Talk at New Ulm, MN—Charismatic 1848ers

Although Germany will always remain our cherished Vaterland, America has been our beloved “Motherland” since 1992. Since that time, we’ve made twenty-three transatlantic trips “commuting” between our German home in Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and our American home in Northfield, Minnesota.
In the spirit of German-American friendship, we invite you to enjoy an entertaining and informative sixty-minute video of our talk at Minnesota’s New Ulm Public Library, about 1848ers from Europe in America.

Many of us have dreamed of finding a treasure chest filled with riches. For Dr. Joachim “Yogi” Reppmann (Flensburg, Germany/Northfield, Minnesota), that dream came true. The chest he discovered contained a treasure far more valuable to the immigration historian than precious metals or gems. It held riches of a different kind: yellowed historical documents with red wax seals bearing witness to the yearnings of 1848ers Christian Müller and Hans Reimer Claussen.

Together with his colleague Scott Christiansen (Iowa City), Reppmann has studied these remarkable 160-year-old documents, which have yielded deep insights into the intellectual vitality and resoluteness of an amazing group of immigrants known as the “Forty-eighters.” This immigrant group consisted of a relatively small number of democratic revolutionaries who emigrated from Europe in the late 1840s and early 1850s after fighting unsuccessfully with both pen and sword for liberty, democracy, and national unity.

New York’s Steuben Society recently honored Dr. Reppmann (of Germany’s Stoltenberg Institute for German-American Forty-eighter Studies) for his research on the 1848 movement’s democratic impact in Germany and America. Please, enjoy: ‘Forty-eighters and Friends’,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Ku8HtAOWs

Die Nacht der Entscheidung, Kalifornien, 1976

Nach der Tramptour gehen die Freunde getrennte Weg. Yogi Reppmann, li., wird Historiker, Thies Matzen, Weltumsegler. Foto: Privat (HFR)

Nach der  US – Tramptour, 1976, gehen die Freunde getrennte Weg. Yogi Reppmann, li., wird Historiker, Thies Matzen, Weltumsegler. Foto: Privat (HFR)

Ein Leben ohne Geld und materielle Wünsche: Wie geht das? Bei Thies Matzen fiel die Entscheidung in einer Nacht im November 1976 am Pazifikstrand von Laguna Beach in Südkalifornien. Er war gerade 20 Jahre alt geworden und mit seinem Freund Yogi Reppmann auf einer Tramptour durch die USA, nachdem beide das Abitur in Flensburg geschafft hatten.

Die beiden Freunde stehen kurz vor dem Ende ihrer fünfmonatigen Reise per Anhalter durch Nordamerika. Jetzt werden sie eigene Wege gehen. Aber welche? Ursprünglich wollte Thies Matzen ein Studium in dem gerade neu entstehenden Fach Ökologie und Umweltschutz beginnen. Yogi Reppmann will Historiker werden und sich auf die Geschichte der deutschen Auswanderer in die USA spezialisieren. Doch in dieser Nacht wird Thies Matzen nachdenklich. Ist das Studium und die klassische Karriere wirklich das Richtige für ihn? Bis zum Morgenanbruch diskutieren die Freunde, dann fällt der 20-Jährige eine Entscheidung fürs Leben: Er will eine Holzbootsbauer-Lehre in Dänemark absolvieren und danach ohne große Ersparnisse die einsamsten Winkel der Welt erkunden und anspruchslos auf einem Segelschiff leben.

Während Yogi Reppmann sein Studium beginnt, lernt Matzen das Bootsbauer-Handwerk. 1985 treffen sich beide auf einer Werft in Risør südlich von Oslo wieder: Matzen ist hier bereits Geselle, Reppmann verdient sich als Hilfsarbeiter Geld für die Promotion. Abends erzählt der Bootsbauer seinem Freund seinen Traum: 1980 hat der das legendäre Holzboot „Wanderer III“ erworben und seitdem überarbeitet. Nun will er mit dem Boot zur Weltumseglung aufbrechen. Bereits viermal zuvor war den Vorbesitzern mit „Wanderer III“ ähnliches gelungen.

Nach einigen Wochen trennen sich wieder die Wege der beiden. Reppmann beginnt seine Forschungsarbeit in amerikanischen Archiven, Matzen überquert den Atlantik und lebt seitdem auf dem Segelboot. Doch die Freunde bleiben bis heute in Kontakt. Als Reppmann im Frühjahr dieses Jahres Geburtstag hat, meldet sich Matzen von einer einsamen Insel auf den Falklands. Zum Geburtstag des Freundes nutzt der heute 58-Jährige ausnahmsweise die Satelliten-Station auf dem Eiland.

Materielle Wünsche sind Matzen fern. Als er zu seiner ersten Weltumseglung 1986 aufbrach, hatte er 1000 Mark Bargeld gespart. Zehn Jahre später lagen die 1000 Mark immer noch in der Bordkasse. Viel größer ist die Freude über einen Blumenkohl, den Kicki auf der Falkland-Insel entdeckt hat, wie die Geburtstags-Email, 27. März, 2014, verrät:

… wir mampfen gerade Salat aus dem Garten, aus dem Kicki mit der Botschaft eines Mirakels ins Haus stuerzte: der Entdeckung eines Blumenkohls. Die kleinen Freuden werden die grossen – so ist das hier. Ich bin augenblicklich seitwaerts von der Gegenwart geparkt und schiebe mich von Bild zu Bild durch Vergangenes – bis zum nachmittaglichen Geburtstagskuchen ein bisschen spaeter … .
Kein Bier, aber Kaffee dazu – so feiere ich dann mit dir.
Alles Liebe dir und Gitta von Kicki und
Thies

Stephan Richter, Flensburg, in  www.paradiso-magazin.de   Nr. 1, 2014

Yogi Reppmann’s Moving Legacy of 1848 Research: America’s Intellectual Vitality

Dr. Yogi Reppmann mit dem Überseekoffer - 11.10.2012 - Foto Marcus Dewanger

Yogi Reppmann proudly displays an 1848 Schleswig-Holstein Provisional Government document from the Hans Reimer Claussen trunk, which he discovered in Davenport. The trunk also contained several documents chronicling the valorous service of Claussen’s son-in-law (Christian Müller) during the Schleswig-Holstein War of 1848-50. New York’s Steuben Society recently honored Dr. Reppmann (of Germany’s Stoltenberg Institute for German-American Forty-eighter Studies) for his research on the 1848 movement’s democratic impact in Germany and America.

Davenport / Flensburg, Germany. Many of us have dreamed of finding a treasure chest filled with riches. For Dr. Joachim “Yogi” Reppmann (Flensburg, Germany/Northfield, Minnesota), that dream came true. The chest he discovered contained a treasure far more valuable to the immigration historian than precious metals or gems. It held riches of a different kind: yellowed historical documents with red wax seals bearing witness to the yearnings of Schleswig-Holsteiners Christian Müller and Hans Reimer Claussen.

Together with his colleague Scott Christiansen (Iowa City), Reppmann has studied these remarkable 160-year-old documents, which have yielded deep insights into the intellectual vitality and resoluteness of an amazing group of immigrants known as the “Forty-eighters.” This immigrant group consisted of a relatively small number of democratic revolutionaries who emigrated from Europe in the late 1840s and early 1850s after fighting unsuccessfully with both pen and sword for liberty, democracy, and national unity.

Many of the German Forty-eighters immigrated to the United States, with a large number from the present-day state of Schleswig-Holstein (including the dynamic Christian Müller) choosing Davenport & Scott County, Iowa as their adopted home. After settling in America, these unique and talented individuals provided an intellectual transfusion affecting not only their fellow German immigrants, but also the political and social history of the United States during one of its most critical periods. In an attempt to highlight the Forty-eighters’ contributions, Christiansen is currently working on two biographies, Indomitable Will: The Christian Müller Story and The Forgotten Forty-eighter: The Wilhelm von Schirach Story.

The moving educational video “Forty-eighters and Friends,” which highlights the efforts of Repp-mann and Christiansen in chronicling the lives and achievements of Davenport’s Forty-eighters, will be shown after Dr. Reppmann’s presentation on Sunday. www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Ku8HtAOWs

For more information contact Yogi Reppmann, 507-645-2584; c. 507-581-6734 or yogireppmann@gmail.com  /

http://www.Moin-Moin.us

Without ‘High Ball’ you won’t understand America!

Lee Sweetser, Orange County, California, November 1976 –

We had the pleasure meeting the Sweetser family almost forty years ago (Ouch!). Immediately after graduating from high school back in 1976, we came to America determined to see the country we’d dreamed about as a youth. Having little funds, hitchhiking was my only viable means of transportation.

While hitchhiking down Highway 1 from San Francisco, we met Lee, the wonderful patriarch of the extended Sweetser – family. While in the spacious family kitchen, he gave us some advice: “Here, have some bourbon and ginger ale. Without a highball, you will NOT understand America!” For the past thirty-eight years, I’ve worked diligently to gain a deeper understanding of your dad’s wisdom.

Everyone crossing the threshold of our apartment (which his wife Bonnie visited some time ago) receives a highball — strength dependent on the time of day — and is regaled with the advice a young German hitchhiker received in a California kitchen many moons ago.

This May was a perfect example of how we’ve continued honoring Lee’s sage advice. I was giving a talk in our local library about democratic revolutionaries from Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany who settled in eastern Iowa at the Mississippi. Following the talk, about one hundred in the audience came to our apartment for a WILD party. Everyone there from the youngest (sixteen-year-old Gloria, a friend’s daughter and one of ten servers tasked with keeping the highballs coming) to the oldest (my eighty-five-year-old father, Ingo) were introduced to your Lee’s astute advice.

Even though it was the middle of the week, the party’s last guest didn’t leave until 3:30 in the morning. Nele, Jan, and Rolf (three of our ten happy young highball servers), finding no one left to serve, took their leave as well. That left only me and my old college buddy Dee Eicke, who was staying in our guest bedroom. I routinely asked Dee, “Can you handle one FINAL highball?” Dee pretended to be furious that I would even ask such a truly dumb question. Having shared a student apartment with Dee for five and one-half years, during which time GALLONS of highballs were thirstily consumed, I immediately saw through Dee’s mock anger. I went to the kitchen, where to my utter dismay, I found thirteen empty bottles of Jim Beam and not a drop of American ginger ale from Schweppes. No wonder the last guest had left! Undeterred, we reverted to our Germanic roots and drank the local Flensburg beer instead.

Art and Food

Art and Food Cover

“Art and Food” is an enchanting new cookbook by Marliese Heimann-Ammon (the spouse of the German Ambassador to the United States). She was recently profiled by the monthly newspaper The Washington Diplomat in an article titled LIFE of ADVENTURE – From Fashion to Art, Wife Spotlights ‘New Germany’:

Marliese Heimann-Ammon

Marliese Heimann-Ammon

Since coming to Washington in 2011, Heimann-Ammon has showcased several artists at the German Residence while adding German and American paintings and sculptures to the sleek, modern residence on Foxhall Road to give it more warmth and softness. “I’m always on the lookout for new artists,” she told us.

It’s part of her desire to give Americans a multifaceted picture of her dynamic homeland.

We, from the Stoltenberg Institute for German American Forty-eighter Studies, a forum for German-American discourse, have begun to dream about a traveling exhibit based on this very special cookbook.

Please, go ahead, download the cookbook, enjoy, and try out some “Popular Recipes from the German Ambassador’s Residence.”

Stoltenberg Institute – General Information

Stoltenberg Institute for German-American Forty-eighter Studies
Friends of the Forty-eighters — the forgotten ideas and values in America’s past and present

Stoltenberg portrait black whihtThe Stoltenberg Institute of Forty-eighter Studies, a forum for German-American discourse, focuses on Germans who came to the U.S. after the 1848 European democratic revolutions, according to its Executive Director, Dr. Joachim Reppmann. The new institute is named in honor of Dr. Gerhard Stoltenberg (1929-2001), who served as Minister-President of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. The institute’s first volume will contain the papers presented at a German-American History Conference (“The Legacy of 1848”) held at Wartburg College in late October, 2013. The conference was organized by Reppmann and Dr. Daniel Walther, Wartburg College’s Gerald Kleinfeld Distinguished Professor in German History. An advisory board for the new institute has also been formed. Chaired by Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, its members include Henry Kissinger, Eric Braeden, Walter Pfaeffle, and others prominent in the fields of German-American Studies and U.S.-German relations. The Stoltenberg Institute’s goal is to “preserve the history of European democratic republican Forty-eighter immigrants by actively collecting, preserving, interpreting, and presenting documents, artifacts and scholarly research and by promoting public involvement in and appreciation of this heritage through educational programming and community outreach.” The Stoltenberg Institute aims to be “a transatlantic institute, heritage center espousing the Forty-eighters’ conviction that we all embody moral values that should be publicly expressed, thereby making a meaningful contribution towards solving the myriad of challenges confronting the Western world.”

The “Forty-eighters” were a relatively small number of individuals who emigrated from Europe in the late 1840s and early 1850s after fighting unsuccessfully with both pen and sword for liberty, democracy, and national unity. Many German Forty-eighters immigrated to the United States, with a large number from the present-day state of Schleswig-Holstein choosing Davenport in Scott County, Iowa, as their adopted home. After settling in America, unique and talented individuals such as Theodor Olshausen, Hans Reimer Claussen, and Christian Müller provided an intellectual transfusion affecting not only their fellow German immigrants, but also the political and social history of the United States during one of its most critical periods.

Many Forty-eighters left lasting marks in the fields of politics, education, business, journalism, the arts, and the military. Carl Schurz, perhaps the most well-known German Forty-eighter who settled in America, was an ambassador to Spain for President Lincoln, a general during the Civil War, a United States senator, and the Secretary of the Interior under President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Carl Schurz’s legacy has become more significant and timely. With the steady increase of immigration to the United States, it’s become more critical to establish the proper framework for the absorption of the newcomers. Schurz’s solution to this problem — assimilation with the retention of each newcomer’s ethnic heritage — although no longer put in these terms, remains valid. The fusion of ethnic identities and American values is extremely important, and the example set by Carl Schurz might well be upheld today as a model for all immigrants.

The moving 29-minute video, ‘Forty-eighters & Friends’, highlights the Forty-eighters’ conviction that we all embody moral values that should be publicly expressed, thereby making a meaningful contribution towards solving the myriad of challenges confronting the Western world.

Dr. Joachim (Yogi) Reppmann is Executive Director of the Stoltenberg Institute, whose goal is to preserve the history of the Forty-eighter immigrant group. 

The Stoltenberg Institute for German-American Forty-eighter StudiesOak leaves SH - USA Logo
Dr. Joachim Reppmann
Executive Director
103 North Orchard Street
Northfield, Minnesota
MN 55057, USA
yogireppmann@gmail.com
http://www.Moin-Moin.us

Stoltenberg Floor Plan

Stoltenberg Floor Plan

THE STOLTENBERG INSTITUTE IN A NUTSHELL

Mission

To preserve the history of European 1848er immigrants by actively collecting, preserving, interpreting, and presenting documents, artifacts and scholarly research and by promoting public involvement in and appreciation of this heritage through educational programming and community outreach.

Vision

To be a transatlantic heritage center espousing the Forty-eighters’ conviction that we all embody moral values that should be publicly expressed, thereby making a meaningful contribution towards solving the myriad of challenges confronting the Western world.

Values

Education: To share and advance European-American history by providing visitors and students with exhibits and programs that enlighten, inspire, challenge, and teach.
Research: To increase our collective knowledge of the Forty-Eighters and their many contributions to all facets of life in America.
Preservation: To preserve our collections of artifacts, archival papers, and research for the enjoyment and education of future generations.
Integrity: To present historically accurate information and encourage the articulation of multiple viewpoints.
Cooperation: To cooperate with other organizations with similar goals such as the German Heritage Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio; the German-American Heritage Center in Davenport, Iowa, and the German-American Heritage Museum in Washington, DC.
Fiscal Discipline: To operate as a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that develops, budgets, and spends public contributions with maximum effectiveness within the parameters of our mission and vision.

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 7.40.08 PM

 

For more general information on the Stoltenberg Institute, see the entire PDF.

(This floor plan represents our hope for a future building to call our headquarters.)