bearers of the name Peit(h)mann, whose origin has not
(yet) been completely determined, lived in the vicinity of
The church registers of Wathlingen record that Anthon Dietrich Peithman died on March 20, 1686. In the registers of baptisms, weddings and deaths, which date as far back as 1630, there are No further dates mentioned of him or of other bearers of the name Peit(h)mann. So we Do not know his age, marital state, or whether he had children. Little light is shed on the circumstances under which Anthon Dietrich started his services in Wathlingen.
The post of “schoolservant” in Wathlingen had probably been established around the times of the Thirty Years War (Pröve, 1925). During the General Visitation of the churches in the Principality of Lüneburg (1667-1669) it was found “that there is hardly an elementary school system worthy of the name. Most schoolteachers were not only sextons, but also at the same time innkeepers, tailors, cabinetmakers, glaziers and tillers of the fields. Therefore most of them left the teaching to their children or their wives” (Fischer, 1898).
In the framework of this visitation the Head Superintendent Hildebrandt also came to Wathlingen, where the local pastor Johann Behnen described “his crisis with the school” to him. The “Generalissimus” explained “that such efforts for the schools were not reputable for the pastor”. The school should be “run by a special schoolmaster (if only the funds were available) or by a sexton, if he is found to be able enough” (Pröve, 1925).
Soon after that, in 1668, Anthon Dietrich Peithman started in his office as church- and schoolservant in Wathlingen. He is the fourth schoolmaster or sexton there whose name we know. Nothing is known of his previous activities.
There are no details known of the work of Anthon Dietrich Peithman in Wathlingen. In the entry of his death in the church register he is called: “Custos” (=sexton). This name was typical for teachers who not only taught, but also had to render numerous services to their village’s church and parish. “As sexton, the teacher must be helpful and willing to do what the pastor requires for his ecclesiastical and official functions, such as baptisms, funerals, weddings, the holy communion, etc.. The sexton must hand the pastor the usual things and also sing, pray, and help with other ceremonies. – A village sexton had often learnt the necessary things from his father who had had the same profession. “From him he learnt how to read, write, and do the 4 sorts of arithmetic, the catechism and the church hymns by ear” (Fischer, 1898).
During his 16 years of service in Wathlingen, Anthon Dietrich Peithman served under three different ministers. Until 1672, the aforementioned “Johan Behnius” was minister. After him followed his son, Friedrich Behnen, from 1672 until 1679 and after 1679 Michael Zimmermann, son of a rector from Lüneburg.
Anthon Dietrich Peithman exercised his office as schoolmaster until 1684 – about 2 years before his death. But even before that another son of Johann Behnen had taken his office as sexton of the village. He also became Anthon Dietrich’s successor as schoolmaster, so that from then on both offices were once again united in one person (Pröve, 1925).
Mr. Walter Pohlsander (
Church registers of Wathlingen (
see German text
From the Life of the Army Chaplain, Pastor and Consistorial Councillor: Ludwig Peithmann (1662-1731)
In Ludwig Peithmann we are confronted by a minister who led an unusually active and eventful life for his times, at the turn of the 17th to the 18th century. As young clergyman, he witnessed the struggles between the Christian Europeans and the Islamic Turks over the Occident. Later he took an active part in the conflicts between Protestants and Catholics in the Prince-bishopric of Osnabrück after the Thirty Years War. From the numerous documents that have come down to us we can trace the life of a personality who remained faithful to his own beliefs even in difficult times, but always acted upon good reflection, adroitly, steadfastly, and courageously. All 10 sons and sons-in-law of Ludwig held honourable offices and presented him with at least 56 grandchildren.
Peithmann was born in Bückeburg presumably as the youngest child of the rector
Master Ludwig Peithmann (died in 1683), who was later pastor in Altenhagen, and
he was christened there on April 13, 1662. His mother, Catharina Sophia Prange,
was the daughter of the pastor and superintendent Johann Prange (1588-1654) in
Bückeburg. Ludwig was the first member of the Peit(h)mann
family to study at the
It is likely that Ludwig Peithmann
joined the Volunteer Army of Brunswick and Lüneburg shortly after he had
finished his studies. This army had joined the
The fight against the Turks may have
been a territorial war for the Venetians, but for the other Europeans, its
primary purpose was the defence of the Christian faith against the attacking
Mohammedans (Röhring, 1975). This must have been the reason for the young and
probably eager theologian Ludwig Peithmann to join in the battles in
We know a good deal about the course of the military campaign thanks to the diary of Sergeant Joachim Dietrich Zehe. It bears the title “Description of the March of the Princely Hannover Troops to Morea (=Peloponnesia) and of the Curious Occurrences There during the Three Campaigns of 1685, 1686 and 1687” (Röhrig, 1975). In his notes, Zehe mentions the military chaplain Peithmann three times.
We can gather from an entry in the
church register of (Bad)
The winter quarters of the Hannoverians
under the command of count Karl Ludwig were set up partly in
“Zante, February 1687
21st: Death of Colonel Schütze after his prolonged illness and on the following day
22nd: burial in a Greek church towards evening. 10 sergeants carried him, and 4 lieutenants accompanied them and bore the corners of the shroud, decorated with long black crepe. Next to the corpse went 12 petty officers, each of whom carried two wax torches bound together by black crepe. The corpse was followed by the Count and all the officers of our troops. The Prince’s Regiment marched in separate platoons in front of and behind the corpse; the ten flags of the Regiment were furled and bound in black crepe and were carried by a standard-bearer. As the corpse was brought into the church, the whole regiment sat down in the square in front of the church. The Master Peitman held a beautiful funeral address, and when the corpse was then lowered into the earth, the regiment shot three salutes. In the evening, all the officers were invited to the funeral meal and were well treated.”
Schnath (1938) writes about the
lamentable state of the
In July 1687, a new Hannover Regiment
arrived. The aim was the definite conquest of the peninsula Morea. “Having
landed on July 22nd near Patras, Morosini and Königsmarck blew up a
Turkish corps, took the fortresses of Rion and Antirrhion at the narrow entry
to the Gulf of Lepanto (the so-called small Dardanelles) and moved forward,
cutting off Peloponnesia , over the Isthmus of Corinth
8th: There are 5 Turkish
mosques, and in
27th,: Today after the sermon a small Negro was baptised who belongs to the Field Marshal, and the Field Marshal himself, Major General Ohr, Colonel Cordon and Lieutenant Colonel Goer as well as the wives of the Field Marshal, of one of the colonels and of a captain all stood as his godparents. The boy was interrogated by Master Peitmann in Italian as to all points of faith, all of which he could answer well and was then baptised and called Carl Gustaf.
In the spring of 1688, the survivors of
the Levantine regiments from Hannover returned to their homeland via
Assignment of the Parish in (Bad)
After the strain of the war, winter
quarters and return march Ludwig Peithmann did not have time to rest. His
sovereign, Duke Ernst August I, appointed him on May 21st, 1688, in
a document of that same day (see figure 1) as pastor in (Bad)
To the worthy, honourable and learned councillors who have been called to my consistory in
Osnabrück, and to all and sundry of my faithful subjects. We, Ernst August, by
the Grace of God, do hereby proclaim that after the death of our former pastor
to Essen, A. Wittlage, in our Diocese of Osnabrück, this office, which has been
provisionally held by Master Gerhard Mormann, is, by our Grace and by the power
vested in us to transfer and install clergy, hereby conferred upon the military
chaplain Ludewigh Peitmann who has come back with our troops from Greece and
who has a reputation of credibility, good talents and pious life. We confirm
herewith and decree that he shall henceforth be our rightful minister and
pastor in our parish of
Signed: in our residential city of
After taking charge of this assigned
congregation in (Bad) Essen, Ludwig Peithmann wrote in the local church
register: “In 1688 at Pentecost, I, Ludwig Peithmann, born in Bückeburg, was
brought hither by the Superintendent General from Hannover, Mr. Hermann
Barckaus, and introduced as theol. licent.. after
having just returned from
Ludwig Peithmann married Catharina
Margarethe Sickmann (born in Osnabrück around 1672, died in
Consistorial Councillor in Osnabrück
It was probably his personal contact
with Ernst August I from the war against the Turks, in addition to his
functions as pastor in
When Ludwig Peithmann took office in
the consistory, the disputes between the Catholic cathedral chapter on the one
hand, and the Protestant knights belonging to the cathedral’s foundation, along
with the Protestant territorial consistory, on the other hand, about the
so-called right of the equivaleny, had been going on for decades. The struggle
dates back to the arrangements set in the Peace of Westphalia (1648) for an
alternating succession of bishops. In spite of the provision that a Catholic
bishop was not to meddle in the religious affairs of the Protestants, the
Protestant knights of the foundation feared possible infringements by the
Catholics. Therefore, as early as 16478, they had demanded – with the support
The dispute, which was fought adamantly by both sides and in which Ludwig Peithmann was involved, seems most strange in view of today’s ecumenical efforts.
When in 1697 the Protestants made another attempt at a solution, Ludwig participated for the first time in the commission which had been set up for the purpose. The Protestant Knighthood feared Ernst Augusts’s sudden death, before the consistory could be fully instituted and recognized. The Catholic chapter only went so far as to recognize this commission, but continued to ignore the proposals of the Protestants, such as “properly” establishing the consistory, dividing ecclesiastical possessions in communities with a mixed population of Protestants and Catholics, and addressing the complaints of Protestant subjects.
When Ernst August died on February 2nd, 1698, the consistory had not been finally instituted, nor had the problem of equivalency been solved. the Catholic cathedral chapter assumed the responsibilities of government until a new Catholic bishop could be elected. Now a time for “many vexations" followed for Ludwig Peithmann. The cathedral chapter summarily dissolved the consistory, dividing the church possessions in the parishes with a mixed population and took control of all files and seals.
With a protest submitted four days
later, the consistory succeeded in maintaining the ecclesiastical councillors
Ludwig Peithmann form
The new bishop, elected in April 1698,
Charles of Lorraine, resided mainly in Vienna, so that the Cathedral chapter
was able to further consolidate its power in Osnabrück, and the consistory lost more and more of its
importance. For Ludwig Peithmann, the senior of the town consistorial
councillors and therefore bearer for the most responsibility for the Protestant
church in the Principality of Osnabrück after the sovereign, this was “a time
of distress”. In a letter dated January 3rd, 1704, he complains to
the patron of the church in
“The Jesuits build palaces in Osnabrück and they receive rich tribute from all sides, yet we do not even know where to find a patch four our rags; nevertheless, I am ready to preach in a sheepfold or sub divo (=under the open skies), as I have done before, if my listeners might thereby be saved from sinful difficulties; we would send a collector to Hamburg or to other rich cities if only we had an explicit recommendation and if beggary was not so universal” (Dökel 1919).
In 1716, Ernst August II, the youngest son of Ernst August I, who had been born in 1674, took over the episcopate in Osnabrück, which then reverted to the Protestants. The consistory regained its importance and continued its dispute with the cathedral chapter over the right of equivalency (Smechula, n. d. ).
For 35 years Ludwig Peithmann exercised his functions as an advisor to the bishop. His inspection marks can be seen in many of the church registers of the former Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück that have come down to us from those times. When he died in 1731, he had installed all the Protestant ministers of the land in their congregations (Dökel, 1919).
Every Day Life of a Pastor
The State Archives of Lower Saxony in Osnabrück maintain
numerous files which give us some insight into the official and private life of
the pastor Ludwig Peithmann in (Bad)
Figure 3: Ludwig Peithmann’s seal (copy)
On October 2nd, 1688, Ludwig
Peithmann gave the Bailiff von dem Bussche-Ippenburg his written assurance that
he would continue to preach in his noble home, which was situated in the parish
The following letter of Ludwig Peithmann to Bishop Ernst August II of July 1716 (StA Osnabrück, Dep. 24, Rep. I, Fach 5 nr. 5) originated from a dispute between the minister and the patron of the church. It sows the long-standing consistorial councillor dared by that time to tell the young sovereign in polite but clear words that he expected him to make the decision in accordance with Peithmann’s wishes.
Most Honourable and Serene Duke,
Most Gracious Lord!
May it please Your Royal Highness to be
humbly informed today, this Thursday morning, at 8 o’clock, Dame von dem
Bussche auff Hunefelt sent four carpenters to the
The most humble servant and suppliant
of Your Royal Highness,
my Gracious Lord,
On September 10th, 1727, Ludwig Peithmann asked his sovereign for “real assistance in my duties of imminent old age and diminishing strength.” He proposed as an assistant his son-in-law, Otto Henrich Marmelstein, the private minister of the family von dem Bussche auf Hünnefeld (Rep. 701 I, nr. 600). The latter wrote subsequently: “On the 2nd Sunday of Advent, 1727, the Honourable Councillor and Pastor Ludewich Peithmann himself introduced me to the local congregation, and I was thereafter invested by Archdeacon Völkers” (Dökel, 1919).
Figure 4: Title page of the letter written by Ludwig Peithmann on September 10th,
1727, to Bishop Ernst August II with the request for assistance in his duties.
Ernst August’s brother was King
George I of
used the address “Royal Highness (=Königliche Hoheit)”
During the last two years of his life, Ludwig Peithmann suffered from gout, so that he could no longer perform his duties in the congregation. After his death in 1731 his son-in-law and successor, Otto Henrich Marmelstein, made this entry in the church register of Essen: “On April 30th, Consistorial Councillor and Pastor Peithman died here in Essen in his 70th year of age, the same who was consistorial councillor for 35 years, pastor for 42 years in this parish and whom I assisted for four years as pastor in Essen.”
Eleven children were born in (Bad )
Anna Eleonora, Sophia Margaretha, Berend Ludwig, Eberhard Ludwig, Sabina Engel, Maria Anna, Clamor Albert, Wilhelm Ludwig, Johann Ludwig, Christoff Bernhard Ludwig and Wilhelmina Sophia.
There will be separate articles on the
six sons in this chronicle. Berend Ludwig (born August 9th, 1694)
became senior civil servant, courtier and chamberlain in
Eberhard Ludwig (born around May 9th,
1697, died in Hoyel, near Melle, in 1739), pastor in Barenaue (near
Bersenbrück), Enger (near
Clamor Albert (born July 6th, 1705, died June 9th, 1770, in Gehrde, near Bersenbrück), pastor in Gehrde,
Wilhelm Ludwig (born about September 1st,
1707, died 1766), senior civil servant in Frankfurt and senior bailiff at
Johann Ludwig (born about September 16th,
Christoff Ludwig Bernhard (born December 22nd, 1711, died in Stadthagen March 25th, 1784), pastor in Heuerssen (near Stadthagen) and Steinhude, church superintendent in Bückeburg and senior preacher in Stadthagen.
The youngest daughter Wilhelmina Sophia (born March 31st, 1714) died at the age of three months and was buried on June 23rd, 1714.
The eldest daughter Anna Eleonora (born in Essen February 18th, 1691, died June 5th, 1759) married the Land Commissioner and subsequently Commission Councillor, Daniel Julius, Weissich – Weissing – (buried in Stadthagen on June 6th, 1734), on September 6th, 1712, in Essen. The father Ludwig Peithmann married this couple and later the other daughters as well. Daniel Julius Weissich had been previously married to Anna Maria Armgart Campe in his first marriage. She had paid citizenship fees in 1701 (as wife of the city clerk Weissig) in Stadthagen (Burchard 1927, p. 441). The couple and later the widow alone lived in house nr. 23 – today Obernstr. 18 – (Weiland 1974), They had at least 8 children who were born in Stadthagen:
Ignatius Ludewig Hermann (born around June 9th, 1714), later lawyer and notary public, since 1744 citizen of Stadthagen (Burchard p. 92)
Johan Daniel Wilhelm (born around January 16th, 1715)
Ludolph Reinhard (born around March 30th, 1717)
Sophia Juliane (born around August 26th,
1718,), married in
Sabina Anna (born around December 1st, 1719)
Johanna Bernhardina (born around
November 4th, 1722), married to Krüger, steward in
Louyse Regine (born around June 20th, 1726), married to Ficken in Osnabrück, and
Christoph Traugott (born around January 9th, 1733), army captain in Walsrode.
Margareta (born around October 7th,
1692, buried in Stadthagen February 17th, 1732) married Hermann
Wilhelm Wippermann on June 26th, 1714, in
Carl Ludwig Daniel (born January 18th, 1716)
Hermann Ludwig David,
Ester Margarete, married to Anton Ludwig Merkel, superintendent in Sachsenhagen,
Leonora Maria (born in Stadthagen about December 20th , 1720)
Lieborius Christian (born around February 11th, 1728)
Anna Friederica (born around September 1st, 1724, in Stadthagen, buried December 29th, 1759)
Eberhard Anton Wilhelm (born around February 11th, 1728)
Albrecht Friedrich (born in Stadthagen around August 2nd, 1730), and
Georg Conrad Wilhelm (born around January 30th, 1732, in Stadthagen)
Sabina Engel (born in
Georg Ludwig (born around May 16th, 1719, buried in Quakenbrück August 8th, 1725)
Johann Daniel Ludwig (born around March 12th, 1721, buried in Quakenbrück May 7th, 1726)
Margarethe Sabine (born around February 1st, 1723), buried in Quakenbrück January 11th, 1724)
(E)Leonore Sophie (born around October 30th, 1724), married in Quakenbrück October 1st, 1744, to pastor Johann Ziegler
Sophia Elisabeth Maria (born around September 12th, 1726, buried in Quakenbrück September 13th, 1726)
Wilhelmina Ludovica (born around December 12th, 1727), married in Quakenbrück in November 20th, 1748, to Dr. iur. Johann Friedrich Christian Cassius, city clerk in Quakenbrück
Johann Christian (born around December 9th, 1729, buried in Quakenbrück May 21st, 1731)
Christiana Sabina (born 1732),
presumably the same “Sabina Albertina” who married the Royal War Councillor von
Johanna Albertina (born around February 28th, 1733), married to Pastor Dannemann in Wagenfeld near Diepholz
Maria Diederica (born around September 28th, 1736, buried in Quakenbrück April
12th, 1742), and
11.Gebeta Christina (born around February 18th, 1740)
Maria Anna (born in
Anna Sophia Margreth (born around January 14th, 1726)
Friedrich Ludwig (born around June 20th, 1727
Clamor Christian Bernhard (born about the Feast of Invocation 1729)
Eleonora Sophia Maria (born October 31st,
1730), married in
Sabina Margaretha Henrietta (born March
25th, 1733), married in
Henrietta Dorothea Johanna (born August 8th, 1736)
Ludewig Leberecht Gottlieb (born August 8th, 1736)
Johann Fridrich Otto (born December 11th, 1737), married in 1774 to Anna Cath. Maria Greven from Buer, pastor in Neuenkirchen, near Melle, and
Karl Ludewich (born August 7th, 1740), pastor in Vörden.
I thank Mrs. Marianne Peithmann (Bad Essen-Wimmer) and Mr. Herbert Peithmann (Espelkamp-Frotheim) for their collaboration in looking though the church registers, Dr. Chr. Battenberg, presently in Hannover, G.E. d Jong (Bussum, Netherlands), H. Lochmann (Cologne), and W. Pohlsander (Salt Lake City, USA) who put additional data and archival copies at my disposal.
1.Church registers in Bückeburg and Stadthagen
2. Files in the State Archives of
a) Protestant Consistory (Rep. 701 I):
nr. 26: documents concerning the construction
of the organ in
nr. 496: documents concerning the free firewood
for the pastor in
nr. 600: documents concerning the different
b) v. d. Bussche-Hünnefeld (Dep. 24), Rep. I, case 5, nr. 5
c) v. d. Bussche-Hünnefeld (Dep. 40 Betr.:), nr. 1421
d) City of
see list in German
The Master Bookbinder August Peitmann (1850 – 1938) in
Stadthagen and his Family
What is today the Harten bookstore, owned by Mrs. Käte Beinsen, in Stadthagen, Obernstr. 58 was in the possession of the Peitmann family for 75 years. Sources for this article include several essays and articles published in local newspaper supplements about the bookstore founder, the master bookbinder August Peitmann, as well as on his artistically talented son Friedel (see bibliography at the end of this article). The personal data were taken from Dr. Heiner Peitmann’s genealogical card file.
Year as an Apprentice and Years of Travel
August Louis Peitmann was born in Stadthagen on September 29th, 1850, as the next-to-last of seven children of the Stadthagen baker and city senator Dietrich Wilhelm Peitmann (1810 – 1866) and his wife Johanne Marie Elisabeth Ehlerding. While his brothers Daniel Ludwig Wilhelm (1838 – 1902) and Ludwig Heinrich (1843 – 1922) became bakers – the elder one inherited the bakery in Niedernstr. 35 – August turned to the bookbinding art, hitherto unkown in the family. He was apprenticed to the master bookbinder Heinrich Heine in Niedernstr. 32. During this time – 2 years after August had left school – his father died on September 5th, 1866.
August Peitmann was among the last of
the Stadthagen master craftsmen to have been a journeyman. In what was usually
a three year period of travelling, the young journeyman was supposed to expand
his practical and commercial experience from competent masters of the craft at
home and abroad. When the new commercial regulations were introduced in 1869,
the obligation to travel after the apprenticeship was abolished in
Figure 1: August Peitmann in his early years
Figure 2: the August Peitmann bookstore in the house Obernstr. nr. 58 in Stadthagen
Very detailed diaries have been
preserved from the bookbinder journeyman August Peitmann. “He reports in detail
and captivatingly, with an eye for the important and the unusual. The good,
fluent German which he writes makes it a pleasure to read his diaries”
(Bernstdorf, 1954). In the following excerpt August Peitmann begins by
describing the start of his journey which had been delayed by the outbreak of
the war against
“Stadthagen, July 27th, 1870
The day on which I was supposed to travel to unknown places for the
first time had been set for July 19th as early as three weeks before
that date. On July 7th, 8th and 10th, I had
participated enthusiastically in the festival in Stadthagen featuring shooting
matches, and thought seriously about the preparations for my departure, when
sudden and unexpected obstacles came in my way. On July 13th Mr.
Heine asked me to wait another eight days because work had not been finished on
account of the Festival. At first this was not at all to my liking, but then I
decided it was not important after all whether I started eight days earlier or
later, and so I promised to stay. On the following day my brother Heinrich came
August Peitmann continues to report on the mobilisation in Stadthagen and on the further events of the war, as far as he had knowledge of them. Three months later he continues his entries:
Of course, I could not have gone to foreign parts, in such circumstances, for where might I have hoped to find employment? Everywhere trade, commerce and crafts had come to a standstill. The war had disturbed the peace and happiness of many thousands. –
I, too, hoped that the war would soon come to an end, for my work went
badly, and I earned 10 sgr (=silver coins) less than before the war. But my
hope was not realized. Then suddenly, on Saturday, August 27th, I
received a letter from my brother Heinrich, who wrote that he had found
employment for me in
Heinrich had been working in
My brother was not at work just then, but in his quarters, and I had to ask directions many times in order to get to Kreuzstraße. Here I found him at home when I arrived at 9 o’clock that evening. He was delighted to see me. I stayed with him for the night, and on the following morning I stepped into another workshop for the first time. After I had received “condition” (=work, position, employment) from Mr. Osterwald, I went to see the master in charge of the journeymen and the doctor in order to become a member of the health insurance organization. At 1:00 P.M. work started for me. Apart from myself there were 6 journeymen and 2 apprentices. The machines and iron presses that I saw here for the first time were cardboard scissors, a cutting machine, a mechanical press, a roller and a press for gilt edging. At first, the wok consisted of various calendars, which were made for bookshops. About 1000 pocket and desk calendars were being made when I started to work there. They were bound wholly in “alleur”, the covers were pressed and gilded. Later, several thousand working calendars were made.”
From Hannover August Peitmann went to
”September 16th, 1872
We had left Harzburg with the intention to climb the
From then on we had to climb constantly; the air between the dark pine trees was dank and dreary, for the trees were so close to each other that hardly a sunbeam penetrated them. The ground was so slippery that one had to take care not to fall on the damp moss. Following the instructions of the owner of Molkenhaus we had always followed the path that looked most used, and therefore we had missed a turn which had seemed to us less used. Now the path seemed to get ever more lost in the moss so that it was hardly recognizable until it finally ended, hardly wider than a foot, at a highway.
We met the landlord in the foyer. He showed us to the coachmen’s quarters after he heard that we were artisans. Here, in the lights of the kitchen lamp were four or five coachmen at the table with the house servant, telling of the journeys and drinking assiduously from their beer bottles, which stood in front of them. We had supper in their company, and after the coachmen had fed their horses they went to bed at 10 o’clock. Straw mattresses were rolled out on the floor for us and were covered with woollen blankets, on which we soon found our rest, hoping that the coming day would show us the glory of a beautiful sunrise.
And the morning came, -but not the sun. Impenetrable fog surrounded the vicinity so that we could not see the house any longer twenty steps away looking for heather blossoms. With our bouquets we returned to our room, freezing and with fingers stiff from the cold, and we were very happy when we got the opportunity to take an omnibus to Wernigerode, all the more so as we were told that the sun was not expected to come through that day.
The omnibus left at about 10:00 A.M.. One gentlemen had rented the wagon alone. Although the coachman
had told him nothing of our joining him on this journey, he soon agreed to it
upon the condition that we would join him on his little side trips. This was
most agreeable to us, for we, too, wanted to see the
most beautiful spots of the
After a short stop we followed a steep, almost vertical path down the
cliff and to the wagon, which soon reached the town of
At about 2:00 P.M. we reached the
friendly little town of
The two journeymen travelled on from
“The landscape had changed. Instead of seeing fertile fields of grain
all around a before, we had vineyards on our left, planted on the flanks of
fairly high hills, and the towers of
Figure 3: August Peitmann with his daughter Margret
Master Bookbinder and Bookseller
Upon his return and after passing the examination to become a master bookbinder, August Peitmann bought house nr. 58 on Obernstraße (formerly house nr. 73) from the master painter Louis Brunstermann, in order to start his own business. The commercial register of the city magistrate shows that the bookbinding store of August Peitmann was registered on September 26th, 1877. This step took some courage, as there were already two older bookbinding shops in Stadthagen.
On October 23rd, 1880, in Stadthagen August Peitman married Karolina (Lina) Helene Dorothea Hachmeister (born Pohle, near Apelern, on March 17th, 1932), daughter of the tax-collector Karl Adolf Friedrich Hachmeister. Until her marriage she had been selling hats for women and children together with Ida Wollenweber in Obernstraße, house nr. 48. After her marriage she moved the shop to her husband’s home and continued the business by herself.
On the development of the Peitmann bookstore we can cite a contemporary with a vivid and clear description (Wehling, 1937):
“In the beginning the bookbinding shop and the stationary shop had been the main thing as was the case in the other bookbinding shops of the city, too, but the stock of books kept growing year by year. Peitmann did not only sell schoolbooks, but also other literature for youth. A lending library was set up which has not existed anymore for two decades. The bookstore gradually grew bigger and bigger. Under the date o February 5th, 1887, we find in the commercial register of the city magistrate the entry: “August Peitmann: Books, Lending Library.” In 1905 the hat shop had to be given up since the space was needed for the steadily growing book and stationary store and the bookbindery.
The years from the foundation of the business until World War I were years of growth and prosperity; they were golden years. The name Peitmann became known in the city and the countryside, the bookstore developed into a business well-known even outside of Stadthagen for paper, stationary, schoolbooks, youth publications, belles-lettres, and scientific works. So many townspeople and farmers from the surrounding country side bought their pens and exercise books, their songbooks and their science books at Peitmann’s when they went to school decades ago. So many boys from the boys’ grammar school were always in and out of the Peitmann shop before or after school hours or even at recess. A rich circle of customers grew, and the little Peitmann served them all with the same amount of attention and often humour. Industrious and eager, he worked in his shop day in and day out and executed with great care and dedication all of the tasks assigned to him. He found faithful helpers in his wife and also, over the years, in his children, who stood at his side in the shop.”
In his essay for the 60th anniversary of the bookshop Wehling (1937)writes about the personality of August Peitmann:
“Who does not know the little master bookbinder on Stadthagen’s Obernstraße. His stature is not great, but his nature and his will were tough and unbending, and his diligence was always great. He turned 87 on September 29th of this year. And up to the last years he used to bind books from time to time in the little room at the back of the shop. The real workshop is at the side of the house next to the yard. It has seen a lot of painstaking attention to detail and effort, many days of work and industrious, busy hours during the long years.” – “As in many traditional middle-class families in Stadthagen the life of Aug. Peitmann shows the rigorous, often stubborn Stadthagen civil pride, which will energetically represent its own standpoint.”
Hardly ever did August Peitmann fail to
go to church on Sundays. He always took his accustomed seat under the pulpit
made by von Oheimb in
“The cupboards and shelves full of books in the small shop were hung dark and solemnly, where the coffin stood between wreaths and laurel trees, on the spot where the deceased had stood so often during his long life, serving his customers from town and country. From this place of his long-lasting work, from his small and well-loved little house, where he had stood by his loved ones for better or for worse, he started his last journey to God’s acre.”
The couple August Peitmann and Karoline née Hachmeister had three children: Friedel, Johanne und Margret.
Figure 4: August Peitmann with his daughter Johanne
The son Wilhelm Georg Friedrich (nicknamed Friedel) was born in Stadthagen on March 17th, 1883. After attending elementary school from 1893 until 1896, he went to high school in Stadthagen. His teachers noticed Friedel’s artistic gift. His inclinations led to his wish to become an art teacher. Yet, as the only son he was supposed to take over the parental business. Thus he learnt bookbinding in the paternal workshop.
Friedel Peitmann is described as a cheerful, sociable and humorous young man but also as modest and quiet, and always well liked as a guest. His talents for the arts were visible in the way he handled the pencil and the writing quill as well as in his love for music. He played the cello, violin, guitar and clarinet and founded a small orchestra for home music and for hiking songs.
Friedel Peitmann’s artistic work should not and cannot be properly appreciated here. That may be left to art experts. We only wish to give a short survey of his works.
Figure 5: Friedel Peitmann
Friedel Peitmann found his subjects close to home, mainly in turn-of-the-century Stadthagen and the surrounding countryside and its inhabitants. He observed the then quiet life of the citizens in his home town with open eyes and discovered its many little human shortcomings. The excesses at festivities and the boisterous tricks of the youths did not escape his attention. It is not surprising that caricatures play an important role in his artistic work and that satire composes large part of his literary work.
Many pen-and-ink drawings and watercolours depict views of Stadthagen, for instance the portrayals in the series “Stadthagen in the Snow”. These drawings, showing the daily life in the city and countryside are also historical documents, for example, “Farmer’s Living Room”, “End of Work”, “High School Student” and “Martenjautmann”.
Under the pseudonym “Ölste” (=the oldest) Friedel Peitmann published poems and essays of humorous, contemplative, and local interest regularly in the local papers, and he did so in low German (=Plattdeutsch) as well. Some of his tales such as “Martenjautmann”, “May Trees” and “Hirzeböcke” have cultural-historical importance as well; they tell us about old customs in Stadthagen.
Friedel was allegedly in contact with Wilhelm Busch (a well-known German writer and artist), whose influence can be recognised in many of his portrayals. It is also said that the then well-known satirical review “Simplicissimus” and other weekly publications took note of his imaginative and humorous sketches and texts. Furthermore, Friedel produced witty drawings for advertisements.
In 1901 Friedel Peitmann exhibited his
drawings in the so-called “Workers and Amateurs Exhibition” in
After Friedel’s parents had learnt the
terrible news of the death of their son in December, they tried in vain to
recover Friedel’s drawings from the
“Mausoleum and the
drawing by Friedel Peitmann
One of the special displays at the “Old Stadthagen” exhibition in October 1938 was dedicated to the “Works of Friedel Peitmann”. Karl Ludwig Harten, a grandson of August Peitmann’s sister Friederike Johanne Luise, intended to edit a small collection of poems before World War II. Because Harten was drafted and killed in action on the eastern front, however, the publication never took place. A large part of the remaining drawings and watercolours as well as the manuscripts of poems and stories had come into the hands of Friedel’s niece Ursula Grahl, and they are still in private hands in Stadthagen. The fulfilment of Ursula Grahl’s express wish, a permanent exhibition of he pictures ad writings of Friedel Peitmann at an appropriate place in his home town, is planned.
W. Weiland in Stadthagen made the works of Friedel Peitmann available to the public in a series of essays of the Stadthagen division of the Schaumburg-Lippischer Heimatverein e. V.. They were published under the headings of “Poems, Tales and Drawings of Friedel Peitmann”, “Watercolours, Pen-and-Ink Drawings and Sketches of Friedel Peitmann” and “Hercules – the Story of a Rascal in Words and Pictures”. Postcards showing the town according to pen-and-ink drawings by Friedel Peitmann can still be bought in Stadthagen bookstores, just as they had been on sale in his father’s business even before World War I.
Figure 7: “Children on Martenjautmann’s Day in the Obernstr. in Stadthagen”, pen-
and-ink drawing by Friedel Peitmann
Selection of Friedel Peitmann’s Poems
The beautiful Days
These are the beautiful days,
When everything seems like in a dream,
When Mother Nature goes to rest
Contented and uncomplaining.
Why do you stand there, suffering,
And dreaming of the lost youth?
Is not the leaf in its golden garment
Much prettier than on a spring day?
The young springtide wakens it again,
Each leaf to new being.
Thus life billows up and down,
Resting only for its Sunday.
And this Sunday is no death:
A day of rest in the course of the world..
Should your happiness break into a thousand shards,
Life would build it up again.
So it is!
Such are people,
At least fifty in three score:
They will warmly press your hands
And think: “You idiot!”
And if you were the mayor
And went walking down the streets,
The children would stand still
And take off their caps.
But once you had passed them,
They would laugh at you
And stick out their noses at you
And stick out their tongues at you.-
They will show you an owl
And will tell you that it is a crow;
And it does not matter at all
Who you are and what you are.-
Friends, when you arrive, will say:
“Welcome a thousand times!”
And when you leave, then they will think:
“The Devil with him!”
My Homeland’s Hills
My homeland’s hills are beautiful
Still woods on heights so far away
With Nordic oaks at signing springs
Though which the huntsman stalks his prey.
Such mighty forests have I seen
That there eternal twilight glows
Defiant cliffs in evening gold
Ravines, though which the wild creek rolls.
My homeland’s hills are fairer still
With youthful dreams and fairy tales
For sagas, poems, and the like
Can be born only their vales.
Transcript of the German hand-written text in the cartoon on p. 67:
Der bestechliche Posten
Vor “Vater Philipp” auf und ab
geht der Gefreite Zappenschlap.
Da raucht wohl einer, wie es scheint
Sofort gemerkt! Warte, Freund!
Der raucht ja-------Ei freilich!
Da ist die Sache schon verzeihlich.
Als er plötzlich seine Schritte hemmt
Ein Duft, der aus der Zelle kömmt.
Jedoch.....ein tüchtiger Soldat
Erweist sich auch als Kamerad
Und der Gefreite Zappenschlap
Geht rüstig auf und ab.
The Corruptible Guard
Before the jail walks back and forth
the valiant sergeant Pheebleworth.
There’s someone smoking there, I think.
My friend, you must desist that stink!
He’s smoking-------big deal!
The sergeant’s pardon is for real.
When suddenly outside the cell
His steps are halted by a smell.
And yet a soldier, brave and true,
Shows that he is a comrade, too.
Contented, Sergeant Pheebleworth
Continues to walk back and forth.
Figure 8: “The corruptible guard” by Friedel Peitmann
The elder daughter Johanne (born in Stadthagen February 8th, 1885, died there April 30th, 1960) remained unmarried. She helped her father, particularly after the end of World War I when his savings fell victim to the hyperinflation of 1923. On January 1st, 1925, Johanne took over the parental bookstore, although her father continued up to a ripe old age to bind books and to sell them. After she had managed the business for 28 years, she handed it over to Heinz Harten in 1953.
August Peitmann’s younger daughter
Margret (born in Stadthagen February 26th, 1887, died there July 3rd,
1944) got married on September 7th, 1912, to the businessman Johann
Grahl (born in Dresden February 5th, 1886, died April 6th,
1931), who was active in Stadthagen and in Berlin. They had two children:
Ursula and Friedel. Ursula (born September 11th, 1913, died November
8th, 1980) did not get married and was active in remedial education
in Clent Grove (West Midlands) in
I thank Dr. Anne-Liese Maass-Peitmann and the municipal archivist, Mr. Friedrich Bartels, (both Stadthagen) for his information on the present-day whereabouts of Friedel Peitmann’s works.
Dr. Heiner Peitmann’s genealogical card index
Literature: See German text
The first two generations of Peithmann Farmers
in the 19th Century in Unterlübbe
In the early 19th
century an event of great importance for the Peithmann families of the main branch ”B” took place: Friedrich David Peithmann (1778 –
1850), son of a family with a rich tradition of theologians, became a farmer
and the ancestor of 6 widespread rural family branches. The abolition of feudal
obligations, the construction of a new farmhouse and the emigration of the
first members of the family to the
Friedrich David Peithmann was
born in Frille as the fifth of 10 children of the pastor Eberhard David
Peithmann (1743 – 1814) and his wife Anna Rebecca née Stohlmann,
and he was baptised here on September 3rd, 1778. His father’s sphere
of activity was ecclesiastically part of the county or principality
Schaumburg-Lippe, where his ancestors had lived; politically it was part of the
There is no information on the youth of Friedrich David. In the entry documenting his marriage in 1807 he is mentioned as manager of Wietersheim Manor, situated west of Frille. We can only conjecture how he came to this position. Wietersheim had been an administrative unit for the Order of St. John of Jerusalem until the end of the 18th century. Until the end of 1796, the administrator of the Order had been Friedrich David Peithmann’s godfather, Major Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Kleist.
It is likely that there were
personal contacts between the pastor Eberhard David Peithman and the
administrator of the manor which was situated within the parish of Frille. And
von Kleist may have assigned tasks in the management of the manor to his
grown-up godchild. Obviously Friedrich David remained in the service of the
No details are known concerning the service of Friedrich David Peithmann in Wietersheim; the respective documents seem to be missing in the State Archives in Münster form the files of the Order and subsequent manor.
When the possibility of marrying into a farming family arose, Friedrich David gave up his management post. According to oral tradition a miller – probably the owner of the windmill of Rothenufflen near Unterlübbe – is said to have arranged the marriage. The 28-year-old Friedrich David Peithmann married the 40-year-old Caroline Sophie née Hahne, widow of Colon Johann Hermann (Ober-)Rodekopf on January 16th, 1807, on the farm at Unterlübbe nr. 16 in the Köhlterholz plat.
Johann Hermann Rodekopf (whose name had been Johann Hermann Peper until he changed his name to the name of his wife because she was the owner of the farm) from Hilverdingsen (par of Unterlübbe) had been married three times and had dies on April 20th, 1803, at the age of 62. He had 4 sons from his marriage on January 28th, 1759, to A. Marie Elis. Rodekopf, the heiress to the farm. The sons are mentioned in the church register as “at the present time all absent”. They were therefore not considered potential heirs to the farm. The second wife Anne Margrethe Vieland, whom he had married October 13th, 1796, had apparently remained childless. His daughter Caroline Wilhelmine Luise (born in Unterlübbe February 2nd, 1802), born from his third marriage on June 26th, 1800, to Caroline Sophie Hahne, had already died on January 29th, 1805.
Caroline Sophie Hahne was from Hamlin. She was the daughter of Anne Marie Elisabeth Lemke (born in Hamlin in 1722, died in Unterlübbe July 5th, 1804) and her third husband Johann Heinrich Andr. Hahne (died in Rothenufflen March 11th, 1793). A daughter from her first marriage to the citizen and brewer Wilhelm Bollmann in Hamlin had married the windmill operator Timm in Rothenufflen. It is to be supposed that the unusual marriage between the daughter of a middle class family from Hamlin, Caroline Sophie Hahne, and the farmer from Unterlübbe, Johann Hermann Rodekopf, had been arranged by Timm.
Figure 1; The married couple Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann and Marie Louise née Peper in Unterlübbe
Friedrich David Peithmann and Caroline Sophie née Hahne were married at home “because the bride was ill” and she expected to deliver very soon. The couple had 2 children, who were born in Unterlübbe: Caroline Regine Sophie and Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb.
Both siblings married half-siblings on October 16th, 1825. Caroline Regine Sophie (born in Unterlübbe February 7th, 1807, died in Hilverdingsen February 12th, 1887)married Hermann Ernst Heinrich Peper (born in Hilverdingsen April 30th, 1800, dies there 1844), son and heir of the farmer Joh. Ernst Heinrich Peper and his first wife An. Mar. Elis. née Wiethop in Hilverdingsen (Unterlübbe nr. 9). At least 4 children were born from that marriage:
1. Hermann Reinhard Dietrich Wilhelm (born November 20th, 1826),
2. Friederike Wilhelmine Louise (born February 22nd, 1830, died February 1844),
3. Karoline Wilhelmine (born February 2nd, 1833, died June 13th, 1894) married name Huck,
4. Wilhelmine Friederice (born March 26th, 1837).
Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb
Peithmann (born in Unterlübbe February 5th, 1809, died there January
5th, 1882)k, who was then only 16 years old and the prospective heir
of the farm, married Marie Louise Peper (born in Hilverdingsen December 4th,
1808, died in Unterlübbe September 26th, 1889), also 16 years old
and daughter of the farmer Joh. Ernst Heinrich Peper and his
second wife Christine Luise Charlotte née Siebe in Hilverdingsen.
Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb’s mother Caroline Sophie née Hahne had died June 4th,
1824 (according to an entry of her own in the church register of Bergkirchen).
As Friedrich David did not marry again, the early marriage of his son brought a
woman to the farm. The law court in
Through his marriage, Friedrich
David had become a
The occupants of the Rodekopf farm at Unterlübbe nr. 16 had to pay tax to Benkhausen Manor, northeast of Alswede Parish in the former district of Lübbecke. At the time of Friedrich David’s wedding in 1807, Philipp Klamor v. d. Bussche, called Münch, and after his death in 1808, his son, the “Imperial Russian Lieutenant Colonel” Georg Wilhelm v. d. Bussche, called Münch, appear as owners of the manor. In 1814, the colonel sold Benkhausen to his brother Karl, who was also district administrator of Lübbecke from 1813 until 1838 (v. d. Horst 1894-98). These two brothers were the negotiating partners of Friedrich David and Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb for 42 years until the farm was redeemed.
Sometimes there were
differences of opinion about the yearly rent payments to the landlord by the
The following persons were present 1. Colonus Friedrich Rodkop (= Friedrich David Peithmann) nr. 16 in Unterlübbe and declared:
I possess 6.6 acres of land located in Ufflen Woods for which must be paid yearly to Benkhausen Manor 7 Reichthtalers 10 Groschen and 8 Pfennigs (see note, p. 105) or 30 Francs 38 Centimes in pure gold. So far I have always paid this amount in gold, but I believe myself to only be obligated to pay in paper money, and I reserve my rights. Moreover, 2 Groschen 8 Pfennigs or 39 Centimes were refunded to me each time to pay for my meals.
Read aloud, approved and signed
Obviously Friedrich David Peithmann’s petition had no success with Georg Wilhelm v. d. Bussche-Münch, for in the subsequent years the payments were always marked “gold” in the registers.
In 1821 Friedrich David made an attempt to buy out his obligations to Benkhausen Manor. He sought the aid of his brother-in-law, Pastor Röscher in Lübbecke, who was married to his younger sister Caroline Friederike Wilhelmine. Certainly Friedrich David believed that the mediation by a respected person, who was more neutral in this matter and probably better known to the landlord, would help to get his agreement. Pastor Röscher wrote this letter to Karl v. d. Bussche-Münch (State Archives Münster, Benkhausen Dep. nr. 7341):
Most Worthy Baron,
Highly-Honoured District Administrator,
A relative of mine, the Colon Rothekopf nr. 16 at Uffeln, is obliged to pay a yearly canon (=rent) of 7 Reichsthalers 12 Groschen in gold from his land to your noble estate of Benckhausen. He wishes to buy out this canon, and he ahas asked me to inquire of your worthiness whether you will grant his wishes, and how much capital he would have to pay in this case? Requesting your esteemed reply, I remain respectfully
The most obedient servant of Your Worthiness, Roescher
Lübbecke, November 18th, 1821
(note by Baron v. d. Bussche-Münch:)
Pastor Röscher is to be informed that the sum for the letter of release for Colon Rothkopf is fixed at 186 Reichsthalers 4 Groschen in gold.
B, 2. 12. 21
This request seems to have remained without success. Only 31 years later was the farm at Unterlübbe nr. 16 exempted from the payments in the framework of a general reform of feudal obligations. Friedrich David Peithmann did not live to see that day, as he had died two years earlier, on February 6th, 1850.
Following an edict from 1811 a so-called General Commission was set up as a specialised administrative body for the “regulation of relations between landlords and peasants”. It was responsible for compensation former landlords for the loss of the feudal dues which the peasants owed as well as for the enclosure of common ground. a “special commissar”, often a specialist or civil servant from the local administration, carried out the process on the local level. According to a law of 1825 the general commissions – the one in Münster was responsible for Unterlübbe – set up district mediation authorities, consisting of the district administrator and two representatives from the district assembly, one each representing the landlords and the peasants. These authorities were charged with determining the appropriate compensation for the former landlords.
On August 19th, 1852, the Royal General Commission for Westphalia in Münster confirmed the redemption contract which had been signed on September 16th of the previous year between Baron v. d. Bussche-Münch and Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann, the relevant parts of which are cited here (State Archives in Münster, Benkhausen, Dep. 2341):
Between Baron von dem Bussche-Münch as the owner o Benkhausen Manor and the Colon Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann nr. 16 at Unterlübbe, holder of the so-called Rodekopf-Colonat, the following settlement has been concluded:
§ 1. On St. Michael’s Day (September 29th) of each year the Colon Peithmann was required to pay 7
Reichsthalers 13 silver Groschen 4 Pfennigs in gold or 8 Reichsthalers 13 silver Groschen 1
Pfennig in currency to the respective owners of Benkhausen Manor, and, in return, was entitled to
receive 2 silver – Groschen and 4 Pfennigs for meals.
§ 2. the aforementioned payments and repayments are herewith cancelled.
§ 3. The value of the payments is higher than the value of the counterpayments, and a reduction of the
compensation payment on the basis of § 63 of the Compensation Law of March 2nd, 1850, is not
requested. The remaining value of the payments after deduction of the value of the counter-
payments or the full rent is shown in column 5 of the summary in § 4. The tenant discharges all
obligations toward the full rent that is shown there by paying 18 times that amount in cash, and the
landlord has made claim to his legal authorisation to ask for bonds in the amount of 20 times the
§ 4. The following summary chart shows the amount which the tenant has to pay as compensation
capital and amounts, in bonds, and in cash from the Rentenbank Münster, to which the landlord is
1. nr. 1
2. Name of tenant: Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann nr. 16 – Unterlübbe
3. Description of the encumbered property:
of the farm and homestead: nr. 16 Unterlübbe
of the specially encumbered parcels: all properties of the farm
4. Volume and page of the mortgage register: Vol. I page 47
5. Amount of rent: 8 Reichsthalers 9 silver Groschen 9 Pfennigs
6. Redemption sum of 18 times this amount: 149 Reichsthalers 25 silver Groschen 6 Pfennigs
7. Date on which the capital must be paid: April 1st or October 1st following the publication of the confirmed contract
8. Of the compensation capital 148 ½ Reichsthalers will be paid to the state fund for the repayment of debts
9. The Rentenbank receives a yearly revenue from the state fund / 5% of item: 8/4 ½ percent of item: 10 / 7 Reichsthalers 12 silver Groschen 9 Pfennigs
The landlord receives:
10. in bonds: 165 Reichsthalers
11. the remainder in cash of: 1 Reichsthaler 10 silver Groschen 6 Pfennigs
12. Landlord: Baron von dem Bussche-Münch at Benkhausen near Lübbecke
§ 5. The rent cancelled by § 1 will be paid for the last time this year on St.Michael’s Day in the
way. From that date on until the payment of the compensation capital the
Peithmann will have to pay that proportion of the full rent mentioned in § 4 item 5 which is due for
that time directly to the landlord. And he will pay the sum mentioned in § 4 item 6 to the State
publication of the confirmed contract. At the same time the landlord will receive the sum
mentioned in items 10. and 11. of § 4 as compensation. The Royal Government is expressly
authorised by the landlord to force payment of the compensation capital in case of deferred
payment, including interest, through its commission.
§ 6. The interested parties request and consent that the payments mentioned in § 1 shall be deleted
in the property and mortgage registers for the property concerned following the receipt by the
State Cashier as soon as the compensation capital has been paid.
§ 7. The costs of this contract shall be born by the landlord for one half and by the tenant for one
half…The parties present request that a certified copy of this document be given to landlord and
tenant, and they have approved this contract after it has been read aloud and they sign as
1. Baron von dem Bussche Münch at Benkhausen
2. Colon Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann nr. 16: Unterlübbe
Member of Econ. Comm.
The details of how Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann managed to pay the high compensation sum are not known. In general the farmers received a loan from banks that had been set up especially for this purpose. The compensation sums went into the till of the Prussian government.
Property registers used for tax assessment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including those for the Peithmann homestead at Unterlübbe nr. 16, are kept in the State Archives of Detmold. From them, we can get an idea of the size of the farm, the location of the different parcels of land, the way in which they were used as well as their value, and thereby gain insight into the economic history of the farm. These registers were kept up to date and thus allow us a chronological ordering of all changes which took place.
April 4th, 1831, “Friedrich Rodekopf nr. 16, residing at
Unterlübbe” confirmed receipt of the following registers of the “Royal Land
Registry Commission” of the administrative district of Minden (State Archives
nr. name of the plot type size class taxable net yield
1. Unterlübberberg brush 3.393 2 3 6 9
2. Neue Feld field 0.934 1 7 26 7
same field 0.467 2 3 7 7
3. same field 3.086 1 26 2 1
4. Neben Rodekops field 5.556 1 46 28 1
5. Unter Rodekops field 1.193 1 10 2 6
6. same field 0.637 1 5 11 7
7. same field 2.095 1 17 20 11
8. Unter Mansen Hofe field 1.391 1 36 7 3
9. same field 0.349 1 5 29 5
10. same field 4.290 1 36 7 3
same field 0.857 2 5 29 5
11. Stallbrink field 1.863 1 15 22 1
same field 0.372 2 2 17 11
12. Köhlterholz pasture 1.330 4 1 7 11
13. same garden 1.133 2 9 17 4
14. same farm- 0.541 1 4 17 4
15. same orchard 0.353 1 2 29 8
16. same wood 0.376 1 25 1
17. same pasture 2.519 3 9 17 4
18. Ritterbruch peat 3.525 1 6 21 1
19. Köhlterbruch pasture 2.260 2 14 9 8
20. Am Pattwegen field 0.684 1 5 23 6
total 41.242 268 19 10
Classification of the buildings according to their rental value
Köhlterholz nr. 16, house, taxable net yield: 9 Thalers
1 acre = 1.584 Prussian Morgen
1Thaler = 30 silver Groschen = 360 Pfennigs
The “taxable net yield”
for a parcel of land was calculated on the basis of the “Rates for taxable Plat
Yields” (State Archives in
In the property register of 1866 (State Archives in Detmold,M5C, nr. 497) 32 parcels of land with a total size of 51.203 American acres and a “taxable net yield” of “333 Thalers 72/100” are mentioned (for the Peithmann/Rodekopf farm). The parcel under nr. 1 in the chart of 1831 is missing, but 11 pasture parcels in the Lübberholz plat are mentioned for the first time. These plots were probably added to the farm after the common grounds had been split up into private property.
In the year 1908 the
local government in
Excerpt from the property register
nr. name of the plot type size net yield
1. Köhlter Bruch pasture 3.742 9 58
2. Unter Mansen Hofe field 20.47 99 77
3. same field 22.83 106 24
4. Köhlterholz pasture 2.88 9 12
5. same yard 3.282 . .
6. same garden 0.9789 . .
7. same field 1.997 7 78
8. same field 2.46 7 99
9. Köhlterholzwiesen pasture 5.089 18 19
10. Oben den field 14.52 50 15
annual property tax: 89 Marks 75Pfennigs
Figure 2shows the old Rodekopf Farmhouse which Friedrich David Peithmann took over at his marriage. This old two-storey house must have had dimensions of 18 m by 22 m judging from the number of uprights. After members of the Peithmann families lived and worked in it for almost 7 decades, in only served as a barn. It must have been in very bad shape. But after the enlargement of the farm and the improvement of farming methods, it was no longer sufficient to serve as a storage place for grain, straw, hay, etc. and there were not enough stables for the animals. The new for-storey farmhouse (see figure 3) is 20 m wide and 40 m long. The inscription in the lintel reads:
EBERHARD PEITHMANN AND LUISE PEITHMANN NEE PEPER
WILHELM PEITHMANN AND KAROLINE NEE FOLLE
NR. 16 BUILT IN 1876
Family Name – Farm Name
In the 19th century the name that was used for the members of the family on the farm Unterlübbe nr. 16 was usually not the family name Peithmann, but the farm’s name Rodekopf, which is still alive today. Keeping the name of the farm even after the family name has changed by marriage is an old custom of the Minden-Ravensberg area. Therefore Friedrich David’s predecessor on the Unterlübbe farm, Johann Hermann Peper, took the name of his wife A. Marie Elis. Rodekopf upon their wedding in 1759. In the same way Friedrich David Peithmann is called “Rodekopf” or “Rodekopf né Peithmann” in the church registers and in the documents of the State Archives, although in this case his wife had a different maiden name and no blood relation existed with the “Rodekopfs”. The people around them simply continued to use the traditional farm name according to the old, unwritten rules.
Only in 1928 did a
decree by the then Senior President of
Figure 2: The old Rodekopf farmhouse in Unterlübbe nr. 16
Figure 3: The house built in 1876 on the farm Unterlübbe nr. 16. In front are Eberhard
Peithmann’s son Wilhelm and his wife Karoline née Folle (third and second from
the left) with their children Wilhelm (left), Friederike (fourth from the left),
Karoline, Ludwig, Hermann, Fritz and Heinrich.
Eberhard Peithmann’s Children
Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann and Marie Luise Peper had 13 children:
1. Friederike Wilhelmine K a r o l i n e (born September 27th, 1827), see below
2. Ernst Heinrich F r i e d r i c h Eberhard (born May 28th, 1830), see below
3. Karoline L o u i s e Wilhelmine (born March 13th, 1833), see below
4. Friederike W i l h e l m i n e Christine (born January 29th, 1835), see below
5. E r n s t Ludwig Andreas (born November 2nd, 1836, died April 16th, 1916), married to Caroline Regine Wilhelmine Rieher on the farm at Südhemmern nr. 21 on July 1st, 1864 (see Part I of this Chronicle, pp. 29 – 49),
Friedrich H e r m a n n (born December 27th, 1838, die May
19th, 1920) emigrated to
7. daughter, stillborn September 9th, 1840,
8. August Heinrich W i l h e l m (born August 29th, 1841) inherited the farm (see p. 113)
9. Eberhard H e i n r i c h Ludwig (born April 29th, 1844, died April 23rd, 1897), married Sophie Charlotte Weber née Siebe on September 21st, 1872, on the farm nr. 16 at Frotheim (former district of Lübbecke),
10. F r i e d e r i k e Luise Regine (born March 26th, 1846), see below
11. Wilhelm L u d w i g Eberhard (born May 18th, 1848, died February 21st, 1920);
12. C h r i s t i a n Friedrich Ludwig (born March 22nd, 1850, died April 22nd, 1856);
13. Eberhard Christian F r i e d r
i c h, “
All sons and sons-in-law
of Eberhard Peithmann became farmers in either
Karoline (born September 27th, 1827), on December 3rd, 1843, was married in Bergkirchen to Johann H e r m a n n Friedrich Wessel (born November 24th, 1821, died August 14th, 1865) from Hilverdingsen (Unterlübbe nr. 15), son and heir of the late Colon Friedrich Wilhelm Wessel né Krughoff and his late wife Ag. Mar. Ilsab. Wessel. It is not known how many children were born during the first five years of their marriage. On April 7th, 1869, their daughter, who had been born on September 29th, 1845, married the Colon Friedrich Wilhelm Kasten from the neighbouring farm at Eickhorst nr. 9. In the church registers of Bergkirchen the births of the following children are registered in the years 1849 until 1851:
Friedrich Wilhelm August Eberhard (born September 27th, 1849, died April 4th, 1933),
Ernst Friedrich Hermann (born July 24th, 1851, died March 15th, 1852),
Friederice Marie Louise (born September 22nd, 1853, die June 6th, 1854),
Hermann Andreas Heinrich (born October 1st, 1855, died August 4th, 1859),
Caroline Marie L o u i s e (born September 6th, 1857) and
Regine Friederike Caroline (born March 29th, 1861).
When Hermann Wessel died of tuberculosis at the age of 44 he left his wife and 7 children not yet of age.
The eldest son Friedrich (born May 28th, 1830) was the first member of the family to
emigrate to the
Figure 4: The married
couple Louis Huck and Louise née Peithmann in Hoyleton (
(born March 13th, 1833, died May 27th, 1873) married
Louis Huck (born in Rothenuffeln May 14th, 1827, died July 21st,
1885) in Bergkirchen on March 22nd, 1849. Louis was the second son
of Colon Heinrich Christian Huck and Sophie Marie Elisabeth née Meyer. Next to
the wedding entry in the church register is the remark that the couple intended
to emigrate to the
1. Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig (born March 15th, 1852, died October 2nd, 1853),
2. Friedrich Henry L o u i s (born January 10th, 1855, died June 3rd, 1943) married to Regina Herseman,
3. John H e n r y (born February 24th, 1857, died August 1st, 1940) married to Wilhelmina Elizabeth Hake,
4. Elisabeth (born March 8th, 1859, died May 30th, 1943) married to Henry F. Dueker
5. John (born June 13th, 1861, died September 20th, 1943) married Emilie Nickles,
6. Maria Luise (born November 17th, 1863, died January 1st, 1865),
7. Anna Carolina (born January 11th, 1866, died August 23rd, 1867),
9. Emma Martha (born November 8th, 1870, died October 31st, 1872).
When Louis Huck died in
1885 he owned about 600 acres of farmland. The farm was split among the five
children Louis, Henry, Elisabeth, John and
5 years after Louise’
emigration Wilhelmine (born January 29th, 1835, died July 6th,
1910) followed her sister’s example in 1854. On August 9th, 1855,
she married Friedrich W. Krughoff (born November 23rd, 1929, died
January 1st, 1910) who originated from Rothenufflen and who had come
1. Mary Martha (1856 – 1928), married Henry E. Hoffmann,
4. Anna W. (1863 – 1918), married William Elmers,
5. Wilhelma Maria (1865 – 1951), married Louis Bernreuter,
6. Louis Edward (1968 – 1936), married Anna Schlinger,
7. Edward Henry (1871 – 1939), married Lydia Hake,
8. Lydia Martha (1873 – 1963), married Frank Hake,
9. Julius Henry (1878 – 1967), married Sarah Hake, and
10. Albert Carl (1880 – 1953), married Millie Brink.
Figure 5: The couple Friedrich W. Krughoff and Wilhelmine née Peithmann in Hoyleton
Friederike ( born March 26th, 1846, died July 1st, 1881) married the heir Christian Heinrich Wittemeier on October 4th, 1867, on the farm nr. 48 in Wittloge, part of Hille. The properties comprised about 60 Morgen of fields and pasture. The couple had 6 children:
1. Caroline Marie (born February 5th, 1868, died October 25th, 1869),
2. Marie Wilhelmine Sophie (born November 11th, 1870, died November 28th, 1870),
3. Caroline Wilhelmine Friederike (born December 4th, 1871),
4. Caroline Marie Luise (born May 24th, 1874)
5. Christian Heinrich (born August, 22nd, 1876),
6. Caroline Marie Sophie (born February 23rd, 1879).
I thank the following relatives for their information, notes and photos: Debra Bartelsmeyer, Edward Huck and Irvin F. Krughoff (all USA) as well as Alwine Meyer (Enger), Lieselotte Peithmann (Hille-Unterlübbe), Heinrich Peithmann (Rostock), Hermann Peithmann sen. and jun. (Hille-Südhemmern) and Dr. Ludolf Peithmann (Hagen).
1841 – 1919 in Unterlübbe
August Heinrich Wilhelm Peithmann was born on August 8th, 1841, in Unterlübbe, as the eighth of 13 children of the Colon Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann (1809 – 1882) and his wife Marie Luise Peper (1808 – 1889). He inherited the parental farm nr. 16 in Unterlübbe.
On January 28th, 1870, Wilhelm Peithmann married Marie Droste (born in Eickhorst June 28th, 1850, died January 12th, 1875). Two children were born in this marriage: Wilhelm (I.) and Marie. On November 9th, 1877, he remarried, this time with Marie Karoline Wilhelmine Folle (born in Rothenufflen February 2nd, 1856, died May 25th, 1942), daughter of Colon Wilhelm Folle and his wife Marie Luise née Meyer. Wilhelm Peithmann had 8 children with her: Wilhelm (II.), Fritz, Karoline, Heinrich, Ludwig, Hermann, Friederike and August.
Figure 1: The couple Wilhelm Peithmann and Karoline née Folle with daughter Marie and son
Wilhelm about 1880
Wilhelm was described by his children as a strict but basically rather good-natured and understanding father. The sons, daughters, and later the grandchildren, were allowed to use the meadow adjacent to the farmhouse as their playground on Sundays, together with boys and girls from the neighbourhood and from related families. In those times this concession to the children was certainly an exception for the economically minded farmer. His sense of family also found expression in his will. In it he decreed that any of the children who, through no fault of their own, should fall upon hard times would be able to return to the parental farm.
Figure 2: Wilhelm Peithmann and Karoline née Folle with their children; from left: Marie
(seated), Heinrich, Ludwig, Karoline, Fritz, Hermann, Wilhelm and Friederike
Wilhelm’s children often told of an event, which bears witness to his and his father Eberhard’s strong will. Wilhelm had been nominated as president of his church congregation. When the pastor heard of this he said: “I knew his father. Whatever he did not want, he did not do. I have no use for this man.”
Wilhelm died in Unterlübbe at the age of 78 on November 27th, 1919. His second wife Karoline survived him by 23 years. She was an energetic, practical woman, who remained a tough person in her old age. Her grandchildren knew her as a resolute grandmother who had a strong influence on their upbringing. She knew many rules of life, and her advice was always appreciated on the farm by the members of the family as well as farmhands.
born August 22nd, 1870, died December 30th, 1870
born October 3rd, 1871, died February 6th, 1924
Marie, the only
surviving child from Wilhelm Peithmann’s marriage to Marie Droste, married
August Wiese (born December 28th, 1861, died February 6th,
1936), heir to a farm, on February 6th, 1891, in Südhemmern nr. 15 in the
born July 29th, 1879, died May 6th, 1968
Wilhelm was the
eldest son from the second marriage of Wilhelm Peithmann, with Karoline née
Folle. After having attended elementary school in Unterlübbe, he started to
work on the parental farm. From 1897 until the end of 1899 he served in the “4th
Driving Battery of the 2nd Westphalian Field Artillery Regiment nr. 22” in
Figure 3: Tilling the fields on the Peithmann farm during World War I, when all 5 sons of Wilhelm had been drafted, from the left: one of the two French prisoners of war, Friederike Peithmann and August Wessel, grandson of Wilhelm’s eldest sister Karoline (see p. 108), who helped on his great-uncle’s farm for one year before being drafted in 1917. In the background the Rodekopf farmhouse can be seen, which was torn down in 1922.
Figure 4: The couple August Wiese and Marie née Peithmann in Südhemmern
On December 8th,
1907, Wilhelm married Karoline W i l h e
l m i n e Friederike Münnich (born in
Rothenuffeln August 20th, 1889, died in Wimmer, March 24th,
1971), daughter of the new farmer Friedrich Münnich and his wife Wilhelmine
Rüter in Unterlübbe. At that time, it was possible for the sons of farmers who
were not entitled to inherit the farm to acquire homestead in what was then the
Wilhelm participated in World War I from the beginning on he Eastern as well as on the Western Front. For 18 months he was dispatched to an economic unit; in 1916 he became a non-commissioned officer and in 1918 he became sergeant. In 1917 he received the Iron Cross 2nd Class. Agribusiness in Posen was mainly in the hands of German agricultural c-operatives. Until April, 1926, Wilhelm was a member of the board of directors of the local dairy co-operative, the German Grain Storage Co-operative, and the livestock marketing co-operative of Janowitz. When he retired, these enterprises acknowledged the faithful fulfilment of the co-operative duties and the exemplary conduct in positions of honour by the “extremely efficient farmer”.
After the war, the
Allies determined in the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th, 1918,
Wilhelm now looked
for a new farm in
However, when in
March 1927 the family took over the farm with about 46 acres they discovered
great deficiencies in the buildings, the fields and the pasture – just as the
other settlers did on their farms. Without the energetic help of his four adult
children, the new start in
Figure 6: The so-called “Heimatschein” (=certificate of citizenship) of the couple Wilhelm
Peithmann and Wilhelmine Peithmann
née Münnich, issued in
the regional administrator for their residency in Gontsch (district of Znin), which
had become Polish
Wilhelm Peithmann grew mainly grain in Grenzvorwerk; on 7 to 10 acres of fields he grew starch potatoes. He sold the grain to the main agricultural co-operative in neighbouring Trachenberg and the potatoes to a flake factory.
World War II put an end to this period of a successful new start. In January 1945 Wilhelm Peithmann with his family had to leave what had become their third home. He described his flight in details in a diary, from which we are citing excerpts here:
January 21st (Sunday): At half past seven in the morning, a convoy started the flight from the Russian army with 9 wagons from Grenzvorwerk. On the first day it covered about 27 miles to Wahlau.
January 22nd: We continued to Parchwitz, via Leubis, about 10 miles northeast of Liegnitz.
January 23rd: We got as far as Koischwitz near Liegnitz, where we stopped for 3 days, for men and animals were exhausted, since it was a hard winter with snow and ice.
We separated from the rest of the wagon train together with our daughter Frieda
an her 3 children in order to seek shelter on the arm
of our daughter-in-law Gerda in Herzogswaldau (about 3 miles south-east of
Jauer), for we hoped that the Russians would be stopped at the river
In the early morning we were liberated by a reconnaissance division of German
tanks, we continued our flight quickly in the direction of Hirschberg (
February 16th: The young women and children were transported by freight train to Hirschberg. We (=Wilhelm and his wife) stayed alone.
February 20th: We had to sell our horses and wagon, because we could not find any fodder; the wagon no longer had brakes, and the horses needed horseshoes.
February 21st: Soldiers took us to Hirschberg in their trucks
February 22nd: We got to Polaun on a special train.
We rode to Taunwald near Dux (
We continued by train to
we continued via
February 27th: At half past three in the morning our flight ended at brother Hermann’s at Unterlübbe.
At first, Wilhelm and
Wilhelmine Peithmann found shelter with the brother on the parental farm at
Unterlübbe. In the winter of 1962 the couple moved to Wimmer near Bad Essen,
where the families of their sons Hermann and Ludwig had settled. Here they
lived off their pension paid by the system of financial compensation for losses
suffered during World War II (financed by home owners in the western part of
For many occasions and circumstances Wilhelm Peithmann knew fitting remarks, marginalia, poems and Biblical quotations. One of the apt and dryly satirical poems from his rural days went:
He who sells his good milk
and drinks the bad with his children,
he who sells butter
and eats margarine himself,
he who buys expensive fodder from abroad
and loves to complain afterwards,
that he does not get a decent price for his grain-
is a stupid cow with no horns.
In 1967 the married couple could celebrate the rare “diamond anniversary” (= 60 years of marriage). Wilhelm had suffered a stroke on December 28th, 1966, but he did not survive a second stroke on May 6th, 1968. His wife Wilhelmine followed him to the grave on March 24th, 1971. Both were buried on the cemetery in Lintorf near Bad Essen.
eldest daughter Wilhelmine (born June 6th, 1908) spent her
first six years with her grandparents at Unterlübbe. On April 28th,
1933, she married the then farmer Artur Scholz (born August 3rd,
1905, died in Langendamm October 16th, 1978) in Deutscheich
(district of Militsch,
1. Eleonore (born October 19th, 1933) married to Walter Mesenbrink in Nienburg,
2. Werner (born May 13th, 1937) custodian in Nienburg, married to Almuth Ulrich,
3. Siegfried (born June 27th, 1942, died in Deutscheich July 11th, 1942) and
4. Hubertus (born October 20th, 1943) senior inspector at the Labour Office in Nienburg,
married to Renate Brauer.
Wilhelm (born June 18th,
1909) went into business and worked in a shop selling musical instruments and
radios in Herrnstadt (district of Guhrau,
Ludwig (born January 24th, 1912 died in Wimmer January 21st, 1980) became a farmer and worked with his father on the settler’s farm in Grenzvorwerk. At the outbreak of World War II he was drafted as a soldier. On December 26th, 1941, he was married to Gerda Scholz (born in Herzogswaldau May 30th, 1919) in Herzogswaldau (district of Jauer). His wife worked on her farm together with her two sisters. After his return from captivity Ludwig came to Unterlübbe, and he had his wife and daughter Renate (born July 2nd, 1943) join him there. Until 1953 the family lived in Frotheim (former district of Lübbecke), where Ludwig learnt the trace of masonry. Together with his brother Hermann, he built a house in Wimmer, where he lived until his death. Ludwig liked to play the piano, the accordion, and later the organ during his free time.
Marie (born October 17th,
1913) at first helped her parents on their farm in Grenzvorwerk. On July 2nd,
1936, she married a technical inspector of the Imperial Railway, Herbert Stamke
(born in Trachenberg August 23rd, 1911, die in Löhne May 11th,
1948). The family lived in Gellendorf-Stroppen (
1. Ingrid (born February 6th, 1939) married to Ingo Dupke, ship’s captain in Kappel (Schlei),
2. Karin (born July
1st, 1941) married Manfred Vogt, tax consultant in
3. Heidrun (born
May 24th, 1943) married to Heinz Drescher, designer in
Frieda (born September 30th,
1920) also worked on the parental farm in Grenzvorwerk until her marriage. On
October 26th, 1940, she wed the police chief Andreas Guggenberger
(born in Unteraltenbernheim September 21st, 1915) in Korsenz
(district of Militsch), and they lived in Rawitsch until 1945, about 2 miles
from Grenzvorwerk, east of the Polish-German border. She fled from there
together with her brother Ludwig’s wife and her sisters
first to the
1. Warmund (born in Trachenberg November 27th, 1941), police chief in Braunschweig,
married first to Lieselotte Dülker and later to Carola Poppe,
2. Manfred (born in
Trachenberg October 18th, 1943, died in
3. Heidemarie (born
later to Walter Müller, businessman in Lemgo.
Hermann (born November 22nd, 1921) spent his youth on the farm in Grenzvorwerk and took part in World War II in several European countries after June 1940. He was injured three times, and he was decorated with the Iron Cross. On July 10th, 1947, he married Marianne Welcke (born March 14th, 1922) in Wimmer (former district of Wittlage), who was heir to a farm. She took a very active part in the genealogical research concerning the Peithmann families, especially in the Osnabrück area. Hermann holds official posts in addition to working on the farm. Among other things he was juror at the court in Osnabrück for four years and since 1976 he has been township trustee of the consolidated community of Bad Essen. – On August 10th, 1948, their daughter Heidrun was born. She married the high school teacher Helmut Spieker (born September 29th, 1946) on November 8th, 1968, and on October 31st, 1980, in a second marriage the archivist Dr. Christoph Battenberg (born in Erbach in Odenwald, September 2nd, 1947). She has a son, Stefan (born in Osnabrück June 6th, 1969).
Wilhelm’s youngest son Herbert (born June 9th, 1928, died September 9th, 1929) died as an infant in Grenzvorwerk.
( born August 27th, 1881, died 1914)
Fritz followed the
example of his elder brother Wilhelm and also took over a homestead near
Gontsch in the district of Znin in the Prussian
born August 3rd, 1883, died September 9th, 1964
school Karoline worked in agriculture. She married the farm owner Heinrich
Bekemeyer (born February 7th, 1881, died May 29th, 1950)
in Unterlübbe nr. 13 in the district of Minden on May 23rd,
1913. The latter served with the “2nd Guard Regiment on Foot”
1. Rudolf (born April 3rd, 1914, die February 6th, 1937), sailor
2. Hermann (born July 25th, 1918), industrial manager in Oberlübbe, married to Anneliese
3. Heinrich (born May 11th, 1920, died March 28th, 1967), livestock dealer, married to
4. Lina (born March 13th, 1922,), inherited the farm, married to Erich Heidenreich, and
5. Alwine (born September 10th, 1923), banker, married to Karl-Heinz Lenger.
Figure 10: The Peithmann family in Unterlübbe on the occasion of a furlough of their
son-in-law Bekemeyer in 1915; from the left, standing: Friederike Peithmann,
Lina Peithmann née Ostermeier and Heinrich Bekemeyer; sitting: Karoline
Peithmann née Folle, Wilhelm Peithmann and Karoline Bekemeyer née Peith-
mann with son Rudolf
born June 16th, 1885, died March 8th, 1958
Heinrich became a farmer. On July 2oth, 1920, he married Sophie Quade (born May 15th, 1888, died March 19th, 1945) on the farm nr. 24 in Frotheim in the former district of Lübbecke. 58 acres belonged to the Quade farm. His crippled wife found a devoted husband in Heinrich Peithmann. He actively supported his younger brother Ludwig in the Ludendorff movement. The couple had two daughters : Lina and Elfriede.
Lina (born November 16th,
1924) married Kurt Twiehoff (born November 16th, 1924) on June 29th,
1. Reimund (born in Frotheim July 29th, 1946) surveying engineer, married to Renate Gursky,
2. Helmut (born in
Elfriede (born July 9th, 1926) inherited her parents’ farm. She married Wilhelm Beckschewe (born August 2nd, 1933) on May 27th, 1955 and had 3 children:
1. Ortwin (born December 10th, 1955), mechanical engineer,
2. Dagmar (born January 5th, 1957), employee, and
3. Detlef (born April 11th, 1962), apprentice businessman.
born August 21st, 1887, died May 13th, 1960
The only one of Wilhelm
Peithmann’s sons who did not become a farmer was Ludwig (“Louis”). After he had
excelled with very good grades during elementary school, his parents sent him
to a preparatory school and to the teacher’s training college in Petershagen
From 1910 until
1911 Ludwig served with the second marine battalion in
Following his education and his military service, Ludwig held the position of second teacher in Blasheim, in the former district of Lübbecke. When the new school in Blasheim-Masch was inaugurated in April 1914, he was doted with that post. In addition to his professional activities, Ludwig participated in the creation of a purchasing and selling co-operative in Blasheim and furthered the development of German black-and-white cattle breeding in the Westphalian breeding book society.
In 1922 Ludwig
asked the district government of
When in 1926 his sabbatical leave as a teacher had come to an end Ludwig returned to his school service in view of the very uncertain economic situation at the time, so that he would not have to renounce his acquired rights as a civil servant. Ludwig became a teacher in the one-room school in Seelenfeld near Loccum. Ludwig enjoyed life in this village. The farmers trusted him because he was always there to give them advice or a helping had as well as because he provided practical training for their children after they completed their schooling. He also had a close relationship to those Seelenfelders who went to sea on the fish trawlers and on herring luggers and whose cosmopolitan attitudes he valued.
During his time in
Seelenfeld Ludwig became a member of the “Tannenberg Alliance”, a
philosophical-ideological movement, which had been initiated by General
Ludendorff ad his wife Mathilde. Ludwig participated enthusiastically in the
“Tannenberg Alliance” as a speaker at their meetings and as leader of
educational seminars in all parts of
The Third Reich did
not met with his approval. Therefore, he was forced to
retire as early as 1935. Following this, together with a Mr. Dahl, whom he had
met on one of his many series of lectures, he founded a company for the
production of measuring instruments. The outbreak of World War II put an end to
the expansion of this firm. In 1941 he began producing armament components, and
after the end of the war he manufactured household appliances for the Dr.
Oetker company in
Ludwig Peithmann was popular both with his pupils as well as later with his workers. He was a politically and ideologically dedicated personality, who consciously broke with many traditional customs and habits and who had not only a great number of like-minded friends, but understandably bitter opponents as well.
In Ennigloh, on
June 19th, 1915, Ludwig married Lina Ostermeier (born July 2nd,
1893, died September 24th, 1938), daughter of the future grocer
Hermann Ostermeier in
Spradow and his wife Ilsabein Ebmeier. Two sons, Ludolf and Ortwin, were born t
the couple. On August 20th, 1955, he married Paula Kipp (born in
Ennigloh Aril 22nd, 1899, died July 11th, 1980), a cousin
of his first wife. She had been working in the household of the family as early
as during their stay in
Figure 12: Ludwig Peithmann and Lina née Ostermeier and their sons Ortwin (left) and
Ludolf in Seelenfeld
The eldest son Ludolf
(born in Spradow December 31st, 1916) graduated from high school
in Bünde. At that time it was necessary to do labour service in order to be
allowed into university. After his compulsory military service from 1936 to
1938 and an additional year as reserve officer cadet, World War II broke out.
Ludolf participated in the battles in the West as well as in the East – finally
as commander or a battalion. Before he was wounded and taken prisoner in
Gudrun (born in Hävern
October 28th, 1944)studied law from 1964
until 1970 at the universities of
Ortwin (born in Valdorf
June 4th, 1946) studied mechanical engineering in Hannover from 1968
until 1969 and then regional planning in
Ute (born in Hannover
December 9th, 1952) studied business administration in
younger son Ortwin (born in Blasheim May 27th, 1919, died
January 24th, 1944) intended to become a flight captain after
Figure 13: Ortwin Peithmann
born June 18th, 1890, died September 26th, 1972
Wilhelm’s youngest son Hermann inherited the farm in Unterlübbe nr. 16. Immediately after graduating from school, he began helping his father with the farm. In World War I he took part in the French Campaign.
comrade from the “58ers” in
“After the fall of Liège we had to rush to the aid of the Commanding
General of the Cavalry, von Kluck, in fast marches. With this army he had
advanced to the area close to
Figure 14: Hermann Peithmann and Friederike née Riechmann in Unterlübbe on their golden
On April 15th, 120, Hermann married Friederike Riechmann (born February 18th, 1896), daughter of the Colon Christian Riechmann and his wife Karoline von Behren in Südhemmern. Hermann’s father had died the previous year. Both spouses invested a lot of love for agriculture into the farm which they increased to about 68 acres by buying additional land. Hermann is one of the founders of the savings bank in Unterlübbe. Until old age he was a well-respected man in the village whom people often asked for advice. He died at the age of 82 years in the family of his daughter in Enger, where he had gone to live during the last weeks of his life because of severe heart trouble.
Six children were born to Hermann Peithmann and Friederike née Riechmann: Rudolf, Alwine, Hermann, Erna, Ludwig and Willi. But the family happiness was soon overcast by shadows of illness and war.
Hermann’s eldest son Rudolf (born April
15th, died December 12th, 1943) graduated from high
Figure 15: Rudolf Peithmann
Figure 16: Rudolf Peithmann’s grave near
Alwine (born May 4th, 1922) worked in her father’s household and farm until her 29th year. During the absence of her two brothers at the time of World War II, she was the only help for her parents. On July 22nd, 1951, she married the physician Roland Meyer (born January 8th, 1914) in Enger, son of Dr. Paul Meyer and his wife Helene née Thomin. The couple had four children:
1. Ulrike (born June 29th, 1952),
physician at the
2. Gernot (born May 21st, 1954)
physician at the
3. Dietrich (born August 26th, 1955),
law student in
4. Holger (born September 20th, 1964) about to graduate from high school.
January 6th, 1924, died December 30th, 1968), as the
youngest son, inherited the paternal farm in Unterlübbe nr. 16. Immediately
after graduating from school
On October 28t, 1955, Hermann married Lieselotte Meyer (born October 10th, 1934), daughter of the farmer Ludwig Meyer and his wife née Bruning from the farm Unterlübbe nr. 2. Four children came out of this marriage:
1. Rudolf (born May 27th, 1956),
police officer in
2. Eberhard (born January 7th, 1958),
student of German and history in
3. Gudrun (born May 17th, 1960),
medical student in
4. Anke (born October13th, 1962), medical
Hermann invested all his remaining energy in his family and farm. During his free time he devoted himself to the nature of his homeland, especially the birds. While still in grade school, his teacher had called him “the natural scientist Herman Peithmann”. He became an expert on birds of prey and the birds in the Bastau marshes. Hermann died at the age of 44, leaving behind his wife and children, as well as his parents.
Erna (born September 3rd, 1925, died June 16th, 1943) and Ludwig (born May 25th, 1927, died September 13th, 1935) died of effects of polio. Willi (born July 9th, 1929, died February 21st, 1930) died as an infant.
born December 20th, 1892, died November 28th, 1965
Friederike grew up as the baby of the family
among many brothers and sisters. She was unable to realise her wish to become a
teacher. When her brothers went to World War I she had to take care of the
parental farm. On April 3rd, 1918, she married the then deputy
officer August Adam (born in Lieme/Lippe March 13th, 1889, died
August 20th, 1968). The couple had met through Friederike’s brother
Hermann, who did his military service with August Adam
in the field artillery regiment nr. 58 in the
Figure 18: August Adam and Friederike née
born November 5th, 1896, died December 2nd, 1896
I thank the following ladies and gentlemen for
their contributions and information: Wilfried Adam (
Church registers of Bergkirchen, district of Minden-Lübbecke
Peithmann, H. (1979): Nachfahrenliste von August Heinrich Wilhelm Peithmann. Rostock
see German text
The Farmer Ernst Ludwig Andreas Peithmann
1836 – 1916 in Südhemmern and his Descendants
Of the 13 children of
Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann (1809 – 1882), farmer in nr. 16 Unterlübbe in the
E r n s t Ludwig Andreas (1836 – 1916) “Südhemmern” branch,
Eberhard Richard H e r m a n n (1838 – 1919) „Hoyleton“ (USA) branch,
August Heinrich W i l h e l m (1841 – 1919) „Unterlübbe“ branch,
Eberhard H e i n r i c h Ludwig (1844 – 1897) „Frotheim“ branch,
Wilhelm L u d w i g Eberhard (1848 – 1920) “Wulferdingsen” branch, and
F r i e d r i c h , „Frederick“, (1853 – 1934) „Sedalia“ (USA) branch.
Ernst Ludwig Andreas was born the fifth child on November 2nd, 1836. When he left school he first worked on his parents’ farm, where he was the eldest remaining son.
On July 1st, 1864,
Ernst married Caroline Wilhelmine Regine Rieher (born September 22nd,
1844, died April 19th, 1920) who was to inherit the farm nr. 21 Südhemmern in the
The engagement agreement of 1864 has survived; it is as follows:
“The following contract has been discussed and drawn up between Farmer Eberhard Peithmann, nr. 16 Unterlübbe and Farmer Rieher, nr. 21 Südhemmern:
The son of Farmer Peithmann, Ernst Peithmann, and the daughter of Farmer Rieher, Wilhelmine Caroline Regine Rieher, have become engaged with their parents’ consent and intend to marry in church within a short time. In the case of this marriage the father of the bridegroom Farmer Eberhard Peithmann is to pay the sum of 3.200 Thalers Corant (i.e. fully valued money) at Christmas this year to Farmer Rieher the bride’s father as his son Ernst Peithmann’s share of the inheritance. At the same time as putting money into the property as is the custom in this district. The bridal carriage is to be delivered in the autumn of this year and the money at the time of the engagement.
Both parties are bound to honour this agreement once it is signed. As acknowledgement of this, having read the agreement, the signatures follow.
Südhemmern, the 3rd of June 1864
Carl Rieher nr. 21 Südhemmern
Er. Peper as witness.“
As well as the agreed sum of 3.200 Thalers Ernst Peithmann brought from his parents’ farm in Südhemmern a further 800 Thalers. For this reason Carl Rieher handed over his property t his son-in-law on his daughter’s marriage.
The farm had 56 morgens of arable land and grassland (1 morgen equals about 2 acres). The still existent door the timbered house which was demolished in 1976 has this inscription with the name of the farm’s owner and builder:
JOHAN CORDT WIESE AND ILSABEIN ROLFING ANNO 1756
M JOHAN CHRISTIAN FABRI ANNO DOMINI 1756
The thatched farm house had a
perpendicular gable at the front. The entrance lay back under it and afforded a
protection from rain when unharnessing the horses. As was often the case in the
Ernst Peithmann had to work hard on his newly acquired farm. He managed to do well by his children and to hand on the property of 38 morgens free of debts. His grandchildren say of him that he was always concerned for honesty in business and never erred from this honesty. The inhabitants of Südhemmern entrusted him with responsibility in the community. At that time it was unusual that Ernst, who married into a farm, should have been a member of the Parochial Council from 1890 – 1903. In addition he was a member of Südhemmern’s school committee from 1886 – 1903. Ernst never missed going to church on Sunday. He died on the April 16th, 1916.
Ernst Ludwig Andreas Peithmann and Caroline Wilhelmine Regine Rieher had twelve children: Louise, Christian, Sophie, Heinrich, August, Karoline, Friedrich, Marie, August Ludwig, Hermann, Wilhelmine, and Friederike.
born July 1st, 1866, died February 17th, 1943
On December 30th,
1886, the eldest daughter Louise married Friedrich (Fred) Krüger (born October
19th, 1858, died September 7th, 1936) who owned a farm of
18 morgens in Hille. But this small farm could hardly feed a family. Just 18
years after their marriage the couple emigrated to the
Friedrich Krüger’s eldest
brother Heinrich had already emigrated to
In the following years other
brothers and sisters of Louise followed her example and attempted a new start
Fred Krüger and Louise Peithmann had 5 sons and 3 daughters: Farmer Fred (born December 1st, 1887, died in Denver, Colorado August 11th, 1975); Pastor Christian Friedrich Hermann (born February 27th, 1892, died in Jacksonville, Florida March 16th, 1970); Louise Sophie Fangmeier (born December 23rd, 1893, died in Gilead, Nebraska November 20th, 1978); Dr. med. Fred William (born October 17th, 1896, died in Jacksonville July 5th, 1948); Farmer Christian August (born August 17th, 1900); Marie Louise Fangmeier (born November 17th, 1901, died in Hebron, Nebraska July 10th, 1978); and Louise Hellbusch (born April 2nd, 1904, died in Gilead, Nebraska July 24th, 1961).
born May 3rd, 1868, died 1943
carried on the century long theology tradition of the Peit(h)manns.
Before him his great-great-grandfather Eberhard David Peithmann (1743 – 1814)
had been pastor in Frille. After his study Christian turned to gnostic beliefs
which he later influenced. In 1887 he passed his final school exams with good
marks at the
Christian was an officer cadet
for one year from April 1892 onwards, although he was not considered suitable
for service. There arose in the obviously very sensitive young theologian a
strong dislike of the strict and rough service in his barracks. After this he
was qualified to work in a parish. On August 1st, 1894 he informed
the Konsistorium in Münster that he intended to travel to
The same year Ernst Christian
Peithmann received his doctorate at the
In a “Greeting to the German Women’s Club in Hardwick, Minnesota, on the occasion of its 5th anniversary, October 3rd, 1913”, Christian encourages the German emigrants to go their way as Christians in the New World. Three of the verses are as follows:
As Jesus once sent out his disciples
So has he put you here,
In order that the light, which shone in him,
Should lighten the dark world still today.
You have taken upon you the duty
Of binding the bleeding wounds,
In a world, which is burdened by sin,
You have done your work of love.
And God has blessed your work
Has led you along the right path.
Consolation has come from heaven
When the way was dark for you.
God has accepted in grace
What you gave to his kingdom-
The songs you sang in the choir
Have come to God.
Now continue to god’s glory
In love and unity.
Add stones to the sanctuary
For time and eternity.
And may the number of members,
Which has more than tripled,
Be doubled again at the next celebration,
That is my wish, prayer and council.
Christian returned to
Südhemmern for his parents’ golden wedding anniversary in 1914. Because of the
outbreak of World War I he had to stay in German until 1916. During this time
he published “The German Sword; War Poems of the Years 1914-1915-1916”. In the
The subject matter of his examination thesis are inclinations of the philosophical inclination of the theologian Christian Peithmann. He thought of himself as a gnostic and starting in 1901 published. besides 36 essays, numerous works of which the following titles are known:
Ancient Greek Philosophers (Bitterfeld and Leipzig1901 – 1902)
Socrates’ Philosophy of Nature
Gnostic Fathers (Bitterfeld and Leipzig 1903 – 1904)
The Metaphysical Interpretation of the Bible (Bitterfeld and Leipzig 1903)
The Gnostic Communities in
Ancient and Modern Times (Schmiedeberg and
Gnostic Catechism (Bitterfeld and Leipzig 1904)
Secret Christian Teaching of the First Two Centuries (Schmiedeberg 1905 – 1906)
3. What is Man?
4. The nether Jesus
(nr. 3 and 4 of the Gnostic Catechism)
Secret Conversations between Jesus and his Disciples (Schmiedeberg 1909)
1. Jesus’ Transfiguration and Ascension
In the appendix to several of his works Christian mentioned further works for which there were already manuscripts. It is known whether they were printed. In “Socrates Philosophy of Nature” which was written in 1898 and published in 1902 in the respected “Archive for the History of Philosophy” the title of professor accompanies his name. With “Dr. Peithmann’s Works for Educated and Thinking People” his publications were advertised and offered by his publishing firm. The work “The Metaphysical Interpretation of the Bible” is an example of Christian’s philosophical interpretation of biblical contexts. In it he distinguishes between the “literal” explanation of the Bible, which is founded in the historical data of biblical accounts, and the “spiritual” or symbolic explanation, in which the historical happenings are just symbols for the “eternal deeds in the higher world”. “These spiritual people represent...the true invisible church.”
In “Gnostic Catechism” Christian seeks to make religious thought of late antiquity fitting to his own time. It is not possible here to go further into the content of his other publications, the process of his thinking, and his contact with other gnostics; for one thing as in his case little investigated undercurrents of German history of philosophy cross each other (H. Möller in a letter).
On March 29th, 1878
Christian married Luise Pagemann, who was born in
born February 24th, 1870, died September 6th, 1941
On October 31st,
1891 Sophie married the teacher Christian Friedrich Heinrich (called
Engelkemeier) Becker (born September 10th, 1858, died December 2nd,
1933) who was born in Holsen near Schnathorst. He had attended the preparatory
courses and teachers’ training college in Petershagen. Christian taught in
Nammen, Eickhorst, and Wasserstraße in the
born February 20th, 1872, died July 1st, 1963
Ernst Peithmann’s second eldest son Heinrich became heir to the farm in Südhemmern nr. 21. On July 1st, 1902 he married Luise Röthemeier (born August 26th, 1873, died November 29th, 1951), daughter of the farmer Cord Heinrich Christian Röthemeier and his wife Caroline Marie Luise Tiemann in the Specken district of Südhemmern.
From 1893 – 1895 Heinrich
served in the “4th Infantry Guard Regiment” in
As the income from the farm
was not enough to support the family, Heinrich earned extra money. In the
period from about 1896 – 1900 he worked when farming allowed – in the food
store of the
Heinrich had no labourers and had to do all the work himself. Every year he mowed all the cereal produce alone with a scythe. As a beekeeper he had up to 40 colonies of bees. In addition he had bought rights to hunt in Südhemmern. While hunting in 1925 he lost an eye from a stray bullet.
From 1925 until the National Socialists seized power in 1933 Heinrich was Mayor of Südhemmern after he had been elected to the Parochial Council the year before. In this office he concerned himself chiefly with the building of roads. Amongst other things he had a 2 km long link road built between the village and the district of Grefte.
Heinrich Peithmann and Luise Röthemeier had two sons: Heinrich and Hermann.
The eldest son Eberhard Karl
Ernst Christian Heinrich (born June 14thm 1903, die in Bünde August 3rd,
1073) became a pastor. In 1923 he passed the final exams at the humanistic
grammar school in