Celia Male <celiamale@...>
Hopefully, one day, our message archive will be used
as as a place of reference for facts long-forgotten,
as our roots in Vienna, Austria at large,
Bohemia-Moravia and the huge Habsburg Empire slip
further and further into the dim, distant past.
So to add to the "Privatbeamter" correspondence, I
have had two further tit bits which shed more light on
the story of the [mainly Jewish] Habsburgian
white-collar worker of yesteryear.
Both correspondents have, of course, given me
permission to quote:
Hans Weigl in Israel writes: Let me add my "Kren":
"Beamter" [and also Privatbeamter] was an employee
with a monthly salary. "Arbeiter" was an employee with
a daily wage. "Angestellter" was both, mostly with a
Vladimir Bohinc tells us about Privatbeamter in other
Habsburg territories: "As for the Slovak Republic, I
cannot recall any. However, records were written in
German, mostly only for Germans in certain areas and
even those are not complete.
The term "Privatbeamter" is actually a typical
expression used in Jewish records, a kind of a
"Rabbinical language". It will therefore probably not
be found in Christian records, and if so, very seldom.
In Jewish records, a term "Proletarier" was used in
the in 19th century for someone who did not own land
[i.e. was landless]. Christians never used that term.
So we come to the question as to whether there were
such occupations [Privatbeamter] amongst Christians.
There were obviously Christians who worked in the
private sector - but how were they designated in vital
records? "Privatbeamter" is a wide term, but is
essentially means a clerk in a non-governmental
organisation or company.
In Slovakian it would have been Uradnik or sukromny
Uradnik. When you go into the subject in depth, you
see that the original question loses its edge. There
were such clerks >from various ethnicities/religions,
but the language used to describe their
One also has to be aware of the differences between
Czech [Austrian] records and Slovak [Hungarian]
records. I believe that the majority of Czech
Christian records were written in German, whilst
Slovak records were in Hungarian or Latin and the most
recent in Slovakian.
It is therefore much more likely that you will come
across a Christian "Privatbeamter" in Czech records
than in Slovak records, but this is only a matter of
the language used, although there were people with
this occupation/status in both countries of course."
Vladimir feel that we have given endowed the modest
Privatbeamter with too much importance and that, over
the years, it was the growing gulf between the
occupation of Jews and non-Jews which contributed to
anti-semitism. These differences reflected the state
of society and economy and by comparing the
occupations of the Jews and non-Jews over time, one can see in
which direction the two have developed and how the
gulf was created.
So there we have it - Tom Weiss's original question:
"What does a "Privatbeamter" do?" is in fact a most
complex one, which could lead us into many areas of
Celia Male [UK]