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Why Are There So Many Bosnians in St. Louis?

A mix of international politics and extended networks explain why some cities become hotbeds for refugees.
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Just off Interstate 44, South St. Louis’s brick houses hug a wide central boulevard, overlooked by a limestone and terra cotta water tower that hasn’t actually distributed water since 1929. There’s a sprawling university to the north, and, a few exits further east down the highway, St. Louis’s iconic Arch crouches alongside the Mississippi.

The area has been home to several sets of European immigrants for over a century – the Italian neighborhood, The Hill, is named for what passes for high ground in the flat Midwestern city; further south is Dutchtown, the old German neighborhood, formed as part of a 19th-century wave of emigration from Bavaria whose more famous members included Adolphus Busch, co-founder of the Anheuser-Busch beer dynasty.