Peasants and Jews: Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics in Northwest Germany

One characteristic of northwest Germany is the variety of living and farming patterns that are concentrated in a small area. One of my first tasks when I began this project was to explore the village patterns and settlement size, which I did in a conference paper, "Mapping Soil Structures, Village Types, and Market Patterns in East Friesland during the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century," presented at to Social Science History Association meeting in Chicago, November 2004.


German rural scholars differ on the proper classification scheme for village and field patterns. Here is a brief list of the competing typologies:


Village typology based on housing pattern


Einzelhof (farmstead) = present on new and old Marsch, Geest, and low Moor.
Haufensiedlung (cluster village) = old Marsch, interior of Geest, none on Moor.
Reihen- or Hufensiedlung (row or chain village) = new Marsch, west side of East Frisian Geest, the high Moor.
Schwarmsiedlung (dispersed village) = Geest and high Moor.
Fehnsiedlung (fen village) = on High Moor.


Village typology based on field (Flur) form


Reihenform = Hufendorf (in Marsch, Marschhufendorf, ex. Landschaftspolder).
Reihenform on Geest = long, narrow, rectangular fields (called "Upstreet"); a late medieval colonization form

common in Weser and Elbe Marschlands.
Blockform = Haufendorf (or Warfdorf)
Kämpe = Geesthaufensiedlung (also called Gaste).
Fehnform = on High Moor, rectangular, more broad than wide, not greater than 10 ha, differs from Reihenform in that it has canals.


Village typology based on shape


Runddorf (Rysum) = a special subset of Haufendorf with a round format.
Länglich-rundendorf = a special subset of Haufendorf with an oval format (i.e., Hamswehrum).
Fehnkolonie = a Reihendorf situated along a canal with secondary canals (Wiecken) for property lines.


Local history societies have been particularly active in researching field names, a form of endeavor many Americans might find strange but I find utterly fascinating. See for instance the work of the Arbeitsgruppe Flurnamen Hadeln, sponsored by the Heimatbund Männer vom Morgenstern in Bremerhaven. After two years of intensive work in the Katasteramt  Otterndorf, a group a local historians compiled a two volume handbook of fields and field names for the former counties of Neuhaus and Hadeln.




Settlement types