the schools and teachers at Jarek

The Schools and Teachers at  Jarek

by  Inge Morgenthaler  (nee Schmidt)

translated by  Sieghart Rein

The first teacher of the community Jarek was the Swabian Emanuel Müller, who was born on February 17, 1759 in Rottenacker, District of Ehningen. He was the illegitimate son of Andreas Müller, farmhand from Weiler, District of Göppingen, and Dorothea Gemmi. He arrived with the colonists and was settled under house number 23. Besides his teaching activity, he was also a farmer and sexton.

School attendance at that time extended over the winter months and lasted from age eight until age ten. The first numbers of students date from the year 1818. At that time there were 132 pupils. But three years later 207 students were already numbered. Teacher Müller died in 1827 at the age of 67 years.

The number of students was too large to be instructed by just one teacher. Thus an assistant teacher was hired, who was a farmer and linen weaver by profession. His name was Johann Fink and also hailed from Württemberg. He died in 1836 at the age of 86 years.

The second teacher of the community was Friedrich Jauß (Jauss), born in 1809 (?!?) at the Wangen Estate, District Göppingen. Before he arrived in Hungary in 1824, he taught Religion, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, as well as Music at Esslingen and Göppingen. He was hired in Jarek after the death of teacher Müller in 1827. He was a teacher in Kucura.

((?!?That is really not possible, but also cant bee declaired, that Friedrich Jauß aged 15 coming to Hungary, but before already was a teacher in Esslingen and Göppingen and then in the age of only 18 years get hired as teacher in Jarek!?!)

Friedrich Jauß was married to Elisabeth Huth. The congregation gave him a “contract” in which his pay was fixed. Besides teaching he also had to perform the tasks of cantor and sexton.

He received:

1. From every household a quarter Pester Metzen grain (20 liters or approximately 4½ gallons).
    (One Pester Metzen is 80 liters.)

2. four klafters straw (for heating),

3. payments for baptisms, weddings, funerals — 24 kreuzers each and

4. the proceeds from 2 yokes of communal arable land, which he had to work.

In October of that year his salary was supplemented with 10 Pester Metzen grain (800 liters or approximately 180 gallons) and 50 guldens from the community. He also had to engage an assistant teacher for that.

Teacher Friedrich Jauß worked in Jarek and fled during the Revolution of 1848 from the destroyed village. After that he was a teacher in Sekitsch until his death in the year 1887.

The first two teachers and the first assistant teacher of the community Jarek thus were Swabians. It is all the more astonishing that during this initial time after the settlement in the year 1787 the Palatine dialect gained acceptance in Jarek and therefore the dialect of Jarek is a Palatine dialect.

The first school building was built with the assistance of the “Herrschaft” (the governance of Count Szecheny). It stood at the site of the “Heinzschule” (“Heinz School”) next to the church in the Kreuzgasse, but not directly on the street, and the teacher residence was built in the back of the yard.

The third teacher was Johann Jauß (Jauss), the son of Friedrich Jauß, born in the year 1835 in Jarek. He had fled Jarek with his father and the rest of the family in 1848 during the Revolution and returned after the “Ausreiß” in 1850. The entire village as well as the school were in ruins and thus he stayed only until 1852. He then followed his father to Sekitsch, where he was a teacher of boys until 1871. Noteworthy about Johann Jauß is his life’s work, the extensive Sekitsch Heimatbuch of 1886, which he wrote after his retirement.

Paul Fabry arrived in Jarek from Alt-Futog in the year 1853 as fourth teacher. He had “a natural talent for teaching . . . in his internal and external life he was a true elementary teacher.” He was also well-known as a beekeeper. In the 1900, after 50 years of service, he applied for his pension which was accorded him. He was granted 19 years of retirement in good health, until he finally succumbed to a short difficult illness.

Since the number of pupils grew considerably during the years of development, in the year 1859 a second full teaching position was established, which was entrusted to the fifth teacher, Peter Staudt. He came from Altker and was 22 years old when he assumed office. Teacher Peter Staudt was an exceedingly strict, but excellent teacher, who often received awards for his outstanding work from the supervisory education authorities. He went into retirement in 1895 after 36 years of service, and took charge of the newly established post office until his death in the year 1902.

The facts emerge from a “Visitationsprotokoll” (report of a visit of inspection) of 1874 that at that time there were 450 students. Besides the two fulltime teachers there were yet various assistant teachers, who at times instructed the lower classes.

The number of schoolchildren rose in the 1860’s and seventies year by year. In the meantime a second schoolroom had been added to the old building, but that did not suffice. A third room could not be added because the tract of land was too small for the addition and the teachers’ residences. The congregation turned down the purchase of a new lot for an additional school due to the lack of funds. Therefore the application was made in the year 1866 to take up a piece of land from each of the pastor’s garden and from the Kreuzgasse and to erect a (second) school building with two classrooms and two teacher’s residences. It cost 3,000 guldens, which were raised by assessments of the congregation members and rent for the communal Hutweide.

But two years later already the new building was again too small. The congregation bought house numbered 113 in the Hauptgasse and temporarily hired Franz Böhm for 20 guldens monthly as assistant teacher.

The recently acquired building was also not sufficient for the growing number of students, so that in the year 1873 the congregation bought yet another house, the corner house Hauptgasse-Kreuzgasse across from the church. Teacher Paul Fabry used a classroom and occupied a teacher’s residence in it.

This was also the reason for advertising a third full teaching position. Eduard Illgen, son of a teacher from Torschau, applied as sixth teacher; however, he died of smallpox after a month already at the age of 26 years. This dangerous infectious disease again and again claimed casualties. The school had to be closed also time and again, eventually from March until Easter 1887.

Thus they were faced again with having to advertise which eventually attracted Ludwig Heinz from Tscherwenka as seventh teacher. Previously he had been active in Katsch for twenty years and “taught the little schoolchildren in Jarek another twenty years, and by his diligence and conscientious instruction and by the gentle, fatherly treatment of the children, he earned the love and esteem of his community.” (Loc. cit. p. 158) He went into retirement in 1884 after 44 years of service.

Although the number of students was very large in that year, the establishment of a fourth full teacher position was not realized. After the retirement of Ludwig Heinz Johann Pratscher followed as eighth teacher; but he stayed only two years. In the same year (1884), teacher Julius Staudt succeeded his retired father Peter Staudt in office. He was the ninth teacher.

The successors of Johann Pratscher in each case remained only a few years in Jarek, they either died after a short time of service or they migrated to another community.

Finally in the year 1904 Andreas Wild, at the age of 20 assumed office as fourteenth teacher. He was born in Jarek.

After the death of Julius Staudt in the year 1905 there were three further successors in quick succession, until finally in the year 1908 teacher Wilhelm Heinz, the grandson of Ludwig Heinz was unanimously elected by the “Schulstuhl” (“school board”) as seventeenth teacher.

He was eventually followed in the year 1910 by Adam Adolf from Katsch as eighteenth teacher. Unlike many of their predecessors this three teachers, Andreas Wild, Wilhelm Heinz and Adam Adolf, remained in the village, and the constant change of teachers finally came to an end. By their service and dedication, they also enhanced the cultural life and the social life in the community.

In the year 1901 the congregation of the church had decided to construct a new school building instead of the old building at the corner of Hauptgasse and Kreuzgasse. The financing ensued the sale of the building opposite (later the Nunnenmacher house), which belonged to the congregation. The new school comprised a teacher’s residence located towards the Hauptgasse and a schoolroom at the Kreuzgasse across from the church. It was an impressing structure. Unfortunately it does not exist today (2010) anymore. There is a small park n its place.

Several years later, in the year 1907, remodeling and renovation of the old school in the Kreuzgasse next to the church was undertaken. It cost 8,600 Kronen. At the end of these construction activities the congregation of the church owned three new schools with teachers’ residences.

All three teachers, Wild, Heinz and Adolf, enlisted at the time of the First World War and during this time the congregation tried to ensure makeshift instruction by assistant teachers. Fortunately all three of them returned again from the war.

After the annexation of the Batschka by Yugoslavia the congregation decided to pay the teachers at its own expense in order to preserve the confessional character and German as the language of instruction. However, in the year 1921 all confessional and private schools were nationalized and the schools along with all inventory and all teaching aids had to be turned over to the Yugoslav state. The state paid no rent until 1937; but 800 dinars per month for four classrooms and three teachers’ residences since 1937.

After the nationalization the three teachers were absorbed as teachers of the state. But they had to take a “Dienstprüfung” (“civil service examination”) in Belgrade in order to demonstrate their “Staatstreue” (“allegiance to the state”) and their proficiency in the [Serbian] language. Hungarian had to be taught by the teachers as official language until 1919, now it was Serbian. In the so-called minority departments of the schools there were three to five hours per week of Serbian instruction. German, however, remained the language of instruction, except for History and Geography. Compulsory education ended, as it had up to now, after six years.

In the year 1931, Dorothea Morgenthaler, a native of Jarek, was appointed as twentieth teacher for the fourth teaching position established after the nationalization. She also instructed the children of the neighboring Serbian “Szalaschs” estates from Cenej in their mother tongue. But in the year 1935 she resigned already from teaching in the government schools and was replaced by Sofia Hess, the wife of the community physician, Dr. August Hess. She was the twenty-first teacher.

Teacher Adolf went into retirement in the year 1939. He was succeeded by Peter Bloser as twenty-second teacher in 1940. He instructed the lower grades in the “Bloser School” and managed to educate his students without corporal punishment. The children enjoyed attending his classes very much.

When in the same year teacher Wild submitted his request for retirement, teacher Franz Greuling moved into the “Wild Schule” with his young family. Both Peter Bloser and Franz Greuling hailed from Jarek.

In 1941 the Hungarians occupied the Batschka. Hungarian was now the official language and all teachers had to teach it from the third grade on. Sofia Hess left Jarek with her husband. No one succeeded her.

Peter Bloser and Franz Greuling joined the army in 1943. Elisabeth Rückert, a German from Hungary, who was much attuned to Hungarian, arrived as substitute. She was the last teacher, who was called to Jarek.

Teacher Wilhelm Heinz was the entire time “as solid as a rock”. After the sudden death of Pastor Franz Morgenthaler on Christmas 1943, he took over the office of the pastor and gave reading worship services. In addition he continued to be the cantor of Jarek just as he had been. The classes at the schools were divided between the two remaining teachers.

But it got worse yet. In April 1944 the German army entered Jarek and the “Wild School” was converted into barracks. Instruction for the upper classes was outsourced in part. Mrs. Rückert instructed the lower classes in the “Bloser School”.

The educational life was also ended by the Flucht (escape) on October 7th and 8th in 1944. Teacher Wilhelm Heinz and teacher Peter Bloser fled to Germany with their families; teacher Franz Greuling fell in the war.

Teacher Wilhelm Heinz, at an old age, had to take another civil service examination in Germany, this time in German; and taught until his retirement in 1953 in Burtenbach in Bavaria. He was probably the only teacher, who during his activity as a teacher had to instruct in three official languages and had to take examinations for them. (In German, Serbian, Hungarian and again in German.)

Dr. Johann Schmidt in his story: “Drei Volksschullehrer” (“Three Elementary Teachers”) has erected a loving memorial to the three old teachers Ludwig Heinz, Paul Fabry and Peter Staudt. (Heimatbuch of 1937, p. 204)

Teacher Wilhelm Heinz was abundantly acknowledged by Michael Schmidt in the book “Wie die Ähren im Wind” (“Like Heads of Grain in the Wind”). He will probably be remembered by all those from Jarek as “the Jarek teacher”.

by  Inge Morgenthaler

translated by  Sieghart Rein

Source: "Die Schule", by Wilhelm Heinz in the Heimatbuch of 1937, pp. 147 - 167)


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