BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L ArchivesArchiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2001-08 > 0999261007
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 98 dtd Aug. 31, 2001
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 08:30:07 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 98
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(issued monthly by )
August 31, 2001
(all rights reserved)
"Ask and it will be given you; search, and you will find..."-Luke 11:9
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"C". Introductions, notes and articles without a by-line are written by the
editor and reflect his views.
This first section of the four section newsletter includes:
* Hianzen-Not A Dead Language-A Burgenland Tap "Root"
* Austrian Newspaper Success Story
* Burgenland Memories-WWI &II
HIANZISCH (NOT JUST) A DIALECT-extracted from the Web Pages of the
Burgenländisch Gemeinschaft and Heinz Koller with special thanks to Heinz
Koller, Inge Schuch and Klaus Gerger.
(ED. Note: We were having lunch with the Schuch Family in Kleinpetersdorf
recently. There was an appetizing smell coming from the oven that I
remembered from my childhood. It was the smell of strudle baking. Frau
Schuch soon brought two pans to the table-Herr Schuch said "Grumpern" strudle
and I thought I was back in my grandmother's kitchen. The German word for
potato is Kartoffeln or Erdapfel. To my grandparents it was always
"Grumpern"-where did this word come from? I thought it might have been
borrowed from the Allentown Pennsylvania Dutch who say "Grumberra"
(Grundberren), but I've since found that "Grumpern" is pure Hianzisch, the
local dialect of southern Burgenland. You'll be interested in the following
explanation extracted from Heinz Koller's homepage. By the way, the strudle
Dictionary of the "Hianzisch" dialect spoken in Southern Burgenland (or an
attempt at compiling such a dictionary)
-by Heinz Koller
The aim of the dictionary presented on this homepage is not to provide an
exhaustive terminology of the Hianzisch dialect, but to try and document
expressions that differ from their Standard German equivalents in the way
they are spelled and pronounced, and thus preserve those expressions before
they fall into disuse or change through constant exposure to other dialects
and languages. Note that the dictionary entries have been grouped into four
units (A-F - G-L - M-O - P-Z) to speed up search processes. (ED Note:-go to
BG Wesite to find dictionary available from http://go.to/burgenland)
Perhaps the main characteristic of the Hianzisch dialect is the intonation of
syllables containing the vowel "u" in Standard German - in Hianzisch these
words get a uniquely bright twist because an "i" is added onto the "u" (often
instead of the final syllable); hence the term "ui"-dialect commonly used by
linguists in referring to Hianzisch. To give you a rough idea what a
difference this makes: just imagine writing boo but actually saying buoy[ant]
in English. A few typical examples would be - Bub : Bui, Kuh : Kui, Ruhe :
Rui, Schuhe : Schui, tu : tui; genug : gmui, zu : zui, Pflug : Pflui, Krug :
Krui... . There are, however, exceptions to the rule - words which lose the
final syllable but in which no "i" is added to the "u" and where the "u" is
therefore pronounced no different than in Standard German [like in do in
English] - Zug : Zuh; Lüge: Luh... .
A note on transcription: it is not standard phonetic transcription that has
been used here; by contrast, the most important principles are: Nasals have
been transcribed by attaching an "n" to the vowel in question. The
transcription of diphtongs mirrors the spelling of diphtongs in Standard
German (e.g. heuer : heia; pronounced like the y in the word dry). When an
"e" and and "i" are not meant to be pronounced like a diphtong, the "e" takes
an accent (e.g. wéigg : weg; pronounced like "ey" in grey). Where there are
variant spellings, the alternatives are shown in brackets. There is,
incidentally, also an alternative spelling of Hianzisch - Heanzisch, which is
today commonly used in Northern Burgenland and which was popularized by the
best-known dialect poet of the Burgenland, Josef Reichl. The "i" may have
changed into an "e" under the influence of the local dialect spoken in
Vienna, where Reichl, an ardent supporter of a "German Burgenland," spent
much of his life, making a living as a hatmaker while also being active as a
It is important to note that Hianzisch is not the language of a particular
geopolitical body - it is therefore not the language of all Burgenländers!
Moreover, preserving the cultural heritage of the Hianzn is much too
sensitive an issue as to warrant statements that would be of general validity
for all Hianzn. Our mother tongue is a highly colorful and multifaceted
language; it cannot be reduced to neat dictionary entries without losing
something on the way, and attempts to cover each and every expression are
futile. While it is of course necessary to do scientific research, it is
equally necessary that we do "grassroots" work - that we keep the dialect
alive right where it is spoken, that we take good care of our roots. Since
every small region has its own linguistic specifics, often varying from
village to village, compilation efforts had best be confined to the various
neighborhoods. The vocabulary presented on this website was compiled in the
southern part of the Güssing area, roughly the area between Kukmirn and
Reinersdorf. As soon as you get to the Lafnitz valley, the Strem valley or
even the lower Pinka valley, you would hear very different sounds and words.
When in 1921 parts of the Western Hungarian counties Eisenburg, Ödenburg,
Wieselburg and Preßburg became part of Austria under the Saint Germain Peace
Treaty, "Heinzenland," or land of the Heinzen (Hianzn), was one of the names
suggested for the new addition. This proposition lost out against the name
"Vierburgenland," which was inspired by the fact that the new province was to
be made up of four counties ending on -burg, eventually shortened to
"Burgenland." In an attempt to trace the word "Hianzn" to its ethymologic
origin, a few theories have been put forth, such as the theory that "Hianzn"
originally meant "Heinrichsleute" (followers of the German Emperor Henry II.,
or of a Count Henry (or Henz) of Güssing), or even the simple explanation
that the word is derived from the frequently used "hianz," which means "now."
None of these theories have been confirmed.
As well as disputes about the ethymologic origin of the "Hianzn," there are
conflicting opinions about their original identity and settlement area. Older
sources traced the Hianzn to a group of Eastern Goths who found shelter in
the woods around Güns (today's Köszeg) and there survived the migration of
peoples and the Turkish campaigns. The prevailing opinion today is that the
area of Southern Burgenland between the Raab river and the Güns hills as well
as the area around Ödenburg (today's Sopron) was the core area of the
"Hianznland." So this is where they live, the "Hianzn," and because they live
here, this is the "Hianznland!" Time and again, depending on how fashionable
it is to cultivate one's dialect and traditions at the moment, people will
try and instrumentalize the Hianzisch culture, or they will shamefully hide
their language and origin. And who of us has not seen both?
By now, the Hianzisch language and way of life have come to the brink of
extinction. The people of this country have simply changed too much given the
need to make a living working in other regions, where they were forced to
assimilate. But the "Hianzn" who left the traditional emigration country
Burgenland have developed new roots all over the world, especially in the
U.S.A. Thanks to this, many elements of the traditional "Hianznsproch," of
the way the Hianzisch language used to be spoken, have survived, because in
foreign language areas it was less strongly exposed to the corrupting
influence of other German dialects.
This website will every now and then feature pieces of contemporary writers
who use the dialect in their works and thereby support the preservation of
our cultural heritage. I myself, incidentally, did not discover my love for
"Hianzisch" until a few years ago, when the 1992 Burgenland Exhibition "...
nach Amerika" was shown at the ruins of the Güssing Castle. Commemorating "75
years of Burgenland," I wrote a few lines in 1996, which I'd like to present
to you here as my declaration of love to this land:
Fünfasiebzig Joah woarn's heia, seid dos Burgenland besteht.
Huamatlaond, sou liab und teia, - nia wiad kaam wou Hianzisch gréidt!
Vül zu laong woar insaruana seinar Oubrigkeit ergéibm,
hom niar imma buglt, kuana hod si traud, as Kéipfal héibm!
Zeid is's, Hianzn, ruck ma z'saumman and tuid's wéigg voam Koupf dos Bréidt:
Braucht's éink fia di Sproch nid schaumman! Hianz wiad wieda hianzisch
It is 75 years this year that the province of Burgenland,
our beloved home country, was founded.
Meanwhile, our time-honored language, Hianzisch, has become all but extinct!
There have just been too many years spent in humble service,
forever feeling inferior, forever bowing, with no-one daring to raise their
Thus it is high time now, fellow Hianzn, that we get together and be
no need to be ashamed of our language. Hianzisch shall be heard again!
"Heinele" Heinz Koller,
member of the Burgenland Bunch
Thanks for translation to Mag. Ingeborg Schuch!
AUSTRIAN NEWSPAPER SUCCESS STORY & CANADIAN QUEST (by Albert Schuch)
(ED Note: As mentioned before, if you fail to receive answers from letters
sent to Austria, contact Albert for a free newspaper insert. There are two
reasons for these success stories. Your data is translated to German and many
people, seeing the request in print, do not like to appear uncooperative.)
Albert writes: Our latest success story: I sent Ralph Nielsen's data to Karl
Grammer, editor of the daily "Kronen Zeitung", who published an article about
his search last Monday.
About a week later Ralph wrote:
<< Thank you for arranging the insertion in Neue Kronen Zeitung. The article
on 23 July was read by Herr Johann Wutzlhofer in Forchtenstein, who promptly
examined the Tauf & Heiratsbüchern der Pfarre Forchtenau, and e-mailed me the
Mathias Strodl = Barbara Wisingerin (sic) married 26 April 1812 in Frakno.
Mathias, viduus = Witwer (2. Ehe) 42 Jahre Barbara Wisinger (sic) 20 Jahre,
Eltern der Braut Barbara Wiesinger (sic) Johannes Wisinger , Anna Maria
Geschwister von Johann Strodl, geb. 6.2.1820. Barbara, geb.6.12.1813. Anna
Maria, geb. 31.12 1829. I have searched the archives of Neue Kronen Zeitung
and seen the article. - Splendid. Of course I replied immediately to Herr
Wutzlhofer, expressing my gratitude, (and told him of the 62 letters I had
written to Strodls in Forchtenstein and Mattersburg, all without replies.)
So, shortly the website will be updated with the newly received data. >>
Re: Another Canada Inquiry
While I was able to answer the Dujmovits/Wodwud inquiry via the Canadian
phone directory, I could not answer an inquiry sent to me by Andreas
Schmitmeier. I told him we would include his inquiry in our next newsletter.
Andreas Schmitmeier () writes:
<< I am looking for a former workmate and friend of my father's. His name is
Emil Jani and I think that he comes from Oberschuetzen. My father, Alois
Schmitmeier, lived in Canada from 1954 until 1958, where he worked on a
tobacco farm together with Emil. In Austria, Emil worked as a butcher, was
born 1928/1930, married a woman from the Netherlands. My father has had no
contact with him since he returned to Austria in 1958. >>
BURGENLAND MEMORIES-WWI & II (from SkipCamry; )
Skip writes: My dad's short-term memory is failing, but he still talks about
his childhood days. He was born in 1908, a youngster during WW1. At the
time he lived in Rehgraben with his uncle's family in a house across the
street from the present day church. He speaks about the Russian
prisoners-of-war who were housed across the creek. He doesn't remember how
many men were in the house but he said they slept on straw on the floor and
they covered the whole floor at night. They left the house, singing lively
Russian songs, before sun-up each morning except Sunday, and worked in the
woods, felling trees. The trees were sent to be made into railroad ties.
The men returned very tired each night.
Things were very tough in those days, the people in his house had cabbage
soup and bread each day and when available, they had mushroom soup. The thing
he remembers best is the Sundays he spent with the Russians. After walking
to and from church in Geresdorf, he and his cousins would play with the
prisoners who were big, but very gentle men. They were mostly family men,
anxious to return to their homes. My dad's favorite was a prisoner who lost
most of his nose in battle. He spoke a little German so he taught the boys
some Russian. My dad said he doesn't remember seeing guards. He felt that
the prisoners had nowhere to go so they just waited out the war.
I recently spoke to two second cousins about their lives in Austria. They
lived near Güssing. Both were teen aged girls during the WWII Russian
occupation and they spoke about their families hiding them and the terrible
things the Russians did. They now live in this country. What a contrast.
I'm sure other members have heard their parents or grandparents tell stories
about their times during WW1. I'd be anxious to hear them.
Newsletter Continues as No. 98A