The first gramophone

and by no means popular Empress ...

... that probably also interests children

"Grandfather - you were just a superhuman, you have never been so dan ..." - It has become, at least in Austria, a street song, the song of STS And: It provides me with the introduction to a piece of contemporary history. In the series "Stories with History" originals and / or contemporary witnesses should also have their say. He was both, my grandfather. He lived from 1894 to 1988 and has therefore experienced a period of time that spanned from the beginning of the auto era to long after the moon landing. And also the living conditions and everyday life in a small Tyrolean village - he lived in Stans - can be heard here first-hand. He recorded his childhood and youth memories. Here is his (life) story:

"The first major event that was remembered was the assassination of Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria on September 10, 1898 in Geneva by the anarchist Lucheni. That was a casserole - understandable that the vortex that triggered the message, also in my nearly five-year brain impressed. And only later did I understand the reaction of the adults. Namely, when the procession with the coffin of the Empress passed through the field in which Stanser farmers were working, one of the group of servants shouted: "There she drives - the Boar-sow!" (Note: Bayern-sow). Too strong were the memories of the arson of Schwaz and Vomp in the wake of the Tyrolean War of Independence in 1809 by the Bavarian troops. And Elisabeth came from Bavaria ...

I can not remember the day of the consecration of the parish church of Stans on October 28, 1896, since I was not even three years old at that time, very much to the construction of the arcades, the construction of the cemetery and its consecration in November 1898 Yes, even to the first deceased, who was buried eight days before the inauguration of the cemetery - it was the old "Marshal" host Maria Hechenblaickner. When I walk through the cemetery today (1971) to the grave of my parents and my unforgettable wife Johanna and my two innocent children Anna and Joseph, I see that soon the whole, large cemetery is occupied. It would be interesting to see how many deaths there are, at least three generations in my life (note that there is already a new cemetery in the "old" Laurentisukirche).

When I think about it, I first realize how many sacrifices of money and work these old Stanes made, and for free. For the church and cemetery construction lasted from 1884 to 1898, ie 14 years, where every Sunday almost all able-bodied Staner have worked. All construction material was delivered free of charge, as well as the required lumber. Today, in times of boom, we are barely able to maintain this structure - that's the difference between yesterday and today ...

On May 2, 1900 was my first day of school. The school was in the old Widum, which stood at the place of today's municipal office. Marianna Herbst was the name of my teacher. A very good teacher who died in 1918 during the big flu epidemic. Around 1900, the train stop Stans was opened, bringing the small village (600 inhabitants) was connected to the railway network. In 1901, my father (Huberbauer) bought the first milk centrifuge - and was laughed at. Because the other farmers have put the milk in the box and only skimmed the next day.

A word to the cattle sheds: the winter was not cleared out, so you can imagine what a mess in the stables prevailed. Anyway, my father was the first one in Stans to pave the barn with concrete and build a pit. Now you could clear out twice a day and drain the manure. The comments of the other farmers back then: He will soon be finished with his farm - because the crap can not be worth anything if he comes every day from the barn. Only gradually did some farmers follow my father's example.

At the same time, two Staner decided to buy a bike. These were the Hölzkrämer Johann Leutgeb and Josef Rinner ("Simapeterl"). That was a casserole - the first two bicycles! First, you can not afford that and secondly, this speed does not last a normal person !!! And today: cars, airplanes, moon travel ... (Note: it was my grandfather, who installed a 14-headed "bicycle unit" in 1931 as a fire department, almost as a rapid task force in the fire department).

I was a rogue in the second year, when the master baker came to us at the invitation of my brother Toni with a huge box and a tremendous funnel. He set this monster on the large, round table, tinkering with the device and suddenly this box began to rattle.


a critter?


A song, a march and now he starts talking! Damn, yes, where is he talking? Hesitating, I sneak to the table with my brother Hans, and - overcome by the curiosity - we dare to look into this mysterious funnel - because there must be the infernal spirit inside. Oh dear, we did not see anything ... That's how we experienced the first gramophone from Stans.

I remember well that in the area of ​​the Fiechter Spitze (note: mountain at the entrance of the stable valley) was Count Konstantin the last bear of North Tyrol was shot. This was logically a huge experience for me little tots. The old "Obal" (Johann Lindebner, a farmer whose stories would have served the Baron Munchausen) was still young at the time and was hunted by the hunter. Yes and really - as he later described - the bear suddenly stood in front of him. "Yes, what did you do then?", He was asked. His answer: "He has food" - he was over 80 years old.

(Note: This story of lies is also built into the description about the Wolfsklamm and St. Georgenberg)

Already at the age of eight, together with my two-year-old Hans, I learned to milk with a very old cow - each on one side. The father has argued that this cow is not much to spoil and they will soon come to the butcher anyway. The cow was good and almost imagined that she had two so young milking. It went better every day, so that we could soon help the father. And then we came to the fact that the whole thing had a catch: because when we were ready, we had to get up with the father at five in the morning! "Buam (boys) get up, go milk, but soon!", Was his wake-up call, which we logically dared not resist.

And so ran an Advent Sunday (Note: the last four Sundays before Christmas) from us: Milking 5, because at 6 o'clock was solemn Rorateamt (early church services in Advent), which we had to logically visit. Then there was a bowl of burning soup and then it went back into the stable: mucking, while the father fed the cattle. At 8 o'clock the main service was then, which never took less than one and a half hours at the pastor, Gallus. He was a good but very persistent preacher. At the beginning of the conversation, the dumplings (which were served every Sunday) were put into the boiling water by the mother at home. They did not have any meat soup - in the summer there was a self-grown salad, in the winter herbage. Meat was only available at Christmas, when the fattened sow was slaughtered, furthermore on Lichtmesstag (note: 2 February) as "Lichtbraten", as well as for Easter and on the church day.

Back to the daily routine: After the main service was immediately eaten lunch, because at 11 clock, the old teacher Stadler prayed a rosary. We did not go to church any more than gladly, but - we lived next to the church - there was no mercy for the mother. At 12.30 pm there was a long Christian doctrine with rosary, litany, Sacred Heart prayer and indulgence prayer. Then finally the ecclesiastical part was over. It should also be noted that there was no coat or knitted janker for the students in my time. We only had one shirt, a jean without gilet and pants on our backs. A pair of underpants did not exist until we had to pull wood with the sledge, that is about 14 years old. Incidentally, there were no underpants for the women's party (note: women). One can imagine how frozen one was when one had to go to church for so long and so often in the cold. At three o'clock in the afternoon there was a coffee on Sundays - but of course no coffee. And then the father said, "Hey, put on working day trousers and then go out to the barn, clean the cows and feed the calves - then soak and milk and spin the milk!"

When this work was done, there was the dinner and - as a Sunday closing - the evening rose wreath praying on knees, which was never allowed to fail. Now it was really Sunday - in the two, three hours to nine o'clock, singing, or to be honest, shouting - one song after the other, accompanied by the father with the guitar (note: guitar) and - if she was in a good mood , from the mother with the harmonica.

No one could imagine that once a radio or even a TV in each house will be self-evident. Our entertainment consisted of singing, playing music and playing - Lauboberzupfen (Note: a card game), Black Peter, mill, fox and hen, mari oranges and the like. It was a big feast when the father took a calf rope between his teeth and asked us tots to pull him off the stove. Of course, we never got him off the hook - I'm still surprised today that we've never pulled him out of the count. Yes - that's how the Sundays were in Advent. But do not think that we were dissatisfied - certainly not, it was the most natural thing in the world.

The working days were different: 6 o'clock Rorate, 8 - 11 o'clock school, lunch, 12 - 15 o'clock school. After class we had to help the father in the stable and in the evening after the daily rosary was tinkered. All sorts of things were missing from the crib - and we even dared to carve out a sheep or a cow under the guidance of our father. The mother and the bigger sisters had to spin until 9 o'clock, so the room was a big workshop. But: it was warm and comfortable.

And then came the Christmas Eve. Early in the morning the big crib mountain was set up and the normal pictures were taken off the wall and replaced with others that fit at Christmas time. In the Herrgottswinkel a house altar with 20 candles and homemade paper flowers was set up, where Hans and I were allowed to light the candles alternately in the evening. In the middle of the altar was the baby Jesus - so lovely and beautiful that one could hardly see enough.


evening Rosary


Christmas tree did not exist in our home (although we had a forest), but we were given plenty of presents by Nicholas. Once he came even seeing (note: personally) and of course accompanied by the Klaubauf (note: Krampuss) to punish us bad boys or even drag away in a large basket. After a long war council, Hans and I decided to defend ourselves with all permitted and unauthorized means. We procured quite tough hazelnut sticks and decided to hide behind the Stubenofen and defend ourselves to the utmost. And right, after the teaching of St. Nicholas, who kept us all the sins of the past year wanted - equipped with a rod and a large basket - just as in pictures with the devil, the Klaubauf start with a long, red tongue on us Lauser.

But we quickly fled behind the furnaces and the fight started. We resisted, as if it were about our lives and Hans drove with the club on the head of the devil. In short: we remained the winner and the Klaubauf had to pull off beaten. The next day the head of our big brother Toni was full of Pinkel - the haunt had been spotted and we had come to the secret of Nicholas and Klaubaufs ...! "

@ Peter Hörhager