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A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler



Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
     
 

Church Associations

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

Church Clubs  "Where one sings, there you settle Glee Clubs peacefully."
Because "angry people have no songs."  Schiller

           Old people still recollect what a very good singer the teacher Karl Burg was as this was one of the main qualifications of teachers educating at the time.  Certainly a choir also existed.  However records of it don't exist.

           The men's glee club was established by the teacher Wilhelm Pratscher and he led it as the choir leader in the winter months for a decade.  Other choir leaders of the men's glee club were the teacher Friedrich Stðtzer, Julius Pratscher, Jakob Kellermann, and Jakob Dietrich.  The glee club can look back on 60 years of activity without interruption. 

The History of the Evangelical Men's Choir in the Last 25 Years
written by Friedrich Weber

           In 1909 choirmaster teacher Stðtzer established a men's choir from the work of the already deceased musician Jakob Gutwein in the framework of the Evangelical congregation.  It began with completely beautiful work and progressed because there was rather good material and the choirmaster Friedrich Stðtzer was very musical and led the choir with complete devotion.  In 1913 the congregation purchased a harmonium organ for 160 Kronen.  In the following year the choir purchased from its own means a second harmonium organ.  The spiritual as well as the secular songs were well-cared for.  Then the World War came and everything at the time was torn and most of the men of the choir were inducted.  A few weeks before the outbreak of the war choirmaster Stðtzer moved away from Feketitsch.  After the tremendous fight it was difficult in the entire world to bring together men with ideal feelings because the gruesome picture of the war was still vivid in their minds so that all the softness in them was destroyed.  Nevertheless choirmaster Jakob Kellermann came to Feketitsch in 1921 at the time of the old dispersed group gathered again and eagerly began to work.  The new choirmaster was also an extremely gifted musical man and had a great preference for songs.  And so for a few years they worked eagerly and beautifully until the choirmaster was sick and they could no longer completely devote themselves to the work.  After some time the state teacher Jakob Dietrich came to Feketitsch in 1928 to fill in as leader of the choir in the meantime to finish incomplete work and worked with very great enthusiasm and love until 1931 and then he moved to Neusatz in the capacity of state teacher in January.  Up to now the main field of work of the choir was the church hymn, nevertheless the secular songs were also not forgotten, so the versatile choirmaster Jakob Dietrich very rightly began to propagate the German folk songs for only the German folk song is suitable to create a camaraderie that comes from people talking to people.

The Evangelical Men's Choir of 1936    

The choir was now without a musical leader again, so the administrative leader had to give advise.  Someone had the idea to not have a teacher anymore but to elect a future leader from their own midst.  The election fell on that of teacher Kellermann to train alto Christian Schwindt who was just the teacher named who had enjoyed only a very sparse education in music.  But luckily they were hardly aware of the extent of his task since he went to the German men's choral society with great love, an unending perseverance and patience at the work.  Yet it should be mentioned here that later, in 1933, Christian Schwindt could bring the men's choir to the highest development of his abilities under the influence of artist Peter Freund, originally from Neusatz, living in Sekitsch,  from whom he officially took over after the fifth year at which time, in the framework of a large scale song recital a rally for the popular German songs took place - report filed.  In the time of choirmaster Christian Schwindt the spiritual as well as the secular songs were dedicated at the same observance, there with the words spoken by our highly esteemed bishop, Dr. Philipp Popp, too much of the same thing make the souls apathetic, but from all of both kinds of music the same group of people always sound fresh and happy.

 

Row 1: Johann Scheer, Filipp Freund, Heinrich Freund, Adam Liebersperger, Nikolaus Roth, Heinrich Hartmann, Filipp Seibert, Filipp Schwahner, Daniel Schnauthiel, Georg Krebs, Jakob Schwaner.

Row 2: Peter Wagner, Friedrich Fetzer, Friedrich Peter, Jakob Peter, Georg Schwebler, Johann Schwindt, Friedrich Weber, Karl Gutwein, Leonhard Roth, Adam Roth, Johann Mayer.

Row 3: Heinrich Scholl, Johann Roth, Stefan Ritter, Filipp Wagner, Senior Peter Scherer, Christian Schwindt, Filipp Bensinger, Ludwig Gutwein. - Row 4: Theobald Baschawerk, Johann Schwindt, Daniel Dautermann, Friedrich Weber, Filipp Stroh.

           It was necessary at the conclusion to direct an appeal to the men of our people at this place that each one who feels he has the ability to serve the German cause, connected to the different cultural associations and sacrificing themselves completely to the work devoted to the national customs and traditions so that we can remain protected in the national setting.

The Youth Choir which took part in the third song festival

Row 1: Christine Morell, Liese Müller, Roschen Berleth, Bärbchen Baron, Dorothea Baschawerk, Katharina Berleth, Lieschen Grumbach, Katchen Gutwein.
Row 2: Käthe Brückner, Gretchen Ludmann, Heinrich Freund, Karl Spengler, Josef Schmidt, Christian Schwindt, Adam Krebs, Friedrich Bender, Michael Gutwein, Christine Wolf.
Row 3: (sitting): Katharina Ludmann, Suschen Ziegler, the pastor's family, Suschen Scheer, Gretchen Ortag, Luisa Freund.

           During the war there was a girl's choir, which was characteristic of the time, under the leadership of Jakob Kellermann.  This girl's choir worked diligently and it's ability has been recorded in numerous minutes by secretary Elisabetha Schmidt (wife of Karl Seibert).  This girl's choir introduced electric light to the school in 1918.

           In 1925 the pastor's family established a youth choir which under the leadership of the agile pastor's wife achieved remarkable success and worked miracles.  Through the events of community evenings it was possible for the youth club to buy itself a camera with which the photograph evening could be introduced; now and then themes from the Bible, the church history, and also different areas of science were taken.  The expenses were covered by voluntary sacrifices.  The great success achieved by the youth choir up until now through its participation on the occasion of the 400 year celebration of the Augsburg Denomination in Kraljevicevo-Franzfeld, where they held their third Evangelical song festival performance on the second Whitsunday.

The German Evangelical Youth Choir of 1936, on its tenth year in existence, at which time Christian Schwind took over as leader of the choir.

 

Row 1: Jak. Peter, Jak. Märtz, Kath. Egner, Friedrich Weber, Johanna Bechtler, Anton Weber, Ther. Schübler, Heinrich Hartmann.

Row 2: Maria Bender, Ther. Gegner, Kath. Anschütz, Kath. Scheer, Eliz. Krebs, Luise Freunp, Angelia Schwebler, Marg. Häußer, Eliz. Dietrich, Elsa Müller, Marg. Liebersperger, Marg. Anschütz.

Row 3: Eliz. Scheer, Susanna Scheer, Heinrich Freund, pastor's wife, pastor, Christian Schwind, Christine Scheer, Kath. Gutwein. - Row 4: Joh. Scheer, Nik. Roth, Philipp Seibert.

           In memory of this festival they received, as did all other choirs, a bust of Luther.  Twenty-six choirs took part at this festival with around 1000 singers.  This double celebration formed what was so far the most impressive Evangelical expression in Yugoslavia.  On the trip they could go sightseeing in the capital city of Belgrade and the city of Pancevo.

           The congregation has no other clubs. 

           For the Gustav-Adolf Association an offertory was collected once a year and in the last years 5% of the yield in the church offertory boxes was intended for this association.

           A few years ago a Gustav-Adolf box was installed in the church, just as it was also customary in the old prayer house.

[Published at DVHH.org 2003 by Jody McKim Pharr