The following history was translated by Henry Fischer from text that appears on the Deutsch Stamora web site and in its Familienbuch.
der katholischen Gemeinde
Deutsch-Stamora im Banat
1806 – *1907/00/+ – 1894
mit den Filialen
Dezsanfalva (eigene Pfarrei seit 1848) und
Malenitzfalva / Groß Gaj (eigene Pfarrei seit 1832)
Helmut Kaiser, Otterberg, 2008
Herausgegeben von der Arbeitsgemeinschaft
für Veröffentlichung Banater Familienbücher
The history of German-Stamora
– Name –
The name “Stamora” is supposedly derived from the Slovak “sta-mora” (the old water mill) and is named after its Slovak founder, Josef Malenicza de Stamora. In 1773 the Empress Maria Theresa bestowed the rank of nobility upon Joseph Malenicza, the municipal judge of Timisoara, as well as his great-nephew Peter Malenicza, which included the hereditary right to use the honorific epithet” de Stamora” (of Stamora). Joseph Malenicza de Stamora had no direct male heir, and made his nephew, Knight Peter of Malenicza, his successor and heir. The family of the future was descended from him.
Peter married Maria Theresia Malenicza Damaskin and made his residence in the community Stamora.
– Inhabitants –
The first inhabitants of present-day Deutsch-Stamora were Slovaks. They were serfs and did not carry out any cultivation of land but engaged primarily in livestock rearing and pasturing. The exact relationship between them and the Domain owner as either serfs or bondsmen cannot be accurately determined especially in terms of any demands for free labor or payment in place of providing it. A comprehensive community plan with the appropriate Stamora commons from the year 1779 can be regarded as the oldest document and as solid proof of the existence of the community on the present site. We find the first signs of a migration of Germans into the community of Stamora in 1802. German-Stamora was not settled by German settlers from their mother country. The German settlers came from neighboring communities of Zichydorf, Morawitza, then from the villages Sackelhausen, Bogarosch, Lowrin, Grabatz and also from Central Hungary and elsewhere, an estimated 700 in number. We are dealing with a so-called internal migration on the part of Germans from other settlements. The Slovaks resettled in Semlak, Butin, Klopodia and other nearby villages.
This begs the question … Did the German colonists expel the Slovaks from their native village? Not at all, the Germans came from various localities at the express invitation of owner of the Domain to settle there. They were not entire families but only those family members who were not entitled to inherit, second and third sons who were in search of land of their own came here, because in most cases it was the custom that only the eldest son inherited and the remaining children received a mere pittance or left empty handed.
Their search for independence and a household of their own was the reason for their hunger for land rather than remaining a servant of an older brother for the rest of their lives. The ancestors of Hubert Donauer can serve as an example. We meet one Donauer family when Grabatz was first settled. Their children, who were not entitled to inherit, later moved (1785) and helped establish Zichydorf. The next generation, with the exception of the oldest son who would inherit, moved to Stamora.
– The School –
The school was built in 1806. It was transferred from one location to another, until finally, after the building of the church parsonage, they rebuilt the old school next to it.
– Population –
From June 1811, Stamora becomes an independent parish, but the church records had already been kept since 1806. During this time (1806), the German population numbered an estimated 700 souls. In 1838, the population was about 986 souls. The maximum population Stamora attained was a little over 1,500 souls around the year 1900. After the 1910 census the community consisted of272 houses with 1,447 inhabitants, mostly German. In 1935 there were slightly over 1,250 in Deutsch Stamora residing in 328 houses. From the turn of the century (1900) there was a slow but steady decline in population.
– Inclement weather –
Floods caused a lot of damage in 1830 and 1836 when the crops were entirely destroyed. The village of Stamora was not flooded.
There was a recorded earthquake in southern Banat in 1836 and it was also felt in Stamora but there was no demonstrable damage.
1848-49 were years of revolution. To what extent the population of Stamora actively participated in the 1848 Revolution is not known.
– The Mail Service –
In 1853, a direct mail service between Timisoara and Pantschowa (Serbia) was established. Passing stage coaches carried letters, small packages and people to Stamora until the railway line reached the community in 1858. Of great economic importance and travel for Deutsch-Stamora was the resurfacing of the old road Timisoara – Werschetz in 1853-54.
– The Railway –
From Stamora’s point of view the most significant economic achievement of that time was the construction of the railway line in 1855. The whole line was completed in May 1858 and on 18 July in a special ceremony it was opened to traffic. Deutsch-Stamora and nearby Morawitza were served by the same railway station. There were also loading ramps and a watering station for locomotives. The freight yard was the only one between Detta and Werschetz, for shipping their products or related goods to and from the surrounding villages.
– The Church –
In October 1857 the cornerstone was laid for a large church with the costs of the building born by a religious fund approved by a government ministry.
– The Mill –
Before the end of the 19th Century, Stamora already had two modern roller mills. When they were built can no longer be established. The only certainty is that they were both the result of private initiative and the first modem roller mill was in operation as early as 1886, which can be seen in the attached image below. (Sorry, unable to include this. – Ed.)
Owner was Joseph Hammes, Josef called Tisza.
The roll was established in 1886 in the Theiß’schen mill and was in operation until 1975. The mill was built in the Western mill place, number 306 and 307
– The First World War of 1914-1918 –
A terrible event was the First World War of 1914-1918. It claimed many victims. Among them were those killed or missing from Stamora. A war memorial was erected in front of the church in memory of those who sacrificed their young lives. A detailed list of those killed and missing is inscribed on it. After the war, children from Germany and Austria were sent to the Banat, including Deutsch-Stamora, in order for them to recover from undernourishment.
– The church fire –
The church fire in 1931 was a major event.
As was almost always the case in the Banat, the summer of 1931 was very hot. But the 7th of August was an extremely humid day. Not a cloud in the sky, no wind was blowing and not a leaf stirred. Suddenly, about 21:00 o’clock, a flash of lightning struck from out of the blue, the earth shook from a huge clap of thunder. The cries of “Fire! Fire! The church is burning,” echoed through the night. Everyone hurried on the scene, whether large or small, young or old, with jugs and buckets to the churchyard. The fire brigade arrived. In the early morning hours, the fire was finally under control.
The restoration of the church was begun in the same year. Through donations or through work everyone contributed to the rebuilding of the church to avoid a debt because it was not just any old church that burned down, but our church had fallen victim to the fire.
– The Second World War of 1939-1944 –
The Second World War from 1939-1944 was again a terrible event which claimed many victims among our countrymen. From 1944 to 1956 began the flight, the deportation and the expulsion of the Germans. With regard to the battlefront victims, victims during the flight, and the victims of deportation to slave labor, you will find their names in lists of the “war victims” and “deportees”. After the end of the Second World War the first Romanian families came to our community. The German minority in Romania suffered discrimination after the war for years, politically and economically, and were excluded from voting.
– The era of Ceausescu –
In 1965 Nicolae Ceausescu became the Secretary General of the Romanian Communist Party. The more the prospects of the Germans dwindled in their situation, the greater were their hopes of help from the Federal Republic (of Germany). Ever Since Ceausescu announced that around half of all villages in Romania would be leveled to the ground and their inhabitants would be resettled, the hopes of the Germans to persee in Romania were further shattered. Many of the limited freedoms granted in 1968, were taken back. In December 1989, the Ceausescu era came to an end after a revolt against the terror regime of the dictator. After the uprising, Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu were arrested, convicted and executed simultaneously.
– Conclusion –
We have seen that, over the years, Deutsch-Stamora had developed a reputation for its “Swabian industriousness and honesty”. The madcap decisions of the Communist authorities destroyed the time honored values of the old peasant farmers of Deutsch-Stamora and the itself, as was the case in all of the Banat. Soon after the collectivization of the agricultural land, the desire to work lost its appeal. “Why work anymore?” asked everyone. More and more sought a way out, and the children who had never known independent and private farming lost all interest. Our once beautiful Deutsch-Stamora now seems to have no future. Almost all the remaining Germans living here have already applied for passports – to emigrate to the Federal Republic of Germany.
And what will remain? The cemetery with the graves of our ancestors who made the village of Deutsch-Stamora beautiful and rich. And the beautiful, large church and its bells. For whom will they still ringing? Who else to call Holy Mass? May they peal out loudly across the Banat plain and bear witness to the once small Swabian village of Deutsch-Stamora.