The Germans of the Community of Feketic / Feketitsch
Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler
How Urschels Peter came to Schowe
Our old people have so
many interesting things to tell about the old times. Peter Klein, a
latecomer, had the opportunity to learn about the emigration and settlement
history from the year 1803. His uncle who is 73 years old today, had heard
his grandfather tell this story when he was a child.
After a long while passed, more old men usually came to tend their vineyard by
the grandfather's cabin and reminisced. Grandfather recalled the history
of his emigration.
was in the year 1803, after the harvest. I was sent by my father
one day to have a strap of a horse harness repaired in Schwanden near
Zweibrucken in the Pfalz. On the way there I saw on the other side
of the street a court person (juror) approaching me and as he came
nearer to me he waved a finger and called, "Peder, kumm','mol 'riwer,
ich han d'r 'was zu saan! Marje is' wider Zettelziehe far
die Rekrute', awer ich han g'hort, dass du gar net ziehe derfscht, du
muscht gleich inrickte', weil de dich schun zweemal "freigezoo" hascht
un weil dei'drei altere Bruder sich aa all freigezoo han, denn jemand
muss doch 'm Kaiser diene' aus eurer Familie. Ich han d'rs jetzt
kannscht de mache, was de willt, awer verrot jo net!"
I was very frightened that the view of the soldier's life was not very
rosy at the time. In an instant I had formulated my plan. I
hurried home and said to my father: "Ich sin net zum Riemer gang', 's
Rossgscherr hole, weil der und der hot m'r des un des g'saat un ich will
net in de' Franzosekreich, ich reiss liewer aus!" The father said,
"Where do you want to go? Where can you go?" I answered, "Mei'
Plon is fertich. Ich wannr aus in's Ungreland. (My plan is
finished. I want to go to Hungary.) Awer's allererscht laaf
ich jetz' 'niwer uf Steinwenden (Turning Stone) un hol m'r 's Urschels
Lische, ich denk m'r, des werd gern mit m'r gehn." Urschels Lische
had just received a letter a few days ago from her parents who had
emigrated to Hungary sixteen years ago. In the letter her father
wrote , thank goodness, that all are in good health, his seven children
are all still alive, they all had enough work, and everything is going
well for them. As the good child read and discussed the letter she
continually wiped the tears from her eyes from all her emotions and
yearning to be with her beloved parents and siblings she had been
separated from for so long. Since she was only a baby when her
parents left the old homeland, she was left with an aunt and for sixteen
years she was raised by her aunt and grew to be a young lady.
On the same morning I made my way without hesitation to Steinwenden and
went right away into the house where Lischen served and demanded to see
her. After thinking about it a short while the owner agreed to get
her. The employer and his wife went with us to the pastor who the
employer heard was ready and willing to issue us the paperwork we
needed. Right afterwards we went to my parent's house.
I arrived home I said, "Na Vatter, da han ich's Lische', mer han uns
diriwe in Steinwenden ve'lobt (became engaged), 's werd mit m'r gehn
(will go with me). Jetz' muss ich des noch g'schwind in unsr'm
Parramt melle un' aa vun dart die notweniche Schrifte' hole'."
Since I had acquired it, my father assumed that I would be taking the
wagon and my favorite horse with me -- "In God's name."
older brother came and spoke to father, "Ehr losse den Peder ausreisse?
"Yes, what should I do then? Er soll doch liewer ins Ungreland
ausreisse, als in de' Franzosekreich ziehe, dart bleibt 'r wenichscht'ns
second and third oldest sons feared that they must go to war instead of
the youngest brother, and they also asked about the horse and wagon.
They wanted to go with the women and children to their In-laws in
Russia. The father broke down and consented and cried a lot
because he was losing his three sons at once. Only the oldest son
who had done his military service would stay home with his parents.
Now as the night
had fallen and everyone was asleep, the three wagons rattled, one after
the other out to the yard. And so they went with fresh courage and
new hopes up to Regensburg where there was a dangerous crossing called
the Regensburg Whirlpool on the Danube River. Soon the three
brothers separated to strive for their special goals.
recalled further: With a few other emigrants I finally came to
Vienna. After that we went to the settlement office and reported
to the Hungarian chancellery where we would be summoned for the next few
One of the
officials asked me what my name was. "Peter Kleen," I answered.
"Can you also
write?" "Yes!" "Now write your name on this blackboard."
I wrote as beautiful as possible: "Peter Kleen". But he wrote
under it "Peter Klein" and asked me if I wanted to use this name since
he must hand me over in any case as a military refugee.
Lischen and I got married in Vienna, and together with 21 other pairs we
were instructed to go to Franzfeld where a settlement was taking place
at the time. Until we arrived there, all house numbers were fully
occupied. So over the winter we would receive quarters.
However I did not want to stay there over the winter and my wife urged
also. So I requested permission to journey on to Buljkes where my
parents-in-law lived. Without a second thought permission was
granted with the orders that we would report to them in each community
we passed through. When we arrived in Schowe we reported to the
community house as instructed per regulations and the judge asked us
where we were going.
(To Buljkes) "To where?" "To the Urschel."
"Ei do in Schowe
wohnt aa e Urschel, v'leicht sin Ehr Freund mit 'nanner?"
The judge must
go with us. As we came out of the gate he called out into the
yard, "Urschl, do bring' ich eich Deitschlanner Gascht'."
Gascht'? Ja, vun wu? (Oh yeah, from where?)
Steinwenden." (From Steinwenden), I said.
Steinwenden?? Oh my God! Bischt du v'leicht unser Liesele?"
(Are you perhaps our Liesele?")
"Jjje" said my
wife. "Na un ich sin dei' Bruder Karl." (I am your brother
rather overjoyed and surprised we discussed staying with them in Schowe
because father had enough workers in Buljkes while, on the other hand,
the in-laws and brother Karl needed some help. Our
wagon, which we had put aside on the sixteen week long trip, would be
picked up right from the community house. On another day we had a
happy reunion with our in-laws in Buljkes.
We then stayed
for three years in a joint household with my brother-in-law Karl Urschl.
At the time one engineer was allocated to each house number to work the
many fields: one quarter or one half session. So on the main
street there was a master tailor who desired one half session although
it was not clear how much that was. The half session farmer was
obliged to slave for sixteen days a year to work his properties and to
farm his assigned field.
As well as this
field the master tailor was instructed that he would also receive wheat,
oats, and (kukuruz) fields that appeared much too great to him. He
dreaded the work. The other farmers laughed at him and consoled
him in a joking way that the piece of meadow would be too small.
The next day he was instructed to take the small meadow. He was
aghast to notice that this was larger still than the little piece of
field he already had. And this large meadow was still
underdeveloped so consciously it was at once as large as it was small.
That was too much. He couldn't take it anymore. In addition,
on the following day his neighbors started the day taking the
large meadow and they wanted him to take it with them but it had
disappeared in the night and fog. He was afraid just to simply
pass through the many fields!
known as Urschls Peter, would request to take over the abandoned
also switched to a house and field belonging to a neighbor of his
in-laws and paid a cow for them. So the two in-laws had
neighboring homes and fields.
would fear the size of their Hotters. They were stubborn and wanted to
have the whole Hotter smaller so that each one would receive less with
it. A certain unique social conviction. Pastor G. U. Famler
reported about this case: "The whole Hotter would be defined with poles
and stakes, at the poles were bits of paper. There something had
occurred that was so great that it was hard for many of the settlers of
the Hotter to believe. They went out in the night time and carried
the poles with the bits of paper stuck on them around several hundred
fathoms near the village."
In the book "150
Years in Batschka-Palanka" the writer Niolaus Hepp wrote that in those
times in Futog a farmer handed over to his neighbor a quarter field
without payment and with it he was relieved of the many burdens.
The caretaker of the fields received a measure of alcohol because he
cared for the field.
In the second
decade of the last century the time was over when a man could have the
land for nothing. The alert Schwabenfaust had done theirs.
The Hotter was too small, the cultivated ground too little. In
their village it was too narrow for the Swabians and for that reason
they became residents through purchases in neighboring villages.
So it was in Kucura, St. Schowe, St. Vrbas, Paschitschevo (Altker), and
Feketitsch. It admittedly still did not cost any 30-40,000 Dinares
for the yoke at the time, since it was in the postwar years because so
many a "Stickelche" would earn about a loaf of bread. But it
wasn't worth much to the vendors either. Around the year 1818 the
influx to Feketitsch began from the German Protestant villages that were
settled 30 years before.