Martin Jurban
Elisabeth Eckert


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Martin Eckert

Elisabeth Eckert

  • Born: 7 Mar 1822, Tauer
  • Marriage: Martin Eckert 11 Jul 1846, Tauer
  • Died: 23 May 1915, Emu Downs, at age 93

bullet  Research Notes:

OLAF I. TRYGGVESSON (969-1000) was born in 969, and began his meteoric career in exile. It is even said that he was bought as a slave in Esthonia. After a boyhood spent in Novgorod under the protection of King Valdemar, Olaf fought for the emperor Otto III. under the Wendish king Burislav, whose daughter he had married. On her death he followed the example of his countrymen, and harried in France and the British Isles, till, in a good day for the peace of those countries, he was converted to Christianity by a hermit in the Scilly Islands, and his marauding expeditions ceased since he would not harry those of his new faith. In England he married Gyda, sister of Olaf Kvaran, king of Dublin, and it was only after some years spent in administering her property in England and Ireland that he set sail for Norway, fired by reports of the unpopularity of its ruler Earl Haakon. Arriving in Norway in the autumn of 995, he was unanimously accepted as king, and at once set about the conversion of the country to Christianity, undeterred by the obstinate resistance of the people. It has been suggested that Olaf's ambition was to rule a united, as well as a Christian, Scandinavia, and we know that he made overtures of marriage to Sigrid, queen of Sweden, and set about adding new ships to his fleet, when negotiations fell through owing to her obstinate heathenism. He made an enemy of her, and did not hesitate to involve himself in a quarrel with King Sveyn of Denmark by marrying his sister Thyre, who had fled from her heathen husband Burislav in defiance of her brother's authority. Both his Wendish and his Irish wife had brought Olaf wealth and good fortune, but Thyre was his undoing, for it was on an expedition undertaken in the year roco to wrest her lands from Burislav that he was waylaid off the island Svold, near Riigen, by the combined Swedish and Danish fleets, together with the ships of Earl Haakon's sons. The battle ended in the annihilation of the Norwegians. Olaf fought to the last on his great vesselj the " Long Snake," the mightiest ship in the North, and finally leapt overboard and was no more seen. Full of energy and daring, skilled in the use of every kind of weapon, genial and
open-handed to his friends, implacable to his enemies, Olaf's personality was the ideal of the heathendom he had trodden down with such reckless disregard of his people's prejudices, and it was no doubt as much owing to the popularity his character won for him as to the strength of his position that he was able to force his will on the country with impunity. After his death he remained the hero of his people, who whispered that he was yet alive and looked for his return. " But however that may be," says the story, " Olaf Tryggvesson never came back to his kingdom in Norway."

"A little group of strangers in this very strange land"
by Jozica Gerden
Across this vast and remote land of North Western and Eastern Victoria, to the well known Barossa Valley and other country areas of South Australia, there is a strong representation of the group of people who identify themselves as Wends from Silesia and Lusatia; although Australians rather describe them as the 'old German immigrants'. I have met a number of them and upon learning their names and their Windisch background, they tell me they are not really German, but rather Windisch or Wends or Veneti from Germany or Austria. At once there is a warmth between us, perhaps due to our historical connection.
Last year I met with Fr. Ivan Tomazic at the Slovenian World Congress meeting in Tinje, Austria, who is the co-author of the books on history: "Veneti - First Builders of European Community". Since then I have read the book on Slovenian Venetian background and studied this well documented theory about 'Veneti' with great interest.
Ivan Tomazic states: "My intention is to present in a clear and accessible manner, important evidence showing that we Slovenes are a people rooted in central Europe since time immemorable. We created our own social system, and the first form of statehood before the Roman times (Noric Kingdom). We re-established them in the Middle Ages, and we have maintained the same foundation of social and judicial organisation in the tradition of our village community up to modern times..."
The Veneti - In the region extending from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic, the Po River region and further south into Apennines, numerous Slovene or Slavic names aroused the attention of linguists and other researchers during the last century...archaeologists have shown that the bearers of the Urnfield culture came from Lusatia and were, according to research, Proto-Slavic Veneti or Wends. (*3, page 72)
...Polish science gives its attention in further studies predominantly to the area of present Poland and neighbour regions.... and have confirmed two fundamental points:
Lusatian culture is to be regarded as the foundation on which the development of Proto-Slavs or Veneti took place; and
the Veneti or Wends are to be regarded as bearers of the ensuing Urnfield culture, which spread outward into different areas of Europe, including the Mediterranean region;
The ruins of the fortified settlements in the area of Lusatian culture show that its bearers possessed a strong military organisation and often battled with neighbouring Scythian and Germanic tribes...." (*3, page 78)
I came across many more articles and also met such people as a living example of our common history. But, this well proven theory has been ignored and even denied by the official Slovenian and European historians. One must understand that no current nation in Europe would like to acknowledge that within their borders, their population does not consist entirely of their original indigenous people. Many European countries hold a large population of old Venetic culture.
...The School of Gustav Kossinna "lex kossinna" has a profound influence not only on ensuing German historiography, but on European history-writing in general. According to Kossinna school, ancestors of the Germans were the Indo-Germanic people from Indo-European background. Only the Celts, Romans, and Germanic people were seen as bearers of European culture. Slavs, on the other hand, who came out of the Pripet swamps in the 6th century, and consequently were at a low level of civilisation, could have adopted their culture only from the central-European culture-bearers. Under the pretext of bringing culture and progress to the "unhistorical, primitive" Slavs, the Germans justified their nationalistic eastward expansion and the so-called bridge to the Adriatic...(*3, page 73)
* * *
Recently I shared the book "Veneti" with a local and a much respected pastor Mr. Noel Uebergang, who displayed great interest about the Wendish history. He introduced me to the Holy Bible in their original language and also to his well documented family history which was compiled in detail in the following books: "Mirtschin (Mercin) Family in Australia from 1851 - 1990" and "A Little Leaven The Peucker History" from 1853 - 1984. These great and well known families have openly and proudly professed the cultural and historical background of their Wendish culture. Such historical texts have inspired and amazed me as I have developed an awareness of these "little group of strangers in this very strange land".
Noel's great great grandfather, Johann Mirtschin, with his family was one of the vast number of pioneer families from Tabor and Gnadenthal in Western Victoria who were considered to be German, but who were in fact Wendish of the Slavic race, also called Sorbs. Johann was born into a very different community, in the village of Steindorfel in 1809 in what was the Kingdom of Saxony, who married Maria Gude in Saxony. They made their home in Doehlen by the river Spree, the ancient hiding ground of the Wends in times of war. The political turmoil throughout Europe had an impact on Saxony during the occupation of Napoleon and his forces. The instability of the political scene lasted into 1840's and combined with some dissatisfaction with the church scene, poor harvests over successive drought seasons and subsequent lack of sufficient food and depression times, all led to the longing for a more peaceful existence in Australia.
Saxony was a kingdom with everything officially done in German. The Sorbs-Wends were an ethnic minority and not all could speak German well. Place names had their official German names but also their Wendish names. Johann Mirtschin was known back home as Jan Mercin.
Wends were a very superstitious people who prized personal freedom. Crimes against the individual, family or tribe were severely punished. The marriage bond was held sacred among them. Often called 'stubborn' the Wends were tenacious people who defended themselves at all costs. Once converted to Christianity they displayed a warm hearted faith and intense religious feeling, persevering and imparting their faith to their children regardless of cost or effort. The Wends were hardy, stocky and strong-boned people. Most have wavy brown hair. They have a great capacity to endure pain and hardship. They were not easily discouraged and their determination grew in the face of opposition. They loved trees, art and singing. A deep-feeling people, their loyalty was not lightly withdrawn once given. They were energetic and ambitious; a mystical people, they leaned readily towards spiritualism and prophesies. They raised large families and lived long lives...
In 1848 there were political uprisings throughout the German States. The Wends rejoiced when they saw the end of the feudal system. Their flag was shown for the first time at the pan-Slavic congress, which was held in 1848 in Prague. In Saxony, the Wends presented a petition to the Royal Saxon Assembly. These requests for recognition did not get a very favourable reaction and only a few were met. Their joy was short-lived when they found that the land they wished to till was expensive. Unemployment was wide spread. In 1849 there was an uprising in Dresden, the capital of Saxony, and Prussian troops were to be brought in.
Jan and Maria Mercin had good reasons to emigrate to Australia. The barge 'Helene' with a group of Sorbs finally left Hamburg on 19 August 1851. There was a strong bond within their culture and against the Germans. Together the travellers found comfort in singing their precious hymns when they needed to be reminded of God's sustaining grace. The barge 'Helene' arrived in Port Adelaide on Christmas Eve 1851 after being on board for some 16 weeks. Johann and Maria with their three surviving children (two died at sea) travelled to Rosenthal where there were other Sorbs and Wends living around Lyndoch in Barossa Valley. A year later they had moved to Portland with enthusiasm after the exploration party had returned. Portland was a desirable place for newly arrived immigrants of any nationality to settle, for the town economy was severely depressed. The paper 'Guardian' reported: "Come, good Germans, come and cultivate our lands and grind our cornu They were in fact expecting 300 German families, but were disappointed at the arrival of 11 wagons and families only. The Mercin family finally established themselves and built their home in Gnadenthal in the times of the gold rush in Victoria around Ballarat area. "Gnadenthal", meaning "The Valley of Grace" was the name given to their new little community in Australia. The early years at Gnadenthal were busy and most difficult for Johann and Maria's families and their neighbours. But this Sorb-Wendish community was close-knit. Most of the families had known each other before emigrating, some were even related. They were bound together by their cultural identity, which gradually disappeared, their longing for a better life and their old Lutheran faith. Jan and Maria Mercin had 13 children and of their seven surviving children, five married Sorbs. The Mirtschin family could look back over an incredible journey through life across continents, through joys and sorrows in the company of faithful friends and fellow-believers...
The words "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord" which appeared in the death notice for Johann in 1878, apply equally to the matriarch and patriarch of the Mirtschin family in Australia... (*1,pages 10-12)
...The origin of the Peucker family also reaches back to Silesia (Prussia), where Edward was born in the year 1791 in Kowary and died 1876 in Berlin. Name Peuker means 'baker' in English (in Slovenian 'Pekar') and is a Wendish name. When the first of the Peukers arrived in Australia, gold mining was in full swing in the Victorian Ballarat area. The Wendish group from South Australia travelled via Mount Gambier to Portland, then further to Tabor, Gnadental and Penhurst. The Victorian government welcomed the influx of these good-working 'Germans' and gave them financial assistance for land, for their churches and schools and even paid allowances for pastors and teachers. In 1871 the Wimmera was opened up for settlement and many immigrants took advantage of this Victorian Selection Act. The Peuker story in Australia has its cradle around Warrnambool and it spread throughout Western district of Victoria, Wimmera, to north eastern Victoria and the Riverina and, even further, to Perth and Qld.
Life wasn't all rosy for the New Australians. Apart from the long hours of toil, the primitive equipment and the lack of education, it was still better then back in Prussia. They reminded themselves again and again of the hardship they faced in the old country. They put their backs behind the plough, built churches and thanked God for their new lot in life...(*2, pages 10 -11)
"By the singleness of purpose, their hard work, and perhaps most of all the revealing of God's grace in their lives, this Sorbian/Wendish families had flourished. A little group of strangers in a very strange land." (*1,page 16)
Reference: Information in this article was collected, and some transcripts were taken from the following books:
"Mirtschin Family in Australia from 1851 - 1990";
"A Little Leaven The Peucker History" from 1853 - 1984.) published in Australia, 1990;
"Veneti - First Builders of European Community" by Jozko Savli, Matej Bor and Ivan Tomazic, published in 1996 in Austria.
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Sorb People (Brandenburg and Saxony, Germany)
Sorben, Wenden
Last modified: 2002-05-10 by santiago dotor <>
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<Sorb People (Brandenburg and Saxony, Germany)_files/de-sorbs.gif> <Sorb People (Brandenburg and Saxony, Germany)_files/de-sorbs.gif>3:5 <> <>
by Carsten Linke
Flag adopted <> 23rd March 1848, abolished 1935 <>, readopted 17 May 1945

Introduction <>
Description <>
Flag Legislation <>
Domowina Emblem <>
Lower Lusatia Region <> (Niederlausitz, Brandenburg)
Upper Lusatia Region <> (Oberlausitz, Saxony)
Municipal Flags in the Sorb region:
City of Forst / Baršç <> (Brandenburg)
City of Guben / Gubin <> (Brandenburg)
City of Hoyerswerda / Wojerecy <> (Saxony)

See also:
Brandenburg <> (Germany)
Saxony <> (Sachsen, Germany)
Germany <>


There is a tiny nation in Central Europe called Sorbs, which has no contemporary relation to the Balcanic Serbs <> (they are both Slavic nations, of course). Germans call this nation Sorbs (Sorben) or Wends (Wenden). With 150,000 souls, they are the smallest Slavic nation in existence. They live in the region of Germany called Lausitz (Luzice), on the rivers Neisse (Nysa) and Spree. Their region encloses the south-east of Brandenburg <> state and eastern Saxony <>. The most important cities are Cottbus, Lübben and Bautzen. They are the descendants of the Western Slavs who in 6th-10th centuries A.D. controlled what is today north-eastern Germany <>. I understand that their cultural life is quite active, they have their own press, schools and a political organization (Domovina).
Greg D., 29 August 1995 and
Thomas Binder, 4 August 1998
I did some report on the Sorbs in December 1993. I went to Bautzen (Budysin) and I interviewed people in the Domowina (the general organisation of Sorbs), the Sorb programme in the MDR Radio Station and the Serbski Institut. (...) So my information:
The Sorbs did also suffer of the totalitarian regime of the former German Democratic Republic <> (GDR). Budysin was the place of an infamous jail. Of course the GDR had a very politically correct discourse on the minorities, just like in former USSR <>.
Back to democracy the Sorbs convened and refounded the Domowina as a true cultural gathering of the Sorbs.
A man in the Domowina building showed me a 1946 map with Lusatia (the land of Sorbs) annexated to Czechoslovakia <>. It seemed some Americans <> had these ideas of unification of the Western Slavs (but not the Poles <>).
Jean-François Blanc, 15 November 1999
The modern name for the Wends is Sorbs (Vendes also included some other West Slav people, but these are now extinct/assimilated in Germany). The Sorbs live in Southeast Germany (Saxony <> mostly) nowadays. The Saxons came from [Lower] Saxony too — roughly the same area as is now Saxony-Anhalt <> and Lower Saxony <> in Germany, if I understand it correctly — present day Saxony <> on the other hand, was not Saxon land in those days.
The king of Sweden <> had the title King of the Wends until 1973 (...) when our present king succeeded to the throne and thought this part of the title was out of fashion. Swedish kings had borne this title since some time in the middle ages. This had also led to the arms of the Wends (Gules a dragon Or <>) being used in official Swedish decorations. The origin for this part of the title of the Swedish king is to be found in the 1540's, when King Gustaf I took up this title; it was used by the Danish king, and King Gustaf took it as an answer to the fact that the Danish king <> styled himself Goters konge (king of the Gotlanders). Gotland had been Swedish in the Middle Ages, but conquered by Denmark. The Danish king took the title King of the Vendes in the second half of the 12th Century, when the Danes were crusading against the Wends and forced them to accept Danish supremacy. Although the Danish power on the north coast of present day Mecklenburg-Pomerania <> was taken over by German princes, the title was kept — I do not know if the Danish Queen is still styled Queen of the Wends, though.
It can be added that in the 16th century, when Gustaf I took this title, the Wends were mistaken for Vandals, which were said to have been beaten by the Goths at the Time of the great Migration, and the Goths (who were also considered to have given name to Götaland and Gotland) were supposed to have had the same origin as the Swedes... Source: Nationalencyklopedin, 1990's.
Elias Granqvist, 11 September 2000
Queen Margrethe discarded a number of her father's titles, when she succeeded in 1972. Her father, Frederik IX, was Konge til Danmark, de Venders og Goters, Hertug til Slesvig, Holsten, Stormarn, Ditmarsken, Lauenborg og Oldenborg [i.e. King of Denmark, of the Wends and Goths, Duke of Schleswig, Holstein, Stormarn, Dithsmarchen, Lauenburg and Oldenburg]. Margrethe II is Danmarks Dronning [Queen of Denmark]. (...)
Ole Andersen, 11 September 2000
The Sorb people have their own culture, language, press, schools and a political organization (Domowina). In the year 1912, the organization Domowina (in Sorb 'native country') was established in Lusatia (Lausitz). The organization was an alliance of the Sorb minorities of Lower and Upper Lusatia. The Sorb group of the Wends (Wenden) lives in Lower Lusatia <> (Niederlausitz). They are Protestants. In the Upper Lusatia <> (Oberlausitz) the group of the Catholic Sorbs, the Sorben or Serben (not to be confused with the South Slavic Serbs <>). The Sorbs call their country Serbstwo or Serbska, 'country of the Sorbs'. The Domowina was forbidden from 1939 to 1945 and was established 1945 again.
The Sorbs people fly officially since 23th March 1848 the known flag, horizontally blue-red-white in proportion 3:5. In the year 1842, the flag was first hoisted in the village of Lohsa (near to Hoyerswerda, Oberlausitz District). This was also forbidden under the nationalsocialist regime <>. On 17th May 1945, the flag was hoisted officially. As soon as April 1945, at the end of World War Two, the Sorbs greeted the Polish and Soviet troops with the Sorb flag.
There is no current law on the Sorb flag. The sequence of the colors and their official use are established in the constitutions of Saxony and Brandenburg <>, whereby the use of the flag is officially allowed. In Saxony, the use of a Sorb coat-of-arms is also allowed. There is no coat-of-arms of the Sorbs however, only the Domowina uses an emblem <>, regarded as the unofficial emblem of the Sorb people.
Both Lower Lusatia <> and Upper Lusatia <> have flags.
Jens Pattke, 27 March 2001


According to Crampton 1990 <>, "The Sorbs, a slavic community in what is now [1990] East Germany, also adopted a [horizontal] tricolour in 1848 of blue, red, white. There is no Sorb state as such but the flag is still in use." Illustration on page 134.
Roy Stilling, 30 August 1995
The flag of the Sorbs is mentioned in the Constitutions <> of the German states of Brandenburg <> and Saxony <>. Sources: Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für das Land Brandenburg and Sächsisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt.
Pascal Vagnat, 19 December 1995
Some explain the meaning of the colours, "At the top is the sky, and towards the bottom it gets lighter and lighter".
Carsten Linke, 24 June 1996
The flag of the Sorbs was first mentioned in 1842. On 23 March 1848 the order blue (top), red, white (bottom) was established by representatives in Berlin <> of several Slavic peoples. The order was chosen for practical reasons to distinguish it from the flags of other Slavic nations. In 1912 the Bund Lausitzer Sorben, the Domowina, was established as umbrella-organisation of all Sorb associations. It was forbidden by the Nazis from 1937 till 1945. The flag of the Sorbs was already forbidden in 1935 <>. When in the spring of 1945 the Russian and Polish troops entered Lausitz, the flag was flown again, at 17 May 1945 officially by the Domowina.
In the flag laws of the German Democratic Republic <> (GDR) the Sorb flag was not mentioned, but in decisions of the Councils of the Bezirke Cottbus and Dresden and the bilingual Bezirke of Lausitz, its use was regulated for special occasions and holidays.
After the collapse of the GDR the use of the Sorb flag is regulated by the constitutions of Brandenburg <> and Saxony <>. Note that the flag of the Sorbs was never the flag of an administrative territory, simply because such an entity never existed.
Sources: Günther 1998 <>, page 40 and Günther 1999 <>, page 27.
Mark Sensen, 16 October 1999

Flag Legislation

[From the Brandenburg <> Constitution:]
Verfassung des Landes Brandenburg
4. Abschnitt: Rechte der Sorben [Wenden]
Artikel 26 (Rechte der Sorben [Wenden])
4) (...) Die sorbische Fahne hat die Farben Blau, Rot, Weiss. (...)
Unofficial translation:
Constitution of the State of Brandenburg
Section 4: Rights of the Sorbs [Wends]
Article 26: Rights of the Sorbs [Wends]
4) (...) The Sorb flag has the colours blue, red, white.
Source: Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für das Land Brandenburg, Nr. 9 vom 7. Juni 1991. In the Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für das Land Brandenburg, Nr. 18 vom 20. August 1992, article 25 says the same thing.
The Gesetz zur Ausgestaltung der Rechte der Sorben [Wenden] im Land Brandenburg vom 7. Juli 1994, (Law on the Specification of the Rights of the Sorbs [Wends] in the State of Brandenburg, of 7th July 1994) says also in its article 4, in German and Sorb:
4.- Sorbische (Wendische) Fahne
Die sorbische (wendische) Fahne hat die Farben Blau, Rot, Weiss. Sie kann im angestammten Siedlungsgebiet der Sorben (Wenden) gleichberechtigt mit staatlichen Symbolen verwendet werden.
4.- Serbska chorgoj
Serbska chorgoj ma modru, cerwejenu a be^lu barwu. Wona sme^jo se w starodawnem sedlen'skem rumje Serbow rownops^awnje ze statymi symbolami wuz^ywas'
Unofficial translation:
4.- Sorb (Wend) Flag
The Sorb (Wend) flag has the colours blue, red, white. In the traditional settlement areas of the Sorbs (Wends) it can be used alongside the state symbols, with equal rights.
The constitution of Saxony <> also mentions the possibility to use the Sorb flag in the Sorb territory. In April 1999, Saxony <> issued a law called Gesetz über die Rechte der Sorben im Freistaat Sachsen (Sächsisches Sorbengesetz) vom 31. März 1999, published in Sächsisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt, 30. April 1999, which says in its article 4, in German and Sorb:
4.- Sorbische Farben und Hymne
1) Farben und Wappen der Sorben können im sorbischen Siedlungsgebiet gleichberechtigt neben den Landesfarben und dem Landeswappen verwendet werden. Die sorbischen Farben sind Blau-Rot-Weiss.
2) Die sorbische Hymne kann im sorbischen Siedlungsgebiet gleichberechtigt verwendet werden.
4.- Serbske barby a hymna
1) Barby a wopon Serbow moz^a so w serbskim sydlenskim teritoriju runoprawne po'dla barbow kraja a wopona kraja wuz^iwac'. Serbske barby su mo'dra-c^erwjena-be^l/a.
2) Serbska hymna mo'z^e so w serbskim sydlenskim teritoriju runoprawna wuzîwac'."
Unofficial translation:
4.- Sorb colours and anthem
1) The colours and coat-of-arms of the Sorbs can be used in the Sorb area of settlement alongside with the state colours and coat-of-arms, with equal rights. The Sorb colours are blue-red-white.
2) The Sorb anthem can be used with equal rights in the Sorb area of settlement.
Pascal Vagnat, 13 November 1999, with translations by Stefan Schwoon, 27 March 2001

Domowina Emblem

<Sorb People (Brandenburg and Saxony, Germany)_files/de)domow.gif> <Sorb People (Brandenburg and Saxony, Germany)_files/de)domow.gif>
by Jens Pattke
On 8th October 1949 the Domowina, adopted a red emblem with a white limetree showing three large leaves, bordered with a blue fimbriation. The design was made by artist Ms. Hanka Krawcec. The emblem is regarded as the unofficial emblem of the Sorb people.
Jens Pattke, 27 March 2001


Elisabeth married Martin Eckert, son of George Eckert and Lisa Bottcher, on 11 Jul 1846 in Tauer. (Martin Eckert was born on 10 Mar 1824 in Tauer and died on 13 Jul 1895 in Emu Downs.)


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