Eichendorf Is One Hundred Years Old

Netzsch (nee Mickler-Silcher), Lore. "Eichendorf Is One Hundred Years Old." Mitteilungsblatt. September 2009, 6.

Translation from the Original German-language text to American English provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

Eichendorf lies about 35 kilometers [ca. 21 miles] northeast of the county seat Kahul on a high plane of a north-to-south range comprising outlying parts of the Carpathian Mountains, and east of the Pruth River valley.

In 1908, German colonists arriving in this beautiful area purchased tracts of land from Prince Ferdinand Ghica. The village received its rather natural name of Eichendorf [“Oak Village”] because it was established in the midst of ancient stands of oak trees.

Today three very old oaks still stand like powerful columns in the center of the village, as a symbol of and memorial to a glorious forest past.

Between Sept. 4 and 11, 2008, a travel group journeyed between Frankfurt and Kishinyev to take part in the 100-year-anniversary celebration of Eichendorf.  

On Friday everyone was free to look for ancestral traces on one’s own. On Saturday, September 6, 2008, we finally celebrated the anniversary of Eichendorf. As we arrived in the village we heard a welcoming ringing of bells. Guests and Eichendorf residents gathered for a religious service at the church. Following the Orthodox liturgy, Dr. Kelm presided at a brief devotion. Afterwards, we gathered in front of the church for the dedication of a memorial stone that is intended to remind of the first colonists who founded Eichendorf in 1908.

The stone carries the following message [German text in bold, interspersed with translation]:

Ich will Frieden geben an diesem Ort.
Eichendorf wurde im Jahre 1908 von deutschen Kolonisten gegründet.
Nach dem deutsch-sovjetischen Abkommen von 1940 wurde die Deutsche Bevölkerung nach Deutschland umgesiedelt.
Ihre Nachkommen widmen diesen Gedenkstein der Erinnerung an die Aufbauleistung ihrer Vorfahren und dem unvergessenen Heimatort.
Eichendorf / Doina

Im Jubliäumsjahr 2008   

I wish to make a gift of peace at this place.
Eichendorf was established by German colonists in 1908.
Subsequent to the German-Soviet pact of 1940, the German population was resettled in Germany (*)
Their descendants dedicate this memorial to the memory of their founding work  and to that of this never-forgotten home village.
Eichendorf / Doina,

during the anniversary year of 2008

(*) The Bessarbian Germans were, in fact, first taken to Poland, some to Germany, and their countrymen in Poland had to flee to Germany during January, 1945. – Tr.

May this memorial remind many visitors of the founding of Eichendorf, and may it be a symbol for peace

After the dedication ceremony we followed an invitation to a presentation in the kindergarten. The children performed dances, recited poems, and sang songs.

Our next destination as the school, where the director led us through the newly furnished museum room holding photos, documents, and various objects regarding the history of Eichendorf.

After all these events we were able to strengthen ourselves over an excellent mid-day meal. You can’t go wrong with Bessarabian specialties and Bessarabian wine! The German guests expressed their thanks with words and with donations. After lunch we gathered in front of the “Primeria.” “Help for People in Need” was an additional theme. We are aware of how difficult life can be in Moldova, so it was especially important to us to think of those whose need was the greatest.

With our donations we wish to assist in improving quality of life and thereby to diminish some worries and dire needs among families. Every pensioner seventy years of age or older received an envelope containing 200 lei (ca. 13 Euros [or about 22 dollars]), which roughly amounts to a month’s pension.

I believe I can say that for those of us from Germany this was an unforgettable day of celebration in Eichendorf.

On the next day we were guests at another 100-year celebration, namely, in Alexandrovka.

The rest of our trip was spent in Kishinev. A visit at a cloister and a tour and wine tasting in Cricova made the time pass quickly.

At this point I wish to thank all our dear home village friends of Eichendorf  who helped us in many different ways.

Special thanks go to Dr. Kelm, who supported us in deed and with advice, and to his wife Olga Kelm for the musical accompaniment.

Warm thanks also to Mr. Valerie Skripnik for his explanations concerning construction and organization. A “Danke schön” also to our Bessarabian interpreter, Olga, for her guidance of a successful tour through Moldova.

Without the active cooperation of local groups in Eichendorf/Doina the celebration would not have been possible. All of our German tour participants would therefore express sincere and warm thanks to the church community, the kindergarten, the school and the mayor’s office for a successful celebration.

We have been able to experience many rich events, and it was good once again to have been in the home village of my mother and grandparents.

Oak trees gave the village its name.

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

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