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Germans in America 1 : Into the promised land (2005) RatingRatingRatingRatingRating

Germans in America 1 : Into the promised land
Summer 2003: a group of 40 German-Americans from Loose Creek, Missouri travel to Germany. They are on a search for their roots and will find them in a farm in the Rhineland. One-hundred-fifty years ago, the Münks farm was the birthplace of their ancestors.

For German emigrants in the 19th century, America offered hope in a new beginning: the hope of escaping poverty, years of failed harvests, and political repression. Thanks to romanticized ideas, millions of Germans start off for the unknown. It is the great century of emigration—and for agents, shipping companies, and captains it was a great business opportunity.

Enthusiastic letters from relatives and friends in the new world attract hundreds of thousands of others to follow them. Among these people are Jacob Münks and his family from Lank, near Düsseldorf. They want to move to America’s Midwest, to the so-called “German Belt.” Together with his wife and his six children, Münks survived the difficult sea passage on a cargo ship that was turned temporarily into a passenger vessel.

The film follows the family’s journey by way of St. Louis to Loose Creek in Missouri. Nearby, in Hermann, Missouri, Westphalians have settled. Washington, Missouri is home to people from the German Palatinate. And Loose Creek is for the Rhinelanders. The German settlers seek out people from their own home regions and avoid settling in the open countryside. But the pioneer years are hard on the Münks. The farm will not yield enough for them to live on. So Gerhard Münks travels to St. Louis and decides to wander off to California. Gold fever has reached in the far reaches of the Midwest. For three years he was thought to be dead. Until he appears one day looking like a tramp, but carrying home riches from the gold fields following an adventurous trip. Still today, the family has his gold scales and a nugget he brought home. The farm remains today in the same family’s possession.
Laufzeit: 51 min.
Sprache: English
Genre: Documentarys, English, Fremdsprachen, Germans in America, Series
Land: Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika
Produzent: Axel Engstfeld

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