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



Part 1 - History of the village Brunow

Part 2 - History of the village Bauerkuhl

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Part 3 - History of the village Klüß

When Dukes Heinrich and Johann von Mecklenburg took over several villages from Hans Hund and in 1438 granted a lifetime lease to Koene von Restorf, among these villages was Klüß, just the same as Brunow was a part of the estate Dambeck. This lease in the year 1438 represents the first mention of the village Klüß. The Slavic place name, which means "place at a river bend", indicates that the place is substantially older. The Landesherr (the Duke) had also acquired shares of Klüß during the Thirty-year War, and assigned it first to domanialamt (government seat) Neustadt, before the village in 1861 finally was assigned to Amt Grabow. Like Brunow, shares in Klüß remained until 1768 in the possession of different landowner families. Also, shares of Klüß belonged successively to the families von Restorf, von Rohr, von Winterfeld and von Ditten. Like Brunow, Klüß remained a Kommuniondorf and would through the purchases of the Duke in the year 1768 finally and completely become part of the Landesherr properties. A Kommuniondorf is a village where the Landesherrn (the Duke) and a Ritter (hereditary descendant of a knight) shared joint ownership. A fräulein von Winterfeld lived in Klüß until her death. After her death the Schulze (village mayor) Schmidt took over her house.

In 1654 in Klüß, along with the Schulze, the Duke owned six Hufen, one half-Hufe, four Kossate, and two Büdner. Seven Hufen, one half-Hufe, four Kossate and a Büdner belonged to Adolf von Winterfeld.

Unlike Brunow, six years after the end of the Thirty-year War, 12 positions of 27 were still unoccupied: The positions of six Hufen, two half-Hufe, two Kossate and two Büdner were not rebuilt. Each farmer had to serve his master three Spanntage and one Handtag weekly, and during harvest time every day. 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 that they still had to deliver payment in the form of money, and to supply the pastor with money, grain, eggs and sausage. The services of the other subjects of the estate were somewhat less. The residents of Klüß attended church services at their own small branch church. The mother church was at first in neighboring Dambeck, but at the beginning of the 17th century in Neuhausen Brandenburg, on the other side of the border with the Prignitz. During the period from 1851 to 1857 the church in Klüß was assigned again to Dambeck before it was finally combined in 1857 with the church at Brunow.

In 1704 twelve positions were controlled by the Duke and twelve places by von Winterfeld. The school master Jürgen Eckert lived in the Witwenhaus (house where village widows lived). He is the first sexton in Klüß who was at the same time a teacher.

At an earlier time it was recorded that there was a windmill in Klüß, before the middle of the 17th century a Krug (inn), and one hundred years later a blacksmith can be shown to have existed. These positions were considered as desirable sources of income and would therefore be leased out by the domanialamt. After the Thirty-year War a new mill would be rebuilt in another place. The house of the miller and various farm buildings belonged to the mill. In order to secure a durable source of income for the miller, different farmers were obligated to have their grain ground at the Klüß mill. It was forbidden for them to take their grain to another mill. Of these mill clients were nine subjects from Balow, four from Brunow, two from Platschow and thirteen from Dambeck. Four subjects from Klüß had their grain ground in Mark Brandenburg, the others were clients of the mill at Klüß. Because the farmers wanted to have their grain ground at the mill that was nearest or the one that ground the best, these arrangements would frequently be circumvented, which regularly caused disputes between the millers and their meal clients. A trial was held before the district court in Neustadt in 1845 for that reason.

In contrast to the mill, the blacksmith did not have obligatory customers. Therefore, many farmers from Klüß frequently went the short distance over the border to Brandenburg, perhaps because the work was performed better or cheaper. When the blacksmith in Klüß died, and his wife and the oldest son carried on the trade, the widow was not in a position to raise the high lease payment and had repeatedly to ask the Duke for a lease decree. Things went similarly for the Krüger (inn keeper). He was expelled on behalf of the Duke from the farmstead because he was unable to pay his duties.

The close proximity of the border with Brandenburg caused another business to bloom, already in those years: smuggling. Several residents of Klüß carried on a forbidden trade with various goods in neighboring locations in the Mark Brandenburg. Several business people from the Mecklenburg city of Grabow moved their goods by secret means to Klüß or had them fetched from Klüß. Then these things were sold in Brandenburg. Some people from Klüß operated a just as lucrative - but forbidden - business: distillation.

The nearby border also had a disadvantage: Numerous cases are reported of how Prussian (military) solicitors came across the border to Mecklenburg, despite the ban on recruiting soldiers there. It even occurred that Mecklenburg farmers were kidnapped away from farm work to military service in Brandenburg.

In 1819 Klüß was still part of domanialamt Neustadt, and with its 463 inhabitants was a sizeable farm village. Of these inhabitants were 231 male and 232 female. 94 children 14 years of age or younger lived in the village! Of the inhabitants were nineteen Bauern (farmers), an Erbmüller (miller with hereditary rights) with three Gesellen (journeymen), three Büdner, nine Tagelöhner, seven Dienstjungen (servant boys), fifteen Dienstmädchen (house maids), fourteen Knechten (farm hands), eleven Altsitzer (persons on life estate), nine Einlieger (free agricultural laborer), and one each of a Tischler (table maker) , Schneider (tailor), Schäfer (shepherd), Kuhhirte (cowherd), Stellmacher (wheel maker), Lehrer (teacher), Maurer (bricklayer) and Hirte (herdsman).

On 1 April 1871 Klüß was elevated to a gemeinde giving it the far-reaching right of self-government. Up to that time, the Schulze (village mayor) was appointed by the domanialamt and usually held the office for life. Only rarely would a Schulze lose his office, as did Schulze Schmidt, who because of many years of complaints by the farmers of Klüß over the administration of his office, his lifestyle, and embezzlement was removed from his position in 1792. Now - in 1871 -a local council would be formed from the Schulze and two Schöffen (lay judges). From that point on, the people were represented by a village assembly consisting of the local council, the teacher of the village and from ten additional representatives of the residents. Among these additional ten were a representative of the Büdner and a representative of the Häusler. Others were selected from the farmers and the miller.

After the end of the monarchy, in 1920 the domanialamt was dissolved and a new regional structure was created in Mecklenburg. The gemeindes Klüß, Brunow and Bauerkuhl were assigned to the newly created government seat of Grabow which, however, was absorbed in 1925 by the later Kreis Ludwigslust.

In 1921 all school children came from Klüß, with the exception of one from Carver mill in Brandenburg. These children of all ages, 38 in all, received instruction in a 63 square meter large classroom, newly built in 1902.

In 1939 - on the eve of the Second World War - living in Klüß were 266 residents in 18 Hüfen, two Eigentumsgrundstücken (small properties), six Büdner and 21 Häuslereien (cottages). Klüß had a connection on the railroad and a school. The population also rapidly increased in Klüß as a result of the war: at the end of 1946 the population count was 512.

In the course of administrative reorganization of Kreis Ludwigslust in 1952, Klüß was assigned to Kreis Parchim, before it was assigned to Kreis Perleberg. Along with Brunow and Dambeck, Klüß was the only Mecklenburg gemeinde to be assigned to the land that was earlier Brandenburg.

Soon after that would Klüß be incorporated into Gemeinde Brunow.

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