Missionaries from Gerlingen: Wilhelm Maisch

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Wilhelm Maisch writes from China:

"When I came here, the missionary did everything. That changed now. Everyone has to carry his load and his responsibility. The missionary is only in charge of all. I reatin them not only the burden but also the dignity. That way the relations of European and Chinese didn't get worse but much better."

Wilhelm Maisch is born on the 13th of January 1878 in Gerlingen. He is the son of the master carpenter and later forester Christoph Maisch and Marie, née Zimmermann. He is a talented and curious boy who brings his mother with questions nearly to desperation - so, that she threatened to run away when her husband will not take sure that little Wilhelm can start earlier than usually with school. That's the reason why Jakob Maisch starts with five years of age with school. He is the youngest and after a while the best student.

Birth place of Wilhelm Maisch: house in Hauptstrasse 75 in Gerlingen/Germany

Wilhelm Maisch becomes construction and furniture carpenter. During his apprenticeship he takes drawing lessons with a teacher named Uhl in Gerlingen. That will help him later to produce drawings for the Chinese which they can understand without words.

1897 Maisch joines the Missionshaus (Missionarie's House) in Basel, Switzerland. After the occupational training he is sent to Hoschuwan in China. The journey takes three months. 
The named place is written in the actual Pinyin-Writing Heshuwan and is located in the Meilin-District in the Guangdong-Province (other, elder type of writing: Hoschuwan, Howan).
The Guangdong (old Canton) - Province surrounds Hongkong. If you look at a map (e.g. the Times Atlas) and if you find the place Heyuan (former Honyen), which is located about 170 km north of Hongkong at the Dong Jiang (=Eastern River) then you find Heshuwan about 40 km east of this city nearby a little river. Heshuwan itself and this river aren't mentioned in this version of the Times Atlas. If you have Schlatter, History of the Basler Mission, then you find these places at the added map. At www.bmpix.org are about 100 Bilder of the village - see SEARCH -> I agree -> Geography -> modern state -> Asia (continent) -> China (modern state) -> Guangdong (province) -> Meilin (district) ->   Heshuwan (place).

Wilhelm Maisch sets up his station and starts to involve the Chinese in a independent way in his missionary work.

Wilhelm Maisch and people to be baptized in Wintse
1911 Maisch becomes responsible for the region of the "east river". That makes it easier for him to gain acceptance for his ideas. 1922, after his second departure, Maisch writes: A whole period of missionary's work in China is finished, and a new period starts. The times are over, when foreign missions and missionaries held the direction of the work exclusively in their hands. The foreigner must come down from his dominating position, must stand besides the Chinese and accept him as equal."

After 16 years of patient work Wilhelm Maisch dies on the 25th of June 1924 because of a heart failure. 

He leaves behind about 500 photo dishes. The photos show impressions of missionary and the life and the daily routine of Chinese. Today they are in possession of the Stadtarchiv Gerlingen.

Grave of Wilhelm Maisch in Kutchuk/China

Here you can find a selection of Wilhelm Maisch's photos.

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