Klępsk (Klemzig) is also well-known in Australia due to the emigration of ‘Old Lutherans’ from Prussia to South Australia. As a result of religious persecution by the Prussian authorities under King Friedrich Wilhelm III, several hundred German Lutherans decided to leave their homeland in search of religious freedom. The majority of these came from Klemzig and surrounding areas, and under the leadership of Pastor August Ludwig Christian Kavel, they immigrated to South Australia, arriving in late 1838 and early 1839. They first settled at Klemzig (named in honour of the village they had left behind), Glen Osmond and Hahndorf. Many of the Klemzig families moved to settle permanently in the Barossa Valley and initially named a town there after Langmeil – later renamed Tanunda (after WW2 named as Okunin in Poland). They were preceded by a smaller group of Old Lutherans from Pomerania who had arrived in SA in 1837, and in 1841 they were followed by around 200 further Old Lutherans travelling with Pastor Gotthard Daniel Fritzsche. Today descendants of those first Lutheran emigrants regularly visit Klępsk and the surrounding areas, in search of their roots or simply to visit the places where their ancestors lived and worshipped. They are all warmly welcomed and anticipated guests.
Credits: Thanks to Janette Lange (Lutheran Archives in Adelaide) and Frank Ingavarson from Perth for their support.