The funeral ceremonies lasted five hours and began at 2 p.M. In front of the castle – where the VG building now stands. In the st.-oswald's church, the coat of arms and helmet of the deceased were later "broken", before his body was laid to rest in the house of god. The fact that local historian dieter geyer can now draw a fairly accurate picture of the end of the varell noble family in untersteinach is a source of satisfaction to the 59-year-old in his hobby. But the fact that it came to this is due to pure coincidence.
At the beginning of december 2012, manfred bergmann from michelau contacted the untersteinach administration. He had a relatively well preserved book with the title "the happiness of the dead" during debris removal work in the parental estate on closer inspection it turns out to be a record of the burial of the last nobleman of untersteinach, georg adam von varell, turned out to be. How it got there will probably always remain a mystery.
Mayor heinz burges immediately showed interest in the tape. And all the more so, because although people in untersteinach knew of the existence of such a book, the only known copy in private hands was not available.
In the end, burges even got the 110-page volume delivered to untersteinach for a rather symbolic price.
It must have been 20 years ago that local historian dieter geyer last held an edition of the book in his hands. As he tells, the records are of special value for untersteinach. "Because the noble family of the von varells was something very special for the town." The noblemen from northern germany had been summoned to upper franconia by the margrave of kulmbach around 1600. For around 160 years, says dieter geyer, untersteinach was the direct seat of the nobility of the von varell family and thus held an exposed position.
Castle and brewery demolished
Even if the castle – it was demolished in the 1980s in the course of the flood clearing of the river steinach like the castle brewery – last rather a "better barn" the name of von varell is still important today and is the subject of research. The noble family of the von varell line also came to an end in upper franconia: georg adam von varell died childless on the night of 6 a.M. In the same year. November 1765 about 3 o'clock.
In the same year, his wife, maria anna franzisca cordula von varell, made sure that her husband would still be remembered in untersteinach centuries later: she commissioned the death book now available from pastor johann gottfried biedermann. According to dieter geyer, it is uncertain whether the clergyman was able to examine the work printed in nurnberg in 1766. "Biedermann died in june of the same year".
List of mourners included
What he has left to posterity, however, is impressive: eulogies and funeral orations, directories of ancestors, downright eulogies, poem dedications, the consecration speech and, of course, the exact description of the funeral ceremonies on the 11th day of his death. November 1765 including list of participants are included in the book with symbolic drawings. The authors of the speeches were, among others, the then pastors from grafengehaig and guttenberg as well as military companions of the nobleman from untersteinach, who became known as a war hero. From another source dieter geyer said that at the funeral in the st. Oswald church was attended by so many people that the towers "threatened to burst".
Georg adam von varell made a name for himself not only as a diplomat and war hero, but also as a protector of the poor and the weak, which he was able to do in the town and his immediate sphere of influence "as far as burghaig, guttenberg and maierhof" high esteem in which he was held. "For example, he made it possible for children from poor families to learn a trade", tells dieter geyer.
Insight for everyone
For the 59-year-old local historian, the discovery in the attic of michelau is "a stroke of luck", which has brought back an important piece of untersteinach's contemporary history.
It goes without saying that the book, which is almost 250 years old, cannot simply be lent out to anyone who is interested. Mayor heinz burges will give the death book of georg adam von varell a safe place in the municipal archives. Nevertheless, the entries are to be made available to the public. Burges and dieter geyer wanted to reproduce the records on the 110 pages and then put them on the internet on the parish's homepage. A task that is certainly auandig. But was allowed to cost only a fraction of the time once invested by pastor johann gottfried biedermann.