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Genealogists researching the multi-ethnic heritage of the Burgenland of Austria and adjoining areas of former West Hungary.

From: Hannes Graf <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 00:03:03 +0100

January 31, 2009
(c) 2009 - The Burgenland Bunch - all rights reserved

Our 13th Year, Editor: Johannes Graf and
Copy Editor Maureen Tighe-Brown

The Burgenland Bunch Newsletter, founded by Gerry Berghold, retired, is
issued monthly as email and is available online at

Current Status Of The BB:
* Members: 1686 * Surname Entries: 5497 * Query Board Entries: 4019
* Newsletters Archived: 182 * Number of Staff Members: 14

EMAIL RECIPIENTS, PLEASE READ: You are receiving this email newsletter
because you are a BB member or have asked to be added to our distribution
list. To subscribe or unsubscribe, use the change form available from our
Home page at You cannot send
email to this newsletter. If you have problems receiving the
newsletter as email,
it may be read, downloaded, printed or copied from the BB Home page.
There is also an archive of previous newsletters.

This first section of our 2-section newsletter concerns:

1. Editors notes
2. BH&R Connecticut Enclave (by Frank Paukovits)
3. Help in Allentown (by Roxann Suppi)
4. 2008 statistics for
5. 202 days in southern Burgenland
6. Austria - Australia what's the difference?
7. WI Ancestry (by Heidi M. Raab Antoni)
8. Croatian Mass Makes a Reappearance in St. Kathrein (by Steve Geosits and
Bob Strauch)

1. Editor's notes:

a) Please don't use the address
office(at) for responding.
This address is only for sending the Newsletter and I don't
look at the mailbox for emails. Please write to the normal
burgenland.bunch(at) for sending articles and other stuff.

b) I get so many emails; it has grown about 2000 percent
since I am Editor. So if I am in a hurry, I don't have the time to answer
all of them quickly. But after some delay, I do try to answer them all.

c) The monthly online newsletter will include pictures from now.

2. BH&R Connecticut Enclave (by Frank Paukovits)

Before Gerry passed away he was pushing some of us to do additional
research on the Connecticut Burgenland enclave. I believe it would be a
personal tribute to him if we took steps to develop a module on the BH&R site
dedicated to Connecticut Burgenlaenders. While not as large as the
Burgenland immigrant population that went to places like Chicago,
etc., there was a sizable group, mainly from the Jennersdorf Bezirk,
that settled in the New Britain area of Connecticut in the early
1900's through 1950.
I think such a project is very doable. It would make a wonderful activity
for the Spring when the weather is pleasant and visits to cemeteries would
likely be needed to collect relevant information. I'll outline an approach
shortly that I believe will achieve the stated objective. Hopefully, I'll
get some help from BB staff and membership to make this a reality. a
parting tribute to Gerry.

3. Help in Allentown (by Roxann Suppi)

I have been a subscriber to your Burgenland enewsletter for many years, as
my grandparents, Rose and Louis Szita, having come from Lovaszpatona,
Veszprem, Hungary, which is near but not directly in the Burgenland area.
>From time to time I have read many interesting newsletters that have added
insight to their homeland and to the Allentown area where my grandparents
settled. I myself lived in that area with them until my parents and I moved
away when I was 6 or 7. My letter to you is a unique request which you may
or may not be able to assist with. I thought that perhaps since you have so
many readers from the Allentown area, someone there might be able to
remember information that I am seeking.

My mother, Virginia Szita met my father, Robert Rosch, at the old Boyd
Theatre on 9th Street, where he was an usher. My mother was an artist, who
painted a large landscape oil painting that my father persuaded her to sell
to the Boyd Theatre. I understand that the painting hung in the sitting
room of the ladies' room until the theatre closed. Living in New Jersey I had
never seen the painting, and was unaware that the theatre closed.
After my mother's death, I decided I wanted to see the painting but
then discovered
the theatre had been torn down to make room for the P P & L. I have tried
unsuccessfully to find out what happened to the articles that were in the
building. I am hoping that perhaps one of your readers may have knowledge
of who might have acquired the contents of the theatre, specifically my
mother's painting.

I am also looking for a yearbook picture of my mother for my genealogy
records. I believe she graduated from Allentown High School in either 1946
or 1948. I already have a 1947 yearbook that does not have her picture in
it. If anyone would be so kind to be able to provide information for these
requests I would be so grateful. Thank you for taking the time to read this

Sincerely, Roxann Suppi, Vineland, New Jersey

4. 2008 statistics for

Month Daily Avg Monthly Totals

Hits Files Pages Visits Sites Visits Pages Files Hits

Dec 2008 4108 3209 1575 343 6353 10652 48835 99483 127355
Nov 2008 4167 3077 1785 355 5987 10679 53562 92318 125031
Oct 2008 3623 2715 1422 302 5456 9370 44085 84167 112339
Sep 2008 incomplete 6281 23477
62721 83906
Aug 2008 3072 2316 938 246 4771 7652 29078 71820 95244
Jul 2008 3327 2362 1107 288 5609 8931 34334 73242 103150
Jun 2008 2694 2024 960 328 5851 9860 28820 60736 80833
May 2008 2877 2101 981 397 6397 12324 30430 65143 89207
Apr 2008 3365 2351 1076 408 6202 12253 32289 70550 100972
Mar 2008 3280 2334 914 328 6058 10194 28364 72373 101705
Feb 2008 3666 2642 952 318 5696 9233 27633 76625 106330
Jan 2008 3472 2568 857 306 5943 9508 26570 79615 107654

Totals 39,71 Gb 116,937 407,477
908,793 1,233,726

Alexa ranking: 1,946,690 1.100.000 12.000.000 3.000.000 4.300.000 2.100.000 (austrian-american-foundation) 1.100.000 (Tourist-info) 5.300.000 600.000

Compete Rank: 720,223

Quantcast Rank: 626,712

Proud, but uncommented upon.

5. 202 days in southern Burgenland

In 2008, I spent 202 days working in Burgenland on several projects. At
first, I was working at the historical railway between Oberwart and
Oberschützen from January to May, a minimum of 4 days every week.
In 2007 we had connected Oberschützen with Bad Tatzmannsdorf, and
we have had our first driving season at the 1,2 mile long track.
In 2008, we wanted to connect the whole distance (5 miles) and we
did it. In about a thousand hours, we changed 180 railway ties, built 3 new
stations, rebuilt 7 crossings, and cut the trees and bushes at the track.
Sometimes two people, sometimes 25 people were working together;
the average was 7 workers.

After all the hard work, we got the permission to drive the whole length,
carrying passengers. There have been 2800 passengers so far, and we
are proud about it,
because the capacity of the "Trolleytrain" is only 25 passengers at one time.

When I was home in Vienna to rest for a few days, I
created the Home page for this gang of railroaders.


Also, I was working at the Kunstpark Süd (Sculpture Park) in Olbendorf
from July to December, planning an expansion to an art center. For 2009, we
are planning to create sculptures in steel.


Beside these projects, I have been trying to connect also
some Burgenland-Bunch projects with my traveling.
I drove around the hidden villages and places and made thousands of photos
to include on the Burgenland-Impressions page. Most of the projects were
to find relatives and places from photos that some BB-members had. I met many
people who talked about several questions. In Redlschlag, I
met an old lady who gave me information about the Böhm connections for
Matthew Boisen;
in Neumarkt I found, with a little help from my friend Robert Bauer, the house
of the grandmother of Jack Fritz; in Lackenbach an old man who
remembered about people in a photo of Yohanan Loeffler's of Australia....and
many such discoveries.
Also, I met some politicians, artists and important people to talk about
BB-connections. I did an interview for the Burgenland radio of the
ORF about the touristic and cultural highlights in southern
Burgenland and the Burgenland-Bunch.

All together, I drove more than 20.000 miles with my shortcut-car
and had about 160 bed and breakfast nights at the Gästehaus Adelmann.

So everybody can imagine, that I was not very often at home.

After I got the NL-editorship from Gerry, I realized that
it is impossible to handle 2009 in the same way as last year. But I try to
drive around for sample material and photos for articles and
additional Webpages.

My plans for 2009 are only BB-works and Kunstpark Süd, when it is
warmer to work outside.

6. Austria - Australia what's the difference?

In the second week of December 2008, I was on the way from Vienna to
Olbendorf, when I hear the tick of an incoming SMS at my
cellphone. At the next smoking-break at the rest point in Kobersdorf, I read it:
Be careful about the Kangaroos! Elfie.
Yes, Madam, this is what I need now, I am on the way to Burgenland,
not to Queensland, I think to myself. One hour later, I was
driving on the B50 beside Bad Tatzmannsdorf; I looked right at
the "Outback" between Jormannsdorf and Mariasdorf and there jumped
Skippy on its way.
At this moment, I think to myself:
Austria - Australia all the same.

Background: A kangaroo escaped the night before from a private zoo
in Bad Tatzmannsdorf. Now Skippy, the kangaroo, is back in the zoo.

7. WI Ancestry (by Heidi M. Raab Antoni)

Hello! I just received the BB Newsletter No. 180. In it, I read that you
are collecting information regarding Burgenland immigrants who settled in
Wisconsin in the mid to late 1800s. My ancestors, Ladislaus Raab and his
wife Maria Huber, came to America in 1857. They settled, according to
family tradition and records, in Menasha, along with some of her
family members.
Menasha had an Austria-Hungary immigrant population at the time, as I have some
research which states another immigrant from Menasha who was not happy in the
States and wished to return, in which he wrote to an official "back
home: "I and
my countrymen..." I am unsure how big that group was who came so early. I'd
love to find out!

Ladislaus Raab was born, we believe, in 1824, in Neckenmarkt (Nyek),
Austria-Hungary. His parents were Mihaly (Michael) and Klara Ecker Raab. I
believe they pronounced their last name as /rabb/. Listed as his occupation,
according to National Archives (USA) records, was that he was a
Family history states that Ladislaus was involved in the Revolutions of
1848 in Austria-Hungary. My grandfather, Frank Raab, lived with his grandmother
for a time in the Auburndale, WI, and Marshfield, WI, areas and stated that she
said Ladislaus "got on the wrong side" of someone. He said it was Bismarck
but that was not correct. I believe the man in charge at the time was Count
Friedrich von Beck-Rzikowsky (1830-1920) and somehow Ladislaus needed to
get out of the country. This has been undocumented to this point but obviously
Ladislaus did not approve of what direction the country was going. We
heard he was in the military during the 1848 Revolutions but have
found no verification
that he was an officer, as was remembered in family conversations.

Maria Huber was born in Kroisbach (now Ferto-Rakos) Hungary in 1836. Her
parents were Lipot (Leopold) Huber and Terez Pfeiffer. Maria married her
husband in the Catholic Church in Kroisbach on January 30, 1853. We
have a copy of
the Reisepass for Ladislaus and Maria. I believe they came over on the
ship Antarctic. He was obviously not a wanted man at the time they left or he
would not have been issued a pass to leave!

Ladislaus and Maria settled in Menasha and began their family there.
Joseph´was born May 10, 1858, in Menasha; Peter was born June 3, 1860, in
Menasha; John (my great-grandfather) was born October 17, 1862.

Ladislaus joined the Union in fighting during the Civil War. I believe he
needed the money to support his growing family, and perhaps the war
satisfied his sense of justice which he never had in his homeland. He
enlisted in
October, 1861, and was mustered into service January 30, 1862. He belonged
to 14th WI Infantry, Co. G, otherwise known as the "Calumet and Manitowoc
Invincibles." At some point between 1860 and 1861, the family moved to
Rantoul Township, Calumet County, WI. At that time, he said he was a
farmer. We have found
no record of them there except for the military documents. Ladislaus
registered under the name Ladislaus Raab. He fought in the battles of Shiloh,
Pittsburgh Landing, Iuka and both battles of Corinth, all in Mississippi and
Tennessee. Their smaller unit was attached to various others during
the battles and
most notably would have fought with the WI troops whose mascot was Old
Abe, the battle eagle.

Ladislaus was killed in the 2nd Battle of Corinth, Miss., on October 3,
1862, during the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. His company was defending
Battery Robinette. His son John was born two weeks after his father
was killed in
action. Cause of death was listed as a bullet to the head. Ladislaus is
buried in an unmarked grave in the National Cemetery at Corinth. It
appears that
after the battle, the dead soldiers' clothes were removed and they were buried
in a mass grave. After the war, about 1867, those bodies were exhumed and
buried in individual graves. However, there was no way to distinguish one from
the other. There is a marker at Corinth bearing Ladislaus' name but that's not
where his body is.

Maria Huber went on to raise her three boys and have more children with
her second husband, Joseph Gairinger. She married him in Chilton, WI, on July
14, 1863. The little boys were wards of the court because, we believe, Maria
had no legal rights to raise the boys as a woman (perhaps according to the
military). She did file for a widows-orphans pension in 1871 and
undoubtedly received some financial help from that. Her son John
became permanently
disabled due to a hernia in 1890 and also filed for a pension from the
widows-orphans fund. We're not sure if he received any settlement.

Maria and husband Joseph Gairinger moved to Auburndale, WI, some time
after 1863 but before 1871. They farmed there and had a number of children but
only three girls survived past adulthood. I believe their names were Mae,
Frances and Elizabeth. A son Philip lived to adulthood but died about age 21.
Gairinger died in 1889 and Maria moved in with my great-grandfather's
family in Auburndale and later Marshfield, WI. She did also live with
her daughters
in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and later in Torrence, California. She died
about 1927 in Torrence, CA.

My great-grandfather, John Raab, was trained as a shoemaker. He was also a
fisherman off the coast of Seattle in the 1880s. He married Magdalena
Mader in 1890. She had ties back to the Neenah-Menasha, WI, area. He
ran a boarding
house in Auburndale, where my grandfather and several siblings were born.
Later, John ran a saloon but he didn't do so well financially. He died in

John's brother Joseph was a farmer all his life in Auburndale, WI. He
married Barbara Schreiner and they had many children.

Peter Raab was a farmer and married three times. Family oral tradition
states that his first wife died with several of their children during the
diphtheria epidemics which swept through the state. He married overall
three times. I believe he was killed in a truck/railroad train accident.

I wish I knew more about the extended family which supposedly came over
with them. Hope this helps with the site. I really enjoy the BB newsletters and
try to keep on top of the latest information there.

Thank you for putting this together.

Heidi M. Raab Antoni

8. Croatian Mass Makes a Reappearance in St. Kathrein (by Steve
Geosits and Bob Strauch)

Bob Strauch always seems to be finding new and interesting articles for me
to read. He recently sent me one which was posted in Croatian on the
"Volksgruppen" website. The article has some historical interest in
relation to current Croatian customs in Austria, so we decided that it
would be worthwhile to translate it for our English readers.

Note that there is a reference to "Putujaca celjanska Maria" (the Mary from
Mariazell). Every year, according to tradition, a Croatian or Austrian
village receives the statue of "Celjanske Marije", and Marije remains in
that particular village for one year. Some years ago this statue even made
its home in Szentpéterfa, Vas, Hungary. So, as you can see, Marije knows no

Original URL:


29 Nov 2008

In St. Kathrein, which was once a Croatian village located in South
Gradisce, a Croatian mass was served yesterday evening. With the support of
the Croatian Culture Club the mass was held by the priest of Pinkovac and
Nova Gora, namely Stefan Raimann. The mass with Putujuca celjanska Marija
was attended by the Croatian speaking parishioners from Katalene (St.
Kathrein), Vardes (Harmisch) and Harvatski Hasas (Kroatisch Ehrensdorf).
People also attended from Nova Gora, Pinkovac, Vincjet, Cajta and Cemba to
pray and sing together in the spirit of Croatia.

The priest Josef Kroiss invited Raimann to serve a Croatian mass more than
10 years ago in St. Kathrein. Now, he (Raimann) wants to make a new effort
to do this, even though he realizes that many Croatian men and women have
since died in this half-Croatian village. The hope is that the Croatian
mass might be an impetus for people to remember their Croatian heritage, and to
learn the Croatian language either through a course or in school.

Raimann would like to serve Croatian mass at least once a year in St.
Kathrein in order to preserve its Croatian heritage, so that it is not
forgotten completely. St. Kathrein, which celebrated its patron St.
Catherine last Tuesday, has at about 100 residents. According to the last
census that was taken in 2001, 6 of 138 residents spoke Croatian as their
conversational language.

(Special thanks is given to Viktória Merotei for her assistance with
this project)

Newsletter continues as number 183A.

From: Hannes Graf <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 00:04:16 +0100

January 31, 2009
(c) 2009 - The Burgenland Bunch - all rights reserved

The second section of this 2-section newsletter includes:

2. Trip to Burgenland (by Kim Di Roberts)
3. Ethnic Events Feb. 2009 (courtesy of Bob Strauch)


Editor: This is part of our monthly series designed to recycle interesting
articles from the BB Newsletters of 10 years ago. This month we offer you
one that is pure nostalgia, another that is mostly educational:

January 15, 1999


Burgenland Bunch charter member Sue Straw contacted me (Gerry Berghold)
recently and her questions set off a train of thought which ended up in this

Sue writes:

Hi, Gerry! I was amazed at the length of the Burgenland Bunch membership
list in the latest newsletters. You've really created a wonderful research
network for those of us who are researching our Burgenland ancestors. Are
you finding that you're related to all the other Berghold researchers with
ties to Allentown?

I had the chance recently to visit Allentown and Bethlehem when my son went
up to interview at Lehigh University. We drove past the enormous (and now
closed) Bethlehem steel mills. It must have really been something to see
when the steel mills were open and running. As we approached Bethlehem from
the south at night, we could see light spilling up from the valley. The
valley must have been ablaze with light at night when the steel mills were
all operating. (And the air must have been very polluted!) Large segments of
Bethlehem -- many neighborhoods -- seem to have built around the same time
(turn of the century, I'm guessing) to accommodate the newly arrived
immigrant families. Certain streets, judging from their width and location,
appear to have had streetcar lines to get workers to their jobs in the
valley. It must have been a bustling and energetic place at one time. I
found myself wondering what happened to all the people who lost their jobs
when the mills closed. Did Bethlehem and Allentown lose a lot of population,
or did people just turn to other occupations? Do the two towns still have a
strong German flavor or has that been lost as the immigrant generation has
died off? I did notice the Moravian influence (and schools) in downtown
Bethlehem, but the downtown area was clearly struggling to find a new
economic foothold.

Ed. (Gerry) Reply:

Yes the BB has grown and I hope we can keep it up. Fortunately we're getting
a staff put together to share the burden. I have connected to all of the
Bergholds as well as some other formerly unknown distant cousins and have
also been fortunate in having some of the staff do some research for my

Is your son thinking of going to Lehigh? I'm a member of the class of 1957.
The wife and I were married in Packer Chapel. Except for the Coke Works the
Beth. Steel is gone. They're thinking of making a mall out of the plant and
leaving all of the structure intact as a museum. Eat a hot dog and see where
your immigrant grandfather wrestled with the output of the rolling mills!
Not a bad idea. In 1947, on an AHS school trip I was allowed to tap a blast
furnace (pushed a button which sounded a warning klaxon and detonated the
explosive furnace plug, causing a roar, a shower of sparks and rivers of
steel) . I've never forgotten the sight!

Allentown-Bethlehem is now becoming a new immigrant enclave, although the
small towns to the north (Northampton, Catasauqua, Egypt, Coplay, etc.) are
still some what Burgenlndisch. People are relocating to the Lehigh Valley
from the NYC and northern NJ ethnic regions like they did years ago, mostly
Hispanic this time although there are sprinklings of other ethnic groups
including Asian. Not too bad a commute to NY-NJ jobs with the new highways.
The Eastern European descendants of immigrants who replaced the Penna. Dutch
who replaced the English who replaced the Indians (3 or 4 tribes in turn)
are in turn being replaced by a new wave of immigrants. Different
cultures-different customs, no strudel or paprika, but Hispanics and Asians
have their good food specialties too! The Burgenland section of Allentown
(6th 10th, 11th wards) is almost gone. Most of the Burgenland clubs and
taverns have closed.

The city centers are also changing, like so many others, but late coming to
this region. Hamilton Street, (main street Allentown) is now pretty derelict
where once it was the place to see and be seen. I met my wife on the
escalator in Hess's Department Store at Ninth & Hamilton Sts. We both worked
there in the early 1950's. The finest clothing, with many helpful sales
people, well groomed shoppers, the latest in all department store goods,
afterwards a choice of fine restaurants, ornate movie palaces, ice cream
parlors or old style snack shops and taverns. A trolley or bus ride home to
a quiet tree lined neighborhood. How nice it was!

Now my old neighborhood (the North end) has many properties boarded up,
although someone just fixed up my family's old homestead (sold in 1982 after
78 years of the same family). St. Peters Lutheran, home church of many
Burgenlanders for 100 years has moved to the western suburbs and the old
church is now a mission church which has become a focal point of the new
neighborhood just as it was for the old, Spanish language church service
instead of a German one. Don't know if the RC Sacred Heart Church at Fourth
& Gordon Sts. has replaced their German mass with a Spanish one. When the
new immigrants become integrated it will all come around again. We relocate
for a better life style (perhaps we should re-think that) and it can still
be found in the Lehigh Valley. Some assimilation already. Lots of changes

As I remember it, no one seemed to mind steel works pollution, that smell
was the smell of money although when the wind was just right, the Coke Works
could be pretty pungent and the smoke would turn the snow and a clean white
shirt black. Mostly restricted to South Bethlehem. Mass transit service was
wonderful. A trolley or bus every 7 or 15 minutes, although I had to run to
catch the last midnight trolley from Fountain Hill to Allentown (15 cents)
when the wife and I were courting. Otherwise it cost $1.50 for a taxi.
Cabbie often said, "cheaper to get married".

The reduction in the Steel Works occurred over a period of time following
WWII, so the end didn't appear to be that shattering. Very few of the
younger descendants went to work at the Steel. Most found something better.
My immigrant Sorger grandfather was a brick laying foreman in the Open
Hearth Section, commuting by trolley from Allentown. It eventually killed
him (heat stroke); my father worked for the railroad. I went into the Air
Force and then college, worked for Dupont in Wilmington. Retired to
Winchester. Relocation story of many descendants of older immigrants. Look
at the addresses of our members. Many have relocated. The first generation
immigrant pays the dues, the second lays the groundwork, the third reaps the
rewards, the fourth continues upward mobility or takes it all for granted
and the fifth, who knows? One of my granddaughters (BA, Columbia 1998) is
working for a publishing house in NYC and living in Greenwich Village. From
NYC Ellis Island immigrant back to NYC in five generations, but what a
difference in life styles! Some immigrant families have achieved it in less.

We had a good life in the Lehigh Valley. Those ethnic neighborhoods were
little village enclaves. Shame it had to change, but change is the only
permanent thing and the new immigrants need their chance. Always a pleasure
to hear from you.


I (Gerry Berghold) was copied on an answer to new member Aliza Sharon and
was intrigued by the historical connotations.

Member Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein writes:

(Aliza) I saw your posting about interest in the Burgenland Bunch. You
mention in your posting that you are descended from Austerlitz, and Spitzer.
As you may know, one of the founders of the Jewish community of Eisenstadt
was Abraham Spitz (my g-g-g-g-g-g-g-gf) whose wife was an Austerlitz. Some
of the Spitz descendants became Spitzer.

If you have done some research on the subject, you are probably aware of the
book by Bernhard Wachstein on the old Jewish cemetery of Eisenstadt, and his
two volumes on the old cemeteries of Vienna, in which there is a
considerable amount of information about both these families. (I believe
also quite a bit about Gompertz, some of whom married into the Spitz
descendants). The Austerlitz family is also mentioned in Hock's book about
the old Jewish families of Prague.

Editor's (Gerry) Reply:

Rabbi Marmorstein, Thank you for copying me on the above reply. Could you
perhaps comment on the establishment of the Jewish community in Eisenstadt?
Particularly with reference to the earlier periods....Spitzer is also a name
common to German Catholics in the south of Burgenland. I assume this is due
to naming conventions or the source of the name (a dweller near the peak-of
a mountain).One of our staff members points out the Austerlitz name as being
the name of Fred Astaire, one of Burgenland's few emigrant claims to fame. I
associate it with the village site of the Napoleonic battle. I believe it
was also the name of a noble family.... Best regards, Gerry Berghold

Rabbi Marmorstein's Reply:

As in much of central Europe, Jewish residence was restricted in the
Burgenland until the end of the 18th century, but those towns which were
privately owned such as Eisenstadt which was the property of the Esterhazy
princes, could make their own rules. When the Jews of Vienna were expelled
in 1675, gggggggf Abraham Spitz and his wealthier business associate Samson
Wertheimer arranged for them to resettle in Eisenstadt. This enabled the
Esterhazy's, who were a cultured and tolerant bunch, to enlarge their tax
base, and the displaced Jews to continue running businesses in the Vienna
area. The early transactions of the Eisenstadt Jewish community are
preserved in a published book "Urkunden und Akten das Judische Gemeindes
Eisenstadt." Around the same time negotiations were successfully concluded
allowing Jews to settle in Lackenbach, Deutschkreutz, Mattersdorf
(Mattersburg), Kobersdorf, Sopron and Frauenkirchen -these communities
became known as the "Sheva Kehillos" (-Hebrew word for Seven Communities).
They were extremely large and prominent throughout the 18th century and
early 19th. Later, because of the greater number of places where Jews could
settle legally, they declined in size and significance.

2. Trip to Burgenland (by Kim Di Roberts)

In September 2008, my husband and I made a trip to Austria and Germany. We
were able to make a very short overnight side trip into Burgenland. My
mother and family were born in Tschanigraben, which is a very small village
directly on the Austrian/Hungarian border. I am researching the names of
HUTTER/ARTINGER/SOMMER/GIBISER. To date, I have, essentially, only found
information on the HUTTER side of the family. My grandfather, Herman Hutter
and his brothers and sisters all immigrated to the USA....all except the
youngest brother, Adolf Hutter b. 1907. I believe, as was the custom,
usually the youngest was "left behind" to care for the land. Adolf married
Juliana Drauch Jost and they had 6 children before Adolf Hutter went into
the German Army during WW II and died in Italy in 1944. It was the family
of one of these children, Adolf Hutter II, that is still in the HUTTER house
in Tschanigraben. After my grandmother died in NY, my grandfather, Herman
Hutter, went back to live at the family home in Tschanigraben and he lived
the rest of his days with his dead brother's wife and family and is buried
at the cemetery in Tschanigraben. I had known that there was still family
in Tschanigraben and through the "miracle of the internet" I was able to
find the address and telephone number and a translation site to write a
letter, informing them of my wishes to visit them and visit the area of my
ancestors. Through the Burgenland Bunch members page, I began a friendship
with a fellow member, Lygia Maria Pilz Simetzberger (Gia) who lives in the
surrounding area. Gia, very graciously, offered to place a call for me to
the Hutter home since I do not speak any German. Gia also offered her time
on the day of my arrival to come with me and translate between me and my
Austrian family. Gia is a very busy women and I can't thank her enough for
giving me a visit with my family that I will remember for a lifetime! She
has also become my new Austrian friend and I will look forward to seeing her
on a future trip....a little longer this time :)

We stayed overnight at the Gasthof Gibiser, in Heiligenkreuz im
Lafnitztal, a larger (although still small and quaint) surrounding town. I
can recommend staying here. The rooms are clean, the restaurant was busy
with local guests (we didn't have time to eat at the restaurant). They had
a friendly bar area and a large outside patio to relax and drink and eat in
good weather. The Austrian people I met during my all too short time, were
wonderfully friendly and a pleasure to meet. (And being an X-New Yorker, I
speak with everyone :)
The area of Burgenland is charming and beautiful. There are green rolling
hills, many corn fields, livestock grazing, charming small towns or
villages, and beautiful colorful flowers everywhere with flower boxes on all
homes. The people were warm and friendly and being in the land of my
ancestors and meeting previously unknown family was very heartwarming for
me. If any of the Burgenland Bunch members are contemplating a trip to
Burgenland, I can fully recommend it. I think they will experience a way of
life that we really don't have here in America. However, that being said,
I'm sure it was and still is, a tough life in parts. The younger generation
seems to be leaving the area since there are limited opportunities for them.
And the older generation is dying and with that some of the old traditions
are also in jeopardy of being lost.

My trip was wonderful....too short....and I look forward anxiously to my
next visit into Burgenland.

While there, I visited the cemetery in Inzenhof and Tschanigraben. I will
attach 44 photos from the cemetery at Inzenhof in case someone in the
Burgenland Bunch will find them of interest. Some of the surnames found on
the graves in Inzenhof are the same as from BB members.

Thank you.
Kim Di Roberts

3. Ethnic Events Feb. 2009 (courtesy of Bob Strauch)

Sat., Feb 7, 2009 - Faschingsball #1 @ Reading Liederkranz in Reading, 6 PM.
Music by the Josef Kroboth Band from 8-11 PM.

Fri., Feb 13, 2009 - Lehigh Sängerbund Fasching Celebration @
Allentown Brew Works in Allentown, 6 PM.
Music by the Shoreliners from 7-10 PM and a DJ from 10 PM-12 AM.

Sat., Feb. 14, 2009 - Valentine's Dance @ Coplay Sängerbund in Coplay, 5-10 PM.
Music by the Johnny Dee Orchestra.

Sat., Feb. 14, 2009 - Faschingsball #2 @ Reading Liederkranz in Reading, 6 PM.
Music by the Joe Weber Band from 8-11 PM.


Anna M. Mohr

Anna M. (Yandrasits) Mohr, 84 years of Coplay, passed away peacefully on
Monday, December 29, 2008, in the Hospice of the V.N.A. of St. Lukes
Hospital, Lower Saucon Twp., surrounded by her loving and dedicated family.

She was the widow of Ralph F. Mohr Sr., who died on July 13, 1981.

Born in Coplay, she was the only child of Frank and Carolina (Ifsits)
Yandrasits (from Großmürbisch and Schallendorf).

She was a member of St. Peter's Catholic Church in Coplay, and a graduate of
Allentown Central Catholic High School.

She was the co-owner with her late husband of the Deerskin Leather Shops in
Coplay and Beach Haven, N.J. for over 20 years, retiring in 1986.

Earlier in life she was a teller at the former Coplay National Bank.

Anna loved her polka music, traveling and playing cards, and was the
Director of the Coplay Sängerbund Chorus for over 41 years.

Very active in politics, she was a longtime Democratic Committeewoman in

Survivors: She is survived by a son, Ralph F. Mohr and his wife Joan M.
(Bandura) of Whitehall; grandchildren, Sharon L. Mohr of Williamsport, Stacy
L. Boyle and her husband Brendan of East Greenville, and Matthew B. Mohr and
his wife Jennifer of Schnecksville; great-grandchildren, Jaclyn, Olivia,
Emily, Gabriel and Evan.

Frank Garger

Frank Garger, 72, of Northampton, died January 1, 2009 in the Inpatient
Hospice Unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown.

Frank and his wife, Maria (Filipovits) Garger, celebrated 43 years of
marriage in July.

Frank was born March 1, 1936 in Szentpéterfa (Prostrum), Hungary, the son of
the late Frank and Rose (Jurasits) Garger.

He was a general contractor, builder and owner and operator of Garger's
Market, Northampton, for many years. He also worked at Lehigh Structural
Steel for 21 years.

He was a member of Queenship of Mary Catholic Church, Northampton, the Holy
Name Society and he served as an usher for 35 years.

Frank was also a member of the Ss. Peter & Paul Society in Northampton.

Frank loved gardening and taking care of his roses.

Survivors: He is survived by his wife; daughter, Lisa McGill of Coopersburg;
son, Frank L. Garger and his wife, Judit, of Whitehall; grandchildren,
Zachary, Megan and Justin McGill, Mark and Alan Garger; brother, Matthew
Garger in Germany. Frank was predeceased by brothers, Rudolph and William

Mary Milisits

Mary Milisits, 89, of Northampton, died Wednesday, December 31 in St. Lukes
Hospital, Fountain Hill.

She was born February 2, 1919 in Horvátlövo (Kroatisch Schützen), Hungary,
the daughter of the late Stephen and Theresa (Cseri) Milisits.

Mary worked for the former Cross Country Clothes, Northampton, for many

She was a member of Queenship of Mary Catholic Church, Northampton.

Survivors: Mary is survived by a sister, Anna, wife of Peter Noga, of
Allentown; brother-in-law, Raymond A. Buffington of Northampton; nieces,
nephews, great-nieces, nephews, a great-great-niece. Mary was predeceased by
a sister, Theresa J. Buffington.

Joseph Weber

Joseph Weber, 80, of Coplay, passed away January 15, 2009 at home.

He was married to Margaret (Meyer) Weber for 58 years.

Born in Coplay (and raised in Eisenberg an der Pinka), he was the son of the
late Felix and Pauline (Eberhardt) Weber.

He was a member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Coplay and a member of its
former Knights of St. George.

He was a packer for LaFarge Cement Co., Whitehall, for 40 years until

A musician, he was a button accordian player for the Edelweiss Band.

As a hobby, he enjoyed woodcrafting and was a life member of the Coplay

Survivors: Wife; son, Joseph and Claire of Whitehall; daughter, Suzanne,
wife of Ron Rabenold, of Coplay; grandchildren, Joseph Weber III, Daniel
Weber, Tara Eckels, Tanya Rabenold; sisters, Mary Stubits of Whitehall,
Theresa, wife of Ludwig Schlager of Coplay.

Theresa A. Schlager

Theresa A. Schlager, 84, of Coplay, passed away Jan. 19 in her home.

She was married to Ludwig A. Schlager for 60 years.

Born in Coplay (and raised in Eisenberg an der Pinka), she was the daughter
of the late Felix and Pauline (Eberhardt) Weber.

She was a sewing machine operator for the former Modern Clothes, Allentown,
for 30 years retiring in 1986.

She was a member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Coplay, and its Altar &
Rosary Society.

She was a member of the Coplay Sängerbund.

Survivors: Husband; daughter, Rosemary Schlager of Whitehall; grandsons,
Christopher, Jonathan and his fiancee, Amanda; great-grandson, Bixby;
sister, Mary Stubits of Whitehall. Her brother, Joseph Weber, passed away on
January 15.


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