The village trutz

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.

All photos from Borschemich by Georg Berg.

Erinnerungen / © Foto: Georg Berg
Memories / © Photo: Georg Berg
Für alle eine warme Trostsuppe / © Foto: Georg Berg
For all a warm consolation soup / © Photo: Georg Berg

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.

Die Entscheidung wird verkündet / © Foto: Georg Berg
The decision is announced / © Photo: Georg Berg
Die Linde beginnt zu knospen. Dennoch hat sie keine Zukunft / © Foto: Georg Berg
The lime tree begins to bud. Nevertheless, it has no future / © Photo: Georg Berg
Leierkasten und Protestband / © Foto: Georg Berg
Organ grinder and protest band / © Photo: Georg Berg

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.

Liedertext / © Foto: Georg Berg
Lyrics of the song / © Photo: Georg Berg
Es muss weitergehen / © Foto: Georg Berg
But life must go on / © Photo: Georg Berg
Der Dorftrutz fällt / © Foto: Georg Berg
The village trutz falls / © Photo: Georg Berg

“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!
If the lime tree must fall now.
then in God’s name! -Amen-

Poem (slightly modified recited) from the commemorative publication of the music association Borschemich (1966)
Eine Relegation ist nicht vorgesehen / © Foto: Georg Berg
A relegation is not planned / © Photo: Georg Berg

With the together sung song “Am Brunnen vor dem Tore, da stand ein Lindenbaum” one goes apart again.

Scheibe / © Foto: Georg Berg
Disc for the cellar bar in the new house / © Photo: Georg Berg

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Permalink of the original version in German: https://tellerrandstories.de/dorftrutz-borschemich