The 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were times of social change in all of Europe also affecting the Bavarian and Bohemian Forests.

Because of the harsh climate and the unfavorable terrain of the settlement areas at 800 to 1,000 meters altitude, Forest dwellers could only expect low yields from farming. Often, emigration was the only possible option for escaping the drudgery and constant fear of not being able to survive.

Emigrants hoped to gain their own farms on more fertile soil in America, a family life not restricted by marriage bans – in short: financial success and a much better life than at home in the Bavarian Forest.