Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vitus Zimber

- "A True Original"
My Great-3-Grandfather Vitus Zimber, who was father of the Zimber Brothers who emigrated to Ireland, appears to have been something of a local character and appears in many folk tales and stories of the region of the Black Forest around Neukirch/Furtwangen. Some of these are detailed below.

The following is from "Löcher und Döbel um Dreistegen" (Furtwangen 1979) by Max Braun and was provided to me by Paul Dold :
"In the furthest Hexenloch house, about 1851, lived Zimber-Vitt. This man was an original. He delighted in playing pranks. One day when he was fishing, gendarme (policeman) came along. The Vitt moved away from the stream as though headed for the other side of the mountain, so the policeman followed. Some way further on, the Vitt stopped, and when the policem an caught up, pointed out to the disconcerted man his legal fishing licence.
Another time, he wanted to draw attention to the damage being done to the forest. He said: “I have been getting wood from this forest for thirty years, and after this law is passed I’ll have the right to do it”.
Also, because of poaching, once he pointed out that in his garden he had a snare against rabbits. Vitt said; “The rabbits always eat the cabbage in my garden. Now when one is in the noose, I hit it with a stick full on its hide, and then let him run away. He never comes back.
Thereby he observed the same thing when a deer was caught in his noose; he had a cord from the garden to the main room in the house (Stube) with a bell on it at the hous e end, to hinder the deer, which of course strung the deer up."

He also appears as a character "Der Königenhof" a play performed by Jostäler Freilichtspiele. (The pictures on this page are of actors playing the part of "Zimper-Vit" in the play.)

The pictures of the clocks above are of a clock that came up for sale recently that he made.  The mechanism is signed by Vitus, apparently a mark of one of the better craftsmen.  The clock is a 'moving-eye' clock ie the eyes of the man in the picture move from side to side and was for sale for over €2,000.