Many family members are rightly thrilled that the "Utopia" exhibit at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis pays attention to the great deeds of our ancestors. (See the News page for more information.)
However, it's a mixed blessing. While the Muench Family Association appreciates the Traveling Summer Republic's efforts to publicize the Giessen Emigration Society's journey to America, serious concerns about the historical accuracy of the presentation have been expressed by local historians, who disagree with the portrayal of Friedrich Muench and Paul Follenius as utopians who came to the U.S. to create a "German Utopia" as stated on a Facebook page created by the exhibit's designers. Unfortunately, it's not historical fact; it's fiction.
By all means, go visit the exhibit. Have a good time. But please realize that the exhibit has been created by a German multimedia company that has crafted a message that does not pass muster with credible historians. As you enjoy the exhibit, don't fall for the hype; please also make an effort to learn the real history of your ancestors.
I promise to continue to promote that real history on this site. Our ancestors were men of principle, and I intend to continue that tradition, refusing to buckle under to those who would tarnish their legacy.
--James F. Muench