German Study Group – German Immigration

Members and visitors are welcome to join this group! To register for this Zoom meeting, please send an email to Del at

Our speaker at our February 6, 2021 meeting will be Dr. Berit Jany presenting German immigration.

Group Class Information

Dr. Jany’s presentation will be about German immigration to America and German History from the sixteenth to eighteenth century. Following is a summary about her presentation: A Long Way from Home: German Immigration to America.

In winter of 1772, Johann Carl Büttner, a barber-surgeon from the small town of Senftenberg, Saxony, found himself on a ship to Philadelphia. He was lured into this adventure by recruiters for the Dutch East India Company who had promised to provide him with a position as a ship’s surgeon. With his debts to the recruiting agents mounting, he agreed to sail to the American colonies as a redemptioner immigrant. The reasons for his migration—just as the migration of thousands of other German immigrants to colonial America—can be traced back to political, social, and religious factors that determined everyday life in the German-speaking lands.

In her lecture, Dr. Jany will discuss early German immigration to America. After giving an overview of the German history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries with a special focus on developments and events that pushed people away from German-speaking areas of Europe, she will detail the emigration process with a few selected biographies, including that of Johann Carl Büttner.

Speaker Profile

Dr. Berit Jany

Dr. Berit Jany completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in German literature at the Ohio State University. She currently serves as coordinator of the undergraduate German language program at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her research deals with second language acquisition and German-Americana history, with a special focus on Anabaptist and Pietist migration and literature.

Be sure to register with Del at to receive the Zoom info and handout.