september 2004
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September 2004

Vol. 3 Issue 9

2004 Salnau and Schonau Reunion
Klaffer, Austria


Thoughts about the Heimat Treffens – Re-union of the former Citizens from the Parishes Salnau and Schönau.


The reunion takes place every 2 years, (even number) end of July in Klaffer, am Hochficht, Austria, the Sister City of Salnau, and in Salnau im Böhmerwald, ( Bohemian Forest ).

It is always an emotional affair for the remaining citizens, which are fewer and fewer every year.

They shed a few tears, for the lost homeland, which they had to leave many years ago with wooden trunks not more the 70 kilo to board the cattle railroad cars for a week long trip to Germany. They leave behind the houses and farm animals, the birth place.

For most of them, including me, it was a very hard, rough beginning for years in the new homeland. There was practically little food, jobs were difficult to find.

However, if you look on the bright side now, for us, the younger generation it was a way for a better future. Most of us have done well with hard work, and provided also a better future for our children.

When you look back over the years, back to 1800, how many people had to leave. There was no work for them, no future, only one member of a family could establish a family in a house, except one which remained single. How many went to America, Wisconsin and Minnesota? At one time at the end of the 1800's, about half the people of the village of Hirschbergen, including 15 of my family members left for America.  

Forester Haus in Hirschbergen 2004 by fred schroeder.jpg (832811 bytes) Forester Haus in Hirschbergen, 2004 Fred Schroeder

I did participate in the reunion this year. It was an excellent affair, the outdoor mass in Klaffer was beautiful, with a wreath placement, as was the mass in Salnau performed with 4 Priests, 2 Austrian, 2 Czechs, and the Music Corps from Klaffer, and the singing group from Bietingheim- Bissingen from Baden Würtenberg, performing at both masses.

Mass in Salnau . August 2004.jpg (445400 bytes) Mass in Salnau church, 2004 Fred Schroeder

A church yard service was made at the large cross after the Mass with a wreath placement. A problem that is occurring is that some pictures and other items are disappearing from the church. 

Salnau Cemetery, Franz Schäger placing wreath 2004 by fred schroeder.jpg (551794 bytes) Franz Schäger placing a wreath in Salnau cemetery, 2004 Fred Schroeder

After the church service in Salnau there was plenty refreshments available. It is generally about 20- 30% cheaper in the Czech Republic including gasoline.

In the afternoon the buses made trips to the adjoining former villages, many of them leveled even, whole villages not visible anymore.

The forest takes over, in years to come many of the areas will be forest again.

I took a flight with Delta Airlines from Baltimore which is closer to me, (but the trip takes 3 hrs. longer.)

To Atlanta, Ga., and from there to Stuttgart, Germany. The air fare was expensive.

I usually rent a car, but this time I went with the advertised Spillmann Bus Line from Bietingheim, which is close to Stuttgart to Klaffer and back. ( 90 Euro ).

It’s a good deal. It’s a lot cheaper than a Rental Car.

A rental car for 5 days 270, Gasoline 1.16 a Liter

It was a 4 day trip. The hotel room was € .27 a day with breakfast, a dinner from  .5-8. The room was exceptionally clean, the breakfast selection was great.

The landscape is as beautiful in Austria as it could be, the flowers in the windows, the view of the neatly villages.

Fred G. Schroeder.  

Next month a report on Fred's trip to the archives in Trebon


New pictures

Lembergers Tavern 9th & Knapp.jpg (373380 bytes) Lemberger's Tavern, Ninth and Knapp
photo from Dan Radig
Lembergers Tavern 9th & Knapp pic1.jpg (446869 bytes) Lemberger's Tavern, Ninth and Knapp
photo from Dan Radig


Contact: Peter Kinderman
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