200 Years of Zebrikovo, 127 Years of
200 Jahre Zebirkowo, 127 Jahre Hoffnungstal
Holzwarth-Kocher, Angelika. "200 Years of Zebrikovo, 127 Years of Hoffnungstal." Volk auf dem Weg, February 2005, 10-11.
Translation from German to American English by Alex Herzog,
Unusual Celebration of a Village in South Ukraine
The House of Culture,
Formerly the Catholic
Church, Now in it "New Splendor"
Words of Welcome
Many and diverse thoughts went through the minds of our small travel
group in September 2004 during the flights from Germany to Odessa
as Willi and Erika Wall, Lydia Sauer, Rita Heidebrecht, Hansgeorg
Leibbrandt, my husband Thomas, and I were on our way into South
Ukraine to participate on September 18 in a celebration of the 200-year
anniversary of the village of Zebrikovo, the former German village
of Hoffnungstal and, while we there, to visit the former German
village of Hoffnungsfeld as well. Wilhelm Bauder and Waldemar Lutz,
who were both born in Hoffnungstal, returned with us to the village
of their childhood.
First contacts with some of the village residents had been made
trip to Zebrikovo in 2003. A letter had then reached us in Germany
invitation for the jubilee celebration of the Zebrikovo village.
This led to
our spontaneous decision to use the invitation as a good reason
back to the home of our ancestors.
It is a well known fact that when the German colonists arrived
in 1817 in
the future Hoffnungstal, they found nothing but earthen huts, but
efforts and sacrifice they would established an eventually prosperous
For these reasons we were very curious as to which [historical]
celebration of "these 200 years of Zebrikovo" might refer
Except for knowing that there would be the official start of the
at 10 AM, followed by a cultural program in the afternoon, we had
information and therefore did not know what to expect. How would
200-year celebration take its course?
Only by accident had we learned that another small American travel
might be in attendance in Zebrikovo on Saturday. These travelers,
too, were on
a search for "traces" of their ancestors in Ukraine. Fate
would have it that
among them we would find Milo Bauder, a cousin of WIlhelm's, and
hoped to meet here in Ukraine. Thus relatives from America and Germany
actually meet in Ukraine! One cannot describe the emotions that
hold of us.
Not really knowing what to expect, but wishing to be ready for
had brought along copies of songs, had prepared a few words to say,
come with a tree shoot which we planned to plant as a symbol of
We had worried that it might not make it through customs, but ten
helped that matter along nicely ...
The fact that there was to be a siginificant celebration in Zebrikovo
Saturday, September 18, had become clear during our approach to
the town on
Friday. We drove on an asphalt road that had not existed during
early summer of
2003. Our driver, who had traveled with us on the earlier occasion,
hardly believe his eyes. And this time, an actual town sign "Zebrikovo"
the visitors know that they had indeed arrived at their destination.
Also helping to make it clear to us that the celebration was to
be on a
large scale were things such as posters, signs of diligent efforts
garden fences, and a paved plaza in front of the former German church
2003 the wind had still been kicking up dust. Several houses, including
former German village school, had been freshly whitewashed.
We looked for our hostess, Rosa, whom so far we had known only
correspondence, but who had given us the impetus for this trip.
Since we were going
to see each other again the next day, after a brief village warlkaround
undertook a brief side trip to the former village of Hoffnungsfeld,
is called Torosovo.
Then September 18 arrived. At 10 AM the political festivities began
village plaza in front of the Lenin memorial, with the mayor of
Mrs. Tatyana Matros, welcoming the honored guests. The governor
of the Odessa
region, S. R. Grinevski, the Ukraine's minister of transportation,
Russia's minister of transpiration, I. E. Levitin, were in attendance.
In the meantime, we had also met the American travel group, so
Milo Bauder were now able to experience the festivities together.
songs concluded (what we called) the political portion. We were
disappointed that the speakers referred only to the existence of
village of Zebrikovo and did not utter a single word about the fact
that for 127
of the 200 years of existence of Zebrikovo it had been a German
What was to come next?
A Warm Welcome to the
Melodies Delighted Listeners
(To be continued in the the March, 2005 issue.)
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation
of this article.