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From: Hannes Graf <>
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2009 13:17:04 +0100

BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER BB News No 193 dtd November 30, 2009

November 30, 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
(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: 1760 * Surname Entries: 5631 * Query Board Entries: 4264
* Newsletters Archived: 192 * Number of Staff Members: 15

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 is also available including pictures, tables and maps under:

This newsletter has just one section. It concerns:

3) BURGENLAND BUNCH OF MISSOURI (Submitted by Linda Pehr)
4) "BURGENLAND, MEIN HEIMATLAND" (by Sepp Pitzl, translated by Gerhard Lang)


As we did last year, we will make a Christmas Special with some greetings,
pictures, poems or whatever we get.

Every Member is invited to send what s/he wants to tell
every other member.

The deadline for this Special is December 18.


The popularity of our Homepage is growing month by month. In October, 2009,
we had a record 13,433 visits, with a daily average of 433.
Now the big rush of the last four months is over and the totals are
consolidating at about 11,000 - 12,000 in November. During the past
fourteen months, we had
a total of 150,000 visitors at 681,000 pages, with 1,800,000 hits
downloading 45 GB.

3) BURGENLAND BUNCH OF MISSOURI (Submitted by Linda Pehr)

The second meeting of the Burgenland Bunch of Missouri was held at the
home of Ron Markland on November 12, 2009. There were more than a
dozen folks present and we enjoyed sampling some of Ron's Austrian
Potato Cookies!
We began with a discussion of the mission statement developed at the first
meeting. All seemed to agree that no changes were necessary at this
point in time.

Ron Markland and others shared information about the Heurigen that was
held by the Austrian Society of St. Louis. It was noted that this group might
prove to be a source for translators that could provide a useful resource.
Ron's "Map-It" project proved successful, as members placed numbered dots
on a map of the Burgenland indicating ancestral villages.
The numbers corresponded with a list of names being researched. The
greatest number of dots appeared in the southern Burgenland area. As additional
members attend, they will be asked to add their information to the
map, because finding commonalities and sharing research tips will be of
great assistance for all members to move forward with their research.

The Burgenland Bunch of Missouri will be receiving an area within the
"Burgenland Honored and Remembered" section of the
website. We will be able to identify and honor those Burgenland ancestors who
left their homeland to come to the United States and who died here. Members who
have already memorialized ancestors in this way explained the process. We
will follow up on this at the next meeting.

The primary portion of the gathering was devoted to a presentation by Terry
Grogan, an Austro-Hungarian military history buff. He discussed the way in
which major historical events in the entire central European region
contributed to the pattern of emigration. Terry is particularly knowledgeable
in the area of wars and warfare and he was able to explain the various armies
in which our ancestors might have served. He provided us with maps that
demonstrated the ever-changing political and ethnic make up of the territory.
Terry's knowledge and his willingness to share allowed members to have a
better understanding of conditions that might have led to ancestral
emigration from the Burgenland.

The next two meeting dates and sites were confirmed. Our next meeting will
be on January 14 at the home of Jack Fritz, near the intersection of I270 &
I64. Specific directions will accompany the next meeting reminder.
On March 11 we will meet at the home of Linda and Jack Pehr in St. Charles.
We resolved to find a way to hold some future events at a time when those
who live in the outlying areas around St. Louis might be able to attend.

4) "BURGENLAND, MEIN HEIMATLAND" (by Sepp Pitzl, translated by Gerhard Lang)

"Burgenland, mein Heimatland" - a march song for Burgenland.

Josef Pitzl, music teacher and conductor of the wind music-association
"Seewinkel Apetlon" composed "a march song for Burgenland"

A successful wind music event with a lot of VIPs, best atmosphere and
amusement with friends, as usual in Burgenland: That was the hour of birth
for that unique project: "A march song for Burgenland". Recorded by the
musicians of "Musikverein Seewinkel Apetlon" and sung by pop singer Dunja
and Burgenland's "good-morning-voice" Karl Kanitsch (announcer at Radio

To present the loveliness of our country together with that musical project,
a music video with professional shots was created. With typical landscape
pictures and Burgenland's people, the uniqueness and beauty of Burgenland,
and our affection and connection to our mother country shall be expressed.
"Burgenland, mein Heimatland", with its unmistakable melody and its
memorable text, shall have a definite place at commemorative events in our

This project has been sponsored by Burgenland's government, as well as by
Bewag, Bezirksblätter, Esterházy Betriebe GmbH, Leier International,
Nationalparkgemeinde Apetlon, Perlinger Gemüse GmbH, Raiffeisen, Uniqua
Versicherungen, Vila Vita Pannonia und Wirtschaftskammer Burgenland

The first presentation of the video clip took place on November 11, St.
Martin's Day-Burgenland's Country Holiday-at the Haydn-Saal in
Esterházy Castle at Eisenstadt.

The DVD/CD comes with two discs-a DVD with song and video
and a CD with song only-and is available at the local tourism-offices or online

ann.: Sepp visited the States several times as musician and played for the
Burgenlanders there. When I heard about the project, my first idea was: that
has to be placed in a BB-Newsletter! I informed Sepp about my idea and he
agreed at once. We had a long telephone call and Sepp told me a few stories
of his trips to the States, the people he met there, and the destinies of
Burgenland emigrants.

He says in the booklet: "That march song shall be a musical greeting to all
citizens of our mother country. Beyond that it shall be a homage to all
Burgenland emigrants, who live spread over the whole world,
but have their roots in Burgenland. That song came into being at a
musical journey
across Canada and the U.S. and at many encounters with emigrants I could follow
Theodor Fontane, who said: "The foreign teaches us, what we own with our
home country.' Enjoy listening to the song and watching the video, because music
and singing enriched people's life at all times, and memories of the home
country will thus live on."

Sepp Pitzl gave the permission to copy sheet and text of that song to be
presented at the BB-Homepage Songbook.


I) Der schönste Platz auf Erden, das ist das Heimatland.

Ich halt es hoch in Ehren, mein schönes Burgenland.

Wo die Kindheit ich verbrachte, wo ich die Liebe fand,

ja dort ist meine Heimat, liegt mein schönes Burgenland.

II) Wir ehren uns're Heimat, wir lieben dieses Land,

wo Menschen friedlich leben im schönen Burgenland.

Wo die Kindheit ich verbrachte, wo ich die Liebe fand,

ja dort ist meine Heimat, liegt mein schönes Burgenland.


Gene Simmons Gives American Soldier a Big Hungarian Kiss - Pestiside

Most people know of Kiss bass player Gene Simmons, but very
few know of his Hungarian roots. . . :


Manhattan Transfer's foreman Tim Hauser explains why he
comes very often to Austria.
His Grandmother was from Burgenland and his Grandfather from
Southern-Styria, so he has 50% of his roots there. In the '70s,
he had a strong friendship with Joe Zawinul from Vienna,
so they cooked together Austrian food, as opposed to the normal experience of
catered food at a concert.
Food and roots: enough reasons to come back again and again. . . .


The castle was first mentioned in 1170 as "novum castrum." It was part of
the domain of the count of Güssing. Neuhaus is one of the oldest
fortifications in the area of the Austro-Hungarian border and probably was
the Hungarian counterpart to the Styrian castle of Kapfenstein. Its
military task was to protect the territory between the Rivers Raab and Mur.
In particular, it blocked the access to the area through the Klausenbach
valley. Around 1200, the brothers Paul, Nikolaus and Stephan, followers of
the counts of Güssing, stayed here. A little later, Neuhaus became part of St.
Gotthard abbey, but before 1213 it was reclaimed by Andreas, count of
Güssing. Shortly after that, the Hungarian king obtained the castle and Béla
IV had it expanded and reinforced. In 1220 Paul von Neuhaus was a provincial
supreme judge. Besides, he was a comrade in arms of Heinrich I of Güssing. In
1271, the garrison had to hand over the fortress to the Bohemian king
Przemysl Ottokar I. Afterwards, it became Hungarian again.
As it was with most of the castles in the Austro-Hungarian borderland, the
lords of the castles sometimes allied with the Hungarians and sometimes
with the Austrians. And thus, in 1459, the Széchys participated in
the election of Friedrich III as king of Hungary in the castle of Güssing.

This advocacy, however, led to the conquest and destruction of the castle by
the lord of Schlaining, Andreas Baumkirchner, during his feud against
Friedrich III in 1467. After reconstruction, Neuhaus was inherited through
marriage by Count Salm and by his son-in-law Popel Lobkowicz. In 1607
Lobkowicz's daughter Eva married Franz Batthyány, whereby the dominion came
into possession of his family. From 1640 onwards, the castle was inhabited
only by manorial officials. Towards the end of the 17th century 26 villages,
which partly lay in the present-day Hungary and Slovenia, belonged to the
dominion. Neuhaus was also the seat of an extensive district court. Because
of its size, it was divided into seven lower courts. The topographic name
"Galgenkreuz" (gallows cross) still reminds us today of the former execution
site where, in 1834, the last execution took place. At the beginning of the
18th century also, the employees moved into the near castle
and town of Tabor and abandoned the castle of Neuhaus to its fate. It was
often fiercely contested, but its decay is not due to acts of war, but to
the roof tax of Emperor Joseph II. Its roofs were removed to avoid taxation
of the then useless building. Later it was used by local people as a
quarry. Today the town of Neuhaus am Klausenbach is the owner of the ruin.

Neuhaus am Klausenbach is the southernmost municipality in Burgenland. The
castle, which is called Vasdobra or Dobra by the Hungarians, is located
north of the market on a former volcanic cone. Only a few parts of walls
have remained and been restored to a viewpoint a couple of years ago. Its
footprint has the shape of an irregular pentagon. The exterior walls are
approximately 2.5 meters thick. Building material was volcanic tuff. Larger
pieces of wall have been preserved mainly on the southwest side. They show
pointed arch openings. Even the remains of the square Romanesque keep are still
visible. The remaining parts of the wall have been restored as far as the
rounded edge of the wall of the former cistern in the courtyard. This is
said to be 40 m. deep and lined with ashlars. Such depth, however, would
rather apply to a well than to a cistern. In the south a terrace, which was
probably covered with the buildings of the outer bailey, adjoins the
stronghold. Remains of the ditch and other fortifications can still be seen
in the neighboring forest.

Location: about 12 km. southwest of Jennersdorf

Visitation: free access all year


William Dax

William Dax, 77, of Allentown,
passed away on Sunday, October 25, 2009 in Praxis Alzheimers Facility, Easton.
He was the husband of Erna (Keppel) Dax who died Wednesday, October 28, 2009.
They celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary last January.
Born in Krobotek, Austria, William was a son of the late Michael and
Maria (Weber) Dax.
He was a self employed carpenter for more than 25 years in the area trading
as William Dax and Sons and was a member of Carpenters Lehigh Valley Local 600.
He was a member of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, Allentown.
William was a member of the Monocacy Field and Stream Club.

Survivors: Surviving are sons, William J. and his wife, Maria, of Orefield,
Christopher M. and Lisa Cyphers of Bethlehem; daughter Janie E., wife of
Anthony Barnyak, of Allentown. William has a brother, Johann Dax and
sisters, Ida Tobitsch, Theresia Joke and Rosa Granitz, all in Austria.
There are two grandchildren, Christine Dax and Jeffrey Dax. He was
predeceased by a brother, Franz.

Erna Dax

Erna Dax, 85, of Allentown,
passed away on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 in the Hospice House of St.
Lukes V.N.A., Bethlehem.
She was the wife of William Dax who died on Sunday, October 25, 2009.
The couple celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary last January.
Born in Königsdorf, Austria, Erna was a daughter of the late John and
Gisela (Pummer) Keppel.
Erna was a seamstress for various mills in the Lehigh Valley.
She was a member of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, Allentown.

Survivors: Surviving are sons, William J. and his wife, Maria, of Orefield,
Christopher M. and Lisa Cyphers of Bethlehem; daughter, Janie E., wife of
Anthony Barbnyak, of Allentown; grandchildren, Christine Dax and Jeffrey Dax.

Anton Stangl

Anton Stangl, 81, of Allentown, formerly of New York City,
died November 14, 2009 in the V.N.A. Hospice of St. Lukes, Lower
Saucon Township.
Born in Zahling, Burgenland, Austria, he was the son of the late Josef
and Aloisia (Wunderler) Stangl.
Anton was a master tailor in Austria, Switzerland, and New York City,
tailoring suits for former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, as well
as former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Survivors: Sisters, Rosa Binder with whom he resided, Hilda Posch in
Austria; nieces, nephews. He was predeceased by three brothers and a sister.


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