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Opening Message for the Exhibit “Our Americans”
March 26, 2021

Liebe Burgenländerinnen und Burgenländer!

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this exhibit., just like my fellow Americans welcomed your ancestors to the United States. At the U.S. Embassy, we are well aware of the close relationship that binds Burgenland and the United States together. In fact, our shared history was highlighted in a travelling exhibit a few years ago when we celebrated 175 Years of U.S.-Austrian diplomatic relations. The New York, Chicago and Pittsburgh areas became principal centers of Burgenland life in the United States, with Stegersbach and Northampton, Pennsylvania even forging a city partnership 50 years ago. The many contributions of Burgenlanders to U.S. academia, cuisine and music continue to both enrich and connect us.

When we think about well-known Burgenlanders who have made essential contributions to our country, Fred Astaire, who had family roots in Eisenstadt, comes to mind. Our cinematic heritage would not be the same without the work of this outstanding dancer and choreographer. We also think of Richard Berczeller, a member of the Jewish community of Mattersburg who fled to the United States in 1938. Beyond being the “Displaced Doctor” as he referred to himself, Richard Berczeller was a highly regarded political activist who kept close ties to his homeland Austria throughout his long and rich life. The list goes on. Americans and Burgenlanders are two of a kind: adventurous, industrious, hard-working, and fun-loving. At the U.S. Embassy we look forward to close cooperation during this anniversary year 2021 and beyond. Happy birthday, Burgenland, and many happy returns.