Book Reviews and Notices
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES
The So-Called Wends of Germany and Their Colonies in Texas
and in Australia. By George C. Engerrand, Professor of
Anthropology. The University of Texas, Austin, 1934.
179 pp., illus.
This is Study No. 7 aided by the Bureau of Research in the
Social Sciences. "The first part of this work [pages 9-87] deals
with the Wends in their country of origin, while the second
[pages 89-156] is given almost wholly to the study of the Wends
in Texas, with only a few pages [157-161] on those of Australia."
"There was a considerable amount of literature on the subject,
in seven or eight languages, but nothing in the shape of a book,
or a monograph, in English." In these words the author de-
fines the scope of . . . work and indicates some of the chief
difficulties met with in studying the life of the non-English ele-
ments of our population-the language obstacle, the widely scat-
tered sources, and the chances for misinterpreting them.
In his accounts of the Wends in Germany the author describes
their geographic environment, history, physical type, habitation,
costume, economic condition, political condition, language, folk-
lore, religion, literature and education. This portion of the work
serves admirably as a background for the account of the Wends
in Texas. Next he outlines and criticizes the struggle of the
Wends in Germany for independence from 1918 to 1933. For
this part of the work the Wends in Texas may have served as a
useful check. Both groups are very small minorities in their re-
spective countries. Doubtless it never occurred to the Wends in
Texas to ask for the concessions demanded by their kinsmen in
Germany. The Wends in Germany have ambitious neighbors;
some of these neighbors obtained independence.
The motive back of Wendish emigration to Texas was a de-
sire for religious freedom. Lest the reader misunderstand this
term, the author restates it more explicity as a desire to be "free
to practice their religion according to their own tradition." It
is well known that the Lutheran Wends are ultraconservative.
Their coming to Texas did not make them more tolerant toward
those who differed with them. But Texas was large, land was
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101095/. Accessed January 25, 2015.