Austria - Czech
Meet Our Authors and Contributors.....

-Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr.

Mila, as Dr. Rechcigl prefers to be called, is the current President of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), an international professional organization based in Washington, DC. He is a native of Mlada Boleslav, Czechoslovakia, who escaped from his native land in 1949 when the communists gained control of that country. He entered the United States in 1950 and has lived here since. 
    Mila studied at Cornell University from 1951-58, earning his B.S., M.N.S. and Ph.D. degrees, specializing in biochemistry, nutrition, physiology, and food science. He then worked two years as a postdoctoral fellow, conducting research at the National Institutes of Health. Subsequently he was appointed to the staff of the Laboratory of Biochemistry at the National Cancer Institute. During 1968-69 he was selected for one year of training in a special United States Public Health Service executive program in research management, grants administration, and science policy. This training led to his appointment as Special Assistant for Nutrition and Health in the Health Services and Mental Health Administration. In 1970 he joined the Agency for International Development as Nutrition Advisor and soon was promoted to Chief of the Research and Institutional Grants Division. Later he became a Director, with responsibility for reviewing, administering and managing AIDS research.  He is the author or editor of more than thirty books and handbooks in the fields of biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, food science and technology, agriculture, and international development, as well as a large number of scientific articles and book chapters. 
    Apart from his purely scientific endeavors as a researcher and science administrator, Dr. Rechcigl has devoted nearly 40 years to the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU). During 1960-62, he served as secretary of the SVU's Washington, D.C. Chapter. He was responsible for developing the Society's successful first two World Congresses, which brought world recognition to the organization.  He also edited and arranged for publication of the World Congress lectures under the titles "The Czechoslovak Contribution to World Culture" (1964, 682 p.), and "Czechoslovakia Past and Present" (1968, 2 volumes, 1900 p.). These publications received acclaim in American academic circles, and further contributed to the growing worldwide prestige of the Society.  Mila has actively participated in most of the subsequent SVU World Congresses, including the recent SVU Congresses in Prague, Brno, and Bratislava. Prior to his current term as the SVU President, he held similar posts during 1974-76, 1976-78, and again in 1994-96, and 1996-98. In 1999, in conjunction with President Havel's visit to Minnesota, he organized a memorable conference at the University of Minnesota on "Czech and Slovak America: Quo Vadis?"
     Together with his wife Eva, Mila published seven editions of the SVU Biographical Directory and currently is working on the next edition. He was instrumental in launching a new English periodical, "Kosmas - Czechoslovak and Central European Journal."  He was instrumental in establishing the SVU Research Institute and creating the SVU Commission for Cooperation with Czechoslovakia and its Succession States, which played an important role in the first years after the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
     Mila worked actively to establish the National Heritage Commission, whose aim is to preserve Czech and Slovak cultural heritage in America. Under its aegis, he has undertaken a comprehensive survey of Czech-related historic sites and archival material in the US. Toward this end, he has already compiled a tentative listing, "Czech-American Historic Suites, Monuments, and Memorials." 
     Among historians, Dr. Rechcigl is well-known for his studies on history, genealogy, and the bibliography of American Czechs and Slovaks. Many of his publications discuss the early immigrants from the Czechlands and Slovakia, and include the history of Czech/Slovak Jewish pioneers in America and the immigration of Moravian Brethren. Most recently, he has been researching the cultural contributions of American Czechs and Slovaks.
     His genealogy publications include such titles as "The Descendants of Augustine Herman, The First Lord of Bohemia Manor;" "Moravian Brethren from Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia: Their Arrival and Settlement;" "The Demuth Genealogy Revisited: A Moravian Brethren Family from Czechoslovakia;" "Another Visit to Moravian Demuths; The Czech Roots of Erdmuthe Dorothea, Countess of Zinzendorf (1700-1756);" "U.S. Legislators with Czechoslovak Roots from Colonial Times to Present -  with Genealogical Lineages." Mila extensively researched the genealogy of several Czech-American Jewish families, particularly the BLOCHS (who arrived at the beginning of the 19th century), the TAUSSIGS and the FLEXNERS (who arrived in 1848).   Closer to home, he is now pursuing comparable research relating to his wife's family, including the surnames EISNER (of Kaliste, Humpolec, Chotebor and Jenikov), TAUSSIG (of Benesov), AUER (of Serava and Prague), KRAUS (of Dolni Kralovice), WIENER (of Prague), MEISL (of Zehusice and Benesov), MUNK (of Prague), STEINDLER (of Benesov) and WEINER (of Pisek).
    In 1991, on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences awarded him the Hlavka Memorial Medal. In 1997 he received a newly-established prize, "Gratias agit," from the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

Phone: (301) 881-7222; FAX: (301) 881-9667
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-Henry Wellisch

     Henry Wellisch was born in Vienna in 1922.  In 1940 he accompanied his
parents on an "illegal" transport to Palestine.  Their ship was apprehended by the British, and its passengers were deported to Mauritius where they were detained for the duration of the war.  In 1944, Henry volunteered for the Jewish Brigade and served in Western Europe.  In the spring of
1945, the Mauritius refugees were allowed to enter Palestine and, in 1948, Henry served with the Israeli army during the War of Independence.
     Since 1951, Henry has lived in Canada and worked for many years as a civil engineering technologist.  He began to research his family background in 1981, tracing his family back into the middle of the 18th century.  His research has helped him establish contact with long lost relatives in many countries.
     Henry is now retired but active in various community organizations. He served as President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada (Toronto) from 1993 to 1998.

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Adolf Dasha Bergmann

Adolf (Ozer ben Aharon) Bergmann, called Dasha, was born in Praha May 28, 1924.  He went in October 1939 to Denmark with the Youth Aliyah organization, escaped in October 1943 to Sweden (Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany 1940-45).  In 1944-45 he served as a volunteer in the Free Czechoslovak Army in UK & France, and was later awarded the Czechoslovakian War Cross.   He later earned the degree of B.Sc. in dairy technology at the Agriculture University of Denmark. 
     Dasha, his wife and their 4 children live in Copenhagen. At the end of World War II, Dasha was the sole surviving descendant of his grandfather Adolf. The loss of Dasha's family and close relatives was a shadow that has fallen over the rest of his life.
     Through his occupation as a milk powder expert working for companies with worldwide activities, Dasha was able to locate relatives around the globe and collect information about the Bergmann family. After his retirement in 1991 he used the knowledge accumulated from these  relatives in developing his family tree. He also wrote his memoirs, a family documentary from 1928-56, meant especially for his children. He has passed on to his children the beautiful traditions he learned to love in his parental home.

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E. Randol Schoenberg

Austria-Czech SIG founding member and co-moderator, E. Randol Schoenberg was born in Los Angeles in 1966 and has been researching his family tree since 1974.  His ancestors include the composers Arnold Schoenberg and Eric Zeisl, and several other notables of Bohemian-Moravian descent.  Randy is the author of two Austria-Czech reference works: "Getting Started With Czech-Jewish Genealogy" and the "Beginner's Guide to Austrian-Jewish Genealogy".  He is also the originator of Austria-Czech SIG'sGemeindeView Project and coordinates Austria-Czech SIG's participation in the Yad Vashem Database Project.

     His personal home page provides access to his family tree.  Professionally, Randy is an attorney, practicing civil litigation from his own firm

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