[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Sayings and Tales

Karl Krueger dabookk54 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 7 09:39:45 PDT 2004

Well my background is almost identical to Sigrid's (we're 3rd cousins) so I also only have ties to Germans who made it as far as the Lublin region. I didn't hear any of the sayngs Sigrid mentioned. My parents often used a certain expression when they saw on TV or in real life a lady who looked ghastly. They would say she looked like the "Feuerhex von Mariampo" (fire witch from Mariampo). I did notice there is a Polish village called Mariampol so I wonder if that is what they referred to. I am interested to hear if anybody knows what the origin of this "folklore" might be. Us kids liked this reference so much we used it too.
In another apparently true story, my parents mentioned there were traveling preachers who would go from town to town and basically accept donations from people. The preacher would often say a prayer for the family and then the father would give a donation to him. My parents said there was one guy who came to a house where he thought the family was not German (either Polish or Ukrainian).  The father allowed him to say a prayer so the preacher proceeded to pray repetitively (in Yittish, this is the approximate German phonetic spellings) "Czewne is ni wit von Bczewne, Bczewne is ni wit von Czewne" which translated means "Czewne is not far from Bczewne, Bczewne is not far from Czewne".  The father then replied, "Preacher, how are you praying?" The preacher then answered, "Ach, are you then German?".  Basically, this preacher was a hoax praying nonsense in Yittish not expecting that his subjects were in fact German and could understand the nonsense he was saying. 
This provided a nice prayer for us kids to resort to when we wanted to poke fun at something by acting as if we were praying.  The sound I was trying to portray with "cz" would be like a "zsh" in English. So in English the pronounciation would be like Zshevne and Bzshevne. On Shetlseeker I did find a Szewne well south of Warsaw.

Perry1121 at aol.com wrote:
Virginia and list members:

Besides stories and colorful expressions, I've always found Sprichwoerter or 
folk sayings very interesting, and the little research I've done on the 
subject leads me to believe that popular ones might ultimately be "tagged" to a 
certain location in Germany. Both sides of my family lived in Poland for more 
than a century, migrating from Posen toward Lublin, and after the WWII travails 
arriving in the US in 1952. Favorite sayings I heard growing up included:

Morgen, morgen, nur nicht heute sagen alle faule Leute (Tomorrow, tomorrow, 
just now today, say all the lazy people). Maister, ich bin vertig, darf ich 
trennen (Master, I'm finished, can I rip out the seam).

Another area I just learned about from a cousin includes fairy tales. She 
related a story her uncle often told about the Sieben Kleine Geislein, 7 little 
kids, six of whom were swallowed by a wolf while the smallest hid in a clock. 
That one told the mother; they found the sleeping wolf, snipped him open and 
substituted rocks; he later drowned in the river. The sanitized American version 
puts the kids in a sack. This particular uncle was illiterate, so it is 
unlikely that he read the story; it was part of an oral tradition, complete with 
wonderful sound effects. This family also lived in the Lublin area.

Does anyone else remember this tale or others?

Sigrid Pohl Perry (Pohl, Hapke, Domres, Mantei, Fritz, Klatt, Brauer, 
Albrecht, Scheffler, etc. etc.)

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