My connection to Bessarabia and Bad Burnas
As some of you may know, my background is from Europe. From my mother’s side, I am connected to Bessarabia, the place that no longer exists, except in the memories of the people who were born & raised there. My grandmother/Oma was born in Leipzig, a large village in Bessarabia, grew up in Arzis and married a man from Paris.(Bessarabia, not Europe).
One of the highlights of her childhood was visiting the health resort & spa at age 7. Then I found a translation about this spa from the “Deutscher Volkscalender” and thought it might be of interest to some of you to either share the heritage or who have never heard of this before.
Source: Deutscher Volkskalender für Bessarabien – 1926 Tarutino
Press and Printed by Deutschen Zeitung Bessarabiens Pages 54-57
Translated by: Allen E. Konrad
Internet Location: urn:nbn:de:bvb:355-ubr13939-6
[Note: An overview of how the health resort of Bad Burnas, located on the Black Sea, between Basyrjamka and Tusla, Bessarabia, was established and the plans there were in 1926 for its future development.]
Bad Burnas by O.E.
The new spa “Bad Burnas” lies on a narrow elevated stretch of country which is protruding between the Black Sea and the salty estuary (Liman) “Burnas,” some 6 km from the German colony of Basyrjamka.
Already in earlier times, the sailors sailing in this area admired the “beautiful headland of Burnas” and well-known specialists of medical science have pointed out, on the basis of their chemical investigations, the excellent healing properties of the water and the mud of salt lake “Burnas,” which exceed the well known in ancient times estuaries of Kugälnik and Chadschibei near Odessa,
Before the war, professionals often drew the attention of the residents of Basyrjamka Colony to the “Pearl” that was in their possession, and they themselves even realized it and put hand to the task to establish a spa resort. The municipality had measured out plots of land for “Dachas” and several of them were nicely constructed. When the “Russian Bank for Foreign Trade” established a port facility where it shipped grain abroad and where the passenger steamers of the Black Sea Shipping Company came in regularly, it set up an opportune commerce with Odessa, Nikolayev, Constanta, and other Black Sea harbors, which was cause for great hope that “Burnas” would soon become a proper health spa. But the World War drew a thick line through all the plans. Shortly after the declaration of war by Turkey, 20 Ottomans appeared in Burnas as a port of refuge and landed unnoticed by the Russian guards, so that everything that had been built here so far was destroyed with alarming thoroughness. Only a huge grain warehouse remained standing.
But soon after the annexation of Bessarabia to Romania, the municipality of Basyrjamka was again at work to set up the resort. According to a new plan, villa sites were allocated and the Basyrjamka settler Jakob Schulz, despite snickering warnings, gladly began the “construction.” At this time, it was the thought of the German Bessarabian Company to put up a suitable spa and sanatorium (Heilanstalt) establishment where the German colonists could find accommodation, refreshments, and cure treatment. The question was discussed at a meeting of the People’s Council (Volksrat) and they decided to ask the Basyrjamka municipality to cede a suitable plot of land to the People’s Council on which the sanatorium could be built. The Basyrjamka municipality did just that. Unfortunately, the People’s Council could not realize the thing because they could not come up with the necessary funding. At the beginning of 1924, a group of intellectual German colonists once again took up the idea of a health resort which brought into existence the immediate establishment of a Joint-Stock Company, under the official name: S. A. “Bäile Burnas.” Without delay, the company took on the task of putting up the basic structures. According to the plans and under the skilled leadership of the architect, engineer Christian Beutelsbacher, construction of a large spa facility and a residential building for the patients was begun, which could be completed in spring of 1925 and opened at the start of the bathing season.
The basic layout of the bathhouse is a wide central building with two lateral wings and a centered addition to serve as the main entrance, measuring about 32 meters [1m=3.28 feet) long and containing 3 complexes (Komplekte) for mud baths (with subsequent sea tubs), 11 separate rooms for sea or estuaries baths, 1 room for restricted mud treatment (arm & foot baths), 1 private room for the doctor, 1 room for the medical assistant – masseur and the necessary waiting and service rooms. The building is a single story, with only a small tower rising just above the main entrance, which is a nice room for consultation meetings and spa administration. The living quarters for the visitors has a length of about 43 meters, consisting of 24 single rooms, each with a small, covered veranda completely isolated from the neighbor. To accommodate the diversity of the financial circumstances of patients, larger and smaller rooms were made; double the number envisioned to satisfy the anticipated increasing demand. While the whole bath house is constructed of fired bricks on a foundation made of hard stone, the living quarters’ outer walls only are made of bricks, but the inner walls—to be thrifty—are made of dried clay blocks (Lehmbatzen). Both houses are covered with galvanized roofing and provided with cisterns to collect rain water—which, according to the instructions of engineer Beutelsbacher, were also provided for most of the private homes in the “Villa Village” of which there are currently 20 that can accommodate some 400 guests.
The “Villa Village” is built according to a specific, drawn up plan with beautiful 17 meter wide streets, lined on both sides with trees. The whole spa terrain has a slight gradient toward the “Burnas” estuary, which encourages the rapid drainage of rain water, therefore, drying the streets and paths of the bath house and the sea beach. The distance from the most remote country houses by the sea and estuary beach is not more than 10 minutes; but barely 3 minutes from the nearest. The sea shore is not more than 10 meters high and, therefore, definitely not tiring to climb or descend, even for weak people. The beautiful wide dune with ample sea sand stretching many kilometers to the left and right of the spa site, is completely protected against sharp north winds and, therefore, creates the most ideal place for air, sand, and sun bathers. The beach is also very suitable for children since, due to the flat shore, they can go far into the sea without risk. The sea and steppe air is absolutely pure and very ozone rich; thanks to a persistent movement of air (a slight “Breeze”) via Lake Burnas to the large sand dune, in the direction of the sea, the air in Bad Burnas is not fouled up by the estuary air which the spa public in other health resorts often find so extremely annoying. The complete isolation of the resort from any human settlement guarantees the purity of the air, and also the rest so valued by the sick and suffering people. However, the main healing factors of the resort are what the bathhouse has to offer. The swimming pool is built according to the rules of modern technology: A very spacious recreation corridor with attendants for the public, large, bright, airy cabins providing bathing fixtures of beautiful, new, cast-iron, white enameled tubs. Very good drains in the bathhouse itself and on the grounds, all the way to the estuary, makes it possible for the bathhouse to be extremely sanitary.
Features & Amenities
The institute has a permanent specialist doctor. –spa-cure specialist, an experienced female medical assistant for massage, injections and such things, as well as nurses and a well trained service staff. The bathhouse is equipped with laundry and all necessary bath accessories. In the bathhouse, under the constant supervision of the physician and at a set hourly schedule, the following baths are administered for each individual patient: mud, sea, estuary and carbonic baths, for which a separate space is always available. Special light, airy single bathing huts are furnished for perspiration (sweating). Special baths are also provided for children. In the near future, sulfur baths are also to be installed, using sulfur water from the artesian well. By the way, it is to be noted that this well, belonging to the Joint Stock Company, was 99 Faden [0.16 faden=1 foot] deep and in the years of the war the half destroyed cavern well, after much toil and labor, was deepened to about 103 Faden, cleaned and put in order, and now there is a water flow of around 500 Eimer [1 Swiss eimer=37.5 liters/10 gal.; 1 Austrian eimer=56.7 liters/15 gal] an hour. Currently, the fountain provides great services, for the Joint-Stock Company itself, so also the dacha owners in the putting up of their country houses
The serious question about provisions was resolved by the Board in that a supply house was established so that spa guests would be able to receive good board and lodging or a good middle- class noon meal. During the next bathing season, a bakery and general store is also to be opened, whereby spa guests can obtain all necessary products and, under the control of the spa board of directors, keep the prices moderate. In addition, food will also be brought in by traders and farmers from surrounding villages.
Well aware of how very important the question is about an easy and quick connection to the health resort, a reliable vehicle will be purchased and put into circulation so that the public can be brought from the Kulwetscha Station to Bad Burnas and taken back again. A motor boat should also run back and forth on Lake Burnas to the market place in Tusla, where shops, pharmacy and others are available, and where the market takes place 3 times a week and all necessities of life are available. In the spring, a park is to be laid out around the health resort, putting in different trees and flower beds, well cared for walking paths and benches for the public. Playgrounds are to be established for children and young adults. From time to time, folk festivals, concerts, world cruises on Lake Burnas and much more are to take place. A library is to be launched where newspapers, journals and good books are to be at the public’s disposal for a small deposit. With a motor boat connection to Tusla, a regulated postal service is to be secured. If the above innovations are carried out, Bad Burnas will move forward to a beautiful future.
One can rightly say that great work has been done on this place in the course of the last year. While last year there were only a villa and the large building, as the health institution and residence were still in an unfinished state, now there is a villa next to them and also the building of the Joint-Stock Company in full readiness. This spa is a beautiful work of German creative spirit, but also of German perseverance. It is to be hoped that all sick and suffering people, regardless of religion and nationality, may find full recovery and restoration of their strength at our health resort, and that “Bad Burnas” might stand in first place among all health resorts, an undeniable claim thanks to its excellent location and the very rich natural surroundings.
The Vancouver Chamber Choir Presents a Joyful Christmas Concert!
A joyful Christmas presents Nicol Matt, Conductor, from Germany
Date: Friday, December 14, 2018
Time: 8 pm
Location: Pacific Spirit United Church (formerly Ryerson United Church)
2205 West 45th, Vancouver at Yew Street
German Canadian Benefit Concert
Did you know that the German Canadian Care Home GCCH) is organizing their final benefit concert at the Vancouver Alpen Club on Sunday, November 25th, 2018 at 2 pm. Additional donations are also welcome! The Alpen Club is located at 4875 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC in East Vancouver. The doors open at 1:30 pm and the Edelweiss Musikanten will be there to greet you. This is the #39th Benefit Concert held since 1979! See poster below!
German Canadian Business Association Christmas Gala
This date may seem familiar, as it is also the day that the German Canadian Business Association is hosting their Christmas Gala at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club at 5:30 pm. Some people are going to both events.
Vancouver International Film Festival 2018
If you don’t mind coming late to the Christmas Gala, and you don’t want to miss out, you can attend the 5:20 pm movie showing of the German/French movie “Transit” is playing at the:
Vancouver International Film Centre
1181 Seymour Street 604.683.3456
Discover more at viff.org
Trust the director of Phoenix and Barbara to re-imagine a WWII romantic intrigue into something unsettlingly contemporary and resonant. With occupying forces closing in, a German refugee (Franz Rogowski) assumes a dead writer’s identity and flees to Marseille in hopes of sailing to safety. However, entanglements with the writer’s widow (Paula Beer) and a young boy disrupt his plans. Drawing equally from Casablanca and current affairs, Transit is a fascinating, enigmatic, utterly captivating movie.
Vancouver Bach Choir brings Handel’s Messiah to Surrey
New partnerships with the Surrey City Orchestra and fantastic local soloists mark this holiday event.
Vancouver, BC, 2018:
Every December for nearly 90 years, the Vancouver Bach Choir has taken to the stage to perform one of the world’s most famous choral masterpieces, Handel’s Messiah. This December is no exception, as the choir brings its celebrated production to the Bell Performing Arts Centre for the first time on Saturday, December 8th at 7:30pm. Under the baton of Music Director Leslie Dala, an ensemble of celebrated local soloists and the newly founded Surrey City Orchestra join the choir to bring to life this time honoured and celebrated musical masterpiece – capped off by the iconic Hallelujah chorus.
“In the lengthy history of the Vancouver Bach Choir, no single work has been more performed – or more well-loved – than Handel’s Messiah,” says Leslie Dala, Music Director of the choir. “This masterpiece is the very embodiment of holiday spirit; sharing the story of Christ’s life and death through joyful, profound music that transcends time and faith – touching the hearts of all who hear it.”
Since its debut in 1742, Handel’s Messiah has been a resounding success, popular all over the world in celebration of both the Christmas and Easter holidays. It is said that Handel composed the entire work in a three week frenzy, upon which he remarked, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me and the great God Himself.” Whatever his inspiration, the work has stood the test of the time and contains some of the most memorable moments in music, including the famous Hallelujah chorus.
The evening will feature four local soloists that demonstrate the incredible depth of talent present in the lower Mainland. Soloists like Vancouver based Tyler Simpson who sang for seven seasons at the Metropolitan Opera, or local favourite, counter-tenor Shane Hanson, fresh off winning the local Metropolitan Council Auditions for the second year in a row. These soloists will share the stage with the Surrey City Orchestra; a new organization that aims to build a professional orchestra comprised of Surrey area musicians, including members of the Borealis String Quartet.
Tickets begin at just $18 for this holiday concert and can be found by visiting the Bach Choir website at vancouverbachchoir.com or contact the Bell Centre office directly.
About the Vancouver Bach Choir: The Vancouver Bach Choir (VBC), celebrating its 88th season, is an award-winning symphonic choir committed to offering vibrant and culturally diverse choral experiences to its audiences.
As one of the largest choral organizations in Canada, the Vancouver Bach Choir explores a wide range of repertoire from the past to the present with passion and commitment. With eight choirs ranging in age from 5 to 80, the VBC continues to pursue choral excellence at all levels and presents numerous concerts each year through the metro Vancouver region.
Over the past eight decades, the choir has performed with numerous world-class musicians. Currently under the baton of Maestro Leslie Dala, the VBC continues its mission and tradition to share the beauty of new and traditional choral music with as wide an audience as possible.
Vancouver Bach Choir presents Handel’s Messiah
Conductor: Leslie Dala
Featuring: Vancouver Bach Choir and Surrey City Orchestra
- Soprano: Elaina Moreau (Surrey BC)
- Counter Tenor: Shane Hanson (Chilliwack BC)
- Tenor: Martin Renner Wallace (Delta BC)
- Bass Baritone: Tyler Simpson (Vancouver BC)
Date: Saturday, December 8th, 2018 | 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: Tickets start at $18
Address: Bell Performing Arts Centre
6250 144 St, Surrey, BC V3X 1A2
Box Office: purchase tickets online at vancouverbachchoir.com, by phone at (604) 507-6355 or in person at the Bell Centre Box Office, 6250 144 St. Surrey BC.
So happy that I was able to produce this Christmas Edition of “Das Schwarze Brett”, a German Canadian Magazine published in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with the help of volunteer writers or photographers and anyone needing publicity.
Here is the table of contents of this edition:
Page 3 – Letters from the Editor
Page 20 -Magazine Sponsor – German
Canadian Heritage Plaza
Page 24 – Contact Information
Page 5 – German Christmas Tree Legends
Page 6 – Bessarabian Christmas Baking
Page 7 – Christmas with with the GCBA
Page 8 – 2018 Vancouver Christmas Market
Page 9 – A new German Consul General
Page 10 – Swiss News Updates
Page 11 – Who is St. Nikolaus?
Page 12 – TransMountain Not the Answer
Page 13 – Germans Love the Cariboo
Page 14 – CETA Agreement
Page 16 – Vernon Internment Camps
Page 18 – Thank you to my Sponsors
Page 21 – Christmas Concerts
Page 22 – Deutscher Platz Story
Page 23 – New Plaque for GCHP
Page 5 – Leicht Kitchens Germanhaus
Page 7 – GCBA Christmas Gala
Page 8 – Vancouver Christmas Market
Page 11 – Vancouver Chamber Choir
presents a Joyful Christmas
Page 15 – PMA Canada
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