Book: The Salzburg Transaction

When researching my Saleker family’s Salzburger roots, I began searching for a short but thorough English text on the history of the expulsion. I was not surprised that the search would be difficult--and it lead me mostly to books about broader topics (such as Clark’s Iron Kingdom) which mentions the plight of the Salzburgers. Then my search was successful--super successful, actually. I came across Mack Walker’s 1992 book The Salzburg Transaction: expulsion and Redemption in Eighteenth-Century Germany. Published by Cornell University Press, this book is easily one of the most comprehensive histories on the Salzburger expulsion in English.

Walker discusses the events and culture leading up to the expulsion, the Salzburgers early life in Prussia, and the cultural impact the events had on Prussians and Germans as a whole. I have relied on this publication heavily as I continue to write my own family history book, and without it, I likely would have had a terrible time trying to piece together information from websites, blog posts, and translated German texts.

To give you an example, here is an excerpt from his book:

The main emigration area of 1731-32 was the alpine region of the Pinzgau but especially the Pongau, centering about seventy-five present-day kilometers south of the city of Salzburg and upstream, on both sides of the Salzach and its tributaries. A handful of small market towns and villages were strung along the valley bottoms: such places might have some shops, a church and priest, perhaps a district official or two, and townspeople’s gardens on its outskirts. These market and administrative settlements were firmly Catholic and saw next to no emigration in 1731-32. The bulk of the population lived widely scattered on family-sized holdings of the mountainsides and the high valleys, only rarely grouped even in villages. The families had no special need and less regard for the political and religious agencies of the provincial towns. In their everyday lives and domestic culture they were further from the valley towns nearby than the towns were from the capital; economically too they lived rather independently from the towns and visited them rarely. Reciprocally, pastoral and administrative work with the mountain people was difficult and unrewarding, unlikely to attract the energies of ambitious, able, or confident officers; and the provincial priests and prefects showed little perceptible enthusiasm for their work.


The book seems to be pretty rare--I got my copy from a University Library. When in doubt, trust WordCat to lead you in the right direction. Amazon seems to have a used copy in stock every once in awhile.