“We Are Austrian.” Part 7

So, like the Croatian lady said, “We are Austrian!” amid which there is the more proper Austro-Hungarian in which is hidden quite a number of people who are technically not either one.  Now, those may be a little of one more than the other.  A factor of the Dual Monarchy business was that Hungary administered a goodly part of the territory.  That would mean that it made sense to do things in “Hungarian ways” rather than “Austrian ways,” although either one should have been all right, maybe never mind “our ways.” Other factors played roles, too, as in what was taught in schools. At home and among family friends a usual language used might be far removed from anything like official language, but if talk be elsewhere it might make sense to be nothing else. 

So, if the people are in fact rather “hidden,” how does one go about finding out a thing or two (that is, mostly if a person is not outright Austrian or Hungarian)? There is this odd bit of information or that odd bit of information and maybe names changed some how somewhere along the line. Maybe one shouldn’t be hunting for such things, but, sometimes there can be a reason for hunting that’s worth some effort. Libraries have good stuff these days; but, it’s not unknown for someone to go so far as to seek out a genetic test. Many (maybe not all) libraries have access to quite a few official records like census records and, of course, Ellis Island records, which are good places to get started. …But, then, soon enough, one gets to another world. 

A map of that “other world” made for someone who speaks English will have a place identified with a name likely to be understood by someone who speaks English. The records mentioned above may have a different name. The choice example is Vienna which in German is not identified as Vienna. It’s possible to find a place with the old name in hand in today’s world in English.  If, for example, there’s an old map with it on it, by finding something as basic as a nearby river or a seacoast and locating that on a map understood one can sometimes get somewhere.  A "period" map for the Dual Monarchy is a revelation.   There’s a big roundish blob (Hungary) widely edged to the west and north (Austria) and sections called autonomous (Croatia). 

Some things are surely worth a smile.  Smile


Presidents’ Day & Valentine’s Day & That Austrian Stuff….

As is evident, the past six weeks herein have been devoted to a “we” being Austrian, if you come right down to it.  The topic was not expected to be as long as it has become, and there is at least one additional thing that should be wandered through, if not more as things unfold.  Meanwhile, day has dutifully followed day so that yesterday was set aside officially to remember all the people who have served the nation as a president, good or not so good, sometimes with the price being the person’s life.  That is above and beyond Friday being set aside to remember those who are beloved.  And, it’s also possible the weather can continue to be notable. 

Well, the first thing to do is pause in the discussion and at least acknowledge that the special days exist, even if there is not much discussion about them.  Both Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day have personally been appreciated.  It’s hoped others had as decent a time with them as well.  Belated Happy Valentine’s Day to anyone looking in, and it’s hoped the holiday day off was a great break from work for those that had time off with pay.  And, maybe there will be a next year with nothing over-running what is on the calendar.  As for the ‘Austria ramble,” various thoughts about it are floating around as it seems to be an important point to cover somehow. 

No cute little Valentine card is being offered as it is more than three days after the fact already.  No commentary about the presidents is going to be made other than what has already been said about Abraham Lincoln (last Tuesday).  As for the weather which is a top topic these days, while there may very well be some cold and snowy days still in the works for the northlands, people ought to be getting acclimated to it already.  It’s been discussed enough that it would be a welcome change to think about other things.  As for the now gone Dual Monarchy, even though cabbage rolls were in the talk in the place underfoot over the weekend, there’s no more room here now. 

It can take time to figure things out. 

“We Are Austrian.” Part 6

Unlike the Croatian lady who made the statement in the first place and started this bit of rambling, the “we” who are “Austrian” are a very exact segment of American society (with addenda), and nowadays it’s often obscure.  In some cases there’s little left but some warped version of a name.  In some cases some elements have been handed down or dug up, but any group of like people only have a few things in common.  And, often there was and is confusion over things that can seem the same but are actually different.  Once it all was rather concentrated in certain places;  today it is safe to say it’s scattered to an extent throughout the country.  As a basis here, technically, there is a more correct descriptive statement:  We are Austro-Hungarian. 

Austria-Hungary, per se, existed from 1867 to 1918.  National origin from that specific area in another time period would be one or the other or something entirely different.  Reference:  the American Civil War ended in 1865.  Then President Abraham Lincoln was also assassinated in that same year; but, the country continued and, officially, a new attitude toward humans in general had been set into motion surely encouraging the “Great Migrating” that began about a decade later.  The people were not explorers, colonists, abducted slaves or refugees, although it was revolutionary unrest in Europe a generation earlier that had led to the creation of the Dual Monarchy.  Aftermath of the unrest was still around later.  (The French Revolution was much earlier.)   

Although the country managed to go into food exports, it was industrialized, and it isn’t surprising that many making their way through the likes of Ellis Island were headed to manufacturing cities as well as the coal mining regions.  Some came to stay, make a new life, etc., because things were not good in the old country.  Others came for good-paying employment to get enough cash to buy land back in the old world.  Regardless of the reason, the U.S. entrance into the first world war changed things.  Some with an intent to go back never did – their familiar buildings may still be there, and the Danube still carries things out to the Black Sea, but now that’s just a river.  So today a time and place once part of life are merely in the atmosphere.  

For some for the sake of simplicity, we are Austrian. 

“We Are Austrian.” Part 5

Having detoured into religion a little, maybe it is time to explore what besides Croatian ladies might be Austrian nationally speaking.  The thing with this topic is that the more you look, the more you find.  And, for assorted historic reasons, what you find is easily  far removed from things ordinary Americans might have come across.  Furthermore, it can be difficult to figure out a good approach even if one does come across neat piles of data.  What’s best to list, modern day nations immediately near modern Austria that were once part of the empire or a list of actual nationalities (which is likely to be only a faulty attempt)?  Surprisingly, those two aren’t the same thing.  Then, there are people (nations) that were only “partly’’ Austrian…. 

An example of the problem would be something like trying to sort out what was called Czechoslovakia post World War I.  If speaking geographically or politically of nations it is considered two nations today, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  Meanwhile people who lived there in recent troubled times and who wrote books lived in what was called Czechoslovakia; they call it that, uncomfortably dating a few decent recent books.  One can also dig around in it and easily find places like Moravia (once a kingdom, hence a nation if that means a people) and “obscure” people like those called “Rusnaks” (and Rusyns or Ruthenes or a few other names) who once backed by individual Americans attempted their own little nation.  (Kievan Rus sounds best, Ruthenes is interesting.)

Go south and one also runs into things; so, okay, here are some “groups.”  It may not be everything.  It may not even be too accurate, but it is a start.  Naturally, there are the “eastern kingdom” Bavarian Germans properly today called Austrians.  There are also the far eastern invaders called Hungarians.  Croatians have already been included in the discussion as have Czechs, Slovaks (Slovakians) and some amid them.  Another group not ordinarily on maps or lists is Saxon Transylvanians (Transylvanian Saxons), who may have been Germans other than actual Saxons.  Polish people (but not all of Poland) was in the mix, as were some Romanians, Serbs, Slovenes, Italians and just plain Germans.  Bosnia was in there and Jewish people.  Some have been missed. 

Thrones are hot seats.