[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Sayings and Tales

gpvjem gpvjem at sasktel.net
Tue Sep 7 10:31:13 PDT 2004

    Karl's reference to traveling preachers brought to mind a description of a self taught preacher who was referred to as a Speckbruder.  A Speckbruder would arrive at a Volhynian village on Monday and stay the week, all the while dining on the best foods, the ladies could prepare.  After a service on Sunday the Speckbruder would move on to the next village and the process started all over again.
    Speck can be translated as fat (as in bacon fat) or pot bellied, either way it was likely an apt title!

John Marsch

  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.

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