From Langenbrück to Kansas City. The Kiefer-Scholz Family

hrsg. von Andrew Stuart Bergerson, Li Gerhalter, Thorsten Logge

Rahmen der Entstehung

Das Buch ist das Ergebnis einer transnationalen Lehrveranstaltung im Sommersemester 2020, an der fünf Universitäten beteiligt waren:

Das IEE war mit dem Forschungsseminar "Auswandern nach Amerika. Migrationsbriefe digital erfassen und beforschen" (LV-Leiterin: Li Gerhalter) dabei. Weiters die University of Missouri-Kansas City und die University of Missouri-St.Louis in Missouri (Andrew Bergerson), die Universität Hamburg (Thorsten Logge) und die Uniwersytet Wrocławski (Joanna Wojdon).

Transnationale Zusammenarbeit

Die Kapitel des Buches wurden von den Studierenden der verschiedenen Universitäten gemeinsam in transnational und interdisziplinär zusammengesetzen Arbeitsgruppen geschrieben.

Die Autorinnen aus Wien sind Katharina Burgstaller-Mühlbacher, Linda Goldnagl, Alexandra Eleonore Impris, Saskia Pacher, Maria Prchal, Maren Sacherer und Barbara Tobler.

Interdisziplinärer Inhalt

Die Kapitel behandeln folgende Themen:

  • Thekla E Scholz as a young German migrant woman in the USA around 1910: What does the "American dream" mean to whom?
  • Sustaining relationships via letters and postcards after migration in the 1920s
  • Maintaining and adapting German culture to post-WWI America: Language, music, and eating habits
  • The supply situation in Silesia after World War I: How world history can change the position of young migrant women within their personal environment
  • Migration and transatlantic catholicism: The Scholz sisters as actors in catholic traditions in the US - and as a missionary in Africa
  • A photo journal of Langenbrück (today Moszczanka) in 2020/2021


In 1911, Thekla E. Scholz migrated at the age of 23 from her rural village in Upper Silesia to work as a maid in the United States. She and her husband Robert J. Kiefer, an itinerate cabinet maker and musician, settled in Kansas City after he served in the German Army during the First World War. Thanks to Thekla Scholz's lifelong habit of preserving holy cards, letters, photographs, and post-cards, scholars can study her migration and subsequent life in Missouri as well as the ongoing challenges faced by her family and friends in both countries.

In 2020, the Robert J. Kiefer and Thekla E. Scholz Collection became the primary focus of a collaborative international online research seminar and pro-ject involving four faculty members and more than thirty graduate students in art history, ethnography, history, and public history from the Universities of Hamburg, Vienna, Wrocław, Missouri-Kansas City and -St. Louis. German Migration to Missouri 2.0 consists of student-authored microhistories focusing on this one German-American family. It offers rare glimpses into the experience of German-American migration and acculturation through the lens of a fascinating working-class woman.

Link zur Open-Access-Ausgabe: