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Stephan Ludwig Roth - Teacher

In 1821 we find him in Transylvania (Ardeal), as teacher at the middle school of Mediaş (currently carrying the scholars' name); in 1828 he became a vice-chancellor, and in 1831 – chancellor of same middle school. Towards the end of 1834 he faced the obtuse ideas of the local officials: his firm convictions were frowned upon by the powerful players of his time so he was excluded from the educational system. From that point on all he had left was his ecclesiastic calling, as Preacher in the Evangelical Church of Mediaş, and later on as priest in two neighboring villages of Mediaş, namely Nemşa (from 1837) and Moşna (from 1847), and the fight for his idealistic conviction that all Transylvanian people could live in harmony. Known by his fellow countrymen as „the peasant dressed as a scholar”, he left behind some extremely interesting works from a historical standpoint. First of all, Geschichte von Siebenbürgen (History of Transylvania) (1846) that remained as a manuscript; also Untersuchugen und Wohlmeinungen über Ackerbau und Nomadenwesen (Research and References to Agriculture and Nomad Life) (1842); Der Sprachkampf in Siebenbürgen (Struggle for language in Transylvania) (1842), and last but not least Der Goldmangel und edie Veramung in Siebenbürgen (Poverty and Pauperism in Transylvania) (1843) which analyses the financial-economical root causes of the downward direction of the area, of which the most important is considered to be working with bondmen, impeding the development of craftsmen; feudal servility is also immoral and as a consequence the extinction thereof is required by „humanity in the interest of the country; heaven and earth demand justice, not the continuance of this exhausting oppression”

"This deep feeling of living and dying for their nationality has brought out and has sanctioned these people as ROMANIANS; and where does the power to take this nationality away reside? What right do you have to argue this nationality?" (Ştefan Ludwig Roth, 1848)

 

 


Quote

The gentlemen in the Diet of Cluj wish to see a new language emerged in the chancelleries and now they are glad their offspring has seen the light of day. There's no need to declare a language as an official language. We already have a national language. It is not German, nor Hungarian, it is Wallachian. Regardless how much we, the nations in the Diet, try and fuss about it, we cannot change a thing. This is the reality. (...) It is an undisputable reality. As soon as two people of different nationality meet, and none of them speaks the other one's language, Wallachian serves as their interpreter. Whenever one makes a journey, or goes to the fair, Wallachian is the language spoken by everyone. Prior to testing whether the other one speaks German or Hungarian, Wallachian breaks the ice. Either way, there is no other language to use with a Wallach, since Wallachs speak their own language. And it figures, since one needs school classes to learn German or Hungarian; whereas Wallachian is self taught, on the street, in the daily human contact. The ease of learning Wallachian resides not only in the great number of Latin words that this people (...) adopted when they mixed with the Roman colonists and that comes natural for us, Transylvanian people, partly due to our Latin education so far, but also due to the fact that life itself keeps testing us on daily basis by our contact with this numerous people.“(1842)

"This deep feeling of living and dying for their nationality has brought out and has sanctioned these people as ROMANIANS; and where does the power to take this nationality away reside? What right do you have to argue this nationality?" (1848)