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Heidi Posch Keir Galer papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA1326

Scope and Contents

The Heidi Galer papers date from 2018 to 2021 and measure 0.25 linear inches in the Small Collection Vertical Files. The papers contain a printed memoir and an article written by Galer about the creation of her children’s library, or kinderbibliothek, published in BookWomen. The memoir, “Omi, Heidi Posch Keir Galer, My Story”, consists of a detailed account of Galer’s life. It includes a timeline of important events and scans of photographs, correspondence, and documents relating to Galer’s family in Austria, her immigration to the United States, and her life in Iowa.


  • Creation: 2018 - 2021


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Heidi Posch was born on July 23, 1943 in Vorau, Steiermark (Styria), Austria, to Klotilde (Tilde) Slama Posch and Karl Posch. Her mother died just a week after her birth. The Posch family spent the remainder of the second world war in Tirol, Austria, a western province that was occupied by the French. At the end of the war, Karl Posch was arrested and housed in the American Prison Camp in Glasenbach, Germany until 1947. Heidi Posch and her two siblings would spend the remainder of the 1940s in separate orphanages and children’s homes across Wien, Austria and with different families in Gouda, Holland. In 1952, just one month before the Displaced Persons Act of 1949 was terminated, Heidi Posch was moved to an orphanage in the American zone of Wien where she was officially adopted from by Lana and Robert Keir of Spencer, Iowa.

Hiedi Keir lived on the Keir farm outside of Spencer, Iowa, from 1952 to 1962. She attended elementary through high school in Spencer. From the age of 10, she joined the 4-H club and won the National 4-H Citizenship Award in 1963. Keir was active in the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam war movement of the 1960s. Keir became a United States citizen on October 7, 1963 and began attending the University of Northern Iowa. In 1964, Keir traveled to Wien, Austria for the first time since emigrating from the country in 1952 where she had a reunion with her siblings, grandmother, and other relatives. She attended Schiller College in Kleiningersheim, Germany for a term and traveled across eighteen European countries until the end of 1965.

Back in Iowa, Keir enrolled at the University of Iowa and received her Bachelor of Arts in German in 1968 and a Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling in 1969. She met her husband, Ernie Galer, after being crowned U of I Homecoming Queen and married on August 9, 1969. She taught high school German in Iowa City, Iowa, for thirty-five years. In 2017, Heidi Galer organized and wrote her memoir titled “Omi, Heidi Posch Keir Galer, My Story” using resources largely documented and saved from both her biological and adoptive fathers.


0.25 linear inches (SCVF)

Language of Materials



Award-winning German teacher that taught in Iowa City for 35 years who came to Iowa from Austria as a displaced refugee orphan in 1952.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no.1678) were donated by Heidi Galer in 2023.

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Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)