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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

The Climate

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

     In the hot summer months dry periods often lasted for weeks or even months, because not even a drop of rain fell.  The humus and the loose ground used to fill out the driveway changed the cart under the tires to a sea of dust.  The dust was 5, 10, 15 cm. high, so one waded up to the ankles in dust and at the street crossing the shoes were filled with it.  Along comes a wagon, the herd, a gust of wind, or even an auto and such a cloud of dust would be raised that it was impossible to even see over to the other side of the street.  There was no end to the nuisance of dust on the busy street from early in the morning to late in the evening.  The dust came in through closed windows and doors of the dwellings. Fortunately our dust is not so hard, sharp, and cutting as in the city where the dust contains granules of quartz and granite which damage the lungs and open the gates to a mixture of germs - the bacteria.  The village dust is soft and for the most part merely irritates the mucous membrane of the airway.  One could remedy the nuisance of dust with water, but so far this possibility was not seriously considered.  Unfortunately it still hasn't happened, so the drivers like to drive at a walking pace in the village. On the contrary,  the driver does not slow down during a 3-4 km. stretch outside the village, but instead he cracks the whip as he reaches the village and drives recklessly without consideration for his fellow man.  The walkway is washed and swept clean every evening or at least on Sunday evenings.

    Philipp Häußer, farmer and owner of a horse mill, has interesting records concerning weather, crop yields, and grain prices in Feketitsch from 1851 to 1896, for 46 years.  For example, in 1861 on the 2nd and 3rd of June there was a frost and a great heat spell followed causing the fruit and pasture to wither.  There was hardly any corn, so the people and animals suffered through a great famine.  After that 1864 was so fruitful as it hasn't been for 50 years and one chain yielded up to 30q of fruit, but 1865 and 1866 were again famine years.  The years 1870, 1871, and 1872 were wet years.  The fruit rotted, from October to Christmas it rained so that homes collapsed; thousands of chains of field were under water.  In 1872 reeds, (Liesch?) (busy Lizzy?), and willow trees were grown in the fields.  There has not been so much water in 100 years, etc., etc.  The exact dates which this farmer has recorded in his toll book are worthy of recognition.  But the descendents were handed the honor of this "handbook" which the grandfather had the honor of holding till now.

   The community has a tree nursery for mulberry trees. From the orchard the gaps were filled in from which the streets appeared in the rows of trees.  The gardener received a payment of 1,800 Dinar for the year.

[Published at 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr]

Last Updated: 18 Aug 2020 ©2003 Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands, a Nonprofit Corporation.
Webmaster: Jody McKim Pharr
Keeping the Danube Swabian legacy alive!