Looking for info on Otremba's from Minnesota. See below
THE OLD COUNTRY
The migration of the Anton Otremba family from Germany in 1868 was part of the greatest historical migration of all times. Between the period 1840-1940 approximately 60,000,000 people left Europe. Of these, the exodus from the German nation accounted for about 5,000,000, most of whom came to the United States.
Many factors prompted this movement. Within Germany many changes had made distant travel feasible. Steamships made travel cheaper and easier and the development of a railway system helped people get to the sea. New laws liberalized previously feudal travel restrictions. During periods of prosperity and high wages emigration rates soared.
People did not all leave because things were so good. Following the revolution of 1848 many people fled for political reasons. Meanwhile Catholicism was at odds with the new waves of liberalism and republicanism in Europe. With war raging almost constantly some left to avoid compulsory military service.
Conditions in the United States also helped lure people from their homelands. Sought were the poor who competed for low wages in the rapidly growing factories. But much more sought were the skilled workers and the educated. In addition many were sought to settle the rich fertile virgin lands of the country.
To settle on this rich land must have been the deciding reason for the Anton Otremba family to leave their home. What other factors influenced this decision are hard to determine. It is known that an article in the German papers advertised the good qualities of the soil and the fine climate. This article, written by a Central Minnesota Missionary priest, Father Francis Xavier Pierz, also told of the foundation of a new German Catholic Agricultural Colony in central Minnesota.
The Otremba family migrated from Silesia, Germany. Silesia was a province lying roughly southeast of Berlin, southwest of Warsaw, and northeast of Prague, Czechoslovakia, lying in the Upper Valley of the Oder River, with Breslau in the center. It is an area that has changed hands many times throughout history. In the fourteenth century it was part of the Crown of Bohemia, one of three hereditary provinces of the House of Austria and ruled by the Hapsburg Dynasty. It remained under this control until the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) joined it to Prussia. Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, startled Austria and its new Queen, Marie Theresa, when he invaded Silesia and annexed it.
Prussia had been formed from a group of several small states surrounding Berlin in the period 1417-1614. Through a series of seven conquests and treaties, of which the acquisition of Silesia in 1748 was just one, Prussia grew to cover an area from France to the Russian Empire.