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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

The Life in the New Homeland 1784-1818

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

The Way of the Schwabenzuges

A View of the Old and the New Homelands

    In the aforementioned nine communities the ancestors of the Germans of Feketitsch also settled, mostly from Sekitsch, a large part from Crvenka, many from Torscha, Vrbas, Sivac, and some individuals from the other villages.  Here all of our ancestors were residents for 30 to 50 years and divided the good and the evil for the first decade among the settlers.  The firm hand of the Swabian tilled the hard ground with the plow here.  Most of the ground had never come in touch with a plow since the Great Flood and the hardest work often only amounted to crop failure.  Potatoes were completely unknown in this land and had to be acquired from the old homeland.  The trip went, as J. Jauss reported, on foot with little money.

The inhospitable climate would decimate the settlers here.  One proverb handed down to us from this difficult time tells us of the whole tragedy of the first generation.

"The first had the death

The second had the need

The third were the first to have the bread."

     From the unending marsh the air and the water were polluted and because of it illnesses resulted such as malaria, tuberculosis, typhus, cholera, the plague, etc. and most of the settlers acquired one of these in their best years.  So many a heart would be gripped with homesickness because of this great misfortune, or when their last hour came.  The Batschka was called at the time "the grave of the Germans." In the first settled community they gave their best to contribute to the development of this village.  Schools, community centers, and the prominent churches of today in most communities were not built until 1820.  The churches in the German Protestant communities were built in the following years: Torscha evang. 1811, ref. 1811; Neu Sivac 1811; Crvenka evang. 1812, ref. 1813; Sekitsch 1817; Neu Vrbas evang. 1816-1820, ref. 1820-1824; B. Dobropolje (Kischker) 1818; Buljkes 1820.  They worked and sacrificed because the rulers gave no help in the building of the churches.

     Of the villages we considered coming to the first place that came to everyone's mind was Sekitsch from where half of the Germans living in Feketitsch today descended from.  Eimann reported that the inhabitants of Sekitsch in 1820 diligently tackled all branches of farming.  About Crvenka he wrote the same: the largest German village where most of the Protestant members of the Empire descended from the area between the Mosel and the Rhine. The village lies deep in the Teleschkaer Hills with beautiful displays of vineyards.  In general this principal village had a number of beautiful brick covered buildings.  Trade and change and business on the canal, grain and wine growing "nurturing make the place very capable and there is no doubt this village will soon be the most significant in the whole Comitat.

  The prosperity of the settlement communities would become ever larger, the Hotter would soon be too small and the fields too little.  Yes, an enormous amount of work must be achieved there to bring about this great change.  One may not forget that because of the many bad fields at the many settlements and from the burdens connected to them the people became scared and burnt out.

   Such a characteristic history which the latecomers of an immigration must hold on to and at the same time take the lead here.  The same thing was written by Franz Klein, Evangelistic pastor in Kac.

[Published at 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr]

Last Updated: 18 Aug 2020 2003 Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands, a Nonprofit Corporation.
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