The German-Bohemian Immigrant Monument is located in the city of New Ulm, Minnesota. It was erected in 1991 by the German-Bohemian Heritage Society to honor the German-Bohemian immigrants who had the courage and foresight to come to this country. The immigrants came mostly from small villages, with the largest number from the village centers of Hostau, Muttersorf, and Ronsperg. These were farm communities where the people lived and housed their stock, going out daily to work in the fields. Most villages had Catholic churches or chapels and the residents spoke a Bohemian dialect of German.
Inscribed in granite slabs around the base of the monument are over 350 immigrant family names. The first immigrants were farm settlers. As more and more arrived, and as they could all no longer farm, they settled in the city of New Ulm and some of the small communities to the west and north.
The bronze statue that rests on top of the granite base was designed and sculpted by the renowned sculptor Leopold Hafner, a German-Bohemian who now lives near Passau, Germany.
Text on the German-Bohemian Monument
This monument was erected in 1991 by the German-Bohemian Heritage Society to commemorate the immigrants to this region from the German speaking western rim of present-day Czechoslovakia. They emigrated from the counties of Bischofteinitz, Mies and Taus in the province of Pilsen, as shown on the European map and settled in the townships sketched on the U.S. map. Around the base in the granite slabs are inscribed the over 350 immigrant family names as they were approximately spelled when the families departed their old homeland. Known at the time of their departure as Bohemia, a crown colony in the Austro-Hungarian empire, this region in the twentieth century was included in the larger periphery of the Czech nation designated as the Sudetenland, more locally it was called the Bohmerwald, Bohemian forest, a ridge of high hills that forms a natural border with Germany.
The immigrants came mostly from small villages, with the largest numbers from the village centers of Hostau, Muttersdorf, and Ronsberg. These were farm communities where the people lived and housed their stock, going out daily to work their scattered non-contiguous fields. Most villages had Catholic churches or chapels and the residents spoke a Bohemian dialect of German. From New Years day to Christmas each year they observed special traditions spiced with large wedding celebrations and funerals attended by the entire communities. Music in every form–bands, singing societies, and choirs–permeated all the aspects of village life.