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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the municipality of Witterda
Map of Germany, position of the municipality Witterda highlighted

Coordinates: 51 ° 2 ′  N , 10 ° 53 ′  E

Basic data
State : Thuringia
County : Sömmerda
Fulfilling municipality : Elxleben
Height : 314 m above sea level NHN
Area : 12.52 km 2
Residents: 1062 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 85 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 99189
Area code : 036201
License plate : SÖM
Community key : 16 0 68 061
Association administration address: Thomas-Müntzer-Str. 69
99189 Elxleben
Website : www.witterda.de
Mayor : René Heinemann ( CDU )
Location of the municipality of Witterda in the district of Sömmerda
Alperstedt Andisleben Büchel Buttstädt Eckstedt Elxleben Gangloffsömmern Gebesee Griefstedt Großmölsen Großneuhausen Großrudestedt Günstedt Haßleben Kindelbrück Kleinmölsen Kleinneuhausen Kölleda Markvippach Nöda Ollendorf Ostramondra Rastenberg Riethgen Riethnordhausen (bei Erfurt) Ringleben (bei Gebesee) Schloßvippach Schwerstedt Sömmerda Sprötau Straußfurt Udestedt Vogelsberg Walschleben Weißensee Werningshausen Witterda Wundersleben Thüringenmap
About this picture

Witterda is a municipality in the Sömmerda district in Thuringia . The municipality of Elxleben is the fulfilling municipality for Witterda . Witterda is particularly known for its long fruit and horticultural tradition.


The community is located northwest of the state capital Erfurt on the northern slope of the Fahner Höhe . The municipality is part of Friedrichsdorf .


Beginnings up to 1600

The fertile and climatically favorable region has been inhabited since the Stone Age. There are two explanations for the origin of the place name Witerde (later Witterda ). The Germanic interpretation is settlement under willow trees (at a spring) , whereby the de indicates a great age of this settlement. The name could also be of Slavic origin. The Slavic word Wit- means lord. Witterda would thus mean mansion.

1144 is in the copial book of the Peterskloster Erfurt of a "Wernhere de Witerde" as a witness. Lords of Witerde were probably Ministeriale , a castle in the village was their ancestral seat (a hill next to the Kirchberg is still called "the castle" or "bark"). Not far from there is the name “the castle” with “Herrengarten”.

The community is first mentioned in 1233 when Archbishop of Mainz Siegfried III. acquired the bailiwick rights over Witterda. The history of the place is closely linked to the then Mainzer Hof in Erfurt . Witterda belonged from the 13th century to the so-called Kitchen villages around the city of Erfurt , who had to supply the farm with food and him with unpaid labor services frondienstpflichtig were. In return, these kitchen villages were exempt from certain taxes. These close relationships resulted in Witterda being predominantly Catholic to this day .

The inhabitants lived from farming and animal husbandry, the dye plant Waid was especially important, but also the wine -Anbau played a role. In 1530 the plague claimed 100 deaths. The second half of the 16th century was the prime of the place. As part of a fortification, three massive and permanently guarded gates protecting the village were built (upper gate, lower gate, field gate). Large farms also adorned themselves with stately arches. In a document from the end of the 16th century it says: "No village has such prosperous Pau as in Wietterde". The old church ( sancti Martini in ville witterde ) has been thoroughly repaired. At the head of the municipal administration stood an "Oberheimbürge".

1600 to 1914

The Thirty Years' War led to heavy looting and destruction in the wealthy place. In 1625/26 the plague killed 200 out of 360 inhabitants. Gradually the place recovered. In 1710 the new church of St. Martin was consecrated, and in 1713 the baroque high altar was added. In 1718 the community baking house was built. The Seven Years' War with French and Prussian occupations and contribution payments resulted in a "huge war debt". In 1775 boys and girls were required to attend school in 1780. The introduction of fruit growing on the Fahner Heights at the end of the 18th century was a considerable enrichment for Witterda and associated with growing prosperity. Even nut and apricot trees were planted.

In 1802 Witterda lost his rule in Mainz and came to the Kingdom of Prussia . 1803 were King Friedrich Wilhelm III. and Queen Luise in transit. After the battle of Jena and Auerstedt in 1806, Witterda became part of Napoleon I's "personal domain Erfurt" until 1813 and thus belonged to France. There were marches, billeting, looting, contributions and requisitions. After the Russian campaign lost for Napoleon in 1813, all Witterda men in Erfurt had to carry out fortification work on the Petersberg citadel to strengthen it . 25 residents died of a "malignant nervous fever" (probably typhus). In 1813/14 there were also looting and other excesses by the Cossacks. Witterda became Prussian again and until 1944 belonged to the Erfurt administrative district of the province of Saxony . The town had to bear the burden of war debts and their repayment after the war for a long time. Due to the economic hardship and the promise of a better life, there was an "emigration fever" to North America in the middle of the 19th century. In 1839 the upper and lower gates were removed.

In the Franco-German War of 1870/71, 32 Witterdaer and Friedrichsdörfer took part. In the following decades the place took part in the general upswing in the newly founded German Empire . Erfurt, which expanded rapidly after its fortress walls were laid down, offered an increasingly better market for agricultural products. In 1891 the “Gustav Adolf Chapel” was built in the lower village for the evangelical minority. In 1894 Witterda got its own post office, in 1897 it was connected to the telephone network, in the same year a train station brought the railway connection on the Kühnhausen – Langensalza line . Fixed country roads to the neighboring villages were built. In 1909 it was connected to the power supply, fed from the new Thuringia power plant in Gispersleben. In 1910 a water pipe was laid, in 1912 all houses were connected. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Witterda has become an increasingly popular destination, especially when the fruit is in bloom. The population had increased to 900 in 1900.

1914 to 1945

During the First World War , 34 men from Witterda and nine from Friedrichsdorf died.

During the Weimar Republic , hyperinflation, sales difficulties and unemployment also affected the farming village of Witterda considerably. The conservative, Catholic population predominantly voted for the Center Party , which also provided the mayor.

In the time of National Socialism , the place initially profited from the “production battle” with guaranteed purchase of agricultural products (the state put up supplies), from the introduction of the “ HJ Landdienst ” for the young girls and from the elimination of unemployment through “emergency work “, Building up the armaments industry in the surrounding cities and the reintroduced military service - without most of them seeing through the motivation and consequences of this policy. In 1933 Witterda celebrated the 700th anniversary of its first documentary mention. The Nazi state's total claim to the people led to friction with the Catholic Church, including the pastor's arrest twice. There were changes in the teaching positions. In Witterda, 27 “hereditary farms” were created. These only had to remain in the hands of one heir in order to end the ongoing downsizing of the farms. The inner-city streets and those leading to the neighboring villages were renewed, the extinguishing water pond was modernized, a motorized sprayer was purchased for the Witterda volunteer fire brigade founded in 1878 , a new sports field and a new school were built (with common rooms for HJ and BDM ).

After the beginning of the Second World War , the place had to accept evacuated women and children from the Saarland and later from the air war zones. Forced laborers from Poland and French prisoners of war were used as “replacements” for the men drafted for military service . The latter (about 30 men) had their accommodation in the "tavern" and worked in agriculture. The women and the elderly had to take over the management of the factories.

The individual fate of Gert Sch. from Witterda, shows how the racial madness found its way into smaller communities. Gert Sch., Born on November 25, 1928, lived in Witterda with his grandparents. In May 1941, the request of the competent youth welfare office was that "the Negro half-breed from the region is removed to school children in Witterda to withdraw its nefarious influence." It was planned that the boy in an orphanage in St. Joseph care after Mulfingen brought should be. Research was carried out there with "mixed-race gypsy children" among the "gypsy researchers" Dr. Roman Ritter and Dr. Eva Justin until they were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp . St. Josefspflege refused to accept Gert Sch. from and after finishing school he returned to his mother in Bad Langensalza . On July 20, 1944, the now 16-year-old was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp and used in the quarry. According to his own statements, he only survived the concentration camp because of the illegal resistance organization.

On April 10, 1945, US troops occupied the place on whose church tower (by a French prisoner of war?) The white flag had been hoisted. Some barns on the edge of the village burned down due to fire. As a “punitive measure” for the resistance he planned to build with barricades in the village, the school house of the teacher and Volkssturmführer was burned down. He himself was taken away. The US soldiers searched every house from basement to floor and imposed a curfew from 9:00 p.m.

In the course of the fighting on April 10, 15 German soldiers were killed. Some of them fell in the corridor around Witterda, but 8 of them are said to have been executed in "retaliation" for two American soldiers who were shot at the border ditch on Fahnerschen Strasse. The 15 soldiers were buried in the cemetery on April 12th, and in 1947 stone grave slabs and a large memorial cross were placed on them.

Of the 225 men drafted from Witterda and Friedrichsdorf, 88 did not return (fallen or missing) from the war. A plaque from 1983 in the Martini Church commemorates her.

1945 until now

From 1945 onwards, large numbers of refugees came to Witterda from the eastern regions . After the war, 700 of the 1,700 inhabitants were refugees. In early July, the Red Army replaced the US occupation. The farms were brought to the edge of their existence by a very tough delivery rate. Raids were carried out. There were consignments to the Soviet Buchenwald special camp . Under pressure from the occupation, a village committee was formed in autumn 1945 to carry out the land reform , which, after expropriations , gave away small plots of land to landless people and new farmers. In the winter of 1945 all the younger men were assigned to dismantle the armaments and other heavy industry in Erfurt for transport to the Soviet Union . In 1946 there was an "advertising campaign" for uranium ore mining, which was starting up in Aue / Saxony, which many escaped by fleeing to the western zones . In the municipal council elections in 1946, the CDU won 13 and the SED 3 seats. In 1950 50 young people left the village and headed west. Efforts by the SED and the authorities to establish an LPG initially failed in 1952. However, machine lending stations (MAS) were already pushing the farmers towards collectivization. At the end of the 1950s, the local party organization of the SED stated in a paper on the status of the socialist restructuring of agriculture : “As is well known, there is still no LPG in Witterda” and so far “there has been a reticence to confrontations with the farmers”. In 1960, forced collectivization finally took place under massive pressure . At first it was a LPG "Type I", in which only the field economy was organized as a cooperative. Before the Wall was built in 1961, three farming families went to West Germany. In 1968 the LPG was converted into "Type III", in which livestock farming was also collectivized. Witterda later specialized in rearing cattle , and a corresponding cattle rearing station was built. The young cattle were driven to pasture in the Thuringian Forest in spring . The field management was mainly given to LPG in the neighboring villages. A lot was built in Witterda, in addition to commercial and residential buildings and streets, as well as a large bungalow area with 140 “ dachas ” on the “poor jacket”. The place was further expanded as a local recreation area . In 1983 Witterda was able to celebrate the 750th anniversary of its first documentary mention with a large parade and became the “most beautiful village in the district”. In 1986 the church tower was given a copper roof and a shiny cross on top that can be seen from afar.

After the political change and reunification, the economy was restructured with re-privatizations, the LPG was converted into an agricultural cooperative and other agricultural businesses. The cattle breeding was stopped. Negative side effects were unemployment, the emigration of young people, early retirement and a sharp drop in the number of births. On the other hand, the village was structurally restored and a new building area was created with a corresponding influx of new citizens. In all elections since 1990, the CDU was the strongest party. In 2008 Witterda celebrated the 775th anniversary of its first documentary mention with a pageant.

In 2014 two members of the main line of the von Wittern family (Alexander and Thomas), descendants of the namesake von Witterda living in Bavaria, visited the place.

Friedrichsdorf district

The current district of Friedrichsdorf was founded as a small colony in 1780 by order of the Archbishop of Mainz and sovereign by the agricultural inspector Neithardt von Gneisenau . A place named Rasdorf or Rosdorf , which was mentioned in a document in 1217 and disappeared around 1450 , had already existed in the same place . The population lived mainly from agriculture.

During the Second World War , military internees from Italy and women and men from Poland had to do forced labor in Friedrichsdorf.

On July 1, 1950, the previously independent municipality of Friedrichsdorf was incorporated into Witterda.

Population development

Previous population figures:

  • 1618 - 0370 (before the Thirty Years War)
  • 1650 - 0176 (after the Thirty Years War)
  • 1816 - 0768
  • 1900 - 0900
  • 1933-1035

Approximate number of inhabitants in 1945:

  • 1945-1700

Development of the population since 1994:

  • 1994 - 1,010
  • 1995 - 1,049
  • 1996 - 1,102
  • 1997 - 1,145
  • 1998 - 1,146
  • 1999 - 1,154
  • 2000 - 1,192
  • 2001 - 1,178
  • 2002 - 1,148
  • 2003 - 1,151
  • 2004 - 1,140
  • 2005 - 1,140
  • 2006 - 1,137
  • 2007 - 1,122
  • 2008 - 1,114
  • 2009 - 1,099
  • 2010 - 1,087
  • 2011 - 1,099
  • 2012 - 1,105
  • 2013 - 1,106
  • 2014 - 1,116
  • 2015 - 1,131
  • 2016 - 1,113
  • 2017 - 1,099
  • 2018 - 1,090

Data source: Thuringian State Office for Statistics

The roughly constant population can only be explained by influx. There is a significant birth deficit . Between 1990 and 1996 there were only 26 births (4 per year) compared to 67 deaths (11 per year).


Municipal council

The local council from Witterda consists of 12 councilors.

  • CDU 7 seats
  • FWG 5 seats

(As of: local elections on May 25, 2014)


René Heinemann has been the honorary mayor since 2012.


  • Excursion bar "Zur Schöne Aussicht": The location on the northern slope of the Fahner Heights opens up a comprehensive view of the Thuringian Basin and the adjacent heights. Kyffhäuser , Ettersberg , Brocken and the Hohe Meißner u. a. can be seen in good weather. The property was built in 1878. During the GDR era it was a children's holiday camp, a company holiday home for the VEB “Clara Zetkin” from Erfurt and a training center for the company combat groups . In 1999 it was reopened after years of vacancy.
  • The Catholic parish church of St. Martin is a landmark of the place that can be seen from afar. Because of its excellent acoustics , it is often used for concerts as well as for church services. It was consecrated in 1710, but already had a Romanesque and a Gothic predecessor. The eight-sided tower, which has been covered with slate since 1986 and at the same time provided with a widely visible cross, dates mainly from the years 1550–1553. The interior of the church with a valuable organ has been nicely restored.
  • In the churchyard, which is still used as a cemetery, an oversized cross commemorates the 15 Wehrmacht soldiers who died or were executed on April 10, 1945 near Witterda in defensive battles against US troops. The cross, erected in 1947, lists the names of 13 soldiers resting here, known by name and two unknown soldiers. Despite the hardship after the war, the costs for the cross and the original 15 tombstones were raised by donations from the community and relatives.
  • The parish (built in 1668 and rebuilt in 1782) on the grades below the church is a particularly large and beautiful half-timbered building that was renovated in 2006.
  • Gustav-Adolf-Chapel (Protestant) from 1891 in the lower village
  • Twelve large stone arched gates form the entrances to stately courtyards in the village. They are characteristic of Witterda and some of them date back to the time before the Thirty Years' War, the oldest is dated 1574. In 1938, 17 courtyard gates were still counted.
  • Half-timbered residential and farm buildings have been preserved or restored in Witterda in a pleasingly large number.
  • “Backs”: the parish baking house - today parish hall - from Friedrichsdorf, with a small bell tower.

Economy and Infrastructure

  • Fruit growing and horticulture dominate
  • the largest employer is Heinemann Etiketten GmbH



  • Johann Jakob Walther (born 1650 in Witterda, died 1717), violinist and composer
  • Karl Joseph Martin (born 1756 in Witterda, died 1792 in Sweden), composer and Swedish court music director
  • Udo Mainzer (born 1945 in Witterda), state curator of the Rhineland


Witterda is in the area of ​​distribution of the Central Thuringian dialect, which is one of the Thuringian-Upper Saxon dialects .


  • Otto Janson: Chronicle of the former Electoral Mainz kitchen village of Witterda. Geyer-Verlag, Erfurt 1934.
  • Heinrich Schwade: Witterda - our village in the years 1926–1986. In: The tower button tells. St. Martinskirche Witterda, Witterda 1986, (copy of the chronicle which was inserted into the renewed tower knob of the church in 1986).
  • Guido Franke: The Chronicle of Witterda. 20th century. Self-published, Witterda 1996.

Web links

Commons : Witterda  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Population of the municipalities from the Thuringian State Office for Statistics  ( help on this ).
  2. The cherry village of Witterda. Peasant hard work on the Fahner Heights. In: Thüringer Allgemeine Zeitung , April 17, 1938, ZDB -ID 821244-2 .
  3. Thuringian Association of the Persecuted of the Nazi Regime - Association of Antifascists and Study Group of German Resistance 1933–1945 (Ed.): Local history guide to sites of resistance and persecution 1933–1945. Thuringia . tape 8 . VAS - Publishing House for Academic Writings, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-88864-343-0 , p. 280 .
  4. ^ Heinrich Schwade: Witterda - our village in the years 1926–1986. In: The tower button tells. St. Martinskirche Witterda, Witterda 1986.
  5. Angelika Reiser-Fischer: The ancestors of the Fahner height. In: Thüringische Landeszeitung , from November 6, 2014.
  6. Thuringian Association of the Persecuted of the Nazi Regime - Association of Antifascists and Study Group of German Resistance 1933–1945 (Ed.): Local history guide to sites of resistance and persecution 1933–1945. Volume 8: Thuringia. VAS - Verlag für Akademische Schriften, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-88864-343-0 , p. 280.
  7. Otto Janson: Chronicle of the former Electoral Mainz kitchen village of Witterda. Geyer-Verlag, Erfurt 1934.
  8. Guido Franke: The Chronicle of Witterda. 20th century. Self-published, Witterda 1996, p. 19.
  9. Guido Franke: The Chronicle of Witterda. 20th century. Self-published, Witterda 1996.