Dedicated to Austrian-Hungarian Burgenland Family History


November 30, 2009, (c) 2009 by The Burgenland Bunch
All rights reserved. Permission to copy excerpts granted if credit is provided.

Our 13th Year, Editor: Johannes Graf, 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 available online.

Current Status Of The BB:
* Members: 1760 * Surname Entries: 5631 * Query Board Entries: 4264
* Newsletters Archived: 192 * Number of Staff Members: 15


This newsletter 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.



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 Burgenland).

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 Burgenland.

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 at

ann.: Sepp visited the States several times as musician and played for the Burgenländers 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.



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.

Link to Gene Simmons Interview



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.



Chicago (November 25 - December 24)

Christkindlmarket Chicago

The Christkindlmarket in Chicago is the largest and most renowned Christmas market in the United States, attracting more than one million visitors annually from the Chicagoland area, across the US, and around the world. This yearly event, which has taken place since 1996, celebrates the city's friendship with Nuremberg, home to one of Germany's most famous traditional Christmas markets, with traditional German specialties, music, and decorations. The official grand opening festivities on November 27 even feature the Christkind from Nuremberg. (The market opens beforehand for two "sneak peak" days on November 25-26.)

Akron, OH (November 28 - December 30)

Akron Christkindl Market

Twelve charming cottages house some 40 vendors - including craftsmen, entertainers and chefs - from Chemnitz, Germany, Akron's sister city, and feature handcrafted wares, including Moravian stars, Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) arts and crafts, and hand-blown glass ornaments as well as seasonal fare. (Opens for a sneak preview on November 27, 2009. Closed Mondays.)

Dayton, OH (December 5-6)

Dayton Liederkranz-Turner

Celebrate Christmas at the Dayton Christmas market featuring hand-crafted ornaments and gift items, German food and beverages, a Christmas raffle, and concerts by the Dayton Liederkranz children's, women's, and men's choirs.

New York City, NY (through Christmas Eve)

Union Square Holiday Market (November 25 - December 24)

Columbus Circle Holiday Market (December 2-24)

Visitors are invited to linger at German Christmas stands at two holiday markets in New York City featuring imported gifts and treats from Germany, including hot winter drinks, gingerbread cookies, the famous Dresden-style Stollen cakes and chocolate advent calendars and Christmas cards. New in 2009 at the Union Square market: German Bratwurst from: German Delights

New York City, NY (November/December)

Also recommend by the German General Consulate in New York:

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park

Christmas in Little Italy

Grand Central Vanderbilt Holiday Fair

Philadelphia, PA (November 27 - December 24)

Christmas Village

After a successful first year with 150,000 visitors, Christmas Village is coming back to Philadelphia's Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall in 2009. Vendors in more than 50 wooden booths and timber houses which form a medieval village will sell European food, sweets and drinks as well as international seasonal holiday gifts, ornaments and high quality arts and crafts. Thousands of lights at booths and trees will integrate Dilworth Plaza into the scenery of the illuminated city hall. A central stage will be the place for live performances of local choirs, orchestras and bands. (Opens for a sneak peek on November 26, 2009.)

Leavenworth, WA (November 26 - December 31)

Leavenworth Bavarian Village

Visitors come back year after year for the famous Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival, held in the "Bavarian Village." At dusk on Saturdays and Sundays, everyone gathers to sing Silent Night and witness the lighting of the village as it is transformed into a magical wonderland of lights. Booths with holiday fare and a variety of music and entertainment round out the festival.

In 2009 a Christkindlmarkt is featured from November 27-29 and lighting ceremonies are held every weekend from December 5-20.

Helen, GA (November 27-29 and December 4-5)


Helen, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, is a re-creation of an alpine village complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world towers. Helen invites you to "come do your Christmas shopping in the festive atmosphere of our Alpine Village decorated for the season."

Fort Wayne, IN (November 27 - December 13)

Festival of Gingerbread

Held at The History Center each year during the holiday season, the annual Festival of Gingerbread features hundreds of gingerbread creations, from those made by area grade school children to master bakers. Weekend activities during the Festival include visits by Santa and Mrs. Claus, storytelling, gingerbread cookie sales and more. Closed Thanksgiving Day.

Bethlehem, PA (November 27 - December 20)

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem

This Christmas market, located in Bethlehem's historic downtown district, is a heartwarming holiday event for the whole family. It features live holiday music, great food, and old St. Nicholas as well as vendors of exquisite handmade gifts by artisans from around the country. Open Thursdays to Sundays. Bethlehem also bills itself as "Christmas City" and features a host of related seasonal events.

Denver (November 27 - December 24)

Christkindl Market Denver

Since 1999, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the city of Denver has held an annual Christkindl Market with a variety of concerts and entertainment as well as vendors selling holiday goodies and gifts.

Hermann, MO (November 28 - December 14)

Christmas in Historic Hermann

Enjoy German Christmas traditions at this event featuring food and craft demonstrations, story telling, and a visit from Father Christmas as well as a select group of artists and crafters and a variety of food and entertainment. Two Kristkindl Markt's are part of the program at the Stone Hill Winery Pavilion (December 5-6) and the Hermannhof Festhalle (December 12-13).

Cape Coral, FL (December 3-5) and Lehigh Acres, FL (December 10-12)

European Business Council

The German Christmas Market in Cape Coral (December 3-5)  and the German Christmas Market in Lehigh Acres (December 10-12)wtill both feature European arts and crafts, holiday decorations, photos with Santa Claus and the "Christkindl", traditional German food and drink including bratwurst, schnitzel, Glühwein (mulled win) and German beer and a variety of entertainment, including Latin and Country & Western acts. Both markets are organized by the European Business Council of Cape Coral.

Fredericksburg, TX (December 4-5)

St. Nikolaus Markt

This family-friendly Christmas festival at Fredricksburg's Marktplatz features traditional refreshments and German food, including popular Sauerkraut-based dishes, holiday arts and crafts for children attending the festival, and a wide variety of live entertainment.

Tulsa, OK (December 4-6)


The German-American Society of Tulsa creates a winter wonderland which includes many crafters displaying their wares, including booths featuring nutcrackers, smoker-männle, imported Christmas tree ornaments and Germany's famous Christmas Stollen, as well as Wurst, Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), hot apple cider, hot chocolate and coffee. The Christkindl (Christ Child) and St. Nikolaus walk among the booths to the delight of the children, who are also entertained in a special Spielstube, or playroom.

Elkhardt Lake, WI (December 4-13)

Old World Christmas Market

The Osthoff Resort's annual traditional European Christmas Market, reminiscent of the centuries-old German Christkindlesmarkt, features authentic gifts, toys, ornaments and food specialties from international and regional artisans in timber booths adorned in fresh greens and thousands of twinkling white lights.

Potomac, MD (December 5)


The nation's largest German School serving the greater Washington DC area holds a big popular annual Christmas bazaar offering homemade authentic Christmas cookies and cakes, original arts and crafts, as well as German and Swiss style sausages and meat products.

Austin, TX (December 5) 

Christmas Festival

Every December, on the first Saturday of the month, the German-Texan Heritage Society puts on a Christmas festival at the German Free School in Austin, with hand-made crafts items imported from Germany. Shoppers can choose from imported German craft items such as nutcrackers, pyramids, smokers, and arches, plus a variety of other gift items, books, and ornaments. Live performances of German Christmas music take place throughout the day, plus a special visit from St. Nikolaus. Visitors can also browse our used German book selection, enjoy complimentary treats, and sip on some Glühwein.

Coral Gables, Fl (December 5)

Christmas Church Bazaar

A traditional Christmas Bazaar will be held on December 5 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Coral Gables, Florida, featuring arts and crafts, German books, music and DVD's, children's games and entertainment, traditional Christmas food and drinks and Christmas music. 

San Antonio, TX (December 6)


San Antonio's Kristkindlmarkt is a traditional German outdoor market with hand crafted gifts, decorations, gingerbread houses, pottery baskets, ornaments, quilts, clothing, crafts, jewelry, floral arrangements and more. A few days later, on December 8, the Bazaar Sabado features wearable textiles and jewelry from Central and South America as well as various other one-of-a-kind gifts from alcoves across the globe. For more information, go to: San Antonio Holiday Season

Mifflinburg, PA (December 10-12)

Christkindl Market Mifflinburg

Mifflinburg's version of an authentic Christmas Market, inspired by the 700-year-old traditional German Christkindl Markt, or Christ Child Market, is a festive event prepared by various churches, organizations, schools, and residents. For three days, Mifflinburg's Market Street, with its many churches, is lined with festive outdoor huts featuring unique handmade crafts and traditional Christkindl treats.

Tomball, TX (December 12)

Weihnachtsmarkt Texas Style

Some 80 vendors will sell German Christmas items, arts and crafts, and more at this seasonal music/street festival and open air market set amid antique shops in the old town area and featuring hay rides and Christmas lights tours. Get into the festive spirit with Christmas musical acts and bands including Das ist Lustig and visit the German Tent featuring a beer garden serving Dunkles Bier (dark beer) and Glühwein (mulled wine). A Kinderfest including bungee-jumping and a petting zoo will provide fun for young visitors. Tomball's sister city in Germany is Telgte: Tomball Sister City Organization

Lovettsville, VA (December 12-13)


Coordinated by the Lovettsville German Society, this Christmas market celebrates both the town's and Loudon County's more than 250-year-old German heritage. All cultural activities organized by the Lovettsville German Society also aim to strengthen the relationship between Loudon County, VA, and its sister county of Main-Taunus-Kreis near Frankfurt in Germany's central Hesse state. 

Washington, MO (December 14)

Weihnachten Christkendle Markt & Holiday House Tour

Enjoy a traditional German Christmas market and a tour of seven houses. The Markt will include music, crafts, and Father Christmas. More information, visit the official St. Louis, MO, website or call 636-239-2715.


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 confidentiality retain their copyright but give a non-exclusive license to the BB allowing us to forward to BB members, publish in our monthly newsletter or on our website, and/or subsequently and permanently archive all or parts of such communications.

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Burgenland Bunch Newsletter (c) 2009 by The Burgenland Bunch
All rights reserved. Permission to copy excerpts granted if credit is provided.