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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 70A dtd 15 Dec. 1999
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 08:51:27 EST

(issued biweekly by
December 15, 1999

This second section of the 3 section newsletter concerns another view of
Croatian settlement in the Burgenland, translated from the German and
excerpted here. It is brought to us by member Bruce Klemens who did the
translation. He cautions us that he does not have permission from the author
or publisher to publish his translation on the net, and thus it should not be
copied or used in total or used in any way without mentioning the source and
the author. We are bringing you a few extracts in two parts. This is part
one. Of importance to our research is the description of the destruction of
Burgenland villages and the accompanying depopulation which led to subsequent
migration and colonization by many of our ancestors. Many thanks to Bruce for
his efforts. These extracts are worthy additions to the Teklits translation
of "People Along The Border", serialized in prior newsletters. We hope that
someday we will be able to bring you similar data concerning the migration of
German speaking people during the periods mentioned. Newsletter 70A concludes
with a book review concerning Salzburg Refugees.

Excerpts from Das Schicksal der Burgenlndischen Kroaten(The Destiny of the
Burgenland Croats)by Bela Schreiner (... indicates breaks in translation)

Das Schicksal der Burgenlaendischen Kroaten Durch 450 Jahre by Bela
Schreiner. (or in Croatian: Sudbina Gradiscanskih Hrvatov Kroz 450 Ljet);
Eigentuemer, Verleger und Herausgeber: Kroatischer Kulturverein Dr.
Karallstrasse 23, 7001 Eisenstadt, Postfach 26-publishers date about 1983.

German language edition may be purchased from:


Note: this site provides much ethnic Croatian information as well as
commercial genealogical publications, coats of arms, etc. It is a not a
Burgenland Croatian source as such but if you have Croatian links you will
find many items of interest.

I. THE HISTORY OF THE SETTLEMENT-Causes of the Migration
The entire history of mankind shows many examples of how hard it is for small
ethnic groups to remain autonomous and independent

Therefore, the numerically weak Croats had to suffer a similar eventful fate,
even since they settled in the year 550 in Pannonia and Dalmatia. To free
themselves from Avar and Frankish domination in the 8th through 11th century,
a Croatian national state was established. Due to its coastal location, wars
with other sea powers were inevitable, especially powerful Venice.

The last king of a Croatian ruling dynasty, Peter, died from a wound that he
suffered during the defense of Croatia against the Hungarian king Ladislaus.
In 1102, there was an agreement between the Croats and Hungarians, and
Ladislaus' successor, Kalman, was also selected as the king of the Croats

Up to 13th century, it was usual that the Hungarian kings were chosen by the
Croatian aristocracy in Belgrade to be kings of Croatia as well. Another
chosen position, a "Ban," (or viceroy) governed the country as a
representative of the king and provided a certain independence. Thus Croatia
was subordinate first to the Anjou dynasty, which reigned over Hungary from
1301 to 1382.

In 1387 Sigismund from the house of Luxembourg was crowned King of Hungary
and ruled until 1437. The Croatian nobles, however, selected the son of Karl
II, Ladislaus of Naples, to be counter-king (1391-1409). Under him there
were big changes, and in 1409 he sold all his rights and possessions in
Dalmatia for about 100,000 Ducats to Venice.

The Venetians exploited the internal weakness of Hungary. By 1480 they
occupied almost all of Dalmatia and the Croatian coastline, much more than
was agreed upon in the sales contract. The Croatian port cities of Sibenik,
Split, and Trogir resisted, but were captured after long sieges, as were the
nearby islands as well. The other islands were already in the hands of the
Venetians. Thus the Hungarian-Croatian kingdom lost not only an important
part of its economic base, but also the access to the sea and to the islands

After the Turks occupied the Balkan Peninsula, they conquered one country
after another, relatively rapidly. After penetrating Macedonia, Thessally
and Albania, the Bulgarian kingdom fell. At the battle on the Amselfeld
(Kosovo polje) in 1389, the Turks smashed the Serbian realm and thereby
became neighbors of the Croats. In 1463 they occupied Bosnia and in 1482
also conquered Herzegovina

In 1493, the Croatian army blocked the Turkish army's path on the open Krbava
field as they returned from Carniola but was utterly destroyed. According to
historical reports, 13,000 Croatian knights fell, and almost the entire
Croatian aristocracy perished

>From this point in time through the 18th century, the Croats were in a
constant fight with the Turks for mere survival within their own territory.
They retained only a third of their former territory, the lands to the Sava
River, and Slavonia at the Hungarian border, as well as the areas around the
capital Zagreb and at the rivers Una and Kupa, which bordered on Austrian
Carniola and on southern Styria. By 1521, Belgrade was conquered by Sultan

Then, with overwhelming superiority, the Turks invaded Hungary, smashed all
Hungarian resistance in the battle of Mohcs in 1526, and destroyed the
Hungarian army. The young King Louis (Lajos) of Hungary and Croatia died in
the battle. Thus the way was open to the Turks to Austria and to its main and
capital city of Vienna. King Louis had not left an heir, and so the kingdom
was left without a ruler. Under hereditary agreements, the Habsburg,
Ferdinand I became king of the unconquered remainder of Hungary and was also
selected by the Croatian aristocracy at the Congress of Cetin in 1527 as king
of the areas of Croatia still free from the Turks. Those Croatian and
Hungarian aristocrats, however, whose areas were situated in the area
threatened by the Turks, did not want to be Habsburg subjects and selected
John Zipolya, the Prince of Siebenbrgen (Transylvania), as a counter king
The sad position of Croatia at this time was described by the Croatian noble,
Bernadin Frankopan-Frangipani, when in 1522 at the Congress of Nrnberg, he
requested assistance from the emperor and the states of the Holy Roman Empire:

"Study this and consider, enlightened Emperor and princes of the Holy Roman
Empire, is there anywhere on earth a people who for such a long time were
struck by so much misfortune and yet remained faithful to their faith? We
have fought the Turks almost continuously for 80 years but we cannot resist
their great power. They have thrashed the Greek empire, the Bulgarian
czardom, the Bosnian kingdom, the Serbs and the Albanians. If we do not get
any help, we can no longer remain in our villages. Either we submit to the
insatiable dragon or we must move away and scatter all over the world"

And so it came to pass: in the year 1529 Sultan Suleiman (1520-1556) arrived
with an enormous army before the gates of Vienna and besieged the city during
September and October. Royal troops under Count Nikolaus Salm and the
citizens of the city put up a courageous and successful defense, even though
an imperial army called upon by emperor Ferdinand for assistance remained
inactive near Krems. During the Turkish advance, the actual siege, and
later during the retreat from Vienna, the Turks destroyed all villages in
their path as well as any around Vienna and kidnapped (enslaved) the
inhabitants and also looted their possessions.

The Turkish army withdrew to a distance of only three days march away from
Vienna and organized themselves in the area of Lake Balaton, Hungary
(Ed.-slightly east of the Burgenland-today a few hours from Heiligenkreuz),
in order to strengthen and re-arm themselves for another assault on the city.

In 1532 Sultan Suleiman set out again with a great army against Vienna, in
order to finally conquer the city. On its way it was halted at the small,
weakly fortified town of Gns (Koszeg), its castle defended by the Croatian
Captain Nikola Juriic with a company of soldiers and 700 citizens and
farmers. Gns offered embittered resistance to the Turks, and stopped them
in their tracks until a Christian army had time to form before Vienna.

When after four weeks imperial Cuirassiers (cavalry) emerged from Weiner
Neustadt and struck back at the Turkish advance guard in a fight at the
Leitha River, the Sultan from fear of a large field battle gave up the siege
of Gns. Suleiman withdrew into the interior of Hungary and during the course
of the year shifted large sections of his army back to Turkey.

During the siege of Gns and also during the retreat of the Turkish army to
Hungary, all the villages in its path, from one end to the other, were
destroyed and burned, and their inhabitants - in Hungary, Lower Austria and
Styria - kidnapped (enslaved).

The Time of Resettlement

As a result of the border wars of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Turkish
invasions of 1529 and 1532, and the resulting severe economic problems, the
affected parts of West Hungary, as well as the Austrian provinces of Lower
Austria and Styria, suffered greatly. The villages were devastated and
deserted. There was a shortage of farmers and tradesmen, who were necessary
to restore the estates of the landlords, cultivate the land, and defend the
country if necessary.

Therefore it is understandable that these aristocrats, whose estates were
partly situated in the threatened areas of Croatia and partly in ruined West
Hungary, were willing to risk everything to restore their properties. So the
first Croatian families can already be found in the dominions of Eisenstadt
by about 1515. In 1524, the Croatian aristocrat Michael Bucic received from
Austrian Duke Ferdinand the right to live in Austria, "with many of his
people." Also, the nobleman Franz Batthyny was given permission by
Hungarian King Louis II to settle Croatian refugees on his estates in West
Hungary. The presence of Croatian farmers in the vicinity of denburg
(Sopron) is documented in 1528. However, these new settlers either perished
or were kidnapped during the Turkish sieges of Vienna in 1529 and Gns
(Koszeg) in 1532. The second and largest wave of the resettlers started
moving around the year 1533, when the Turkish army had retreated to the east.

The courageous defender of Gns, Captain Nikola Juriic, had been ennobled
and given expanses of land near Gns. On his invitation, and in addition, by
promises of agents of the landlords, more than 100,000 Croats migrated
accordin to instructions, in order to fill the devastated regions, estates
and deserted villages again with new life. These settlers came mostly from
the region near Otocac and also the valley of the Kupa River.

The third wave of the resettlement continued in smaller groups in the years
1537-1543. The fourth wave lasted from 1556-1561 and the following fifth wave
from 1565-1579. This last migration finally filled up all the deserted
villages of middle and northern Burgenland, and spilled over the Leitha River
into Lower Austria, over the Danube into the Marchfeld (area of very fertile
soil near the March River on the border of Slovakia) and then past there into
Slovakia and then Moravia.

Since we have essentially limited the scope of this article to the fate of
the West Hungary/Burgenland Croats, we will not further pursue the
development of the Lower Austria, Slovakia and Moravia Croats. Therefore, we
will just list only their populated villages here.

On the north and south sides of the Danube - - the villages stated here were
partly or completely settled with Croats: Andlersdorf, Au am Leithagebirge
(Cundrava), Berg, Breitensee, Breitenstetten, Ebergassing, Deutsch,
Altenburg, Engelshartstetten, Enzerdorf, Essling, Fischamend (Fiamienat),
Gtzendorf, Haringsee, Haslau (Hazlava), Hof (Cimof), Hflein, Kopfstetten
(Gustetin), Groissenbrunn, Landegg, Lassee, Leopoldsdorf, Loimersdorf
(Limitrof), Mannersdorf (Malitrof), Mansdorf, Maria Ellend (Jelent), Orth
(ari Grad), Petronell (Petrlin), Pischelsdorf, Pframa, Pottendorf,
Potzneusiedl (Lajtica), Rauchenwart, Regelsbrunn (Oterija), Scharndorf
(undrof), Schlosshof, Schnabrunn, Sommerein, Wildungsmauer (Nevrlin),
Wilfleinsdorf (Bilitrof), Wolfstal (Vucjak), Zwerndorf, Zwlfaxing.

Along the Lower Austria/Slovakia boundary (see area II) Croats lived in the
following places: Baumgarten, Mannersdorf, Jedenspeigen, Sierndorf,
Drsling, Ringelsdorf, Hohenau, Rabensburg.

Mentioned on the Slovakia side of the March are: Malacka, Dimburk and

Aside from these, two areas where Croatian settlers found refuge appear like
oases. Area III, north of Wiener Neustadt, included the villages of Schnau,
Gnselsdorf and Teesdorf. The other area (IV) north of Stockerau includes
the villages of Streitdorf, Hatzenbach, Sterndorf, Rseldorf, Steinabrunn and

In the area between Bratislava (Pressburg) and Trnava (Tyrnau), there lived
Croats in more than 40 villages as well as in the small towns of Tyrnau,
Modera und Bsing. However, their number was less than half of that of the
West Hungarian Croats. Since their language, way of life and customs were
close to that of the Slovaks, they soon became assimilated. The lesser
Croatian aristocracy, city folk, farmers, workers and craftsmen left their
old homeland in such large numbers that some areas of Croatia were left
without inhabitants.

The Croatian Congress in Topusko, 1535, selected two messengers, Ivan Tumpic
and Michael Budiic, to bring their complaints about the resettlement to the
attention of King Ferdinand of Austria. The most severe accusation was
directed against the Austrian and Hungarian landlords, who had sent their
messengers and agents to Croatia, in order to recruit farmers and to lure
them north to their estates, where life was supposed to be better. The
Congress requested that the king stop these landlords from recruiting farmers
from Croatia. They also asked that an order be given that the emigrants
should return immediately to their homeland, and that no one should be
allowed to keep them from returning

In the bloody, more than 150 year fight against the Turks, from the second
half of the 14th century up to the beginning of the 16th century, Croatia
lived through a tragic paragraph of its history. Only a well thought out
Austrian military system for the defense of its southeastern and southern
borders (the concept of military boundaries areas), gradually stopped the
raids of the Turks and the migration of the farmers came to a standstill. In
the 16th century, these military boundary areas enlisted the major part of
the threatened farmers and integrated them as soldier-farmers into the
military system. The regiments educated from them were not only well
equipped, but also well led and ranked among the best soldiers of Austria.
They became well known as Krajner or Grenzer, as Uskoken, Hajduken, or
Panduren, in all theaters, even after the Turkish danger had diminished. They
fought under the Austrian flag in Empress Maria Theresia's wars, in the great
battles against Napoleon, and finally in upper Italy under Radetszky.

As a result of the Turkish wars, Croatia lost not only two thirds of its
land, but also half of its inhabitants. The escape from the areas captured by
the Turks and the emigration from the theater of war went as well to the
west, to Istria and Italy, and to the north, to West Hungary, Lower Austria,
Moravia, and Slovakia.

Since by far the largest number of emigrants followed the road to the north,
over Varadin, Steinamanger (Szombathley), denburg (Sopron) and Pressburg
(Bratislava), the majority settling in West Hungary, at the language border
between Hungarians and Germans, (establishing a "seam"), we want to further
pursue only this part of the Croats in their history.

It is of particular interest from which areas of Croatia the resettlers came.
Primarily it is the countryside of Slavonia, the region around Osijek,
Poega, Virovitica and Krievci. Next, from the area of northern Bosnia,
from the valleys of the Una, Sana, and Kupa Rivers. Then from the region of
Glina, Kostajnica and Petrinja. And finally from the western areas of the
Lika and Krbava Rivers, from the northern part Dalmatia and from the Croatian
coastline, Hrvatsko Primorje. Although this movement has not yet been
sufficiently investigated, we know about 200,000 people emigrated to 272
localities in the North.

At the "Scientific Forum about the Burgenland Croats," which took place June
2-4, 1983 in Zagreb, the Croatian historian Dr. Valentic determined that of
the 272 villages settled by Croats in the north, 177 were in western Hungary.
Of those, 69 were in south Burgenland, 25 in central Burgenland and 24 in
north Burgenland. There were a further 45 in the rest of Hungary and 47 in
Moravia and in Slovakia.

At present the only villages remaining that still have inhabitants who
understand Croatian are: 10 in south Burgenland, 12 in central Burgenland,
17 in north Burgenland, 7 in Hungary and two in Slovakia

Not only the aristocrats of Croatia, like the families Draskovic, Nadasdy,
Kanizsay and their successor Zrinsky, but also the Hungarian noble families
Erdody and Batthyany possessed expanded possessions both in Croatia and in
west Hungary. And even after the capture of the fortress Sziget in 1556 and
the conquest of Budapest by the Turks, this western section of Hungary
remained the only free part of Hungary under the rule of the Habsburgs. The
noble landlords settled their farmers only in this area, because these people
could provide the greatest wealth and the safest capital for the landlords.

An additional circumstance which had a large influence upon the migration was
that the majority of the priests in Croatia were from the Franciscan Order.
Even more so, the Croatian Franciscans were part the same ecclesiastical
territory of that order as the Franciscans in Hungary and Slovakia. Thus good
contact between Croatia and the monasteries and priests of the northern areas
already existed before the Turkish wars. The Franciscans were therefore well
known in the country, and so they could more easily persuade their
parishioners to take a risky and difficult path. The migration, particularly
the second, largest wave (1533) was organized and well prepared. Under the
guidance of their pastor, the resettlers carried with them their church
books, church ornaments, church banners, all of their transportable property
including tools, cattle and wagons, even their handicrafts and folk art

Today, it is still handed down by word of mouth that the majority of the
Croats east of Neusiedler See came from the area of northern Dalmatia and the
Croats of the Wulka River plain (west of Neusiedler See) originated mostly
from the coastal area. The Croats of central Burgenland, above all those from
the vicinity of Sopron (denburg), came from northern Bosnia. The family of
the aristocrat Erldy settled its farmers from Slavonia on its possessiones
around Rotenturm and Rechnitz. And the noble family Batthyny brought its
farmers from the environment of Kostajnica into the Pinkatal (Pinka River

Spoken by the farmers migrating from the theater of war around Kostajnica,
the Stokavci dialect was predominent in this area of Burgenland even to the
present day, while the remaining Burgenland Croats speak the Cakavci dialect.
Around the old market towns Rechnitz and Schlaining at the foot of the Gnser
mountain country is a group of Croatian villages, whose inhabitants are
called Vlahen (Walachs) by the neighboring Croats and also by the German

The Vlahens settled here in the 16th century after migrating from the south
and were a very homogeneous people. The Vlahen were different from the
neighboring Germans and Croats, since they were free farmers and in the
official documents are always referred to as Libertini (freemen). They were
thus not indentured and could freely choose where to live. They could also
not be obligated to cultivate anyone's land or serve anyone. Most of these
Vlahen emigrated from northern Bosnia to west Hungary. One of their
settlements is even today still called "Bosnjakov brig" and many family names
in this area are Bosnjak (Bosnian). (End of Extracts)
(To be continued as newsletter no. 71A.)


In tracing the origin of our Burgenland families, we have clues that some
were religious refugees as well as economic or political ones. I've been
aware of the "Salzburgers" or Lutherans (Evangelical) who were forced to
leave Salzburg when that area opted for Roman Catholicism. It was a
particularly brutal "religious cleansing". The refugees went anyplace where
they could find asylum. While I have no proof, it's very probable some ended
up in southern Burgenland, since the Batthyany were very tolerant and we know
that today there are about 35 thousand Lutherans in the predominantly
Catholic Burgenland. My own Lutheran Berghold ancestors probably migrated
there from Styria.

The following book review concerns this Salzburg migration:

<> [The author writes a regular column in HERITAGE
QUEST magazine <http://www.heritagequest.com/genealogy/magazine/>; on Germanic

THE SALZBURGER EXPULSION LISTS, edited by Lewis Bunker Rohrbach, Picton
Press, Rockport, Maine, October 1999.

Grief and pain are not modern inventions. Refugees, expellees, victims of
"ethnic cleansing," were not the exclusive domain of a Kosovo. History is
replete with examples of man's inhumanity to man.

For a case in point we go back in time to an event that occurred about two
and a half centuries ago, in Salzburg, Austria. In 1723, Roman Catholic
Archbishop Leopold von Firmian felt committed to rooting out Protestantism in
his territory.
To accomplish this, he issued a proclamation promising to compel all
Protestants in Salzburg either to become Catholics or to leave the territory.
This turned some 30,000 Lutherans into refugees.

Then, in order to sweep Salzburg clean of Protestant elements, the Archbishop
issued his notorious 1731 expulsion order, mandating that all remaining
Protestants, some 21,475 people, leave at once. But for the Protestant
princes in Germany (Ed. Note:-perhaps Hungary also?), who took pity on the
refugees and granted them a refuge, they would have been destitute. As it
turned out in many, if not in all, instances, the sturdy, hard-working,
stalwart Salzburgers became an asset to the sovereign who allowed them to
stay and settle in his state. The king of Prussia, for example, fared
extremely well with the Salzburg refugees, whom he granted asylum and land in
his eastern-most province of East Prussia.

The various lists in German which a genealogist had to look up in order
possibly to find an ancestor amounted to a giant headache which probably
doubled if he or she was not schooled in the German language.

It should therefore come as joyous news to all people of "Salzburger
Protestants" genealogy, that a book has been published, nay, is hot off the
press this month, which will be a better tool than all previous list
compilations combined. In
fact, that is what the book THE SALZBURGER EXPULSION LISTS is, a
consolidation of all previously constructed lists of Salzburg Protestants.
The 685-page English-language tome is the more useful because, in addition,
it contains a 30-page "Family and Individual Index."

The core of the book consists of the essence of four previously compiled
East Prussian Salzburgers), compiled in 1934, in East Prussia, by Hermann
register of names in the Salzburg emigration lists) compiled and published by
Herbert Nolde, in 1972. A second edition followed in 1980. Then Mr. Nolde's
son, Manfred, published the result of rearranging his father's effort and
expanding it, giving it the title DIE SALZBURGER EMIGRANTEN: ALPHABETISCHES
EMIGRATIONSLISTEN (The Salzburg Emigrants: alphabetical register and abstract
of names in the Salzburg Emigration Lists).

Also used as potent sources on the Salzburg Emigrants subject, as featured in
this new book were: Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled
in America: 1733-1760, by J.M. Bolzius and I.C. Gronau (Picton Press,
Rockport, Maine 1968-
1995) and The Salzburger Saga: Religious Exiles and Other Germans Along the
Savannah, by George Fenwick Jones, (Picton Press, Camden, Maine, 1983 and

The publisher Picton Press should be congratulated for tackling this
monumental project and producing it in a timely manner, as well as with an
attractive cover.

One clarifying aspect bears mentioning if you should not find your Salzburger
surname spelled in exactly the way in which your family uses it. Hermann
Gollub, in his extensive foreword to his lists compilation, points out that,
prior to 1875,
"there was no fixed official spelling of surnames." The exotic sound of the
Salzburg dialect, which anyone who has ever heard it, can confirm, would have
driven a Prussian list-maker or note-taker or in whatever official capacity
he may have functioned, to distraction. Thus, variations will have
occurred.Some are noted in the book, but it stands to reason that not all of
them could be accommodated.

Written and reviewed by Horst Reschke <>.
Previously published by Julia M. Case and Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG,
Missing Links: RootsWeb's Genealogy Journal, Vol. 4, No. 41, 6 October 1999.
RootsWeb: http://www.rootsweb.com/
(This newsletter continues as no. 70B)

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