“Pious and Capable People”

“Pious and Capable People.” Association Report and a Newspaper Report cited in Mitteilungsblatt, October 2012, 6.

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

For the opening by our national president, Günter Vossler, of the exhibit ”Pious and Capable People” in the Stuttgart Rathaus, numerous guests were in attendance. The exhibit shows the varied history of the Germans in Bessarabia from the time of emigration [from Germany] to the resettlement [of 1940]. It is based on Dr. Ute Schmidt’s book Bessarabien – Deutsche Kolonisten am Schwarzen Meer [Bessarabia – German Colonists on the Black Sea, the title of Jim Gessele’s translation into American English – Tr.].

Her history is being documented in the Rathaus through September 28 and describes everyday life in the communities, their culture and mentality, as well as their living alongside other nationalities within multi-ethnic Bessarabia.

Editing: Christa Kuch,
Photos: The Association and Ewald Gutsche

The local newspaper Stuttgarter Nachrichten, in its September 5, 2012 issue, writes in summary, as follows:

Exhibit Casts a Glance into Bessarabia:
For many people, economic deprivation and the hope for a better life are reasons for them to leave their homeland and to seek their fortune in foreign lands. It was no different in the middle of the 19th Century, when around 3,000 Württembergers undertook their journey to Bessarabia on the Black Sea.

People had been invited by Tsar Alexander, who was hoping that the immigrants would modernize his land. These people’s life is shown in an exhibit entitled “Fromme und tüchtige Leute – Die deutschen Siedlungen in Bessarabien 1814 – 1940 [Pious and Capable People – the German Settlements in Bessarabia, 1914 – 1940].” The history of these men and women is illustrated via images, quotations, and exhibit items contributed by the Museum of the Bessarabienverein [Bessarabian Association] in Stuttgart. Examples are a traveling crucifix and several tools. The collection deals additionally with the varied history of this ethnic group and their resettlement forced by Stalin in 1940.

The exhibit will continue through September 28, Mondays through Fridays, in the Rathaus from 8 AM to 6 PM.

Our appreciation is extend to Alex Herzog for translation and for Nancy Herzog for editing this article.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller