How does this fit into the bigger picture?

Polish emigration

Of course, Germany was not the only country that faced uprisings leading to emigration in the 19th century. In the years before the Palatines celebrated the Hambach Festival, the people of Poland wanted to break free from rule by the Russian Czar. Inspired by the French Revolution, they strived for independence. In the Polish uprising of 1830 they fought fiercely, yet did not succeed. After the uprising was suppressed, a number of Poles left their home country in the course of what was called the Great Emigration.

One famous example of Polish exiles was pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin who left Poland for Paris. Learning about the Russian attack of Warsaw, he composed his great Revolutionary Etude:

Click here to enjoy the Etude!


Chopin was 21 at this time and had left Poland to go on a European tour just weeks before the revolution against Russian rule started. Some of his reactions to the events were chronicled at the time:
“All this has caused me much pain; who could have foreseen it?”
(Frederick Niecks (1945), Frederic Chopin as a Man and Musician, p.98)

Later in his secret journal he expressed dismay that God had permitted the Russians to crush the Polish insurgents:
“God, are you yourself a Russian?”
(Chopin's quote comes from his secret journal and is displayed at the Chopin Museum, Ostrogorski Palace, Warsaw.)