Dive into the captivating narrative of "Pastoraat. Ühe baltisaksa suguvõsa lugu," penned by the talented Hamburg-based writer, journalist, and academic lecturer, Cord Aschenbrenner. This book, which garnered the prestigious Georg Dehio Book Prize in 2016, unfolds the rich tapestry of the Hoerschelmann family's history, spanning over two centuries of devout service in Estonia.
As you turn the pages, you'll be transported back to 1768 when the saga begins with Ernst August Wilhelm Hoerschelmann, the son of a Thuringian pastor, who embarked on a journey to Estonia to teach at a gymnasium in Tallinn. From this moment, the Hoerschelmann lineage became synonymous with spiritual guidance, as they preached, baptized, confirmed, wedded, comforted, and buried generations of Estonians, weaving their lives inseparably into the fabric of local communities.
This book does not merely recount the chronicles of the Hoerschelmann family; it also sheds light on the broader role of Baltic German clergy in advancing education, literacy, and welfare among Estonians. It challenges the historical resentment often associated with the clergy, revealing stories of genuine respect and affection from their congregations.
Aschenbrenner's meticulous research and narrative skill bring to life the family's enduring commitment to education, music, and journalism, even as they faced the loss of their church estates and the eventual displacement of the Baltic Germans. Yet, the connection to Estonia remains unbroken, as Paul-Gerhard Hoerschelmann, from the eighth generation, returns to lead the Institute of Theology of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church and establish a pastoral seminary in the newly independent Estonia.
"Pastoraat. Ühe baltisaksa suguvõsa lugu" is more than a family history; it's an exploration of cultural and religious intersections that have shaped Estonia's past and continue to influence its present. Aschenbrenner's work is a testament to the enduring spirit of a family and their impact on a nation's soul.