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



Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
     
 

The History of the German Reformed Congregation

by Ludwig Poth, pastor of the community Feketitsch
Translated by Brad Schwebler

Foreword

    "From the history of the German Reformed Congregation," which is not the complete history of the community, here is one version to fill in the missing space and time.  In my work I strived to describe in detail the incidents from earlier times.  I have taken care to weigh all the information to show the community as it was in reality (I say: in reality!) through my searching and prying, through weaknesses and missing information, through troubles from inside and outside they would keep the sermons and instructions of the word of God.  So one can learn nearly everything, but especially about the origin and the life of the branch community, and afterwards the independent church community is written under the control of the word from the Heidelberg or Pfalz catechism in question 103:"What does God want in the fourth commandment?" Answer: "First God wants the office of the preacher and the schools to be kept."  This main theme I always followed in historical order wherever possible.  For the description of the history of other congregations I would like to be correct.  From the beginning to the present questions are separately portrayed.  For example: church, school, church service, administration, etc.  However this community has a very peculiar history because there is hardly anyone who has  had to fight for their existence who has not had a history full of change, who had to build quite a lot, who seized on so many plans in the case of community life, then dropped, but also many have been realized as in this small community.  At least something of the events of the community history to guide the reader's eyes, I chose this way of interpretation.  The attentive reader may also be able to make something out of the "raw data."

   I could have told much more valuable and remarkable things about life in the school, especially about the original work of the first two teachers, Schenkenberger and Knittel, about the church service, about the work of the elders and the community assemblies, about the church taxes, about the religious instruction, community singing, bell ringers, present state of the community, etc. etc. but for the reasons already given above it was not done.  Then because of the events of their history one could write much more about this community.  "So the gentleman wants and we live"

but this absence is to be found to be a characteristic in many and in another was are not found and the descendants have kept the least in writing.  From it only the old traditions were continued.

   As the writer of the history I have had three predecessors whose work in handwriting does exist making my work much easier.  The first was Eduard Schenkenberger who in 1875, before leaving for Torscha, he wrote down the history of the community up to 1875 on 10 pages in the first record book of the community.  I have transferred almost all of it to my work word for word. - After him Rev. Janos Szilady wrote down the history of the Hungarian parent community and the German branch community in 1885 which he presented to the bishop when he came to see this community on the 8th of September 1885. - Finally in our own time the local physician, Dr. Viktor Pratscher, wrote a valuable foundation of the history of this community and collected valuable material.  To him we owe our sincere thanks!

   As further sources the minutes and register books of this community served me, as well as the Hungarian Reformed community and the writings and documents from the former Seniorats but now the state church archives.  The sources of the Hungarian Reformed community and the state church archives were gratefully provided at the time by the pastor of the Hungarian community and also the bishop of our state church, Alexander Agoston.  He also had an old photograph of the first schoolhouse of this community (it was his place of birth), a copy left by an artist, and photographs provided of the church and the new buildings for this community history.  For all of this I am very thankful.  Then I have been given several valuable enlightening things from the community members Karl Eng, Martin G­ttel, Jakob Wei▀mann Sr., Heinrich Dinges, church elder Friedrich R­hrich, and above all others I owe Johann Wei▀mann thanks.  Finally the essential servants of the community have informed us of their curriculum vitae.  They are all sincerely thanked.

I hope to God that this is not written in vain and not read in vain, for the descendants of the elders to ask requests to know God in everything they do, and that the sermons and instructions of the word of God be kept in the denomination of the elders of the community in their German mother tongue.

 Feketitsch, June 1936 Ludwig Poth

[Published at DVHH.org 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr]