The Bukovina Society board attempted to conduct the 1999 convention in Canada but it was not possible. In the next few months we will determine dates and activities for a proposed Bukovinafest 2000. We have received good response from a survey of the International Board members, a number of former presenters and foreign guests. The September issue of the society newsletter will contain the announcement and dates, proposed for August of the year 2000.
ASSOCIAÇÃO ALEMÃ-BUCOVINA DE CULTURA
We were pleased to again hear from Ayrton Goncalves Celestino in Brasil. He was sick for a period of time not knowing what caused his high fevers. He was able to find a specialist, who found his medical problem, underwent surgery and now has no fever. We look forward to continued correspondence with him. The mayor of Rio Negro asked him to set up a book collection in the public library of the city on Bukovina history. The Bukovina Society has donated books to the new collection. Anyone in the society with books or material to assist can mail them to him at Rua Waldemar Kost, 1505, CEP 81630-180, Curitiba, Brasil PR. Ayrton is sending us the newsletter for the ABC, their fifth issue. He is waiting for announcement of our next Bukovinafest and plans to attend and give a presentation. Ayrton made many friends at Bukovinafest 96 andis looking forward to seeing them again in Kansas.
The Bukovina Society has collected numerous cassette tapes of Bukovina German songs. Some of these have ties back to the Bohemian Forest origins of the Bukovina Germans whose descendants settled around Ellis, Kansas. Society board member Frank Augustine received two tapes from the family of Mike Augustine, whose father Michael came in 1903 from Fürstenthal. Mike died recently at age 84. In addition to his songs preserved on tape were eight pages of lyrics in German. The society also has the recordings of Leo Weber and Gisela Staab. Society secretary and musician Joe Erbert is working to record the songs of other people in the area who amazingly remember the songs of their forebears in Bukovina. He noted that a tape of a song by the German Bohemians in New Ulm, Minnesota is very similar to the music passed down in his family.
Fay Jordaens sent an e-mail to me that her 94-year-old uncle from Canada was coming to visit her in North Carolina. She remarked that he is probably the oldest living Bukovina immigrant to remember the trip over by ship. This looked like a good story for the newsletter, so she directed his answers to questions and other memories into e-mail to me. He also sent similar recollections to the members of the Bukovina e-mail group and delighted each and every one of us. Rudy was born in 1905 in Klokuczka on the outskirts of Czernowitz, just south of the Pruth River. This is the story in his words. "I can remember the area we lived in and the town, which had no mayor or city hall. It was an area filled with fruit tree orchards. There were sections of cherry trees, pear trees, and apple trees with some sections of mixed fruit trees in their orchards. I recall that "lepovaner" [fruit pickers] came and picked fruit, going from one area to another.
Since there were no paved roads, just roads filled with stone, it gave me and my brothers an opportunity to get into a little mischief. When the "Lepovaners" came, we would go out into the street and toss stones at the fruit pickers until they would become exasperated and shake their fists at us till we ran away laughing. But in the springtime, when all the trees bloomed, I remember an area filled with beautiful flowering trees. My father, Ludwig Schmahl, was a soldier, serving as a cook in the army. After his tour of duty, father came home to stay. It was then that he got a job as a policeman. Father received promotions and he was able to take care of his large family with ease. In fact, we lived much better in Klokuczka than we did in our early years in Canada, where we lived on riddle soup, potato soup, borscht and Knadel soup. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
This was a time before there were any cars. Rich people could afford a horse and buggy with an attendant taking care of their horses and acting as a chauffeur. Our family was poor, so if we wanted to visit Grandfather Adam Schmahl's butcher shop in Czernowitz, or go swimming in the Pruth River, we walked. Mother would gather all the children in summertime, for instance, and we would all walk to the Pruth River [a few miles] where we would splash around in the water. I know that we ate Rumanian dishes, but cannot recall which ones (rolled cabbages?). Mother never made white bread, only the thick, coarse Russian black bread and served it with rotrebe soup, kraut or potato soup. Only on holidays did mother serve kuchen. Our elders made a wine from the cherry tree fruits that they called Vishnok. It was delicious. When we came to Canada, we had candy for the first time. It was a treat we got at Christmas time and we kids were thrilled.
Little by little, our family members were leaving Bukovina for Canada. My mother's widowed mother, Karoline Sauer Knoblauch was already living in Ellbourne, Canada, with her grown sons and daughters. They were writing very positive letters to my mother and father about their new homeland, urging them to also come to Canada and acquire some land. Mother wanted us to figure out how to engineer this deal, where he could leave the police force and secretly book passage for Canada. During this time, father became ill and the police force decided to pension him off. The committee that decided his fate also gave father a stipulation. If father was awarded a lump sum, he had to promise to use the money for a home, and not leave Bukovina. Father promised, took the lump sum, booked passage immediately for Canada, took his family and secretly left!
We went to the Bahnhof, took a train to Bremerhaven. When we got to our destination, we found that there were about 50 other families also waiting for ship passage to leave for Canada or America. Our "accommodations" were the floor of a large building, where we slept until we were herded onto our ship the "Pisa." The year was 1911. I was six years old.
My memories of the trip are of a very unhappy time. We had a small area of the deck assigned to our family, where we put down our bundles, next to other families and their bundles. I remember that there were cattle in the hold. There was one bathroom for our use, on the entire ship. We ate and slept in that one small area with our bundles. Weather-wise, this was a horrible trip. We went through a severe storm where everyone on deck was sea sick and throwing up. If you weren't ill to start off with, the foul smell of sickness all around you made you sick too. The storm lasted for two or three days and we were afraid for our lives. We got a small ration of water for each family, and during the storm, no one felt like eating. After the storm, the engines failed and we were sure that we would lose our lives."
During the visit with Fay and her family Rudy said in his youth he played the violin and harmonica, which he called the mouth organ. He expressed a longing to play the harmonica again, so Fay's niece bought him one as a gift. Fay said, "In the evening, when he retired, I could hear him playing." At the end of the visit, the family put Fay's dear uncle on the plane for home. Rudy was touched by all the responses to him to Fay's e-mail address. He called the next day to talk to Fay. "He sounded so happy "
Gaschler Guest From Romania
By: Franz Gaschler
My mother and I had the experience and pleasure of having a relative visit us from Suceava, Romania, our former Bukovina homeland. Irmgard is my second cousin on my Grandmother Maria (Ettinhofer) Gaschler side. Irmgard was born in Radautz. He children migrated to Canada for economic and educational opportunities. In addition to flying her to our home in Denver, we gave her a plane trip to Toronto to visit her children. Irmgard speaks no English, so we communicated in the German language during the week long visit.
Irmgard wasn't really into visiting museums or other local tourist traps, restaurants, or shopping. We offered to buy clothes for her and her Mother and she refused because she felt that we had already gone to too much expense for her! She was astonished with our lifestyle, the variety of foods, housing, fashion, climate and culture. She was stunned by the size and furnishing of our house. Irmgard couldn't believe that we are poor compared to some of the neighborhoods and furnishings in other houses! She had a similar cultural shock when she visited Toronto a year or so ago. During the winter in Romania the food stores do not have the variety of fresh meats and produce, and what they have is very expensive. If you didn't pickle or preserve your own food you are limited to the food sold at the market. The amount of food and calories we consume in a day was also shocking to her. She ate a lot more here than she did in Canada and even less than in Romania. The children in Canada are working to make ends meet as immigrants themselves.
Irmgard's pension is some $50.00 per month by US standards. And there is a lot of inflation. Irmgard's husband, a judge/journalist, died last August She does not receive any part of her husband's pension anymore. She had money saved in her bank, which recently closed. Irmgard told us that most of the clothing purchased in Romania is imported from Turkey and not of very good quality. The problem is now that communism is gone, Romanian stores are full of goods, but the average Romanian does not have enough money to purchase the goods.
One cultural bridging was the soaps on daytime TV. All My Children is shown on Romanian TV with subtitles, and all old ones. She also recognized Mr. Bean which gave her great laughter. We ate out at a Chinese buffet, at a culinary school and a German place. We eat mostly lean meats and lots of veggies, but she eats lots of fatty meats and tons of desserts! For her once you are wealthy you don't eat veggies and fruits anymore, that's poor people's food. We drove to Lookout Mountain where Buffalo Bill's grave is. She wasn't interested in the museum, but enjoyed seeing the continental divide and looking out over greater metro Denver and Pike's Peak. We also drove to Garden of the Gods outside of Colorado Springs. She was fascinated by the scenery. I noticed she looked at jewelry, so I purchased Irmgard an Indian silver turquoise opal cross on a silver chain. It was befitting to remember us and Colorado.
It was hard to make her smile all the time as she still mourned the loss of her husband. He is buried in a cemetery visited by the Bukovina Society tour to Romania in 1966. A couple of times she would become teary eyed over the stories of what she had to go through during the World War Two times and dealing with communism. Irmgard eats oatmeal for breakfast, soup for lunch and a sandwich for dinner. Her mother lives in Radautz and will be 99 this year. She receives care packages from Catholic churches in Germany.
Irmgard lives in what was once elegant government housing in Suceava. Now a dump with water 3 to 4 feet high in the basement of her apartment building. There is graffiti on the walls in the entry, which is poorly lighted. Nobody wants to live on the fifth story because the roof leaks. She cannot get enough hot water in the building.
Irmgard, a former teacher, was impressed with one technological appliance, my new iMac computer! Here she could read the news from Romania in her language and she could send e-mail through me to her kids in Canada!
Der Südostdeutsche featured a front-page story on Bukovinafest 98 in Kansas written by Prof. Dr. Kurt Rein. Dr. Rein was our honored special guest for the festival and gave several presentations to the assembly. He wrote a very complete article which included mention of the other presenters and programs. A picture of the Bukovinafest 96 was published taken by Marie-Luise Kotzian, wife of Dr. Ortfried Kotzian presenting to the society a series of large prints which have been on display in Germany.
HENRY SINNREICH visited Bucharest and Czernowitz where he met Prof. Dimitrie Vatamaniuc in Bucharest. He is the chair of the Bucovina chapter of the Romanian Academy. He passed on this information: The Centrul de Studii "Bucovina" (CSB, the Center for Studies on Bukovina) of the Romanian Academy was founded in 1992 in Radautsi, Suceava, Romania. It has permanent exchanges with the Bukowina Institut in Augsburg. It has published "Analele Bucovinei" (Bukovina Annals) twice a year since 1994, and the Studies and Monographs series Enciclopedia Bucovinei (Bukovina Encyclopedia Series) since 1996 (5 titles up to now). The contact for CSB and its publications is: Prof. Vatamaniuc, 45 Aviator Traian Vasile St., Sector 1, 78336 Bucharest, ROMANIA.
The Five Titles:
Nicolae Gramada, Toponimia minora a Bucovinei, I, II, Bucharest 1996,
DOUG DALE was one of the hosts when the board visited the Regina, Canada Bukovina colonies. He announced a new toy at his house for Christmas, "access to the internet." The descendants of Karl and Ida SCHAFFER are planning a reunion at the end of July 1999. Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren are expected from all across Canada. A cookbook is being prepared and Doug is co-author of a family book. He plans to send the files of the book to the society after the reunion. "I thoroughly believe now that most of the German immigrants, or their descendants, to Saskatchewan from Bukovina are at most 6th cousins. There are a few exceptions but not many." Dale continues to plug away at microfilms of the Alt Fratautz and Satulmare church records and every so often turns up more references which confirm what he already suspects. He says Hi to everyone.
DR. GABI LUNTE AND DR. BILL KEEL of Kansas University were participants in the Society for German-American Studies Symposium at New Ulm, Minnesota. Gabi presented Highlights of a Unique Bavarian Dialect: The Catholic Bohemian Germans of Ellis, Kansas.
IRMGARD ELLINGSON, International Board member of the Bukovina Society, will give a presentation at the Federation of East European Historical Society.
DOUG RECKMANN attended the reunion in Germany of descendants from Schwarzthal, Bukovina in May and will write a report for the next newsletter.
Dan Quirsfeld would like to hear from anyone with information about his surname. The Quirsfeld family arrived in Iacobeni, Bukovina near the year 1770. His grandfather was Friederick Quirsfeld, born in 1875. He was the son of Joanis and Sophia (Götsch) and were Lutherans. His address is: Str. Ceahlau Nr. 10, Arad 2900, Romania.
Fay Jordaens has provided copies of the Ahnenpass for several branches of her family. The society will make a special collection of these and would appreciate receiving copies from members.
GOLDEN BELT BANK of Ellis and Hays has frequently provided valuable service to the Bukovina Society, particularly with foreign money transactions. Their information manager, Mike Arensdorf, helped out by solving a problem of transferring data on discs to our word processor for publishing the newsletter. We appreciate the help.
THE GERMANS IN THE RADAUTZ AREA
By: Erwin Massier, Deutsche im Raum von Radautz, eds. Erwin Massier, Josef Talsky and B. C. Grigorowicz in Bukowina: Heimat von Gestern, translasted by Dr. Sophie A. Welisch (Karlsruhe: Selbstverlag "Arbeitskreis Bukowina Heimatbuch," 1956), pp. 113-122.
Radautz was no less important as the German center of the old homeland. Although in Austrian times the number of Germans among its total urban population was significant enough for it to be called the "most German City of Bukovina", its demography in the Romanian era increasingly tilted in favor of the Jews and rural inhabitants. Nonetheless, with the largest concentration of Germans in the province, Radautz and its environs continued to maintain its pivotal position in German affairs.
Like a wreath, the magnificent communities with an overwhelmingly or at least very significant German population surrounded the city gates. Without regard to the administrative districts under whose jurisdiction they lived, the inhabitants of Alt-Fratautz, Satulmare, Badeutz-Milleschoutz, Arbora, Glitt, Lichtenberg, Fürstenthal and Karlsberg, and yes, even Sereth and its environs, were oriented toward Radautz. According to the private census carried out between 1930-33 by the German Council for Bukovina (Deutscher Volksrat für die Bukowina), the Radautz area consisted of the following:
At the time of the Austrian occupation of the province (1775), the bishopric of Radautz as well as the adjacent lands contained insignificant settlements. Most of the landed property and surrounding forests, even including the Suczawa Valley as far as the mountains, lay in the hands of the monasteries of Radautz and Putna with the local population subjected to their jurisdiction. After the establishment of the Greek-Orthodox Religious Foundation [by the Austrians] all these lands passed to state control and on them there arose dairy farms organized by the Fratautz Department of Economic Affairs.
As early as 1792 the entire Radautz and Putna areas had been placed under the control of the army, which proceeded to establish a stud farm for the breeding of cavalry-horses. Radautz became the seat of administration of the stud farm, therewith laying the foundation for the development of the city. The German element was strongly represented among the people streaming into the land.
But a rather significant migration of Germans to the Radautz area had already taken place several years earlier. The Swabian immigration in 1787/88 and 1788/90 had witnessed the establishment of the Swabian colonies of Arbora, Fratautz, Milleschoutz, Satulmare, St. Onuphry and Tereblestie on the lands of the Fratautz administration and near Sereth. The immigrants, who got hereditary farmsteads in these villages at state expense, had originally applied for settlement in Galicia where they had been quartered in various places as so-called private settlers.
To Arbora: Peter Burghardt, Morbach, District of
Kaiserslautern, Palatinate, 1784.
To Fratautz: Adam Böhmer, Somborn, District of
Gelnhausen, Hesse, 1784.
To Milleschoutz: Jakob Becher, Guntersblum, District of
Oppenheim, Palatinate, 1784.
To Satulmare: Sebastian Hubich, Völklingen, District of
Saarbrücken, Saar, 1784.
To St. Onuphry: Ferdinand Fuchs and Nikolaus Fuchs, both
To Tereblestie: Bernhard Dirr, Zimmersheim, District of
Calw, Württemberg, 1782?
Although state sponsorship to these villages ended with the
above families, additional migrations of farmers from Galician quarters
followed. By 1795 new names can be found:
Through further migrations from Galicia, which continued beyond the turn of the century, and through natural population increase, habitable space in the villages became increasingly scarce. By the mid-nineteenth century, but primarily in the following decades, the excess population had spilled over into the neighboring communities. Nonetheless, not all colonies were able to develop with an overwhelmingly German population. In Arbora, St. Onuphry and Milleschoutz the indigenous population greatly outnumbered the Germans.
Lichtenberg was founded in 1835/36 during the period of immigration of German-Bohemian farmers and the establishment of German-Bohemian agrarian villages. The thirty families from the Prachin District [in the Bohemian Forest] who settled there had a more difficult struggle for livelihood than the Swabian immigrants in their time. The settlers had to clear the forests themselves, received little state support, and had to wait thirty years for their endowment, i.e., for the right to pass on their property to their heirs.
Alongside the agrarian colonies, originally established under state direction, German-Bohemian families with glass-making skills and lumberers came to the Radautz area, settling in Putna, Karlsberg and Fürstenthal. Prompting this migration was the establishment of glass-production facilities.
The Putna glass works belonged to Karlsberg. Founded under private auspices in 1797, it passed to ownership of the Radautz stud farm in 1801. The first glass makers hailed from the defunct glass works of Lubaczow in Galicia. They were German-Bohemians. In Putna they were provisioned with house and garden. Six years later (1803) the first lumberers arrived who, under contract, settled in Karlsberg. Each family received 6 yokes of land, wood for construction of buildings, and essential advances for the purchase of cattle and tools. For this they had to obligate themselves yearly to cut fifty cords of wood. When in 1825 the Putna glass works closed and left the glass workers without a means of livelihood, the twenty-one families in Karlsberg had to turn to farming under prevailing feudal obligations. But the contract to enforce the legal status of their endowment took decades to be adjudicated and only in 1868 did the Karlsbergers come into hereditary possession of their land.
Operations of the glass works, built by the Office of Public Properties [Staatsgüter-Inspektorat], began in Fürstenthal in 1803. The recruited German-Bohemians traveled to the area with state subsidies and received free accommodations, a garden plot and two yokes of meadowland near the glass factory. At the same time twenty German-Bohemian lumberers and their families were recruited from the area of Rehberg. At state expense every lumberer got a house, as well as three yokes of arable land and a little more than three yokes of wooded land for his use. The lumberers paid the state an annual property and house tax but were exempt from corvee labor and payments in kind; moreover, they were obligated to support themselves mainly through day wage labor and lumbering. The Fürstentalers also came to the hereditary possession of their endowment very late.
Among the families engaged in glass making in 1804 we find the names Bauer, Feldigl, Fischer, Gaschler, Mack, Niemeczek, Ortmann, Pankratz, Reitmaier, Stadler, Schuster, Weber, Weinfelder, and Wurzer. Purely on a numerical basis Fürstenthal had developed as one of the most robust German villages in Bukovina by 1933.
Aside from the Germans who came to Bukovina through state sponsorship, families and individuals also migrated on their own, taking their chances. They came from everywhere in the [Habsburg] Monarchy, but primarily from Bohemia, and were farmers, craftsmen or laborers. As soon as their hopes of being settled with state support had faded, they settled down where they perceived their best opportunity for livelihood.
Glitt is an example of a village founded by immigrants on their own initiative. Out of their own resources sixteen German-Bohemian families settled along the road to Lichtenberg in 1843 where they cleared the land and constructed houses and farm buildings. Within fifty years the village contained 470 inhabitants, a number clearly attesting to the success of the undertaking.
As easy as the origins of the single community are to describe, so complex does the picture become if one tries to analyze its further development. The complexion of the villages constantly changed in the course of the years with only the basic characteristics remaining identifiable when it involved a Swabian or German-Bohemian community, a farming or a lumbering village. Aside from natural population increase and immigration from outside Bukovina, there also existed a population movement from community to community. This brought in craftsmen, landless laborers and day wage laborers, thereby enhancing the social structure of the villages. This natural population increase inevitably led to a draining of people from the core German villages into the non-German communities of the Radautz district.
The development of the Radautz German community depended from the very beginning on spontaneous immigration. The first Germans to take up residence in the area had been directed there through their governing authorities. These included the officials of the military administration, followed for the most part by service personnel of the stud farm's managers and cavalry officers. For many of these people, Radautz became a favorite assignment on their tour of duty; they experienced a rapid blossoming of the town and the creation of various economic and industrial enterprises which, even after their retirement, offered them good employment possibilities. In many cases this resulted in single men putting down roots and starting a family in their new homeland. In addition, retired constabulary, policemen, soldiers and administrators settled in the area. The number of state employees was not small, since Radautz was the seat of the district government, court and finance offices. After the linking of Radautz to the railroad, many railroad employees settled there. In short, there was a considerable number of Germans who came to Radautz for professional reasons and remained there permanently, their descendants adding to Radautz's population.
Let us cast a retrospective glance at the many families who settled in
Radautz in the course of these developments.
Much greater is the number of German families, who, on their own, chose Radautz as their new home. The majority consisted of German-Bohemians. Many of the lumberers, who were also skillful carpenters or masons or who plied other trades, moved to the town, resulting in a gain for local commerce. They came from Althütte, Karlsberg and Fürstenthal. In addition, families from among the glass workers or their descendants settled in its environs with Glitt and Lichtenberg also yielding up inhabitants to Radautz. Furthermore, a considerable number who ventured to Bukovina for better or for worse, mainly German-Bohemian families, found work with a promising future in the town. Individual [German-Bohemian] immigrants even arrived indirectly via the Swabian villages, so that the German-Bohemians and their descendants represented the overwhelming component of the Radautz Germans.
From Karlsberg and Fürstental: Aschenbrenner, Gaschler, Korbel, Lehrach, Pankratz, Paukner, Stadler, Stöberl, Straub, Wilhelm, Witkowski, and Zettel.
From Althütte: Erl, Freundörfer, Hartinger, Hödl,
Hoffmann, Schmiedt, Pscheidt, Straub, and Tremmel.
period around 1830 of the great "German-Bohemian migrations":
Bauer, Bayer, Binder, Gregor, Gross, Hablik, Hanny, Harand, Hasenöhrl, Hayden,
Kellermann, Krassler, Lausmann, Madl, Michler, Mirbauer, Müller, Pfeffer, Plach,
Plechinger, Prexler, Rath, Reitmayer, Russ, Wagner, Wimmer, Zelesner, and
In addition, in the course of the decades Radautz got settlers from all areas of Bukovina as well as from Galicia, Moravia, Lower Austria, Slovakia, the German Empire and even Switzerland. Significantly small, on the other hand, is the number of "Swabians," who took up residence there. Those who settled in the Radautz were mainly craftsmen or sons of the farming population who entered other occupations.
From Gurahumora: Lohmer, Möris.
Not to be overlooked are the cases of Germanization. Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Ruthenians [Ukrainians] as well as Romanians not only became Germanized without any external pressure but remained loyal to their new identity. Only the retention of family names later pointed to their ethnic origins.
Germanized Poles: Bogdanowicz, Czaikowski, Jankowski,
Kowalski, Melnicki, Petruschka, Ploszczak, Prochacki, Rowski, Staniszewski,
Wisznowski, and Wozniakowski.
In time all these people with their widely varied ethnic backgrounds, in particular their descendants, assimilated into a linguistic unity, speaking a type of German which had merged the native dialects into a new dialect: Radautz German. Point of crystallization remained the German-Bohemian [dialect]. It provided the nucleus of the language, modified by numerous expressions from Czech, Polish, Romanian and above all from Yiddish.
Linguistically: German-Bohemian, is also only a dialect Radautz German attempted to supplant the official German of the Austrian administration, which itself was not free of foreign influences. Characteristics of this linguistic structure include the timbre (only open distinct vowels), the inflection, and the fullness of non-grammatical idiomatic expressions. It was used by the inhabitants of the area and by the rural population when they communicated with the urbanites or the authorities. Only the Swabians spoke a better quality of German. Even circles concerned with maintaining a pure literary German at best achieved only a linguistic hodgepodge. The language was further corrupted where this urban German speech underwent yet another modification influenced by the smaller German settlements scattered around Radautz. What was spoken there was often a hybrid with a German intonation given to randomly adopted foreign expressions.
The German rural communities, on the other hand, stayed with their dialect German-Bohemian in its pure form and rarely influenced by foreign expressions was spoken in the villages of the "Bohemians." It was they who, in the building of their houses, in their dress, and in their lifestyle, steadfastly retained the traditions of their old homeland.
In the Swabian villages linguistic developments took an interesting turn. Here the Palatine dialect could clearly maintain itself in its characteristic elements even through individual fragments and phraseology from the vocabulary of the Württemberg and Hessian immigrants were not lacking and even "Romanianisms" crept into their speech. This "Swabian" differed in small nuances from village to village, although, as with the German of the city, within its [linguistic] sphere it assimilated those of different speech. Even German-Bohemian families who relocated [to the Swabian villages], at least their descendants, acquired the dialect. But where the Swabians in the scattered settlements or in the city came into contact with the German-Bohemians, they succumbed to the urban speech.
As instructive as this development seems, it nonetheless posed an obstacle to the eventual assimilation of all the Germans into a unified entity. Although geographically the Radautz area might be viewed as a small compact unit, one must consider the territorial isolation of individual German communities from one another. Surrounded by non-German settlements, each village represented a self-contained community. Contacts to sister settlements only took place when familial ties existed among them; but these were usually prevalent only between linguistically similar villages, i.e., Swabians to Swabians and German-Bohemians to their kin. Extensive cross-contacts from one group to another did not exist
Obstructing the removal of these barriers lay religious differences. While the Swabians in their overwhelming number were Lutherans, the German-Bohemians staunchly remained true to their Catholicism. Even through both confessions exercised a genuine toleration, this remained only a bridge, which, while spanning the sea between them, could not evaporate it.
This internal division proved a negative factor in the era of Romanian national politics, where faith and church emerged as a means of defending ethnic identity and a large unified national group would better have been able to assert itself against the dictates of the state.
For the Protestants as well as for the Catholics, Radautz served as the ecclesiastical center. The urban population remained overwhelmingly Catholic, and their church was one of the most distinctive buildings in the [market] square. On the other hand, the city's Protestant community was small.
In addition, the establishment and maintenance of the Catholic-German private secondary school [Gymnasium] gave Radautz educational importance beyond its perimeters. As an economic hub, the city constituted a pivotal point for the outlying inhabitants. The weekly Radautz market was at all times especially well attended. Here the farmer brought the surplus of his harvest, the lumberer tried to find a buyer for the freight he had hauled from a distance, everyone satisfied his need for consumer goods or raw materials, and one encountered acquaintances (meeting them half way) in order to learn about happenings in other places.
Varied: Who can count their numbers or recall their names - as the social structure of the Germans in this area. Although trade lay overwhelmingly in Jewish hands, German farmers and craftsmen constituted an economically sound middle class. Of the economic enterprises which assumed extra-territorial significance, the coach builders Kornelson Thöner-Roslawek as well as the Göttel mill in Wikow and the Schulz flour-mill and saw-mill in Fratautz assumed a noteworthy place.
Not all the Germans achieved wealth, but by their quiet, tenacious ambition, their skills, and their lifestyle, all who called Radautz their home contributed to the respect with which the other nationalities held the German name.
Visitors since September 16, 2002