No one has lived in the village of Borschemich for a few weeks. We are in a ghost town that sends a shiver down the spine of any casual cyclist passing by. Many houses are still standing and you get the idea that normal everyday life prevailed here just a short time ago. But now the bus stop is deserted, in the cemetery many graves are freshly opened and in front of some doors are still the garbage cans. In all the houses that are still standing, windows and doors are bricked up.
Beer tables and benches are set up at the village square. Some women load a huge pot of hot pea soup from the trunk of their car. The village square is filling up and you can feel that something special is about to take place. Every stranger is welcome and at the latest the speech of the village headman made clear even to the unprepared chance guests what it was all about.
On February 27, 2016, the former villagers of Borschemich gathered to cut down the old village linden tree. After the church and the Paland house, which were razed to the ground by RWE, the last landmark of the village, whose inhabitants had to make way for open-cast lignite mining against their will, thus disappears. The lime tree had survived wars and hard times for 329 years and was the place of the first kiss for many. The village trunk should not fall now by strange hands. After the communal event, the participants could take away memories or a piece of wood.
“Still greets from the familiar place in the village,
the whimsical treasure, the old gnarled lime tree.
And quietly cradles her mighty head,
and who does not believe in her age,
look at the runes of her bark.
She wears the old pleated skirt
and always youthful leaf curl
in the magic of spring sap.”
But many a tooth of time has gnawed at it.
For several hundred years the storm roared.
Often it has been pruned,
but it still stands firmly rooted in its native soil!
The linden tree stands as it always has! Still!!!!
But the village’s landmark
is still being pulled through by defiant forces.
Therefore caution!Poem (slightly modified recited) from the commemorative publication of the music association Borschemich (1966)
If the lime tree must fall now.
then in God’s name! -Amen-
With the together sung song “Am Brunnen vor dem Tore, da stand ein Lindenbaum” one goes apart again.