The symposium on selected topics of interest for the Gradišće Croatian community was organised on the 35th anniversary of the work of historian and philologist Robert Hajszan. The event also promoted Hajszan’s book Concerning Gradišće Croatian Pannonia, published last year by the Croatian Heritage Foundation.

A mini symposium was staged in Zagreb on the 16th of February by host the Croatian Heritage Foundation. The symposium speakers Željko Holjevac DSc of the University of Zagreb’s faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Sanja Vulić DSc of the Croatian Studies chair in Zagreb and Robert Hajszan DSc of the Pannonian Institute of Pinkovac were greeted by moderator Ljerka Galic, head of the CHF’s department of emigrant heritage.
Announced speakers Tomislav Jelić DSc (on the Demographic Characteristics of Gradišće and the Contributions of Robert Hajszan DSc to the Social and Cultural Life of Southern Gradišće) and CHF director Marin Knezović MSc were unable to participate due to unexpected obligations.

The gathering began in the friendly atmosphere of the gathered researchers and associates of the CHF, admirers of the achievements of Robert Hajszan DSc, representatives of the media, Dr Jasmina Kovačević-Čavlović, professor Biserka Lukan and Dubravka Severinski from the State Office for Croats Abroad and the hosts.

The program of the symposium, with the informative, fascinating and scientifically grounded observations of moderator Vesna Kukavica, covered Željko Holjevac’s discussion of Robert Hajszan’s study of southern Gradišće, Sanja Vulić’s discussion of the role of the Pannonian Yearbook in the Pannonian region and selected philological topics, and Robert Hajszan’s look at the challenges of the culture and education work in this minority community. The efforts of Croatian researchers of various profiles in the humanities in the interdisciplinary popularisation of the topic of Croatian minority communities in Central and Southeastern Europe, whose members have been active participants of multicultural milieus for five centuries have, with this symposium, as was the intention of the organisers, been presented to the broader public.

The symposium on selected topics of interest for the Gradišće Croatian community was organised on the occasion of a significant milestone in the work of historian and philologist Robert Hajszan. Hajszan’s book Concerning Gradišće Croatian Pannonia, published last year by the Croatian Heritage Foundation, was promoted. The book comprises eleven sections (essays, feuilletons and reflections) that the author has previously published in contemporary Central European periodicals in several countries.

Robert Hajszan Panonski (1948) is a Gradišće Croatian linguist and historian, the author of many books and research papers and lives in the town of Pinkovac in the southern Gradišće (Burgenland) region in Austria. He established the Pannonian Institute in Pinkovac in 1993 and launched the Pannonian Yearbook and the Pannonian News, which he edits. He is also known as an editor of school manuals and textbooks, independent collections of poetry, miscellanies and anthologies of contemporary Croatian poetry. Notable among his published work are: Ignac Horvat (1979), Pinkovski Hrvati (The Croatians of Pinkovac, 1983), Gradišćanski Hrvati na Batthyányevoj gospošćini Novi Grad (The Croatians of Gradišće on the Batthyány Estate of Novi Grad, 1986), Die Kroaten der Herrschaft Güssing (1991), Die Bevölkerung der Herrschaft Rechnitz-Schlaining im 16. Jahrhundert (1992) and others. Hajszan’s work on collecting, studying and publishing Gradišće Croatian material is of exceptional value, not only for the culture history of Croatian minority communities – especially in present day Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – but also to homeland philosophers and historians engaged in the systematic study and research of the half millennium long existence of the Gradišće Croatian community outside the country of origin.

On behalf of the director of the Croatian Heritage Foundation a commendation was presented to Robert Hajszan Panonski by Ljerka Galic to honour his thirty-five years or work as a publicist, in education and culture and the founding of the Pannonian Institute in Pinkovac (Güttenbach) in the Austrian federal state of Gradišće (Burgenland). Mr Hajszan thanked the CHF for its recognition of his work and expressed his hope that his long time collaboration with Zagreb would continue.

Text by: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek; Photos by: Snježana Radoš

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