Forced to leave their beloved homeland, their tears flowed like rain as they bid goodbye to the forest
and tall mountains, victims of hard-hearted intolerance which damned them to a callous, cruel fate of
homelessness, a fate which was not without repetition for their descendants in the 20st century.
As they left the Austrian countryside, some people lined the roads and mocked them as they passed.
And as they walked, weary and heartsick, they sang Joseph Schaitberger's Exulantenlied for comfort
just as other exiles had done when they left Salzburg one hundred years before. On August 31, 1837,
the first couple moved from Zell am Ziller. In the following days, families from Mayrhofen, Hippach,
Brandberg and Finkenberg followed.
Almost all of them went to Prussian Silesia in 1837 at the invitation of Prussian King Friedrich
Wilhelm III who had purchased a small castle in Silesia from the military genius Gneisenau for use as
a summer home. He named the former castle Erdmannsdorf, and gave them a large part of his estate
where they built 65 picturesque Alpine styled houses on one of the highest mountains in Prussian
land in the district of Liegnitz. The Zillerthalers formed the new villages of Hohen-Zillertal, Mittel-
Zillertal and Nieder-Zillertal in an area called “Zillertaler-Erdmannsdorf” and they stayed for a
century, developing farms, businesses. Names of the Zillertalers
They stayed for a century, calling it home and developing farms and businesses. After the king's
death his successor, Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, reconverted the palace to plans by Friedrich
August Stüler in neo-Gothic style. Until 1909, the stately home continued to be a summer residence
of the Prussians kings and German emperors until sold to a private party.
One group of Zillertalers from Silesia later emigrated to the Lake Llanquihue area of Chile and joined
an earlier settlement of 55 Zillertaler who had moved to Puerto Montt in 1856 and included the
names Klocker, Hechenleiter, Schönherr, Brugger, Fleidl, Kröll, Fankhauser, Heim and Winkler.
The castle and whole area was given to Poland after WW Two, and any German inhabitants were
expelled from their homes or murdered. It is no longer part of Germany