Uihei online

By Petrina Calabalic (journalist for the 'Bănățeanul' newspaper in Timișoara – published 23rd October 2006)

Translated from romanian by Diana Lambing - with apologies for any mistakes!

(See http://www.banateanul.ro/articol/ziar/timisoara/uihei-online/13635/ for original article)

Uihei, Ujhely, Neusiedel auf der Heide  (meaning 'new settlement') – all earlier names for the same place – is a village which doesn't look any different from other nearby villages formerly inhabited by Germans in rural Banat. The same bumpy streets, the same little Swabian houses which remain in ruins, or are now inhabited by families who have come from other unfavourable areas of their native country. When you ask any native, what is different about Uihei, they invariably answer "Nothing!"

You will find nothing different about it in reality - but you will in cyberspace: Uihei is the only Banat village of its size that has an extensive website with photographs and information in the English language.

Although it doesn't have any asphalt streets or running water or access to the internet, Uihei has an elaborate website in the English language.

Dozens of pages

Far from being just a dot on the map, Uihei has a special story which our country's inhabitants do not really know about. On the other hand, the former inhabitants who have meanwhile emigrated to Germany have decided to put as much information as they can on the internet. Thus, by using the internet for this village which today numbers only about a hundred or so houses, there are dozens of pages of history, photographs and stills captured from a video of a film made in 1931 of the consecration of the local church. For those who want to trace ancestors, old documents from the past have been published, group photographs and church register records, as well as information about every person buried in the cemetery. Apart from these, there are more sections from the era of the two World Wars, the deportation of the Germans to the Bărăgan and to Russia, and also ships' passenger lists of those inhabitants who went to America between 1899 and 1923. Included also are a village street plan and maps of the surrounding area. All this can be found at www.uihei.com.

Administered from England

The opening page of this amazing website contains items of news from Uihei, plus any new activity pertaining to the upkeep of the website. The person who is dedicated to spending time on improving this amazing site is Diana Lambing (photo), daughter of a former Uihei inhabitant who became a prisoner of war and who was liberated and then settled in England.

Although she has visited her father's village of birth, she lives in England, is 57 years old, and is well informed about everything to do with this forgotten corner of the world.

Village reunion

Although previously a village full of life, Uihei today is no longer what it was; there is almost nothing there.

Over the past years, old inhabitants, or the majority of their descendants, have re-settled in Germany and they meet every two years to hold their 'Uihei Village Reunion' in the Danube Swabian House in the town of Frankenthal. The next reunion – the 15th - is to take place next year (2007).

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Images from Uihei in the old days: Brass band (1922) and bundling tobacco leaves.


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