|The Burgenland Bunch Genealogy Group|
Genealogists researching the multi-ethnic heritage of the Burgenland of Austria and adjoining areas of former West Hungary.
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER] BB News Number 162 Dtd. April 30, 2007
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 07:27:48 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 162
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(Our 12th Year- Issued monthly as email by )
April 30, 2007
(c) 2007 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved
~MEETING WITH AUSTRIAN DELEGATION IS AN OUTSTANDING CULTURAL & ETHNIC EVENT!~
~READ ALL THREE NEWSLETTER SECTIONS, DEDICATED TO THE MEMBERS OF THE
Current Status Of The BB: Members-1415*Surname Entries- 4731*Query Board
Entries-3709*Newsletter Subscribers 989, Newsletters Archived-162-Number of Staff
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This first section of our 3-section newsletter concerns:
1. BB Staff Meets With Burgenland Delegation
2. Burgenland Bunch Staff Reorganized
3. Burgenland Dignitaries Visit the New York City Area
4. Anna Tanczos Kresh - Delegation Impressions
5. Burgenland In America-The Aftermath
6. Taste Of The Burgenland-Kürbis Suppe (Pumpkin Soup)
1. BB STAFF MEETS WITH BURGENLAND DELEGATION
For three days, April 17-18-19, nine members of the BB staff met with the
Austrian Delegation headed by Burgenland Vice-Governor Franz Steindl and BG
President Walter Dujmovits. The delegation included our own Klaus Gerger. He
received a standing ovation (as did the entire delegation) when he was presented to
the Saengerbund guests. He had previously visited the Saengerbund as guests of
Ed and Frank Tantsits, local BB members. The Tantsits were much in evidence
throughout the three days of this event. Ed even met us at the airport at our
departure to insure we and the delegation had no problems. There were three
festive evenings that included local BG members and much good ethnic food and
music. New BB president Tom Steichen (see article re BB reorganization) on the
occasion of the first meeting (Tuesday) greeted the delegation in the name of
all 1400 BB members.
BB Lehigh Valley Editor Bob Strauch did a masterful job as master of
ceremonies. His special musical presentation Thursday night at the Coplay Saengerbund
was a superb rendition of ethnic folk music. I was amazed that he was able to
direct his choral group, accompany them on the button box accordion and do it
without musical scores. Many felt that it was the highlight of the Austrian
Delegation trip, which again strengthened ties with the Heimat. Bob's humorous
asides in German and Croatian, as well as English, evoked much laughter.
The assistance of vice-governor Franz Steindl and BG president Walter
Dujmovits in ethnic song and music was most enjoyable. The vice-governor plays a mean
trumpet and Walter Dujmovits is not unfamiliar with the button box accordion.
Steindl was made a deputy sheriff of Lehigh County but was cautioned to make
no arrests (at least not until he was back home.) The delegation all received
sheriffs hats and numerous other gifts.
Senator Verena Dunst did an outstanding job in bringing a message from
Burgenland governor Hans Niesel and had many good things to say about the BB and the
BG. She mentioned that many of her relatives had gone to America.
As BB founder and outgoing president I was recognized on two of the evenings,
delivered the BB message and received a special BG scroll and other gifts
from the delegation, in thanks for my work. Many area BB members were in
attendance at one or more of the events and the BB staff were able to personally greet
them all. Gifts and proclamations were exchanged and many of the local BG &
BB representatives were honored with special recognition. Our everlasting
thanks to Anna Kresh and Bob Strauch for arranging the BB participation in this
historic event and to Emma Farkas who hosted the BB staff for a superb
organizational lunch at her home.
As Molly and I waited for our plane to Washington, DC at ABE Airport, the
delegation were waiting for their plane to Chicago. We shared memories of this
great visit and during our goodbyes many of us had eyes full of moisture.
2. BURGENLAND BUNCH STAFF REORGANIZED
The staff of the Burgenland Bunch formed during the early BB News days when
correspondents began asking me if they could help in any way. This was all very
informal and ad hoc. The most important addition was the establishment of a
website. Then with growth, the website expanded significantly and required
staff to maintain the various pages. With membership growth, new member enrollment
and member changes (my job) became a burden requiring help from staff. It
soon became evident that some of the staff were in effect the "managing
directors" of the BB, with yours truly as the chief operating officer. We formed links
with other organizations and during correspondence with them, it was obvious
that they were looking for organization officers. They would often refer to me
as "president." My health then failed and I saw the need for someone to
replace me as BB head. I provided some suggestions and asked the BB staff to discuss
this among themselves. We used our recent meeting with the Burgenland
delegation as an opportunity to finalize this matter. Following are the results (a
majority of the BB staff present and approving):
BB President-Tom Steichen
BB Vice Presidents-Hannes Graf, Anna Kresh, Klaus Gerger
BB Founder and Consulting Editor-Gerry Berghold
The above will be the managing directors of the BB and will also retain their
website operating positions. I will serve in a consulting capacity and
continue to help publish the newsletter.
As a result of his outstanding work in developing the "Burgenlaenders Honored
& Remembered" website, Frank Paukovits was asked to become a BB staff member.
He graciously accepted. Margaret Kaiser also agreed to assume responsibility
for LDS matters in addition to her southern Burgenland work. The status of the
balance of the staff will remain unchanged, with each member retaining their
respective corresponding editor titles and responsibilities (these can be
found at the end of our Invitation Letter available from the BB Homepage.)
3. BURGENLAND DIGNITARIES VISIT THE NEW YORK CITY AREA (by Steve Geosits)
On Saturday evening, April 14th, 2007, a private dinner was held at the Crown
Plaza Hotel in Queens, New York. In attendance were Burgenland government
officials including Lt. Governor Franz Steindl, as well as representatives and
friends of the Burgenland Gemeinschaft, including its' President, Dr. Walter
Dujmovits. A total of about 40 people were present.
Klaus Gerger was there to greet me upon my arrival and he introduced me to my
hosts. Everyone I met was warm, friendly and in good spirits. The dinner
itself was accompanied by wine, toasts, speeches and finally ended with some
traditional Burgenland songs.
The following morning, the Burgenlander group attended mass at St. Joseph's
Church on 87th Street in Manhattan. In the afternoon the "70th Anniversary
Dance and Crowning of Miss Bruederschaft der Burgenlaender 2007" was held at the
Plattduetsche Park Restaurant in Hempstead, New York.
4. ANNA TANCZOS KRESH-DELEGATION IMPRESSIONS
The visiting government delegation from Burgenland arrived at the Lehigh
Valley International Airport on Tuesday afternoon and were lodged at the nearby Fo
ur Points Sheraton. That evening they hosted a private buffet dinner meeting
at the Coplay Sängerbund. In attendance were the Delegation, Northampton Mayor
Tom Reenock, local Burgenländische Gemeinschaft and Burgenland club
representatives, and Burgenland Bunch staff members. Opening greetings and remarks were
made by BG President Dr. Walter Dujmovits, Landeshauptmann-Stellvertreter
Franz Steindl, Senator (Minister) Verena Dunst, and Mayor Reenock. Tom Steichen
read a Proclamation and Welcome written by Gerry Berghold, who was flying in the
Dr. Dujmovits was given a copy of the Tanczos family history book, written by
Anna Tanczos Kresh, to demonstrate the use of the online resources available
to Burgenland researchers through the BB. On Wednesday the Delegation toured
various sites in the Lehigh Valley -- the Northampton-Stegersbach Sister City
Memorial, Our Lady of Hungary Church (100th anniversary), the graves of Tessie
Teklits and Mayor Anthony Pany, and former Northampton Liederkranz president
Robert Laky (they also visited the grave of Edelweiss Haus owner Theresia Unger
at St. Peter's in Coplay), the Atlas Cement Museum, and other local sites.
On Wednesday evening everyone enjoyed a delicious pork and sauerkraut dinner
at the Northampton Liederkranz where music was provided by strolling buttonbox
accordionists Frank Spitzer, Joe Weber, and Emil Schanta, saxophonist Joe
Furst, and Wimpy Rosner on his baritone horn. They were also accompanied by
Vice-Governor Steindl and his (traveling size) trumpet.
On Thursday a private luncheon for the Delegation was hosted by Hermine and
Frank Jarosch in Whitehall while Gerry and the Burgenland Bunch staff members
and their spouses enjoyed lunch at the home of Emma Farkas, followed by a
first-ever BB Staff meeting (see section 162B for minutes).
There were many awards, among them Mayor Reenock was given the Burgenland
Verdienstkreuz (service cross), Bob Strauch received the BG Ehrenmitgleidschaft
(membership with honor) and the Hianznchor received a citation from the BG in
gratitude for its preservation of Burgenland music. Other awards are mentioned
in other articles concerning the visit.
Thursday morning Bob Strauch led the Delegation on a tour of Bethlehem,
visiting Karl Ehmer's German-Austrian import shop, the historic Moravian district,
and Holy Ghost Church. The Lehigh Valley events concluded with an open
reception at the Coplay Sängerbund, with the wonderful music and song our forefathers
brought to the U.S. from Burgenland. The Sängerbund Mixed Chorus sang under
the direction of conductor Joe Weber. Next Bob Strauch and the Hianz'nchor
delighted us with the beautiful music of our ancestors. The incomparable Edelweiss
Haus Band played and sang with Vice-Governor Steindl and Dr. Dujmovits
joining in on the trumpet and buttonbox for an evening of unbelievably enchanting
music. You had to be there to experience it! A wide assortment of delicious
baked goods and refreshments provided by "The Happy Burgenland Bakers" and the
Sängerbund, capped off a most enjoyable three days of food, music and friendship
that will be remembered for years to come. Our special thanks to Bob Strauch
for all his efforts , the beautiful music, and the lasting memories.
5. BURGENLAND IN AMERICA-THE AFTERMATH (from Bob Strauch)
Evening all, tonight was the monthly meeting at the Sängerbund and afterwards
my choral group had our regular rehearsal. Well, the place is still abuzz
about the delegation visit. Nobody can get over it. The club would like a photo
of the delegation to enlarge, frame, and display prominently with the award. I
told them that the photos really haven't started rolling in yet, but we'll be
on the lookout.
Al Recker called me on Tuesday and ended up stopping by with some photos that
he needed help identifying. He'll be putting photos in tomorrow's editions of
the Whitehall-Coplay and Northampton Presses. Articles will appear next week.
There was mention of the trip on the ORF Burgenland news page.
6. TASTE OF THE BURGENLAND-KÜRBIS SUPPE (PUMPKIN SOUP)
Our pumpkin article in the last BB News generated some interesting replies.
As one of our staff said some time ago, "the only thing BB members like better
than family history are articles about Burgenland ethnic food." We received a
lot of comment concerning pumpkin. Lehigh Valley Editor Bob Strauch writes:
*I just saw an item in the February issue of Das Fenster that a company in
Langenzersdorf (just north of Vienna) has started brewing a
Kürbiskernbier/Pumpkin Seed Beer with the brand name CORE. It contains malt, pumpkin seeds, hops,
yeast, and spring water. www.core-beer.com/eng/welcome.html
And don't forget Kürbiskernstrudel/Pumpkin seed strudel, which is a raised
strudel with a sweetened filling of ground pumpkin seeds. Very similiar to
walnut filling in taste, but not color (it's green). One of my singers makes this
*Gus Eckhart writes: I like this soup that comes from my Grandson in
Chicago, but we simplify it. We leave out most of the spices, and the creams and just
use condensed milk with a little flour added. I used my blender and really
make a puree out of it then add the milk and let simmer for a few minutes. We
have been enjoying soups like this all winter for lunch. This recipe can also be
used to make soup from spinach and leek, cabbage, broccoli, or asparagus.
Almost anything in root or leaf form will do. Try this sometime when you have
stuff left in the fridge
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pound calabaza, Hubbard or butternut squash
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 jalapeno chile peppers, seeds removed, chopped
4 to 5 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup half and half, light cream or heavy cream
Spicy whipped cream garnish
1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs chopped chives or scallion
1. Cut the rind off the squash and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into
2. Melt the butter in a big stockpot over medium heat. Saute the onion,
carrot and celery until they get soft, but don't brown them, for about 3 or 4
minutes. Add the garlic and chiles and cook for another 1 minute.
3. Add the squash, the bay leaves, the thyme and the parsley, and enough
chicken stock that everything is covered. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the
heat and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, or until the squash is very soft.
4. Remove the bay leaves and the thyme, if you used fresh. Puree the soup in
a blender. The longer you blend it for, the thinner it will end up being. I
have a stick blender that works really well for this. I use it on its lowest
setting, and I only blend it until the soup has a consistency like porridge, but
you may like it to be more liquid. I like the "stick to your ribs" thickness.
5. Add salt or pepper to your preference, and 1/2 cup of the cream.
6. Now, we make the whipped cream: Beat the other 1/2 cup of cream with the
coriander, cayenne and cumin.
When you serve, ladle the soup into bowls and then drop a dollop of the spicy
whipped cream on top. If you don't want to go through the trouble of making
the whipped cream, you can just stir those ingredients into the soup after you
blend it - when I make this on Thanksgiving, I serve it fancy with the whipped
cream on top, but when I pack up the leftovers, I just stir it all together.
Newsletter continues as number 162A.
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER] BB News Number 162A Dtd. April 30, 2007
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 07:30:12 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 162A
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(Our 12th Year- Issued monthly as email by )
April 30, 2007
(c) 2007 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)
~~BURGENLAND LANDESRAT VERENA DUNST SAYS "AS A CHILD IN THE BURGENLAND, I HAD
ALMOST NO RELATIVES- THEY HAD ALL GONE TO AMERICA."~
This second section of our 3-section newsletter concerns:
1. My BB Last Hurrah!
2. Austrian Occupation Memories
3. Austrian Delegation Visits Chicago
4. Thank You From A Member
1. MY BB LAST HURRAH!
The years flow by and before we know it, age is upon us, health deteriorates
and we can no longer cope with all that we would like to do. I had told the
staff that I was in no condition to greet the Austrian delegation during their
April visit to the Lehigh Valley. Everyone expressed regret that I was not able
to attend this event that also promised to be the largest meeting of BB
staff. While distance and prior commitments prevented some from attending, we had
their support. Staff member Maureen Tighe-Brown then convinced me that my
attendance was possible, offered to provide transportation and as a professional
nurse offered to help me. One of her suggestions was that I fly as opposed to
driving. Along with the obvious, the airlines do provide wheel chair service.
With trepidation, Molly and I changed our minds, booked flights and motel room
and advised everyone that we would attend.
Was man ever so fortunate to have so many boon companions and associates! An
angel did tap on our window! The love, compassion, joy, thanks, help and
respect of those who greeted us will be with us always. The first person to greet
us as we were wheeled from the plane was Maureen followed by nursing friend
Dorothy Zwick. Behind them came Klaus Gerger, Anna and Rudy Kresh, and my area
cousin Hilda Wallitsch Burkhardt (second generation Burgenland immigrant
descendant) and her son Kenneth. Hilda celebrated her 93rd birthday by coming to the
airport especially to greet us. Hilda is one of the last of my Lehigh Valley
With Maureen and Dorothy supplying transportation (for our entire visit,
guided by Anna Kresh) we drove to our 4 Points motel and Maureen provided a
reception area in her room. Within minutes we were joined by most of the welcoming
group as well as my sister Donna and husband Don Kotz and cousin Emil Poeltl.
Hours of ethnic, family and BB talk resulted, followed by lunch hosted by Rudy
Kresh. With our room available, a nap was in order, after which we drove to
the Northampton Liederkranz for a festive evening. We were joined by Margaret
Kaiser and her cousins and John Lavendoski (flew in from Texas) and his mother,
Tom and Lois Steichen and Bob Strauch. When Klaus Gerger arrived with the
delegation (greeted with thunderous applause), the BB group was complete.
Throughout the evening I was hailed, hugged and made to feel like a VIP and a most
important celebrity. We distributed special BB Invitation Letters in the
Burgenland colors, prepared by Tom Steichen. As the new head of the BB, the delegation
presented Tom with a Burgenland flag. The singing of both our national anthem
and the Austrian national anthem were stirring.
The following day, BB staff gathered at the home of Emma Farkas (sister to
Anna Kresh) in Northampton. We were joined by former staff member Frank Teklits
and wife Mary and Frank Paukovits from New Jersey. Following a delicious
multi-course lunch we tried to get Emma to accept a BB staff position as head chef
but she declined. We then held the first staff business meeting (see minutes
at 162B.) Another nap was required and prior to attending the Saengerbund
affair in Coplay, Maureen , Dorothy, Molly and I looked for and found a Yocco Hot
Dog Shop-a local specialty from my younger days that I wanted to share with hot
dog fanciers Maureen and Dorothy. (I had jokingly asked for three Lehigh
Valley specialties if we attended, Yocco hot dogs, molasses cake and Moravian
sugar cake-they were all supplied by members of the group.) We then went to Coplay
for another festive evening with the added pleasure of local baked goods
including raised strudel and kipfils of all sorts. The choral group and the music
both supplied by Bob Strauch were magnificent. After being introduced with
honor and presented with numerous gifts, I delivered my last address as president
of the BB. I later greeted and said goodbye to attending BB members and BG
friends. When we left this event, I knew I'd probably not see many of these
The next morning was anti-climatic as Maureen and Dorothy took us to the
airport. With great emotion and heartfelt thanks, we said our goodbyes to the two
people who, by suggestion, perseverance and on-hands assistance, had made our
attendance at this memorable experience possible. The delegation was also
leaving from our gate and their plane left a few minutes before ours. Klaus Gerger
stayed with us until they left at which time we again received the best
wishes of that group. As my wheelchair was pushed to the plane, I realized that the
BB project started so many years ago and so successfully developed was now in
new hands and this had really been my last hurrah. Yet it was not quite over
as Tom and Lois Steichen, on their way home to North Carolina, visited us in
Winchester the next day. We discussed the future over a bottle of Mosel and
sister Donna's nut strudel. Too soon, the Steichens left for home with two boxes
of BB subject books and sundry items from my library. As their car backed
out of our driveway, the early days of the Burgenland Bunch gave way to a new
era. Heartfelt thanks to all for a splendid conclusion to what has been a most
2. AUSTRIAN OCCUPATION MEMORIES (from John Rajkovacz)
Member John Rajkovacz writes: I have read a number of Newsletters by the BB
and have been reminiscing on the narrative. My first personal contact with
Burgenland and Austria was while I was in the US Army and a part of the army of
occupation stationed near Nancy, France. The Russian Army was about as far as
Linz, Austria and Vienna was a four powered city, US, Britain, France and
Never having seen my grandparents, and against the advice of the Protestant
Chaplain assigned to our post, I determined to see my family. Obtaining travel
orders, I went to Vienna and obtained a four power pass allowing me to go
into Burgenland in January of l955. Traveling to the West Bahnhof, which was
completely rebuilt (in Allied hands) I was joined by relatives and then went to
East Bahnhof (in Russian hands and still bombed out from WW II.) There were
Russian soldiers and their girl friends or wives milling about. The train went
south and stopped in Oberwart which had a Russian encampment. Two Russian
soldiers got on the train armed with machine guns.
The train deposited me at the end of the line which terminated between
Rechnitz and Schachendorf, by the Hungarian border. Before the Iron Curtain I
imagine it proceeded on to Szombathely. This area had been the scene of a Russian
ambush during the war. One of my cousins at that time, 13 years of age
participated in the removal of German army troops for burial.
Once off the train, I saw a scene that I thought was incredible for that
time. A "Town Crier" was strolling through the neighborhood. I also saw a gypsy
singing lustily from the last car of the train about 7 AM in the morning. When
Russian troops appeared in the village, they had asked my maternal grandfather
Balogh where the women were. He wouldn't tell, because it was more
preferable to be killed by the Russians than his fellow villagers after the Russians
There has been much reported in the narratives about ethnic heritage. I know
that my boldest relatives did feel a strong affinity for their Magyar heritage
and there was considerable nostalgia among my parents generation. I have a
great grandparent named Ringlbauer and I have yet to see that surname pop up.
One of my aunts, essentially the family historian, knew all the past and how
many were in a particular grave site and where they had traveled. It was
interesting when she mentioned that the Ringlbauers had lived in Krakow, Poland
when it was a part of the Empire. There seems to have been a lot of temporary
migration. I know that one of my uncles had lived and worked in Salzburg for a
number of years, as there was not much employment available in Burgenland.
He would return to his village home after long absences. My paternal
grandfather worked in Weiner Neustadt at one time, away from his family.
I have read a little about Szombathely ( Saturday meeting place) in the
Gemeinschaft news. For middle Burgenland, its separation from Hungary must have
had considerable impact on the vitality of that city with the proximity of all
those Burgenland villages, and its natural markets.
Returning to Vienna, I stayed with more relatives. My mother's youngest
brother was 18 in 1939. He was captured on the Russian front in l943 and was
presumed dead when his name popped up in the announcements of the "Town Crier" in
1950. He was one of the last POW's released by Russia through the efforts of
Konrad Adenauer. On a street car with him in Vienna, a Russian officer climbed
on board and he furtively said that they can not be trusted. His feisty
father, my grandfather, fought against the Russians in WW I and narrowly escaped
death. His brother was awarded the equivalent of the Silver Star during WW I
but was beheaded in Graz in Dec. 1944 for belonging to a group that saw the
futility of the war at that time. Others met the same fate. I have an interest
in the archives of official information leading to their fate other than
3. AUSTRIAN DELEGATION VISITS CHICAGO (from Tom Glatz)
I believe the delegation had a very good time in Chicago. The Austrian
Consul, Robert Zischg, took an active part in the planning. Chicago BG president
Karl Billisits, Anita Walthier (Jolly Burgenländer president & now active BG
member) & I met the delegation with flowers at the O'Hare Airport at around 9 AM
We proceeded to the Chicago Hilton Hotel on the tour bus they had arranged
for transportation around the city. We then all went on a Wendella boat tour in
Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The Austrian Consulate hosted a wine,
cheese, wurst, & strudel affair at their office. On Friday we all attended an
event sponsored by the Austrian Consulate and the DANK HAUS German Cultural
Center at the center. This event consisted of an exhibition by Austrian (Steiermark
born) Renate Summer and music performed by the Affetti Musicali husband and
wife team Ernst Kubitschek and Marianne Ronez.
Later that evening active BG and other Austrian clubs' members were invited
for dinner at the residence of Austrian Consul Robert Zischg. On Saturday
morning the delegation toured more parts of the city. Karl Billisits and I invited
them for lunch at the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock
building. There they enjoyed wonderful food as well as the exciting views of the
city and beyond. Late Saturday afternoon the Chicago BG reception was held at
the Hungarian Epicurean Restaurant in Hillside, Illinois. The room was
decorated nicely with the colors of the Austrian flag and was filled to capacity with
52 people. Speeches were made by the delegation. Chicago BG president Karl
Billisits honored Chicago BG founding member Hermine Volkovits and her deceased
husband Frank. I found it interesting that Landesrat Verena Dunst mentioned
that when growing up, she found it odd that she had almost no relatives. They
had all gone to America! I felt honored when Landesrat Verena Dunst and
Landeshauptmann-Stellvertreter Franz Steindl presented me with Verdienstkreuz des
Landes Burgenland (service cross). Chicago BG president Karl Billisits was also
presented with this honor as well as the "Ehrenmitgliedschaft der
Burgenländischen Gemeinschaft (Honored Member Of The Gemeinschaft.) I was very impressed at
how BG/BB delegate Klaus Gerger reached out to the people in attendance.
Pictures of Klaus were made with all BB members (and many others) at the Saturday
reception: Al & Betty Jo Kennedy. Laura Kochevar and friend Betty Chrastka,
Frank Radostits, Roy & Carol Hansen, and John & wife Kathleen Rajovacz.
The delegation left for Toronto early on Sunday morning. I had a wonderful
time with the delegation and only wish they could have been here longer.
4. THANK YOU FROM A MEMBER (from Robert Keppel)
Dear Gerry, My name is Robert Keppel. I am one-quarter Burgenlander and proud
of it. I am also a member of the "Bunch". I was very sorry to hear that you
are relinquishing the position of chief editor of the Burgenland Bunch
newsletter because of ill health. I wish you all the best.
My grandfather's father, Johann Köppel, left his hometown of Inzenhof in 1875
to live in the village of his new bride, Maria Hauser, of Oberradling. A trip
which I now know only took minutes thanks to your newsletter. The married
couple settled in Oberradling where my grandfather, Franz, was born in 1882.
Franz came to this country in 1905 and finally took up permanent residence in
Sheboygan, Wisconsin after a brief stop in McKees Rocks. In Sheboygan he met and
married another Austro-Hungarian, Rosa Varga, from Mor, Hungary.
For many years I wondered about this mysterious place called Oberradling.
Occasionally, I would scan detailed atlases of Hungary and Austria looking for
the place. Then came the age of the Internet, and a search led me straight to
the Burgenland Bunch, and a very fine group of people. First Margaret Kaiser and
then Bob Strauch helped me search my Burgenland roots, and I found I was
related to the Kurta, Hauser, Schuster, Artinger, Gollinger, and other Burgenland
families. But more importantly, I came to appreciate the culture of my
paternal grandparents thanks to your newsletter. Another great acquaintance I made is
.Having found out what great group of people genealogists and Burgenlanders
were, I decided to take a chance and contacted a genealogist and historian who
were interested in preserving the culture and history of Sheboygan County, a
place that I hold dear as this is where I spent the first 18 years of my life.
These folks were Debie Blindauer and Bill Wangemann. My father, William, was
an amateur historian and collected a treasure trove of Sheboygan historical
artifacts. Among these were about 750 glass negatives that were created by a
Sheboygan photographer by the name of George Groh. I made it my first retirement
mission to create viewable and images from these long neglected negatives.
With the help of Debie, many of these images were put on the Sheboygan genealogy
And so Gerry, as the prime mover you are responsible for providing the
impetus so that the many people, with roots to Sheboygan County, have an opportunity
to view images of their forebears.
Thank you very much for your efforts to keep the culture and history of the
Burgenland available to those interested.
Newsletter continues as number 162B.
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER] BB News Number 162B Dtd. April 30, 2007
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 07:33:09 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 162B
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(Our 12th Year- Issued monthly as email by )
April 30, 2007
(c) 2007 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)
This third section of our 3-section newsletter concerns:
1. Minutes Of First Burgenland Bunch Staff Meeting
2. Telephone Directory Feedback
1. MINUTES OF FIRST BURGENLAND BUNCH STAFF MEETING
Date: Thursday afternoon, April 19, 2007
Place: Home of Emma Tanczos Farkas, sister of Anna Kresh, in Northampton,
Present: Gerry Berghold
Molly Berghold (Gerry's loving keeper)
Frank Paukowits (New staff member)
Frank Teklits (Croatian Editor Emeritus)
At about 12:00 noon, over appetizers prepared by Emma Farkas, host of the
meeting of staff and staff guests, Burgenland Bunch President Gerry Berghold
called the meeting to order. Topics discussed were as follows:
1. Frank Paukowits: Gerry noted that Frank has created a great website called
"Burgenlaenders Honored and Remembered" and felt that he would be a great
addition to the BB. Frank said he is willing to be a Contributing Editor and
Consultant on Burgenland-related issues. Frank thinks that, down the road, his
site could be integrated into the Burgenland Bunch site. Staff present agreed
with the recommendation and Frank was welcomed to the staff.
2. Officers: The staff present gave formal acknowledgement and support to Tom
Steichen, who was invited by Gerry to assume the formal role of Burgenland
Bunch President. Tom had privately agreed to accept the role conditional on
Gerry commented that he saw the role of the Burgenland Bunch President as
two-fold: to speak for the Burgenland Bunch; and to contact staff members as
needed, asking them to handle pertinent issues.
Gerry also had worked on a nearly daily basis with Anna Kresh, Klaus Gerger
and Hannes Graf, maintainers of various BB web resources, so he suggested that
these three should be Vice-Presidents of the Burgenland Bunch (prior to the
meeting each had agreed to accept a role as VP). We will advise the
Burgenländische Gemeinschaft of their titles.
In an aside, Gerry noted that Walter Dujmovits' book, "Die Amerika
Auswanderung der Burgenlaender" (The American Emigration of Burgenlaenders), would be
translated into English with the support of the Austrian government.
Thereupon, Tom conducted the remainder of this meeting.
[At this point, Emma, with the help of her confirmation Godmother, Mary Pany
Mazur, served her wonderful "luncheon" meal. In his first official act as BB
President, Tom astutely suggested that we suspend the BB meeting until after
lunch was complete. Anna asked that the lunch begin with "Grace Before Meals,"
sung (surprisingly well by the group) to the melody of "Edelweiss:"
Praise and thanks,
Praise and thanks.
Lord, together we greet thee.
Bless our food,
Bless our friends,
Bless our homeland forever.
Many ethnic foods (in quantities large enough to serve all missing BB staff
and their complete families!) were placed on the table. Half a dozen excellent
desserts, coffee and tea, then "medicinal" Jägermeister, an Austrian liqueur
made from a mixture of 56 roots, barks, blossoms and herbs, followed. The
meeting continued after we all let our belts out a notch.]
Tom noted that the critical issues to be discussed during the remainder of
the meeting should center on reducing Gerry's BB workload and planning for his
eventual retirement from BB activities.
3. Newsletter: Via prior private communication, Fritz Königshofer had agreed
to assume an Assistant Newsletter Editor role whenever Gerry requested help
(though not the full Editorship). Gerry will continue to write articles for the
Newsletter but, eventually, someone will need to step forward to assume the
A discussion was held concerning how we might continue the newsletter after
Gerry retires. He suggested that we consider republishing useful articles from
the Burgenland Bunch Archives. It was also proposed that the President prepare
a monthly article and that staff members submit more articles.
Currently, Gerry performs a number of tasks relating to the Newsletter:
editing articles; writing articles; and technical, procedural steps. The procedural
steps include managing the newsletter subscription mailing list
(adding/removing recipient email addresses, deleting unauthorized posts, releasing the
newsletter section when ready, etc.), submitting the newsletter to Tom for posting
on the BB website, and preparing an index for the Archives and sending to
Charles Wardell. It was proposed that the procedural tasks be split from the
editor/author tasks to reduce his load. Hannes Graf has indicated willingness to
take on these tasks, if no one else will, when Gerry so requests (he will carry
on, as is, for now).
We discussed the idea of sending subscribers a monthly email with a link to
the current Newsletter (rather than the full text), but Roots-L requires that
the newsletters be emailed before being archived.
4. New Member Contact: Gerry says that about a third of new members still
contact him via email rather than subscribing via the online form. He wants to
stop serving as the new member contact, therefore, as soon as possible the
Burgenland Bunch web site will be edited to remove the offer to have new members
contact him and will offer only electronic enrollment. Therefore, he will no
longer carry the burden of his customary customized, lengthy replies to new
members who contact him nor will he be assisting new members in identifying their
5. Village Names: When the online form for new member enrollment was
instituted, Gerry no longer was the first to see these membership applications and
thus could not provide initial corrections and clarifications nor reject
inappropriate applications. Questionable or incomplete applications resulted in a
round robin of emails between Hannes Graf (Members Editor), Tom Steichen (Surnames
and Villages Editor) and Gerry to resolve these issues. Now, with Gerry
outside of the new member loop, additional help will be needed. Klaus Gerger noted
that he recognizes the combination of surname and village for the
German-speaking villages, so he is willing to help new members who have problems
identifying their German-language ancestral village. Gerry says that Fritz Königshofer
recognizes most of the Hungarian-language villages, so he may be a resource
for these people (we will ask Fritz if he is willing to assume this task also).
John Lavendoski and Steve Geosits recognize most of the Croatian villages and
John stated he is willing to fulfill this role for uncertain spellings of
Croatian-speaking ancestral villages (we will ask Steve to consider participating
in this also). We will add Klaus and John, plus Fritz and Steve if they also
agree, to the automatic email copying of new member applications so they can
review and, when appropriate, suggest corrections, clarifications or rejections,
or even contact new members.
6. Contacting Members with non-functioning email addresses: We had a lengthy
discussion about whether to offer subscribers the option of giving us their
street address and phone number, in case their email addresses change and
researchers want to contact them. Currently, when we are aware that a subscribers'
email address is inactive (i.e., "invalid"), we remove it but keep their family
information available. We would keep voluntarily offered street addresses and
phone numbers in a private, offline (inaccessible) database. John said that
we could put a paragraph in a future Newsletter in order to offer this voluntary
feature to existing members. We could change the new member form to include
the new, optional entry fields. This issue was tabled for further
7. Burgenland Bunch Webmasters: Currently, Hannes and Tom fill this role
(with Anna and Fritz having access and editing Links and Maps, respectively).
Gerry and Anna stressed the need to have someone else prepared to handle the
website, in case of emergency, if Tom or Hannes, or both, might be indisposed.
Likewise, we need to be able to rapidly reinstate the BB domain and its content
should something happen to the current server hardware (Hannes is currently our
sole contact for this). Steve Geosits was mentioned as a good backup person,
given his work as a computer-programming specialist. It was discussed having a
log-on procedure, which would identify where the Burgenland Bunch member is,
geographically, and what type of computer s/he is using (however, this
information is obtainable through less onerous methods). Gerry suggested that we "sit
on these issues" for now.
8. Re-apportioning Gerry's current duties as President:
a. Tom with Hannes will handle the applications of new members. They will
encourage web site registration only.
b. W e will add more Staff recipients to the application form.
c. Tom will temporarily take over the Newsletter (with help from other
Staffers), should Gerry's health become worse. A new Editor would then need to be
appointed quickly to keep the newsletter functioning.
d. Burgenland Query Board: Fritz will handle. We encourage all Staffers to
check the Board regularly, and contribute as appropriate.
e. Newsletter: Gerry will continue to assemble for now. He encourages each
Staff member to contribute more articles. He will be glad to edit them.
f. Gerry's role: He will continue to research and answer Burgenland Bunch
questions, as he can. He also writes English-language articles for the
Burgenländische Gemeinschaft. He suggests that Staffers should copy all Staff regarding
issues and queries. (The implication was that we could keep everyone "in the
loop," as well as get the most help needed at the time.)
g. Anna suggests having an Advisory Board, a panel of consultants.
9. Other Topics:
a. Hap Anderson's Defunct Burgenland Bunch Site: This site is still out
there, with no links to our current Burgenland Bunch site. Hap is no longer
checking his emails or working on his computer. To get rid of this page, one needs
the name and password of the Administrator. Klaus will contact Hap's friend,
Susan Peters. Anna will try to get in touch with the server, spacestar.com. (Anna
subsequently reported the server has been contacted and the defunct site will
b. Gerry's Library: Gerry has a large library of Burgenland-related
German-language books. He asked for the names of three Staffers who would be willing to
cull this library at his demise. Tom, Maureen and Anna offered to take on
this role. We discussed placing the bulk of materials in one staff person's
keeping, for Burgenland Bunch use. In addition, Gerry suggested that his
Burgenland-related files could be trashed or distributed to pertinent Staffers, or
perhaps given to the LDS along with some of the books.
c. Newsletter content: We could add more songs, if their copyrights
permitted; could add recipes or even compile a Food issue with recipes from earlier
d. Newsletter Archives: Backups are on Roots-L, currently. We may think about
having Backups elsewhere.
e. Burgenland Bunch Stats for Staff to know: Gerry tells us that we have more
than 1400 members, with 85 percent from the USA; we have produced (under
Gerry's hand, we should add!) 162 Newsletters.
f. Burgenland Bunch's relationships to the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft: What
is it? What should it be? Klaus keeps the web links intact. Some Staffers and
Burgenland Bunchers subscribe to the BG magazine. We support the regional BGs
as possible. Newsletters contain information about BG events.
g. Burgenland Bunch Business Cards: Several Staffers already have such a
card. A generic card, based on Klaus' card, will be assembled and offered to
Staffers, who can personalize it with their contact information.
h. LDS Expertise. Since Margaret Kaiser also serves as an LDS volunteer, she
agreed to add LDS expertise to her normal staff duties. Contributing Editor
For LDS Matters will be added to the her staff listing.
10. Gerry outlined the Burgenland Bunch goals as he formulated them at the
Burgenland Bunch's founding:
1) to assist descendants of Burgenland immigrants in finding their ancestors;
2) to assemble English-language materials concerning Burgenland family
history and culture;
3) to link, and maintain links, with the Burgenland, particularly the
Burgenland government, the BG and other groups as they are formed. He sees the BG
and the Burgenland Bunch as the major Burgenland English language groups
available on the Internet.
11. Honoring Gerry Berghold: Tom presented the Staff's intent to change the
Burgenland Bunch logo to acknowledge Gerry role in founding the BB. He
displayed four sample formats (based on an original suggestion from Hannes Graf) and
Gerry chose the one he preferred. As a further improvement, Klaus Gerger will
provide a version that highlights Burgenland better on the logo map. Then Tom
presented Gerry with the virtual pièce de résistance: The Burgenland Bunch web
site will include a separate web page to honor Gerry. This page will include
his photo and a biographical piece, which Tom read to him. Gerry and the
Staffers present approved.
12. Next steps: Tom suggested that we send these Meeting Minutes to all the
Burgenland Bunch Staff for consideration. (also to be published in the
newsletter.) Sub-groups will be formed to focus on unresolved issues.
Adjournment: Tom adjourned the meeting at about 4:00 p.m.
Maureen Tighe-Brown, Acting Secretary
2. TELEPHONE DIRECTORY FEEDBACK
Member Susan Peters writes: Your article (Newsletter 161A) on looking people
up in the online telephone directory really struck a cord with me. When I
discovered that my g-g-g-grandfather, Ladislaus Grosinger (Grassinger), emigrated
from Lebenbrunn in 1858, I immediately went to the online telephone directory
and found 8 Grosingers still living there. I wrote to them all and received
2 replies. One was indeed my 3rd cousin who still lived in the same house.
(And it seems all Grosingers in the village are somehow related.) After
visiting them twice in the early 2000's, we are still corresponding a couple of
times a year. It was one of the best things I ever did in my life!
END OF NEWSLETTER
The Burgenland Bunch homepage (website) can be found at:
We can also be reached from: http://go.to/burgenland-bunch (this address
also provides access to Burgenländische Gemeinschaft web site)
Use our website to access our membership, village and surname lists,
archives, internet links, maps, instructions, ethnic song book, frequently asked
questions and other information.
WORLDGEN WEB BURGENLAND QUERY BOARD: http://bb-board.at.tt
BB NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES INDEX and threaded search facility (enter number of
newsletter) available from: http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/index (also reached
via Home Page hyperlinks.)
Burgenland Bunch Newsletter (c) 1997 archived courtesy of RootsWeb.com, Inc.
P.O. Box 6798, Frazier Park, CA 93222-6798. Newsletter published monthly by
G. J. Berghold, Winchester, VA. Newsletter and List Rights Reserved.
Permission to Copy Granted; You Must Provide Credit and Mention Source.