translated by Irmgard Hein Ellingson

von Johann Christian Dressler

Freilässing: Pannonia Verlag

A Word to the Reader

My thirty-year friendship with the author of this book gained a very personal dimension one day with a little token. We exchanged thoughts about commonalities in the dialect, customs, and life styles of the Palatinate people who lived in the Palatinate and of those descendants of Palatinate emigrants who had settled in Bukovina in 1784 and 1785 during the time of Emperor Joseph II. To assist him to better understand my correspondence, I sent a copy of Pfälzischen Geschichtsatlas, or Historical Atlas of the Palatinate, to Illischestie and was very surprised a few days later, when I received a reply from Johann Christian Dressler, who wrote with great joy that after a long search, he had finally located his ancestral origins in "Lauterecken in the Pfalz." Beyond all expectations, the atlas included a map indicating Hafnereien existing at the time of the emigration. Dressler's ancestors had registered as farmers and oats millers, with the Hofkammer in Vienna at the time of settlement in Galicia.

That took place in the years between the two World Wars. At that time, Johann Christian Dressler already collected a wealth of material for the history of Illischestie. He was born 1 September 1885 in Knihinin-Kolonie, a suburb of Stanislau, Galicia, where he completed his primary education before going on to teacher training schools in Bielitz and Stanislau. After teaching for six years in Kolomea-Baginsberg and in Stanislau, both in Galicia, he went to Bukovina in 1912. He taught for a few weeks in Freudenthal, then obtained a permanent position and home in Illischestie in October 1912. So a half century has passed since he started his research of the community which became his new home. His fluency in Polish, Romanian, and Ukrainian were vital for his primary source research.

The discoveries gained through research with his students and fellow residents, the records from historical sources, and the oral histories of the people urged the book's compilation. At the time no one thought that this history, intended for publication in Illischestie, would be completed in a location not so distant from the ancestral origins in Lauterecken. No one dreamed that this book, with its rich contents, would be delivered to the dispersed Germans from Illischestie as a memorial of their lost homeland. World War II dissolved the six generations of settlement work that had taken place there.

The Illischestie chronicle is a life's work. For the author's friends, it is no secret that every chapter, written with love and dedication, was prepared with marked financial sacrifice on his part. It may be noted that some thought that the content could have been condensed and shortened. "As it was written, so should my people read it," he replied. His wish has been respected. In this presentation lives the contemplative spirit of Bukovina even as he himself has been displaced to his ancestral home in the Palatinate. The author's neighbors may rejoice that they can find themselves in this book, that their homeland may again appear before their eyes just as it once existed. We Pfälzers in the Palatinate have been greatly impressed by the colonists who began their settlement work without self-consciousness or prejudice, and we know that their descendants, who have met such a hard fate, will rebuild their lives with the same untroubled spirit. A great deal of homesickness has been mastered through these natural tendencies and through our shared cheerfulness and purposeful manner.

May the author's Romanian friends who still live in Illischestie and read this book also testify that the author has accurately sketched the home that they once shared. He has spoken to me about them with the greatest respect. It is to be hoped that this friendship, which has persevered through events and through terrible occurrences in both World Wars, will be preserved in the future.

Dr. Fritz Braun
Director of the Heimatstelle Pfalz
Kaiserslautern, West Germany

Table of Contents

A Word to the Reader by Dr. Fritz Braun (see above)
page 3
The Community and Its Establishment
page 7
Illischestie in the Stone Ages
page 10
History in and around Illischestie
page 17
The Evolution of the Rural Community Illischestie
page 23
The Evolution of the Political Community Illischestie
page 25
The Evolution of the Clustered Village Illischestie
page 27
Names of the Village Sections, Streets, and Meadows
page 28
The Name Ilisesti (= Illischestie)
page 30
The Property Conditions and the Land Owners
page 30
page 35
Population Movements
page 37
The Political Leadership of the Community
page 39
The Power of the Political Community
page 43
The Official Seal of the Political Community
page 44
From the Record Books of the Community
page 46
Acquisitions and Maintenance
page 51
Noble Visitors
page 52
Honorary Citizens of the Community
page 53
The Economic Circumstances in 1932
page 54
Income and Taxes
page 59
Grain Prices
page 59
From the Forest Business
page 60
The Occupations of the Illischestie Residents
page 62
Mandatory Labor, Tithes, Tax Office, and Finance Administration
page 64
The Forest Administration and Cooperative Society
page 71
Regarding Illnesses, Health Services, and the Cemeteries
page 90
Cattle Production and Sericulture
page 104
Various Notes about Agriculture
page 105
The Praetorship Illischestie
page 105
The Higher Administration and the Public Notary in Illischestie
page 106
The Leadership of the Pre-Military Training Center
page 107
The Illischestie Section of the Road Construction Office
page 108
Illischestie Remains Without Rail Connections
page 108
Mail, Telegraph, and Telephone Office
page 108
Business and Trade Enterprises in Illischestie
page 110
The Illischestie Business Association
page 116
The Illischestie Savings and Loan Union, Banks, and Warehouses
page 138
About Fire Damage and the Fire Department
page 141
Illischestie During the 1914-1918 War, Its Soldiers, and Militia
page 145
The Romanians in Illischestie
page 179
Their Appearance
page 179
Their Lifestyle
page 180
Their Clothing
page 180
Their Houses and Yards
page 181
Their Quality of Life
page 182
Their Family Life
page 183
Their Occupations
page 183
Their Religion and Religious Traditions
page 184
Their Language
page 188
Their Games and Dances
page 189
Their Customs Regarding Birth, Marriage, and Burial
page 191
Their Family Names
page 201
The Ilisesti Monastery
page 203
The Romanian Orthodox Church Community
page 218
The Romanian Village School
page 224
The Armenians in Illischestie
page 235
Regarding the Gypsies in Illischestie
page 237
Regarding the Jews in Illischestie
page 238
The Germans in Illischestie
page 241
German Settlers Come to Bukovina
page 242
List of Names
page 247
German Settlers Come to Illischestie
page 273
Reports about German-Illischestie and Its Residents
page 291
The Ancestry of the Illischestie Germans
page 296
Their Appearance
page 296
Their Characteristics
page 297
Their Colloquial German Language and Dialect
page 297
The Clothing of the Illischestie Germans
page 306
Their Homes
page 307
Their Fmaily Life
page 308
Their Standard of Living
page 309
The Superstitions of the Germans
page 309
Their Leisure Activities and Conversation
page 312
Customs in Daily Life
page 319
Customs during the Year
page 328
Their Reading Society
page 328
The Local Branch of the German Culturation Union in Bukovina
page 330
The Christian Union of Young Men
page 334
The German Youth Association
page 335
The Local Branch of the German School Union
page 338
The German House
page 339
The Illischestie Germans and Politics
page 344
Emigrations of the Illischestie Germans
page 346
The Evangelical Lutherans
page 362
The Roman Catholics
page 388
The Seventh Day Adventists
page 402
The German Village School
page 403
The Resettlement of the Illischestie Germans
page 449
The Resettlement Commission in Illischestie
page 478
The Illischestie Germans in Resettlement Camps
page 484
Excerpts from the Instruction Sheets for Those Resettled
page 491
When, How, and Where the Illischestie Germans Were Resettled
The Illischestie Germans and World War II
page 527
The Illischestie Germans after the Collapse [of the Third Reich]
page 532
page 553
Acknowledgements / Bibliography
page 559

Copyright © 1997 by Lisa Baker - All rights reserved.

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