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The name Scharwerk comes from the Old High German word " scara " for crowd, heap. It referred to work that had to be done by several people, a "crowd", alternately for a master or a domain ( compulsory service ). The people officially called themselves Scharwerker .

Depending on the type of work, a distinction can be made between those

  • that served the Lord's agriculture (for example helping with the cultivation of the fields),
  • which had to be carried out by rural businesses (such as grinding grain or brewing beer),
  • who supported the manorial traffic and transport system (by helping with road construction, running errands) and those,
  • who contributed to the exercise of power (by providing quarters and food for officials, helping with the construction of castles and fortifications).

Such services were usually limited according to the time required or the objective task and represented part of the remuneration for the provision of loaned goods. Scharwerk services have been documented since the Carolingian era . In later times, the flocking was also done for the village community, especially in the construction of roads, water protection, for the beautification of the area or during joint work assignments in the community forest.

The flocking had to be done two to three days a week, but was often requested daily. Nobody should be called to the crowd on Sundays and major holidays. An exemption from the crowd had to be paid in cash or in kind to the landlord. The crowd was abolished in East Prussia in 1802 .

The German term was adopted in Polish as szarwark .

See also


  • Wilhelm Volkert: Small Lexicon of the Middle Ages: From Adel to Zunft , CH Beck (2000), p. 231
  • Robert Stein: The transformation of the agricultural constitution of East Prussia through the reform of the nineteenth century . Volume 1: The rural constitution of East Prussia at the end of the eighteenth century . 2nd edition expanded to include registers. Reprint of the Jena 1918 edition. E. Meier, Oberhausen 1997, ISBN 3-931577-04-X , ( special publications of the Association for Family Research in East and West Prussia eV 92).

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