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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

The Firemen's Association

by Peter Lang
Translation by Brad Schwebler

    Jakob Filippi reported to me that the tragic death of the father of H. Blasius (vgl. Reg. No. 196), who was burned in his loft, was the birth of the Firemen’s Association in Beschka.  Before that the fires were naturally fought by the Germans, but the means of extinguishing the fires was not adequately organized and it was missing in sufficient firefighting equipment.  The Serbs were very careless in the firefighting and regarded the fire more as play.  So it happened that if a Serb was by a fire, instead of extinguishing it, he would light his pipe by it.  But one of the German helpers knocked the pipe from his hand with the shovel.  After the establishment of the Firemen’s Association the Serbs also joined it as active members.

   Besides the contributions of the members the Firemen’s Association was financed through contributions from the community and through convenient donations from the insurance companies.  The real good equipment consisted first of all of a hand driven hose and from 1941 on also a motor operated hose.  But despite the good equipment, firefighting was difficult because it was difficult to get enough water at the burning site.  There were only wells in Beschka.  So the water they found was used up rather quickly.

   Each individual fire brigade commanding officer I can no longer remember.  The only fire brigade commander I can name are: Dr. Zatschek, Adam Fäller, Andreas Scherer, Johann Röder, Ludwig Tschepl, and finally Jakob Bubenheimer.  The head of the ladies’ auxiliary was Elisabetha Busch.  The Firemen’s Association also had it’s own music band.  Each year there was a ball where a play was performed.  The fire brigade also appeared at special celebrations, such as the king’s birthday.  The fire brigade’s band also took part at state holidays and funerals.

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr, 2005]