Bilder Post 4 Final Post from Keeping Track of the Lithuanians from the Past

One sees that it was a commanding number of Germans who, about the middle of the 17th century, lived in Wilna and there held citizenship rights (meant they could vote, hold offices—an important right and had to be earned.

That the German community in Wilna in spite of attacks by the Poles is evident still in the 2nd half of the 18th century—they had vitality (Borrowed from Dr. Karger’s discovery of information about Wilna.

Still in the year 1753 there were 10 German bakeries in Wilna: Jakob Heiberg (Heiberg), Joachim Christ, Freist, Benjamin Ritsch, Wilm. Spring, Jakob Bluhm, Wolfram Reuterberg, Friedrich Kube, Johann Christian Kreinerz, Johann Nikolaus and Christian Friedrich. About the year 1765, there was evidence of German keymakers and smithy–Ivan Bauch, Albrecht Knoff, Ernest Hoppe, Heinrich Schubert and Jakob Berg—(mann?)

There were also more German names than Polish than in 1655.

In the year 1744 there were five German “Wagner and Bürger” that the Apotheker and Goldsmith were still German is moderately clear. In the year 1748 we count still 9 German goldsmiths in Wilna: Lorenz Wiljanz and Benjamin Kutscher as the oldest, Christop Gronmann, Georg Schnetka, Gottfried Ernst Schönberg, Andreas Eierlei, Christop Zesemann, Johann Zeidel (Seidel) and David Plat. Also, in the same manner, there still were German councilmen in the year 1792: the gentleman Friedrich Heine, and David Hertel. Very great were the numbers of German shoemakers at this same time. In a guild document which between Polish and German was laid out, there were 12 German shoemakers recorded.

It is over forty years since the opening of these old documents published in the Kownoer newspaper, the 2nd World War is spread all over the land and has not only the Lithuanian Germans have lost their old homeland but also Königsberg lies in ashes. With it are also the remains of the State Archives in Königsberg are ruined so that this article is the only source to determine our past.

The holy Gothic annekirchlein (little church) in Wilna, in which the first German service on Lithuanian ground was held. When Napoleon came through Wilna, he was so impressed by its sight that one must demolish it and build a new one in Paris.

Notes: (1) Wikipedia states this the original intent of this church was to serve as a place of worship for Catholic Germans. (2) The more accurate translation suggests that the verb is in the subjunctive mood and that the sentence should read: Napoleon was so impressed by its sight that he wished he could demolish it and build a new one in Paris. The Church of St. Anne is a much admired stop in Vilnius today!

Church of St. Anne July 2013



About suwalkigermans

I started family research in 1993. My first two books focused on my maternal grandparents. Both families came from Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia, to Big Rapids, Michigan. I left the Spurgats from Wylkowiszki in the Russian Empire as the third book because of the difficult and challenging research it required. After I published the book in 2010, I wondered what to do next. I thought I might try to share some of my research with others and maybe at the same time, by going digital, someone would find me. When you read the comments, you will see that happened. The best part of all this is helping others.
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