The Last of the German Village Kalatscha

by Anton Zollner

Actually was already after Gh. Drinovan since 1356 the documentarily occupied locality Kalatscha (official: Calacea, ung.: Temeskalácsa) in the correct sense never a German village. Rather that was 5 km of the village removed for bath with the same name 36 years long a German health resort. The village Kalatscha is appropriate for about 4 km west of the community center Orzydorf. The next station is in Orzydorf. Likewise about 4 km the distance between the health resort Kalatscha and Mercydorf, whose station carries remarkably the designation "Baile Calacea" (bath Kalatscha, amounts to).

1910 placed the 192 German inhabitants of the predominantly Romanian village Kalatscha a population portion of 17,5 per cent. In the following years both the number of the Germans and their portion of the village inhabitants constantly sank. 1940 was registered here 162 Germans to people-associated. During the census from January still 32 persons admitted themselves 1992 to the Deutschtum, but according to data of the place of residence community in Germany only 5 persons of German nationality are to have been remaining in February 1996 in Kalatscha.

However bath Kalatscha developed as a German family business. The thermal water was discovered here by coincidence. The countess Iphigenia let a well d'Harcourt bore 1904 on her property, but the enterprise ran unsuccessfully. Only in the next year one discovered in a depth of 515 m water, but it was not the desired drinking water, but thermal water, which had a temperature of 39° C. At the beginning of the yearly 1910 the married people Stefan and Margareta cellar from Orzydorf acquired the mentioned property, on which the thermal water quelle was. The advice of the Orzydorfer of kreisarztes Dr. Josef Parche following, the Orzydorfer Michael blackbirds suffering heavily from rheumatism came in the year 1911 on the property the cellar, in order to try, by thermal water baeder its suffering too lindern. After only two cures the completely go-obstructed man had again healed. This caused the kreisarzt, the health authority over sound-follows the thermal water kur in knowledge to set.

1912 furnished two chambers with bath tubs to cellar, and the authorities approved a probebetrieb of the in such a way developing therapeutic bath Kalatscha. The patients came with own carts, and after bathing they drove again to home. After the welfare strength of the thermalwassers became more well-known, one had here already 1913 5 furnished bathrooms.

A correct health resort bath became Kalatscha only after the First World War. The building was extended to 20 bathrooms, in addition, and for the food supply of the kurgaeste a hotel was opened, at the same time was permitted the self food supply. Here needy humans knew their suffering lindern, like that as this also today still the case already at that time are. In addition, soon kurgaeste came from the distance, and which had to then provide German entrepreneur family for the establishment of accommodations. Thus 1926 the guesthouse "Marienheim" developed beside the bath building of the "Magdalenahof" and, beside which also a chapel was established. In this time also the park and the flower patches were put on. Soon was it so far that exclusively could at the same time offer the health spa claimant by the family cellar up to 200 kurgaesten accommodation and food supply. The advancement of this cure enterprise was interrupted 1948, when one put the family under state control cellar expropriated and the health spa.

In the following time the health spa Kalatscha was operated by the Temeschburger health authorities. The kurgaeste were now "worker", who received reduced in price cure maps from their trade unions or from their agricultural production cooperatives. One had undertaken in the next years no larger extensions more, that cure enterprise more badly than had been quite maintained.

Correct difficulties came to health spa to the Kalatschaer only in the post office-communist time. After decades long here nothing was invested, the buildings are today in a very worn out condition, and the public baths are also obsolete. Despite this situation after 1990 for the possession of the therapeutic bath Kalatscha was strongly struggled. That Teme circle advice, in whose possession now the bath was, wanted to bring the enterprise back in order and operate it. Other committees were against it and converted the state enterprise into a commercial company. This wanted to then maintain the enterprise by additional payments on the part of the trade unions. These did not play however also, and so the bath without kurgaeste remained; the cure enterprise had to be stopped at the beginning of of 1996. After one did not find a native investor, the circle advice decided to release the health spa for an international auction. Very interested in an assumption also the Temeschburger hospital for Physiotherapie showed up. The circle advice remained in addition, further undetermined and undertook rather nothing. Meanwhile the bath continued to purge also unused. Instead of healing rheumatism suffering, kidney diseases and digesting disturbances here, one let the therapeutic bath extending to 22 hectares come. In the meantime also six inheriting the last owner announced their requirement on the possession of the Kalatschaer of health spa.

In June 1997 the "general German newspaper for Romania" announced that the cure enterprise already became "subordinated" Kalatscha one year ago a manager. Dipl. Ing. Mircea Meltes is to have brought bath Kalatscha in the course of a yearly back in course. 63 kurgaeste are to be boarded and accommodated now here. The necessary food is to be produced in the own Nebenwirtschaft. For the well-being of the kurgaeste, who are to receive now their cure maps nevertheless from its trade unions and from its employers, 19 employees provide. The manager hoped for an imminent privatisation, but despite all efforts it did not create it to rentabilisieren the cure enterprise. Despite small capacity the health spa is still for a long time not fully written off. As the experience shows, Baile Calacea industrious owners braeuchte instead of attempt managers.

October 1998 Anton Zollner

See all of Zollners': The End of the German Villages of the Banat Series


[Published at 2003 by Jody McKim Pharr] ©2003 Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands, a Nonprofit Corporation.