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The Orlov Trotters from Eigenfeld

Schaible-Fieβ, Erika. "The Orlov Trotters from Eigenfeld." Mitteilungsblatt, January 2013, 14.

Translation from the original German-language text to American English is provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, CO.


Subtitle: A Brief Story at the Fringes of the Exhibit “Pious and Capable People”

On the occasion of Dr. Ute Schmidt’s exhibit in the Rathaus of Stuttgart I decided to volunteer as a source of answers for questions any interested visitor might have. At the end of a guided tour conducted by my husband, a small group of visitors lingered for a while in rather lively conversation in front of a picture depicting a white horse and a small carriage. Curious, I approached the group and learned from Mr. Wilhelm Adolf of Markgröningen that that particular horse had been purchased from the horse trader Schlauch of Eigenfeld [in Bessarabia].

As Mr. Adolf explained, in Bessarabia some were breeding a special kind of horse, the Orlov Trotter, which was similar to the Trakeh Trotter. Schlauch, he reported, was well known in Bessarabia and that Schlauch had an especially keen sense for purchasing really good horses. In fact, Schlauch was said to travel all over Bessarabia when searching for them. In 1938 he discovered a well-bred pregnant mare, and when he learned the identity of the future foal’s sire, he bought the foal –sight unseen – provided it was a stallion. It is said that the horse, born as a black stallion, would someday be ridden by SS-Obergruppenführer [senior group leader, equivalent to an army general – Tr.] Werner Lorenz, the “VoMi’s” commander with overall responsibility for the resettlement [of 1940; VoMi = liaison office for ethnic German affairs – Tr.].

During the resettlement, Schlauch succeeded in transporting five horses all the way to the Wartheland [a part of German-occupied western Poland]. And after the flight of 1945, it was his horses that helped to rid Stuttgart of the war’s rubble. In all likelihood, the then director of the Althof Circus had observed Schlauch’s horses during that process, and the circus then acquired a descendant of those horses, a white one.

One day Schlauch wished to find out how his former horse was faring at the circus, so he decided to attend a horse show. After he explained that one of the horses had descended from his own and that he had personally sold it to the director, the animal groom took him to see the director, who received him and, in answer to Schlauch’s question as to how the horse was doing, reported that it was quick and eager to learn. To thank Schlauch, the director presented him with a ticket in the director’s box so that he could better observe his horse in action.

This simple story illustrates how a simple photo caused Wilhelm Adolf to recall some vivid memories during his visit to the Rathaus of Stuttgart.

Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

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