History of the Settlement of Karlsberg

Erich Prokopowitsch

”Zur Ansiedlungsgeschichte von Karlsberg,” in Buchenland: 150 Jahre Deutschtum in der Bukowina

 Franz Lang, Ed.
(Munich: Verlag des Südostdeutschen Kulturwerks, 1961), pp.65-72.
Sophie A. Welisch PhD, Trans.

Posted with permission of the author
8 December 2002

Karlsberg in the district of Radautz, settled by German-Bohemian colonists, is one of the villages in Bukovina which contained a purely German population. Interestingly, to this day there is considerable uncertainty about the founding and further development of this community. In addition, the places of origin of these settlers were for the most part also unknown. Copyright © 1991-2003, Bukovina Society of the Americas

During the last years I was able to peruse the Vienna War Archive (Kriegsarchiv), where I found numerous documents, which reveal previously unknown details about the first years of this German-Bohemian model colony. Of particular significance are those documents, which contain lists of the colonists’ names as well as information about their origin.

When was Karlsberg founded? On this point the chronicles of the Roman Catholic parish of Karlsberg and the publications of Kaindl and Polek agree almost to a tee.1 In 1796 Josel Rechenberg, the Jewish merchant from Radautz, applied to the Fratautz Economic Office for permission to construct a glass hut in the forests in the vicinity of Putna. The entrepreneur Rechenberg’s plan was endorsed by the authorities since the glass huts in Lubaczow in nearby Galicia had to close, and the German-Bohemians who had worked there were forced under the direction of their representative, Josef Löffelmann, to seek new job opportunities in Bukovina. In that the necessary craftsmen were on hand, the Economic Office, after obtaining approval from the Hofkriegsrat, granted consent for accepting the enterprise, which got the name, “Putna Glasshut.”

It was necessary to obtain permission from the Hofkriegsrat since the administration of the Fratautz Religious Foundation, which also had jurisdiction over the Putna area, was at this time leasing land to the Bukovina cavalry depot under the jurisdiction of the Hofkriegsrat. Because of this fact, the glass huts first had to get clearance from these military authorities, which often led to significant delays2.

Only in 1803, after numerous German-Bohemian colonists had settled in the vicinity of the hut, did this village get the name of “Karlsberg,” in honor of the president of the Hofkriegsrat, Archduke Karl, as is recounted in the chronicles. Within that same year a second glass hut was constructed, staffed by new settlers from German-Bohemia and specifically from the Prachin district, this time primarily lumberers, who were brought to Karlsberg, and for whom land was made available under the following conditions:

  1. “They will be exempt from taxes for five years.
  2. The indigenous inhabitants must report for recruitment, but the foreign immigrants will be free from military service for ten years.
  3. For the initial construction of their living and work places, the necessary building materials will be provided without cost to the extent the authorities own or produce them.
  4. Every settler in a new colony, if is he is a simple plowman, will get 60 to 80 Metzen of land, if a craftsman, not less than 12 Metzen of land in hereditary ownership.
  5. Every settler who is immediately allocated arable land will get five years and those on barren land, ten years’ exemption from feudal dues, and after this period he will also be free from feudal services to the administration but will contribute grain as determined by moderate standards; finally,
  6. In the event of the abrogation of the Landemial, taxes will continue in modified form3.”

Still today a list of these lumberers is in on file in the Hofkriegsrat4, which fortunately also gives their villages of origin.

Through immigration of glass and woodworkers from the Bohemian Forest the number of settlers constantly increased. On March 17, 1803 the following glassworkers came from the Prachin district for settlement in Karlsberg: Georg Aschenbrenner, Friedrich Bartl, Georg Franz I, Georg Franz II, Anton Friedrich, Mathias Friedrich, Simon Gattermeyer, Johann Pollmann, Georg Probst, Joseph Reitmayer, Wenzel Sodomka, Josef Uebelhauser, Anton Wolf, Josef Wolf, and Johann Wurzer with their families5. In that these workers received a cash advance of 60 florins, it can be assumed that in 1803 they actually were settled in Karlsberg6.

In the following years serious conflicts arose between the Economic Office and the lumberers because of the latter’s dissatisfaction with the severe terms of settlement and labor. Every colonist received 6 Joch of land (“including much underbrush”) in hereditary ownership under the condition that he pay to the government an annual 30-Kreutzer house tax and 30 Kreutzer for every Joch of cleared land immediately upon taking possession of the premises. Lands which first had to be made arable were tax-exempt for six years, and all settlers were exempt from the tithe and corvee labor. Every lumberer had to supply the needs of the glass or potash huts annually with 50 cubic or 100 Lower Austrian Klafter of firewood. For a thinly hewn cubic Klafter he received 40 Kreutzer but for coarsely hewn only 30 Kreutzer7.

To resolve this conflict a commission under the chairmanship of the commander of the cavalry depot, Lieutenant Colonel Bukowski von Stolzenburg, was sent to Karlsberg which, nonetheless, could not assuage the agitated demeanor of the woodworkers, leading to a cancellation of the settlement agreement with the dissatisfied parties. A protocol on the deliberations of this commission on May 19-20, 1811, notes the following:

”. . . the disenfranchisement of the Karlsberg woodworkers, which also includes the final settlement between the administration and these colonists, is dutifully attached. The negotiations were conducted by the District Office with the intervention of Lieutenant Colonel Bukowski von Stolzenburg; the Imperial and Royal District Office had been fully informed of earlier acts and commissions by decrees Zl. 3872 and 4232, as well as of earlier attempts to induce these woodworkers to stay on, and when this failed, to attend to the final disposition and respective satisfaction of mutual demands.

These stubborn people, as the protocol on hand shows, were not to be moved by any presentations and assurances into entering any binding contract with the administration. The District Office therefore found it necessary to issue the disenfranchisement of the settlers in that through their bad example they could also have aroused the indigenous subjects to unruliness.” And further: “In place of these departed lumberers, an equal number of German-Bohemian families, who lived scattered throughout Bukovina and without possessions, were newly settled while the High Court Commission was still in session; those remaining in the houses agreed to pay their remaining debts and each to produce 100 Lower Austrian Klafter of firewood.

These negotiated contracts will be completed and forwarded to the High Court.

Of all the colonists, only six remained; there are thirty-seven families in the colony, who, only because they have still to cut the contracted stipulated amount of firewood, will produce one year’s needs for the glass hut8.”

The protocol includes the following names: those in the previously prepared list of woodworkers who opted to remain in Karlsberg: Michel Paukner, Andreas Petrowicz, Wenzel Reitmeyer, Michael Schmidt and Simon Waclawek. Those choosing to leave were: Andreas Achenbrenner, Georg Altmann, Anton Bauer, Johann Blechina (Plechinger), Jakob Kuffner, Josef Gaschler, Johann Gefre, Georg Glaser, Wenzel Hoffmann, Andreas Kodelka, Michael Kolmer, Johann Kuffner, Georg Lehner, Johann Lerrach, Mathias Liebel, Wenzel Müller, Johann Neuburger, Adam Neumark, Andreas Neumark, Andreas Rippel, Thomas Rückel, Josef Rückl, Jakob Schaffhauser, Josef Scherl, Franz Straub, Michael Weber, and Johann Zimmermann.

In addition the following families, which are not on the list of woodworkers and were probably glass workers also departed, including: Josef Aschenbrenner, Georg Blechina (Plechinger), Georg Linzmeyer, Michl Neuburger, and Wenzel Oberhoffner.

The other families on the list of settlers, whose names do not appear in the above protocol, remained in Karlsberg.

It can be stated with certainty that some of these families which left Karlsberg did not return to their old homeland but settled in Radautz and in Baintze near Sereth. This presumably involved the families of Aschenbrenner, Blechina (Plechinger), Gaschler, Hoffmann, Kuffner, Lerrach, Rückl, and Straub.

Another group of these disenfranchised settlers did not return to their German-Bohemian homeland but on their way back decided instead to remain in Kolomea, Galicia, where in the year 1812 they founded the colony of Mariahilf. In less than two decades the old settlement of Karlsberg had the distinction of having founded a daughter colony outside of Bukovina, which in the course of time developed into a prosperous Galician-German settlement.

1Raimund Friedrich Kaindl, Das Ansiedlungswesen in der Bukowina (Innsbruck, 1903), p. 355; J. Polek, “Karlsberg” in Bukowiner Bote, No. 20 (Czernowitz, 1899).

2Chronicle of the Roman Catholic Parish of Karlsberg in possession of the author.

3Kriegsarchiv (Vienna), Hofkriegsrat, 1803 – D-174.

4Kriegsarchiv (Vienna), Hofkriegsrat, 1805 – D 109.

5Kriegsarchiv (Vienna), Hofkriegsrat, 1803 – D 174.

6Kriegsarchiv (Vienna), Hofkriegsrat, 1803 – D 174/1.

7Kriegsarchiv (Vienna), Hofkriegsrat, 1812 – D 3-1-18/103.

8Kriegsarchiv (Vienna), Hofkriegsrat, 1811 – K 1-20/97.



List of Settlers of the German-Bohemian Village of Karlsberg*


Imperial and Royal Bukowina Cavalry Commando
—          Imperial & Royal
Endowment Administration Fratautz


Population Count

Residence prior to immigration into the  Bukowina

Are here endowed with  land which needs to be cleared

male female Total Remarks
Names of the Colonists Crown Land District Village Occupation / Trade Arrival date

Settlers already endowed  in the Karlsberg Colony:


Andreas Neumark 6 2 8 Bohemia Prachin or Pisek Scherlhof im Kühnischen 4 Joch** Woodcutter / Wagonmaker Juni 1803


Adam Neumark 1 1 as above Prachin 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803


Johann Bauer 1 2 3 Bohemia Prachin Hurka 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803


Anton Bauer 1 1 Bohemia Prachin Hurka 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803


Wenzel Müller 5 1 6 Bohemia Prachin Stubenbach 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803


Johann Draxler 3 8 11 Bohemia Prachin Eisenstein 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803


Wenzel Baumann 2 2 4 Bohemia Prachin Kreinberg 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803


Andreas Petrovitz 4 2 6 Bohemia Prachin Stadl 4 Joch Woodcutter & Bricklayer Juni 1803


Joseph Scherl 1 3 4 Bohemia Prachin Hinterheisen 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
10 Georg Glaser 2 1 3 Bohemia Prachin Kühberg 4 Joch Woodcutter u. Shoemaker Juni 1803
11 Jacob Gaschler 3 2 5 Bohemia Prachin Scherlhof 6 Joch Waggoner Juni 1803
12 Johann Plechina 4 3 7 Bohemia Prachin Oberbergreichenstein 4 Joch Woodcutter & Linenweaver Juni 1803
13 Johann Müllner 1 4 5 Bohemia Prachin Stubenbach 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
14 Place for
Forest Ranger’s Residence
3.99 Joch
15 Wentzel Hofmann 3 2 5 Bohemia Prachin Grenberg 4.38 Joch Woodcutter und Weaver Juni 1803
16 Joseph Geohre 1 1 Bohemia Prachin Stubenbach 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
17 Georg Plechina 4 6 10 Bohemia Prachin Oberbergreichenstein 4 Joch Woodcutter und Binder Juni 1803
18 Michael Weber 1 2 3 Bohemia Prachin Stubenbach 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
19 Joseph Rikel 3 4 7 Bohemia Prachin Hnal 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
20 Andreas Aschenbrenner 1 1 Bohemia Prachin Böhmischhütten 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
21 Joseph Gaschler 3 5 8 Bohemia Prachin Stadl 4 Joch Woodcutter / Wagonmaker Juni 1803
22 Johann Geohre 1 2 3 Bohemia Prachin Tetau 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
23 Jakob Kuffner 2 3 5 Bohemia Prachin Großwald 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
24 Jakob Schaffhauser 2 1 3 Bohemia Prachin Heidel 4 Joch Woodcutter und Cobbler Juni 1803
25 Johann Neuburger 3 4 7 Bohemia Prachin Annet 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
26 Georg Lechner 1 1 Bohemia Prachin Machau 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
27 Georg Altmann 4 3 7 Bohemia Prachin Großwald 4 Joch Woodcutter &  Cobbler August 1802
28 Johann Kuffner 2 3 5 Bohemia Prachin Großwald 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
29 Andreas Kodelka 3 2 5 Bohemia Pilsen Broden 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
30 Mathias Liebel 1 2 3 Bohemia Prachin Kriegerhof 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
31 Johann Lörrach 1 1 2 Bohemia Prachin Kriegerhof 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
32 Franz Straub 2 1 3 Bohemia Prachin Großhodi 4 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
33 Johann Klingsmeyer 4 5 9 Bohemia Prachin Sumbürg 5.13 Joch Wagoner Juni 1803
34 Andreas Rippel 5 4 9 Bohemia Prachin Itenheisen 5.13 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
35 Michael Schmidt 1 4 5 Bohemia Prachin Stadl 2 Joch Woodcutter Juni 1803
Settlers who Bought Land from Local
Residents in Radautz


Johann Küfner 3 1 4 Bohemia Prachin Philipshütten Taylor Juni 1803


Johann Proßer 1 5 6 Bohemia Prachin Bergreichenstein Bricklayer Juni 1803


Georg Kopp 1 3 4 Bohemia Prachin Gaila Bricklayer Juni 1803


Mathias Aimer 3 1 4 Oberöstr. Linz Kriegswald Linenweaver Juni 1803


Reimund Aimer 1 1 2 Oberöstr. Linz Frauenberg Bricklayer Juni 1803
In Putna:


Joseph Gruber 2 4 6 Bohemia Prachin Reined Linenweaver Juli 1802


Johann Schmidt 2 2 4 Bohemia Prachin Stadl Clothprinter Juli 1802


Georg Schmidt 5 2 7 Bohemia Prachin Stadl Smith Juni 1803


Georg Zettel 4 4 8 Bohemia Prachin Stadl Cobbler Juni 1803
10 Michael Kresl 1 1 Bohemia Prachin Eisenstein Woodcutter Juni 1803
11 Michael Gallhofer 1 3 4 Bohemia Prachin Heydl Shinglemaker März 1803
12 Michael Schuller 3 3 6 Bavaria Straubing Slanitz Carpenter Juni 1803
Settlers not yet Endowed with Land:


Simon Watzlawek 5 4 9 Bohemia Prachin Sandigel Woodcutter Juni 1803


Johann Zimmermann 5 4 9 Bohemia Prachin Eisenstein Woodcutter Juni 1803


Georg Brunner 4 2 6 Bohemia Prachin Eisenstein Carpenter Juni 1803


Michael Kolmer 2 4 6 Bohemia Prachin Eisenstein Wagoner Juni 1803


Thomas Rickel 2 3 5 Bohemia Prachin Eisenstein Woodcutter Juni 1803


Mathias Sperl 2 2 Bohemia Prachin Eisenstein Taylor Juni 1803


Anton Mak 4 1 5 Bohemia Prachin Hurkenthal Cabincarpenter Juni 1803


Michael Gallhofer jun. 1 3 4 Bohemia Pilsen Tajanow Carpenter / Woodcutter Juni 1803


Endowed in  Karlsberg:
35 Families

of which   82 are


together  166 Persons
purchased at own expense: 12 Families of which
27 are male


together    56 Persons
still unendowed:   8 Families of which
25 are male


together    46 Persons


55 Families of which
are male

134  female

together   268 Persons
Radautz the 18th of August 1803

Johann Modes Administrator

(Constructed in Table format by Werner Zoglauer 27, December 2002)

** One Austrian Joch = 1.422 acres