The Lichtfuss Inn and its Landlord (by Magdalena Dian, translated by Diana Lambing)

It was where most of the social and cultural life of our community took place during the years between the two World Wars, and also during the Second World War.

All the villagers who lived during this era knew the building in the middle street on the right-hand side (South) towards Alexanderhausen. It was the third house after the school and was changed to number 185 in the last re-numbering system, having been number 125 before 1945, and number 77 at the time of the original settlement.

My grandfather, the pub landlord Franz Lichtfuss, was known as 'de Werts Vetter Franz' or simply 'de Wert' in the village. He was born in Neusiedel on 2nd February 1886, the third child of Franz Lichtfuss and his wife Anna, née Zwergal. His parents' house was number 165 (141, 87). As the oldest son of the family he had to lend a hand with working in the fields at an early age, and as his mother died young he also took care of his younger siblings.

Looking after his family was, in my experience, a  characteristic which shaped his whole later life. Another characteristic which I noticed was his modesty, a quality which could be ascribed to most of his contemporaries and which was a result of the economic situation at the time and of the large families with many children. In those days the children often had to share clothes with their siblings, and during winter they would be given a couple of warm potatoes to put in their pockets to keep their hands warm and to use as a snack at school.

My grandmother, Margaretha Lichtfuss née Ott, was born in Neusiedel on 22nd August 1891, the second child of Eberhard Ott and his wife Katharina née Beitz. Her parents' house, number 9 (114, 70), is no longer standing. When her father died at a young age, her mother remained a widow with three children and the Ott grandparents took the children in. So my grandmother grew up in her grandparents' house, which she later inherited (recorded in the Land Registry under number 298), and where the inn later stood.

My grandparents married on 17th April 1910. My mother, their only child, was born 29th August 1912.

After the beginning of the Austro-Hungarian war against Serbia on 28th July 1914, a general mobilisation took place and all those men fit for active service in our community had to report for duty. My grandfather had to take part in the First World War from 1914 to 1918.

When the men who had survived the war returned home after capitulation and imprisonment, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy had fallen apart and the Banat was divided into three parts, according to the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, whereby our region was awarded to Romania.

A few years after the end of the First World War my grandfather decided to run an inn alongside his farming work. The previous one had been the so-called village inn, originally house number 20 at the time of colonisation, south of the village hall, and which in the end was run by Christoph Schütz and his family. This piece of land belonged to the Schütz family up until the time of dispossession.

The required premises were built on the opposite courtyard side of the farmhouse.

According to a witnessed copy from 8th September 1934 from the Trade Register of Perjamosch under D Nr. 1 1923, my grandfather was granted permission to trade as landlord of an inn on 2nd January 1923.

After a few years, the premises proved to be too small, and when his daughter married (my parents Margaretha and Franz Dian married in 1931), my grandfather decided to reconstruct and extend the inn. This was carried out during 1933 and 1934.

 

(by Magdalena Dian, born 1935)

 

 

Above: The Lichtfuss family house, gate, restaurant and dance hall in 1952 (the door on the left was the entrance to the restaurant and the door on the far right of the picture was the entrance to the dance hall), and the dance hall as it was in 2002. Note: the people standing in front of the inn in 1952 were those who helped clear the building when it was taken over by the Collective. The landlord and his wife were deported to the Baragan in 1951, together with several other Uihel villagers, and didn't return to Uihel until 1956 . They weren't allowed to move into their old houses until several years later. One can see how neglected the buildings had already become. Franz Lichtfuss at the 1924 Kirchweih; the Lichtfuss gravestone in Uihel cemetery.

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