Wirt or Wirtschaft definition
Electronic mail message on 8 November 2001 from Arthur E. Flegel,
A Definition of the terms WIRT and WIRTSCHAFT for those who may
As given in the German language dictionaries, the designations Wirt and Wirtschaft are so fully defined in contemporary terms that someone engaged in the translation of a document which relates to our Germans in Russia may often have difficulty in securing the appropriate definition for these two terms. Therefore, correctly defined in the historical sense, Wirt meant propietor and identified the individual as a property owner, not merely a farmer as indicated in some translations.
Moreover, a Wirtschaft in its complete meaning incorporated all the holdings of a Wirt. That is, it may include the land owned adjacent to the village as well as the homesite within the village and any additional holdings associated therewith. In other words, a grinding mill or blacksmith would be a part of that ownership or wirtschaft.
In an exclusive reference to a farmer, the standard terminology
was Ackersman or Landbauer. In many instances that person might
simply be called a Bauer which in its broad definition could also
mean peasant etc. The term bauer. Therefore, might refer to a tennant
farmer or even a farm laborer, but not normally to the Wirt who
not only may have been a farmer but was the owner of the property
Finally, in simple terms, Wirt means proprietor and Wirtschaft means property or holdings. The foregoing statement is herewith submitted as a possible aid for anyone interested in the definition of those two terms.