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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
The Farming Economy in Beschka in 1860

by Peter Lang
Translation by Brad Schwebler

          As already mentioned the farmers of the Batschka around the year 1860 could neither buy affordable fields in the mother communities nor in the Batschka daughter communities.  The small farmer could therefore only improve matters by moving away to the backward regions of the Syrmia.  It was not easy for anyone to move to Syrmia which at the time had very rough customs.  The settler who moved was also often ridiculed by those who remained.  When one for example managed his finances badly, one said to him, “Dem sei Deichsel zeigt schun uf Kerschetin.”

          Still in the year 1927 my uncle said to me as I decided to go to Beschka: “Geh, laß das liederliche Srem gehn!” (“Go, let youself go to the slovenly Syrmia!”) (My uncle knew Beschka and Krtschedin since 1887.)  To understand this situation one must know the development of the field prices.

          Field prices in Jarek (20 km in a straight line from Beschka) in the years:

1791  - everything free of charge

1819  - 2 yokes, 480 Guilders  - ie. 240 Guilders per yoke

1820  - 1.5 yokes,  230 Guilders  - ie. 153 Guilders per yoke

1820  - 1 yoke,  - 150 Guilders

1820  - 10 yokes, 1500 Guilders  - ie. 150 Guilders per yoke

1821  - 3 1/8 yoke, 4000 Guilders  - ie. 1280 Guilders per yoke

          Field prices in the years (Source: Scherer):

1859  - 100 yokes (bush), 60 – 80 Guilders per yoke, averaging 70 Guilders – 10 dz

1890  - 180-200 Guilders per yoke, averaging 100 Guilders – 27 dz

1897  - 280-320 Guilders per yoke, averaging 300 Guilders – 42 dz

1907   530 Guilders per yoke, averaging 630 Guilders – 90 dz

          The list shows that the field prices in the course of 48 years climbed about 9 times.  In the same time the wheat price remained rather constant at about 7 Guilders per double hundred weight.  In the time after 1907 the field was no longer so expensive.  I remember that Johann Huber bought the Sauer field in 1928 and paid 16,000 Dinar per yoke for it.  At the time the wheat price amounted to about 300 Dinar per double hundred weight, so that Huber converted it so that 53 double hundred weight of wheat had to be paid per yoke of field.  I purchased my vineyard in 1928 for 24,000 Dinar together with the harvest, that is converting 136.8 double hundred weight of wheat per yoke.  In 1934 I purchased the “Postweise” (postal route?)  The purchase price amounted to the conversion of 60 double hundred weight of wheat per yoke.

          For the German colonists there was during the military border not only the possibility, through the purchase of a field or the acquisition of the whole courtyard, but also the further possibility to “einkommunieren?” themselves in a “Kommunionen?”.  To make it clear how the “Einkommunieren” went, I would like to cite the following from the Krtschedin homeland book’s “Einkonskribierungs document”, where I have included some comments in brackets:

No. 870 (the number is a file number) Beschka Company No. 12

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr, 2005]