THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS - No. 276
April 30, 2017, © 2017 by The Burgenland Bunch
All rights reserved. Permission to copy excerpts granted if credit is provided.
Editor: Thomas Steichen (email: email@example.com)
BB Newsletter Archives at: BB Newsletter Index
Facebook page: TheBurgenlandBunchOFFICIAL
Our 21st Year. The Burgenland Bunch Newsletter is issued monthly online. It was founded by Gerald Berghold (who retired from the BB in the Summer of 2008 and died in August 2008).
|NOTICE: Your Editor will be traveling in late May and
early June (for the Burgenland Delegation visit in Chicago and for a family wedding in
Minnesota), therefore, there will not be a BB newsletter published at the end of May.
|Current Status Of The BB:
* Members: 2530 * Surname Entries: 8083 * Query Board Entries: 5624 * Staff Members: 13
1) THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER (by Tom Steichen)
After the bits and pieces here in my "Corner" (which I hope you find interesting and/or useful!), we continue with Article 2, one in which BB member Sarah Kierein makes a case that the "Revised History of the South Bend Hungarians" needs to be Revised Again. She has me convinced... but what about you?
In Article 3, non-BB member Hein Elemans of Sint-Michielsgestel, Netherlands, asks a question concerning two land areas in Burgenland named Grubengärten und Schaffgruben that may tell us something about an early agricultural practice in Burgenland, and even something about the origins of the village names for Rust and Illmitz... would you be surprised to find out that they are closely related?
Article 4 speaks to the emigration of Burgenländers to the USA as part of the wider Austrian Emigration to the USA in 1900-1930. This is a section from a 2012 Ph.D. dissertation by Dr. Kurt Bednar that I (and GoogleTranslate) translated from its original German.
The remaining articles are our standard sections: Historical Newsletter Articles, and the Ethnic Events and Emigrant Obituaries sections.
FamilySearch.org Records Preservation - Burgenland Impact: I mentioned last month that the LDS has moved to digital imaging in place of microfilm imaging and that their digital image collection is growing by about 250 million images per year from its microfilm-to-digital conversion of the 2.4 million rolls of microfilm it created during the first 70 years of its preservation efforts.
What became apparent this last month is that at least some of the Burgenland microfilm has already been converted to digital images. Thus I strongly suggest that you research the availability of digital images for your villages.
To do so, go to https://familysearch.org/catalog/search and type in the church recording location for your village and see what is available. If you see an image of a camera under "Format", the images are available (a magnifying glass indicates that they are searchable in the online index). Conversely, if there is a film reel, the records are still just on microfilm. [To find the recording location for your village, use our LDS pages at http://www.the-burgenland-bunch.org/LDS/LDS.htm.]
From what I have observed, it appears access to the microfilm is no longer allowed once the
digital images are available (but I'm not complaining about that!).
From this we can see that Burgenland recorded the lowest accident rate, one almost half that
of Land Salzburg. No explanation for this wide variation was given, though I'll speculate that
the lack of mountainous roads and environs in Burgenland likely contributed to its low rate.
I will note that, like so many older, European recipes, this one is short on specific
instructions. Thus, I'll add some comments in [italicized square brackets, like this] and
suggest that you read the full recipe before starting... you will need to make some decisions!
2) A REVISION TO THE REVISED HISTORY OF THE SOUTH BEND HUNGARIANS?
BB member Sarah Kierein recently wrote about a family research "dead-end"... an ancestor she could not document... one that may now have yielded to her continued research and analysis. The blockage had arisen mostly because the circa 1856 Pamhagen birth record of her great-great-grandmother, Barbara Wartha, was missing. Complicating the problem were the usual spelling variations and what appears to be an unusual number of recording errors by the parish priest(s), including the fact that Barbara's first marriage record gives an apparently incorrect first name for her mother. In response, Sarah has built a probable family history scenario based both on other records and the lack of records supporting reasonable alternative scenarios.
Given these difficulties, Sarah has enlisted various researchers, myself included, to give her evidence an impartial evaluation. Below is some of the evidence and logic she has assembled.
Sarah Kierein writes (in part): Hi Tom, Like all family history researchers, I have several frustrating "dead-ends" in my family tree (in a structural sense only). Earlier this year I believe I broke through a dead-end involving the identities of my great-great-grandmother's parents. Her name was Barbara Wartha and she emigrated from Pamhagen/Pomogy to South Bend, IN, with her children and second husband, Matthias Kramer, in 1887.
The identities of her parents were in question for two reasons: 1) there is no record of her birth, and 2) her mother's name is, I believe, misstated in her marriage record.
I've identified her parents as Andreas Wartha and Theresia Csaller/Csally. I was able to come to this conclusion after trying and failing to prove otherwise. I've presented my evidence to several Pamhagen/Wartha family researchers and have managed to convince them that I am correct (either that or they're just too nice to tell me otherwise).
The reason I'm bringing this up to you is that an article in BB Newsletter 206, entitled Revised History of the South Bend Hungarians, specifically mentions the parents in question:
(The article, written by Gary Gabrich—one of the people who's letting me believe he's on
board with my theory—is about the first Hungarians in South Bend.)
You mentioned an out-of-wedlock birth. Are you referring to the October 31, 1854, birth of
Barbara Wortha, born to Helena Wortha? [Ed: yes!] If so, I used
to think this was my great-great-grandmother's birth record. However, there appears to be a
death record for this same child on December 28, 1854 (Ex. 1, see below). I was quite
disappointed when I discovered the death record. Even a partial record of who my Barbara's
parents were is better than no record at all, and that's what this left me with (at least back
There's one thing you mentioned that, if you're right, really could muddy my theory: the
Wartha vs. Vartha issue. You said that Wartha is a Pamhagen name while
Vartha is not.
Now, onto evidence which I believe proves Barbara Vartha was the
daughter of Andreas Wartha and Theresia Csaller (or, if it doesn't prove it
outright, it proves that my theory is much more likely to be the truth than any other scenario).
This email had a first-draft in which I tried to present EVERY record I had on Barbara and all
of her children as well as EVERY record relating to every Wartha and Csaller in
Pamhagen. As you might have guessed, that version became exhaustingly long and I realized that
if I wanted anyone to bother reading this, I needed to keep it concise. So I'm going to present
what I think is the most compelling evidence, and if you have any questions I can give you more.
Naturally, once I had her parents' names, I wanted to find Barbara's siblings and find her
parents' parents. I looked and looked and couldn't find a single baptism, marriage, or death
record mentioning Andreas Vartha and Elisabetha Csala! I understand
that it's possible they never had any other children (or had them elsewhere), got married
elsewhere, and then moved away after Barbara's marriage, but what I think actually happened is
this: her mother's name is Theresia Csala/Csally/Csaller, and it was just
transcribed incorrectly in that marriage record. I know mistakes were made in these records. I
believe it was Konrad Unger who told me mistakes were most commonly made with women's names (I'm
going to leave it at that since I think this idea is generally accepted, but I'd be happy to
present evidence supporting this assertion if you'd like to discuss it further).
2) In two records, the mother has a different first name (Anna in one, Maria in the other). I
believe these are also transcription errors. Here's why:
Now, please refer to Ex. 6 (and also Ex. 4), which show every mention of the name Andreas
Wartha / Vartha in the Pamhagen records.
Both records show them as living in house 128 (I realize that Vartha is spelled
strangely in Martin's marriage record, but, given the matching house numbers and complete lack
of any other mentions of this spelling throughout the records, I'm dismissing this as
From here, I want to direct your attention to Ex. 8, which shows the out-of-wedlock birth
record and subsequent death record of Joseph Vartha, born to a Barbara Vartha on May 13, 1876
(died August 28, 1876).
Lastly, I've included Ex. 10, which is a timeline of known events in Barbara
Wartha's life. I included it a) to give you a "big picture" perspective and b) because I
think it's fairly compelling. My poor great-great-grandmother suffered a lot of loss in her
short life. I will be eternally grateful for her perseverance in the face of hardship, which
made it possible for my great-grandmother Katherine Ganser to survive (the only
surviving child from her first marriage). Obviously, I wouldn't exist and have the comfortable
life I have otherwise.
3) GRUBENGÄRTEN UND SCHAFFGRUBEN
BB staff member Alan Varga recently received an interesting message from Hein Elemans of Sint-Michielsgestel, Nederland, concerning two areas marked on clips from old Burgenland maps that appear on our website. Specifically, one area, north of Illmitz, was marked as Grubengärten and the other, west of Rust, was marked as Schaffgruben Wald. Here are the images:
4) AUSTRIAN EMIGRATION TO THE USA, 1900-1930 (by Dr. Kurt Bednar)
Editor: There are not many publications concerning the emigration of Burgenländers to the USA, especially English-language publications. Thus, when I find a source, even if in German, I find it worthwhile to attempt to translate and understand the material. What follows is a largely a "doctored" GoogleTranslate translation of section "Burgenland," which is pages 220-231 of a 2012 Ph.D. dissertation by Dr. Kurt Bednar concerning emigration from all of Austria during the indicated time period. While I find that Bednar's author attributions are sometimes incorrect, that he is condescending at times, and that he is uncomfortable with the fact that the Burgenland emigration is both better documented and larger than that of the rest of Austria, overall I think he does a reasonable job of discussing Burgenland's emigration.
Following the translation of the Burgenland section of his dissertation, I include translations of a few paragraphs found elsewhere in the dissertation that mention Burgenland.
Please forgive my poor efforts at translation, though I think I have fairly represented most of Dr. Bednar's words. Note also that I have inserted full citations for indicated publications at the first point they appear; these citations were provided as endnotes in the full dissertation.
Source Citation: Österreichische Auswanderung in die USA 1900-1930 [Austrian Emigration to the USA, 1900-1930], Kurt Bednar, Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria, 2012. Found at: http://othes.univie.ac.at/19694/1/2012-03-14_6900978.pdf.
The dissertation apparently served as the basis for a book (see right), one with a very slightly modified title, that was published by Dr. Bednar in March, 2017. It also is written in German.
Chmelar's mass-oriented publication [Chmelar, Hans (editor). "... nach Amerika" exhibition catalog, Eisenstadt, 1992, catalog of the 1992 State Exhibition Güssing] is, of course, limited for scientific use. At the same time, however, it should be noted that the recent state of this part of history has been accepted and has been worked out intensively. Moreover, the catalog still contains some additional data of value. Thus it is learned that in 1913 a total of 111,678 men had withdrawn from their positions by absence. As relates to Burgenland, Chmelar differentiates quite accurately between the circumstances that the province has in common with Hungary and Austria, and those that have to do with Germany. The latter happen in the areas in which the Burgenländers settle in America, the "German Belt," to which the (German) West Hungarians went. They do their work in German-run companies, because "in these establishments German was spoken." There is not much left for Austria except creating cohesion after the young province [i.e., Burgenland] was turned over to the likewise young republic [i.e., Austria]. The Burgenländer now form closed groups and are the main contingent of emigrants from Austria. The motifs have now changed. In the Hungarian period, they first moved from the Seewinkel (1875), then Middle Burgenland (1880), and then from the southern part of the country (1885), in an inner migration of three arms. The main cause would have been the "unfavorable social structure" in Hungary.
It was mainly due to the economy that so many people took to their heels. The agricultural structure brought many to the brink of existence, catastrophes continued even more (examples: mice in the Seewinkel, fires in Middle Burgenland and the phylum in the south). Thanks to lower mortality rates and higher birth rates, the overpopulation grew.
Sociologically, Chmelar ties the expectations of the always-mobile Burgenländers to a kind of wanderlust, the lack of fear of the stranger, a shot of adventure and a high adaptability. Chmelar considers John Wenzel from Grodnau, who, in 1900, transferred 45 young men as a "group" on the "Kaiser Wilhelm" (the "Mayflower of the Burgenländer") to the United States, to be "the paternal father of the Burgenländer in Chicago."
This behavior glides seamlessly into the motifs grounded by geography and psychology, whereby the author becomes almost poetic when he speaks of the Pannonian plain leaning against the Alps, and from this quasi-comfortable position, the view resembles one sea. The mixed population makes man harmonious and balanced, "being different was not necessarily alien." This explains, however, only the slight assimilation over there, not necessarily the departure, if everything so harmonious, if it is true.
This is followed by the politics, which make people unsafe. That would have been with Bosnia in 1908, for several years because of the growing Balkan crisis (military service was there), and finally after the war, when the people did not know whether the country would stay with Hungary or be pushed to Austria.
Some corrections are made by Chmelar to the statements of Dujmovits [Dujmovits, Walter. Die Amerikawanderung der Burgenländer (The American Emigration of the Burgenländer), Stegersbach 1975.] and Graupner [Graupner, Ludwig. Die Amerikawanderung im Güssinger Bezirk (The American Emigration in the Güssing district), Horn 1949]. Thus began the mass emigration quite early, namely, as early as 1875. That is why the year 1975 has been called the "Year of the Foreign Burgenländer" by the state government in Eisenstadt. He also introduces another region in the US with the example of the name Tschida from Illmitz, which is still today (1992) frequently found in the telephone book of the capital of Minnesota (St. Paul) (219 entries). A recent review of this census gives 148 entries for St. Paul alone and 299 for the capital including the surrounding area and 58 for Minneapolis, thus overall a significant increase.
On the other hand, the early emigrant Josef Urschik from Rauchwart (1884) is confirmed. The increase in the back migration to about 30 per cent by 1914 and the depiction of the migration after 1919 as a family reunion is also correct. When the settlements move to the labor migration and the backward migration increases, the region of the origin moves from the northern to the southern Burgenland and the branch from the middle west back to the east in the USA. It is an ironic fact that the traces of the citizens of the youngest province are still most likely to be found in the USA, while the historically Austrian countries are omitted. The Burgenland thus behave more nationally than the tribal Austrian citizens.
Dujmovits has a pioneering role thanks to his publication date (1975). However, his work is limited to a brief outline of the three periods before the Great War, between the wars and after the Second World War. Dujmovits lists the settlement areas of the Burgenländer and, as a consequence, important personalities from this province (Lebensbilder). Of course, the West Hungarians also count to the "new" immigration from the point of view of the US, they also contribute to the change from farm work to factory work. The Burgenländer does not therefore mutate to the industrial worker except in America.
Before 1890 however, the formula was: few emigrants (and hardly from the south of the province), pure settlement activity (they wanted to remain farmers, but had no place at home), family migration, high investment, hardly any back migration and money transfer, high willingness to naturalize.
Only as part of the large wave do they mix with it and lose this characteristic. Only the appearance in groups, retains something specific. They are usually wandering alone in the slaughterhouse, cement mills and breweries. They keep the home upright and make the family and the parish community at home with much needed money (for without, it was difficult for a man to sow and plow and harvest). The connection should have gone so far that the bells were also rung when someone died in the distance ("Ausluten"). After the final homecoming, he was paid with dollars and thought of as an American and traded until the behavior came to an end and he died in Burgenland. Those who were not successful at the same time often went "into America" or "into the Americas" and often regulated economic and personal matters. However, those who had not reserved their land at home and did not want to become an innkeeper, apparently did well to stay in America.
It must be borne in mind that Burgenland as such did not yet exist at all. The anxiety which the mass emigration caused had befallen Hungary. The south (imaginary "border" Bernstein) brought the masses, the district of Güssing formed the center of the wave (with the goal of Pennsylvania and New York), as well as the districts of Oberwart (destination area Chicago) and Jennersdorf overseas. The belt of the Burgenländer (probably in reference to the "German Belt") stretched from Chicago via Detroit to Pennsylvania, to New Jersey and New York.
After the war, when the valve was briefly opened, one quickly decided either to return or emigrate. This explains the enormously high proportion of the Burgenland, which now belonged to Austria, to emigrate until the mid-twenties. It is unclear how strong the additional motive of the change at home [from Hungary to Austria] might have been. For Dujmovits, Magyarization in 1907 (introduction of the Hungarian language as the only language of instruction) and the Balkan crisis in 1908 were already important impulses for the intensive emigration of these years. The uncertain situation between the end of the war and the surrender to Austria, the behavior of Hungarian militia, which apparently resembled an army, and the personal decision neither for the Hungarian nor for the Austrian encouraged emigration. Even the loss of earnings due to the elimination of smuggling was a motive for departure.
In 1923 the Burgenland broke all previous records: the 6,683 emigrants made up 72 per cent of the Austrian emigration. For Dujmovits, however, the year 1930 was the turning point, for him everything before it was old and everything after new immigration, because until 1930 the people had the six-year Hungarian school education, their education was "frighteningly low"; as well as on professional and social advancement. Afterwards they had eight years Austrian school behind them and on this basis also learned the English language much easier. The second essential difference was the village background until 1930, which was now replaced by a provincial consciousness, less as belonging to Austria, but to the new Burgenland, more drawn to the Germans of Hungary than to the Tyrolean.
This valve manifests itself first as a large extension of the backward migration, because the character of this wave was exactly the seasonal orientation, and only the war had hindered the people on the way home, which they now wanted to catch up quickly. The big waves before 1914 spilled back now in 1920. The family was then given up to stay together, or to exchange with the children to return themselves, and at the same time to make the offspring easier to take off. Some children had been born in the USA and now became acquainted with the home of their father or their parents as US citizens, most of whom were not staying in the Burgenland; when they did, they either retained the US citizenship or accepted Austrian citizenship. The return was either the old overpopulation which was to drive him to a new and definitive emigration, or to an orphan court, which he now had to order.
Anyone who came to the (renewed) emigration to the USA had to be fast. First, the first law on quotas required a kind of guarantee from a US citizen for the immigrant. Since during the period 13,131 Burgenländer entered, there must have been at least ten thousand Burgenländer in the USA who vouched for their countrymen. With the second law on quotas, the Austrian share fell, and already at the middle of the year it was exhausted. Instead of 6,683 Burgenländer (total quota for Austria 7,442) in 1923, in 1924 only 523 (Austria's total 785) citizens of the youngest province of Austria took up admission in the USA.
In a later work, Dujmovits notes that "the Burgenland Croats ... do not show a specific emigration behavior" [in: Geositz, Stefan (Hrsg.). Die burgenländischen Kroaten im Wandel der Zeiten (The Burgenland Croatians in the course of time). Wien 1986]. In this later portrayal he refers to more principles. Thus one could speak of a gradient in two directions: the numbers of emigrants would increase from north to south and from west to east. The tendency to emigrate was structured not sociologically but geographically. The Burgenländer (Germans and Croats) were everywhere a closed group and would find in America the same cultural expressions as at home. This author characterizes the concept of "landscape culture" that covers everything else.
The regional features can indeed require some attention.
- The North Burgenland benefits from the urban magnets of Vienna, Bratislava and Wiener Neustadt as well as from individual large employers such as the sugar factory in Siegendorf.
- The municipality of Oslip is a special case: after a first wave around 1856, nothing else happens until after 1900; of 175 American emigrants (including 144 in the USA), 65 people (almost 40 percent) moved away in the peak year of 1907.
- Mattersburg tends to go more southerly than North America.
- In the eastern Oberpullendorf basin, all want to go to South Bend near Chicago, where the Burgenländer form a small colony. In Kroatisch Minihof is a street called "Sotbend."
- The district of Oberwart also wants to go there, but not the people from the microcosm of Güssing: First, Detroit, then New York was the goal of their dreams.
Today Dujmovits presides over the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft (BG), which represents the interests of the foreign Burgenländer with offices in over ten countries. On the issue of identity, this author, who, of course, could be accused of being partisan ("white-washing"), talked to the "press": many of the emigrants had become Americans, but Burgenländer remained. Therefore, there is still a lively social life.
Graupner (1949) is restricted to the Güssing district from an Austrian point of view. From the Hungarian point of view, the West-Hungarian (German-Hungarian) counties of Eisenburg, Ödenburg and Wieselburg, as well as the Banat and the Batschka, are foremost.
By 1900, the migration from West Hungary still does not take place, but in the following years it rises rapidly (1901: 987, 1905: 2,821, 1907: 1,521), and the share for Güssing growing steadily (1907 already 152, and wide spread: from 62 municipalities), though around 1908, it shrank again in the US (only 360) on account of the economic crisis, but recovered rapidly (1909: 1,188, 1912: 516, 1913: 540), but never reaches previous peak levels again. Before the Great War, 14,413 people left Western Hungary, 153,653 from the Banat, 50,667 inhabitants from the Batschka (the German share is 60 and 53 percent, almost all are targeting the USA).
Afterwards the Burgenland is spoken of, and the numbers reach the pre-war level for the time being, the quotas in the USA quickly fall, but only in 1930 are the quota and the Burgenland part increased: 1919: 1,873 (total), 1922: 5,346 (Güssing: depending on the counting, 600 to 900), 1923: 6,683 (total), 1924: 299 (Güssing: 118), 1925: 601 (total), 1926: 239, 1927: 479, 1928: 904 (total minus Canada), 1929: 1,030 (total minus Canada), 1930: 741 (Güssing: 194).
The emigration from Güssing towards the USA begins as early as 1884 (confirmed: a Josef Urschik, single, farmhand from Rauchwart, return migration 1897). Up to 1894, nine persons followed, until 1896 it was only 17, and the first return was registered one year before. It should be noted that the people from Güssing must not have been Germans alone. Since the National Migration Office has not produced any national statistics, the share of each group is difficult to determine. Graupner assumes that among the Croatian Güssingers the return migration was particularly small.
In summary, Graupner weighs the pros and cons of the Burgenland exodus and reaches the following conclusions:
- As a positive consequence, he classifies the fact that America's money was often used in a number of ways, such as debt, land purchase, house purchase, house construction or economic development. Hardly anyone had invested his money, many therefore also lost much by inflation and by war bonds, hardly anyone could have done anything, and—meticulously registered—55 returnees would have played the rich uncle until everything had been consumed or given away.
- On the other hand, the author considers the negative consequences of a massive "loss of population" due to the massive departure, leading to a biological weakening (by accepting American customs) that negatively affected the life of the returnees and had reduced the house stock and had neglected the land.
Finally, it should be noted that this work is still much older (1949) than that of Dujmovits (1975), and in jargon, therefore, reminds us of the times that were hardly past, such as the word "Umvolkung" [a term in Nazi ideology used to describe a process of assimilation of members of the greater German people (the Volk) so that they would forget about their prior language and origin].
In his current dissertation, Strobl [Strobl, Philipp L. Too Little to Live and Too Much to Die. The Burgenländers' Immigration to the United States During the Interwar Period. (Dissertation) New Orleans 2010.] summarizes the state of research on Burgenland's emigration to the USA, although it is based essentially on only two papers, namely Dujmovits (1975) and the contribution to the Landesausstellung (State Exhibition) (Chmelar, 1992), as well as narratives of individually-affected persons. Strobl counts a total of 80,000 (62,600 elsewhere) US immigrants from Austria's youngest state (which, according to the number, lost a third to a quarter of its population), which form three waves:
- The pioneers started towards the end of the 19th century and were stopped by the World War (a total of around 26,000). They formed the basis for the later emigration.
- The second wave (a total of 24,553, elsewhere: 24,300) surfaced during the inter-war period on America's shores, specifically for only two years, namely 1922 and 1923, in which Burgenland accounted for 60 per cent of the total emigration from Austria.
- The last movement took place after the Second World War and ended with the economic recovery of Austria and thus also the Burgenland home.
As a result, Strobl contradicts Spauldings' thesis [Spaulding, Ernest Wilder. The Quiet Invaders. The story of the Austrian impact upon America. Wien 1968], which the latter has represented in "The Quiet Invaders," namely that the Austrians were not noticeable in the USA.
The peace treaties of Paris meant a definite end to the Danube Monarchy, the large economic area had decayed, thousands of state workers were no longer needed by the central state, so we could speak of a "time when people were increasingly interested in emigration." For the Burgenland the crisis consisted in the fact that there was hardly any industry, that the agricultural structures were inadequate and the financial reserves of the Burgenland were exhausted.
But this sad situation was not new for, already in the monarchy, West Hungary fought against the hard competition of the workers from Bohemia and Moravia. It was the news of the Hungarian people who had already tried their luck in the US that drove people into the American industries, which urgently needed labor for its dynamic growth. The Burgenländer were already accustomed to seasonal work, railway lines were now extended, and the journey with quick steamers did not take so long. The German-speaking West Hungary sought the German triangle as the goal. The low rate of return of these Burgenländer (15 per cent) was surprising, although the prevalence of the seasonal work could not be said to be a "real" emigration.
The situation in the Burgenland remained unchanged:
- The houses now had brick chimneys and covered roofs, and a fountain in the garden.
- The roads were not asphalted, the covering consisted of sand and gravel.
- Most of the people had only two sets of clothes: the Sunday clothes and the everyday garment that was worn throughout the year. A pair of shoes had to last long.
- One fed on one side (sterz) and slightly, especially the winters were hard.
- If you did not have a farm, you had to look for work abroad; if there was none, emigration was the only option. Whoever had a farm suffered from the small size of the farm and the resulting impossibility of economic management.
- The abundance of children and a decline in mortality exacerbated the situation.
- Those who emigrated only wanted to send good news home because failure was unpopular and might have caused a bad impression at home.
- The young republic's Emigration Office was in Vienna, and the capital was far away.
- The money for emigration in the First Republic was missing, many farmers had no cash at all, many simply earned too little, for the crossing alone had already shed thirty weeks' wages, to which the head tax added eight dollars, and 25 dollars of cash had to be presented at the entrance to be able to finance the onward journey. Those who borrowed the money, had to work on the repayment for many weeks and years.
Agencies of the ship lines lured people to Bremen and Hamburg as they did during the Monarchy. The bus took people to Vienna; from there, the train to North Germany took one and a half days. The Austrian state had issued a "Regulativ," which the ship lines had to adhere to, so that they could transport Austrian citizens. The steamer ride itself was very good and brought many new experiences (exotic fruit). Ellis Island, too, had apparently lost its fright, for the island was scarce in the letters of the emigrants. This may also be because the government in Vienna had made an agreement with Washington, after which the decisive investigations had already been carried out in the port. Only on the outbreak of a disease on board was a new investigation in New York required. There the emigrants were received and looked after by employees of the Austrian Society of New York.
Vienna even supported this organization financially (5,000 dollars a year). The new problem was the new legislation of the USA, which classified Austrians as "non-white." The rate for Austria, which belonged to Eastern Europe, initially amounted to 7,442 (1921) and shrank in 1924 to 785 Austrians per year. In addition, a US citizen's guarantee was required. While in the two years of 1922 and 1923, 10,255 Burgenländer had entered the United States, it was only 3,408 after 1934. But thanks to the pioneers, the chain migration could now work. One who went from the farm scarcely found similar employment, all landed in cities and in industry. The women were more likely to find themselves in foreign households and as children's nannies. In Chicago, a "Little Burgenland" actually came into being, and Strobl now makes a decisive difference from the other Austrians, "the quiet invaders."
The Burgenländer in Allentown, Pennsylvania, have a special place, but this is not always praiseworthy. In the successful musical "42nd Street," the girl from Allentown is given a cartoonish caricature. The Burgenländer owes their apparently low educational level to the Hungarian school system, to which they were subjected before the Anschluss to Austria. While schooling in Austria lasted eight years, Hungary was only six years. The lessons were held in the Hungarian language. Strobl now mentions four reasons why, unlike the other Austrians, the Burgenländers would not be ready for assimilation at all:
- The Clan: Already during the crossing they were mostly among themselves.
- Aggregation: In just two years, tens of thousands of countrymen emigrated to the neighborhoods of Chicago. This density led to domestic inns and churches, where, of course, they also spoke German. So it is a miracle that, in 1930, only five per cent (of all Austrians in the United States) did not speak English. They were better than the average (6.6 per cent) and much better than Italians (18 per cent) and Poland (9.2 per cent).
- Partiesystem: Originally, one was a seasonal worker in a group; only when the groups were dissolved but enough work remained, one thought of lingering.
- Rejection for Racist Reasons: The Burgenländer counted naturally to the late, bad immigration, and, like all others, they met with rejection.
There is, of course, a distinction between the return and a home visit. The former group includes around 3,500 Burgenländers, which means they are clearly below the average of other peoples with a rate of only 15 per cent (here Strobl is mistaken if he suspects the Burgenland in harmony with the mass). The latter group benefited from progress in transport. While these people returned to invest in the homeland (whether really in a small farm is questionable), the members of the first group were under duress: with the depression they lost their jobs, so at this time (beginning of the thirties) the balance was in favor of the old home. With the calming in the USA and the still dreary situation in the Burgenland (intensified by the effects from America itself), many returnees had to leave again after a short time, some of them changing the continent. Strobl quotes here Spaulding (which again takes the entire republic as a base) with a range of 17 to 27 percent as second emigrants.
In his summary, he concludes that the Burgenländer was not one of the "quiet invaders" in the US (on the contrary, the "Little Burgenland" was opposite from the rest of Austria) and thus clearly differentiated from the other Austrians. They were more like Italians and Poles. But the Burgenland was historically West Hungary and Austria's youngest. Here, of course, it would be interesting to see whether the behavior in the third wave had changed. In the two tables in the appendix (source: Dujmovits), which unfortunately represent different periods (for no apparent reason) and different destinations (USA 1922-1934; America 1919-1939), are more interesting points:
- Even before the peak years 1922 and 1923, Burgenland emigrated, certainly also to the USA.
- The jump from 1920 (906) to 1921 (1,873) is already considerable (doubling).
- In the two peak years 1922 and 1923, the proportions of those who did not make it to the US was about five percent and 20-25 percent, respectively.
- This rate varied widely, from half to nearly 70 percent (1928) again to just over 10 percent (1934).
The Burgenländer drew its major coterie to Chicago. Horvath, whose work (1991) is not quoted by Strobl, although he deals with the specificity of the backward-looking Burgenländer, points to the differentiation of some authors between Auswanderung and Emigration insofar as they do not find any political, religious or ethnically motivated pressure among the Burgenländer. [Note: the citations given for Horvath are: Horvath, Traude (Hrsg.) – Heinz Faßmann. Migration und Arbeitsmarkt (Migration and the Labor Market). Eisenstadt 1991; and Horvath, Traude (Hrsg.). Auswanderungen aus Österreich. Von der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts bis zur Gegenwart (Emigration from Austria. From the middle of the 19th century to the present) Vienna, 1996. Thus Horvath is listed only as editor of both documents, not author.] For Horvath, the Burgenländer did not enter the immigration until the turn of the 19th century to the 20th century, when the immigration of the Europeans had long since mutated into an industrial migration, but then as a migration of masses (in Burgenland dimensions). Until 1914, he counts about 30,000 Burgenländer, which were mainly intended as a migrant worker only and then wanted to return home with sufficient money.
The backlog of emigrants due to the World War broke after 1919: Around 24,300 Burgenländer (70% of all Austrian emigrants of that time) turned their backs on their country between 1920 and 1938 and found their jobs in industry in the USA. Horvath then makes an interesting connection between the social stratum—immigrants from the youngest state of young Austria had to start at the very bottom—and formed associations and support societies. These should not only bring a small, poor group aid, but also supplies from the old homeland. This explains the high concentration of Burgenländer at a few places in the US and the tenacious survival of their native language.
But the work is titled "Die Rückkehrer" (The Returners). [This appears to continue the author's confusion with Horvath, as the correct citation appears to be: Dies., Die Rückkehrer, in: Horvath/Münz (Hg.), Migration und Arbeitsmarkt, Eisenstadt 1988, S. 59-69. Again, Horvath is an editor, not author.] Horvath, therefore, concludes her little investigation with the emotional conclusion that the returnees represent an "unused potential." Methodically she comes to this statement from interviews, which were led by re-emigrants. It distinguishes between five groups according to their characteristics:
- emigration at a young age, the founding of a family in the country of immigration, but usually with a partner from a close environment, deciding whether or not to return at a time compatible with the school entrance of the children
- emigration in later years, with long prehistoric times in the homeland, one remains among themselves in "landsman's circles," return mostly with retirement of the man
- return migration not planned, usually anchoring in the new home, singular events (examples: death of the spouse, divorce, childlessness) arouse nostalgia and thus desire for "homecoming"
- Not a return as a back-up, only relatively short abroad, without will for integration there, chance to secure income at home
- retirees, sufficient assets for stay in both homeland ("America commuters"), dependence on the exchange rate, later concentration on a residence inevitable
The results are summarized as follows, with the return on the one hand and assimilation and integration on the other being clearly related:
- Back-migration from the US is more likely than from Canada (USA: a more traditional agricultural organization; Canada: faster integration without this infrastructure)
- Social enclave in the immigration country (geographically America, still mentally still in the old homeland, poorly developed assimilation)
- motivation to return to the family (chain emigration).
- holidays are preceded by a back migration (home as an exclusive or alternative holiday resort)
- Professionals depend heavily on the economic situation (work or other existence in the home, presence of savings)
- labor and housing market in the US (higher mobility in the US, also a different place for a home)
- re-emigration can not be ruled out (without a real decision between the two "living worlds")
Return also has its faults. The society to which one is returning has, of course, changed in the meantime. If the homecomer wants to change something, however, it will be hard. Despite the development of the community in which they are reintroduced: deviant behavior is still not appreciated. People who come back "over the water" are easily credited as being "flittish."
The municipality of Poppendorf may have been a focal point of the American migration from the Burgenland, at least it claims this on its homepage. [Note: Poppendorf im Burgenland has not been a municipality since 1971 and does not have a homepage! It is not clear where the information in this paragraph comes from.] It reportedly was harassed by the Hungarians when the village was brought to Trianon Austria. Even the small border traffic was slow. A causal link to emigration is not demonstrable, but may be presumed. However, as early as 1890, a servant girl broke out the wave of wandering, followed by a small group of twelve people in 1893 going from Antwerp to Ellis Island via the usual process, and had followed the girl to Allentown, Pennsylvania, and only one person could not get in New York. In 1901, 33 Poppendorfer continued the chain migration, the next wave broke only in 1922/1923, and it is doubtful whether the dreary economic situation and/or the separation from Hungary gave the last impetus to emigration. However, the municipality acquired the peak position in the emigration from Burgenland only after the Second World War. Unfortunately, at the time of writing the present work, a master's thesis at the University of Salzburg pertaining to Poppendorf and the emigration to America was not yet available.
On the other hand, "Österreich-Information," sponsored by the Vienna Office, lists the following activities (as of 2009) for the Burgenländers:
- In 1923 a Krankenunterstützungsverein (Health Support Association) was set up in New York, in which everyone could contribute and from which every individual benefited as needed.
- For many years, a "Miss Burgenland" was chosen, the prize of which was a trip to the homeland in July and the participation in the picnic of the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft in Moschendorf near Güssing.
- In 1937, a Brotherhood of the Burgenländer was founded in New York, which also carries out a "Miss" selection.
Thus the state of research: What has been missing is an overall view for Austria. There are partial surveys of regional (e.g., Burgenland) and factual nature (example: Leopoldine Foundation).
Other comments about Burgenland found in other sections of the dissertation:
Burgenland: The province, which actually represented West-Hungary, was the only gain of the young Austria, and here, too, the result is in stark contrast to the will of Wilson, for West-Hungary was by no means a closed German territory.
For occupational structure of the Burgenländer, Pucher reports that 90 per cent over there pursue other professions than in the home. Despite over 70 per cent with peasant origin, they land in the big cities. This leads to several special features:
- Concentration in a few cities such as Allentown, Buffalo (most came from Stinatz), Chicago (Pinkatal), New Britain (Raabtal), New York (Stremtal), Philadelphia (South Burgenland), South Bend (Croats) or St. Paul (Seewinkel);
- the certainly miraculous intercourse (intensive association and church life, strong contributions to donations, minor assimilation), and
- Alternative currency US dollar: Through a special agreement between American and European banks, money transfers and donations in dollars were made via local post offices in dollars; the money circulated and thus also went back to the banks.
Although the emigration from the Burgenland has been extensively studied, this work is nevertheless treated mainly because the literature proves to be a model for a general Austrian representation. The so-called territory "German Austria" would have become the new Austria if Wilson had been true to his "points." The emigration to the USA involved "material" from this area, before the war because German Austrians felt themselves as such, after the war because they had to move to the downsized Austria or move away. At the latest in the 1930s, they lost their hold in the respective successor state, which is already outside the reporting period.
In summary, ... that of all major immigrant groups from Austria-Hungary, the German component represents the least studied. Only (Burgenland), the Gottschee in present-day Slovenia, as well as islands in Bohemia and Hungary, are documented.
The geographic distribution of emigrants in the period from 1921 to 1935 sees Burgenland with 22,462 in front, followed by Vienna with 19,089 and Styria with 9,711 persons. One of the reasons for the first place of the Burgenland is that Hungary was a point of reference, but the Austrian economy was at first too weak to accept the new citizens.
The embassy of the USA in Vienna observes the young Austria quite well. A circular of April 21, 1922, notes the phenomenon of unbroken emigration to the USA for Burgenland, even though the currency situation has become unfavorable for the people of Austria. The author, Consul Carol Foster (supported by the Austrian consulate-employee Elsa Dichler), cites some reasons for this special development of the Burgenland:
- Population Density and Structure: families in Burgenland are blessed with children, but only the oldest son has a chance for the peasant heritage and must pay the siblings; The war gave rise to a female surplus.
- Economic Situation: Rural labor is poorly paid, so Burgenländers first take part in the internal migration within Austria.
- If close relatives or friends in the US still send a prepaid ticket, there is hardly any stop. Many countrymen are also rapidly becoming US citizens. Many years later they return and invest in the old homeland, not infrequently relatives follow to the USA and take their old places. In any case, there is intensive travel activity of the Burgenländer in both directions. In addition, the dollar already replaces the Austrian currency.
The author briefly touches on the history of the Burgenland migration of transferring pioneers to the USA in the time around 1875, testifying to the good quality of the workforce and therefore their reputation in America, and deploring the fact that the Burgenländer who remained in the Hungarian part are facing greater problems in the United States because the Hungarians' quota rate has already been met.
- The US quota rate for Austria in 1921 was about 4,000, of which at least in the second half of the year less than half fell to the Burgenland, while the second half was divided among all the other federal states of Austria. Most Burgenländer live in the state of Pennsylvania.
To the regional origin: After the Burgenland (5,346), the new province of Vienna followed with 2,093 and Lower Austria, now reduced due to the loss of Vienna, with 1,098 people. Styria is in the next rank with 842 emigrants. Even before the rigorous quota law, 8,256 and thus 80 per cent of the emigrants made it to the USA. Of the total, 60 percent were men, only one fifth (previous year 2.5 percent) of the total paid the ticket itself.
5) HISTORICAL BB NEWSLETTER ARTICLES
Editor: This is part of our series designed to recycle interesting articles from the BB Newsletters of 10 years ago. Unlike some months where I struggle to find an item worth repeating, April 2007 was full of good—though bittersweet—choices. I say this because it was the month in which Gerry Berghold officially stepped down as President of the BB... his health issues would no longer allow him to carry the significant load he shouldered as President, Newsletter Editor, and chief-of-everything-else! He would continue as Editor for another 16 months—before his cancer finally claimed him—but the daily management, procedural and contact roles were switched to his newly designated "managing directors." Below is Gerry's write-up of his last in-person interaction with the BB staff, the BG, the Burgenland government, and the wider Burgenland community.
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS - No. 162A
April 30, 2007
MY BB LAST HURRAH! (by Gerry Berghold)
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 family group.
With Maureen and Dorothy supplying transportation (for our entire visit, guided by Anna Kresh) we drove to our Four Points Hotel 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 singings 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 from New Jersey and Frank Paukovits from New York. 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 Sängerbund 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 people again.
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 hands-on 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 gratifying experience.
6) ETHNIC EVENTS
LEHIGH VALLEY, PA
Saturday, May 6: 68th Stiftungsfest of the GTV Edelweiss Schuhplattlers at the Reading Liederkranz. Music by The Haus Band. Info: www.readingliederkranz.com
Sunday, May 7: Maibaumtanz at the Coplay Sängerbund. Music by the Joe Weber Orchestra. Info: www.coplaysaengerbund.com
Sunday, May 7: Reading Liederkranz Singers’ Maifest German Church Service at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Reading. Info: www.readingliederkranz.com
Saturday, May 13: Maitanz at the Lancaster Liederkranz. Music by the Josef Kroboth Orchestra. Info: www.lancasterliederkranz.com
Saturday, May 20: Maifest at the Mount Bethel Fire Co. in Mount Bethel. Music by the Walt Groller Orchestra. Info: www.mountbethelfire.com
Tuesday, May 30: Heimatabend at the Coplay Sängerbund with the Governor of Burgenland and visiting delegation. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW BRITAIN, CT
Friday, May 5, 7 pm: Heimat Abend. Austrian Donau Club, 545 Arch Street, $3. Music by Joe Rogers and his band.
Saturday, May 6, 1 pm: AUSTRIA DAY! at the Austrian Donau Club. Features a performance by the Chorus, dancing by the Alpenland Tänzer, music from Schachtelgebirger Musikanten and a sit-down meal. Doors open at 1 pm, dinner served at 2 pm, Chorus performance at 3 pm. Tickets available at bar, $20. Call Mona at (860) 508-8236 with questions and/or to volunteer.
Friday, May 19, 7:30 pm: Heurigan Abend. Austrian Donau Club, 545 Arch Street, $3. Music by Schachtelgebirger Musikanten.
ST. LOUIS, MO
Sunday, June 4, 2-5 pm: Gathering of Burgenländer and Descendants at the Parish Office Common of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 10235 Ashbrook Dr., St. Louis, MO. Contact Theresa McWilliams at email@example.com or at (314) 869-8938 for more information and/or to let them know you plan to attend.
Saturday, May 27, 6 pm: 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Burgenländer Club Toronto, 1686 Ellesmere Rd., Scarborough (the former Danube Swabian Club). Music by duo Matt Labar & Co. and the Golden Keys. Contact club president, Mrs. Gabriele Grof, at 416 282-5968 for tickets.
7) BURGENLAND EMIGRANT OBITUARIES
|END OF NEWSLETTER (Even good things must end!)
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