À La Lisière de la Forêt:
Schirrhein/Schirrhoffen. Compiled by Rose-Marie Vetter.
Strasbourg: Editions Coprur (1995).
Schirrheiners Attempt to Return to their Homes And Property
"Several people illegally returned from Germany. It appears they were the farmer Philippe Steinmetz, the writer Joseph Dorffer, the wife of Joseph Heisserer, Marianne Linck, and the wife of the late Joseph Heisserer, known as Merikal. Upon their return, they were placed under the general protection of the community.
Soon, the director of Haguenau sent the commissioner Hild and a troop of soldiers with orders to arrest and bring back these people under secure escort to face the military commission of Strasbourg. He was asked to carry out his mission with all necessary prudence, and to maintain public calm. He provided the troops that accompanied him with the provisions needed for the mission.
However, the commissioner was unable to meet the secret requirements of his mission, for when he arrived at the site, neighbors who were protecting those in hiding discovered him and his soldiers. They hid the refugees, some in the neighbor's houses, others in the nearby forest. [The soldiers knew] that a journey into the forest was not without risk. In effect, near the end of the 18'" century, many wolves infested the forests of Haguenau and it's environs, ravaging the area, wounding and devouring many animals. On the 12th of December 1798 the forestry administration organized a hunt of the wolves. The community of Schirrhein was to furnish 70 men and that of Schirrhoffen 40. They assembled on the appointed day, at eight in the morning near the Langbruk bridge, under the direction of Joseph Adam, the forestry guardian of [nearby]Soufflenheim, ready to hunt and trap the wolves. On this day, many wolves were killed.
When the general Napoleon Bonaparte, conqueror of Italy, reversed the Directorate by a coup d'etat and proclaimed himself First Counsel, the revolutionary period was over, and calm returned to the country.
The years of the revolution brought about grave disorders and many worrisome events in the country. Bands of rogues formed and attacked travelers and isolated farms. The police in the areas were unable to control efficiently all the bad elements hiding in the forest and elsewhere. They were obliged to call for reinforcement by mobile troop units and the national guard to search the woods and chase the suspects, the army deserters, the Austrian deserters, those who evaded the draft, the refugees who came back illegally, and other undesirable elements.
Ten years after the end of the Ancient Regime, fortunes profoundly changed. The region began to find unity. The old splits began to dissolve. Eventually the province had the same laws and the same administration as the other provinces of France."
"For the two communities, the Revolution had brought about long lasting and durable changes. They became independent communities. They were no longer under submission to the, magistrate of Haguenau. The Revolution permitted the simple peasants to acquire land and to live more decently. They no longer had to pay the tributes and unjust taxes. They could farm their land and keep the produce.
But the Revolution was also the source of a form of vandalism. The chateau of Schirrhoffen was sold off. The chapel was found dismantled. The small bell was taken to the bell tower of the Church of St. Nicolas of Schirrhein. The Revolution also included intolerance and religious persecution. The measures taken against the Church and the persecutions of priests led to religious agitation among the population. And then the economic disruptions caused a profound malaise among the people."
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