Joseph Peter Kraushar

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1938 Euro Trip

1938- A Summer In The Banat: 

Children at play-Hatzfeld late 1800's
About 40 years prior to my Dad's trip!

Joseph Peter Kraushar & Hatzfeld Family
Hatzfeld-Banat 1938

These are summaries of entries made when Joseph Peter Kraushar took a trip from Cincinnati to Hatzfeld, Romania and spent the summer there, of course 1938 would be the last year Europe was at peace.  Dad went to/from Europe with his Uncle Joe and wife (they lived in Cleveland):
Dad and I left Cincinnati at 4:10 AM on May 7th 1938 and drove to Detroit via Toledo.  We arrived in Detroit and stayed at John Kraushaar's house.  We had a great meal then went to the old fashioned German dance which turned out to be a going away party!  We got up the next morning and had dinner with John Kraushaar's family then said our goodbyes (to Dad and family).  Everyone cried and we left at 1:15pm.  We drove to Cleveland along Lake Erie and we stayed with friends overnight.  Then we drove to Lewiston, PA and through alot of beautiful country and mountains. Walked around town and stayed at a tourist home.  May 11th we drove on to Harrisburg and saw some Quakers and Amish along the way.  We stopped and visited friends on a chicken farm in Franklinville.  The next day we drove to Atlantic City and bummed around town.  We ate and drove on to New York City.  It is a crazy place with crazy traffic and people.  Then on to Long Island.
(May 12th-15th)  Spent these days in at Aunt Mary's house in the New York Metro area enjoying myself.  Went to Central Park and zoo, played cards. Went swimming and to a ball game and spent 2 hours talking with a meat cutter in his shop.  They cut meat all together different here!  I helped Aunt Mary clean her house and in the evening went on a blind date which turned out to be very nice!  Fred, Alice, Ann and I went to a dance hall at the Hotel Greystone. Plenty to drink and had a swell time. Rained terrible. Got home that night at 5AM.  Got up at 7 and rode the L train to Flushing  Also went to Radio City and Rockafeller Center. On May 18th went to dock at 8:30AM and saw the ship Normandie come in.  We sailed out at 12:30pm  Got aquanted with a German girl and (very nice), we watched the lights of New York fade out, walked around deck, parted and I went to bed at 4:30AM.
(May 19th-24th) On board ship all the stewards and passengers speak German.  Theres lots to do on the ship. Watched movies, played shuffle board alot.  I met a German girl who stayed in Columbus, Indiana for one year named Ruth.  She's 17 and a great dancer.  Her name is Ruth (She later became his first wife).  The ship is like a first rate hotel.  Ruth and I spent alot of time together on board ship and went to alot of parties and dances.  One of the dances was a Bavarian Bier Party!  Also attended some great shows on board.  Ruth and I would end the evenings on deck watching the moon.  Also I got to tour the engine room before we docked, very interesting and the boilers were imense.
(May 25th) Docked at Bremen. Ruth and I said our goodbyes. She cried and I left in a hurry.  Uncle Joe, my Aunt and I drove to Leipzig and spent the night.  The country is beautiful and very clean, dense forests, everything is being re-built.  Thousands of tiny cars and big trucks.  Every young man is in a soilders uniform.  Walked around Leipzig and slept well at the Hotel Bismark. May 26th we got up at 5AM and drove to Dresden.  Ate a great German breakfast.  Would like to have America like Germany.  We drove to the Checkolslovakian border.  No trouble getting across though hundreds of German troops at border due to Chech/German crisis.  Drove to Prague.  Would not like to live in Checholslovakia, everyone is poor and peasant like, although the girls are beautiful. It's not clean like Germany. Stayed in a quainte Austrian style Inn overnight. May 27th-stayed in Wien (Vienna) all day. Very beautiful. Went through the castle of Kaiser Franz Josef filled with antiques and rich things. That afternoon we drove to the outskirts of BudaPest where people are nice but poor. In BudaPest it is even a more beatiful city than Vienna.  We went to church in the mountains which is very mysterious. Preists from all over the world paraded.  Everyone had colourful costumes. Took many pictures.  We left for Romania that afternoon and got there at 6PM.  Had much difficulty getting across the border. Searched everything we had and they wanted to keep our coats and field glasses. they kept us for 3 hours.  All of us were disgusted and stayed in an Inn overnight. 
(May 29th-30th) Arrived in Hatzfeld. Grandma and all my Aunts and Uncles were very happy to see us.  They asked so many questions and are very proud of their homes and livestock.  We registered at the Romanian Consul.  Everyone in town knows Americans are in town.  They look at me as if I'm a freak, especially the Automobile. Spent afternoon at Aunt Marishga's. Lot's of relatives came to visit, I guess the Kraushaar name will never die out of existance. They all talked so much they gave me a headache.Went to small carnival in the evening. Whole town turned out!
(May 31st-September 6th) stayed in Hatzfeld (Jimbolia) formerly Hungary, now Romania. (From here I will use the best entries from Dad's diary) 
(June 2nd), a Romanian holiday for unknown soilders, big parade, everyone excited, went to movies that night and saw Barbara Stanwick and Robert Taylor pic.
(June 3rd) I work each day helping around the house and caring for the livestock, but in the afternoon and evening I can go anywhere. Went swimming all afternoon. Nice girls, the one I liked snubbed me so I used some old tactics and we finally got aquainted.  Went to bed early, lots of frogs and mesquitos around here.
(June 4th) Still trying to get used to these people but they are beyond me, dumbest costumes I've ever seen.  Lots of gypsies in town today, everyone excited. About 11PM we took four baskets of manure and dumped it on some friends sidewalk and hall.
(June 5th) About 7AM Magda (a nice girl I've been hanging around with) came and sewed me to the bed. Went swimming and to movies that afternoon. Film stopped halfway through for intermission and we had to salute  a picture of the King. Guy came around and sprayed us with Flet every ten minutes-oder teriffic. Went to Aunt Marish for dinner and met Kitty Diets. Charming and beautiful.  Played Ping Pong there and walked home with Frieda Fry (lovely). Then took walk with magda. I'm loosing my hair, don't know why. Getting tan and I've gained 2 kilos.
(June 8th)I'm worried about my hair. They celebrated the 8th Anniversary of King Carl 2nd with big Parade and costumes etc.Went swimming and to movies. Saw a Romanian wedding. Looked like a funeral. Everyone wore black except bride.
(June 10th)Went to doctor about my hair. He shaved my head and said I needed a sun ray treatment because my scalp was sick.
(June 11th) Everyone was excited, gypies were poisened by the rotton food they ate. All doctors in town came to their rescue. Went to doctor in AM for my sun ray treatment, nice nurse too! Went swimming in pool, which is just a big pond filled with water and the people think its Ritzy yet.  Everything is old fashioned in Romania, they still have a town crier who come around and beats a drum and yells the news and events.
(June 12) A lady from two doors down threw herself into a well and drowned. Everyone in town was there. Met Lisa, Katie and Marish. They sure have strong wine here.  We went to ice cream parlor and it was terrible. I never had such ice cream in all my life.  I went horseback riding with Katie. Her and Magda are jelous of each other. Each believes she has more "good stuff" than the other. Magda would like to get married and I believe she takes me for a sucker. Will find out soon.
(June 15th) Slept late. Helped Grandma cook dinner. Its alot different here.  Heat is furnished by burning wood and the oven is made of hard baked clay. Very primative, but the food tastes as good if not better.  Cleaned out well for grandma too. Got 13 buckets of slime and muck from the bottom. I can't believe I've been drinking from it.  Also buried 3 ducks eaten by rats and fed the hogs. They are used to me now and treat me like a brother (tsk tsk).  Rained hard last night and the streets are one big sea of mud.  Sun out this afternoon. Went to Doc for my hair treatment then went horseback riding on a mare named Wilma. On her for 15 minutes and she started bucking and threw me in the mud on the street.  Mud up to my neck and she almost stepped on me. Will try her again in a few days. Either I'll break her or she'll break me!  Went frog hunting in the evening with cousin Fred and we both fell in the pond. Twice I got muddy in one day.
(June 16th) I'm dying for a good American made cigarette. Tobacco here is terible.  The young men here are crazy about football (soccer). Each day the herders drive the horses, hogs and sheep to big pastures. Very picturesque. Turned very cold here all of a sudden and they had a light dusting of snow farther north.  Homes here have no cellars so the walls and floors are always damp. Packed all my cousins up and took them all to the show (movie?).  They were tickled to death as they didn't have that chance very often.
(June 19th) People here are very religious and can't understand why I don't go to church.  Went to dance in the afternoon.  All the girls dance like crazy but all their mothers sit on the sideline so nothing can happen.  Met a nice Romanian girl and she is a real honey!  If people ask me any more questions about America I'll go crazy.  They all look at my clothes as if I'm either a freak or the 8th wonder of the world.
(June 21st) Went to doctor for my hair treatment. Nurse is getting freindlier every day!  I caught Lizzie wearing my pajamas that were way to big for her.  We laughed and sure had fun over it. She acted like a clown.  Hot weather is setting in.  The people here are all very bitter for having played Schmeling dirty.  They enjoy taking it out on me because I'm American I guess. They say all kinds of slighting remarks.  If they keep it up I'll tell them all to go to hell!
(June 25th)  Went to market with Grandma. Gypsies all over the place trying to steal things.  Lots of excitement, very picturesque.  Went to see a German concert but at the last minute the Romanians wouldn't allow it and all the people had to go home.  The Romanians are very oppresive of the German people here.  I see very poor people here and it's terrible the way they have to live.  Some have nothing at all and look starved.  Went swiming in the afternoon. All the better girls are now home from school, met quite a few and had a good time.  I collected my bet of 5 qts of beer on the Louis-Schneling bout.  Also met an American from St. Louis.  It was good to speak English again.  Found out all young men have to serve 5 years in the Romanian army, they don't get paid and have to work very hard. Alot of young men are very bitter about this.
(June 29th) Wrote letters, went swimming then to movies and saw Bogart and Bette Davis in "Marked Woman" Went to cafe afterwards and had a good time. Today was my names day.  Magda visits me daily now??!!
(July 4th) Milk is cheap here so I drink 3 quarts a day at 3 lie a liter.  Wine and Whiskey is cheap too so I'm having a fine time!  Smoking a Turkish cigarette at the moment. Wondering how the fireworks are going back home!
(July 6th) Up early and Uncle Joe and I drove to Johnat, about 30 miles from here.  We visited friends we met on the ship and they prepared a feast for us.  We played cards, drank and had a good time.  Went home at 5pm and saw alot of people in the fields.  This week the people were beginning to thrash.
(July 7th) Went horseback riding, made an excursion of town and visited alot of my friends.
(July 8th) Had a hard earthquake here this AM and everyone is excited.  Went swimming in the afternoon andhad a party at the beach. Had a swell time! We played cards in the evening and it ended up in a fight. No one hurt seriously though.
(July 9th) Big dance this evening! Everyone mixed it up.  Mothers all there again. Plenty to eat and drink. Tony (American) and I had a great time, stayed out all night!
(July 10th) Got home at 6AM, slept a while. Played cards, then went to movies. One thing here is all the young children run around naked and the people think nothing of it but it really goes against my grain.
(July 12th) Sawed wood and then went to fields in the AM. Tough job. Everything is 100 years behind here.  There is a train that runs through here with a big steam engine that really makes alot of noise.  Uncle Joe came home plastered.  Played cards after recieving guests including Matts Kraushaar (In the 1970's and 1980's I met Matts Kraushaar many times when he lived in Germany late in his life while I was a young man stationed there in the US Army 1978-1982). 
(July 13th) Thrashed in the fields all AM.  The men are usually all drunk by the time its over and the boss curses like hell.  Went swimming in afternoon and when i got home everyone was excited.  An 18 year old girl committed suicide because her boyfriend "went with" another girl.  Lots of commotion. Played cards in the afternoon and it wound up in a fight.  No one hurt seriously though.
(July 15th) Up early and drove to Temisvara. Nice town, watched some military manuevers, which were very ragged.  Too  many police here. Exchanged money. Went home and Tony Dendler and friend came so we spent the evening in the saloon.
(July 16th) Went riding in the AM to Arad.  The damn horse ran away and I had to walk all the way home, a hell of a hike.  Went swimming then to dance and had a great time. Unfortunately the girls had all their mothers there again.  It was like a hick dance they have in the hills of Kentucky. Got home at 6AM.
(July 18th) Payed of the doctor, 600 Lie. Nice fellow.  Went to gypsy village. They are dirt poor. They eat what other people throw away and there houses are just mud walls and they barely have clothes to wear.  Went home and played cards in the evening and wound up in a fight.
(July 20th) Wrote alot of postcards although still no mail from home. I wonder whats the matter?  Went riding. Town is dead as everyone is thrashing.  Uncle Joe and I went to Temisvara and we broke an axle on the car so we had to stay all afternoon until they fixed it. Walked about town. Too many poor and beggars.  All the German people here can't wait until Hitler takes over!
(July 24th) Helped grandma make jelly. The Kings mother died so everything is dead in town. No movies, music or anything going on.
(July 25th) Up early and drove to Johanisfeld to Uncle Will Zuleger. Nice people, he has a wonderful daughter who sings and played the accordian for us and she does beautiful oil paintings. Drove to Ulivar(?) to Aunt and Uncle Weber. They have a beautiful villa and are some of the richest people in these parts. Nice people too. They invited me to the wedding of their daughter next Sunday.  Took some pictures and ate and drank like a horse.  Hated to leave.  Good thing we did. Really piling on the pounds here!
(July 26th) Grandmas Names Day, she had alot of company. Still no mail from home. I visited Peter Dentler, the Hoefler's, the Schnurs, Uncle Matts Kraushaar, the Bauers, the Wegeser's and the Kuhn's.. I also went through the hat factory, very interesting and went to the fire at Bohn Fabric.  Went to a party in the evening, everyone drunk and singing German songs. Good wine, went home with half a bender.
(July 28th) Took train to Uivar (?) Lousy service, seats and cars are dirty, train shook like a meat grinder. Dirty people asleep everywhere.  Went swimming in the Bega, water swift. Met some nice people. came home late and hungary. Still no mail from home. I wonder whats the matter?
(July 29th) Getting aquainted with more and more girls.  Went through the ruins of an old castle Graf Checkonit with the caretaker.  Tunnels and wine cellars, lots of antiques. I recieved some papers written by the Graf in 1800.  Spent the evening in a saloon and danced and had a darn good time.
(July 30th) Swimming in afternoon, bought flowers for the bride, then movies and to the saloon that had good gypsy music.
(July 31st) Up early, packed my duds and off to Uivar to the wedding. Very hot. It started at 6PM. Band struck up a tune, we all marched from the grooms house to the brides house and then paraded to the church for the ceremony then back to brides house.  Picked myself a nice girl and evryone drank and made merry! At 11PM a big dinner was served including Duck, Geese and a whole hog! 275 people present and hungary.  Danced all night, ate again at 5AM Monday morning. Danced more until 7AM then the bride and groom went home. Everyone else went into the street with the band and danced.  People slept occaisionally but continued the dancing and partying until Tuesday, Aug 2nd.
(August 3rd) Last day for Tony here so we bummed around town together and hit a saloon. Tony got drunk. Went swimming in the afternoon with Katie.  Had a date with Marish and took a walk with her!  Went to cafe and listened to some swell gypsy music. Tony got drunk again! 
(Aug 4th) Went with Tony and his family to the train station in the morning. Serbian Queen pulled into station so we wern't allowed on the train till she was gone. Went swimming with Katie. I'm getting to like her more and more each day.  Spent the afternoon and evening with her in a cafe.
(Aug 5th) Went with Uncle Joe shopping in Temesvara, then in evening went to saloon.  I have a whole gang of my own that follows me wherever I go.  We ate melons with gypsies in the street.Still no mail!
(Aug 6th) Massive lightning storm. A big house burned down. Whole town turned out along with the bucket brigade and hand pumps.  Horses and wagons brought water. Rained cats and dogs all night.  Sloppy and dirty, fire is under control. Went home at 3AM like a drowned rat. Mud from head to toe.
(Aug 7th) Holiday today, big picnic in the park. Ate,drank and danced all evening. Two dance bands. Took Katie home, went back and danced some more, then took Lizzie home. Home at 4AM. The girls here are incredible!
(Aug 8th) The people next door were missing some money. All the gypsies were rounded up but it wasn't found. Met two croanies and spent the evening in a saloon.  On the way home I stopped at a party and drank and danced with all the old woman. Home at 3AM, still no mail?
(Aug 9th) Went to a street party then two other parties. Went home at 3AM, on the way home I made some dogs fight and chased a bunch of geese around. Woke up the whole street.
(Aug 10th) All 3 of my Uncles are madder than hell. All 3 thought they had robbers in the middle of the night so they called the police. Grandma and i went to the funeral of a 19 year old girl who hung herself on account of her boyfriend.  The girls here are all boy crazy and most are on the downward path.  Lizzie, Geza and I played cards in evening. I'm afraid things are getting serious with me and Katie.
(Aug 16th)Visited the Hepp girls. Each one prettier than the other. Lenchy,Francie,Margerit and Lizzie.  Got there in time to witness the birth of twin calves. Blood all over the place.  "Hurray" got a letter from Annie in New York. Tickled to death. Guess all my other friends forgot about me.
(Aug 18th) Katie hasn't been around in a while. Up at 3AM and caught the train to Perjamosh (Hungary) were my Mom is from. Met Hollerback and Krone. Went to Grandpa's brothers Conrad Anton. Stayed with Marian Giehl who talks perfect english. She hads a nice daughter. In afternoon we went to fields and picked Mangos. Went to dance in evening. Girls plenty OK. Beautiful, and they know it too, just like back home! Theres something about German music that gets me.
(Aug 21st) At 2PM Anna and I took the baby to the church to be Christened. The Priest made alot of monkey business for an hour then it was all over but the shouting and party. First time I became a Godfather.  Later went to movie Isle of terror with Donald Woody and Marge Lindsay. I'm getting to where I can't speak English anymore.
(Aug 22nd) Went to gypsy village and took some pictures, hot stuff.
(Aug 24th) Hitched up horses and left for Temesvara, rained hard, horses tired, distance of 40 miles. Slept under wagon that night. I can see what the pioneers went through.
(Aug 25th) Night life in Temesvara is teriffic! Pretty girls here in Romania but they're all out for the do-re-me
(Aug 27th) Went to fields and helped mow hay. Went parade in afternoon and to wine fest that night. Grapes and fruit all over the place. Danced with all the old women. Home at 4:30 AM
(Aug 29th) Went to Romanian consul and asked to stay 10 more days. Granted! Met Kitty and gave her a good piece of my mind because of the dance! Am starting to get all my stuff together and pack bit by bit.  Lizzie and I took a walk to castle. Man is she great! Later went pigion hunting. Caught 14 young ones.
(Aug 31st) Went to flour mill, very interesting. Then bowling. Returned home and we ate our pigions. 
(Sept 3rd) Rode the bicycle to a wine fest.  Whole town there. A good fight broke out and it wound up in a riot.
(Sept 4th) Met Giehls in Oster and took them to Grandmas. Uncle Matts Kraushaar and family there. Snapped pictures, everyone crying and saying goodbyes.
(Sept 5th) Up early, visited every friend I had and said our goodbyes Drank at every house and had a bender when I got home.  Went to cemetery with the family in the afternoon. In the evening the whole gang turned out and threw me a farewell party.
(Sept 6th) Uncle Joe and I drove to Romanian border but they wouldn't let us out because we didn't have a reciept from where we changed over money. They kept us for 4 hours. Once accross into Hungary you notice a chage right away.
(Sept 7th) Good roads all the way to Budapest. Stopped over there for a while. Went through parliment house and shopping. Stayed overnight in Wien (Vienna). The German people are swell! (Funny he refered to them as German rather than Austrian)
(Sept 8th) Drove to Linz. The men wear shorts and all have long pipes. The girls have got "it". Everyone says "Heil Hitler" and are really for him. Everything military. More soilders and trucks than I've ever seen moving to the "Chech" front. Went to Salzburg. Everyone rides a bike. Alps are fantastic.
(Sept 9th) Good roads all the way to Munich. Old buildings and monuments. Went to St. Michaels church and King Ludwigs castle, then on to Nurenburg.  Gasoline very high here.
(Sept 10th) Drove to Leuterhausen and we visited Ruth whom I met on board ship. I'm half way in love with her. I think she would make a good wife. (as prior noted she did become his first wife). Left Ruth with much regret.
(Sept 11th) Drove to Nurenburg. Wish Ruth would have come. Walked around town until parade started at 11. Saw Adolf Hitler just 15 feet in front of me in the parade. Snapped a few pictures.  (This would have been the famous 1938 Nuremburg Rally, and I have these pictures)  The parade was wonderful. almost 50,000 soilders marched. I don't think I'll ever see anything like this again in my life! What a great day! I would like to live in Germany. What a wonderful country. Wish America was like Germany. Watched the parade for five hours.  Went to Berlin. We had a picnic along the road.  Drove on the Reich-Autobahn. it's the finest road in the world. There's nothing like it back home.
(Sep 12) Berlin is beautiful. Lots of statues and parks and lots of homes being built. Drove toward  Hamburg but stayed overnight in Wusterhausen.
(Sept 13th) Elbe River flooded. In Hamburg it beautiful. Lots of canals. Everything is re-built now.  Drove to Bremen. Things are more barren here. Potatos are the main crop.
(Sept 14th) The international situation is pretty hot here and the German people are up in the air regarding Chechoslovakia. Drove to Bremerhaven and the ship company to have our passage attended to. Distance from Romania to B-Haven 1700 miles. Gasoline is very high at .80 cents a gallon. Lots of folks brought their cars along.
(Sept 15th) Ship sailed. We're off for America! (At this point I will just summerize that the Atlantic crossing back to America was much like the trip to Europe in May. Lots of shuffleboard, dances, eating and merrymaking, meeting girls etc. although the trip back was much more ruff and alot of seasickness. Dad was always quite the socializer and made friends wherever he went)
(Sept 23rd) Up at 5AM and saw the lights of New York and damned glad too! Said goodbye to all my friends. We got the car off and drove to Aunt Mary's
(Sept 24th-Sept 30th) Again I will summarize here.  They stayed in the New York area for a few days, sightseeing, attending dances, visiting relatives and making new friends. Then returned home to Cincinnati via Cleveland and Detroit.

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