Adventure Brazil

True incidents from old letters retold by Elke Langner.

Trittau 1866, visit by João

The year is 1866.
The tranquil life of the village of Trittau has become restless: The rich cousin from America is visiting the wheel maker family Scharnberg family.
Johann Joachim Christian Scharnberg - in Brazil he is called "João" after the Portuguese word for Johann - told, and above all the sons of the old wheel maker hang on his lips and cannot learn enough about the foreign land. Marx, 19 years old, is also mentally with his older brother Johann. He's on the move, as befits a craftsman who has finished his apprenticeship. But what Johann writes in his letters about the situation in Germany doesn't sound much encouraging. Nowhere is there enough work for a wheel maker; and if you find a job - at Hanover, in Oschersleben, Lauban, Posen - it is badly paid. One thaler a week; for the money he can work in the restaurant business in Hamburg, just like brother Adolph, 17 years old. Last year he washed wheat beer bottles in the beer cellar in Hamburg. Adolph had of course managed to be in first place there and received tips of 7 thalers and 5 thalers a month. Well, that was only for the transition period; Since Midsummer of this year he has - like all of them - started an apprenticeship as a wheel maker. His master is Kruse at Gänsemarkt in Hamburg.

Like all of them? Oh no. Marx thought of Fritz. His 15-year-old brother is on duty at the head forester in Trittau this summer. But forester König, too, will probably no longer be able to use him. Fritz was the last child the mother had born before she got this fatal emaciation. And Fritz had always been different and had not developed the way parents would like. Her father complained that he was working out wood, but that he was not doing anything together. He was later diagnosed with a heart defect and lung disease. He probably wouldn't be able to come to Brazil with me; because that's where he wanted to go, Marx. - At least if Adolph came along. Well, at least Fritz is spared military service.

Military service, that was a topic that Marx did not sleep for nights. They still had him in front of them: Johann had to stand when he was back from the roller coaster, and also Adolph and he would be "dug up" next year. That's what they called it when you were called to the draft. But being a soldier was a kind of adventure that none of them wanted to experience in the family. If the father interpreted the reports from the railway newspaper correctly, it was likely that a war was already on the way. Just three days ago it was written that those born in 1841 and 1842 would be drafted for six months, the boys born in 1843 should have been serving for 1 ½ years and those born in 1844 and 1845 had to remain permanently in military service. That means that they can all delete Brazil from their plans for the future!

João turns to his uncle, the old wheel maker: “Johannum, your sons are capable and are learning a trade. People like that are needed over here in Rio Grande do Sul. Life is cheap, you can get by on just 4 pfennigs a day for food and drink. And there is enough to earn in all areas. Look at me: I'm not a craftsman, I'm a merchant. But I did it too. 23 thousand marks - that's with us - let me do the math: 11,500 milreis or 11.5 conto de rice - I have with me and a credit of 30 thousand marks. I will buy goods here in Europe for about 60,000 marks and take them over with me: winter skirts, leather slippers and, above all, a lot of silver dishes for the horses. According to my calculation, I can sell it there for a profit of 20,000 marks. Rudolph stayed over in Brazil. He also made a lot of money. We owe that to our father, who taught us how to trade: Uncle Johannum, you know him. Father knows exactly where to buy the best fathoms of wood here in Trittau and how to sell them again at a good profit. My brother Rudolph wants to come in about three years and then shop here for 16 to 20 thousand marks. But he also said that I should definitely bring your eldest son Johann to South America when I go back for Christmas. From here I want to go to Paris, and then I'll take a modern steamboat across the Atlantic ”.

"Cousin João , I can still learn something well until Christmas, and then I want to join in," said Adolph to speak. "You wanted to finish your apprenticeship and also - how do you want to get free from the military?" Asked Marx . "Oh, I'll find a way - even if I have to chop my left thumb a little shorter."

Wherever João was visiting and raving about his new home, he aroused longing for the foreign land. But not only Trittauer were infected with the Brazil fever. He also found interested listeners in Hamburg, where João was visiting his sister Catharina. Catharina Elisabeth Scharnberg had married the tailor Bohmgahren . But the large family could not be fed with the money he earned from tailoring. Her husband repeatedly brought up the subject of emigration over the next few months. But that was no way for Catharina. There was no way for them - should he move to South America alone with the children. In July 1867 she threw herself out the window and was dead after 1 ½ hours.

Crossing to Brazil, arrival in Alegrete

"Well, there they are finally. About time too. As far as I am concerned, they could have come here weeks ago, but the Luschke in Pelotas probably wouldn't let them go”. João was his cousins Marx and Adolph rode a Legoa from Alegrete. Now he sees the cart drawn by the oxen slowly approaching. When he can see the passengers inside, he is startled. Are these the two strong boys whom he said goodbye to 1 ½ years ago in Trittau? They have become skinny.

"Look, up there, isn't that cousin João ?"
"Yes, Marx , it looks like this. - Hey, cousin, it's nice that you came to meet us. A nice reception”.
“Hello guys, wait until tonight for now: I'll give you a party in your honor. You can get to know your new master right away. I've already got you a job. "

João speaks briefly with the Karrettero and the car stops in Alegrete right in front of João's house, a magnificent building on Osoria Square. Adolph whistles appreciatively through his teeth. Yes, that is the caliber he envisions for himself in a few years.

After Marx and Adolph have reached up to eat, they are all sitting together. “As I can see, you enjoyed my meal. It's different than eating in the carrette twice a day for seven weeks - and then just black beans and bacon, right? But it still doesn't make you so thin - especially you, Adolph, had more on your ribs in Trittau”.
"Oh, cousin João , now Adolph is well fed again. You should have seen him in Pelotas: Adolph had an upset and had to be hospitalized for four weeks. When I was able to pick it up again, it was just a skeleton”.
"That's right - but Marx bought a shotgun and shot us pigeons and partridges. We grilled them and that's how he pepped me up again”.
“Is that why you didn't come earlier? And I was already thinking, Guilhermo Luschke won't let you out of his clutches”.
“Well, he would have liked to keep us there. It was also good work that we had to do with him - car construction, exactly the right thing for wheel maker. Only the switch to the hard tropical woods bothered us at first."
“But you will have to adapt yourself here in the provinces. You don't need carriages here. Here you don't go for a walk - as in the cities on the coast - but ride a horse. Here with us houses are built. Carpenters and joiners are in demand. That's why you can do your apprenticeship with a master carpenter - of course the best man here in town. And we don't have a horse-drawn tram like in Pelotas or Porto Alegre as a pleasure here either. Every now and then one of the Germans gives a company in our house. This is our change from everyday life."
Marx and Adolph looked at each other. Of course, they wanted to work and make money. But they had already enjoyed bachelor life in Pelotas. And they were happy to have found a place with Luschke after the unfortunate start in Brazil.

"Why an unfortunate start; and how was your trip from Trittau? ”João wanted to know. Marx said: “Father and Johann accompanied us to Hamburg. We brothers walked side by side. Our father was already depressed, but he didn't want to show it that way. Adolph, you went in the middle and you're a bit taller than Johann and me. And when father saw our silhouettes from behind, he said jokingly: 'Look how the Hamburg coat of arms'."
“I didn't even notice. I had talked to Johann about our ship. He said he would rather go on a steamer than a sailor, like our 'Eitea' was. We were at sea for three long months. And with a steamer we would have been spared this unsuccessful arrival."
João suspected what they were talking about: “The currents on the coast near Rio Grande are treacherous, I know. When the winds are unfavorable, the sailors sometimes have to cruise for weeks in front of the bar before they can enter port. Did that happen to you too?"
“Worse, cousin João. It almost happened to us: Our captain put the 'Eitea' on the ground - we were stranded on the sandbank. Then we all stood on the beach in soaking wet clothes and all our luggage, and were allowed to walk the whole way to Rio Grande ”.

The brothers Hermann Bohmgahren , 13 years old, and August Bohmgahren , 11 years old, were also on board of the Eitea. Their uncle João had given them the money for the crossing. In November 1872 her father went to Rio Grande do Sul with his siblings Louise and Emil. But they didn't get rich in their new home. After father Bohmgahren had saved himself 600 milreis after three years of work in Alegrete and now wanted to have the money paid out by João in order to move to Porto Alegre and let the youngest children come over, his brother-in-law only gave him a tenth of it back . He said bitterly, “This is the way people can get rich. João is 80,000 milreis rich and still not enough. Now I'm poor again as before”.

His son John , shoemaker boy, couldn't get along there and lived beyond his means. He had stayed with Uncle João, who, however, disliked his nephew's lifestyle very much. In November 1889 the dispute broke out again. João accused John of drinking and gambling and threw him out. John went into the garden - and shot himself in the heart.

August Bohmgahren only survived his brother John by ½ year. It started out well for him. Together with others he had built a brewery in Uruguayana. His uncle João had supported the project with over 2,000 milreis. Then bankruptcy! All was lost. Rudolph stepped in and offered his nephew the post of accountant in his company. The two tried each other for 18 months, then August went back to Uruguayana in an argument, where he died impoverished and sick.

Journey by Christian Selk and Heinrich August Scharnberg

So the sons of the old wheel maker had made it to Brazil. During this time, Carl Möller and the sons of Uncle Daniel, Rudolph and Hinrich Scharnberg, fought War against the French. Hinrich had gotten a bullet through his pants even before Paris; but with a lot of luck he was unharmed. But how did the wheel maker escape military service?
For Johann, the eldest, a crooked little finger and a weak connective tissue were enough to be "unfit". Adolph had put his plan into practice: eight days before Pentecost in 1867, he cut off the front part of his left thumb to get free during the upcoming examination. Eleven weeks later, the hand was healed enough for him to go back to work.
Marx submitted an application for permission to stay in Brazil for 1 ½ years. The answer from Reinbek Castle came in autumn 1867, when he was already on the high seas: Refused! He should show up for the military draft. He was released from a sentence, however, because later there was a decree according to which all who had been out of the country before December 1866 went free. That applied to Marx - according to his testimony and that of two witnesses in Altona.

The youngest son of old wheel maker Scharnberg from his marriage to his second wife also moved to Brazil. Together with his mother's illegitimate son, Christian Selk, Heinrich August traveled to South America at the age of 17. With Heinrich the law struck mercilessly because he had evaded the draft: he had followed his brothers to Alegrete with Christian Selk ; that later earned him a fine of 150 marks plus 50 marks in fees and interest from the savings bank.

On June 5, 1877, their ship “Bahia” from the Veddel left Hamburg, but Heinrich and Christian had already said goodbye to their mother in Trittau. At the last moment she handed Heinrich 100 Reichsmarks. "Mother, where did you get that from?" He asked. “I got it from my relatives, it is the only thing and the last thing I can give you. It is not necessary that you show it to father."

Building company, Scharnberg brothers, marriage of Adolph and Adelaide

“It can't go on like this!” Adolph pushed his plate away and looked at his brothers. "Johann, you only poke at the food."
“Yes, every day there is always the same thing to eat.” Marx jumped to Johann's side: “Yes Adolph, Johann is right. Our principle has always been to eat and drink well - and what is left will be saved.”
“That's exactly what I meant. Now we've hired several cooks one after the other, but these yellow ones Brazilian women don't know how to make anything out of a slaughtered pig or a cow. Except for a number of sausages, we didn't get anything from our pig. We can think of everything else.”
“But we could forget this Brazilian chef that we had before! ”
“That was an old drunkard. ”
“And When we got home from work in the evening, he only started to put the meal on. When we first ate in the hotel, back then, before Johann came, it was tasty."
“That's right, Marx, but we also spent a lot of money on it, an ounce a month! That's why we ate with the German plumber's family.”
“The woman is really good at cooking! It was like with mother. It's a shame that we are not allowed to eat there anymore.”
“Do you remember how she told us: 'Because of a lack of abundance, we can no longer continue ... As if we hadn't paid for the food.”
“One of us has to get married.” -
“Johann, you are the oldest of us. According to tradition, you should be the first to go.”
“No, I'll wait a little longer. I also want to go back to Trittau, I promised our father that. - Marx, what about you?"
"Oh, I haven't found one here for marriage yet."
"What? 4,000 people live in Alegrete, many parents with marriageable daughters. There has to be something there!”
“At most one of Schmitt's daughters would come into question. But none of them has been good enough for the old man. However, it looks like Adolph has a chance. They say you're invited there next week, brother?"

In fact, not long after Adolph's engagement to Adelaide Schmitt was announced. The Schmitts were among the most respected families in Alegrete. Christian Schmitt had earned a good reputation with his leather work and earned a lot of money. And what Adolph and his brothers had achieved in the past few years earned him respect: after Marx and Adolph had studied with the carpenter Veinant for two and a half years, they bought a house on the main street and started their own business. First and foremost, they built houses. They did everything that had to do with woodwork themselves: from the roof structure to balconies, windows and doors, ceilings, to the floors. You were a carpenter, carpenter, turner and glazier in one person. On the side they traded in wood and boards; that was the most and easiest way to earn money.
In the spring of 1873 her brother Johann finally came to Alegrete. After arriving in Rio de Janeiro in October 1869, he had worked in the country's first car factory. In February of the coming year, yellow fever spread in the city and Johann fled to Pelotas - also from the tropical heat of the Brazilian summer. How did he enjoy the cool, healthy climate on the journey, which he had been without for months; and then the beautiful flat grassy area on both sides of the river, where thousands of oxen grazed, which were brought from far beyond Alegrete, even from Paraguay. At Pelotas there were around 100 large slaughterhouses in which 50,000 oxen were usually slaughtered, the meat was dried and then shipped far and wide.

He enjoyed the beautiful meat and potatoes, which he had been without for four months, even more than the climate. He found work in Schmied Luschke's factory and was happy to stay there. He was able to work as a wheelwright and earned a good income: “4-5 milreis a day, roughly between 90-100 milreis a month, of which I need about half for food, accommodation, tools and clothing; So 1 price per day. Thaler".
In this way he was able to save a small fortune and then joined his brothers' company in Alegrete as a partner. They had bought several plots of land in Alegrete, and they were gradually building on those lots. They worked from sunrise to sunset. Germans who arrived in Alegrete found work with them until they had built something up themselves. In the course of time they also employed Hans Heinrich Scharnberg , Fritz Willhöft , Hermann Bohmgahren, her brother Heinrich and Christian Selk. She employed three Brazilian apprentices who only got work and tools; Clothes and food were provided by their masters.

It was the custom in Alegrete that on Saturday mornings the beggars went from door to door asking for alms; in the workshop of the Scharnbergs nobody went away empty-handed. At first dawn Johann had already put a handful of copper coins in the corner of his workbench. If he was unable to distribute it himself because of work, he handed it over to his brother Heinrich with the words: "Scharnberg, take care that everyone gets their share".

They had expanded their own house on the main street. The larger part was her workshop, a smaller part her apartment. They rented the rest to the German tailor Wiegand Schmidt, who lived there and ran his shop and workshop. They had invested the capital they had earned and received between 18% and 27% interest on it a year. All in all, they considered themselves “among the happiest who have ever crossed the ocean.” As a sign of their brotherly solidarity, Johann, Marx and Adolph had three identical gold pocket watches made; The letters A-M-I-Z-A-D-E were worked into the gold watch chain, the Portuguese word for "friendship".

In Trittau Heinrich Dieckvoss was sitting in front of the letter he had received. Adolph reported from Alegrete about his wedding, to which he had also invited Heinrich. Of course, he couldn't go to Brazil, but they had arranged that back before the Scharnberg brothers emigrated to South America from the neighboring house: They wanted to invite each other to their wedding. Heinrich thought of his Maria, the daughter of Kätner Scharnberg. She was only fifteen. But it was already clear to him today that there would be no one else for him besides her.
He turned back to the letter and read: All the relatives in Alegrete had come to the festival. Christian Schmitt had invited many Germans and Brazilians to his daughter's wedding in his garden. A buffet with food and drinks was set up. Everything was festively decorated and in the evening there was music and dancing.

Marie's trip to Montevideo

The Swedish gentleman from the next cabin came towards her when she was about to stretch her legs a little. “Madam, Montevideo is in sight. If you go on deck, you can see her starboard ahead in the distance”.
Marie Borstelmann went upstairs. She impatiently awaited the end of the journey. Not that she was afraid of the sea, no. Her father was a boatman, so she was familiar with the element of water from an early age. After all, she had also worked on Heligoland. The crossings to the island had been quite stormy at times, like here now. But this time her bridegroom Marx was waiting for her in the “Hotel de Paris”. She had to smile when she thought about how she had met him in the store of shopkeeper Dieckvoss last year when she was shopping for the kitchen of their Hamfeld men. Marx had returned to Brazil a few months later, but he had kept his promise. He asked her to come to Montevideo to marry him. She could have the travel money of 1,200 marks paid out by his brother Johann in Trittau.
She ignored the concerns of her friends. “If you don't dare, you won't win,” she replied, “it's definitely not forever. You will see, in a few years we will come back as rich people and then I'll build my own pension here”.

It had been a pleasant crossing. She had had a good time with the other passengers. Other steamers often headed for Lisbon to take other travelers on board. They drove past, for this the island of São Vicente of Cape Verde was headed for. Coals were invited there. Marie had gone ashore with the other passengers. “But oh, it was a sad coast of Africa, where nothing grows, the children were almost all running around naked and you could not protect yourself from begging. The gentlemen threw their money in the water and the children dived afterwards and took it out again."

The ship was anchored. Because of the storm, it was now unable to enter the port of Montevideo in the dark at night. Adolph had been waiting on the quay. Then the news came that the ship was out in the roadstead. Without further ado, Adolph chartered a boat and fought his way to the ship for two hours against the stormy sea and the headwind. He had promised his brother that he would look after his future sister-in-law as if she were his own sister. But it was also too stupid. Now, of all times, Marx's sick leg got so bad again that he could not travel. As soon as it got better, he would come - but how long should that take? Adolph climbed on board. But apart from the crew there was no one there. The captain had brought the passengers ashore and accompanied Marie to the agreed hotel.

Now she got a queasy feeling when she couldn't see Marx anywhere in the foyer. Was she wrong about him? Suddenly she felt a little helpless because she didn't understand a word of what was being said. The people spoke Spanish, Portuguese, French - but not German. The captain booked her a room and asked when a ship was coming from Rio Grande. "Tomorrow, Captain, but a gentleman has already arrived from there," said the man at reception and took out Adolph's business card.
Finally Adolph came himself and they recognized each other from their photos.

They had to pass the time together for twelve days. They prepared everything for the wedding ceremony at the justice of the peace, took the horse-drawn tram or made excursions out of town; to where the beautiful villas were with the pretty gardens in which the orange trees were in full bloom.
When Marx finally arrived, the wedding ceremony was on the same day and then they made their way to Alegrete, where they arrived ten days later.

Revolution in Rio Grande do Sul

The years Marie lived in Rio Grande do Sul are among the most troubled in the history of the country. It was the transition from monarchy to republic.

In the course of the 1880s the economic situation deteriorated noticeably. Hardly any new houses were built, customers' payment behavior was poor, and interest rates were low. Craftsmen were walking through Alegrete and merchants one by one went bankrupt. Adolph opened up new fields of activity. He leased cattle for 1,200 rice per person per year to estancieiros, which they fattened on their breeding farms. Every year at the end of summer, troops were put together and Troperos drove the cattle in large herds to Pelotas. It happened more and more often that the rent could not be paid, and so Adolph suddenly had a herd of 300 oxen standing in front of the door, which he had to accept instead of the debt; he didn't want to write off the money completely.

Added to this was the drop in prices for livestock. When Adolph started with 150 cattle in 1882, he had made a 20% profit on the sale to the Troperos within seven months. In the following year, only 32 milreis were paid per ox in Pelotas, compared to 44 - 48 milreis in previous years. In 1887 the price had fallen to barely 20 milreis per capita. It was not worth putting together a troop for this; the cattle were given a reprieve in the pastures - but they didn't earn a year.

The trigger for the overthrow of the emperor was the law to abolish slavery of 1888. Actually, the slave owners were supposed to be compensated, but that did not happen. Resistance arose not only among the planters, but also in other sections of the population. In addition, there was dissatisfaction with the tightly managed central administration. When some battalions were to be relocated from Rio de Janeiro to secure the succession to the throne for the emperor's unpopular daughter, a military revolt broke out. Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca had the imperial family and the ministers arrested, and they were exiled to Europe on board a steamer. A counter-movement was bloodily suppressed. The new government under Fonseca gave all Brazilians who could read and write the right to vote. This was the reason for many to adopt Brazilian citizenship. Adolph and Heinrich August Scharnberg also became Brazilians in this way.

Heinrich complained that the liberal party, which was friendly to the monarchy, to which he belonged, had been abolished and that they had all to submit to the republican government. Governadores who were violently deployed after the military revolt have since resigned, but no blood has flowed to date. Heinrich writes from Santa Cruz, however, that one can hardly believe the local papers; they should all have adopted the republic-friendly expression. He complained that taxes had already been increased enormously, the price of exported products had fallen significantly, but the price of imported goods had risen enormously and the public opinion was becoming more and more outrageous.

It happened, as it unfortunately often happens: under the new president corruption flourished and money was printed as it was needed. In addition, there were unfavorable trade agreements, especially with the USA. This created great economic difficulties. Fonseca resigned, but was unable to prevent party battles and the outbreak of civil war, especially in Rio Grande do Sul.

When Marx and Marie wanted to use the new railway line from Cacequi to Porto Alegre in November 1892, they got a first impression of the unrest. One of the wagons of their train with powder and ammunition derailed, and everything was in turmoil at the stations. Speeches were made and “Vivas” were brought; at Rio Pardo the rails were torn. That was enough excitement for them. At the next station in Conto, the two of them got off the train and drove on to Santa Cruz to the colonies of Christian Selk and Heinrich August Scharnberg. They were also visited by Rudolph Scharnberg , who had been living in Santa Cruz with his family for some time.
A little later, the unrest also gripped Alegrete. The stationed battalion left the city within four hours because it refused to surrender. The Castilists under Major Macedo took command and occupied Alegrete with 200-300 men, all recruited locals.

Then came the news that had long been feared: the Federalists had crossed the border at Sant'Anna and rode to Alegrete. 800 men under Colonel Pinna were now encamped on the other side of the bridge. At dawn on March 20, 1893, the irregulars stormed off:
"Vamos companheiros"! The commandant cheered on his people. "The beer over there from the Alemão, we'll grab it". Howling, the pack rode towards the brewery, smashed the windows, ransacked the beer warehouse and set the brewery on fire before moving on to town with their booty.

The family had stood behind the window panes of their house and watched the goings-on, but it was best not to stand in the way of these robber gangs. And so the old Heinrich had to stand by and watch as everything that he had built in the last few years fell to rubble.
Should it all be over now? The Sunday meetings in his restaurant, where “all of Germany” came together? The happy rounds of bowling in the garden until late at night? Much more life had come to the city since he started brewing. But now - without beer ...

Even the Castilists did not have much to oppose the superior force. Shots rang out on both sides. An immense confusion and horror arose; the revolutionaries raced through the streets of Alegrete at full gallop with loud cheers and gunshots; the taking of the city was the work of an instant. Five people died, several wounded and prisoners made the militants, including Macedo. They settled in the town hall, took all the money from state accounts, all weapons and ammunition and destroyed the telegraph lines, so that the city was cut off from the outside world.

Even so, the government's proceedings did not go unnoticed, and 10 days later 800 infantrymen marched in and 700 cavalry men rode to Alegrete to drive away the insurgents. Half an hour outside of town, at old Joaquin Tomais's farm, they met the Federalists, who had recruited over 1,000 alegreters in the past few days. The battle lasted five hours, then the Federalists gained the upper hand. The riders chased away, 300 men of the infantry fell, the rest were slaughtered on their flight.

Alegrete is left to her own devices after the troops have withdrawn; the battles are now taking place in the south between Sant'Anna and Bagé. There are no police in Alegrete. Crimes can be committed with unpunished. Some trading houses and hotels that still exist close at sunset, and nobody goes for a walk in the city in the evening. Large bands of robbers roam the Campanha, murdering and stealing everything they find. They drive away herds of 500 head of cattle, they collect the horses of the estancieiros, fear reigns.

Marx was lucky, he got off scot-free so far. However, as long as the revolution is raging, he has no chance of selling his houses and returning to Germany.
Adolph has lost little so far, but there are very restless nights: Anyone who, like him, only has money deals can always be present to be attacked. The Macedo has given him all his things; he wants to go to Uruguay with his family on his Estâncias as soon as possible.

Someone who has lost everything is Wilhelm Scharnberg . It was completely pillaged by the troops. They took everything with them that wasn't nailed down: his cattle, his agricultural implements, furniture.
Wilhelm gives up, sells the land that meant so much to him and his family - just like his parents before. He wants to leave Alegrete - somewhere, maybe to Ijuhi, and set up a vegetable business there.

The " old Heinrich " on his clod, Wilhelm's bride show

This piece of earth near Alegrete; where the Ibirapuitam river draws a loop and encloses the country like a peninsula, that was what Hans Heinrich Scharnberg liked when he accompanied his brother Rudolph von Trittau to Brazil in 1858. Back then, his dream was to one day build a brick factory here. He had been able to buy the machinery and equipment for it cheaply, and João had kept them for him. He hadn't been able to stay yet because his wife and children were waiting for his return in Trittau.
Eleven years later, the house in Trittau was sold to an instrument maker and the start-up capital was therefore available for a new life with the family in South America. He bought his corner of land, 30-40 tons, for 3 contos de rice. However, he had to quickly give up the plan with the brick factory for two reasons:
On the one hand, he had underestimated the knowledge and skills required to manufacture bricks, and then it was the nature of the soil that was unsuitable as a raw material for bricks. Due to the deposits of the river, the land was far too fat and heavy. Anyone who ever tills a piece of garden in the Elbe lowlands nows what we're talking about.

However, this fertile soil was ideally suited for growing vegetables and field crops. And so his chacra came into being, his little farm, where he grew vegetables and fruit, sown rye and barley, and used most of it as pasture for his 60 cows and oxen. Every day his son Wilhelm harnessed the horses, took the produce to the market and sold them there. His black bread, which had not been available there before, was particularly popular with German customers.

It was hard work for which they used quality equipment and machines "Made in Germany" that they had sent from their old homeland. From the forged spade to the horse harness to the chopping machine, everything came to them across the Atlantic. He wrote to Johann Scharnberg in Trittau:
"Dear cousin, thank you very much and no offense that I am ordering you again, because there is no other way if you want good dishes, because the new country is holding on very tight. To play farmer in Germany is nothing, everything is ready. Everything should be done here and with people who understand nothing. When the plow goes through the new land it is as if it wants to tear, because I now have my mules in front of it."

When old Heinrich and his wife Maria approached their 60s, the work became too difficult for them and they handed over the property to their only son Wilhelm. He soon turned 30, but was still not married. However, one person could not manage the farm alone - a woman had to go into the house.

The first choice for him was the lovely Leopoldina Schmitt . Going there alone - no, he didn't dare. But what are you related to? Adolph should come along as a courtship. Surely old Schmitt won't refuse his son-in-law !? Mistake. Those who were not very well acquainted with their family did not get inside the house so easily, and so Adolph and Wilhelm had to be content with staying in the shop. Wilhelm never saw Leopoldina in this way.
But Wilhelm didn't give up that easily. The next day he went back together with Jacob Krug . The Schmitts had meanwhile made their decision: they didn't want Wilhelm. So got he heard from old Schmitt: “My girls were brought up in the city and not for a country man. Not only are you alone for work and food, but you should also have some fun!"
“Yes, it can do that too. I have money,” replied Wilhelm. But it was of no use.

He understood. "Then not," thought Wilhelm, "other fathers also have beautiful daughters - e.g. in Germany". The very next day he packed his suitcase and drove headlong from Alegrete to Hamburg. There was just enough time for Marie, Marx's wife, to give him a letter for her friend Sophie from Richter in Hamfelde. So the Scharnbergs in Trittau were totally surprised when Wilhelm suddenly stood in the door! But he didn't want to spend long chatting and that's why he wasn't there long; even in Hamfelde at Sophie's, he was only twice.

Marie had not, however, unreservedly advised her friend because Wilhelm was considered stingy in Alegrete. Other girls he liked were already in steady hands. So Wilhelm had to travel to Brazil again without a bride. On the way back from the trip he visited Christian Selk and Heinrich Scharnberg in the Picaden near Santa Cruz. He also visited his cousin Fritz Willhöft , who was married to a Brazilian in Cachoeira, owned a carpentry and ran a large timber trade. And then it occurred to him: Why hadn't he asked his niece Minna Wellmann in Trittau?

Back in Alegrete, he immediately sat down and wrote two letters in April 1886. One to Mr. Wellmann in Trittau and his daughter Minna, the second to Johann Scharnberg in Trittau. He had carefully considered everything: Minna should not go to Monte Video because there was a revolution there, but directly to Rio Grande do Sul. A Billjet cost 250 marks, and Johann should give her the money and some travel money. It is best to take them away in August, because it suits him best in September to pick them up in Rio. And if she came, she could bring the urgently needed chopping machine, a dust grinder and a flat iron with her.

As life goes, the future father-in-law replied, only the letter was lost on the way and Wilhelm never found out that it said:
"Yes, Minna wants to come, but not until the following spring, because something like that needs to be carefully planned."
What Wilhelm found out was that she didn't come in September.

And while Minna was preparing everything for the crossing in March 1887 in anticipation of her voyage across the ocean, the following happened in Brazil:
In October '86 an elderly lady from Porto Alegre came to visit Alegrete; in tow a German private tutor. Her name was Rosaline Bleidorn , she was about 30 years old and very educated! She could play the piano and taught several languages. Not long after her arrival it was heard that she was engaged to Wilhelm and on January 8, 1887 at 4:00 p.m., when Minna was still dreaming of her happiness in Trittau, the wedding took place in Alegrete. Wilhelm took Rosaline as "the one sparrow in hand, because I didn't know whether Minna would have come."

As Adolph put it, many people in Alegrete thought at the time: "With her previous training, she will probably have few skills for farm work, but want to wish Wilhelm the best of luck". But Rosaline was no stranger to physical work, and she soon taught the Alegretians better.

Heinrich August Scharnberg and Christian Selk in Santa Cruz

Farm work was also done by Heinrich August Scharnberg and Christian Selk , and yet it was one completely different kind of agriculture on the southern foothills of the Serra near Santa Cruz. Here mainly tobacco and sugar cane grew on the plantations, but also cotton, corn, rice, beans and potatoes. The whole area there was still primeval forest until the middle of the 19th century, before the colonists made it arable. A colony was criss-crossed around a central point with paths, the picades, and divided into colony lots. The first settlers received their lands as gifts; after 1854 it was sold for 300 milreis for a piece of primeval forest of approx. 48 hectares.

Even 30 years later, Heinrich reported that there were quite often "unfriendly" clashes with native tribes and that the animals were still reminiscent of the former jungle. Lately there have been no more pumas, but tiger cats, tapirs, and much too big and poisonous snakes. Deer and many wild boars. Heinrich wrote to his brother in Trittau: "The wild boars often break into the maize in troops of 100 to 200 heads. But then you have to be careful, because they can cause terrible damage in one night. The rifle that I got from you The meat is a real delicacy. Be so good and say hello to friend Schlachter Johann for me, I'll invite him out on the hunt, for you don't have to run around with the rifle as hidden here as you do over there on Muttenbarg."

Shortly before Christmas 1881 Heinrich and Christian had arrived in the Quer-Picade, about an hour from Santa Cruz. It happened that two colonists had died here a few months earlier, and their widows now had great difficulty cultivating the land on their own. Christian Selk married into the Knutzen family and Heinrich Scharnberg at the same time into the Bender family. Their houses were only ten minutes apart, but Christian's on a chain of hills on the pinnacle of the temple and the road up there was very bad.

They settled in quickly. "Our Picade is inhabited on both sides, on one side mostly by Catholics, on the other by Protestants. And since this area is only populated by Germans, there is no lack of entertainment, there are German churches, schools, hotels, breweries, Clubs, shooting and singing clubs, etc. - it's a different life here than in the campaign."

If you wanted to gain a foothold in Brazil, you had to be flexible. That was the case in Alegrete, where the wheelwright trade was little in demand, and it was the same here with Santa Cruz. Heinrich was a trained wheelwright, but there wasn't much that could be done here. And since he was now managing old Bender's plantation, he worked as a farmer. In doing so, he was quite inventive. Soon he built himself a large shed, which he wanted to use as a corn mill on the one hand, but also to make schnapps at the same time: "... because there is a rather strong stream flowing through my country, so I do it as far as the woodwork is concerned myself, since I have already taken the drawing of various things: The local liquor is only made from sugar cane, and since a part of my land which is most exposed to the morning sun is suitable for cultivation, I will make the arrangement hit in such a way that the presses (2-3 thick rollers made of Cabriuva wood) are driven by the same wheel, so at least one saves the draft horses. "

In the following year he planted "16 to 18,000 sugar cane, which can give 4 to 5 pipes of liquor; I have set up a distillery."

Unfortunately, the mill did not prove itself, the stream was dry most of the time and the (Catholic) competition was fierce.

So he worked as a woodworker in addition to agriculture: "This year I worked a lot on the craft, namely, I made presses and equipment for schnapps distilleries, which is also best paid for, but it is also hard work "I had tried too hard, that my right arm was significantly swollen, and for a long time I could not do the slightest thing. I also did several bikes and other car work, but the work is therefore not paid for. Lives a not far from here." Wheelwright, who does all the work as well as drilling, chiseling, cutting rims, and even cutting the spokes from the machine, so the man is able to build the wagons very cheaply. "

Alwine Heinrich August Mathilde
Marx Martha Helena Arthur Hedwig Heinrich August

In 1892 he had sold the colony from his father-in-law because the plantation work was too difficult for him; his back was broken. In the mornings he now worked as a teacher in the Picade, in the afternoons he worked as a carpenter. In addition, he was a juror at the court and board member of the Protestant community; and he represented the pastor when the pastor was unable to preach due to adverse weather.

And then came the year 1903. It was the blackest that Heinrich August experienced. And that where he'd just managed to get the family to look ahead with confidence. He was employed as a government teacher and no longer dependent on the colonists' school fees, and he had built a new house for his family. The old one was bursting at the seams, because after all he and Charlotte had eight children and she was expecting twins again. The birth went well so far, but Charlotte developed pneumonia from which she died a month later. A little later one of the twins followed. Heinrich was now a widower with nine children. The house has stood the test of time and is still in Monte Alverne, the colony of the 3rd district northeast of Santa Cruz.

Marx and Marie back in Trittau

"Yesterday we arrived here happy and safe after a journey of 41 days. Desterro is a freight steamer and runs slowly. Here in Antwerp we have to lie down for another two days to unload coffee. If nothing else gets in the way, we can be in Hamburg on Sunday or Monday ".
Marie took a deep breath. Trittau - finally they were back in their beloved home. She had ticked off the Brazil adventure. From the beginning it had been her goal to return to Germany after a few years. Marx actually wanted to stay in Brazil forever, but: Constant dripping takes away the stone! And then there was the impossible behavior of Adolph and his family. For a long time she had made a good face for the bad game - but what is too much is too much!
The relationship between the two brothers Marx and Adolph had not been the best for a long time. Adolph accused Marie of speaking badly about Adelaide's family; Marie accused Adolph several times of withholding money from Marx to which he was entitled. Adolph secretly accused Marx and Marie of avarice, resentment and falsehood. A dispute broke out, and without reconciliation, without saying goodbye, they had split up in Alegrete when Marx and Marie drove back to Germany.

In Trittau, Marie made her dream of a small pension come true. They had built a beautiful house for themselves at 13 Bahnhofstrasse. At the time it was the last house in Trittau (the train station was also not yet built). Since the house was quite large, they rented several rooms in the summer to summer visitors - mostly from Hamburg - who slept with them and went to eat in the house next door.

Marx often helped his brother Johann in the wheelwright workshop. He was happy about the company, but noticed that Marx had become much more silent. At some point he had lost the carefree being from earlier years in Alegrete. And Johann was also happy about the additional manpower, because he didn't have the money to hire a journeyman.
The two brothers also did a lot of other things together, going to Trittau to "tailor rabbits", where Johann won two rabbits and Marx gave one as a present. "Well, how is it", asked Johann later, "Did you enjoy the rabbits?" "Nah, Marie didn't want a rabbit. I exchanged it for a bevel." Marx and Johann also visited the Trittau autumn market together, where Johann bought three piglets to raise them, as he did every year. Marx was so enthusiastic about the piglets that he regretted not having a stable.
Later he went to the market again and bought a piglet. In the absence of a stable, he put it in Marie's laundry room.

Joâo's life

They had collected at the club in Alegrete. At least that was what they wanted to do for him: he should have a proper funeral in the churchyard; and not be buried like a dog. Everyone had given their contribution, and so a small celebration could actually be held. After all, he used to be one of the richest men in Alegrete. Two commercial buildings in the main squares of the city had belonged to him, and his name was emblazoned above the entrances: João Scharnberg.

After the funeral, they sit in the clubhouse and old stories make the rounds:
"Is it actually true that he was one of the growlers?"
"You mean the comrades in arms from the Schleswig-Holstein uprising of 1848, who were then recruited for the war against Argentina?"
"That's exactly what I mean."
“Well possible. After that, they were generously rewarded by the Brazilian emperor. Maybe that was Joãos start-up capital for the later business. "
“It could be. - But he never talked about it. "
"It's a shame that we can't ask his brothers anymore - they would know for sure."
"Why, what about the old Heinrich - is he no longer alive?"
“Yes, as far as I know. He is cared for in Porto Alegre by his daughter Emma. He fell out with everyone else in the family ”.
"The João came here as a legionnaire."
"Do you hear it? The Krug Jacob knows something about it. Tell me! "
"It was when we had a drink together over our thirst. He talked about it. The war against Denmark went on until 1850. And when that was over, he had no desire for village life in Germany Our Minister Barros was just right for him. He was in Hamburg at the time to recruit soldiers for the war against General Rosas. Well, João was embarked as a pioneer. First to Rio, and from there to Montevideo. There are she was the first of the German legions to arrive because the others had to march on foot. The finest technical equipment. But in terms of personnel a catastrophe. Many made the fly. Of the 300 men, 180 remained. They were divided up between the various Brazilian infantry battalions Rosas then got a lot of wedges from them.
When that was over in 1852, they marched back. Via Pelotas to Porto Alegre. Everyone who held out until then got 80 accounts de rice in gold. With that the João came here to Alegrete. And not just him: Heini Beulke was there, and Carlos Leber, Nagel and Julius Trautmann. All ended up here."

"The João always had new ideas and invested in a wide variety of businesses - mostly with great commitment."
"Are you thinking of the brewery history with the August Bohmgahren ?"
"Yes. But also to his tannery, which he had built there on the headland."
"That was a logical consequence: he had been in the cattle trade on a large scale for a long time - accompanied his herds to Pelotas and handled all his financial stuff there on the occasion."
“Later he slaughtered 2-3 oxen a day right here, and he sold the meat in his slaughterhouse in town. He made lights and soap out of the fat; then he had the tannery along with the saddler and shoemaker and the tailor Bohmgahren. He worked for him in the shop. "

"Jacob, João also worked with you once ..."
“But not for long. Must have been 80/81 when I built the new hotel for Philipp. João then started his own new business again. "
“That was already the time when our economy went so downhill. In addition, he had often made mistakes when shunting his money. I still think of the story with the 6,000 oxen ”.
“Was typical for the João: don't mess, but plop. Hey Wiegand, would you have done that too? "
“I'm just a poor tailor. Wouldn't have known where to get the money to buy 6000 oxen from. "
“And then João didn't know where to get the money for the sale from: He added 20 contos de rice to get rid of the critters”.

"Yeah, just laugh at him. He had a lot of bad luck in his private life - and couldn't help it. Think of his only son, Heinrich . "
"Do you remember the story back then in Porto Alegre?"
“That was before my time. What happened there? "
“It was in all the newspapers here in the south: João had given his filius to the Colégio in Porto Alegre so that he would get a decent education. And what is the kid doing? Kidnap his lady of the heart by night and fog, this poor, underage girl. The police then forced him to marry Candida. "
"Father João called the young family here and started a new business with Heinrich and his friend from the private school".
"Yes, yes - sometimes you have to be forced to be happy."
“Well, you weren't very lucky: your son was blind. They say our doctor here botched it. The Candida was then with the son to Passo d`Batista, and after that he could at least see something in one eye again ".

“And how did it happen that João fell so badly? For the last few years he only lived secluded in the old house, down there, close to the bridge on the river ”.
“That had something to do with building the railway, if I remember correctly. Adolph, didn't you have your money in between back then? "
“We in the family all supported João financially when he wanted to tackle the big project. A project that got around as far as Santa Cruz and caused astonishment. You know how slow it was with the planning for the railway line. And when the shares were finally all drawn, the revolution intervened shortly afterwards. João had signed for 800 contos, but on the other hand could no longer meet his obligations from the construction contract for the 20 km route that he had taken on because there was no longer any government to pay. They had been promised 7% interest over 30 years on their bonds, and now it wasn't a tired real.

It was in 1896 that he was finally bankrupt. He had gone to Rio Grande to see if the creditors would leave him anything, but it was in vain, so angrily he left. Judicial bankruptcy was inevitable. Two years later the bankruptcy business came to an end. He had been spared prison, but the creditors had to lose everything and pay the procedural costs on top of that. Old Heinrich lost four accounts, Wilhelm 3 ½ accounts, I myself was able to write off three accounts. Jacob, you were still the best. "
"Yes, yes. I didn't trust it from the start. My damage was limited. "
“I think that was the main reason why João withdrew so much from then on and you could hardly see him anymore. He was probably very sorry that he had dragged his family into it. It broke his heart."

"Now to a more pleasant topic: How far have the plans for our new clubhouse progressed? Adolph, you are our finance minister, how is it? "
"Judging by the account balance, it will probably take a few more years with the new building. But additional donations are always accepted."

Adolph and his son Joâo in Trittau

In 1913 the time had come, the new two-story Club Casino building stood on the Praca next to the old one. It had cost 120 Contos and Adolph as treasurer now went to Germany with his son João to shop for it. In this way he came back to his old homeland.
Sometimes, when he had taken on the old letters that he kept all of them, he got homesick - too many memories of his schoolmates and his father came back to life. Ever since Marx went to Trittau in 1882, Adolph wanted to see his father's house again. But the economic and political situation in Brazil and the steadily growing family made the matter hopeless.

So now he could combine the pleasant with the useful. In advance, Brother Johann in Trittau had already sent a box with catalogs, and the 250 club members in Alegrete selected and commissioned the factories. Every single part was engraved with “Casino”; and of course everything was made of the finest china, crystal and silver:

  - 50 dozen flat plates
- 25 dozen deep plates
- 100 dozen beer glasses
- 25 dozen water glasses
- 50 dozen port wine glasses
- 50 dozen liquor glasses
- 10 dozen knives and forks
- 10 dozen soup spoons
- 10 dozen dishes for dessert
  - 1 set of carving dishes
- 40 dozen small coffee cups
- 10 dozen large coffee cups
- 30 dozen tea cups
- 10 dozen champagne glasses
- 1 dozen coffee pots
- 1 dozen teapots
- 50 dozen tea and coffee spoons

On June 26, 1913, Adolph and João traveled from Montevideo in 1st class on the steamer "König Friedrich August". They narrowly missed Wilhelm Scharnberg, who left on June 18 to live in Pinneberg for the next few years.

Unusual events require extraordinary measures. Johann's son was on holiday at Lake Garda in July when he received the telegram from Trittau:
“Uncle Adolph and cousin Joao from Brazil on the 17th in Hamburg. Come back. Father. “

Johann junior broke off his vacation and worked for the next few weeks as a “bear guide and business broker”, as he wrote to a friend: “I'll show everything just anything possible and buy everything impossible together with the Brazilians. Violin, harmonium, trumpets, drums, flutes, harmonica, typewriters, hearing aids, hats, suits, serviettes, medals (7,500 pieces for election agitation), watches, chains, bracelets, rings, necklaces and the like. Carnival articles, razors, glasses, plates , Bowls, silver cutlery for 5,000 marks. This is such a small excerpt from the endless lists of orders. In the process, I also get to know the business world of Hamburg a little; It's just a shame that I'm more of a sincere schoolmaster than a real businessman, otherwise I could easily get more than one trip to Lake Garda for myself with the many percentages I pay."

Unfortunately they had no luck with the weather: It rained a lot and was unusually cold even for August. Joâo regretted more and more that he had come to Germany. He sat at the stove in the small kitchen and longed for his home and his Spitz. His sister Luiza had written: "The Spitz tried to find you all over town. He looked in the café on the square and in the restaurant, everywhere. When he was you didn't find it, he was very sad. We called him and he knew he wouldn't find you anymore. He's fat as a barrel. The collar doesn't fit him anymore. And he's gentle as a lamb. If we touch him, bites neither does he anymore."

It was Sunday morning, they were on their way to church in Trittau.
"Adolph, take a look at our new baptismal font in there."
"Your what?"
"Our new baptismal font, Uncle Adolph."
“I tell you. There is something written there: 'Donated by Heinrich Willhöft in South Pasadena California'. Hein donated that. Our Pastor Jessen therefore approached him from the side: 'He has achieved so much in life and has always remained connected to Trittau' ... and so on. Hein couldn't help it. He gave five hundred marks. "
"Are you telling me to donate something too?"
“No, I didn't mean to say that. Our pastor also passed away last autumn. We buried him two months after our Marx. Well brother, have you settled in well over there. "
"Already, - why?"
"Here with us you take off your hat when we go in there and take the lit cigar out of your mouth!"

Meanwhile the ordered things for the casino had arrived in Hamburg and at the beginning of September Adolph and João embarked for South America again. After 25 days, they arrived safely in Montevideo with half a shipload of things. However, it was a few more weeks before they could unpack things in Alegrete. The customs officers were very interested in their purchases, and Adolph had to pay another 1½ times the purchase price for transport and customs.

Wilhelm in Pinneberg; Consequences of the war in Brazil

Wilhelm had remarried after the death of his wife in Ijuhi. His vegetable shop was doing well and the children were already quite independent. But every day there was an argument: his children did not get along with their stepmother at all. Wilhelm was fed up with this constant strife. So the idea of moving away came about. Why not live in Germany? Actually Wilhelm wanted to sail across the Atlantic with Adolph, but the ships were so fully booked that no more four tickets were available for the same steamer. Well, he wouldn't have taken a 1st class ride for his wife and himself anyway.
He had chosen an unfavorable time for a new start in Pinneberg: Just as he had settled in on Moltkestrasse, the First World War began. Although he was not called up for military service, it was becoming increasingly difficult to get fruit and vegetables for the store. The winter of 1916/17 was particularly bad. Food was already in short supply, and in the autumn, due to poor harvests, potatoes were also left out as a staple food. The only substitute for it was the turnip. It made it possible for large parts of the population to survive. Turnips were boiled or fried or served as soup every day; and so this winter went down in history as the "turnip winter".
In September 1919 Wilhelm and his wife were finally able to book a ship passage to Brazil again, where Wilhelm's children had meanwhile achieved some prosperity. His son Guilhermo was elected to the first city council of Ijuhis in 1913. Wilhelm and Luiza signed off in Pinneberg with the aim of Ijuhi: "Until we are back home, it will be 6 1/2 years since we were gone".

The war had also left its mark on Brazil. In Ijuhi, the German parish was banned and the church records were burned. In areas such as Santa Cruz, where many Germans lived together, the reprisals were still least pronounced. Heinrich August Scharnberg felt it most clearly from the fact that no German book was allowed in schools and that he was no longer allowed to hold lessons in German. Well, that wasn't a problem for him anymore. In 1902, when he was taking the government teacher exam, the trial lessons had to be done exclusively in Portuguese. At that time he was still "a little hot" that he couldn't slip a German word and he had passed the strict examination committee. But now to have the mother tongue banned completely, that hurt. He reported: “Forced by the allies, especially from North America, diplomatic relations were broken off. When war was declared, the situation worsened. On the same day, several large export houses in Porto Alegre were infected by the mob worth over 30 million. It is bad for the Germans, who occasionally live among other nations."

It was like that in Alegrete. Here the Germans were only a small minority. Half of Adolph's largest house was rented to a grocer, the other half housed the office and the sons' apartment. Adolphino had gone on a business trip. It was midnight, João and Frederico were sleeping. Then her Spitz began to bark terribly and ran to João's bed. He got angry and threw his boot at the dog. But the Spitz could not be driven away. He ran to Frederico's bed, barking loudly, and woke him up. He woke up, sniffed the smell of burning and only wearing underpants and a shirt the two boys could save their lives. The Spitz perished in the house. Everything burned, including all the letters from Trittau that Adolph had kept for over 50 years.
The total damage amounted to over 50 accounts, and as they were not insured, they lost a large part of their property in the fire.

Now they have moved completely to Porto Alegre. Adolph had long invested his money in companies based in Porto Alegre. In Alegrete, in the province, there was no longer any profitable business to be done. The music played in the big cities on the coast. His sons could find accommodation in good commercial buildings in leading positions. João as authorized signatory in the Domingos C. Lino scale factory, Lino was also a co-owner of a large drugstore, in which Adolphinho was the first accountant. Frederico worked as an authorized signatory in a beer factory.

Adolph and Adelaide 1927

The year is 1927.
Adolph is sitting in an armchair in his country house in Gloria. He looks out over the Guahyba, on the surface of which the rays of the setting sun are reflected. A mild wind blows through the open window and makes the air more bearable in this hot December than it is in the city of Porto Alegre. Adolph looks over at his wife, with whom he celebrated his golden wedding a few months ago. “Oh Adelaide, what are we doing well, aren't we? Have we not achieved everything that can be achieved in a human life?”

“Yes, Adolph. We are healthy, have no financial difficulties, and our sons are all respected authorized signatories in the best houses in Porto Alegres. And our girls have each achieved something according to their inclinations. You know, I always wanted them to be able to stand on their own two feet and earn their own living. "

“You always encouraged her to develop. Just think what your brother Johann has sent us from Germany over the years. Do you remember how Alice got her first sewing machine? Even then, she was only 14 years old, she was very skilled. For many years we received the magazine 'Bazar' through Johann and Alice sewed the clothes for our little ones based on the templates."
“Yes, Adelaide. Or the sample books for Leopoldina . Even as a child she painted beautiful pictures, but only through the books she was able to really practice them. When we looked for her back then in Alegrete, we often found her sketching on the meadows on the Ibira."

"I can still see our Adolpho, how he was the first in Alegrete to deliver your goods by bike."
“And I'll see myself patching my tires! It's a good thing that Johann sent us all the accessories right away. Back then, at the beginning of the century, our roads were still in a catastrophic condition. Only when I had the roller skates sent for the boys - that must have been 1909/10 - the surface was a little better. They were the first to have the paths in the city park, back then we still called it 'die Praca', with large concrete slabs. We still have the photo that our João took himself back then.”

But Adolph had to admit that he wasn't the youngest anymore. He had made three concert tours with his daughter Luiza through the state of Rio Grande do Sul this year, and they were almost beyond his strength. But what should he have done? Luiza had passed her singing diploma and the trips were her great chance to become known. But she couldn't do the tours alone. Adolph's sons did not have time to accompany their sister. For so long, they could not stay away from their jobs. So Adolph went with her. The last trip also took them to Rio Grande and he stood at the same place where he had been stranded 60 years earlier, reached the mainland of his new home at risk of death, and the adventure of Brazil had begun for him.