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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Josef Pindor About Beschka, 1902
The Evangelical Church Croatians, Slovenians in Past and Present

Excerpts Reviewed by Peter Lang
Translated by Brad Schwebler

          We also learned interesting facts about Beschka from the book by Josef Pindor. “The Evangelical Church Croatians, Slovenians in Past and Present,” Essegg 1902.  From this book I would like to cite the following where I have included some of my own remarks in brackets in this citation:

          “In Beschka 24 German families of both beliefs already purchased together vacant house lots and neglected vineyards in the patent year 1859.  They were connected to Neu-Pasua for church matters and already appointed Philipp Lautenbach as their own teacher in 1860 who assembled the children in a rented room.  After this Friedrich Steinmetz followed (1863 to 1869).  Also Rev. Weber strongly accepted the young colony.  Unfortunately the Reformed detached themselves here in 1869 and at first connected themselves as the daughter community to Neusatz, to an independent parish in 1878.  There the migration continued uninterrupted, the Lutherans already purchased a house lying in the center of the village and erected a school and prayer house.  At the same time Vicar Paul Polereczky agreed as administrator to move Rev. Weber to Beschka where he cared for the congregation there.  As salary he received 240 florints, 60 Metzen of fruit (wheat), 4 fathoms of straw, 3 fathoms of wood, and free quarters placed in view on the condition that one third of his earnings besides that (Stolarien?) Rev. Weber had to pay out to the independent community.  The military border command in Agram found that the salary was much too small and uncertain and agreed to leave the community 56 yokes of horse and school? field and besides that the 10 year use and consumption of 100 yokes of Hutweide (meadow) for the formation of the church fund. This rare generosity was greeted with jubilation in the widest circles of the Evangelical  church, but the happy community brought the church authorities the independent agreement.  Polereczky was chosen to be the pastor and remained there until 1878.  In 1874 the community acquired two cast steel bells from Bochum for 600 florints. 

          Unfortunately the two parties were enemies from the very beginning and sadly endless friction followed, that the border authorities did not keep their promise, the religious school was converted into a local public school and Polereczky received an appointment to Katy (also called Kaatsch), Hungary (today Yugoslavia), and the old prayer house was put up for auction because of debts owed.

          In Polereczky’s place in the same year Samuel Gretzmacher was appointed who is still working there now (1902).  He restored peace again, ended the process against the prayer house (it did not actually go to auction), it was renovated and extended about 2 fathoms.  At the same time the political community placed 30 yokes at the disposal of both sister communities (Lutheran and Calvinist) and yet another 57 yokes in 1885.  The entrance of the Reformed (split in 1870) was made possible through new settlements, so that the Lutheran community already numbered 800 souls in 1879.

          This brought out with the division of each 87 yokes new quarrels between the Lutheran and the Reformed, which after a lot of tugging and pulling, Recurieren?, and protesting through the national government (from Croatia in Zagreb = Agram) it was finally decided that the Lutheran community would receive 53 yokes, and the Reformed would receive 34 yokes.  After that the Lutheran community was restored, a house adjoining the prayer house was purchased (in 1890) and in 1895 a beautiful church to perform in and equipped with a new organ (in 1899).  Also there was a school again (in 1893) with the Evangelical teacher Michael Gesell, and after his departure (in 1901) it was occupied by Samuel Schumacher.  The number of people in this community amounted to about 1000.  (The book cited was printed in 1902 and probably written from 1900 to 1902.)  Through the independent agreement Beschka was released from the Neu-Pasua community, which grew into new problems for the Semlin district.  The cheap ground and the favorable work relationship had already lured individual families here since the beginning of the 19th century.  However as a result of the imperial patent, the migration was accepted to such a strong extent that several gathering points formed here and some schools established such as Boljewzi, Beschanija (1865), Surtschin (1869), Dobanovci (1875), Obresch (1882).  Ministerial service was performed by the Germans (Lutherans) from Neu-Pasua, the Slovakians of Alt-Pasua, besides the teacher/Levit service.  The schools served at the same time as church service places.” – end of citation.


[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr, 2005]