Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2001-08 > 0999261034

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 98A dtd Aug. 31, 2001
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 08:30:34 EDT

(now issued monthly by )
August 31, 2001
(all rights reserved)


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This second section of the 4 section newsletter contains:
* Die Amerika Lied
* How Burgenland Differs From America
* BG Picnic Pictures
* Burgenland Books
* Millions Of Ancestors Are Depending On You

DIE AMERIKA LIED (The America Song)

It is hard for us to imagine the emigration fever which swept over south
eastern Europe in the late 1800's. It was very similar to that which occurred
in the 1700's in the Palatinate (Rhine-Hesse) of what later became Germany;
when, for over a hundred years, thousands of "Pennsylvania Dutch" sailed to
New York and Pennsylvania. Then there was the "go West" fever that swept
America after the discovery of gold in California and thousands treked west.
Throughout history, we find periods of mass migration as people seek a better
life or "Eldorado".

For the European immigrants of the 1800's, the streets of Amerika were paved
with gold. Glowing letters from those who had already emigrated were
supported by pamphlets from organizations which explained how easy it was to
emigrate and how good life would be be upon arrival. Of course, this was not
always the case, but hope springs eternal and a great adventure beckoned.

On the negative side of any migration is the knowledge that one is leaving
home and may never see family and friends again. When people are faced with
conflicting emotions, they often turn to music to soften the pain. Folk songs
often spring from migrations and so it was with the Burgenländers. The song
which you can now hear when you click on our homepage (and which also
accompanies the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft Picnic Webpage) is their
traveling song-the Amerika Lied (the America Song).

For the Amerikalied-page:


When I first heard this song, it was full of sadness-but as I listened to it
again, I also sensed joy and anticipation. I've asked our Austrian staff to
tell us what they know about the origin of this song. Their comments follow:

Hannes Graff writes:

For the history of the song: I searched the net. It is first mentioned about
1750, during the emigration of Germans to Russia (upon the invitation of Tsar
Katherina -the Volga-Deutsche). Over 50, 000 people went from the "KUR-PFALZ"
area (Mannheim, Heidelberg) to Russia, and they sang the following:

1.Jetzt ist die Zeit und Stunde da,
Daß wir ziehen nach Ukraina.
|: Die Wagen stehn schon vor der Tür,
Mit Frau und Kindern ziehen wir. :|

2. Jetzt ist die Zeit und Stunde da,
Daß wir ziehen nach Ukraina.
|: Die Pferde sind nun angespannt,
Wir ziehen in ein neues Land. :|

3. Jetzt, leibe Freunde, allzumal,
Reicht und die Händ' zum letztenmal.
|: Macht uns den Abschied nicht so schwer,
Wir sehen uns doch nimmermehr. :|

4. Und kommen wir ans hohe Tor,
Heben wir die Händ' zu Gott empor.
|: Und singen laut: Viktoria!
Jetzt sind wir in Ukraina.

The words are similar to the Amerikalied, but the music is very different. It
was then also used in Germany following the revolution 1848 when UKRAINA was
changed to AMERIKA.

jetzt ist die Zeit und Stunde da, jetzt kommen wir aufs hohe Meer,
Wir reisen nach Amerika. Da sehn wir keine Deutschen mehr,
Der Wagen steht schon vor der Tür, Wir fürchten keinen Wasserfall
Mit Weib und Kindern ziehen wir. Und denken: Gott ist überall.
Ihr Freunde alle wohlbekannt, Wir kommen jetzt nach Baltimore,
Reicht mir zum letztenmal die Hand! Da strecken wir die Händ' empor
Ihr Freunde weinet nicht so sehr, Und rufen laut: Viktoria!
Wir sehn einander nimmermehr! jetzt sind wir in Amerika!
Also with different music.

There is no known composer or author, it is a song, coming from the people,
first written down about 200 years ago. I found that every country with
German immigrants has their own version. The Burgenland version is sung very
slowly, it is more melancholy than the German version. It is also slower; I
think half time. I also found it as a march in Germany, but the Germans like
to march to all music. (:-)

I think it had something to do with the different reasons for emigration.
Maybe the Burgenländers did not really want to go away, but felt they had to.
The different temperment between Germans and Austrians changed some songs. I
spoke with my cousin Heinrich from Tadten, he said there are different
versions between Tadten, Wallern, Pamhagen, Andau and other villages. Every
town has its own version. There are other emigrant songs at the following


Albert Schuch writes:
Some years ago I sent you a cassette copy of the CD "Tondokumente zur
Volksmusik in Österreich. Vol. 1. Burgenland". The third song is "Nun ist die
Zeit und Stunde da (Auswandererlied)" - another version of the Amerikalied,
sung by three women from Pamhagen and recorded in 1977. In one of my first
emails of June 1997 I included the lyrics of the song:

<< Lyrics:
Nun ist die Zeit und Stunde da,
wir reisen nach Amerika.
Ihr lieben Freunde, allbekannt,
reicht euch zum letztenmal die Hand.
Wir sehen uns nun nimmermehr,
ach weinet nicht nur allzusehr.
Die Pferde sind schon angespannt,
wir reisen in ein fremdes Land.
Jetzt kommen wir in Bremen an,
da heisst es Bru"der, tretet an.
Wir steigen in das Schiff hinein
und fahren in das Meer hinein.
Wenn sich das Schifflein, Schifflein schwingt,
dann fahren wir mit Gottes Wind.
Wir fu"rchten keinen Wasserfall
und sagen Gott ist u"berall.
Jetzt sind wir schon in Baltimor
und strecken unsre Hand empor.
Und rufen laut "Viktoria"
jetzt sind wir in Amerika.
Amerika du scho"nes Land,
bist auf der ganzen Welt bekannt.
Dort wa"chst das Korn drei Ellen hoch,
dort gibt es Brot und Fleisch genug. >>

However, I probably never sent a copy of the booklet. It says that this is
one of many versions. The music is taken from the popular Waltz song "I bitt
Herr Hauptmann, bitt recht schen ...". Similar versions are said to be
included in "Ein burgenländisches Volksliederbuch" by Dreo, Burian and Gmasz
on pp. 147-148. If I am not mistaken you bought this book in Eisenstadt. Inge
and Albert Schuch translated this into poetic English (with alterations by
Gerry Berghold):
Jetzt ist die Zeit und Stunde da,
wir reisen nach Amerika,
der Wagen steht schon vor der Tür,
mit Weib und Kindern reisen wir.

Time to say good-bye, Austria,
time to travel to America.
The carriage stands before the door,
wife and children, we're here no more!

Jetzt ist die Zeit und Stunde da,
wir reisen nach Amerika,
die Pferde sind schon angespannt,
wir reisen in das Freiheitsland.

Time to say good-bye, Austria,
time to travel to America.
The horses are ready - so!
To the land of liberty we go.

Und wie das Schiff am Wasser schwimmt,
werdn Freiheitslieder angestimmt,
wir fürchten keinen Wasserwall,
und danken, Gott ist überall.

Once the ship is out to sea,
Our songs praise the land of the free,
no wall of water do we fear -
the Lord is with us, far and near.

Und wie das Schiff kommt bald ans Land,
so strecken wir die rechte Hand,
empor und schrein: "Viktoria,
jetzt sind wir in Amerika."

After many days the ship nears land,
and overjoyed we wave our hand,
and we cry "there's America,
now we've come to America."


2. Version
Nun ist die Zeit und Stunde da,
wir reisen nach Amerika.
Ihr lieben Freunde wohlbekannt,
reicht uns zum letzten Mal die Hand
Time to say good-bye, Austria,
time to travel to America.
You dear friends from our childhood,
We now say good-bye for good.
Wir sehen uns jetzt nimmer mehr,
ach weinet nicht nun all zu sehr.
Die Pferde sind schon eingespannt,
wir reisen in ein fremdes Land.

Farewell, we will not meet again,
but do not cry too hard, my friend.
The horses are ready - so!
To a far-off country we go.

Wir kommen jetzt in Bremen an,
da heißt es: "Brüder tretet an!"
Wir steigen in das Schiff hinein,
und fahren in das Meer hinein.

As we come to Bremen port,
they tell us "brothers, all aboard,"
and aboard the ship we go,
and at sea our hopes will grow .

Wenn sich das Schifflein, Schifflein schwingt,
so fahren wir mit Gottes Wind.
Wir fürchten keinen Wasserwall,
und sagen Gott ist überall.

Across the ocean we sail and sail,
and with God's guidance we prevail.
No wall of water do we fear,
the Lord is with us, far and near.

Jetzt sind wir schon in Baltimor
und strecken unsre Hand empor.
Wir rufen laut: "Viktoria!
Jetzt sind wir in Amerika."

Coming to Baltimore in Maryland,
filled with joy we wave our hand,
and we cry "This is America,
now we've come to America."

Amerika, du schönes Land,
bist auf der ganzen Welt bekannt.
Hier wächst das Korn drei Ellen hoch,
hier gibt es Brot und Fleisch genug.

America, thou land so fine,
For you the world does pine.
Here the corn grows so tall,
Here there is enough for all.


(ED. Note: Only two generations removed from the Heimat and steeped as I am
in Burgenland lore, culture and tradition, it is impossible for me to look at
today's Burgenland with new eyes. My wife; however, an American descendant of
Pennsylvania German immigrants from the mid 1700's, has no such problem. On
our recent trip, she compiled the following list of items which to her are
typically Burgenländische. Taken together they form a visitor's word picture.)

"Gruss Gott" (God be with you) as a greeting

Shaking hands with everyone-entering and leaving

"Wiedersehen" to all when leaving a room, store or gasthaus

Welcoming drinks and snacks-sitting in a kitchen nook

Cold cuts and cheese for breakfast

Wonderful bread and rolls

Clinking glasses-"Prosit"

Leaving nothing on plates-wasting no food

Clanking soup spoons when finishing soup

Mehlspeisen!-desserts of strudel, knödel, palattschinken, gügelhopf

Large lengthy meals

Doilies and hand embroidery on tables

Plants in lobbies, hallways and stairways

Window boxes with ivy geraniums

Oleanders in courtyards

Lots of swallows

Men playing cards in taverns

Aggressive drivers (like young people in the US)

Fields of sun flowers


Small villages-each with gasthausen, church or chapel

Nesting, clacking storks on chimney platforms

Roosters crowing

Church bells ringing

Flower planted cemeteries

Red tile roofs

Whitewashed farm buildings

Castles on distant horizons

A lovely land!


Some members have asked if I could place a name to some of the people
appearing on the pictures taken when my award was presented. The white haired
rather portly individual standing before the lectern is me. The man next to
me is Dr. Walter Dujmovits, President of the BG. The man behind the lectern
is Hans Niessl, Burgenland Landeshauptman (Governor). On other pictures
you'll find me, Dr. Dujmovits, and BG vice-president Erwin Weinhofer (with
beard). At table you'll find me, my wife Molly, Albert Schuch's mother and
father and Heidi Gerger.


I bought or was given 39 books while in Burgenland-all but one are in German,
Latin or Hungarian. This is about average for books concerning our area of
research. You'll continue to find that our archives are still the best place
to look for anything written in English. The one book which is in English (a
gift from Dr. Dujmovits) is one mentioned in previous newsletters. It is
"Burgenland Panorama" by Georg Gesellman and Günther Stefanits, published by
them at A7000 Eisenstadt. We will be trying to make it easy for any of you
who would like a copy to order it by mail and pay by personal check or credit
card. More on this later. It is a very large (9.5 x 11.25) and heavy (4.5
lbs.) 321 page glossy hard back. It could well cost over $50 post paid. The
photos are recent, with aerial views, and voluminous photos. Many villages
are depicted with brief histories. It is something you'd treasure and want to
share with others. Please do not contact us about this book. We'll get back
to you if our efforts to help distribute it are successful.

The reprint of Robert Unger's book "Twenty Five Years Of My Life In My
Homeland" was a sell-out, although there still may be a few available. The
book is also being considered for a German edition for release in Austria.
Reviews by Austrian members who have read it in English are most favorable.

We are not a commercial organization and we receive nothing for mentioning
any books, publications, music or genealogical material. We do this as a
service to apprise you of what is available. If you've ever tried to buy a
European book that is not distributed in this country, and pay for it in
dollars, you'll appreciate our efforts to bring such publications to the
United States in an easy way. The greater the demand, the more possibilities
of English editions.


Bob writes: I noted on my calendar that you were scheduled to return from
Burgenland July 16. Below is something you might want to use sometime.

While getting started in genealogy I would suggest that you start with one or
two surnames - possibly those of your parents. That should keep you busy for
some time. After you have completed genealogies for your parents say back
500 years, you can then use your new expertise to research other surnames.
Let me put it this way...You have two parents, each of them had two parents,
and they had a total of four parents, those are your grand-parents. Then
there were eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents, and
thirty-two great-great-great grandparents. If you figure twenty-five years
between generations, only five hundred years ago there were one million,
forty-eight thousand, five hundred and seventy-six (1, 048, 576) people all
involved in your creation. That's a lot of folks counting on you to make
something of yourself, so don't let them down.

Newsletter Continues as No. 98B

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