If it hadn’t been for letters written and saved by a Wisconsin family nearly 100 years ago, Kay Scholtz would not have opened the door on the remarkable and true story for her book, The Wisconsin Krueger Family Tragedy: 16 Years of Letters from Prison.
During World War I, public opinion about patriotism led many to look unfavorably on German immigrants, even in a state heavily populated with people of German heritage. In this charged atmosphere, the Krueger family farm was attacked and shot up one night by lawmen and neighbors. One of the devastating results of this event was the life imprisonment of Frank Krueger. The tragic case of the Krueger family is one of injustice and intense family loyalty that belongs in our history lessons.
Scholtz says that reading the letters from the family members was key in understanding their plight. “Once I began reading the letters I couldn't stop,” explains Scholtz. “It was very emotional and sometimes I felt angry. I did feel a closeness to the family members, especially Caroline and Frank. When I finished reading the letters I was more determined then ever to share their story and help give them vindication.”
Kay Scholtz lives with her husband in rural central Wisconsin in a small self-built log cabin home. She and her husband enjoy nature in all seasons. Scholtz loves hiking, archaeology, cross-country skiing, quilting, antiques, photography, and writing non-fiction.