“My mindset is terribly radical” – Emerenz Meier, a bavarian folk poet

In rememberance of the writer Emerenz Meier from Waldkirchen/Lower Bavaria (1874 – 1928). In her work, she wrote against war, oppression, exploitation, church and patriachry but for a free society and a better future. She knew how to combine her strident social criticism with a deep and earnest love for Bavaria.

Bavarian Feminist: Emerenz Meier (Memorial statue in Passau)

Due to financial problems, Emerenz emigrated to the USA with her family in 1906. She found a place to stay in Chicago. However, her misery only grew in her refugee situation and a marriage to an alcoholic. Paired with a longing for her home in the Bavarian Forest, Emerenz nearly completly stopped writing. Letters to her friend Auguste Unertl show her dissatisfaction with the conditions in the USA and Bavaria. Despite her plight, she collected money for social projects in the Bavarian Forest. During the Prohibition in the United States, she secretely brew Bavarian beer for herself and other bavarian expatriates.

Emerenz Meier gained international fame as a poet and up to this day she is regarded as the most important female bavarian writer after Lena Christ. She died of kidney inflammation and in miserable conditions on the 28th of February in Chicago. She never forgot Bavaria!

It kills and strangles us and it is killed
The whole world has a blood red tint
They desparetly fight, man against man
They haven’t done anything to each other

What has struck, you people, with blindness
When will your brains realize
When will the light penetrate your souls
Of the real freedom, that loves, won’t fence

Emerenz Meier, Sorrow about the leaders of the nations