Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2000-07 > 0963662219

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 84A dtd 15 July 2000
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 07:56:59 EDT

(issued biweekly by )
July 15, 2000

This second section of the 3 section newsletter contains another article in
the series The Taste of the Burgenland-Pumpkin Soup & Fried Twists, Note From
Albert Schuch, Potzmanns of Güssing-Story of an Old Cannon, Bob Geshel's
Burgenland Trip-Part 1, Members Helping Members and Comments On Illegitimacy.

(Courtesy Alex Tschaar and Gertrude Schlener)

Next to village histories and church and civil record questions, we receive
more comment concerning our Burgenland food articles than anything else that
we publish. If Burgenland culture will survive in America for any reason at
all, it will do so through the medium of ethnic food. Alex W Tschaar/Csar
() writes to comment on the raised strudel article in
newsletter no. 83, asks about another favorite and provides a recipe for that
Burgenland specialty, pumpkin soup. My wife and I still remember how we
enjoyed a lengthy and memorable Oberpullendorf lunch which started with a
bowl of this delicacy. It was in the Fall and pumpkins were being opened for
their seeds in order to press oil. Although much pumpkin flesh ends up as
cattle feed, a lot goes into this seasonal soup. Alex writes:

The recipe you posted in Newsletter #83, for poppyseed strudel, is almost
identical to the one from my Family. We did not use the lemon zest nor the
cardamom. I will have to try them. I was under the impression that everyone
liked the thin flaky crusted strudels, which derived from the Turks. For my
wife and myself, we select the raised dough everytime! In fact we make 12 to
14 Loaves every Christmas Season.

The Newsletters are not only giving you the meat and potatoes for the main
menu, they now give you the dessert to make it even better. These recipes
have brought back a lot of memories. There is one that I cannot remember and
cannot even remember the spelling of the name, however, phonetic spelling,"
Kris chiki". The dough was rolled out thin, and cut into pieces 3x4 inches
and then 3 slits cut in the center, then deep fat fried, after cooking,
removed and drained then dusted with powdered sugar. Do you remember these?
If you have a recipe for them, PLEASE publish it in the next Newsletter.`

Gerry, attach'd. is a recipe for Pumpkin Soup that my cousin gave me while in
Austria, he even gave us one for Garlic Soup if you like the one for the
Pumpkin, let me know I'll send you what else I have. My wife and I found them
to be GREAT.

Haven't been able to do much on my research, had a heart attack and been in
the hospital for two weeks, back in the early spring. Had planned a trip back
to Austria at that very time. It will, however, have to wait until the
doctor. releases me. Gerry, you do such a great job with the newsletter and
the rest of the staff also. I wish there were awards that could be given to
people like you and your staff. Best wishes, Alex W Tschaar/Csar

My reply:

<< Kris chiki". The dough was rolled out thin, and cut into pieces 3x4 inches
and then 3 slits cut in the center, then deep fat fried, after cooking,
removed and drained then dusted with powdered sugar. Do you remember these?
If you have a recipe for them, PLEASE publish it in the next Newsletter.` >>

Alex, you're a kindred spirit. I do have the recipe. They were a holiday
favorite but I don't know if they are Polish, Czech, Ukrainian or Hungarian.
Maybe everyone in Europe makes them. I believe my grandmother called them
"Hobalscharten"?. My mother's generation called them "tangle britches". You
needed a brass serrated pastry roller (which I still have) to cut them and
make them fancy. There is even an Italian version made with anise. Many of
these immigrants traded favorite recipes and then adapted them to their
taste. We lived next door to an Italian family on one side, Hungarian on the
other. I was at home in both. Will publish in the next edition as well as the
pumpkin soup recipe for which I thank you. Have a nice fourth of July.

Pumpkin Soup

Use enough Oil, to cover bottom of the pot (veg., canola or corn). One Lg.
Onion [chopped]. 2lbs. of pumpkin flesh, chopped into I" squares, I tsp.
Paprika, 3/4 Cup of Beef Broth, 1/4 Cup of Sour Cream or Heavy Cream. Flour
[for thickening] Salt, pepper, dill, cummin, vinegar and garlic in the
quantities to suit your taste. (Editor-suggest 1 tsp. of salt, pepper, dill,
cummin; 1 tbsp. Vinegar, 1 clove garlic pressed or 1 tsp. garlic powder.)
Saute the onion in the oil for 2-3 min., add the chopped pumpkin and saute
for another 5 min. Add the Paprika, vinegar, beef broth, sour cream or heavy
cream and all the spices. Bring to the boil and thicken with the flour [or
corn starch], lower the heat and simmer for 15 min. Be careful not to scorch.
At this point remove from heat and put in blender until smooth and creamy.
Serve topped with a dab of sour cream and a few drops of Pumpkin Seed Oil on
the top of the sour cream. The Pumpkin Seed Oil can be purchased on line from
Tavalo: www.tavalo.com. This recipe was given to me by my cousin Berthold
[Tschaar] CSAR. Berthold is a Chef Teacher at the Culinary Arts Institute in

Fried Twists (Hobelscharten)
I asked my cousin Gertrude Schlener, born and raised in Heiligenkreuz, if she
could give me the Burgenland name of these fine pastries: Gertrude writes:

Hi Gerry, Oh yes , I know Hobelscharten . I believe the correct term is
Schnürkrapfen, that is with an umlaut . Some people know them as Schneeballen
. Same recipe only difference is that they are formed a little differently.
Either way, they are good. I remember my mother whipping these dishes up with
no effort, or so it seemed . It just takes me a whole lot longer. I thought
you might be interested to know what the word Hobelscharten means. It
translates to "planing wood chips." They do look like curling wood chips,
don't you think ? If you have other questions pertaining to Burgenland
dishes, I just might be able to help, just let me know . Gertrude

[Ed. Note: My copy of Lang's "The Cuisine of Hungary" also calls these
"Bowknots" or "Forga'csfa'nk" or "Csöröge" in Hungarian. His recipe calls for
a little rum (1 tsp.) in the batter, cuts them into 3x5" pieces and serves
them with jam. My Mühlgrabner (district of Jennersdorf) Cookbook has a recipe
similar to this also called "Hobelsharten." It uses butter, less eggs, wine
and sour cream, no spice. ]

Note: I have 3 family recipes for this pastry. They differ mostly in the
number of eggs used. I'll copy the recipe that uses the least, which is the
one my mother used.

4 egg yolks, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 2/3 cups sifted
flour, 1/4 tsp salt, pinch mace or 1/4 tsp cinnamon, confectioners' sugar.

Beat egg yolks until light. Add cream and sugar, beat well. Add flour, salt
and spice. Roll small amounts of dough to about 1/8" thick. (note if dough is
too dry or too wet, add little more cream or flour or a little brandy or
rum). Cut 1x3' strips with pastry wheel, cutting ends diagonally. Make a
lengthwise slit in center of each strip and pull one end through (note-pull
trough while nice, can be eliminated-make two or three slits-will curl as
they fry). Fry in hot deep fat at 350 degrees for about 2 minutes or until
lightly browned, turning once. Drain on paper towels, when cold sprinkle with
confectioner's sugar before serving. (If sprinkled before serving, sugar will
absorb moisture and make twists soft). Makes about 4 dozen.


Dear friends, My new job is keeping me busy and I am now also in the process
of moving into a new flat. My PC and a lot of other things are still in my
old flat, and so I am a bit unorganized at the moment. Until a few days ago I
was also studying for my final oral exam, but meanwhile I have been informed
that it has been rescheduled for the end of September. My doctoral
dissertation has already been accepted.

In the evening I plan to meet with BB-members Phyllis Sauerzopf and Angela
Latta, who are staying overnight at the Hilton Vienna, and next Saturday I
hope to also meet Hap Anderson and Susan Peters (at the BG festival in

My article about "genealogy in the internet" and the Burgenland Bunch has
already been published in the new edition of "Volk und Heimat". I will send
you a copy soon. Best regards, Albert


Every Burgenland village has one or more stories to tell. Finding and
recording them can be a rewarding experience. My own family has featured in
some which I've published in previous issues. These are stories that add
substance to bare bones family names and dates. This particular story
involves the family that for over a century provided custodians for that
ancient pile of rock, brick and mortar that we today revere as "Burg Güssing"
I recently heard from Edward J Tantsits (), a descendant
of this family.

Edward writes:

I'm sorry that I was not able to respond to your email sooner. My grandmother
was Theresa Potzmann, born 1883, died 1979. She was the oldest of 10 children
of Gustav Potzman & Rosina Rieger. Of all the children, she, Agnes and Frank
emigrated to America.

We lived in Coplay PA on 2nd St 3 doors up from Yesterdays restaurant. I know
the Klucharich family as well as many other families around Coplay, Stiles,
Northampton etc. In fact Lou bought my parents' home.

I enjoy reading the Burgenland-Newsletter very much. I am saving all the
newsletters for others in the family to read.

In your Email you mentioned that the Potzmanns were caretakers "Burgwarten"
of the castle for 113 years which is correct. Janos was my great-great
grandfather. Gustav was my great grandfather. (My grandmother's father) Josef
& Robert were my great uncles. Gustav did save one Burg cannon.

(Ed. Note: The castle was more or less given up as a defensive structure
during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa. The walls were breached, gates
removed and armament taken elsewhere. Only a "drei pfunder" (size of shell -3
pounds) field piece of the 16th or 17th century was left which was a favorite
with generations of Güssing children. During WWI, authorities wanted to
remove it and melt it down for its metal. Potzmann wouldn't let them take it.
(See "Bilder Chronik der Stadt Güssing", Paul Hajszanyi, 1990, page 78 for a
picture of Potzmann and the cannon. I understand the cannon was removed by
the Batthyany family to one of their other estates after the war. I hope it
survived WWII. If so it would be great if it could be returned to its old
resting place.)

September of 1999 I went to Güssing to visit the Potzmann relatives. Some are:
Johann Jandrasits - Son of Elenora. He presently lives in Gloggnitz. He was
instramental in the restoration of the Burg. Also owns real estate in Güssing.

Stefan Potzman - Son of Josef. He lives in Güssing Haupstr 54.

Magdalena Toth - Daughter of Angela. She also lives in Güssing.

Marie Mikovitz - Daughter of Sigmond. She lives in Rosenberg 17. (Your area)

My Grandfather and Grand mother owned property years ago in Langziel. It is
still standing. It's a one story building in ruins. It was built around
1937-1938 by & for my grandmother for the return to Austria with my father,
mother, brother & myself. I was 3 years old at the time(1938). But conditions
at the time with Germany were such that the move did not happen. I do not
know who now owns the property. My grandparents also owned an orchard and a
forest in Langziel.

I do not know much about my grandfather. His name was Alois Tancsits. This is
how it was shown on the marriage record at the church in Güssing. My
grandparents were married in Güssing on 9/20/1903. Alois, my grandfather, was
the son of Franz Tancsits & Marie Artinger. He was born 2/2/1880. All this
information came from the marriage records of the church in Güssing. Ed


(Ed. Note: Getting to the Burgenland is half the battle. Once you get there
it's like coming home. Like our immigrant ancestors, the trip can be fraught
with problems. Unlike them, it doesn't take two or more weeks and we don't
have Ellis Island waiting for us. None the less, the airlines are making it
more and more difficult. It seems like they all have a vice-president in
charge of obfuscation. What they save us in time they cost us in frustration.
I can sympathize with Bob's problems. I've experienced them all and if
anything, air travel is becoming less enjoyable every year. Perhaps we should
go back to the days of the luxury liners and shipboard cosseting! After all,
one spends at least two days portal to portal getting to Europe and back. Is
24 hours of "modern" air travel equal to a week on a luxury liner?)

Bob writes:

Let me explain my feelings about flying so that I can set the stage for my
"Getting There" experience. I hate to fly...to me, it's an unnatural act!
Even more than flying, I really hate takeoffs and landings (that's when most
crashes happen). If I could take a flight that taxied to Europe, I'd be a
much happier camper! Now let me begin!

On the morning of June 3rd, I left Phoenix on a Southwest flight which
departed Phoenix and arrived on time in LA...a first for me in my dealings
with Southwest! A good omen for the trip...not on your life!

I arrived at the International terminal of LAX and found my way to the LTU
counter. It was deserted! It had a "next" flight number showing which
didn't match my ticket. In addition, the big flight board in the ticket area
didn't list my flight by number or departure time! Now I'm in a panic!
However, the board had the same flight listed that matched the signs on the
LTU counter. But this flight was scheduled to depart about 2.5 hours later
than "my" flight"!

After a few hours of waiting, it turned out that many of us at the LTU
counter had reservations on a cancelled flight! None of us knew what was
going on! It turns out that LTU didn't have enough customers for two
flights, so they cancelled the first flight. However, they never bothered to
notify any of us who were scheduled to leave on the earlier flight. Had I
known, I'd have rescheduled to a later flight from Phoenix to LA. As it was,
I spent over four hours being VERY bored, and angry, in LA. Not to mention,
there were people in Friesing, Germany who were to meet me at the airport in
Munich and they had no idea what was going on...at least LTU was nice enough
to call them for me and let them know.

We finally boarded our flight, AFTER I nearly left LA and flew back to
Phoenix when we were informed that we could only take aboard ONE piece of
carry-on luggage. In my case, I only had carry-on luggage. I'd learned long
ago, that if you want your luggage to arrive when and where you do, NEVER
check luggage! (Ed. Note-shades of lost luggage on my own recent trips to
Athens, Chicago and Dulles). After an argument of more than a few minutes,
the counter person finally relented and allowed me to carry-on my two small

The flight for which I had purchased a ticket, was a direct flight to
Munich...the flight I found myself on had a stop in Dussledorf! Oh joy,
remember my earlier comments about takeoffs and landings...this was why I
made reservations on a non-stop flight to begin with!

The flight was very smooth...the food was good...experiencing a night of only
a few hours reminded me of the many days spent aboard Coast Guard ships on
fishery patrols in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea! Not a bad memory!

We arrive in Dussledorf, and they make all of us get off the plane! What
now? Well, LTU decided to make all of us go through customs in Dussledorf
instead of allowing those of us traveling on to Munich go through customs

We then get back on the same plane we just got off of, and flew to Munich!
Thank God that trip is over!

A comment about LTU Airlines. I feel it was very uncharacteristic of any
airline to be so customer
unfriendly! To top everything off, I found the attendents to be at best,
curt, at worst, rude. I encountered the same treatment on the flight back
from Europe. The attendents would joke and talk with the German passengers,
but when they dealt with an American, the opposite was true. After my
experience, I feel I'm qualified to coin a new oxymoron, "German efficiency"!

Anyone out there had a good experience with LTU...how about an equally bad

In, "My Trip to the Burgenland, Part II" I'll relate my genealogy findings
and experiences in general. A hint, my time in Austria was MUCH better than
the flight to Europe!


Another success story for the BB. My records show that on Saturday 8 May
1999 you sent an email message to BB staff members which included a request
from Gustav Schermann : Zahling nr 27, 7562 Eltendorf
who was seeking descendants of Rudolf Schermann who had emigrated to St
Louis, MO between 1900 and 1920. I was fortunate to find one of his
relatives, Debbie, who now living in the state of Maine. Today 30 June 2000
I received an email from Gustav informing me that he and Debbie have been in
constant contact ever since. Debbie and her husband are scheduled to visit
Gustav in Eltendorf on 4 July 2000. (At least that is my computer
translation - see below.)

From: "Gustav Schermann" <>
To: "Robert F. Unger" <>
Subject: Nochmals Danke!

Hallo Robert, dank Deiner Hilfe war es im vorigen Jahr möglich meine
Verwandten in den U.S.A. zu finden. Seit dieser Zeit habe ich mit der Tochter
meiner Cousine - mit Frau Debbie Collins - regelmäßig Kontakt. Wir haben auch
Fotos ausgetauscht und vieles über unsere gemeinsamen Verwandten erfahren.
Debbie und ihr Mann Mick kommen uns am 4.7.2000 besuchen. Die beiden waren
noch nie in Österreich. Also nochmals herzlichen Dank, verbunden mit den
besten Wünschen und Grüßen verbleibe ich herzlichst. Gustav Schermann
My computer translation:

Hello Robert, thanks for your help earlier this year, it was possible to find
my relatives in the U.S.A.. Since this time, I have with the daughter of my
cousin -with Mrs. Debbie Collins - regularl Contact. We have also exchanged
photos and much common relatives' experience. Debbies and her husband Mick
will arrive on 4.7.2000 to visit us. Both were never in Austria. Therefore
again heartfelt thanks, and with the best wishes and greetings. I remain
cordially Gustav Schermann.


Our customs being what they are, pedigree generally follows the male line.
There are some societies (mostly primitive or ancient) where it follows the
female line. The Hispanic races also have a tendency to use the female family
name in addition to the male and some families take on hyphenated family
names when marrying. I doubt if many of these exceptions will be found in our
Burgenland research.

Most of us hope that, when we search birth records, we'll find both a father
and a mother. If we don't, we have almost an impenetrable wall when it comes
to completing that branch of the family tree. I say almost because on
occasion I have seen a name listed for the father of an illigitimate child.
Villages being small, most inhabitants knew what was going on and it wouldn't
take the priest long to find out who fathered illigetimate children. Whether
he opted to record such information is another matter. I have also seen
situations where a later marriage provides the natural father's data. If you
encounter an illigitimate birth, it pays to search ahead at least to the
death of the illegitimate child. Subsequent records following birth may
supply some clues providing full parentage.

Another situation is illigitimacy involving more than one partner. One male,
who sires illigitimate offspring with two or more females or vice versa.
Since the males in these cases rarely give their name to offspring,
identifying such half-siblings can be impossible. Again, if restricted to one
village; however, it's always possible that the participants are known to the
inhabitants at large and that their names will be become part of the village
"memory". It is always worth probing for some answers. Since official
documentation is even rarer, such cases should be clearly marked in
genealogies-equaling the "barton, bar or bend sinister" of heraldic arms
indicating illegitimacy.

In previous issues of the newsletter, I've covered the reasons for the large
amount of illigitimacy found in Burgenland (as well as general European)
records of the period we research. They are worth repeating as the reasons
can provide some clue to finding data. Some general reasons were prolonged
absence of spouse; economic, social and religious barriers to marriage;
improper posting of bans and severe reduction of the male population
resulting from emigration.

We hear from who writes:

I would love to have this story published in the Austrian paper. From what my
mother has told me, as told to her by her parents Aloysius(Alois) (Louis)
Wagner and Theresia Murlastis is as follows:

My Grandfather (Wagner) was born March 21, 1902 in Stegersbach to Franz
Wagner and Anna Reiter. Married in Austria sometime before 1929 when he came
to Canada. They had a daughter together Johanna in Austria that died as an
infant of scarlet fever, I believe. He also fathered an illegitimate
daughter around 1929 or earlier. The mother unknown.

Then upon arriving in Saskatchewan in 1929, he fathered yet another
illegitimate daughter sometime between 1929 and 1935 before settling in
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, when my grandmother (Theresia Murlasits)
arrived in NY, Feb. 18/35.

Theresia was born in Ollersdorf, October 1900, her father Joseph Murlasits
b-1869, d- 1930, he was a prominent architect, building St. Gabriels Church
in Pottendorf 1904. Her mother Julianna Oswald b-1872, d-1956, Julianna's
mother was a Peischl. The home my grandmother lived in growing up was
Ollersdorf 6 Hauptstrass 7533 Burgenland.

I think that about covers what I know. My mother, born here in Canada would
love to know who her half sisters were/are.

(Newsletter continues as no. 84B)

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