Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Heirloom


I wanted to share this picture of one of my family heirlooms. When my son was a missionary in Russia, he was allowed to visit our ancestral villages. I sent him a map of Pfeifer so he could find the family home. When he found the Burghardt home he asked the Russian woman who now lives there if he could look around the place. She was gracious and then said, "I have something that belongs to you." She went in the house and brought out this cross and gave it to him. She had found it while tilling the garden spot. What a treasure! If you click on the picture it will enlarge so that you can see the details. It is about 4 inches in height with a sunburst at the intersection of the cross. Above that is a scroll. It is obviously not Russian Orthodox because it is missing the foot bar at the bottom. It is wood inlayed in iron.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Party

I can't tell you how disappointed I was to miss our chapter AHSGR Christmas party. Besides great company and food, I was looking forward to the telling of stories about the Christmases of Germans from Russia. Hopefully, I can hear some of them later. Family commitments, health, and weather kept me from coming, but I still wanted to share my family's story. So, here goes...

When I was younger, my uncles shared this family tradition with me. The Burghardt family in Pfeifer, Russia, was so large that they actually occupied two houses that were next door to each other. They were located across the street from the Catholic Church. At Christmas time, a line was strung from the roof of the church to that of the Burghardt home. Candles were attached to that line to decorate for Christmas. I couldn't actually picture how that would work, so I sort of brushed it off as just a good story. Many years later when I obtained a copy of a map of Pfeifer which showed the village, complete with family names labeled on the homes, I was surprized. There were indeed two houses next door to each other that belonged to a Burghardt family. They were across the street from the Catholic Church. If that part of it was true, then maybe the story about the Christmas candles was also true. Now I treasure that story as part of my family's Christmas tradition.