View Kraushaar-Hatzfeld family photos at the link to the LEFT! There are many Hatzfeld and Banat links below, including
more recent history. This is the Hatzfeld History from 1766 to 1916. These history exerpts were written by Franz Kaufmann
from Mueller-Thoresse-Pheder as part of the official program book of the 150th memorial celebration of Hatzfeld, Hungary
in 1916 (now Jimbolia, Romania). It is a rough translation by my late father Joseph P Kraushaar:
Part I-Our Anniversary Year
On Whitsunday is the 150th anniversary of the day on which the settlers of this community reached their long desired
destination. It was a long and difficult 7 week trip. On June 11th, 1766 Johann Wilhelm von Hildebrand reported
to the state administration in Temesvar that Pastor Sebastian Plenkner had arrived with his German settler families.
For us, the decendents, the 100th memorial day in 1866 could not be celebrated openely due to the war against Italy and Prussia.
Today our situation is even more oppresive than then because so many of our relatives have been out in the field (war) for
the last 22 months to insure a better future for us, while we at home can hardly manage the economic difficulty that war brings.
Even if we have to forgo this years celebration we will not let the occaision pass without thinking of our forfathers and
their willingness to work hard. With this, they laid the foundation of the wealth of our community today. From
the following story we can learn how, and with what unbelievable difficulty the settlement was done. Faith, courage
and a willingness to work hard made us overcome obstacles. After 100 years and many deaths people have finally adapted
to the climate of the NEW homeland as health now is mostly satisfactory. The older folks can tell us about the big changes
that have come with time. When they talk about the "good old days" we should not take it literally for when the old
folks look back they only see their own youth in a rosy light and the hopes of todays young people as a delusionary deception.
This anniversary will be a welcome occaision to look at the past and present and discuss a better future, so that we may make
more and more revenue from new development. In spite of all the private wealth, the community has stayed poor.
We must create new jobs and possibilities for those willing to work or we will lose them to other places, or worse yet, America.
The fact is over 1000 already find work outside of this community. Industry is offering unmeasurable sources of employment
and the railroad makes it easy to deliver thousand of shingles to Siebenburgen and Bulgaria. The work force is our most
precious treasure. We must be amazed at the forsight of Queen Maria Theresia and her government. they spent 7
million Gulden to populate the Banatan marsh with German settlers, and replace Schlesien which was lost in the war.
Reimbursement has been hundredfold through Banat taxes and will be thousandfold in the future. The old saying holds
true, "if you want to harvest you must also sow". It will stay that way in the future, but only if we know and speak
the Hungarian language so we must teach it to our young.
Our grandparents attempted this when in 1858 we sent 12 children to Zenta to learn Hungarian but was soon forgotten after
their return home. When people speak their mind here it is in Schwobish, but we must not forget the high German language
as it will be important for trade and commerce in the future.
Seven years ago the most beautiful landmark in the village, the Kalvarienberg (cemetary hill landmark) had to be leveled
to make way for the train station. Unfortunately there is no picture of it anywhere. Thats why I made a sketch
of it from my memory for the front of this program. My parents house was across from it at the time I started school
and it was my favorite playground.
Part II-About the Settlement
Before and after the war of 1756-63, King Friedrich the Great of Prussia, Queen Katharina of Russia and our own Queen
Maria Theresia competed to populate sparsly populated areas.The main recruitment area was the overpopulated area of the Rhine.
Since 1718 small and large groups did arrive in the Banat, via Vienna, but died off due to fever. Thats why the Banat
was called the "Grave of the Germans" for most of the 1700's. Until 1766 only the high land was settled and lowland (swamps)
used in dry season for hay growing. Only after the Dutch Dam builder Max Fremont drained the Bega & Temeskanael
areas from 1759-1760 could the area be considered for settlement by the Banat state government.
Johann Wilhelm von Hildebrand had two jobs. He was the Administrater and in charge of the settlements. To assist
him he had District Administrater Franz Josef Knoll (St. Andras), Comptroller Andreas Laff (Esenad) and Josef Neumann (Lippa)
to help and overlook the building of houses until 1765 The population suffered a great deal from floods and fever but
in the spring of 1766 the Vienna Bank gave the order to build a new and larger colonist community. Hildebrand took it
upon himself to be in charge of this one. He chose the formerly swampy low lands of Esombol, Rabi and Peterda. He submitted
his idea, building plans etc to Vienna and recieved permission to proceed. On the first of Marchthe necessary building
materials were beginning to be shipped for building by families that were not permantly settled yet. In 1763 Queen Maria
Theresa had released a new and improved settlement agreement which guarenteed settlers much greater advantages (profits)
She also hired advertising agents in the Rhine area. The agents in Meinz and Trier were especially efficiant and hired
carefully selected men to go to the regions small towns and outlying areas to recruit families. They had to be Catholic,
hard working and productive, not the vagrant type. Most sucessful in the recruitment was Pastor Sebastian Plenkner from
Sien. He convinced his followers to immigrate together and establish a new community in the Banat called Landestreu
(faithful to the country) and had to be applied for in Vienna. His permission was granted and he also needed permission
to preach in the new settlement which was granted on March 15th 1766. The agricultural workers and newly recruited couldn't
just up and leave as they had to give notice to their employers, get release papers etc. So on Georgi day 1766, the
people met in Mainz and Trier, full of hope and enthusiasm with only a little baggage and small wagons they walked the long
journey to the Danube river where ships were waiting to take them to Vienna.
Most Hatzfelder spoke Moselfraenkisch mixed with a little Sauerisch and Lothringerish. The
French spoken by the people from Luxembourg and Lothringen was so far from the French language as Schwobish was from German.
When the settlers were recruited they had to show proof they had at least 100 Gulden in cash. From Georgi Day on they
recieved per diem and travel money. In the old country they aquired agricultural knowledge and dilligence. When
the journey started of there was alot of good fun, bragging and mockery which later was the cause of arguments. The
18 men that did the recruiting did not want to obey the strict rules of the preist, whose followers they called Landstreicher
(hobos) instead of Landestreuer (faithful countrymen). The arguments went on day after day and teasing turned into hostility.
Part of the group decided to give their part of the community a different name. The intention was followed through during
a 3 day layover in Vienna. A letter was sent to Graf Karl Friedrich von Hatzfeld (1718-1793) requesting the use of his name
for the village which was granted. The settlers left Vienna by boats on the 7th of May and after crossing the Hungarian
border the rains came and followed with the settlers southwards. In Pancsova they were quarentined due to an ongoing
epidemic and in an act of grace it was shortened from 6 to 4 weeks. But the sky had no mercy on the future farmers and
it rained every day until the 3rd of June followed by a 3 day down pour never seen by the Germans before. The skys cleared
on the 6th of June and then the sun scoarched with African intensity, (the sky not clouding over even one day until November).
In May the Bishop asked all to pray for sun, in Oktober he changed it to rain. This was Banat weather! Each day the
settlers became more discouraged. Coming around Bacska and still on the ship, they couldn't see shore in any direction,
yet they knew large colonies had been sttled there not long ago. What happened to them? The Apitner Hotter (this
region) was all water with no border. Many people became deathly ill from discouragement and the water supply.
The morale was so low during the rainy period that half the settlers were ready to go back. Plenker told them how embarrassing
it would be to return home after 7 weeks and 215 miles with nothing to show for it all. And they were only 2 days from
the final destination they had dreamed of for so long. When the final march started on the 9th of June only 43 families
stayed behind on the ship to return to their homeland. On the 11th of June 1766 the settlers arrived in the settlement
The condition of the area was horrific. In Vienna they were told they could expect to find
almost totally completed houses, ready to move into and crops already growing in the fields. Instead the houses were
hardly started and the village nothing but puddles. The work crew was camped on the hill. In just over the month
the work crew was there 178 of them had already died. They could not be buried due to the water table so they were covered
with ground 2 feet high. 178 mounds. The first summer crop had been planted but could be seen because of the weeds.
Finishing the houses went fast as all the settlers pitched in and helped and a church was soonafter built and finished in
Oktober. The happy occaision was tarnished however as the swamp fever had struck the area. By December of 1766
a total of 215 of the new arrivals had died and been put to rest in the new homeland. The following winter was extremely
harsh and wolves had to be fought off on many occasions. For the next year there was endless scandals, accusations,
lawsuits, arrests and improper conduct. In September 1767 Plenkner returned home to germany after being relieved of
duties and left behind a list of IOU's and burial expenses in the amount of 2000 Gulden. After a better harvest in 1768
peoples moods became better and little by little the farmers became wealthier. The ones they called hobos renounced
the name of their village and on September 14th the 2 villages were united. The following January a new priest by the name
of Karol Josef Bretterreich was appointed. In 1770 flooding came again along with the swamp fever and another 553 people
died over a two year period. In 1778 Banat was united with Hungary.
Until the train could reach the area in 1857, trade was very limited mainly because of poor or non-existant
road conditions. Only the Rumanians somehow managed to bring goods in and trade. For almost 100 years they provided
the needed hard and soft woods, materials for baskets, pipes as well as winter and summer fruits. Big lumber was purchased
in Perjamos and other items from Temesvar which could be reached by good road from Vienna or Pest (BudaPest) Since the train
there has been alot of progress in technology. The candle replaced the old fashioned grease light and the fast growth
of the economy were due to the women. Before the days of the train there were over 1000 spinning wheels, today its more
likely to find 100 pianos rather than 100 spinning wheels.
The Hatzfelder has always liked to travel and now days its much faster. Right after the war
you could go by Zeppelin to Budapest in 2 hours, Vienna in 4 and Luxembourg in 10. Small airplanes now visit the village.
Looking back there were happy and sad times, as will be in the future. May only the best come true!
At the Worlds Fair in Leipzig in 1914, I was astonished to find a map with Hatzfeld on it. In large
letters it read "Hatzfeld, Pearl of the Banat"! And this was written by strangers! Then I remembered
Hatzfeld had such an interesting past. Wonderful families settled there and always mixed with newcommers.
Note: I am happy to communicate with anyone about this site or the Kraushaar family history
site at www.kraushaar.us Please drop me an e-mail: