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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 42 dtd 31 Aug 1998 (edited)
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 08:26:05 EDT

(issued biweekly by )
August 31, 1998
(all rights reserved)

This first section of the 3 section newsletter features the village of
Stinatz (the Father Leser series), Parts III & IV of Poppendorf Emigration,
and Much Comment on Burgenland Croatian Movement.

35) Stinatz (extracted and translated by Albert Schuch)
North of Stegersbach and Ollersdorf. Founded by Croatian immigrants (16th
century). In 1910 a Croatian nun from a Dalmatian island in the Adriatic Sea
came to Stinatz to collect donations. She spoke the same dialect as the
Croatians from Stinatz. This led Father Peter JANDRISEVITS to the conclusion
that the ancestors of the Stinatz -Croatians came from the Adriatic shores or
from a Dalmatian island. Radoslav LOPASCHITSCH in his book "Oko Kupi i Kor
ne" (The area of Kupa and Korane), published in Zagreb 1895, refers to a book
by CSAPLOVITS and states that the village name Stinatz is derived from the
town of Stenitschnjak in Croatia. This town had 3800 inhabitants in 1577, and
was conquered by the Turks in 1580. Some of the Croatian refugees came to the
Vas Megye of Hungary via Karlovac in 1582. Oral says that Stinatz has been
founded by 12 families. From certain customs in Stinatz Father JANDRISEVITS
concluded that some of the first settlers were Greek Catholics.

A document of 1689 is signed by the Richter Marko SZTIPSICS and by
theGeschworenen Jure TOMSICS, Jure GRANDICS, Peter PIPLICS, Matthe JELESICS,
Jure RESETARICS and Miho SZTIPSICS. The 1693-Urbarium names the following
BERKOVICS, TOMSICS. The 1748-50 - Urbar for "Stynak" names: SZIFFKOVICS (9),
Paul STIPSICS, Pave STIOTSITS [note: probably should read STOISITS or
STOITSITS], Paul STIPSICS, Wolf POLASKOVICS. The 1750-Urbar also says that
Count KOTTULINSKY from Neudau (Styria) and his subjects as well as
inhabitants of Wrth own land in Stinatz. Notaries: Johann HOBEL (1847-56),
Franz KLEPEISZ (ca. 1859/60), Anton WEISZ (1875-80), Franz ZAMADITS, Aloys
KAKOSSY (1897-1925), Karl MLINER(1925-30); number of inhabitants: 1812: 634;
1842: 760; 1870: 940; 1930: 1086 - all Catholics.

Fires: 1884: 27 houses burned down; 1909: 27 houses and the vicarage.
Belonged to Stegersbach parish until 1790. Priests: Sebastian ROBICZA OFM
(1790-1810), Denat PRSSL OFM (1810), Georg PINTER OFM (1811), Georg TEKLICS
(1811-14), Julius LEBENICS OFM (1814), Georg Simon PALATIN (1814-21), Lukas
KORBATSITS (1821-28), Johann FABIANKOVITS (1828-49), Franz AUSZERNIK
(1849-50), Georg MAJRICS (1850-56), Karl ARENDAS(1856-57), Sidonius BARILITS
(1858-64), Josef STERR (1864-68), Vinzenz KORNFEIND (1868-75), Ivan KAUSZ
(1876-78), Mark KORVATSITS (1878-80), Rudolf KERMANN (1880-90), Josef KOLLAR
(1890-92), Stefan BEERY (1892-1906), Peter JANDRISEVITS (1906-24), Lukas
DRIMEL (1924-30). Teachers: Andreas BLASKOVITS (1809-21), Michael BLASKOVITS,
Johann BLASKOVITS (1847-63), Franz ILLETITS (1863-76), Michael DERKITS
(1876-1904), Rudolf FUMITS (1904-08), Johann SABAR (1908), Franz SZICHERLE
(1908-23), Josef LIEBEZEIT (1923-30). Second and third teachers in 1930:
Helene LIEBEZEIT, Rosina BIRICZ. (source: V+H Nr. 9-10/1958)

Knigshofer on Emigration from Poppendorf (Patafalva) from Fritz Konigshofer
(). This third installment is an article about what
Michael Spitzer reported on his adventures in the West. It is an original
and unique story.

DVF of October 11, 1902 (by Adolf Knigshofer)
The well liked and respected inhabitant of Patafalva, Michael Spitzer, has
returned from America, where he had spent quite some time. He might be the
only one in the Lafnitz valley who advanced farthest to the west. He worked
in the state of Dakota, in Montana, in the immediate neighborhood of Indian
settlements which are supervised by the federal authorities. Spitzer
frequently had the opportunity to stay among these settlements.The Indians
are under the command of chiefs. All movements of the Indians are closely
watched. Especially when the Indians stage their war-dances, these are most
of the times signals for a planned raid. In this case, the farmers
immediately inform the military which is stationed nearby, which then
restores peace and quiet. The Indians receive from the state clothing,
blankets, mules, have an area of land assigned to them which they must not
leave, and have their own hunting grounds. In turn, it is also strictly
forbidden for the white palefaces to enter without good reason the areas
reserved for the Indians. The state assumes no responsibility for the
consequences of such trespassing. The Indians are a very hardy lot, and can
easily stand the greatest frost in their flimsy clothes. The women perform
the work, while the men attend to the hunt. Young Indian misses do not
receive the same kind of courtship as is customary with us. Instead, a mule,
donkey or goat gets negotiated with the father. Some whites also take
Indian women as their married wives and live among the Indians. These whites
receive some benefit from the state, such as a loghouse, piece of land, etc.
The example of our compatriot Spitzer shows how the need for a livelihood can
drive someone to very far lands, from where the same, never afraid of any
danger, now has returned to his wife fresh, happy and healthy and with a tidy
sum of money.

Emigration from Poppendorf (4th and final installment) From: (Fritz
The following installment, the last for this time, is a collection of short
stories on emigration from the Lafnitz Valley. The stories give a good taste
of how emigration was at times attractive and at other times deplored, and
how good and bad stories about life in America followed each other. The
article of March 2, 1907 also gives a flavor about how the theme might have
been discussed at the tables in the inns of the villages.

Emigration from the Lafnitz Valley, Short stories from Der Volksfreund, by
Adolf Knigshofer

DVF of June 15, 1901
Last week, once again 11 people left Patafalva for the promised land America.
The lack of work and earnings; the knowledge to have no occupation despite
a healthy, strong body, and additionally the suffering of misery; the fear
of not being able to keep up with the yearly increasing expenses and of
losing one's property; simply stated: the worry about the daily bread for
today and in the future ... these are the reasons which force the
walking-stick into the healthy hands of young and strong people. This was the
fifth exodus by good, hard workers from their home soil within the last 12
months. They departed from their dear families and homeland with their
hearts bleeding.

Indeed, the stomach, on which the whole world turns, knows no mercy;
relentlessly, it separates the young, caring husband from wife and child,
splits the bride from the groom, tears apart a loving couple, all in the hope
to find far away over the ocean, the one thing which one seeks here at home
only in vain: durable, well-paid work!

DVF of March 22, 1902
Some days ago, once again 14 vigorous, strong men and women left home from
Patafalva (Poppendorf) for America; nearly no day goes by without one or two
carriages full of emigrants from the upper regions passing through our
village, with destination America. Most are driven from their homes by
economic misery.

DVF of October 17, 1903
Depopulated Villages. This message was received from Patafalva (Poppendorf):
From our village, which altogether does not count more than 700 souls, half
have emigrated to America. Only the women, old men, and the children remain
behind. The emigrants are sending their relatives a total of 60 to 80,000
crowns per year. The situation in the whole Lafnitz valley is just about the
same as here. Within a short time, the valley will be completely depopulated.

DVF of November 21, 1903
Returned. Some days ago the following returned from America to Patafalva:
Schwarz Johann and wife, J. Fandl, J. Lorenz, J. Wirth, and Mrs. Grotzy.
When looking at them, one can see that they were in America, and that they
were not able to pick up the Dollars there, as one would think, like stones
from the road. As they tell, there are countless people there who have gone
without work for months, would like to return home, but have no money.
Shortly, some more will return.

DVF of February 4, 1905
Once again, several people of Patafalva have left for America. Zach Franz
went already for the fourth time. He has a good farm here at home, a pretty
wife and hard working children; in spite of all this, he packed his
knapsack. Whoever once knows life over there from its good and bad sides,
does not wish to stay here at home. Every Saturday you have your Dollars in
the bag, there's no little judge within earshot drumming up tax payments;
there's good beer instead of water, meat on the table instead of beans, and
then, on top of all that, you are free like a bird, answerable to nobody
about where have you been in this or that night. However, this American
freedom has not brought happiness to every family. Four years ago, two men
left for America with the firm intention to support as well as they could the
ones who stayed behind. Afterwards various chatter got relayed to us over
the ocean. The wifes got nervous, made themselves ready and followed their
husbands; however, when they arrived over there, both men had evaporated in
the freedom-filled air together with their lovers. The house of one of them
[in Poppendorf] had to be sold due to various debts, and since the mother
[still legal wife] also did not care, the village got saddled with caring for
the five children. The
mothers do like the fathers did, and the family happiness finds its end.

DVF of October 6, 1906
Emigration. Karl Mayer and Josef Feiler have once again emigrated from
Patafalva to America; the former for the third time, and the latter for the
second time. [Editorial comment: The earlier return of Josef Feiler and
family to Patafalva from their first, long stay in America was subject of a
separate article in DVF of April 28, 1906 which will be translated
separately. That article made clear that the family was happy to be back,
and had returned with good savings. In spite of this,
Josef Feiler emigrated again after only half a year at home!]

DVF of March 2, 1907
Emigrated. On February 18, Zzilia Oberecker, Maria Host, Zzilia Schwarz,
and Theresia Koller left Patafalva to emigrate to America. Nice prospects
[for the people left behind]! If anyone would like to marry in the future,
he can travel to America for a bride. This would be a nice wedding journey.
But in any case, the emigrations cannot last much longer; listen as a farmer
recently spoke in the inn: "Meshurs, as you all probably have heard
yourself, nobody is allowed to immigrate anymore [into America]. The
President there, or is it an emperor or even a count, or whatever he is, I
just don't know right now, haswritten to the emperor in Vienna that the
latter should prevent his people from leaving home; yes, this is really
true; whatever little space they have left over there, they [the Americans]
now need for themselves, this you can believe me, and if nobody would listen
[to the American President], I was told that there would be a war, just like
the war between Japan and Russia. And, by God, that could easily happen. I
might be too old for it, but you, the young ones, could easily get the smell
of American gunpowder into your noses. And let me tell you, the way the
Americans shoot, I am not sure whether their bullets could not reach us even
here. On my soul, our lives might not even be safe over here. Who knows,
one of their hellish bullets might hit my roof tomorrow morning. Don't
laugh, these are matters not to be taken easily, because the Americans are
500 years ahead of us. The things we consider new, are things which the
Americans have already forgotten. Innkeeper [Wirt], please give me another
1/2 liter of wine, because my wife is fortunately busy at the Kernmhle [the
flour mill].

DVF of April 20, 1907
The entire family Spitzer of Patafalva has emigrated to America. House and
land have been rented out ("in Pacht gegeben").

DVF of December 12, 1908
Emigration gets more expensive. The German shipping lines have increased the
price of lower deck (steerage) for the passage from Bremen to America
effective November 1. The new price from Bremen to New York is 210
Crowns.(There are four more articles with quite interesting stories of
individual emigrant experiences. I hope to translate them some time in the

BURGENLAND CROATIAN MOVEMENT (Patrick Zimanyi and Gerry Berghold)
Ed.-New member Patrick Zimanyi started a thread about Croatian migration to
the Burgenland. He writes: Vasalja is several villages south of Szentpeterfa
(follow the Pinka river south and you go through villages of Mochendorf,
Austria, Pinkamindszent, Hungary and finally Vasalja, Hungary...there are
many Zimits (family name) in Vasalja....my father tells me that about 400
families came from Croatia with a priest and settled in the area....would
lead to the fact that ultimately they spread out and ended up in various
other villages such as Szentpeterfa.

My reply follows: I have a Germanic-Hungarian connection to Pinka Mindszent
(my g-grandfather Alois Sorger from Rosenburg-Gssing, married Julianna
Tarafas, born in Pinka Mindszent. Her line extends to the 1600's with some
branching to Vasalja where several Slavic names appear. I checked cemetery
entries there in 1993. I've also scanned Vasalja LDS microfilm. It covers the
period 1789-1895. The numbers are 0602066-67. You are correct in assuming
village movement. While there was and still is a desire to retain Croatian
ethnic culture and language, there was inter-marriage particularly in later
years, hence my g-grandfather's journey.

The most important (perhaps the first major) movement of Croatians to the
Burgenland area was in 1525 when Franz Batthyany (Ban of Croatia) was given
the Herrschaft of Gssing (virtually all of the present southern Burgenland).
He made Gssing Castle his "Besitz" and moved there with many followers. His
other holdings involved "eine Kurie in Enying, das Schloss in Torony,
Besitzenteile in Ugal und Szabas (Komitat Somogy), die Burge Gereben bei
Varazdin, die Kastelle Kristaloc, Garnica, Mogor, und Ujudvar (in Kroatien)
mit ihren Appertinenzien und Anteile in Szent Andras und Desnice". (Although
I know a few, maybe some nice historical geographical expert will determine
the present names of all these places). Franz survived the debacle at Mohacs
in 1526 as did most of his followers. He was late bringing 3000 knights
(Reitern) and 1000 foot soldiers (Fuszsoldaten) to the battle, retreated and
lived to fight again.

In the Herrschft of Gssing (16th Cent.), the following villages were founded
by Croatians; St. Nikolaus, Krottendorf, Steingraben, Rehgraben, Eisenhttl,
Hasendorf, Punitz, Schallendorf, Tudersdorf, Sulz, Heugraben, Neuberg,
Stinatz, Kroatisch Ehrensdorf, Steinfurt, Kroatisch Tschantschendorf,
....other villages in which they settled were Gttenbach, St. Kathrein,
Harmisch, Edlitz, Kulm, Grossmrbisch, Kleinmrbisch and St. Michael.
Reinersdorf and Stegersbach both had Croatian sub villages. (source pages
38-39 "Stadterhebung Gssing 1973-Festschrift). With this surviving army
Franz was also resposible for holding south-western Hungary for the Austrian
crown who acquired it by treaty following the Turkish occupation of Buda.
Since the Batthyany also had a horde of Croat farmers, who were great
irregular cavalry, supported by Austrian military strength and many strong
castles in the region west of Lake Balaton, the Turks must have felt it
wasn't worth the effort to expand further. They subsequently, did over run
the region in the campaigns involving the two sieges of Vienna, but Gssing
castle and some other strongpoints were never taken, laying as they did off
of the main routes of Turkish advance. Many villages; however, were burnt and
destroyed both on advance and retreat.

Frank Teklits may provide the full Croatian migration story when he finishes
his translation: however, it would follow that there would have been other
refugee movement as the Turks consolidated their holdings in Croatia. There
was undoubtedly movement before 1525, probably starting with the first
Turkish incursions into Dalmatia and Croatia. Peter Sugar in "Southeasrtern
Europe under Ottoman Rule, 1354-1804" gives a date of 1468. By 1526, the
Balkans were Turkish vassal states and it was only after 300 years of
occupation, that they were finally driven from the region by the Austrians
(1789). There were some Venetian holdings on the Dalmatian coast during this
period and Dubrovnik was a free city. I believe we can confine Croat
migration to the period between 1468 and perhaps as late as 1700 with a peak
around 1525-50.

The Batthyany group started one Croat villages of which I am very familar. In
1545, Croatian "Fluchtlingen" (refugees) founded the church and community of
St. Nikolaus (Szt. Miklos bei Gssing). In an Urkunde in the Batthyany
archives (Kormend) appears "On the feast of the "holy martyr Georg", in the
year 1545, several Slavs, Blasius Mysyak, Peter Horwath, Markus Rogosar,
Jacob Dambsics, Nikolaus Doitsics, Stefan Toth, Simon Sostarics, Blasius
Stansics, Martin Nagy, Peter Robik, Matthias Hirgwala, Matthias Kiss, Georg
Paulikovics, Matthias Kehen, Matthias Balkovics, Johann Gerdasics, Georg
Toth, Barnabas Toth, Johann Berksycs, Peter Medvics appeared before us (Franz
Batthyany) and giving thanks for their victory (?) over the Turks apply for
permission to build a community and a church, etc." These remained Croatian
for many years, eventually being absorbed by the city and parish of Gssing.
My grandmother Mhl (married Sorger) and her twin sister were baptized there
in 1885 by which time the service was in German. The similarity of some
founders' names to present ones in the area is obvious. (source pages 38-39
"Stadterhebung Gssing 1973-Festschrift).

The founders of these communities must then have contacted their compatriots
left in Croatia. The Balkans never were completely pacified by the Turks. The
Montenegrins for example fought a guerilla war for 300 years in the mountains
around Cetinje. Some refugee movement would have continued for a short
period.Your group of 400 accompanied by a priest may have been an early or
late one. It would be a major break through if we could somehow verify the
movement of this group. It's interesting that the Gssing source is silent
with respect to Vasalja which may not have belonged to the Gssing
Heerschaft. St. Peterfa for instance belonged to the Erdody's. (History of
Vas County-1898).

It's noted that as the years went by, the Burgenland Croats lost all
connections with their homeland. By the 1800's, those in Croatia were not
even aware that there were Croat enclaves in the Burgenland region. (page
157, "Borderland" by Burghardt.) I mentioned this in a prior Burgenland Bunch
newsletter. So again the migration period narrows further to definitely
exclude the 1800's and most likely much of the 1700's. While a great deal of
good work is being done, the origins of those who migrated to today's
Burgenland is still virtually unplowed ground.

(Yvonne Lockwood)
Dear BBunch/Hrvate! I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth to this discussion
about migration and borders, now that the discussion is up in "my territory"
of central Burgenland. The 1921 border between Sopron and Rechnitz and Kiseg
split the Croats; villages are on both sides of the borders; families were
separated. But until the post WWII period people didn't hesitate to move back
and forth. There is a lively body of personal experience legends, for
example, about smuggling. It was the post WWII border that really made
contact more difficult until Austrians (as neighbors) were given more
liberties at the border crossings and then finally they were allowed to cross
without visas some years ago. Hungarian Croats did not travel into Austria
however, because they did not have as much freedom, Austria was too
expensive, and only a few had cars. Nevertheless, the Croats in Hungary are a
different subculture of Croats from those in Austria (just as the Croats of
northern, central, and southern Burgenland are different from each other).
Although historically they were much more alike, in this century their
political, cultural, and economic experiences have been very different from
those Croats of Austria. One strong influence all Burgenland Croats have felt
in the last 20 years has been from Croatia; there has been considerable
contact, especially culturally between them. The Croats of Croatia have been
studying "their cousins" teaching them Croatian dances, giving them Croatian
costumes (even though neither of these represent the areas their ancestors
came from) so that a public culture for presentation (dance,music)has
developed which shows cultural hybridization. Unfortunately some of this
influence has drifted over to perceptions of language where local languages
are denigrated by some intellectuals who regard the pure and real language to
exist in Croatia. Fortunately, however, there has been since the
mid-1970s--among the other Croats of Austria--a strong resurgence of ethnic
pride and finally in the language as well.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Croatian language, the waves
of people from what is today Croatia came north before major language shifts
occurred so that the Burgenland Croats speak beautiful (musical) dialects of
what no longer exist in Croatia proper. It is true that there are many German
words in the everyday vocabulary, a common occurence for all languages of
minorities. Also many of the intelligentsia at the time of the 1920s--priests
especially (they had considerable power) and schoolteachers--were very
pro-Magyar. A large number of villagers too at the time of the Anschluss came
down on the side of Hungary and not Austria
(whether this was the influence of the priests, I don't know.) They spoke
Hungarian (as well as Croatian), their food,music, and dance was (an still
is) heavily influenced by Hungarian culture. Although many
villagers/peasants/farmers spoke some German--often hiring themselves out
toGerman-speaking farmers and families so they could learn German as they
earned some money--they regarded it the language for animals (apologies to
all you German-speakers out there). Many of the oldest generation still
prefer to speak Hungarian. It is that "best time of their life" their youth.
Yvonne Lockwood, Ph.D., Curator of Folklife and Extension Specialist,
Michigan Traditional Arts Program, Michigan State University Museum.

An almost purely Croatian village was Schachendorf south of Rechnitz (and
long belonging to the Rechnitz r-c parish). The Hungarian name of the
village was Csajta. Rechnitz itself had a strong Croat fraction in its
population which according to the historical articles written by the local
teacher Karl Klein was over many years served by their own Croatian teachers
and priest (and there were at times also Protestant Croatian pastors there).
Althodis and Markt Neu Hodis had a good proportion of Croats as well.
Miedlingsdorf, north of Grosspetersdorf, apparently was also a mostly Croat
village. Its Hungarian name was Merem. I do not know whether this was still
Batthyany territory. One of my ancestors, Alois Frsatz, was teacher at
Miedlingsdorf from about 1880 to 1890, and we assume from that fact that he
must have spoken the Croat language (or else would have been ineffective).
He transferred from there to Windisch-Minihof south of Jennersdorf, although
from the name of that village I would have rather guessed it was mostly
German/Slovenian rather than Croat.

The r-c parish priest of Kittsee is a descendent of Croats and I know from
him that he has accumulated a file on (past) Croat teachers in Western
Hungary, today's Burgenland, i.e., their names, assignments, etc. He also
gave me the clue on Miedlingsdorf. His name is Mag. [Magister] Johann
Karall, at Hauptplatz 1, A-2421 Kittsee, Tel. +43-2143-2321. If he has an
e-mail address I do not know it. I got in touch with Mag. Karall thanks to
the pastor of Stinatz to whom I had sent an enquiry on some family history

Back to Karl Klein of Rechnitz. In his historical articles on Rechnitz (for
which my source is a booklet titled "Beitrge zur Geschichte der
Grossgemeinde Rechnitz") he speaks about two waves of Croat immigration.
Accordingly, the first wave occurred early in the reign of Franz Batthyny in
the 1530s, after the devastating campaign and raids by the Turks which ended
in 1532. Franz B. needed to fill up the depopulated villages. The villages
around Rechnitz that received Croats (besides Rechnitz where Croats settled
in the so-called Hungarian market) are mentioned as Schandorf, Schachendorf,
Nahring, Drnbach and Hodis. It is stated that this first wave of Croat
colonists called in by Franz B. came from the area of Kopreinitz (sorry, I do
not know where this is). It is easily imaginable that this very much
encouraged wave of immigration included large groups from same original
villages with their own priests and teachers.

The second wave of Croat colonisation mentioned by Klein happened under Adam
Batthyny before or around 1650. The purpose apparently was to fortify the
border area, and this wave of colonisation therefore, it seems, involved a
lot of clearing of new land. These Croats were mostly soldiers and received
special rights. It is not clear to me from Klein's related article whether
they were brought in from Croatia, or merely enticed to move from their
current villages in South Western Hungary to newly cleared strategic spots.
These soldier-like Croat settlers of the 17th century were also called Vlahi
(Wallachen, Walachians), though this term really puzzles me since I would
have thought it describes people from Romania, i.e., people speaking a
Romanic language.

Another point worth noting is that in list of villages around Rechnitz
receiving Croat immigrants in the first large wave as mentioned by Klein (see
above), Nahring remained in Hungary after 1921 (Hungarian name Narda). When
I recently looked through the r-c matrikels of Kszegszerdahely which include
Bozsok (Poschendorf) and, I believe, Velem, the large element of Croats in
these records was striking. These villages would also qualify as near
Rechnitz, but the borders of 1921 might have had a dampening effect on the
rightful extent of the areas that should be considered in any study of the
typical questions which interest us in the Bbunch. In this sense, I am glad
that you were bringing in one of the villages which also still is in today's
Western Hungary, but shares much of the history of the Burgenland!
(BB Newsletter 42 is continued as 42A, more Croatian articles appear in 42B)

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