Our German Bohemian Legacy
Robert J. Paulson
The stately country village Trohatin rose barely 3 km northwest of Ronsperg between twp mountains: Steinhügel in the southeast which was 480 m high, and the Schmalzberg in the northwest which was 600 m in height. In 1945 it had 85 houses with 419 residents. Dr. Ernst Richter guessed that the name of the village can be derived of the person’s name “Drahota” and stated the first mentioning for the year 1635, while Johann Gröbner found evidence for the year 1268. It is likely that Trohatin was still much older, and in former times with Berg, Hoslau, and Natschetin formed a separate landed estate before it belonged to the owners of the castle Hirschstein and in 1539 became a part of the Herrschaft(1) Lobkowitz in Teinitz.
In 1587 in the Urbar(2) of the Herrschaft Lobkowitz Trohatin already was listed with 31 farms. Only slightly changed, the housenames which existed in Trohatin until 1946 and which at that time were quoted perhaps a bit shortened are: Klauzar = Kloza; Walenta = Walesch; ffolta = Honsfolta; ffenzl = Honsfenzl; Rychtarz = Richter. At that time the residents of Trohatin were obliged to mow and to take in the hay on the front meadow beneath the city of Teinitz, and the residents of Natschetin had to help them in this. Further, both villages were obliged to cut, bind, and bring together the ripe grain on three fields in the vicinity of the Teinitzer Hof. The judge of Trohatin, who supervised this, got 24 Groschen and 3 Strich(3) of grain. The former big fish ponds in the community of Trohatin, which after World War I passed into private hands, were still evidence of the long influence of the Herrschaft Trautmannsdorf in Teinitz.
In 1789 Trohatin had 51 numbers. In 1839 there were 60 houses with 481 residents. Trohatin was attached to the parish of Berg and already had two inns. In 1913 there were 75 house numbers and 492 residents. At that time the leasehold farm Wellowitz, which was part of the possessions of the noble family Coudenhove-Kalergi in Ronsperg, also was attached to the community, and was located about 1 km northeast of Trohatin with a size of 940 ha.
In 1937 the extent of measurement of the community of Trohatin, including the leasehold farm Wellowitz, was 881,89 ha(4), which could be divided in 468,65 ha fields; 185,54 ha meadows; 59 ha pastureland; 121,29 ha woods; 6,37 ha gardens.
In the village there were 30 full farmers, 4 cottagers, 24 small farmers as well as numerous workers and craftsmen, 3 inns, 2 shops for bottled beer, 3 shops, a smith, a local poor-house, 2 joineries, a cartwright, a miller, a cooper, 2 shoemakers, a gamekeeper, a hairdresser, and a cigar store.
The basis for living of the residents of Trohatin mainly was agriculture. Besides the high yields of grain and forage crops, most of all the horse breeding and cattle breeding were in full blossom. The spacious farms with the numerous orchards were also evidence of this prosperity. A tunnel and the field-name “Kalköfen”(5) calls to mind the winning of lime in former times. By quarrying of the Serpentinfelsen(6) in the boundary Schwarzes Holz(7) (Gebl aus Ronsperg) gravel was obtained for many years.
The good economic situation also was reflected in distinct clubs and societies. So once there were: a water mutual benefit association (irrigation on plant and drainage 1912); a mutual insurance corporation for horses and cattle; an electricity mutual benefit association; a livestock breeding mutual benefit association; a horse breeding society; a voluntary fire brigade; the Böhmerwaldbund(8), an agricultural society with mechanical equipment to loan; and a society of small farmers and cottagers, the Bund der Deutschen(9), the Deutscher Kulturbund(10) and so on.
From 1860 until 1910 many residents also emigrated to the United States. In 1906 the village finally got an Expositur(11) to the school in the village Berg, where there were 110 children at that time. At last the school of Trohatin had two classes.
Trohatin was also the birth place of the imperial royal artillery major Anton Ritter von Prokosch, who after having completed the compulsory military service, again joined the army. In the campaign of 1848, by his bravery he drew the attention of the commanders-in-chief, so that he was promoted to captain and later to major. He was Knight of the Military Order of Maria Theresa and of the Order of Leopold. He was also bearer of the Distinguished Service Cross with the Crown and died in Vienna on 7th January 1878.
In World War I Trohatin provided 67 soldiers, of which 22 fell. In World War II were 80 residents of Trohatin bearing arms and also 22 fell. Peter Windschüttl (Nr. 26) was decorated with the Knight’s Cross because he had shot 15 tanks and damaged.
(1) Herrschaft = dominion
(2) List in which were written down the possessory rights of the lord of the manor and the duties of his subjects. Also called “Urbarium”.
(3) Strich: old-Bohemian measure system. It deviated in different districts.
(4) 1 ha (Hektar) = 100 a (Ar); 1 a (Ar) = 100 m2
(5) Kalk = lime; Ofen (plural Öfen) = stove
(6) Rock of serpentin. Serpentin is a mineral of mostly greenish colour which has often a silky sheen (Magnesiumsilicat). In Latin called “lapis serpentinus” = “serpentstone” because of the spotted outlooking which resembles the hide of a snake.
(7) Schwarzes Holz: field-name; schwarz = black; Holz = wood
(8) Böhmerwaldbund: The „Böhmerwaldbund“ was founded in Budweis by issuing of 20th March 1884 on the occasion of the celebration of the uncovering of the monument of the emperor Josef II. In 1866 there were already local chapters in Ronsperg and Vollmau and was afterwards most spread in the districts of Hostau and Ronsperg. The members got support in agriculture by special performances. It was bought farming equipment which was left to the members.
(9) Bund der Deutschen in Böhmen: was founded in 1894 to support the German schools and economy.
(10) Deutscher Kulturbund: was founded in 1919 and was the follower of the “Deutscher Schulverein” to support German schools.
(11) Expositur: Austrian = a part of school is located in an other building. Ex (Latin): = out, out of ; positus (Latin) = put.