A book full of history: researchers get to the bottom of the history of the habberge district.

Summer 2002: former district administrator walter keller sits with stephan diller in habfurt's lazzarin ice cream shop on the torgraben. They speak animatedly to each other. There is one problem: the historiography of the district has many gaps in its research. Diller, who has been commissioned to write a chronicle of the town of habfurt, cannot close these gaps on his own – he needs reinforcement. So the two men decided to found an association for scientists and laymen who are to get to the bottom of local history. Two and a half years later the idea becomes reality: the historical association landkreis habberge is born.

15 years, 20 books, 13 supplements, numerous excursions, seminars, meetings and dialect days later, the first anthology is now available. He tells local history(s) on 346 pages. One of the authors, for example, addresses the question of why "the insignificant village of frickendorf has become such a magnificent bridge". Another contribution sheds light on the history of "the oldest chess pieces north of the alps" – found near zell am ebersberg.

From the stone age to today

"The work covers a variety of different topics from the stone age to the present day. Because even the present time will soon be history", wolfgang jager (sailershausen) summarizes the contents. From the point of view of the chairman of the association, it is also the task of the book "to replace legends and legends with historical facts", as he explained during the official launch of the book. At the conference, some of the authors give insights into single essays of the anthology in front of nearly 60 interested people.

Mark werner (sand) clears up historical misinterpretations. He clarifies in his essay "forest history in the steigerwald from the ice age to the middle ages" the researchers found that the wrinkles had by no means always been there in such large numbers.

The books in the steigerwald

In the highly controversial national park debate, the old beech stands became a symbol for the justification of a national park. But werner can prove that there is "not a single piece of evidence" for the widespread assumption that the low mountain range south of the mains was once a pure beech virgin forest gives. This should be excluded, if only because the site conditions (climate, soil and relief) on the western edge of the steigerwald are different from those in the east, and those in the valleys are different from those on the high plateaus. Werner's reconstruction of the vegetation history from the primeval forest to the modern commercial forest provides an explanation for the rough beech population in the steigerwald: modern forestry has increasingly relied on the red beech.

Reinhard kulick (mainz) also reveals information about largely unknown facts to his audience. This is how he explains what the honorary title of commerce council was all about. The bavarian government bestowed it on many people in the rustic industry. In addition to nationally known personalities from the world of business, such as ernst sachs, businessmen from the region had also come to the title. Some of them could still be known to some people. According to the industrialist from habfurt, nikolaus molter, who was appointed to the commerce council in 1924. The buildings of his textile recycling company continued to dominate the image of the zeiler strabe in habfurt for a long time. In the meantime they have been demolished.

Thomas schindler comes up with many original quotations when he reports about the forgotten author pater placidus urtlauff. The posterity paid tribute to him for his work "dominica, festivale, mariale" no recognition. Its authorship was forgotten. The prior gregor fuchs was wrongly associated with the work.

Snoring in the mosque

Yet it was urtlauff who, in 1701, criticized the sometimes lacking piety of his fellow believers and compared it with that of other faith communities: "welcher turck darff in seiner moschea schlaffen und schnarchen" ("which turk may sleep and snore in his mosque")? It was chopped into pieces. Which heyd may behave in the gotzen-temple ungebuhrlich? He was murdered by the common people. So respectful are the jews in their synagogues; so zealous are the turks in their mosques; so devout are the gentiles in their gothic houses, that we christians must be ashamed of ourselves!"

Schindler warns, however, that historiography must never paint only black and women. There are many shades of gray, the historian emphasizes. Not least for this reason, the pictures in the anthology are printed on a gray background.

The last lecture at the book launch was given by heinrich weisel (zeil). In his historical explanations about the immigrant tyrolean builders he makes astonishing connections to the present: for example, the family name kehrlein, which is widespread in the district, can be traced back to the immigrant jakob kehrle. He settled in prappach many years ago. From "kehrle became – typically french – "kehrla", kehrlein was the final result. "We don't have sausages but only wurschdla and no weckle but only a wegla", the man explains and a laugh appears under his hat.

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