November 30, 2008

You Say What You Think

Tell me what does Transylvania mean to you?

Does it hold a past you want to find more about?

What makes it so interesting?

What about the Pied Piper

You Tell me is this worth a book?

The flute of the Pied Piper still calls us to follow him to Transylvania. At least this is what some versions say. The Robert Browning poem, based on this story, ends with the verse that the children went to Transylvania from the German town of Hamelin. Even the folk storytellers the Brothers Grimm have their own version of what happened. As with Vlad the Impaler, this makes for a great story.
The village of Hamelin is where the story of the Pied Piper starts. From there, the pied piper was a person who took the children away from their parent. Because what happened to the children remains a mystery, many people have their own theories. According to some, the Pied Piper led the children out of the village into the hills to kill them. According to others, children left on a crusade. According to the last group, the children left their parents for Eastern Europe

November 28, 2008

How About This?

Comments please,

History begins when people begin to record it in some fashion. This is true with all cultures and in all times. The Siebenburgen Saxons story starts with an invitation. Geza II of Hungary needed people and issued an invitation to the German population to come and settle in his land. They did so over the next few centuries.

Geza had good reason to ask them to come. His land in the South was sparely populated and he needed more people to protect his borders. He came to the Hungarian throne as an eleven year old boy. His reputation as just king grew over the years. When he gave out the invitation, he was older and wiser and understood that the Tartars, Mongols, and Turks presented a threat to his country. He also needed money. Hoping to gain more taxes he invited people to populate the area “beyond the woods.”

November 26, 2008

What about Dracula?

Here's bit of fun for you.

Vlad even made a great story in death. Honey is a sweet food to eat, and a beautiful colour, except when somebody places a head inside a jar of honey. Some say that his boyars changed their loyalty and assassinated him. Still other reports say he died during a December battle with the Turks. All sources, say that the Turks decapitated him and sent the head back to the Sultan. This is where the honey jar comes into play. To preserve his head, the Turks placed his head in a jar full of honey.

I in fact did not know this until recently. But then I am still learning which is why I do this.

November 25, 2008

What Does This Mean To You?

Writing the hisotry of Transylvania is a challenge, but of course added to this fact that it is also a transfer of oral history to written hisotry this makes is all the harder.  Here are a few ideas for an intoroduction to my book:


The Second World War almost ended before it began for the Saxon men of Transylvania. The men worried for good reason at the start of the conflict between Germany and Poland, as farmers in an isolated land, they stood to lose more than their lives. Adolf Hitler, the leader in Nazi Germany, lusted for power and land for his vision of Germany.

In September of 1939, Hitler's army invaded Poland. He needed more manpower for his German army soon, as with this invasion, France and Britain declared war on Germany. The men of Transylvania knew Hitler needed bodies to fight with, and as Volksdeutsche, their loyalty to the German Reich was automatically assumed. These ethnic Germans or Volksdeutsche were not citizens of Germany, and often never lived in Germany. They were Germans who by their origin came from Germany, but lived in other countries. Although they were ethnic Germans, they did not have the same status in the army, or as citizens of Germany.

Does this make sense? is it fun? interesting?

Update:  nearly three years after this post this book is now out for people to read In Search of the Lost Ones on Amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk, and you can buy the English version on amazon.de

November 21, 2008

The Answer

Transylvania is found in Eastern Europe in the country of Romania.

It is not part of Africa.

It is not in Russia, and never had been.

It was part of Hungary and then The Austrian- Hungarian Empire, and now it is a part of Romania.

You can read about bits of it from the novel Dracula.

Can you find it on a map?

November 16, 2008

Some Changes In Views

What would have happened if during the Second World War, Romania had remained on the side of the Axis?

What would have happened had Hungary not lost Transylvania?

Would the same thing that happened during the 1960s and 1970s happen where all the people would be "encouraged" to move if they were not Romanians?

What about smaller groups from Transylvania would they remain in Transylvania creating a new dynamic to the area?

What of the myths and legends which people wonder about?

November 15, 2008

A History of Transylvania, Written By Saxons

You tell me:

The history of the Transylvanian Saxons started with an invitation. Not a simple invitation to come to Transylvania- the land beyond the forest-, but one from the Hungarian King to help defend populate and develop. To this end, some three hundred families took the call in the twelfth century and journeyed to Transylvania. From this came the city of Hermannstadt. More cities and villages followed. By an order from the King of Hungary, Geza II anyone who accepted this invitation kept the language, culture, and religion which they had come with to Transylvania.


November 14, 2008

A Caring People?

I doubt that anyone will argue with this statement:

Nobody really knows where Transylvania is.

This is very true since now that I interview so many people about their lives in the area, that I find myself explaining where this land is.

Yes, in Europe. In Romania.

I also find it hard to imagine how easily people forget that Europe changed a lot since many of the peoples of Transylvania left the are. For hundreds of years there were tiny little dukedoms and principalities and kingdoms and small sized Empires. In fact, not until 1871 was there a Germany.

In 1867, that is when the Austrian-Hungarian Dual Monarchy came into existence. Poland was not a country until 1919, and then not there from 1939 until 1946 when the winners of the Second World War, brought it back.

The only thing which I can say about Transylvania was that it was very lucky not to have a civil war, as many groups lived in the area.

Funny most people for all their "knowledge" do not understand why this place has such a significance. It is one of the few place in Europe where different groups of people lived in a small area without major warfare between them. A country or so over from Romania is a prime example. Yugoslavia.

November 12, 2008

And So

There is one person whom I have failed to mention for a long time. She was known as the Countess of Transylvania.

Truly a modern day Dracula. Some said she killed over 650 people-- more specifically young women and girls. To keep herself young.

She married but kept her own name, which was more "powerful" than that of her husband. She developed a taste for pain in others and when drawing blood, found that her hand looked better and more youthful.

Later she would torture girls and drain them of their blood. Her end only came when she started to kill aristocratic girls, which was of course, noticed by many.

As she was a noblewoman the judges did not try her, instead they walled her up in two rooms, with a space for food to come in. There she died.

Her name, Elizabeth Bothary, Countess of Transylvania

November 10, 2008

Favorite Transylvanian?

You tell me:

if you wrote about someone from Transylvania who would it be and why?

The Rules Of Pain

It is interesting to find that many people and cultures lived in the area of Transylvania and lived in relative harmony.

At the same time, people still felt that their culture was stronger or better or whatever.

So, for many years the Romanians of the area faced persecution. When they came to power after 1918, they took away land and power... only to have this happen to them in 1940.

This caused great pain for everyone. People fared worse and not better since by doing such things the people who farmed and did not have "power" now found more ways to feel pain.

Why is that?

Being human.

A matter of Pride.

A Question Of Matter

One question:

What made Transylvania great?

Was it Vlad? or Countess Elizabeth who soaked herself in blood to keep young? or the people?

The romance?


you tell me!

November 7, 2008

Differences Held

I understand so much more about Transylvania now than I did so many years ago. I also understand what minorities went through to get where they are in life.

The funny thing is that once you are a minority who stood as victims no matter how much power you get, the idea of being a victim remains as part of you.

Sad but true.

I wonder how many people would be aware of plights of the Hungarians in Transylvania during the inter war years or the Germans or the Roma, or Serbs or any other group who lived there during the time when Romanians once victims became more powerful.

Still, persecution of so many people tells more of the tale where people live in fear to tell history to the younger generation for fear they can be harmed. This is not right in any sense.

History should not be forgotten, but it is a three edged sword, your truth, their and the real truth.

Dracula lived as a man and is a great hero to Eastern cultures yet in the West is a feared person due to history being altered.

What will be left of this land once history is forgotten from it?

Don't Cry For Transylvania

The land beyond the forest is dying. From environmental pollution which effects the land and the people, to the number of people in the area.

I hear it is 58 people per square kilometer. That is a lot.

What do you think should be done?

November 4, 2008

How Many Different People

In Transylvania there was a high number of different groups.

Serbs, Gypsies (or Roma) Romanians, Germans, Hungarians, and more.

Now there is more Romanians than ever before, due to The Romanian's governments efforts in the 1970s to force minorities out of the area.

Who do you know that is from Transylvania?

Mine ancestors are form the area, and yet I find myself at a disconnect with the area since I have never lived there.

Memories are memories and some need to be preserved along with history.

Keep Reading

November 3, 2008

Thanks For The Look Up!

Wow, thanks everyone you made my life so much easier.

Shout out to the person who found that article, great work there, I happen to find it myself a couple of days ago and it works well to give more info.

The Saxons though by and large did not move around to much. They lived in villages and were Lutherans and farmers by and large, though a few made names for themselves.

Has anyone heard of John of Kronstadt?

He was a reformer of Transylvania Saxon origin. Martin Luther even makes mention of him.

Sorry no Dracula here.. by this time he died.

November 2, 2008

Would You Believe?

Comments: Do you think a person can make a good story?

I think so, and I am excited about writing about the Transylvanian Saxons....

How many interviews should be done with people?

These are the questions which i ask myself all the time...