The last Saxons of Transylvania

The houses are the only ones to recall the fact that in the past, Richiş was a Saxon locality. Once, the centre used to quiver similarly to a German burg. But the Saxons’ exodus at the beginning of the 90s left it almost desert. Only a man refused to leave these lands, with a sort of predestined name to continue the Transylvanian Saxon tradition. Johann Schaas. He saw his friends, relatives, even his own children taking the road to abroad. But he does not regret any moment the decision taken. “I believe that here I am home. In Germany I might not feel so free. And I might not live all my desires as I can live here. If I were in Germany, I was thinking about going home and going to see the wheat.”

The old man Schaas and his wife remained the keepers of the ancient Saxon values and traditions. The honesty, the labour, but especially the punctuality. And if applicable, the keepers of Saxon humour. When he does not keep himself busy with household works, the old man walks on the lanes of the village. He enjoys when he sees that a part of the houses left by those who were gone were renovated.

On the lanes of Richiş one cannot hear anymore German speaking. Only very rarely, when those who were gone long time ago are returning, during the holidays, on natal realms. It is a sign that he must open for visitors the doors of the old church of the village. It remained also under his care. Even if their seriousness is proverbial, Saxons are also people like others. Some of them used to fall into sin. For them, the priest used to have a special punishment.

From the old Saxon villages might have remained only the stories. And some old man, such as Johann Schaas, who refused to leave. But after them remained something equally important. Their beneficial influence.


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