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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Youth at Play & Chores

After the Schaeffer family escaped from Gakavo and arrived in Germany, my husband, Franz, rode his bicycle (not the one in this picture) all over southern Germany locating, visiting and collecting pictures of families from daheim. He has them in a large album. At one time he was affiliated with the DS Club in Trenton, NJ. ~Barbara Anne Teves Schaeffer

English TWIRLER game, shown by 'Elsa' ~Elizabeth b. Walter


Youth at Play & Chores by Peter Lang

The Dolls by Joseph Schramm


Ring - Around - the - Rosie ~Barbara Anne Teves Schaeffer

Submit your childhood memories of play and chores

The "Ratschen" by Nick Tullius - It is not easy to describe the wooden gizmo called “Ratsche”. The word is easily translated as “rattle”, but it was a rather special type of rattle. Imagine a wooden cylinder (the handle) that could easily be held by a boy about ten to twelve years old, about a foot in length, terminated with a somewhat larger serrated cylinder resembling the well-known steel gear. The cylinder was fitted with a rectangular wooden frame, perpendicular to the handle, and capable of rotating around the handle. In the middle of the wood frame there was a wooden tongue (a thin piece of wood) that rested on the serrated cylinder. Here a picture would be worth a thousand words! Anyway, when you grab the handle and put it into a kind of rotational motion, the rectangular part rotates through the air, and the tongue follows the grooves and hills of the cylinder, producing a loud wailing sound, modulated by the rattling sound (it is hard to describe, you’ve got to hear it). [Read: "Ratschen" – Holy Week in the Banat My Personal Recollection by Nick Tullius]

The "Pollerloch" by Hans Kopp - A very simple toy made after a rain when the ground was wet.  One simply took handful of clay and formed it into a doughnut type shape about 2 in. high and with a thin layer at the bottom. The Pollerloch was turned upside down in your hand and smashed on the ground. If done correctly the bottom of the Pollerloch exploded, giving off a loud noise, or a "Poller" sound.

Anna Kunter of Bukin, Batschka ~Hans Kopp

The "Willow whistle" - This could be made where you could find a willow tree near a creek.  One would cut off a branch from the willow tree about one-half inch thick, shaped one end slanted at an angle as a mouthpiece where a blowhole is placed a half-inch from it. Also at an angle in the opposite direction a straight cut of about ¼ of the branches thickness is made.  Now we tapped the bark of the willow branch long enough till it could be twisted off the wood.  Now we completed the mouth piece by connecting it with a cut made a half inch away and placed the bark back on.  It did not always work immediately and often required slight modification. ~Hans Kopp

The Saller children with their dolls and ducks. Tschatali, Hungarian Batschka ~Hans Kopp

The "Schnelzkugel Spiel" - We played the age-old marble game all the time with a lot of varieties.  Our favorite, though, was making a hole between 6 to 12 feet from the start.  The winner was the player who could get the marble in a whole first by flicking it with the dump done by releasing the dump with your index finger.  To making it more exciting or challenging we would place one or two sometimes even more marbles in the whole first and the winner would keep all the marbles.  Sometimes we did make our own marbles from clay, which was readily available after a rain.  As you should know some of our earth was a type of clay, one may refer to as muck, which had good binding qualities and was easy to work with. ~Hans Kopp

A mother with her child in their native “Tracht” notice the beautiful head cover of the child [Miletitsch] ~Hans Kopp

The "Gummipuschke" - The name comes from rubber (Gummi) and Puschke a Hungarian derivative for rifle or gun).  It was a widely used slingshot made from a wooden branch where we attached a rubber band and connected it with a leather piece to hold a stone. After German air force retreated from our town in 1944, we scavenged whatever we could lay our hands on, one of which was rubber from the inner tubes of the tires, which was very suitable to fabricate a Gummipuschke.  They were part of a child’s great treasure, which became very handy in a time of great need and survival.  ~Hans Kopp

Elisabeth Njary, Batschsentiwan, Batschka 1926 ~Hans Kopp

"Hide and seek, as well as catch" - One of our favorite games we played was playing stork by building a nest on the flat roof of an auxiliary building such as the pig stall and take food up there to eat.  In the winter, we made ice skates for ourselves by taking a board cut it to the length of our wooden shoes and attaching two thick wires on the bottom as runners, then attaching the skates on the wooden shoes.  It was fun to ride with these things even though you could not do any more with than run a straight line. ~Hans Kopp

Children with their baby sitter and dolls, India, Syrmia ~Hans Kopp

The "Grundloch" - A lake created by taking soil for building the walls of our houses.  In the winter when the Grundloch was frozen we placed a 6- to 8-inch diameter hole in the ice and drove a pole into the bottom and then created a round disc by cutting out a 6- to 12-inch wide circular strip of 10 to 15 feet in diameter.  We stepped on that disc and one of us set it into motion by pushing with a pole resting on the solid ice outside of the discs.  Naturally there was the sled, although we had no mountains to go to, but we used the banks of the Grundloch to ride down. ~Hans Kopp

Accordion class ~Hans Kopp

Violin lessons, Siwatz ~Hans Kopp

Playing with our farm animals and doing chores - for our parents such as collecting the eggs and feeding the chicken, riding the horses or leading the cows to the community meadow.  Although even without our help, the cows could go to and from the meadow by themselves in the morning and evening. ~Hans Kopp

Kristina Lutz and the family’s cow, Altker, Batschka ~Hans Kopp

Going to the fields to help our father - In the summer months and the greatest treat was the lunch which consisted primarily of bacon and bread with peppers and tomatoes and water from the "Pluzer," since there was no thermostat at that time to keep the water cool it had to be buried underground to keep it somewhat fresh.  ~Hans Kopp

Helene Trumpf harvesting wheat on her parents field, Altker, Batschka 1939 ~Hans Kopp

The children of Matheis Rometsch, Neu Passau, Banat ~Hans Kopp

Going to the vineyards with our grandfather or grandmother - It was always a treat since they knew exactly what children like and want and therefore they often planted berry bushes and fruit trees.  One of the biggest treats was always a good piece of watermelon on a hot day cooled in the well and sweet ripened grapes. ~Hans Kopp

Children in Bukin, Batschka ~Hans Kopp

The bread was really large! [Gakowa, Batschka] ~Hans Kopp

Belitzke (spelling unknown) - We took a 12-inch long by ¾-inch in diameter stick, pointed both ends then took a 24-inch stick of the same diameter.  We placed the shorter stick on the ground and hit it with the larger stick on either end.  The stick would twirl through the air.  The object was to keep the short stick airborne while you were walking along the street and count the steps one could make while doing this.  The winner naturally was the boy who could take the most steps. ~Hans Kopp

Wood work in the school -  In the below picture notice the second boy from the right in the first row, he made a horse and wagon. The willow branch was used to make very simple horses by taking a ½in. thick branch and cut it to a length of about 4 to 6 inches.  We cut two grooves about a 1/8 in. back from each end and about 1/16 in. wide to tie a string on it.  This was a simple horse; a more creative design required our own imagination.  Cut circular grooves around the body of the branch or make diagonal or axial groves or spots to enhance its appearance.

Art class at school, Gakowa, Batschka ~Hans Kopp

I'm holding the ball. ~Hans Kopp This picture is certainly one of my priceless treasures; "The Kopp Family" Batschsentiwan 1937

[Published at 10 Mar 2007 by Jody McKim Pharr]

Heritage » Society » Village Life » Youth at Play & Chores


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