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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 55A dtd 15 April 1999 (edited)
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 07:35:02 EDT

(issued biweekly by
April 15, 1999
(all rights reserved)

This second section of the 3 section newsletter is the first installment of
The Teklits Translation of "Volk an der Grenze ..." (People on the Border),
the history of the Croatians in Burgenland, written by Johann Dobrovich. It
is our intention to bring you most of this book in serial form in subsequent
issues of the newsletter. The first 3 chapters are included in this issue.

by Johann Dobrovich, translated by Frank Teklits (with assistance of Albert
and Inge Schuch) and distributed to BB members via email by permission of the

Editor's Foreword
When the Burgenland Bunch was started in 1997, the purpose was to provide an
organization wherein Burgenland researchers could correspond with one another
for mutual help and assistance. While the subject of Family History was
paramount, broader issues of history, geography and culture could also be
addressed. The organization and its newsletter would thus provide a media for
questions and answers and a place where topics could be discussed and
literature distributed. Our experience over the last 28 months has not
changed that purpose, but our effort has progressed far beyond expectations.
Our original eight members have now grown to over 300, our archives are
bursting at the seams and unlike many genealogical archives, ours contain
much original research of which we can be justly proud.

The Burgenland, being first an Hungarian province and later an Austrian one,
it follows that the literature pertaining to that region is generally found
in languages other than English. Some members have utilized their translating
skills to bring us English extracts of the available foreign literature.
Rarely published in English, some is now becoming available to English
readers for the first time. Burgenland Editor Albert Schuch, Austrian Editor
Fritz Knigshofer and others have been assiduous in their searches for
material in Austro-Hungarian archives and libraries. Their findings and
subsequent translations have provided much of this new material. This has
enabled the Burgenland Bunch (BB) to share in pioneering effort in the field
of Burgenland Family History. Now Croatian Editor Frank Teklits joins that
group of translators and brings us a definitive history of Croatians in
Burgenland from a recognized authority.

Family history is more than a compilation of our ancestors. To be meaningful
it must include their origins, migrations, religious history and culture.
Their "total story" as it were. Frequently lost or unavailable without
intensive search, such information, when found, is invaluable. We now have
one "total story" of the Croatians in the Burgenland. I hope similar material
will become available for all ethnic Burgenland groups.

Frank Teklits has devoted much time and effort in translating this work,
without thoughts of compensation. It is a labor of love and does honor to his
ancestors. His acknowledgments specify the sources to which he has turned for
help. I feel we can rely on the exactness of translation. He has kept us
advised of his progress from the beginning and many of the answers to his
questions have been thoroughly discussed within the BB and have already found
their way into the newsletters as articles and definitions of archaic terms.

I am full of admiration for Frank's efforts and the help extended to him by
other members. His translation joins the urbar, visitation, village data and
early newspaper translations as part of BB original research. My thanks join
his, especially to the Burgenlndischen Landesarchiv for their permission to
publish this translation. Gerry Berghold

Acknowledgments by Frank Teklits
My personal thanks to the various contributors, and supporting individuals.
In any successful endeavor there are many contributors that deserve
recognition for their contributions. In the translation of the text "Volk an
der Grenze ..." (People on the Border) by Johann Dobrovich, special thanks
are in order to the Burganlndischen Landesregierung Landesarchiv und
Landesbibliothek and Dr. Felix Tobler for their permission to make this
translated text available via the Internet to the members of the Burgenland

Special thanks are also in order for the constant support & contributions
made by Albert Schuch, without whose inputs, this effort would never have
been completed. Inge Schuch also deserves thanks for her significant input in
the translation of many of the later chapters when Albert was called to serve
his country. Thanks are in order to John Lavendoski for providing the
original text of Dr. Dobrovich's work from which the kernel of a thought to
translate came about. Thanks are also due my cousin Stephen (Mooney) Frisch
for his challenging statements concerning a probable Croatian ancestry that
led directly to my commitment to translate Dr. Dobrovich's text. Last but not
least, a very special thanks to my wife for her patience, understanding and
support during many long days and nights of work.

Introduction-Frank Teklits
Dr. Dobrovich's text "Volk an der Grenze", which is volume 47 within the
series."Burgenland Research" (Burgenlndische Forschungen), was released and
published by the Provincial Archive of Burgenland in 1963. The book is based
on the migration of the Croatians and is the result of two decades of
research by the author on the reasons for the Croatians leaving their
original homeland and migrating into the Province of Burgenland. The text
begins with the earliest origins of Croatia, and progressively walks the
reader through the tragedies of the Ottoman Wars and into the new Croatian
homeland in the various Districts and villages of Burgenland. The author's
findings are the result of researching numerous Urbars (Land Registration
Records), Visitations (ecclesiastical inspections) throughout Burgenland, and
other historical sources. A chapter is devoted to the three Croatian dialects
used within Burgenland and areas of Croatia where these same dialects are
still used today. Based on these dialects, the author draws some conclusions
of various Burgenland regions or villages deemed likely to be the
descendants of Croatians and from which areas they stem. There are 8 chapters
devoted to either specific Districts of Burgenland or Regions of the
Province. The Chapters on the Districts of Gssing, Oberwart, Oberpullendorf,
Neusiedl, and Northern Burgenland provide extensive coverage of the various
Domains & associated villages. Throughout the book, Dr. Dobrovich has
sprinkled determinations that allude to areas within Croatia that may have
been the original homeland of the Croats who migrated to specific villages in

A Village Register was compiled by the author and contains well over 600
different names of Burgenland villages, Croatian names for many of the
Burgenland villages, as well as for other names. Each village and or city is
referenced to a specific page(s) within the text for the ease of finding the
text associated with a village.

The BB staff has decided to make the text available via the Internet as a
part of the biweekly BB newsletter. The staff's thoughts are to make the
various Chapters on the Districts of Burgenland available initially to the
membership, and gradually to include all of the chapters in the text. It is
also planned to provide to the membership, via the newsletter, a separate
listing of each village named in the BB Homepage and whatever information, if
any, is provided in the translated text for the specific locale. This effort
will be completed on an alphabetical basis over a period of time.

Burgenland Research Paper # 47- Released by the Provincial Archive of
Burgenland - People at the Border - Destiny and Mission
On the History of the Burgenland Croats -by Johann Dobrovich

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Indo-Europeans
Chapter 2: The Slavs as a Separate Indo-European Language Group
Chapter 3: The Beginning of the Croatian Historical Writing and The
Migration into the South
Chapter 4: Theories about the Prehistoric Period of the Croats
Chapter 5: The First Centuries in the New Homeland
Chapter 6: The First Form of a Croatian Nation in the South
Chapter 7: The National Structure of the Croatian Countries to the year 1500
Chapter 8: The Turkish Storm
Chapter 9: The Bogumiles in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Chapter 10: The Conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Turks
Chapter 11: Strength and Organization of the Turkish Political System
Chapter 12: The Decline of Croatia from the 15th Century Until the End of the
16th Century
Chapter 13: Serbian Islands in Croatian Lands
Chapter 14: The Weakness of Christian Occident
Chapter 15: Ban Peter Bereslavic
Chapter 16: Soliman II
Chapter 17: Burgenland Settlements Before the Immigration of the Croatians
Chapter 18: The Croatians in Battle with the Turks
Chapter 19: Immigration of the Croatians into today's Burgenland and into
Neighboring Lands
Chapter 20: The Croatian Dialects in Burgenland
Chapter 21: The Last Immigration of the Croatians
Chapter 22: The Croatians in Particular Districts of Burgenland
Chapter 23: The District of Jennersdorf
Chapter 24: The District of Gssing
Chapter 25: The Croatians of St. Nikolaus
Chapter 26: The District of Oberwart
Chapter 27: The District of Oberpullendorf & the adjacent Parts of Hungary
Chapter 28: Northern Burgenland and the Western Lake Neusiedl
Chapter 29: The District of Neusiedl
Chapter 30: Services Owed to the Landlords
Chapter 31: The Religions of the Croatians in the 16th and 17th Centuries
Chapter 32: Epilogue
Village Register

Before World War I, and the two peace treaties of Saint Germain (Sept. 10,
1919) and Trianon (June 4, 1920) that returned Burgenland back to Austria,
our home was to most people a book with seven seals. Since this time, many
lapses have been made up. The Burgenlndisches Landesarchiv (Provincial
Archive of Burgenland), das Volksbildungswerk (The Society for Education of
the People) and admirers of Burgenland's parts, already wrote a small library
concerned with the history of our home.For as long as the native history of
our country was neglected, the local Croats knew only fragments of their past
also. Adolf Mohl claims in a history book written in the Hungarian language
published in 1915, "A horvatok bevandorlasa 1533-ban" (The immigration of the
Croats in 1533) that the first Croats come into the small Lower Austrian
village of Schnau in 1533. Only a few educators knew of his work that
initiated the historiography of the Burgenland Croats. Martin Mersic, the
priest in Baumgarten found a document in the archives of the City of denburg
in 1929 that testifies that Croats were already living in Baumgarten and
Siegendorf in 1528. The same priest put an entry into the 1931 cultural
society yearbook of the Croatians according to which, a list of the
"Weinzehent" (a tax amounting to 1/10th of the annual wine production) can be
found in the denburg city archives for some small villages around denburg
and Gns. This list contains the names of former Croatian wine growers who
have come from their old home country and in 1557 paid the "Weinzehent" in
Gross Warasdorf, Klein Warasdorf, Nikitsch, Kroatisch Minihof, Nebersdorf,
Unterpullendorf, Grossmutschen, Drassburg, Klein Andre, and Amhagan.Shortly
afterwards we read several articles written by Martin Mersic Sr., and Martin
Mersic Jr., Ignaz Horvath, Branimir Tukavac, and Vjekoslav Marhold, in the
Croatian newspaper Hrvatske Novine, in the Croat calendar, and in the annuals
of the Croatian cultural association. These writings describe one or other
events from the
past of the Burgenland Croats. Vjekoslav Marhold wrote an article for Ernst
book "Local history and Geography of the Mattersburg District in Burgenland "
111 - 113 where he says: "One can presume that the migration of the
Burgenland Croats had started in the year 1522."

In 1934 the Croatian historian, Mate Ujevic, published a book in 1934
entitled "Gradiscanski Hrvati" (The Burgenland Croats). In the chapter
"Povjesna Pozadina" (Historical Background) M.Ujevic explains why the
ancestors of our Croats left their old homes, as well as where and when they
settled down.Josef Breu's dissertation "Die Kroatenansiedlung in
sdostdeutschen Grenzraum" - "The Croat Settlements in the southeastern
German border area", is by far the best work that was written on this topic
by a non-Croatian author. His treatise best appreciates the historical
importance of this National Migration in a scientific way. The segment of his
work that is dedicated to the colonization of theBurgenland Croats must be
regarded as especially valuable as he studied the related German, Hungarian
and Croatian literature. He also explored the Urbare (Land Registration
Records) of the former Domains in Burgenland, archives of the Hofkammer
(Imperial Treasury), as well as the Visitationen (ecclesiastical inspections)
of the Gyor (Raab) diocese from the time of the immigration of the Burgenland
Croats into their present home. We must mention Eugen Biricz's dissertation,
"Geschichte der Einwanderung der burgenlndischen Kroaten" (History of the
Immigration of the Burgenland Croats), which was written in 1949. Among other
things, Biricz refers to the fact that at the time of danger, a significant
number of the upper and lesser Croatian nobility left their homes and settled
in Austria and Hungary.The Burgenland Croats had a desire to know the history
of their ancestors for a long time. In order to satisfy this wish, the author
of this treatise collected the necessary documentation for over two decades,
and studied the existing literature Austrian, Hungarian and Croatia in this
relationship. He also explored the Urbare (Land Registration Records) of the
former Domains in
Burgenland, as well as the Visitations (ecclesiastical inspections) of the
diocese from the time of the immigration of the Burgenland Croats into their
present home.With this preparation and with the assistance of the Burgenland
central government, the author published his Croatian treatise "Iz stare
domovine u nepoznatu novu" (From the old into an unknown new Homeland) in
1952. The interest in this edition was great and in four weeks all copies
were out of print.Before the publication of the aforementioned treatise, Mr.
Bgl, who at that time was Landesrat (a member of the provincial government),
desired that the author also publish his work in the German language. This
was the case because the German population of the country also desired to
know the history of the Burgenland Croats. We note with joy that large parts
of the German population took an interest in the Croatian population and in
their fate. And that is understandable since Croatia was a pillar of the
Danube monarchy through the centuries. The Burgenland Croats have lived in
harmony with their fellow German citizens for more than four hundred years.
They shared a common fate with them in times of war and in peace.To better
understand the history of the Burgenland Croats and their way of thinking it
is of benefit to brush on the past of their old homeland. As an introduction
one might mention that the emergence of the Croats in the Balkans was of
significant importance to the future existence of the East Roman Empire. As a
result of the destruction of the barbaric Avar Empire by the Croats in the
area of the present day Yugoslavia, the encircled Byzantines were freed of a
dangerous opponent. This allowed them to put up a successful resistance to
the advance of the Arabs. As the Turkish half-moon threatened also to
inundate the Christian Western civilization, " The Croats formed a 350 year
long living bayonet fence at the military border, against which waves of
Turkish armies often broke through "These apt words of a prominent German
historian are a positive recognition of the painful sufferings and sacrifices
of the Croatian people in the fight with the half-moon (Turkish crescent) for
the Western Christian civilization. Johann Dobrovich

The Indo Europeans
Chapter I

Linguistic comparisons have long revealed the existence of a relationship
between the Slavs, Germans, Romans, Greeks, Thracians, Illyrians, Celts,
Balts, and Indians. From this we conclude that they are united by a common
descent from an ancient people whose language is called Indo-European. The
question as to where we are to look for the homeland of these ancient people
has been discussed many times before, however, up to now without a
satisfactory answer. Due to philological, archaeological and anthropological
facts, we are of the opinion that the home of the Indo-Europeans lies in the
northern part of central Europe and the Scandinavian countries. Others assume
that the cradle of the Indo-Europeans lies somewhere in Mid Asia, in present
day Turkestan, or Armenia. They think that before the linguistic and
consanguineous unity that lasted for many centuries was lost, the inhabitants
of this area settled elsewhere. Furthermore, they assume that the Indian
branch migrated southeastwards, all others however westwards, except for the
Armenians and Iranians who remained in their original country. Others search
for the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans in the central Danube area.
Of course these are only more or less astute speculations; they have not led
to a reliable and generally acceptable outcome.The Indo-Europeans already
lived in communities in the early Stone Ages, and their civilization stood on
relatively high level. Their emigration from an ancient homeland, and the
origin of the new nations caused by the immigration is dated at the beginning
of the Bronze Age (between 1600 and 1000 BC). Why and how it came thereto,
research has still not been able to clarify. The only thing known for sure is
that the linguistic differences between the Indo-European tribes were minor
at the time of their separation and they went their rhetorical ways with the
passage of time.

The Slavs as a Separate Indo-European Language Group
Chapter II

The Slavs as an Indo-European language group probably had as their oldest
residence a fertile East European area located between the Weichsel
(Vistula), Dnieper, and Desna rivers, and the western Dvina and the
Carpathians mountains. Their neighbors were the Germanic peoples to the west,
the Balts (Lithuanians, Latvians, and Prussians) to the north, the Finns to
the northeast, and the Thracians to the southeast.We identify three different
branches with the present day Slavs, depending on their place of residence:
Western Slavs: (Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, and Lausatian Serbs), Eastern Slavs:
(Russians, Ukrainians), Southern Slavs: (Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, and
Bulgarians).While the other Indo- European tribes split more and more, the
Slavs continued to stay in their old homeland for a long time, where they
still spoke a common language in 200 AD.

The Beginning of the Croatian Historical Writing and The Migration into the
South Chapter III

The writing of Croatian history begins with a treatise by the Byzantine
Emperor, Constantine Porphyrogenet. He wrote an extensive report of the
immigration of Croats into the Balkan Peninsula between the years 948 and
952. In Chapter 30 of his work, "Die administrando imperio" he writes, "Those
who research how Slavic people took Dalmatia away from us can gather it from
this report." Constantine tells of Saloniki being conquered by the Avars in
614 and continues: " when the Avars saw that this was a beautiful country,
they settled there. At that time the Croats lived beyond Bavaria where the
White Croatians now live. However, a part of the people separated themselves,
namely five brothers, Klukas, Lovelos, Kosentizis, Muhlo, & Hrobatos with
their sisters, Tuga, & Buga. They came with their people to Dalmatia between
634 and 640 AD, and found the country governed by the Avars. After years of
fighting, the Avars were overcome, a part of them were massacred, and the
remainder subjugated. Ever since that time, the Croatians ruled over this
land. They found a few more Avars there, and one could see in them that they
are Avars. Furthermore, the remaining Croats stayed with the Franconians and
were called white Croats. They had their own rulers. They became subjects of
Otto, the great king of the Franks and Saxons".

Constantine Porphyrogenet writes that a part split off of the Croatians who
had come to Dalmatia, and conquered Illyria (note8) and Pannonia (note(9).
These Croatians had their own sovereign who maintained friendly relationships
with the rulers of the Dalmatian Croats.

The answer to the question why a part of the Croats left their northern homes
(in Galicia, Bohemia, and Moravia) gives us the history of the Byzantine
Empire from 574 to 624.The Avars were deadly enemies of the Byzantine Empire.
They lived off robbery and warfare, and plundering oppulent Konstantinopel
must have been desirable for them. Additionally, since the hostile Persians
threatened the Byzantine Emperors, the Byzantines were forced to pay 80,000
to 200,000 gold coins annually as tribute to the Avar ruler Hagan beginning
in the year 574. Nevertheless the Avars were not satisfied with that. They
conquered one town after the other, and jointly beleaguered even
Konstantinopel itself with the Persians in 626. The Byzantines barely managed
to save the capital of the Empire. Then King Herakles, an able diplomat and a
brave Army leader, sought and found assistance from the White Croatians (note
7). They managed to break the power of the Avars between 630 and 640 in the
area of today's Dalmatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Herzegovina. Thereupon the
White Croatians left these primitive countries and conquered the countries
known today as Croatia and Slavonia. In Chapter 31, the imperial author
repeats the above statement with a variation, that the Croats had come to
Dalmatia by the decree of the Byzantine Emperor, who assigned the devastated
and deserted country to them as their domicile.

Archdeacon Thomas, the historical writer from the city of Spalato (Split),
describes the arrival of the Croats in the following way in the second half
of the 13th century: From the area of Poland, which was called Lingones,
Totila came with seven or eight tribes (septem vel octo tribus nobilium).
They regarded the country where the Croats now live as a favorable abode, and
received it on the desire of the Prince of the country since it had few
inhabitants. Thereupon they subjected the natives by force, suppressed them
and forced them into their service. The Croats mixed with the original
population over a period of time, and finally became a people with a uniform
way of life, customs, and language. Both sources that describe the arrival of
the Croats concur on the major points. According to either author, the
Croatians were organized into seven or eight tribes that conquered the land
and subjugated the natives that included the Avars, the former rulers of the

note:7 Dalmatia comprises today's Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, &
Dalmatia.White Croatia was situated in today's Galicia, Bohemia and Moravia.
note:8 Illyria was originally the eastern coastland by the Adriatic Sea.

note:9 Pannonia was a Roman province in the central Danube Region (which
included present Burgenland)

The imperial author, living 300 years closer to the immigration of the
Croats, has more details. He knew the name of the Croatian leaders, describes
the liquidation of the Avars by the Croats, and refers to the early expansion
into the territory of the Balkans and the Danube. He knew that the country
that the Croats conquered was already called Croatia at this time. Archdeacon
Thomas, who described the events of the arrival of the Croats through a space
of 600 years, calls our attention to an important sociological occurrence:
The Croatian tribes intermingled with the subjugated natives to become a
nation with the same customs and speech.

Up to 1864 nobody doubted the statements of Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenet
and Archdeacon Thomas. First Racki, Jagic, and a few others denied the above
statement. The best Croatian history writers, among them Glumpowicz, Grot,
Nodilo, Klate, Niederle, Zupanic, Westberg, and in the more recent times
Hauptmann, Rus, Segvic, and Sakat proved that the crux of the statements of
the Emperor Constantine and the Archdeacon Thomas are correct. Their views,
based on Croat tradition and their description of historical facts, e.g. of
political and social structures, are correct. The arrival of the Croats in
the South was an invasion by horsemen who disassociated themselves from
Greater Croatia, who successfully fought the Avars and eventually defeated
them. This undertaking served the goals of Byzantine politics that was to
have one barbarian nation conquered by another.

As a politically organized nation, the Croats soon understood the importance
of Christianity and Rome. The Christianization of the Croats already began
after 640, and around 680 they signed a treaty of historical importance with
the Pope. Viseslav, the first Croatian Ruler, was baptized around 800. The
Popes guided the conversion of the Croats and they sent priests to Croatia
and Dalmatia to teach and baptize the people.From the time of the immigration
of the Croats into their present homeland up until the present time, the
Croats never attacked other countries to conquer them. They have only
defended their homeland. This characteristic defined the treaty (of the
Croats) with the Pope, the Holy Agatho, who reigned between 678 and 681. The
Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenet speaks of the present Treaty:"The
baptized Croatians will not fight outside of their homeland with strangers,
because the Pope, who sent them priests, and had them baptized during the
reign of the Roman King Herakles gave them certain prophecies and
regulations. The baptized Croats had a signed contract in which they vowed to
Saint Peter, steadfastly and for forever to neither invade nor fight a
foreign country, that they would live in peace with all those who wished to
make a similar vow to the Pope. Should however another people break into the
Croat homeland and fight them, God will lead the Croats to war and protect
them, and that the follower of Christ, Saint Peter, will grant them victory."
(to be continued as BB Newsletter 56A-this newsletter continues as no. 55B)

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