Translated by Christa Haley
1. The founding of he village
The history of Gloeckelberg has been documented in depth by church records, dating back to the 18th century, records of the community since 1927, the historic research by parson Essl, who published 4 booklets in 1917 and documents in the archives of the religious foundation Schlaegl, in Wittingau / Trebon and also in Boemisch Kumau / Ces Krumlov. In addition many publications about the Bohemian Forrest contain references and essays about Gloeckelberg. After 1945 mainly former inhabitants have been interested in its history. Some essays can be found in the book “Gloeckelberg – History of a Bohemian Village” written by Franz Petschl, published in 1992 by Ludwig Stark.
In itself historical is the essay by Th. Gallistl, the head-master in Krummau. In his “History of the political district of Krummau” 2nd edition in 1903 he gave an account of Gloeckelberg, and also other villages of the district like Andreasberg, Christianberg, Gojau, Honetschlag, Höritz, Krummau, Kalsching and Oberplan. The description of the founding of Gloeckelberg is a successful summary of the village history and therefore it is literally rendered here.
2. Village history according to Th. Gallistl
G l o e c k e l b e r g
„Situated about 22 miles southwest of Krummau is a village of 118 houses and 763 inhabitants. The village was founded during the 17th century. Around the year 1670 Prince Johann Christian von Eggenberg sent some charcoal-burners into the vast, impassable and marshy woodlands of the area. Four men from Melm (close to Oberplan) felled trees and made charcoal. The prince later gave them permission to build huts and to cultivate the cleared land. With great effort and exertion finally the marshes were converted into fields and meadows. Even today the long stone rows along the fields and meadows indicate the difficulties.
Soon the four huts were joined by other houses and thus the southern part of Gloeckelberg called “Althaeuser” was established. Later in the east more houses were built. This was called „Vorder Gloeckelberg“. Much later houses were built around the church. This part was called „Neuhaeuser“. Prior to establishing a priest’s office in Gloeckelberg it belonged to the parish Oberplan. 1705 the village contained 30 wooden houses, the same year prince Christian von Eggenberg freed the owners of death duty.
In 1785, during the reign of Emperor Josef the II a priest’s office was established in Gloeckelberg. At first mass was held in a wooden chapel. But already in 1788 the building of the church was started. On October 9th, 1794 it was dedicated to St. Johann von Nepomuk. On April 19th, 1857 Gloeckelberg became an independent parish. On May 21st, 1876 the church burned down and in its place a new gothic church was erected (built from 1878 to 1879). At the same time as the first church was established also a school was started. It was enlarged in 1838 and in 1899 another wing was added. In 1903 it contains 4 classes.
In Gloeckelberg exist a post office and a cablegram office and several societies like a voluntary fire-brigade, a veterans association, a Bohemian group, a chamber of commerce, a bank and a steer raising arrangement.
There are two myths about how Gloeckelberg received its name. One states: Prince Christian who owned the village visited the area. He saw some women carrying hay in large baskets. Mixed in with the hay were flowers called Gloeckerln (little bells). The friendly prince asked them what they were carrying and they answered Gloeckerln vom Berg (little bells from the mountain). The prince liked it so much that he had the new village called Gloeckelberg.
The other story tells of a cow digging a bell out of the ground and therefore the inhabitants chose the name Gloeckelberg for their village.
However it is more probable that the name came from the bell shaped mountains in the surrounding area.
Ancient finds like coins, horse shoes and the like indicate that already in very early times especially during the 30-year-war the Gloeckelberg pass was used by different migrations as thoroughfare. A part still bears the name „Swede“.
To the Gloeckelberg school district belong:
H u e t t e n h o f, a village of 76 houses and 536 inhabitants. Supposedly there existed a glas manufactury and after its ruin there arose a diary. It was closed in 1792 and the land was given to the wood-cutters. The in several huts divided area still exists and bears together with later added houses the name “Huettenhof.“
J o s e f s t h a l, a village with 20 houses and 284 inhabitants. There exists a glass factory, built in 1823 and called after prince Josef Schwarzenberg and is now owned by the family C. Stoelzle`s Soehne, Aktiengesellschaft für Glasfabrikation.
S c h o e n e b e n, situated in Austria has 12 houses and 63 inhabitants. One passes it on the road to Ulrichsberg.
S o n n e n w a l d situated on the Schwarzenbergerkanal and also in Austria has 16 houses and 95 inhabitants. It has a glass factory, working from 1700 to 1720 and belonging to the monastery Schlägl.
Also belonging to the school district Gloeckelberg are the Hinterhammer (von Oberplan)and the forest-keeper’s house on the Melmer meadow. „
A new and credible version of the story about the name giving of Gloeckelberg was added by the chronicler in the village chronicle around 1920. Inhabitants related the following to him: the first pioneers were charcoal-burners. A bell informed the widely scattered workers about the time of day. Therefore the place was called Gloeckelberg (Bellmountain).
3. The Mountain Village in the Kingdom of Bohemia
pastor Essl called it thus in his first booklet of 1917 with reference to the teacher Josef Jenne who taught in Gloeckelberg from 1790 to 1807. Jenne wrote: The village may be doomed because of it’s location in high mountains. But later he called it a healthy, wintry place. The way of life (as farmers in the fields or woodcutters in the forrests) and the fresh, pure mountain air brings with it that people are rather healty. Either the children die young of childhood illnesses or they reach an average high age except for the workers in the glass manufacturies. This was shown by many ninety and hundred-year-old inhabitants.
As a small village close to the “Archduchy Austria ob der Enns” and near the diocese Passau in Bavaria it mirrored the changeable and often tragic history of these countries. Relatively late the area around the mountain Gloeckel is cultivated and so it shows later than other places in Bohemia in documents and historical reports. A duplicate of the market privilege (1349) for Oberplan from the 15th century testifies first only to one “free street” crossing the village Klaffer in upper Austria which was used mostly for trade with salt and grain. The street led through the area of Gloeckelberg. Not only businessmen and traders passed through but findings from the “Thirty Years War” (1618 – 1648) like coins and horseshoes presumably point to Swedish war people. A high-level meadow was named Swede or Schwaebin. Even before the first settlements the area belonged to cloister of Goldenkron founded in 1263 by king Ottokar II. While the area around Krumau, Kalsching and Oberplan was already cultivated the far bigger part was a “desolate forest and marshland” like Gloeckelberg also. Opponent of the king was the house of Rosenberg which managed to win the area around Oberplan. Since that time it was subordinate to the rulers in Krumau. Here we insert the further development as far as it concerns the dominance in Krumau. It substantially also determined the fate around the mountain Gloeckel.
The house of Rosenberg perished in 1611. Already in 1602 Krumau became a imprial posession. In 1622 Emperor Ferdinand II gave Krumau to his colonel’s controler Hans Ulrich, Baron of Eggenberg for his loyal services. When in 1716 the house of Eggenberg became extinct the area was inherited by the princely house of Schwarzenberg. Two thirds of their posessions were lost because of the relief to famers after 1848. The Schwarzenbergers were excellent farmers and forestry experts. Prince Johann Adolf was also called “the prince among farmers”.
The Czech republic expropriated in 1918 again about two thirds of the posession. In 1940 the remaining 56,000 hectares were expropriated. Adolf von Schwarzenberg managed to flee to the United States. His subnormal cousin was arrested. The expropriation was confirmed after 1945 by a new law of the Czech republic in 1947. After 1989 a partial restitution took place to the house of Orlik. The ownership of Gloeckelberg after 1792 was intermittently regulated by
Leasing contracts. From 1846 on the basis of a “ Circularverordnung” one tried forced labor and tithing. In September 1848/49 the area was freed and taxes to the former lords were cancelled.
Johann Christian von Eggenberg
4. From the Bohemian Kingdom to the Czech Republic
The dreadful tracks which the First World War drew through Europe also affected the small Bohemian Forest municipality Gloeckelberg. In addition to the miseries and privations 54 men gave their life between 1914 and 1918 for „God – the emperor –and their country“.
The old emperor died on November 21st, 1916. His successor Karl I. tried in vain to install peace. After the resignation of Emperor Karl the Republic Germany-Austria was proclaimed on November 12th, 1918. The so-called peace negotiations in Paris occured under conditions without emperor and the Republic Germany-Austria in questions. From the beginning two incompatible and irreconciable positions existed with regard to the Sudeten-Germans. The Czech side required the historical borders of the kingdom of Bohemia for the exclaimed republic. The German side demanded the right of self-determination. This right was refused to the defeated people. The Czech military occupied the Sudeten areas which were put under military state right. 54 people died during the ensuing bloody clashes.
On May 12th, 1919 the Austrian delegation consisting of 60 people including some Sudeten-Germans arrived in Paris. They received the peace terms on June 2nd with a 2 weeks time limit for remarks. The outrage and dismay about this dictation spread over all theaffected areas. Austria had to renounce not only all the by Germans settled areas in Bohemia, but also smaller municipalities in the court districts in the north of Lower Austria, e.g., on the railway station of Gmünd.
After extensive objections a limit of 5 days was granted to the delegation for signing, without any consideration to the objections. otherwise the peace terms would be put through by force of arms. The delegation signed under protest on the 6th of September, 1919, the ratification document was handed over on the 5th of November and the Sudeten-German became de jure on this day citizens of the Czech republic.
The Zurich News wrote on June 4th, 1919 after the term of peace became known: The borders have been drawn everywhere as unfavorably as possible. Large districts that were doubtless German and wished to belong to the young German-Austrian republic were assigned to foreign countries without asking the population. Austria would be mutilated by the peace terms of the entente so much that there within and beyond its borders intrigues would be the consequence.to the end that the now snatched away brothers came back. The questions of German Tyrol, German Hungary and German Bohemia would bring agitations of which the everlasting border feuds of the last weeks possibly are only one weak foreboding. Should this be the beginning of an era of peace and quiet rest?“
And on the 5th of June, 1919: „… Czechoslovakia loses by allocation of so large, purely German-speaking areas her character as that nation state for which at that time Masaryk, Kramá ř, Bene š have voted themselves. It becomes the reduced effigy of old Austria with his national mixture, with a German one and a magyarischen minority and a Slavic majority.“ (End of the citations from the new Züricher newspaper).
The possibility of autonomous development should be granted to the Czech republic which thanked its form to the on January 8th, 1918 declared results of the war of president Wilson according to item 10. “To the people of Austria-Hungary a secure place among the Nations should be granted.” This right was refused to the Sudeten-Germans. The self-determination right was valid for the winners, not for the defeated people.
Dr. Othmar Hanke