Gemeinde Brunow
History of the Villages of Gemeinde Brunow
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written by Karl-Heinz Steinbruch M.A.



Part 2 - History of the village Bauerkuhl

Part 3 - History of the village Klüß

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Part 1 - History of the village Brunow

In a document no more precisely dated than 1340, it is recorded that several members of the family Dargeslav, from which Pastor Henning Dargeslav of Brunow descended, legally sold two Hufen within the village of Beckentin to the city Grabow. (Hufen is the plural form of Hufe. A Hufe was a normal full sized farm, with crops, hay and pasture, approximately 17 acres in size. ) This document represents the first mention of Brunow. At the same time we learn that a church already existed in Brunow. The village name is Slavic in origin, referring to a personal name, meaning "place of Brun".

Who the owners of Brunow were at the time of its first mention is unfortunately not recorded. Until the 18th century, however, the history of Brunow was closely aligned with the history of Dambeck because Brunow was, until its transition to the domain of the Duke of Mecklenburg, part of the main estate of Dambeck.

In 1366 Squire Hans Roskule gave grain money from Brunow to the nuns at the cloisters of Eldena for memorial services for his family and in 1377 the von Lützow's donated a quantity of rye from Brunow to the parish church at Grabow. A short time later a Hans Hund appeared with legal rights over numerous villages in this area, among these was Brunow, where his holdings included five Hufen. He transferred these Hufen to Dukes Heinrich and Johann von Mecklenburg who in turn in 1438 granted them to Koene von Restorf for his lifetime. The von Restorf family still exists today in Germany. But Brunow remained a possession of the Restorfs only ten years, for in 1448 Duke Heinrich von Mecklenburg granted Behrend von Rohr several villages, among them Brunow.

In 1575 Joachim von Winterfeld appeared as owner of one-half of the estates of Brunow along with von Rohr. In 1626 the era of the von Rohrs as half owners came to an end: Joachim von Winterfeld acquired from Hans von Rohr's creditors, von Rohr's share of Brunow for 18,500 gulden. In 1629 the Duke granted Joachim von Winterfeld a Lehnbrief (document of feudal tenure) over his share of Dambeck with the associated villages of Balow, Brunow, Klüß, Platschow, Drefahl, Ziegendorf, Pampin and Schlaten and confirmed the change of ownership.

In 1632 Dorothea von Rohr sold her portion of Dambeck along with its adjoining estates - among them Brunow and Klüß - to Duke Adolf Friedrich for 22,000 gulden. With that, the time of the von Rohr's came to an end. At the same time the mentioned locations were named "Kommuniondörfer", within them the knightly owner (von Winterfeld) and sovereign owner (Duke Adolf Friedrich) standing opposite each other. A Kommuniondorf is a village where the Landesherrn or soverign (the Duke) and a Ritter (hereditary descendant of a knight) shared joint ownership. At first, the newly acquired (Ritter owned) part of Brunow was assigned to the domanialamt (government seat) Neustadt, before being assigned to the domanialamt Grabow in 1756.

Although a church had existed in Brunow since the Middle Ages, from 1638 to 1645 it did not have a pastor. In 1645 Joachim Hermes took up the position - in the middle of the Thirty-year War: The church yard was desolate and dreary, it was missing a wall and the gate had no door. The parsonage still had all of its doors but not a single window. In the church only the brick altar table remained. To this terrible beginning was added more misfortune; in 1648 a winter storm overturned the pastor's barn.

But very quickly again the farms were settled: In 1654 the count was, according to the Schulzen (the official who was assigned to oversee the village, something like mayor), 13 Hüfner (farmer with full sized farm), three half-Hüfner, six Kossate (cottager with small house, garden and a little land for cattle or animals) and two Büdner (small farmers). Of those, the von Winterfeld family owned three Hüfner, one half-Hüfner and two Kossate, the pastor having one Kossat. The other subjects belonged to the estate of the Duke and had to carry out their services on the tenant farm at Bauerkuhl. Due to population losses during the Thirty-year War two Büdner positions were not again occupied. Among them was the position of the blacksmith. From both of them the position of Krügen (inn keeper) was available. Originally, the services to be performed were not precisely specified. If the lord requested additional services they had to be performed. Later, however, the farm subjects of the Duke had to perform two Spanntage and one Handtag on the estate at Bauerkuhl per week. (A Handtag is the day on which a person would serve without a horse team, and a Spanntag is a day on which a person would serve using a horse team.) In addition to contributions in the form of money and produce (vegetables, etc.) to the pastor were also required. Brunow, Löcknitz, Bauerkuhl and Horst were assigned to the Brunow parish. It is also recorded that in the year 1656 that Joachim Klüß was the first sexton as a teacher at Bauerkuhl.

The situation of different landowners side-by-side in Brunow naturally brought disputes between them. Because of a circumstance not specified in more detail, Duke Adolf Friedrich imposed a fine upon von Winterfeld which was not paid, but instead in 1651, von Winterfeld transferred to the Duke one of his farms in Brunow. Also, in 1667 another dispute arose because von Winterfeld allowed a witch to be burned in Dambeck without proper legal process

In 1697 Duke Friedrich Wilhelm wanted to give his part of Dambeck, with Brunow, Klüß and other places to Christoff von Koppelow in lieu of his salary. The contract had already drawn up, sealed and signed, but it never took effect. Before it could become effective the Duke personally tore it up.

In 1704 fifteen positions in Brunow were assigned to domanialamt Grabow, four to domanialamt Neustadt, four to von Winterfeld in Dambeck and one to the cavalry captain von Ditten. In addition, to domanialamt Grabow were assigned the Grobschmeid (blacksmith) Hildebrand, the Schneider (tailor) Rathsack, the Kuhhirte (cowherd) Goewe, the widow of the Schweinehirten (swineherd) Herbst and the Schäfer (shepherd) Herbst.

In 1728 the remains of the von Winterfeld Ritterschaft (knighted estate) of Dambeck with Brunow and Klüß were mortgaged for 14,500 taler to Ludwig Werner von Wenckstem. Four years later Karl Ludwig von Ditten entered into the contract. This mortgage agreement lasted until 1766, when Major Victor Friedrich von Winterfeld left the properties of Dambeck along with Brunow and Klüß for 31,297 taler hereditarily to Captain Friedrich Ludwig von Ditten. Two years later however, in 1768, Friedrich Ludwig von Ditten sold these properties for 34,600 taler to the house of the Duke, wherewith Brunow finally and completely came to the sovereign lands - the Domain.

In 1776 great need prevailed in Brunow: the farmers had to buy grain in order to survive, and had nothing to feed their half-starved cattle. They could not deliver on their obligations to the domanialamt, and therefore 19-day seizure was imposed. For this they were threatened by the domanialamt with twelve lashes each, and with losing their livestock, should they not pay in the future. In this time of great need the farmers of Brunow turned to the Duke. How this all ended is unfortunately not documented.

In 1819 Brunow was, with its 387 inhabitants, was relative to Mecklenburg unusually large. Of these inhabitants were 193 male, 194 female; 125 being 14 years of age or younger! The inhabitants were a pastor and his wife, a Kindermädchen (nursemaid) and Wirtschafterin (housekeeper), 21 Bauern (farmers), two Ökonomen (other farmers), nine Büdner, 14 Knechten (farm hands), 22 Dienstmädchen (house maids), 13 Dienstjungen (servant boys), 17 Einlieger (free agricultural laborers), 14 Altenteiler (retirees on life estate), two Tagelöhner (day-laborers), two Schneider (tailors), two Jäger (hunters), and one apiece of: Revierjäger (district hunters), Förster (forester), Küster (sexton), Rademacher (wheel maker), Grobschmeid (blacksmith), Tischler (table maker), Maurer (bricklayer), and a Hebamme (midwife).

On 12 April 1862 a large fire in Brunow completely burned two farmsteads, several farm buildings on two additional farmsteads and an Altenteilskaten (life estate cottage). The spread of the fire was aided considerably by the close proximity of the buildings to each other.

Once again in 1871 a large fire burned down two farmsteads and part of another.

In 1873 the farm village of Brunow and the half-mile distant Büdner colony of Löcknitz (which was founded in 1827) were consolidated and promoted to a gemeinde (community) with autonomy. Until the Second World War the name of the gemeinde was Brunow-Löcknitz.

In 1921 the secondary school in Brunow was attended by 75 children, among them were 14 from out of town; from the 3 kilometer distant Löcknitz and the 4 kilometer distant tenant farms of Bauerkuhl and Horst.

In 1939 there were in Brunow 31 farms, two Eigentumsgrundstücke (small properties), five Büdner and 35 Häuslereien (cottagers), in all 367 inhabitants. Only 25 inhabitants lived in the area of Löcknitz. There was a post office branch, a so-called Kraftpostverbindung (place where mail is delivered by auto or truck), a school and a dairy.

By the end of 1946 the population had been increased through the influx of fugitives, expelled persons and resettled persons to 684 inhabitants and as a result had nearly doubled.

In 1950 the up-until-then independent Bauerkuhl was eingemeindet (incorporated) with Brunow. Two years later, in the course of administrative reform, Brunow was assigned to Kreis (county) Ludwigslust, later being assigned to Kreis Perleberg. Alongside Klüß and Dambeck, Brunow was the only Mecklenburg gemeinde in this kreis, which was part of the earlier state of Brandenburg. After Klüß was eingemeinet (incorporated) with Gemeinde Brunow the current gemeinde structure of today was reached.

With the re-establishment of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 1990 and the ensuing regional reorganization, Gemeinde Brunow was returned to Kreis Ludwigslust.

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