The Germans of the Community of Feketic / Feketitsch
Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler
The Formation of the
A) The Evangelical School
| B) Choirmaster's Apartments
1: From 1818-1830 a room would
be rent for school purposes.
2: From 1830-1857 a combination
schoolhouse/place of worship existed.
3: From 1857-1862 a newly built
teaching hall served for the instruction on today's parish
4: From 1862-1910 the first
school existed on today's schoolyard. It was this that was
called the little school because little children would attend it.
5: From 1872-1910 a second
school also existed on what is today's school grounds. It is
the so-called big school in which the higher classes were
6: From 1910 until today the
three new teaching halls existed.
1: Until 1830 an apartment would
be rented for the teacher.
2: From 1830-1857 the "Bede"sche
house served as the choirmaster-teacher's
3: From 1857 until 1859 the
newly built schoolhouse served as the choirmaster-teacher's
4: From 1860 until 1885 the old
"Bika'sche thatched house served as the choirmaster-
5: From 1885 until today the
house that is still standing has served as the choirmaster-
A.) When the first Germans
settled in Feketitsch there were only Hungarian schools in the village.
The language was foreign to the Germans and the Hungarian teacher did not have a
strong command of German. The way to the school in Sekitsch was far and
bad. Between the two communities there was neither a dam erected nor even
a stone road existing. In the "outermost row" stood the last house of
Feketitsch. The foul smelling swamp with growing reeds which extended up
to the hills (mountain) in front of Sekitsch started there. The Sekitsch
street did not climb over the mountain down to our Hotter, as today. First
over to the place where today the pharmacy stands the neighboring village began.
The road in this community climbed next to the cemetery. So many of the
schoolchildren had mud stuck to their wooden shoes. So many a frightened
child sighed a heavy sigh of relief as the everlasting eerie whistling
reeds and the fear arousing silence of the cemetery passed behind them.
Now and then one of the fathers would transport a bunch of cheerful wiggly
children in a harnessed wagon on the bad road to school in Sekitsch.
Certainly some schoolchildren were brought by their grandparents or relatives in
Sekitsch in the winter so they could attend school.
As the German families
in Feketitsch became numerous the parents endeavored to rent a room for an
experienced man who could instruct the children in reading and writing during
the winter. The first communal contribution served as payment for this
rent. In the school year 1823-24 they already received this kind of
instruction, most probably even sooner. Unfortunately the notebook
pertaining to this information does not exist.
In the later
existing "ledger" it is recorded that such a schoolroom for the school year
1827-1828 was rented by Johann Bender for 2 Florint, 10 Kreuzer. In the
school year 1828-1829 a schoolroom was rented by Nikolaus Reitenbach for 2
Florint, 50 Kreuzer.
B.01. For the
school year 1827-1828 a man was hired who was better skilled at teaching and
could sing good. He was worthy as a teacher and earned a definite salary.
He was a linen weaver, Peter Burg from Buljkes. Since an apartment must
also be procured for the teacher, the first teacher's apartment would be rented
by Daniel Pister for 9 Florint for the year.
B.) 2;U.)2. In
the year 1829 the development of the Evangelist community took a great step
forward. For their request they received from the cameral government a
house for church purposes. Great was their joy over it because for the first
time they acquired something which they could call their property. It is
noticed that Mr. Gespan (Ispan) still received a gift in addition to the total
charge of 5 Florint, 30 Kreuzer he had received for the measurement of the
places. The gift was three pounds of sugar (one pound = 50 deka), which
had cost 4 Florint and 48 Kreuzer. Something great at the time because
sugar was a rarity. At the time one had received almost 1 1/2 "Pester
Mtzen" of fruit for 1 1/2 kg. of sugar. (Pester Metzen = 92 liters) The
Pester Metzen of fruit cost 3 Florint, 30 Kreuzer. However in those
days children also did not have access to sugar. It can also be seen from
this that in those good old days unfortunately one would already be bribed if
one wanted a better ride. And the elders were courteous. The local
court received 4 halfs of wine which had cost 56 Kreuzers as contribution to the
fraternity which the Germans at the time, as today, generally called the "Aldomarsch".
The local court at the time was still a little company numbering 3 or 4 men,
nobody joined in polishing off 4 half's (around 3 liters).
But anyway the
courtyard was on the other end of the village and therefore was not suitable for
the church community. Still in the same year this place would be exchanged for
the courtyard together with a house where still today a church, parsonage, and
chancery stand. The exchange was made by the community with a payment of
400 Florint in Vienese currency in two installments. The Hungarian
authored receipt is still available in the archive of the church community
Over 400 Florint in Vienese currency which I have justly received as a gift in exchange for my house
from the local Evangelist meeting.
In Fekethegy, 6 May
Witnesses: Butor Janos e.h.
Josza Janos e.h. juror + Bede Peter
The house was a
Hungarian settlement house that consisted of a large front room, a vacant
kitchen, and a small bedroom in the back. The roof was covered with reeds.
The apartment met the teacher's expectations completely. The house was in
the direction of today's Baschawerk'sche house so the front was on Church Street
and it was a corner house. (Between this corner house and the
aforementioned Baschawerk'sche house there was an apartment house. This
place was first acquired by the community much later.)
So the teacher
was provided with a permanent apartment but the school hall which also served as
a place of worship would be urgently built. About the expenditures it can be
disputed that each couple produced a third of the school fruit and school oats.
These grains would be sold to the members or brought to Vrbas and Crvenka where
one sold it on the canal.
In January 1830
the collective community members in Vrbas, Pazova, Kischker, Crvenka, and
Sekitsch and indeed fruit in the worth of 58 Florint and 147 Florint at
collection. So our church community also once provided donations to other
communities and we do not need to be ashamed of this because the poor and needy
have the rich opportunity to receive their possessions from it. We must
know and it should be remembered that our parents were members of a poor
Diaspora community, then we will not be so petty. The community can be
proud today that they have come so far from poor conditions with God's help,
that they receive today from their own strength and the poor can be assisted.
About the 6th of
May 1830 the 400 Florints were paid as down payment for the house exchange.
Until the school/prayer hall was finished one still needed:
for 1000 bricks gotten from
Temerin 16 Florint, -- Kreuzer
64 Florint, 50 Kreuzer
for 4000 roof
tiles from Neu Satz 92 Florint, 45 Kreuzer
bricklayers: Johann Mayer
and Philipp Heck according
to contract 120 Florint, -- Kreuzer
for the cabinet
maker Johann Bauer
67 Florint, 30 Kreuzer
(Be aware that
60 Kreuzer = 1 Florint) 361 Florint, 05 Kreuzer
Other expenses were still
needed for :
tampers at 19
2 Florint, 24 Kreuzer
the tamper 1 Florint, 40 Kreuzer
2 banners and a
Maypole at the
erection of the roof
2 Florint, 12 Kreuzer
Wine at the
2 Florint, 32 Kreuzer
Pay off the
(the corruption grew) . . . . . . . .
Total 9 Florint, 38 Kreuzer
In the fall of 1830 the building was finished. Now the community had a
teacher's apartment and a school hall which served as a place of worship at the
same time, everything at one suitable place.
opening of the first school/prayer house took place on the last Sunday of
October 1830. Unfortunately there is no record existing of it. But
it is accepted that the official opening was planned by the proper pastor Johann
Skulteti from Sekitsch. Then with his official opening the first ledger
was placed into the community and he signed each annual budget as "pastor in
Sekitsch and Feketitsch."
Therefore it was
at the church dedication ceremony in 1930, a hundred years later, that the
Evangelist church community can keep their church service in their own home.
two years the Bede'sche house, now more teacher's apartment was repaired and
next to the school/prayer hall a dining area and stable were built on and the
garden and the yard would be fenced in with thatch. Germans everywhere
sought to have their yards fenced in. In the yard Adam Kies made the well.
At the settlement in Feketitsch only every eleven houses received a well since
there were eleven houses in each row. The well stood in front of every
sixth house. The well that Adam Kies dug in 1832 still exists and never
dried up. It supplied water in abundance to the whole church building and
all the other buildings in the church community for 100 years. These wells
were fed from a spring which sprung from under the church which must have curved
at the foundation because it was not scooped out there.
school/prayer house was always filled up, almost from year to year one or two
new benches were received in it. The crowd of school children steadily
grew and the number of believers at the church service became ever larger.
A.)3. and B.) 3.
The buildings were built too small and much too low from very little means,
because the school/prayer house would be adapted from the old Bede'schen house.
And so it was that after barely 20 years the school/prayer house as well as the
teacher's apartment were dilapidated. As soon as the increase in prices
permitted it after the unrest and devastation of 1848-49, they first started to
think of the plan for a new building in 1854. From this year the decline started
to increase. In the next year 20,000 bricks would be purchased and in 1856
another 14,000 bricks were bought to erect a separate place of worship and a new
building for the school and teacher's apartment in 1857. In the cash box a
respectable total of 4,066 Florint was saved for 2 or 3 years. With the
beginning of spring the old school/prayer house and teacher's apartment were
cleared away. Today hardly anything can be remembered of the life of these
first modest buildings of the Evangelist church community. The plan for
the new buildings was finished by Mr. Kopitz. (A more detailed statement
about him is missing.) He received 50 Florint for it. According to this
plan the place of worship stood where the church stands today. The
teacher's apartment and the school were at the spot of today's
The place of
worship was separated from the teacher's apartment by a solid two-winged door
which led to a dry entrance.
bricks were not enough by far, so sandstones would be bought by Katharina
Bollinger, Filipp Laux, Ludwig Morell, Filipp Ringel, Gottfried Schuster, and
Johann Wagner. The brickburner Conrad Butscher supplied the 12,000 roof
For the sand the
leaders went to despot Sv. Ivan. The lumber must have been procured from
St. Betschej and cost 644 Florint.
work was done by Johann Stutzmann. The cabinetry work, including the
benches for the place of worship, was finished by Friedrich Schmidt and Theobald
Hauser. Some of the benches still exist today in the gallery of the church
and in the community and should be respected. Johann Gebel, the
blacksmith, made the cross for the place of worship.
consecration of the church in 1857 the new building was finished and could be
handed over for that purpose. Solidly built, the place or worship stood
until 1903. No less lasting the
teacher's apartment and the
school also stood there. The teacher's apartment and school became the
parsonage in 1860 and served as such until 1927.
B.) 4. The
teachers would be content in the marvellous new apartment and new school for a
short time. Then in 1859 Feketitsch was directed by the parent community
that it must see to it that the church community provide a parsonage. They
bought the corner house of Peter Bika with the old thatch house included in the
deal. Today at this spot stands the teacher's apartment and the three
schools. The price was 500 Florint and the community did not have that
much money, so 300 Florint was loaned to the newly elected pastor for it.
Here it was planned to build a new parsonage. But the pastor would live in
rented accommodation until the completion of the building.
But it turned
out differently. In view of the empty cash box which the ministry
exhausted they satisfied the pastor with the new teacher's apartment. The
teacher received the old Bika'sche thatch house for the apartment with the
assurance that it would soon be built. But the first to have his turn in
it came 25 years later.
A.) 4. So
the school house became the parsonage in 1860. It took so long to build a
school hall on it. After two years and after the community brought so many
methods together, the great school hall was built on in the teacher's courtyard
in 1862. The great school hall was not built on to the teacher's apartment
but rather in between one great empty space that ten years later yet another
school could be built on this spot.
had a plan that this new teacher's apartment or parsonage would be expanded on
this empty place.
At the building
of the schoolhall which commenced in the year 1862, work was done by the
following masters: tamper and compresser Johann Egner, Franz Schepp, Johann
Schuckert, Johann Will; carpenter: Daniel Spengler; cabinetmaker: Friedrich
Schmidt; locksmith: Peter Wolf.
school hall at the parsonage was divided into two rooms and extended from the
parsonage which had five rooms on the street front at the time.
conclusion of the calculations for the year 1862 the usual explanation given is
the following: "When the expenses were compared to the income just for this
year, expenses were 846 Florint, 91 Kreuzers and the income was 841 Florint, 22
So the expenses
exceeded income by 5 Guilders, 69 Kreuzers."
community had overcome a difficult year. From 1854 to 1862 the balance
increased. But also one whole street front on the main street from one
corner to the other they could call their own.
The place of
worship stood on it and the great parsonage with eight windows facing the main
street could only be entered through a dry entrance from the place of worship.
Then followed the great schoolhall with three windows facing the street.
Everything was built high and covered with roof tiles. At the other corner
stood the teacher's apartment, the old Bika'sche house built low with a thatched
roof and without a single window on main street.
In front of the
church, parsonage, and school the first pavement was laid in 1867, also a rarity
in those days.
This expense did not come from the cash box. Instead a free
donation was collected for it and it was such a success that there was 17
Florint, 56 Kreuzers to spare in the church cash box. But the street in
front of the teacher's apartment remained without pavement. Probably that
is why the teacher's apartment would soon be cleared away. Another
eighteen years elapsed until this happened though.
A.) 5. The
number of schoolchildren multiplied constantly. In 1860 there were 60 boys
and 53 girls who attended school. Soon the number climbed to 150.
Consequently the executive school officials urged and pushed for a second
teaching hall to be built. In 1872 a second teaching position was
organized and a second school was built on the empty spot between the old
teacher's apartment and the ten year old school which adjoined the teacher's
apartment at one end and on the other it was separated from the earlier school
by a narrow walkway under its roof. At the same time 1½ fathoms of the
mighty old school would be divided up for a church chancellery.
for this construction were: Gottfried Howe and Georg Bechtele. The work
cost 40 Florint in Austrian currency.
The tamper was:
Peter Schwebler. He received 6 Florint, 75 Kreuzer in Austrian currency
was: Andreas Henkel who received 3 Florint, 45 Kreuzer in Austrian currency.
maker was Friedrich Schmidt who received 40 Florint in Austrian currency for 2
doors and 4 windows. Also for each bench in the school he received 9
Florint, 50 Kreuzer in Austrian currency. These benches are still being
used today in the 5th and 6th grades. The locksmith was Peter Wolf.
He received 16 Florint in Austrian currency for his work.
On the 15th of
September 1872 this second school was officially opened. The new school
was plastered. in 1879 both schools would be paneled.
stood until 1910. The smaller school children went into the earlier built
teaching hall, so it was named the little school. The school built later
was attended by the higher classes, so it was called the big school. It
had three windows on the street and two windows facing the yard. The halls
soon proved to be too narrow. The benches stood on both sides against the
wall and 4, 6, or 8 children sat on them, boys on one side, girls on the other.
The halls were also too low, in so much that the number of school children in
each school was at least 100 if not more.
The front of the
church community from one corner to the other now appears in the following way:
first stands the place of worship, built against it is the large parsonage with
eight windows facing the main street. Then follows the gate to the
parsonage yard, the large horse stable of the pastors, then came a three fathom
long wall with a small door in the schoolyard to the staircase which led to the
school attic which would be used as an assembly for community use. Then
followed the school building. There was at first a narrow church
chancellery with three steps and a two-winged double door on the street.
Then the little school for the lower grades and the big school for the upper
grades. Both halls had three windows on the main street and were separated from
one another by an enclosed walkway. From the street four steps led into
this plastered entrance from where on the right and left opposite one another in
the middle of the entrance were doors which led into the school halls.
This walkway had four other doors in the yard. Because of the many doors
there was a constant breeze in it. In the winter the whole walkway was
full of schoolchildren with little wooden shoes. It was in this so-called
cluster that thanks to the strictness of the teacher the children stood in
beautiful rank and file formation and often numbered over 200 pairs. The
old teacher's apartment leaned against the school. Covered with bricks
everything else was new, just as it is today. Only the teacher's apartment
was still the thatched house of Peter Bika. This building was small,
frail, and old, just as it is today.
B.) 5. Bika's
thatched house was promoted as the teacher's apartment in 1860 and accommodated
the teacher for another 25 years. Even so, 1874 was the first that a room
was paneled for the teacher. The second room received a floor in 1880.
Because it was such a fire hazard the house was completely insured since 1873,
but to no avail, it would not burn up.
In 1885 the
mason Heinrich Schwaner received instructions that for the amount of 20 Kreuzer
he should examine the teacher's apartment one more time to see if it might be
able to be repaired. After that nothing more was to be done since it was
recognized "that in place of the old teacher's apartment the building of a new
apartment was an undeniable necessity."
family received accommodations where there was also a summer kitchen at their
disposal in the Hungarian Reformed school located on the opposite side of town
for the duration of the construction.
The lumber was
purchased in St. Betschej for about 170 Florint.
received for his masonry work, 46 Florint, 33 Kreuzer.
received for tamping and compressing, 56 Florint, 70 Kreuzer.
received for his carpentry work,
the cabinetmaker, received for his work, 291 Florint, 50 Kreuzer.
building was pitched, covered with roof tiles and the school built 23 years
before was placed under one roof. The apartment consisted of a small
anteroom on the neighboring street, a corner room, and a room on the main
street. Furthermore there is still a winter kitchen and a dining area with
stairs. The three meter wide corridor is provided with a chest high wall
and in later years there was a cellar on the yard side of the corridor and a
summer kitchen. The one step high entrance led directly into the school
corridor. Today the new schools are so wide that the whole width of the
corridor takes in the teacher's apartment. Three steps lead from the one
corridor to the other and because of the width of the school could only be seen
with effort from one corner. The front of the building has three windows
on the main street and two on the neighboring street. On this street there
is also a one winged entrance door, an eight meter long wall and the gate to the
entrance of the courtyard. The apartment always belonged to the teacher
who was also at the same time the choirmaster. For that reason it was also
called the choirmaster teacher's apartment. Since the nationalization of
the teacher it is exclusively the choirmaster's apartment. Every now and
then they would refurbish it and the last time, in 1931, a rather thorough
renovation was undertaken. The walls of the room stayed damp. The
lower choirmaster's apartment, without a gutter, next to the high school
building, parsonage, and church today looks like the old modest little mother
next to her proud, robust offspring. The place for the choirmaster's
apartment is 314 square fathoms.
Notice also that
in the year 1890 the church inspector at the time, August Pulski, donated 100
Guilders for the purchase of an apartment for the second teacher. In 1895
the Kohn's house (Butscher and Dietrich) which lay opposite the church was also
bought, but the community declined this acquisition.
A.) 6. Since the
turn of the century the number of schoolchildren in each school has been
consistently over 100 students. With such a large school census the school
halls were much too small and extremely unhygienic. With the benches
standing against the damp walls, even the best of intentions could only sweep up
half of the dirt and dust. The clothes, books, and even the bodies of the
children were by far not so well cared for as we see it in the schools of today.
Dust was never absent in the school but if the schoolchildren were more lively
than usual the teacher entered, in the true sense of the words, an impenetrable
cloud of dust. Because of this the teacher took the all to lively with
taming and beating from the start. Half, maybe more, of the dust that was
of little use flowed through existing air holes, partly to the attic, partly out
into the open air. The unhygienic school halls could be considered
breeding grounds for germs. Year after year the school officials never
missed requesting the community that this evil be remedied. After that the
church building was completed in 1903 and 1904, and it continued until 1910 when
the school building could be tackled. In the Spring of 1910 it was
concluded by the community that the old school be demolished and in its place
three teaching halls and a church chancellery be built next to one another,
nevertheless without corridors in between. The entrance for the whole
building would be installed on the end towards the parsonage. After that
the street front of the schoolyard was too short requiring a share of the parish
yard. As compensation for it the free room behind the church would be
shared with the parish yard. It should be noted that the rest of this free
room was a 300 square fathom large house lot which the community had purchased
at the time as the church should be built. Already through the church
building the parish yard would be smaller and must be completed from this newly
took over the masonry work at the new school for 4,280 Kronen.
Heinrich Müller, 765 Kronen.
Adam Baschawerk, 2,415 Kronen.
Jakob Haufer, 225 Kronen.
plans were produced by master mason Adam Baschawerk free of charge. It
would require approximately 120,000 bricks and 28,000 roof tiles, which the
brick workers Christian Welker and Jakob Häuser supplied. The whole
building together with furniture required the sum of 15,000 Kronen. The
entrances of the church chancellery and the teaching halls were connected by a
corridor provided with 14 pillars and a chest high wall. From the corridor
four steps led to the schoolyard and on the playground. The schools were 8
meters wide, 8.5 meters long, and 4 meters high. Each teaching hall had 4
large windows facing the street. The church chancellery that was built on
had one window on the street.
The street front
is painted with every other building toned chalk white. The roof of all of
the buildings is 37.30 meters long and 11.75 meters wide.
After more than
25 years the buildings are still as new today and the competence of the
craftsmen from Feketitsch are praised because no stranger has done any work on
The middle of the
street front, with its 13 large windows, lasted until 1910. These school
buildings, at the time were the largest of their kind in the whole village,
showed in time where our long journey in this world has ended. It is from
the mouths of later descendents' apprenticeships that we hear about the enormous
progress made in science that are still deep dark secrets to us today. It
is the witness of such a world view which we cannot grasp today.
The Evangelical Front.
The choirmaster's apartment, the new school
building, the new parsonage, the church.
It would be nice
as a foundation to always mold every apprentice with pure morals