History of the village

The village of Uihei (also known since 1941 as Neusiedl, Neusiedel, or by its full name of Neusiedel auf der Heide) was founded in 1844 as a subsidiary settlement and was colonised by people from the surrounding villages known today as Grabati, Gotlob, Bulgărus, Biled, Jimbolia, Lenauheim, Iecea Mare, Iecea Mică, Becicherecul-Mic and Şandra (romanian spellings). The german names for these villages are: Grabatz, Gottlob, Bogarosch, Billed, Hatzfeld, Lenauheim, Grossjetscha, Kleinjetscha, Kleinbetschkerek and Alexanderhausen. At the time of founding, the villages were known by their hungarian names of Grabacz or Garabos, Kisösz, Bogáros, Billed, Zsombolya, Csátád, Nagyjecsa, Kisjecsa, Kisbecskerek and Şandorhaza, and Uihei itself was known as Ujhely. It was also known locally as Uihel or Uiheiu. According to some sources, the settlement was first called 'Colonisti'.

The village was founded originally with 96 plots for houses, 80 of them with a field and the other 16 without. The main crop to be grown in the fields was tobacco. Alex Leeb from nearby Knees writes: "Growing tobacco was a long and hard operation. Not every farmer in the village grew tobacco, and only planted between one or two Joch. It was a good source of income. Observing the photo below on tobacco growing, the people in the photo are threading the tobacco onto a strong string. Please take notice in the photo, a string of tobacco hanging between two walls in the background to be dried. "Tabakbüscheln" - tobacco bundling - is the last project of growing tobacco. After threading the tobacco, it has to dry, by hanging it in the sun as often as possible. It can not be left out in the rain, otherwise it would ruin it. In the fall, most of the time, relatives, or neighbours would gather in the evenings and would pass the evening by "Tabakbüscheln."- tobacco bundling. You take a tobacco leaf, flatten it on the table by hand. Between 10-12 leaves are stacked on top of each other, making sure they are flat. The ends of the bundle are tied by a string or other material. The bundles are stacked into a big bundles, then delivered to a tobacco factory. All this was done without wearing any gloves. The picture below is just a demonstration photo. In the photo, the lady on the right is demonstrating how to thread tobacco. Families would help each other and work together. The tobacco was bundled together in December, then taken to a tobacco factory in Temeswar, or other places. Even when I was 11-12, years old, I had to help. The Donauschwaben women did not smoke, but some Gypsy women did. Some Gypsy grandmothers even smoked the pipe."

Below is a picture, taken from the Bogarosch Heimat book, of men and women threading tobacco leaves:

The settlement lies 45˚N latitude, 20˚E longitude and 95m / 311ft altitude.

The old postal code was 1974, but it was changed in the year 2004 to 30-70-61.

The nearest railway stations are in Alexanderhausen (Şandra) and Bogarosch (Bulgărus) which each lie about 3 km away (about 1˝ miles).

The population of Uihei in 1910 was 672, of which 97.9% were German; in 1930 there were 600 inhabitants (97.3% German) and in 1977 there were 581 inhabitants. Today (2005) there is only one ethnic German lady left in Uihei, who was born in 1926 and who was brought up in the village.

The foundation stone of the village church (Die Heilige Dreifaltigkeit - Holy Trinity) was laid in October 1929 and the church was built in 1930. An account of the consecration of the church on 31st May 1931 is given in the Consecration link.

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"The villagers of Uihel were primitive people. They busied themselves with agriculture and were hard-working field workers. They didn't bother much with education. They attended elementary school for six years. In my time (1940s) we already had to attend school for seven years. Afterwards, we were  put straight to work in the fields, each with our own family. The old women used to say: 'The only thing you need to know to be a farmer is your multiplication tables to sell your eggs'. The important thing for farmers was working the fields. The smaller farmers who owned only a small piece of land could either lease more land, or could work the fields of the older people who couldn't manage the work any more, and thereby receive half of the produce as payment.

After 1930, a couple of the families sent their children to school in Temeschburg, or sent their girls to the convent.

There was only one teacher in Uihel and he taught all seven classes in one classroom. After the Second World War, Romanian colonists came to Uihel and they also had children. Then one teacher was appointed to teach classes I to IV, and another was appointed for classes V to VII. After the fourth year, the German children went to the neighbouring villages of Bogarosch or Alexanderhausen for their fifth year, or to the High School in Temeschburg.

When their land was confiscated, the parents said that their children should learn a trade or profession, and carry on their education at Secondary and High School, for although they had had their land taken away from them, no-one could take away what they had in their heads.

It is a sad fact, but I have to tell you that no-one studied German in Uihel. Those who attended Secondary School are afraid of writing a Heimat book. NN is looking for teachers from other villages who have already written other Heimat books, to try and persuade them to write one for Uihel..."

(translated from part of a letter I received from Johann Schimmel in 2005)

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The Farmers' Club

On 6th April 1885, around 500 farmers met in Hatzfeld (today Jimbolia) and founded the 'Südungarischen Bauernverein' (South Hungarian Farmers' Club). The committee was made up of 30 members and they met two weeks later for the first time. They decided to found a specialist journal, the ''Südungarischer Bauer' (South Hungarian Farmer), and to facilitate the society's work, they divided it into seven sections:

1)  Field work

2)  Vineyards

3)  Tobacco cultivation

4)  Breeding of livestock

5)  Growing of fruit

6)  Bee keeping

7)  Silkworm breeding

A short time after, the committee presented the statutes they had prepared to the Hungarian Agricultural minister's department. However, they declined to agree to it because they saw 'a movement dangerous to the State' in the organisation. At the time, there were already 31 local societies with 1,097 members. Uihel had 53 members; their representative was Anton EBNER.


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