The DAG Si-Wi or individual members have contact to almost all US States. Very intensive contact, however, exists with organisations or citizens in Philadelphia and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the home of numerous descendants of the emigrants from the Wittgenstein region.
Descendants of emigrants from the Wittgenstein area, e.g. the “The Church of Brethren” or the “Womelsdorf Family”, are today – both singly and in whole groups – following in the footsteps of their ancestors.
“The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia”, an organisation of the descendants of emigrants from the Siegerland region, is the first US member of the DAG SiWi. There is a steady exchange with the board of the Germanna Foundation.
Steadily increasing numbers of visitors from the Siegerland have already attended the Annual Reunion of the Germanna Foundation. It is held in “Siegen Forest” near Culpepper – the location of the settlement of the first emigrants from the Siegerland, who came to the New World as much sought-after experts in the areas of mining and steel work. In the Visitor Center (see left) exhibits from the Siegerland region are on display.
A double-sided leaflet about the emigration of the first people from the Siegerland and about the Germanna Foundation can be sent upon request.
Visiting delegations from the Germanna Foundation to the Siegerland region, which are also ‘following in the footsteps of their ancestors’, have been a regular occurrence over the past three years.
One of the DAG Si-Wi´s partners is the Heimatbund Siegerland-Wittgenstein e. V. – an umbrella organisation of clubs for the preservation of local customs and traditions in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district. The two organisations cooperate in a study group which researches into emigration from the Siegerland and Wittgenstein region to the US in the 18th and 19th centuries and which tries to make and maintain contact with the descendants of the emigrants.
Emigration from the Siegerland and Wittgenstein region to the US is clearly illustrated in a catalogue (128 p.) that was published in 1999 and displayed on the occasion of an exhibition of the same name, taking place in Siegen´s Upper Castle, and which was planned and compiled by the History Department of the University of Siegen. The catalogue is available in our office.
The University of Siegen is a member of the DAG Si-Wi.
The University of Siegen boasts many international partnerships involving research and teaching and has about 80 bilateral agreements with European Universities within the framework of the SOKRATES-program.
- University of Florida
- University of Houston
- University of Idaho, Moscow
- University of Illinois, Urbana, Champaign
- University of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
There are also American students who study in Siegen (cf. www.aaa.uni-siegen.de/outgoing/partner/soliste.htm).
The Department of Linguistics, Literature and Media Studies offers lectures, seminars and language practice classes with focus on the U.S.
An important partner for the DAG Si-Wi is the
U.S. Consulate General NRW
Public Affairs Section
Apostelkloster 13 – 15
A flyer in English informs about the services offered by the U.S. Consulate NRW and provides other useful tips and links. It can also be ordered upon request from the DAG Si-Wi´s office.