The last Banat Swabian (“schwob”) resident of Wiesenhaid passed away on Holy Thursday, march 24th 2016, aged 91
years. Thereby after 245 years the era of this village as a German speaking settlement (founded 1771 during the reign of the former Austrian Empire) has finally become history.
Until recently the home
of Katharina Dürbeck (maiden name: Ganz), was the popular destination of those Wieshaiders who had left their home village within the last decades, when they came on "home visit". Always friendly
and approachable she has welcomed all the guests who visited her to catch one last piece of authentic Banat-Swabian life.
Whom she asked in her (old) house could see a menage that was still largely
arranged and equipped, as was common many decades ago. Only two years ago, she moved into a newly built house. The old "village museum" threatened to become partially dilapidated and had to be
replaced. Thus Katharina has fulfilled a long-cherished desire her parents had already, but could not realize at their time.
Already many years ago, she had gone into the custody of the Romanian
family Perijoc. For their four children, she became the "grandma". The family had than built a house on the same property and for this, "Aunt Kati" was granted assistance in elderly and
sick days. Mr. Perijoc, a baker, not only was the supplier of savory pastries for the guests of the house, but as hardworking craftsmen also a energetic co-builder of the new house.
In one of her last
letters Catherine wrote: "... I'm getting slower and I suffer for a long time because of a heart disease. The doctors say I would have needed surgery already in my youth." Now, this heart that
nevertheless has persevered remarkably long and bravely, stopped beating. We may now understand the final words of that letter as a greeting to all Wieshaiders: "We all wish you all wholeheartedly the
best health, happiness and prosperity in your life."
We all who have known Katharina and had enjoyed her kind hospitality will keep her in our minds and our hearts.
Report of the funeral (with pics and links to videos)