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The IPA Provincial Group Burgenland - from its foundation to the present day

Burgenland, as the youngest federal state of the Republic of Austria, was considered until a few years ago to be the "poorhouse" of our state due to its geographical location, its approx. 400 km long eastern border with the Iron Curtain, and the resulting lack of infrastructure.

However, this does not mean that the executive did not function in this federal state and that there was no feeling of togetherness. On the contrary. For decades we have been the safest province in Austria and despite the opening of the border in 1989 we can still maintain our position among the leaders. And this is a very special achievement of our Burgenland security organs. Be it the Federal Armed Forces, the judiciary, the police (until 2005 also the gendarmerie) or the customs guard which was dissolved on 30 April 2004 - among the officials of all guard bodies there has always been the best agreement. Although we "fought" side by side for the security of the citizens in our country since the end of the Second World War, there was no independent organisation in Burgenland until 1960 that would have represented the common interests of the civil servants.

Original Invitation to the First General Assembly 23 June 1963

Founded by Karl Schranz

The name Karl Schranz, he was then a servant in the Burgenland Provincial Gendarmerie Command, and the IPA Burgenland Provincial Group are inextricably linked.

It is no longer possible to determine when and where the idea of founding a national group was born. However, it is documented and thus clearly proven that Karl Schranz was the founder of our national group and sent the second newsletter to his IPA friends on October 11, 1960. Schranz to it - literal excerpt:

"Some comrades will have asked themselves the question whether in such a restless time, when everything seems to be on the hunt for material goods, it is not a risk to speak the word of an association that promises neither material advantages nor support in professional advancement, that is not a professional representation and also refuses to be compared with a travel agency, to serve an association in such a time that requires members to selflessly devote themselves to an idea."

And yet this idea has spread step by step across the continent and the world and yet over 10,000 police and gendarmerie officers from almost all Western European states and overseas countries have now joined this association!".

Founder Karl Schranz and the later head of the national group Hans Riepl at the handover of the farm in 1973
Founder Karl Schranz and the later head of the national group Hans Riepl at the handover of the farm in 1973.

In his newsletter Karl Schranz further informs about the activities of the IPA France and writes that 1800 police and gendarmerie officers, 300 of them in Paris alone, were received and cared for by their French colleagues every year. A service that hardly any institution could offer at the time. A trip or even a vacation was hardly affordable for many executive officers in the 60s. With the support of the IPA, many colleagues were able to get to know other countries as well as the work of the police there and make numerous friendships, which had a very positive effect on the service.

First General Assembly - Membership fee Schilling 5.-

The first general assembly of the IPA Burgenland regional group took place on Friday, 23 June 1961, at 09:00 a.m. in the meeting room of the Burgenland Provincial Command of Arms Control.

The amount of the membership fee was also decided at this meeting and set at five Schilling (0.36 Euro) plus 30 Groschen booking fee. Neutral postal payment slips should be used for payment. As no account was yet available, the amounts were paid into the account of the Gendarmeriesportvereines Burgenland for the time being.

Although the Burgenland Provincial Group had been active for several months, this 23 June 1961 is considered to be the official founding day.

Members come in "droves"

Where the Provincial Group of Burgenland had a total of 27 members on its foundation day, this number had already tripled at the first plenary meeting in 1963. After only two years, we Burgenland had already become the second largest section within IPA Austria. Thanks still today to the founder and all functionaries!

Great celebration of the 10th anniversary

This upswing continued in the following years and with the 10th anniversary of its foundation the first commemorative publication of the IPA regional group Burgenland was published. In the greetings, the functionaries emphasized above all the activities of this still young association of executive officials. In his foreword, Colonel Michael Lehner, the then Commander of the State Gendarmerie, writes that it will be indispensable for the future to correspond with the executive organs of all countries for the benefit of the population and to solve problems quickly through personal contacts. How right he was!

The celebrations for this tenth anniversary took place on 24 and 25 June 1971 in Eisenstadt and began with a festive meeting in the Landhaus. The supporting programme consisted of a reception in the cellar of Esterházy Castle, the event ended with a joint lunch in the "former Gendarmenwirtshaus" Wimmer (no longer in existence) in Schützen/Geb.

Present in the media

In 1973 a new executive committee was elected and Hans Riepl was appointed chairman of the regional group for the first time. He held this position until the end of 2002 with a nine-year interruption. Under his leadership, the IPA Burgenland also "opened up" to the outside world and attempts were made to be present in the media. Just one year after taking office, an article appeared for the first time in Austria's largest daily newspaper, the "Krone", introducing our Burgenland organisation. Through international contacts this biography was printed in the "Nürnberger Trichter". Our first social evening in Oberwart was also held in 1973. It was a successful celebration, to which also many colleagues from other Lands of the Federal Republic came. The Burgenland was discovered now - about which we were particularly pleased - appreciably as vacation country by colleagues from Switzerland, Germany and Italy. Even executive officers from the USA had announced themselves as guests and had to be cared for. Thus our national group was appreciated particularly in these countries and soon followed invitations to return visits.

20 years group Burgenland - celebration with IPA-Ball in Bad Tatzmannsdorf

Our 20th anniversary was celebrated in Oberwart and Bad Tatzmannsdorf. The festivities began on 16 May 1980 with a meeting of the extended federal executive committee in the congress hall of the Kurmittelhaus in Bad Tatzmannsdorf.

Not only the colleagues of the federal executive committee were present, but also numerous personalities of the public life, from economics and politics, as well as many representatives of the authorities and offices. On 17 May the working session was held and afterwards there was a reception at the mayor of Bad Tatzmannsdorf.

The highlight of the 20th anniversary celebration in 1980 was the 6th IPA Ball in the newly designed halls of the Bad Tatzmannsdorf spa restaurant. The young ladies and gentlemen committee at the opening
The highlight of the 20th anniversary celebration in 1980 was the 6th IPA Ball in the newly designed halls of the Bad Tatzmannsdorf spa restaurant. The young ladies and gentlemen committee at the opening.

The highlight of this anniversary year was the 6th IPA Ball (which had meanwhile become a fixed point in the annual calendar of events) in the newly designed halls of the spa restaurant. The young ladies and gentlemen committee shone with a polonaise rehearsed by AbtInsp Michael Scharaditsch. The "Kugler Sextet" from St. Margarethen provided the musical accompaniment. One could report here about numerous further events of the last years. But the place would not be enough for that and in addition probably numerous readers can remember the many activities of the recent past of our national group still exactly.

Active to the Present - Committed to the Socially Needy

"Servo per Amikeco - Serving in friendship" - this is the motto we have followed meticulously from the foundation to the present and we want to continue to do so in the future. For us, friendship means helping when someone needs help quickly and unbureaucratically. And this is where we are particularly committed. In recent times there has not been a colleague who has got into trouble through no fault of her own and who has not been supported with at least a small amount of money at his request. Here above all chairman Konrad Luckenberger as well as the contact point leaders in Oberwart and Jennersdorf, Adolf Kalchbrenner and Alfred Sach, are mentioned.

Travelling and contact

Common excursions have a firm place in our annual planning. Trips abroad to Sicily, Turin or Rome will always be remembered. However, we also make every effort to maintain contact with our domestic colleagues. We like to visit their events and remember many beautiful hours in the individual federal states. We would like to mention here - just to mention a few meetings - the 50th anniversary of the Styria Regional Group or the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Vorarlberg Regional Group. In both federal states we were guests with a delegation in 2009. In the "Grüner Mark", we were particularly impressed by the Lipizzaner demonstration at the Piber stud farm. From the "Ländle", we will especially remember the trip with the Sun King on Lake Constance and the tour of the flower island of Mainau. We are also pleased that we are allowed to write contributions for commemorative publications of the other national groups and are always present in the periodical Panorama.

Good-humoured Burgenlanders at the Gala Dinner at Graz-Thalerhof Airport
Good-humoured Burgenlanders at the gala dinner at Graz-Thalerhof Airport

Where until the late 90s the highlight of our events was the ball in the spa Bad Tatzmannsdorf, this is now the family celebration in the "Lucky Town", the small town of the Wild West, on the outskirts of Großpetersdorf. There we meet in the summer of each year and spend a great afternoon, which ends for the parents sometimes only in the early morning hours. Since our children are allowed to follow in the footsteps of the western heroes Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, the event is becoming more and more popular.

Thank you for gifts saying brilliant children eyes to Adolf Kalchbrenner
Thanks for gifts saying brilliant children eyes to Adolf Kalchbrenner
Parents and children are happy about many activities in the Luck-Town Großpetersdorf
Parents and children are happy about many activities in Luck-Town Großpetersdorf

16th National Congress - for many a lasting memory

Already for the second time (1987 in Neusiedl/See) the Burgenland was the venue of a National Congress (7 to 11 May 2008) of the Austrian Section. For this event, which was held for the 16th time in Austria, we chose the south of our country and found the best conditions for "work and leisure" in the Stegersbach thermal spa. An extremely large number of participants as well as many positive feedback confirmed that we could offer a great program to all visitors. For the festive meeting we smelled of the venerable Haydn Hall in Esterházy Castle in Eisenstadt and combined it with a guided tour of the castle. A visit in the Uhudler region around Heiligenbrunn, coffee and cake in Aloisia´s Mehlspeiskuchl (known as wedding baker) in Badersdorf, a "Burgenländerabend" with Tamborizza and Heurigenmusik in Großpetersdorf as well as a gala evening in the Thermenhotel Stegersbach were further highlights of a successful event of which we as organizers are still proud today.

Regulator inlet

In the 44 years of our existence, we can draw an extraordinarily positive balance. The fact that we are working very successfully is shown by the proud number of members, a total of 2,212 (as of September 2004). If you consider that there were 27 members at the time of the foundation, we can be very proud of this development.

We are happy to welcome you to our Home-Page - please continue browsing, you will learn a lot more about the activities of the Provincial Group Burgenland as well as about the history of this country at the former Iron Curtain, but also about the country and its people.

Our Management Board

Chairman: Konrad Luckenberger, Deputy Chairman: Franz Füzy, Treasurer: Adolf Binder, Deputy Treasurer: Seper Michael, Secretary: Marion Somogyi, Deputy Secretary: Reitbauer Alexander

Our Board - ready for work in the IPA according to the motto "SERVO PER AMIKECO"
Our Executive Board - ready for work in the IPA according to the motto "SERVO PER AMIKECO"!

We will be happy to help you with words and deeds - just give us a call or send us an eMail.