Bunker Valentine.
In the morning, take a harbor tour past the container terminal, the largest in Europe, through the international ports, the ships in the museum harbor with a visit to the Maritime Museum and fishing port with the fish smokehouses, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon, visit the bunker Valentine in Bremen- Farge – Europe’s biggest submarine pen. Dinner and overnight at hotel

DAY 7 (Tuesday, September 29, 2015) HARRIERSAND
Weser Island of Harriersand – Brake:
Bauernhof Schröder - HarriersandAfter breakfast, we will drive to the Weser Island of Harriersand. Here you will explore a whole day on the island and the fishing town of Brake, the place where the wind tells most of the emigrants’ history. On Harriersand, a large part of the Giessen Emigration Society got stuck on their way to the port of Bremen. Here, you can visit the farm where the immigrants found shelter. The romantic little fishing town of Brake opposite can be reached by a ferry and is perfect for some shopping. You will have lunch at the restaurant Strandhalle in Harriersand. Enjoy shrimps with scrambled eggs, a typical meal of the region, and a very special day on the Weser beach.Utopischer Weinanbau - Harriersand
Peter Roloff, producer and director of the documentary “Dawn of Utopia”, and the author Rolf Schmidt may meet up with us on Harriersand and take us on a personally guided tour. Then, onward journey to Hannover with dinner and overnight stay at the hotel

DAY 8 (Wednesday, September 30, 2015) Hannover
Guided tour of the Old Town of Hannover and returning to Frankfurt.
With a guided walk through the centuries-old town of Hannover, let your journey into the past fade away slowly. Experience the city where Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the composer Georg Friedrich Händel, the dense Gottfried Benn, who wrote his poems here and the respected philosopher and sociologist Hannah Arendt were born and lived. Visit the Herrenhäuser gardens and the castle Marienburg. At the end of the day we will return to Frankfurt. Dinner in Frankfurt and overnight stay at booked hotel.

DAY 9 (Thursday, October 01, 2015) FRANKFURT
Your adventure travel following the footsteps of the Giessen Emigration Society ends today. Return flight to the USA.

Price of $2899 (based on double occupancy) is reduced from $3,099.00 and when you book your trip through Missouri Germans using our Promo Code Missouri2015 you will save 10% on your trip! Airfare is not included.

This tour of Germany is brought to you by German Heritage Travel

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Dreamspinner

In 1829, some said Gottfried Duden’s Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America, in the years 1824, 25, 26 & 27 portrayed Missouri as a place similar to the Garden of Eden. He told of a place where food was abundant, where you were free to chose where you lived, who you married, and what you said. Freedom was the key word. You had the freedom, dearly fought for, to live a life only dreamed of in Germany at that time.

Duden’s critics called him a dream spinner! There couldn’t truly be such a place. In a hard world ruled by Kings, Dukes and monarchs, a freely held election to decide your leader? You were free to chose which state, and on what land, your own efforts afforded you, and not be dependent on what the inheritance laws insisted? Laws that you had a voice in making? Freedom to say what you thought with fear? Incredible! Could there truly be such a place? Or was this only an El Dorado, a dream, a Utopia?

America prides itself on its freedoms and democracy. We celebrate those who work daily to keep it safe, and commemorate those who have made the greatest sacrifice already. Today, residents in many countries still see  America as a Utopia.  They sacrifice everything, just as those early emigrants did, to be able to call it home. And unfortunately, many still show  prejudice, in the same form as what was called nativism in the 19th Century. What are we learning from these lessons in history?

We must examine that history closer, and gain insight, and remember those words our Country’s founders first wrote in our Declaration of Independence. To an emigrant, those are not empty words. They are what they based their decision to come here, to struggle and sacrifice, those very freedoms described.

In 1834, nearly 500 Germans left their families, their homes, and everything they had, behind them forever. They had hopes of creating a new State in America! One filled with Germans, where they could live as Americans. During the Civil War, they held that state, Missouri, filled with slave holders, determined to secede as all other Confederate states had, keeping it for the Union. They paid that sacrifice willingly, proving that emigrants can indeed make the best citizens.

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

wrote Winston Churchill. One hundred eighty years ago they believed. Will it still be Utopia in another 180 years? Lets hope so.

To learn more about the Giessen Emigration Society, visit Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America. The Exhibition from the Traveling Summer Republic in Bremen Germany will visit the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis beginning November 22, 2014. As part of the STL250 Events of the City of St. Louis, it explores the German heritage that made the city great.