Muennichwies

Muennichwies (a.k.a. Vricko or Turoczremete) was a town in what is present-day Slovakia. It was founded in 1113 by Germans who had emigrated there at the request of the local Magyar ruler. During the centuries that followed, the hard-working people developed their own culture and customs. At its height, the population of Muennichwies was 2924 almost all of whom were German-speaking, Roman Catholics.

Recent history has been less kind. The turn of this century saw an emigration to America, especially Charleroi, Pennsylvania, as the resources of the Carpathian Mountains became scarce. Following World War II, the German-speaking people of this area were driven from their homes. The Muennichwies refugees settled in war-devastated Germany, Austria, and elsewhere. There, with no possessions except the resolve and energy that has always been their hallmark, they built a new life.

This website was created to preserve the history of the village and is a project of three high school teachers who educate youth towards their GED diplomas with BestGEDClasses online prep. They work together with like-minded friends on both sides of the Atlantic. We seek to aide descendants of Muennichwies in tracing their family roots. If desired, we may also be able to establish connections between distant relatives.


Life in the mountain valleys of the Mala Fatra (Smaller Fatra mountain range) was rich in folkways, customs, and traditional practices. In the quiet, remote places the folkways could be preserved in nearly pure ways unaffected by outside influences.

The Fasching season reached its high point during the last three days before Ash Wednesday. When the masked figures, “Fosnicht Knacht”, drew through the village, everyone was astir. The Fosnicht Knacht danced in the streets but would also enter the houses along the way and dance with the housewives and even their daughters. A considerable “procession” of kids joined the Fasching parade. There was no dearth of willing spectators. The parade, accompanied by a musical band, danced in alternating steps.

Some participants carried spits and baskets. One collected Speckwurst (bacon sausage) Stangenwurst (“pole” sausage) on the spit. In the reed baskets one placed raw eggs, Kuchen (small cakes), and Kreppl (“Krobm” in Münnichwieser dialect). Some family fathers flipped a clinking coin into the basket.

After the Fasching parade, scrambled eggs and bacon were prepared in the eateries from the collected foodstuffs for common consumption. On Sunday and Monday there were masked balls; on Tuesday (the last day before Lent, celebrated as “Mardi Gras” or “Carnival” in some countries) the ball was held for all the villagers. On Tuesday at midnight all the merriment stopped. From Ash Wednesday until Easter there would be no more parties and no more gatherings for merriment or dance.

 

1113 A Benedictine monastery monastery is located in the valley. Later monks from the Praemonstratenser order followed.
1248 Praemonstratenser renews the monastery. The inhabitants of Muennichwies were shepherds and peasants, who served the monks in the monastery. Monks in the Klastor pod Znievom monastery were now members of the Benedictine, Praemonstratenser, and Jesuit orders.
1258 The village is called Munnichwies for the first time. Its name comes from the word Mönchwiese. In English Mönch=monk and wiese=meadow. The owner of Muennichwies was the monastery from Klastor pod Znievom. It was the neighboring village. The Slovakian name Vricko comes from the word sack. Hungarian name: Turocremete
1488 From the monks the Muennichwiesers learned how to detect, collect and cultivate natural herbs. Muennichwiesers farmed these herbs. By collecting the herbs in tanks, they were able to create medicinal remedies.
1559 Muennichwies is reported in writing by the first practitioners of medicine.
1700 Muennichwies and the surrounding villages continue to plant large tracts of flowering plants.
~1631 A small church with choir space was already built. It had a small nave with an even timber ceiling. With time the church became too small.
1787 A larger church had to be built. High altar: an oil painting of the Apostle Bartholomew. The right side altar: the Blessed Mother with her son before his suffering. The pulpit (left side): the Evangelists in woodcut. The university in Budapest is responsible for the church books as a patron (until 1918). The church language was German at the time.
1787 The parsonage building was built. On arrangement with Emperor Josef II, the parish became independent. The first minister was P. Lazarus Skultety, a Trinitarian.
1848 Feudalism ended. With much rejoicing, the people of Muennichwies became free citizens. The workers could keep their earnings.
1883 Some of the forests surrounding the village were removed due to new measurements and the consolidation of farmland
to 1887 A major part was cut at Gaidel and at the monastery.
1845 First instruction of 130 pupils in reading and arithmetic.
1895 Building of the first school in Muennichwies next to the parsonage building (Unterort). Sponsors were the monks in monastery. Three teachers held instruction. Lessons were taught in the Hungarian language.
1904 New building of a second school in the upper part of Muennichwies (Oberort). It was sponsored by the Hungarian the state, so the instructions were given in the Hungarian language.
1911 Building of the kindergarten in the lower Muennichwies (Unterort).
1930 Establishment of the Raiffeisen bank. Chairman: Stefan Hanusrichter paymaster: George Linket. It was a branch of the central association in Bruenn.
1937 Kindergarten opens.
1937 Inauguration of the Roman Catholic elementary school on October 10th.
1938 Establishment of the consumer cooperative with sales room in old school building.
1939 Purchase of all business premises by Mr. Cambor in the central part of Muennichwies (Mittelort).
1944 On 28 August in the afternoon partisans filled the village. The most of the officers were Russian and the soldiers were Slovakian. Some were put in wire-surrounded compounds close to the village.
1946 Muennichwieser were expelled from the country.

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