A translation from the German
"Erinnerungen an Olbendorf"
("Memories of Olbendorf")
Alfred Supply
Strehlener Heimatblatt, 3. Jahrgang/Nr. 3, Mitte März 1954

The sizable farm town of Olbendorf lies in an east-west direction on the eastern edge of Kreis Strehlen, stretching along both sides of a slow-flowing creek, on the Nimptsch-Strehlen-Grottkau/Upper Silesia road. Even though the village had almost 1000 inhabitants, it was not known to many people of the Kreis, as it was 18 km away from the Kreisstadt [county seat], while it was only 7 km from Olbendorf to [the city of] Grottkau, counting from the eastern end of town. That was the reason that the village had strong commercial ties with the small Upper Silesian Kreisstadt of Grottkau. But still the Olbendorfers considered themselves as proper citizens of Kreis Strehlen, and still do so today. They hardly would have consented to being split off from Kreis Strehlen, as was considered for a few years before the last war. Also belonging to the several kilometer long village were Gutschen, lying to the south towards Giersdorf O/S [O/S=Oberschlesien=Upper Silesia], and Grünheide in the west. Near Grünheide, in the Schafteich, where in older days the sheep of the dominion Grünheide were bathed, the Oldenbach [a stream] originates and flows in eastern direction almost through the entire village. It is only in the Niederdorf [lower part of the village] that it turns north and empties into the Ohle [a stream] near Kleinoels, which then flows on towards the Oder River. From Grünheide to the eastern end, the village has a length of 4 km.

The Protestant church is located in the center of town. The stately church tower inclines visibly towards the West, as if it wants to thank the sun in the name of the whole village for its grace for today. About one-third of the population, especially in Niederdorf, was Catholic. That is also why we can find the single classroom Catholic school there, whereas the Protestant school is located in Oberdorf. The Catholics attended Mass in the neighboring Giersdorf. Opposite the Protestant church, located on the main street, surrounded by trees and bushes of the parish garden, is the Striegauer granite monument of the 1914-18 war. It depicts a large sarcophagus listing on the four sides the names of 48 men who sacrificed their lives for their country, amongst them the four sons of the well known "Mother Schramm." The enormous lid of the sarcophagus is adorned with a stone iron cross.

Long rows of large farms sat alongside the village road. Attractive homes greet with friendly front yards, and behind them, the livestock buildings and barns surround the square farmyard. Immediately at the Oberdorf one could admire the clean farms of Paul Kammler and Reinhold Pfoertner. Reinhold Pfoertner's heavy draught horse stud-service station was well-known near and far. Reinhold took special care of his dear stallions and petted them as if they were children. In front of this pretty farm, south of the street, spread the large Erlenwiese [alder-tree meadow]. In the middle of it bubbles and gurgles the "Erleboerndel" [alder-tree spring]. Whoever drinks from this spring, will always return to this endearing hometown, no matter how far away he has gone. In addition, north of the street, follow the large farms of Paul Heckert, Fritz Holdt, Alfred Kammler, Else Erber, Max Erber, Konrad Winkler, and Richard Matzel. As not all the farms in this long stretched village can be listed, just a few more from the Niederdorf will be mentioned. There are the rich farms of Richard Peter, Alfons Winkler, Josef Winkler, Alois Hoehne, Paul Pfoertner, Fritz Stosch, Paul Marschall, and many others. The castle of Count Koenigsmarck was of particular pride to Olbendorf. Among the old trees of the castle grounds still stand some alder trees that are so rare today.

In the south, the whole village is surrounded by the great Olbendorfer forest, deciduous and coniferous in a colorful interplay. There the Olbendorfers went for Sunday walks. In the early summer, though, they didn't come just from the neighboring villages, but rather also from the region around Brieg: hordes of women and children to reap cans and pitchers full of good-tasting blueberries. In the forest-encircled Tannert Meadow or the New Meadow the soldier's club and the active sport club celebrated in turn their happy summer festivals. In front of the entrance to the New Meadow the town built a nice swimming pool, where on hot summer days the local and neighboring youths romped happily and frolicsomely in great numbers. The Mittelhof, the knight's manor that belonged to the Graf von Franken-Siestorpff, spread out quite easily at the edge of the forest, lying somewhat higher than the village. The "Lindenallee", a road lined with majestic linden trees, leads up to the spacious farm buildings. Over their roofs towers the 60-meter chimney of the Olbendorf steam brickworks, which provides the surrounding area with bricks and roofing tiles. This is where the friendly and helpful master brick-maker, Ernst Stiller, conducts his business. Nearby is the Stosch mill, a picturesque watermill, whose large water wheel still turned in the years after the First World War. Also in the area, hidden in the woods, are the springs, the de-icing facility, and the entire water works built in 1926 to provide the entire village with the delicious wetness. Not far away, on the Küchenberge, we can stare in wonder at the two-legged pine tree, which is protected by law. At about the height of a man, two tree trunks have grown together into a single tree.

As the Stosch mill has gotten tired, so has the Scholz mill, an old windmill on the mill hill northwest of the village, which has given up the battle for survival. For 368 years she clip-clopped along, then she fell silent. A few years before the last war her work was taken over by a modern and more powerfull roller mill.

Now, dear folks from Olbendorf, I presume you all have once drunk from the Erleboerndel [adler-tree spring]? Yes? So you surely will return to the beloved places of your dear homeland.

A[lfred]. Supply