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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: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 12:54:08 +0200

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

Our 13th Year, Editor: Johannes Graf burgenland.bunch(at) and Copy
Editor Maureen Tighe-Brown

The Burgenland Bunch Newsletter, founded by Gerry Berghold, (who retired in
Summer, 2008, and died in August, 2008), is issued monthly as email and is
available online at

Current Status Of The BB:
* Members: 1731 * Surname Entries: 5575 * Query Board Entries: 4173
* Newsletters Archived: 188 * 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 newsletter has just one section. It concerns:

1) THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER (by Tom Steichen)

1) THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER (by Tom Steichen)


Nine of thirteen Burgenland Bunch staff members and three BB members met in
Allentown, PA, on June 27 to discuss issues of interest to the BB. Present
were: Tom Steichen, President (Winston-Salem, NC); Hannes Graf (Vienna,
Austria), VP & Newsletter Editor; Anna Kresh, VP (Butler, PA); Contributing
Editors Margaret Kaiser (Northvale, NJ), Tom Glatz (Chicago, IL), Fritz
Königshofer (Bethesda, MD), John Lavendoski (Austin, TX), Frank Paukowits
(Flushing, NY) and Bob Strauch (Allentown, PA); and Lehigh Valley BB Members
Ed & Frank Tantsits and Frank Teklits (emeritus staff member). Staff members
unable to attend were Klaus Gerger, VP (Vienna, Austria) and Contributing
Editors Steve Geosits (New York, NY), Maureen Tighe-Brown (Hubbard, OH) and
Bob Unger (El Cajon, CA). Ed Tantsits organized the local arrangements and
President David Scheffy of the Coplay Sängerbund made us and our family
members welcome the next day at the 92nd Coplay Sängerbund Stiftungsfest.
Many thanks to both!

The weekend started on Friday night with some staff members attending the
Button-box Jam Session at the Sängerbund. On Saturday, the staff met for
nearly five hours as we worked through a large agenda assembled by Margaret
Kaiser. That evening, spouses and other family joined us for a nice
Hungarian dinner at Paprika's in Hellertown, PA. Sunday's afternoon and
early evening Stiftungsfest continued our festivities, where I must admit I
danced my feet sore to Emil Schanta's band, after first attending the choral
concert, of course. Then Emma Tanczos Farkas, sister of VP Anna Kresh,
topped off our weekend by graciously fêting us with an succulent array of
Burgenland delicacies, sweets and drinks as we whiled away the last of the
evening with food and conversation at her home in Northampton. Emma, thank
you from all of us!

The meeting itself revolved around six key topics. We first discussed
finding a new home for Gerry Berghold's large collection of Burgenland books
currently residing in his former home in Winchester, VA. Although the Staff
weighed the merits of a number of potential recipient libraries (and
preferred libraries in the Lehigh Valley), it was agreed that the first step
should be to assemble an inventory of the books. (Chris Berghold has
graciously allowed John Lavendoski and me to do so on August 6th.)

We next held a discussion about a potential BB DNA project. John Lavendoski,
who has been involved in a number of DNA studies, provided a tutorial to the
staff about the basics of DNA-based genealogy, delineating what can and
cannot be achieved with such work. It appears that current DNA capabilities
are particularly suitable for examining relationships among men of the same
surname, slightly useful for "generic" information about the maternal lines
of women, but not useful for examining most other family relationships.
John's belief was that a nonspecific study among members of the Burgenland
Bunch would likely be disappointing and he recommended against taking on
such a project.

Our third topic concerned establishing a Burgenland Bunch presence on
Facebook, primarily to serve as a tool to introduce the BB to a younger
demographic. Staff member Steve Geosits (who I had the pleasure of sharing
dinner with in NYC during the week before this meeting) created a private
test site to show what might be done. He also noted the presence of a
generic "Burgenland" group on Facebook that has nearly 600 members and often
discusses Burgenland genealogy. The Staff concluded that a BB site on
Facebook would have value and voted that we ask Steve to open it up to the

Frank Paukowits led the discussion of our fourth topic, a new "Connecticut"
module for the BH&R (Burgenlanders Honored and Remembered) site. If you know
of Burgenland-born individuals buried in a Connecticut cemetery, or would be
interested in documenting Connecticut cemeteries, drop Frank a note.

Our fifth major topic was succession planning. This topic is an ongoing
concern for me because most of the staff members are 55+ in age and are
already (over-)loaded with ongoing BB duties (plus having other, non-BB
interests). Hannes Graf is the BB Newsletter Editor, Editor of the
Membership page (which requires monthly updating) and co-Webmaster with me.
Anna Kresh handles our BB Links Page, which is a never-ending cycle of
discovering new links and discarding broken links. Frank Paukowits, Bob
Strauch and Margaret Kaiser are deeply involved in managing and adding to
BH&R while also contributing articles and material for our Newsletter and
website. Steve Geosits and John Lavendoski operate the extensive Szent
Péterfa Genealogical site and Steve will lead the efforts for our new BB
Facebook site. Fritz Königshofer is our key resource assisting users of the
Burgenland Query Board and provides research and translations for us. Klaus
Gerger is the developer and maintainer of the BB Maps Pages and continues to
lead efforts to transcribe Burgenland house records. Maureen Tighe-Brown is
Copy Editor for the Newsletter (while also attempting to complete a Ph.D.
and take care of her aging mother). I am Editor of the Surnames and Villages
pages (which require monthly updating), co-Webmaster, a frequent (though
often anonymous) contributor to the Newsletter, and the BB interface that
deals with problems or questions (while also being employed full-time).

What all this implies is that the current staff (as large as it seems) does
not have the time or energy to back up other staff nor to take on any new BB
tasks. Our discussion indicated that none of the current staff plans to
"retire" from the BB any time soon, however our collective age suggested
that it is only a matter of time before illness or events force one or more
of us to withdraw temporarily or permanently. When that happens, we will not
have the ability to maintain the abandoned task. We determined that the only
reasonable approach to ease this situation is to recruit new staff members
to take over existing tasks (or to take on new tasks) and to free current
staff from some of the monthly burden. This would allow the current staff to
step in when needed as back up or as a temporary resource. Thus, if you have
considered becoming involved as a BB staff member, please make your interest
known... we need you! Researchers and writers are of great interest to us
and we have a particular interest in finding individuals with HTML, PHP or
web-based database experience, as we would like to convert our key datasets
from static HTML pages to dynamic database-driven pages. However, if you
have another talent to offer, we will find a way to use it.

Our final topic, and one which caused us to move our dinner reservation a
bit later, concerned our status as an informal, unincorporated organization
with no "legal" standing. That status affects both our relationships with
other organizations and our ability to accept funding. We are not a
non-profit and thus hold no special tax status; from a U.S. tax viewpoint,
we simply do not exist. We charge nothing for memberships and any actual
costs of running the organization are covered by staff members absorbing
whatever they spend on our behalf (for example, we each paid all of the
expenses we incurred to attend this staff meeting). Therefore, we need no
"treasury" and do not file anything with the U.S government.

However, it also means we have no way to accept contributions when offered
to the BB. This has led to lost opportunities, occasional hurt feelings, and
confusion about why we reject "free" money. It also has led to some conflict
among staff members and with other organizations. Our discussion evolved
around understanding these conflicts and the pro's and con's of formalizing
our organization. The clear advantage is we would have a well-defined
non-profit tax status with the ability to accept funding. The clear
disadvantages are that we would need to be much more formal in our
day-to-day activities and would need to prepare the ongoing and annual
paperwork that documents our status and our transactions. In reality, we
might need to add or designate a treasurer who would keep books, establish a
checking account and do our tax returns and other paperwork. Whether this
added complexity is justified by the occasional contribution offer (even if
generous) is not clear. The staff was clearly divided by this issue but, as
a group, recognized that we do not know exactly what might be involved in
changing our status. Thus, we will explore further.

That was our meeting... we advanced the cause on Gerry's library, made a
decision on Facebook, were educated about DNA, had a heads-up on a BH&R
Connecticut module and discussed two issues without easy solutions:
maintaining our existing capabilities and formalization (or not) of the
organization. The meeting provided a first-time opportunity for every staff
member to meet at least one other staff member whom he or she had not met
before. It allowed us to share fellowship and to talk through some difficult
issues. Already, emails are raising the possibility of doing it again in a
year or two. So I leave you with this question: Will you consider becoming a
staff member and joining us when we next meet again?


Emmerich Koller become the Hungarian Editor

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Emmerich Koller has agreed
to join the BB staff as our new Hungarian Editor. Emmerich, born in Hungary,
a refugee in Burgenland and a U.S. resident since 1960, brings skill in
translation of both German and Hungarian documents and is an accomplished
writer, authoring his memoir of Hungary and contributing a number of
articles to recent newsletters. Please join me in welcoming Emmerich. He may
be reached at ().

Emmerich provides the following biographical sketch:

Emmerich, a.k.a. Imre Koller, was born in 1942 in Pernau/Pornóapáti,
Hungary. On November 4, 1956, Emmerich, his parents and six siblings escaped
across the Iron Curtain and lived for four years as refugees in Oberbildein,
Burgenland. During this time, Emmerich finished 8th grade in Bildein,
attended a vocational school for young Hungarian refugees in Retz, NÖ, then
entered the Privatgymnasium Sankt Rupert in Bischofshofen, Salzburg, to
begin his studies for the priesthood with the Steyler Missionaries. In 1960,
the Kollers immigrated to America and settled in Hyde Park, Chicago.
Emmerich left the seminary in 1966 and became a German teacher. For many
years, he taught in the Academy of International Studies at the Glenbrook
High Schools in Glenview and Northbrook, Illinois. He retired in 2002. Today
he lives in Winnetka, Illinois, with his wife Ann and youngest son Andrew.
He holds a BA in Philosophy, an MA in German and an MA in Education. During
his teaching career of 36 years, he received several awards, among them the
Distinguished Teacher Award at President Clinton’s White House (1993), The
Certificate of Merit from the Goethe Institute New York (1989), and two
Outstanding Teacher Awards from the University of Chicago (1985, 2001).
Emmerich Koller is the author of "Good Dogs Do Stray," a memoir that
includes the history of Pernau and the Pinkatal as well as a vivid
description of life in a German village east of the border.


Pictures of the 2nd BB Staff Meeting and the Stiftungsfest at Coplay
Sängerbund are aviable at:


The past few months have been the most difficult of our family's
lives. Two things happened: one bad, one good. My wife Elfie's Mum
(84) had an accident in April and broke her femur. Gradually, her
health became worse and worse, and we waited for the end of her life.

At that time, Elfie and I decided that I would make the trip to the
USA alone, and she would stay with her mother. So I flew on June 24th
to New York City and had a very good time with the Burgenland-Bunch
Staff friends for a week, and then visited my relatives in Ohio and

After my flight back to Vienna on July 8th, I felt as though I hadn't
really arrived back. When I closed my eyes, I was still in Allentown,
New York, South Bend, Zionsville, Pittsburgh, Butler, East Liverpool
or Indianapolis. Sometimes I spoke English with people, and they just
looked at me and wondered. Also, my body was still seven hours off
schedule, so I didn't feel as though I had come back to Austrian

During these months, Elfie's mother alternated between coming back to
life and sinking medically. On Tuesday, July 21st, in the morning,
her mother's mind was very clear. She wanted to get washed with the
help of the nurse, then she had breakfast and got a little tired, so
she went to bed, closed her eyes, and died!

So I am sorry that this issue of the BB Newsletter will not include
all the articles I wanted to add. I know you will understand that my
wife and children are more important to me right now.


Last May I arranged a meeting at my home between Emma Wenzel and
Emmerich Koller, author of the autobiography, Good Dogs Do Stray. Ms.
Wenzel is the niece of Franz (Ferenc Jahrmann) born in Pinkafeld.
Emma's mother, Ida Jahrmann, also born in Pinkafeld, was Franz's
sister. Emma's uncle was the highly respected schoolmaster in Pernau
and a teacher to members of the Koller family. An article was
previously written about Koller's book, but I thought it would be
interesting to submit something brief to the Burgenland Bunch about
this meeting and of my views about his book. Emma and I were pleased
to meet Emmerich. Besides this Wenzel/Jahrmann connection, the Körper
sisters from Pernau and who live now in Chicago would sometimes attend
our Burgenländische Gemeinschaft events. For years BB member Bob
Strauch would talk about this village of Pernau where his ancestors
also hail from. He once sent me some historical village data
concerning Pernau which I shared with Emma and the Körper sisters.
They enjoyed reading and reminiscing about their birthplace. Emma and
Emmerich spent the afternoon at my home trading stories and looking at
pictures of the Jahrmann family that she brought.

Emma said that she truly felt a connection with her uncle spending the
afternoon and speaking with Emmerich. She always wished that she could
have met her him. Despite circumstances due to the war and communism
her family and the Jahrmann family in Pernau were close. Emma was
thrilled to see a picture of her uncle with fellow teacher Bankorsos
in the book. Emmerich explained that Franz was often referred to in
the village with the Hungarian diminutive Feri Bacsi and his wife as
Neni. This is a non-related uncle and aunt. He had a positive impact
on Koller's life and probably hoped that Koller would not have to
follow in the life of his shoemaker father. Koller was also a good
friend of Franz Jahrmann's son Tibor. There is mention of him in the
book. Tibor fled across the border to Austria in 1956. He later
immigrated and joined others from Pernau in Chicago.

Emmerich joins the list as the third American autobiographer born in
Burgenland after Robert Unger and Frances Panny that I am aware of.
All live or lived in Chicago! Since Pernau stayed with Hungary after
the founding of the Burgenland and did not change much going into the
twentieth century, Koller's book gave me insight as to what life might
have been like for my ancestors before they left their villages fifty
years previously. The Hungarian government and the Catholic church at
times had a negative impact on the lives of the people that lived in
Pernau. They stifled entrepreneurship and creativity. Koller was able
to succeed despite his past. He recognizes this past in the book and
brings it all out in the open.


The Midwest Burgenland Bunch will hold its annual picnic Sunday, August 9,
2009. We will meet at the Germanic-American Institute, 301 Summit Avenue,
St. Paul MN. Hours are 12 Noon to 4:30 PM - Rain or Shine. Bring a picnic
lunch. Meet and greet old friends and new.
Questions? Email to: Charlie Deutsch ()


(continue from THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS - No. 185A)

Chicago Tribune (IL) - 1963-01-23
Deceased Name: Hefler
Emilia Hefler, (b. Oberdorf)nee Aspan, beloved wife of Paul (b. Jabing);
fond mother of Emilia Hucher, Helen Fischer, and Frieda Coyle; grandmother
of five; dear sister of Anastasia Halper, Teresa Konrath, Frank Aspan,
Barbara Lorenz, Helena Lieb, Anna Lorenz of Oberdorf Burgenland. Funeral
Thursday, Jan. 24, from Kowske Funeral Home, 1503 W. 51st street, at 8:30
a.m., to St. Ethelreda church. Interment St. Mary cemetery. Member of Erster
Eisenburger, S. B. S.; German-Hungarian, L. B. S.; and St. Ethelreda Altar
and Rosary society. YArds 7-4765.

Chicago Tribune (IL) - 1955-04-29
Deceased Name: KEIPPEL
John Keippel, late of 4955 Berenice avenue, beloved husband of Pauline, nee
Werderits; dear father of Pauline Strombom, Marie Keippel, Edna Timson, and
Mildred Harrison; grandfather of five; brother of Michael and Tobias
Keippel, and Marie Brunner of Burgenland, Austria. Services Saturday, 1:30
p.m., at chapel, 4920-24 Irving Park road. Interment Mount Emblem. KIldare

Chicago Tribune (IL) - May 13, 1987
Deceased Name: FRANCES PANNY
Mass for Frances Panny, 80, who operated two beauty salons in South Shore,
will be said at 11 a.m. Thursday in Our Lady of the Ridge Catholic Church,
10811 S. Ridgeland Ave., Chicago Ridge. Miss Panny, of Chicago Ridge, died
Saturday in Christ Hospital. She was born in Burgenland, Austria, and
immigrated to the United States when she was in her 20s. She also published
her autobiography, ''Fannerl,'' in the 1970s. Miss Panny was a member of the
Third Order Carmelite, a member of Cenacle Business Women's Guild and a
member of Burgenlandische Gemeinschaft. She is survived by a sister, Anna

Chicago Tribune (IL) - 1973-10-15
Deceased Name: PAMMER
Fred Pammer, late of South Chicago, beloved husband of Rose, nee Heber; dear
father of Margaret (Alfred) Hazler, Mary (Adolph) Schuman, Julia (Al)
Jacobs, Josephine Quilter, Helen (Al) Nastari, William (Vera) Pammer and
Fred (Joan) Pammer; fond grandfather of nine; greatgrandfather of nine; many
nieces and nephews; member of Burgenland Lodge; retired employee of Pullman
Standard Co.. Funeral Tuesday 9:30 a.m. from the Brown Funeral Home, 2939 E.
95th St. to SS. Peter and Paul Church. Mass 10 a.m. Interment Holy Cross
Cemetery.. SO 8-0155.

Chicago Tribune (IL) - 1975-09-21
Deceased Name: MEDL
Charles Medl, beloved husband of Mary Medl; dear father of Caroline (Neil)
Lloyd; grandfather of David, Charles and Robert. Services Monday, 9 a.m.,
from Zeiger-Mueller Funeral Home, 6453 W. Irving Park Rd., to St. Joan of
Arc Church, 9248 N. Lawndale, Skokie, Ill. Mass 10 a.m. Donations to Heart
Fund will be appreciated. Member of Burgenland Society and Prime Timers Club
of St. Priscilla Church. Visitation Sunday 2 to 10 p.m. Interment St. Joseph
Cemetery. 736-2693.

Chicago Tribune (IL) - 1971-06-15
Deceased Name: Ostermeier
Theresea Ostermeier, nee Ofenbeck, beloved wife of Martin; dear mother of
Paul [Marie] and the late Eleanor York McLain, Resting at Moeller-Halleman
Funeral Home, 4138 W. North Av. In state at Bethel Ev Luth. Church, Hirsch
and Springfield Avenues, from 12 noon Thursday, June 17, until the hour of
services at 1 p.m. Interment Concordia. Born in Burgenland, Austria. Member
of Bethel Ladies Aid. Please omit flowers. Information, 235-6812.

Chicago Tribune (IL) - 1968-11-14
Deceased Name: Wisler
Frank Wisler Sr., beloved husband of Ella, nee Wukits; loving father of
Vilma [Carl] Schrader, Frank Jr. [Margaret], and Eleanor [Eugene] Kulovitz;
dear grandfather of Kenneth Kulovitz and Barbara Wisler; fond brother of
Bertha Veselits and John. Funeral Friday, 9:30 a.m., from Kolbus Funeral
Home, 6841-57 W. Higgins avenue, to Immaculate Conception church, Norwood
Park. Interment St. Joseph cemetery. Member of Burgenland lodge,
Eisenburger, and Bakers union, local No. 2. 774-3232.

Chicago Tribune (IL) - 1971-09-01
Deceased Name: Fassl
Louise Fassl, nee Paukowits, beloved wife of Frank Fassl; loving mother of
Mary Louise [Fred] Tucker, Frank R. [Patricia], Robert [Alice], Dorothy
[James] Flannery and John [Sue] Fassl; fond grandmother of 20; dear sister
of Mary Hupfauer of West Germany. Funeral Thursday, 9:15 a.m., from
Blake-Lamb Funeral Home, 3737 W. 79th St., to St. Thomas More Church.
Interment St. Mary Cemetery. Native of Burgenland, Austria. Please omit
flowers. 735-4242.


Helen Kaminsky

Helen Kaminsky, 98, passed away June 26, 2009 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

She was born October 25, 1910 in Szentpéterfa (Prostrum), Hungary, the
daughter of Andrew and Theresa (Jurasits) Temmel.

Helen grew up in Nazareth. She left home at an early age to become a nanny
for a family on Long Island, and later was a waitress for many years.

She married the love of her life, Erich Kaminsky in New York City on
September 23, 1933. He passed away on January 29, 1974 in Melbourne, Fla.

She moved to Florida in 1973 and resided in Barefoot Bay for many years
until moving to Decatur in 2004 to be with her daughter.

She was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in both Barefoot Bay, Fla.
and Worcester, N.Y.

Helen's favorite past times were bowling and watching baseball.

She had a very active social life while living in Florida, although her
focus was always family first. She adored her very special grandchildren and

Survivors: She is survived by her son, Paul E. Kaminsky; her daughter,
Carolyn A. and her husband, Roger Nickol; five grandchildren, Martha and
Stephen Hasslacher, Erich and Melonie Kaminsky, John and Kathy Kaminsky,
Janel Nickol and Robert Nickol; eight great-grandchildren; many nieces and
nephews. She was predeceased by five brothers and two sisters.

Karl Santa

Im 93. Lebensjahr ist Karl Santa (geb. in Jakobshof) in Kornwestheim/DE


NOTICE (Terms and Conditions): The Burgenland Bunch (BB) was formed and
exists to assist Burgenland descendants in their research into their
heritage and, toward that end, reserves the right to use any communication
you have with us (email, letter, phone conversation, etc.) as part of our
information exchange and educational research efforts.
. If you do not want your communication to be used for this purpose,
indicate that it is "confidential" and we will abide by that request.
.. Correspondents who communicate with the BB without requesting
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all or parts of such communications.

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Burgenland Bunch Newsletter (c) 2009
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