Schüttorf

Infobox Ort in Deutschland
Art = Stadt
Wappen = Coat of Arm of Schüttorf.jpg
lat_deg = 52 |lat_min = 19
lon_deg = 7 |lon_min = 13
Lageplan = Locator map of Schüttorf in the county of Bentheim.png Lageplanbeschreibung = Schüttorf's location in Grafschaft Bentheim
Bundesland = Niedersachsen
Landkreis = Grafschaft Bentheim
Samtgemeinde = Schüttorf
Höhe = 33
Fläche = 11.23
Einwohner = 11584
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 48465
Vorwahl = 05923
Kfz = NOH
Gemeindeschlüssel = 03 4 56 021
Straße = Markt 1+2
Website = [http://www.schuettorf.de/ www.schuettorf.de]
Bürgermeister = Thomas Michael Hamerlik
Partei = CDU

Schüttorf is a town in the district of Grafschaft Bentheim in southwesternmost Lower Saxony near the Dutch border and the boundary with Westphalia (North Rhine-Westphalia). The town of Schüttorf forms with the surrounding communities the Joint Community ("Samtgemeinde") of Schüttorf. It is the district’s oldest town. It lies on the river Vechte, roughly 5 km east of Bad Bentheim, and 20 km southeast of Nordhorn.

Geography

Location and landscape description

The town of Schüttorf lies in southwesternmost Lower Saxony and in the westernmost part of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is roughly 10 km to the Dutch border. With regards to the cultural makeup and to the natural environment, it lies in a transitional zone between the Emsland and Westphalia. The surroundings may be characterized as settled countryside. Middle centres in the area are, among others, Nordhorn and Rheine.

The town is crossed through the middle southeast to northwest by the river Vechte, which farther downstream flows into the Netherlands. The town’s highest point rises to 48 m above sea level. Schüttorf lies in the foothills of the "Bentheimer Berg", a great sandstone formation from the Cretaceous rising to 80 m and a wooded western outlier of the Teutoburg Forest. Only a small piece of the Bentheim Forest is in the town. All together, roughly 89 ha of woodland is found within the town, making up 8% of the town’s total land area.

North of the town is found a former heathland, which sees mainly agronomic use nowadays. There were still broad heathlands in the town just before the First World War. The last heath was converted to agricultural land in 1993. A peculiarity was the dune area in Schüttorf, which consisted of windblown sand, but this was quarried and exploited in the mid-20th century. The outlying centre where these dunes were is, however, still popularly called “Marokko” or, in Low German, "Witten Over" (“White Shore”), referring to the area’s “desertlike” appearance.

There are quite a number of open areas around the town, mainly used for agriculture. Residential areas are characterized by one-family dwellings. There are no genuine highrises in town. With the completion of the "Schüttorfer Kreuz" (“Schüttorf Cross”), an Autobahn cloverleaf formed by the A 30 and the A 31, greater commercial and industrial areas were laid out in the town’s northeast near this interchange in 2004 and 2005.

A beautiful floodplain landscape is the "Große Maate" northwest of town. In this lowland area by the Vechte are many pools replenished over and over again by flooding. Many butterfly and other insect species are found here, and also the rare kingfisher. The "Holmer Maate" is another of Schüttorf’s floodplain landscapes, where lapwings and great crested grebes may be spotted. Near the centre is the Vechteniederung Recreation Area, which is a floodplain and contains stormwater basins.

History

Schüttorf’s town hall was struck by an aerial bomb in 1945 in the Second World War’s last days and was completely gutted. The fire also destroyed the town archive and many valuable historical documents, making research into Schüttorf’s history very difficult. Many things, however, have been reconstructed since then.

Etymology

The etymology of the name Schüttorf is not exactly known and various folk explanations have been put forth, the most widespread of which is the legend that tells of the river Vechte being diverted around the town as early as 1295 by building a dam. The workers on this project are said to have dumped out the contents of their pushcarts on the command "Schütt’t d’r up". This legend, however, only explains the sound of one of the town’s modern names (the Low German name Schüttrupp).

The earliest forms of the name Schüttorf were "Scuhtthorp", "Scutorpe", "Scuttorpe" and "Scotdorpe" in documents from 1154. On a coin issue from the first half of the 13th century is the form "SCOTOR(p)E".

Hermann Abels (see 2) is of the opinion that the name’s origin is the Dutch word "schut" (limber wall, dam, sluice), which comes close to the folk meaning. Historically, however, it comes up short, as it assumes that the Vechte was already dammed at the time the placename arose, and it leaves unexplained all forms in "Scot-", which must be derived from the Low German "Schott" (“dividing wall in a stall”).

Another explanation has the name coming from the "Vechteschuten", barges ("Schuten") being the flat-bottomed boats with a very small draught that were used for shipping Bentheim sandstone. The Vechte is navigable by barge as far up as Schüttorf, and it is known that the stone was loaded here. This explanation, however, presupposes intensive river shipping at the time of the town’s founding.

Quite another explanation is that the name Schüttorf stems from "Scutthorpe" or "Scuttrop", which means “Protection Village” (this would be "Schutzdorf" in Modern High German), referring to Altena Castle in the town. Historically, however, this explanation also does not bear up under scrutiny, for the castle was not built until well after the town’s founding.

A modern explanation says that the placename comes from the Low German "Scuit" (“Irishman”). Ireland’s mediaeval name was "Scoti" or "Scotti." In Gaelic there are many dialects containing and illustrating the vowel variants "o" and "u". Furthermore, finds at digs around Schüttorf of Celtic crosses and fan crosses show that there were once Irish monks in the area.

Early history

During excavation work for a railway line, a woman’s thighbone was unearthed in Schüttorf reckoned to date from roughly 2000 BC. Schüttorf must therefore have already been settled by that time. The cromlechs in nearby Emsbüren were also built at about this time. Also, a clay pot found in 1927 comes from this same era.

Already very early on, there was an important crossing of two trade routes on the site that is now Schüttorf, as the river Vechte could be crossed here at a ford. At this hub was an “original yard” around which the settlement developed and which existed until 1792 as the "Alter Hof" (“Old Yard”).

In the 6th or 7th century missionaries from the British Isles came to Schüttorf. At archaeological digs, Irish Celtic crosses, for instance, have been found. The naming of Schüttorf’s outlying centre of Schottbrink, whose existence can be proved by the 15th century, bears further witness to an Irish presence in the area.

In the 8th and 9th centuries, farmers from the Calais and Boulogne area came and settled in Schüttorf to further Christianization. Even today many families still bear names that come from villages in that region, such as Hermeling from Hermelinghen, Hummert from Humbert or Wanning from Maninghen (see 3).

Town rights

Schüttorf had its first documentary mention in 1154, in the "curtis Scutthorp", as an estate belonging to the Counts at Bentheim. Town rights were granted Schüttorf on 6 November 1295, the Sunday after All Hallows, by Count Egbert at Bentheim. The document witnessing this has been preserved and is now found at the "Fürstlich Bentheimschen Archiv in Burgsteinfurt." This makes Schüttorf Grafschaft Bentheim’s oldest town. It is known, however, that before the founding there were a count’s main court and an ecclesiastical centre for the Upper County here. In 1295 there were only two other towns within 30 km of Schüttorf: Horstmar and Oldenzaal, making the new town into an important market and shipping place, and Schüttorf became a member of the Hanse. The town rights contained in particular six rights to which townsmen were entitled. Namely these were:
* tax exemption;
* a share of the court’s proceeds (⅔ of all taxes and fines);
* free inheritance right;
* acquisition of freedom after one year and six weeks;
* tax freedom for dealers in wood and peat;
* all rights enjoyed by the Münster townsmen.Beyond these six rights, there are a great many special conditions for the so-called "Wicbeldeslude" (this would be "Weichbildleute" in Modern High German) – or people from the outlying countryside – which indeed make up the bulk of the document. These people were inhabitants of the town who were subject to a special right, but they were not townsmen. In 1297, Schüttorf was also given its own jurisdiction by Count Bernd in the "coram judico nostro Scottorpe".

The town’s inner political organization was left up to the townsmen. Quickly, a ruling class of traders and craftsmen arose. New townsmen were always invested on St. Peter’s Day (22 January ), and even unwed women had the right to become townswomen. Until 1555, townsmen were obliged yearly to pay the "Bürgergewinnungsgeld" (“townsman’s recovery tax”), which cost them each five "Taler", roughly matching the price of a fat ox and a calf. To put this into perspective, a master mason earned roughly six "Schilling" a day, meaning that he had to work for three and a half days to earn a "Taler". Alternatively it was also possible to pay a considerably lower inhabitant tax, but this brought with it no townsman’s rights. Many inhabitants chose this thriftier alternative. To be allowed to live within the town’s walls, it was a requirement for townsmen and other inhabitants alike to swear an oath of loyalty to the town of Schüttorf. Until 1719, all fully grown townsmen had the right to vote for town councillors, but thereafter only fully grown married men who were citizens were allowed to vote.

In 1465, Count Everwyn at Bentheim once again renewed and expanded the town rights. The document witnessing this no longer exists, having been lost in the town hall fire in 1945. The new town rights were subdivided into 49 sections and dated in perpetuity. The town rights were subsequently affirmed and expanded by each Count. From 1589, however, relations between the Count’s court in Bentheim under Count Arnold and the town were souring. In this year, the Count even had the town’s mayor imprisoned, releasing him only after the payment of 100 golden guilders and a hogshead (actually described as 1½ barrels) of wine. The situation thereafter steadily escalated. In 1645, Count Ernst Wilhelm refused to renew the town rights. Instead, he had the town’s mayor imprisoned for 38 weeks and then banished him. After this, the townsmen appealed to the Imperial Court in Vienna. This grievance is still preserved there. Ernst Wilhelm on the other hand petitioned the "Reichshofrat" for the cassation of the town rights. The conflict further escalated when in 1668 the House of the Counts at Bentheim converted to Catholicism while Schüttorf remained Reformed. When Ernst Wilhelm abdicated in 1693, the town refused to render homage to his son, Arnold Maruk, although in the end it was forced to do so.

Taxes

Even though the town of Schüttorf was entitled to full tax freedom in the town rights of 1295, it says in the town rights of 1465: "“unse Stadt und Börger […] nicht beschwehren mitt ungewohnliche Schattinge”" (“not burden our town and townsmen with unusual taxes”). So, of course, taxes were imposed. At first, taxes were levied by head of cattle owned, but as of 1638 also for each hearth. Special taxes were levied in the 15th century for the war against the Hussites, and again in the 16th century to prevent the danger from the Turks and to fight the Anabaptists. Towards the end of the 17th century, war contributions rose, and there were even foreign troops stationed in Schüttorf, leading to a grave financial emergency in the town. In 1682, the Count of Bentheim even felt himself forced to gather in taxes with the troops’ help.

Town fortification

Right after town rights were granted, work began on fortifying the town, which involved building a 1 400 m-long town wall enclosing an area of 15 ha. Roughly 30 000 m³ of Bentheim sandstone was quarried and brought to town by oxcart to build the wall. By the late 14th century, Schüttorf was girt by a strong defence system that had at its disposal three town gates:
* The "Voeporte" (completed 1424): The "Föhntor"
* The "Steenporte" (completed 1392): The "Steintor"
* The "Wyneporte" (completed 1379): The "Windtor"To fortify the town further, Altena Castle ("Burg Altena") was built, being completed in the first half of the 14th century. Then, in 1560, the castle became the widow’s seat of the House of the Counts at Bentheim. As of the 17th century, the castle was gradually sinking into oblivion, slowly falling into ruins that, over the townsfolk’s loud protests, were eventually torn down in 1975 to make way for a thoroughfare. Parts of the town’s old wall are preserved in the southwest Old Town ("Altstadt").

"Burg Altena" is not to be confused with the castle in Altena, which bears the same name, but which still stands today.

Guilds

In 1341, Count Simon at Bentheim recognized Schüttorf’s first guild, namely "de Schomackere Amte" (shoemakers), leading to the conclusion that this profession was particularly widespread. In 1362, Count Otto recognized the wall builders’ and cabinetmakers’ guilds, and finally in 1387, Count Bernhard recognized the smiths’ guild. In 1465, in the new town rights, these were still the only guilds mentioned, and no others. To be allowed to practise one of these professions it was a requirement to be a Schüttorf townsman, and also to have “won over” that profession’s guild. This entailed considerable material benefits.

Already quite early on, there was welfare in Schüttorf. The "Heiliger Geist Stiftung" (“Holy Ghost Foundation”) had its first documentary mention in 1379, when Count Bernhard gave the Foundation a plot of land free of charge on which to build an almshouse. The Foundation supplied poor and elderly townsfolk with clothing, and from 1384, the needy also got a yearly allowance of four "Schilling". The "Heiliger Geist Stiftung" still exists today and is owned by the town. It has broadened its work into promoting youth.

Municipality and community

No sooner had French Foreign Minister Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand guaranteed the Count at Bentheim neutrality than Napoleon ignored it, annexing the County on 12 June 1806 to the Duchy of Berg. This was forthwith followed by marked encroachment upon Schüttorf’s jurisdiction and the upcoming town council election. On 7 March 1809, the Interior Minister stripped Schüttorf of its town rights and instead created the municipality of Schüttorf out of the town itself and the outlying communities of Quendorf, Wengsel, Suddendorf and Neerlage. At the same time, a census was compiled, which found the town’s population to be 1,040, and the municipality’s 2,140. In 1810, the municipality was further enlarged by having the communities of Salzbergen, Hummeldorf and Steide added to it. In Napoleon’s time, serfdom also came to an end in the region. In a decree about the “abolition of serfdom in the Grand Duchy of Berg” issued on 12 December 1808 by the Imperial camp at Madrid, Napoleon ordered that even the "Colonen" and serfs were to be granted all civil rights. In 1813, the French were driven out and Schüttorf was merged with the Kingdom of Hanover. There was a blanket invalidation of all French laws. However, a return to the old structures proved difficult.

On 15 May 1851, an order reached the town of Schüttorf from the Osnabrück "Landdrostei" for the town to conform to the new Hanoverian town system. This, however, would have required the town to have a professional mayor and a town police force, things that the town could then ill afford. Thus, Schüttorf was placed under the Hanoverian "Landgemeindeordnung" as a community ("Gemeinde") – and thereby also under a royal "Amt". The later mayor Dr. Scheurmann called this a dark chapter in Schüttorf town history. Even Hanover’s annexation by Prussia and the founding of the Empire in 1871 changed nothing with regards to Schüttorf’s status as a community.

The rise of industry

The decisive rôle in Schüttorf’s industrialization was played by the textile industry. This was due, on the one hand, to textile manufacture from linen on handlooms having already been done here for centuries, and on the other hand to cottage industry being channelled into this field. In the 17th century, many Schüttorfers had been going each year to the wealthy Netherlands to improve their livelihoods by cutting peat, mowing or selling wares. With the onset of hard times in the Netherlands in the early 19th century, however, this source of income dwindled. A remedy was afforded by more intensive home weaving. About 1850, the Schlikker family already employed about 400 weavers, and a few years later the first factory building was built. In 1865, the Schümer family’s dyeworks followed. In 1867, the first Schlikker und Söhne mechanically powered cotton loom went into operation. In 1881 came the cotton spinning works. What followed was an economic upswing and a skyrocketing population. At the turn of the 20th century, Schüttorf was said to be the town with the most millionaires in proportion to population. Nonetheless, the saturated textile manufacturers gradually withdrew from this business, as they could foresee an end to the boom, and they busied themselves instead as bankers and financiers in, for example, the expansion of the textile industry in neighbouring Nordhorn, which was quickly overtaking Schüttorf.

First World War and reinstatement of town rights

The First World War led to a standstill in the textile industry, which by this time had grown into the most important economic activity in town, but raw materials were no longer being delivered. Only one business avoided closure by making uniforms, which were important to waging a war. This led to extremely high joblessness, moving the community to resolve to cultivate at its own cost the heath surrounding Schüttorf, to give people something to do. However, this led to a heavy burden on the town’s coffers. Owing to high inflation, Schüttorf was forced to issue token money and bread tokens.

After the war the community resolved to install a professional mayor as the first step back towards townhood. On 28 February 1924, the Berliner Dr. Franz Scheurmann was installed as Schüttorf’s first full-time mayor, a fact officially recorded in a document. On 15 June 1924 came the decision that as of 1 July, Schüttorf would once more be constituted as a town. From that day, too, Schüttorf would also have its own police force. On 1 October 1924, the town founded a town savings bank to encourage the townsfolk to save after the inflation.

Third Reich and Second World War

In October 1942, Mayor Scheurmann was removed from office owing to serious differences with the local NSDAP leader Arnold Horstmeier and the NSDAP district leader Dr. Josef Ständer. He was succeeded by Arnold Horstmeier, who was appointed mayor, and who imposed on the outgoing mayor a restraining order forbidding him to speak or stay in Schüttorf. In Schüttorf there came great disputes between the state and the Reformed Church, as Pastor Friedrich Middendorf was a member of the "Reichsbruderrat" (“"Reich" Brotherly Council”) of the Confessing Church. Despite mass protests, he eventually had to leave the community after having a restraining order imposed on him forbidding him to stay in the region.

In Schüttorf, before the National Socialist régime came to power, there were three Jewish families, two of whom fled, and the other of whom was deported. Today, there are no Jews living in Schüttorf.

During the Allied air war on Germany, Schüttorf was repeatedly bombed, not as a primary target, however. When Allied fliers had not used all their bombs on their mission, it was common practice simply to dump the unused ones anywhere before leaving Germany. Schüttorf was unlucky enough to be chosen as the dumping ground several times. On 3 April 1945, after the Allies had taken Bad Bentheim (then still Bentheim), they supposed that strong German forces were lying in wait in Schüttorf, and so they shelled the town heavily, with bomber squadrons also dropping phosphorus incendiary bombs. This brought about the utter destruction of 15 houses. A further 25 were heavily damaged, and roughly 600 lightly damaged.

The German paratroopers who had been stationed in Schüttorf had withdrawn already anyway, to Lingen, blowing up all bridges on the Vechte and wrecking the electrical and telephone systems as they went. On 4 April 1945, the town hall was struck by an aerial bomb and burnt, along with the town’s archive. The next day, Schüttorf was liberated by British troops. All together, Schüttorf counted 222 dead, eight civilians had been killed in bombings and shellings, and 114 inhabitants were said to be missing.

The British military government installed Bernhard Verwold as honorary mayor in April 1945 until the townsfolk could once again elect a mayor themselves. This they eventually did, and on 25 January 1946 they returned the later honorary citizen Dr. Franz Scheurmann to the mayor’s office. In 1960, he was awarded the "Bundesverdienstkreuz". (see 4)

One Nazi opponent was Friedrich Middendorff, who was made pastor of the Evangelical-Reformed parish in Schüttorf in 1926. Even before the "Machtergreifung", he had been openly disagreeing with National Socialist ideology in the "Deutsches Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt", and he was also known through his work in the "Christlich-Sozialer Volksdienst", and he quickly became a target for the Nazis. What followed was surveillance by the Gestapo and state reprisals. The disagreement reached its apex on 18 April 1937 when several hundred Schüttorfers gathered before the town hall after Middendorff had been arrested and “sang him free”, standing there for hours singing chorales until he was released. His article "Ein Weniges zur Judenfrage" (“A Little About the Jewish Question”), which was seized and banned, had become well known. Middendorff had to flee town in 1937, and so did his family the following year. Only after the war, when the Third Reich had been defeated, in 1946, did he come back to Schüttorf. He later held many offices, and became from 1946 to 1953 the ecclesiastical president of the Evangelical-Reformed Church. Later he was the lead candidate for the DFU in the Lower Saxony elections. In 1973, however, he lost his life in a traffic accident. A square in Schüttorf, "Friedrich-Middendorff-Platz", is named after him. (see 5)

Religion

Religious history

In 1209, a church consecrated to Saint Lawrence in Schüttorf was mentioned in a document for the first time. In 1544, Count Arnold converted to the Lutheran faith, and along with him the whole County. In 1588, the County became Evangelical-Reformed and thereby Calvinist. Even today, most Schüttorfers are Evangelical-Reformed. From 1598 to 1599, however, Schüttorf was occupied by Spanish troops and Reformed services were banned on penalty. In 1629, a convent was founded in Schüttorf. It stood at first under the Beguines’ care, but was later transferred to the Augustinians. In 1843, the convent was torn down.

Churches

Schüttorf has at its disposal six Houses of God. The most striking is the Evangelical-Reformed Church of Saint Lawrence ("Kirche St. Laurentius"), also known as "große Kirche" (“Big Church”) or "Schüttorfer Riese" (“Schüttorf Giant”). This church is a three-naved hall church built in the Gothic style with four bays, a transept and a polygonal choir. It also once served as the burying place for the Bentheim Counts.

The nave was built in stages. The oldest part likely dates from 1355 and consists of a one-naved, cross-shaped building with today’s fourth bay as the crossing and today’s crossing as the choir, as well as the second and third bays and the fourth bay’s side nave. The tower stood on the spot where today the first bay stands. In the fourth bay’s north side nave is found a fresco-secco painting from the 14th century. Bit by bit, the bays were widened with side naves. The nave was likely only joined to the tower after that was finished.

The church’s overall length is 54 m and its breadth 19 m. The tower is 81.17 m high and can be seen from anywhere in Schüttorf. This church had its first documentary mention in 1355 when an indulgence letter for its construction was sold; in 1390, it was expanded. Building work on the choir in today’s building began on the Thursday after Corpus Christi in 1477. It was finished on Christmas Eve 1478. Work on the nave began in 1500, while work continued on the square west tower, which had an eight-sided pyramidal cupola, until 1535. This tower burnt six times, however, in 1684, 1703, 1799, 1817 (twice in as many days) and 1889 after being struck by lightning. A legend has it that the last tower fire on 8 February 1889 was quenched with milk, which in the fire’s heat quickly dried and formed a crust, smothering the fire. The original bells for the tower came from the years 1502 and 1772; however, in 1917, these bells had to be handed over and melted down for war requirements. Today there are six bells hanging in the tower, among them an old firebell from 1435 that was spared in 1917. The church’s organ is a two-manualled instrument with tin pipes. it was built in 1963 by the Swiss organ-building business Th. Kuhn.

The Catholic Church of Mary ("Marienkirche") was built in 1868. It contains a sandstone Madonna from the late 16th century. Before this church was built, Schüttorf’s Catholics had to make do with the chapel at Altena Castle. After the Second World War, there first came a New Apostolic church and in 1955 the Lutheran church. The Lutheran church has been called "Christophorus-Kirche" (“St. Christopher’s Church”) since 1992. In this same year, a small mosque was founded in an old workshop. Since 2004 there has also been a House of God for the Free Christian community. Furthermore, Schüttorf has, besides an Evangelical and a Catholic, also an old Jewish cemetery.

Politics

Joint Community

When Lower Saxony was founded in 1946, Schüttorf became part of this "Bundesland". On 14 December 1970 the Joint Community ("Samtgemeinde") of Schüttorf was founded. This at first consisted of nine communities, the town of Schüttorf itself and the communities of Engden, Drievorden, Neerlage, Wengsel, Ohne, Quendorf, Samern and Suddendorf. Later, the communities of Engden and Drievorden were merged into the community of Engden, and likewise the communities of Neerlage and Wengsel into the community of Isterberg, so that the Joint Community now consisted of seven communities. The Joint Community’s work is to take charge of collective planning work, to promote tourism and to take charge of disposing of sewage and rubbish. Furthermore, adult education, the promotion and creation of cultural institutions and civil status functions also fall within its field of responsibility. The Joint Community is administered by the "Samtgemeinderat" (Joint Community council), the "Samtgemeindeausschuss" (Joint Community board) and the "Samtgemeindebürgermeister" (Joint Community mayor) and has its own seal.

Politics in Schüttorf is subdivided into the Joint Community administration and the town’s own administration; so there is not only a Joint Community council but also a town council for Schüttorf itself. The Joint Community mayor and the mayor, moreover, are two different persons, and each of the other constituent communities in the Joint Community has its own mayor. The mayor’s office also has at its side an unelected town director ("Stadtdirektor"). Until November 2006 the mayoralty was honorary, but it was then replaced with a full-time, professional position.

Town council and mayor

Also well known is the old poem "Die gläserne Kutsche" (“The Glass Coach”), which tells of a glass coach drawn every year on Saint John’s Night through Schüttorf by three black, fire-snorting stallions.

The town song is in High German, while “The Glass Coach” is in Low German.

Education

In Schüttorf there are, besides the school kindergarten also a municipal kindergarten and two further ones under the Evangelical-Reformed Church’s sponsorship and one more under the German Red Cross’s. There are three primary schools, a "Hauptschule" and a "Realschule", and until 2004 there was also a middle school ("Orientierungsstufe") but this was abolished by the state of Lower Saxony. The "Hauptschule" and "Realschule" have since 2006 been joined to the all-day school programme.

Schüttorf’s oldest school is the "Kirchschule" (“Church School”) or "Evangelische Volksschule Schüttorf" (“Schüttorf Evangelical Elementary School”) from 1608. The school founded then as a Latin grammar school had room for 200 pupils. In July 2007, the school moved into the former "Hauptschule’s" building. The old building has stood empty since then and is either to be made into flats for the elderly or to become a transregional museum building. Going back to a founding in 1712 is the Catholic community’s "Katholische Volksschule Schüttorf". It is today the town’s smallest primary school with room for only 200 pupils. The biggest is the municipal school "Grundschule auf dem Süsteresch" founded in 1970.

In 1955, Schüttorf became home to the "Erich-Kästner-Schule", a school for those with learning difficulties. The "Hauptschule" was founded in 1967, while the "Realschule" developed out of the elementary school. Young Schüttorfers who want to go to a Gymnasium can commute to one of the surrounding Gymnasien, in particular the "Burg-Gymnasium Bad Bentheim", the municipal Gymnasium in Ochtrup, the "Gymnasium Rheine" or the private "Missionsgymnasium St. Antonius" in Bardel (see 9).

Since September 2007, Schüttorf has had its own school museum housed in the community centre ("Bürgerhaus") near the former Church School.

Famous people

Honorary citizens

Schüttorf’s first, and thus far only, honorary citizen is the town’s first full-time mayor, who was later also a "Landrat" for Grafschaft Bentheim, Franz Scheurmann (b. 8 May 1892 in Berlin, d. 3 October 1964 in Nordhorn), on whom this honour was bestowed on 8 May 1962. In May 1957, he had also been awarded the "Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande" and since 1966, a square, Dr. Scheurmann-Platz in Schüttorf, has been named after him. Scheurmann set himself to work during his time in office above all for the town archive, bringing many old documents and historical papers together, which he published in many essays about Schüttorf (see 10).

Sons and daughters of the town

The following overview contains important personages born in Schüttorf, listed chronologically by birth year. Whether their later lives dealt with Schüttorf or not is not considered. The list does not profess to be complete.
* 1425, Johan van den Mynnesten, German-Dutch painter and copper engraver/etcher
* 1826, 13 December, Johann Hermann Julius Maekel, German portrait and landscape painter
* 1873 Georg Schümer (1873-1945), educator, writer, politician, member of the "Landtag", peace activist
* 1912, 2 February, Hans Leussink, German Minister for Education and Science (1969–1972)
* Herbert Wagner, German education researcher, geographer and historian
* 1980, 6 November, Simon Cziommer, German footballer

Further reading

* Publisher Town of Schüttorf: "700 Jahre Stadt Schüttorf – Beiträge zur Geschichte – 1295–1995." Druckerei Hellendoorn, Schüttorf 1995, ISBN 3-922428-39-8
* Publisher Joint Community of Schüttorf / Volkshochschule des Landkreises Grafschaft Bentheim: "Schüttorf • Stadt im Wandel." A. Hellendoorn, Bad Bentheim 1997, ISBN 3-922428-48-7
* Rainer Lahmann-Lammert and Michael Munch: "Hinter jedem Stein eine Geschichte – Auf Spurensuche in Schüttorf." Lechte Druck, Emsdetten
* Hermann Harmsen: "1111 plattdütsche Spröckskes up Schüttrupper Platt." Schüttorf 2000
* Herbert Wagner: Die Gestapo war nicht allein… Politische Sozialkontrolle und Staatsterror im deutsch-niederländischen Grenzgebiet 1929 - 1945. LIT-Verlag, Münster 2004 (contains, among other things, Schüttorf in the Third Reich).
* Heinrich Specht (publisher): "Die gläserne Kutsche, Bentheimer Sagen, Erzählungen und Schwänke". Heimatverein der Grafschaft, 1967.

Sources

# Sofie Meysel: "Die Naturräumlichen Einheiten auf Blatt 83/84 Osnabrück-Bentheim". Bundesanstalt für Landeskunde und Raumforschung, Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1961
# Hermann Abels: "Die Ortsnamen des Emslandes in ihrer sprachlichen und kulturgeschichtlichen Bedeutung." Schöningh, Paderborn 1927
# Heinrich Funke: "Zur Frühgeschichte der Stadt Schüttorf." In: "Bentheimer Jahrbuch 1985." Verlag Heimatverein der Grafschaft Bentheim, Bad Bentheim 1984. ISBN 3922428118
# [http://www.studiengesellschaft-emsland-bentheim.de/Seiten/Biographien/Texte/Wenning.html studiengesellschaft-emsland-bentheim.de] Biography of Johann Wenning
# [http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/m/middendorff_f_j_h.shtml bautz.de Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon] Biography of Friedrich Middendorff
# [http://www.studiengesellschaft-emsland-bentheim.de/Seiten/Biographien/Texte/Schlikker,Gerd.html studiengesellschaft-emsland-bentheim.de] Biography of Gerhard Schlikker and history of Schüttorf textile industry
# [http://www.schuettorf.de/branchendbunternsuch.asp schuettorf.de] Schüttorf business directory
# [http://www.theater-der-obergrafschaft.de/ theater-der-obergrafschaft.de] Theater der Obergrafschaft Schüttorf homepage
# [http://www.gbiu.de/Schulgeschichte/Schuettorf/F.html gbiu.de] Schüttorf school history
# [http://www.studiengesellschaft-emsland-bentheim.de/Seiten/Biographien/Texte/Scheurmann.html studiengesellschaft-emsland-bentheim.de] Biography of Dr. Franz Scheuermann

References

External links

* [http://www.schuettorf.de/ schuettorf.de Town’s webpage]
* [http://www.schuettorfer-ansichten.de/ schuettorfer-ansichten.de Pictures of the town]
* [http://www.schuettorfer.de/ schuettorfer.de Further pages about the town of Schüttorf]


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