«Österreichisch-Amerikanische Gesellschaft Boston»
Founded in Boston in 1944 and incorporated in 1970, the non-profit Austro-American
Association was established to further the interest in Austria and Austrian culture and promote Austrian-American
friendship. Austrian and American members participate in a wide variety of social and cultural
In recent years, events such as lectures, concerts, holiday celebrations,
boat cruises, Stammtische1 and Heurige were frequently accompanied by fine Austrian cuisine.
A Scholarship Fund provides grants to scholars and artists in support of projects related to
1Table reserved for regulars; A monthly A-AA gathering with German conversation
News & Announcements
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Diethild Gerda Harrington, 1934 - 2017
|With a heavy heart, we inform you of the passing of Didi Harrington on May 9.|
Traude Acker, President, and the
Board of Directors of the Austro-American Association of Boston
Diethild G. Harrington, 82, of Westborough, Massachusetts, died on May 9, after a brief bout with cancer and a related cardiac disorder.
Born in Vienna, Austria, on June 6, 1934, she was the first of three children of the late Hermann and Gerda Mueller. The family lived until 1945 in Klosterneuburg, near Vienna. Fleeing the Soviet invasion, her mother set out with the three girls just prior to the end of World War II on a half-year journey on foot and by train that took them west through Austria, then north to Gerda’s home and parents in northern Germany. They were reunited with Diethild’s father several years later. In 1948 the family moved to the Salzburg-Linz area of Austria, and then, by the mid-1950’s, back to Vienna, when her father was able to resume his duties as a high-school teacher.
She studied English and History at the University of Vienna, receiving her Masters in 1962. She met her future husband, Joseph Harrington, in 1961, and came to the US in 1962 on a Fulbright travel grant for a year at Wellesley College. They were engaged on November 10, 1962, and married in a civil ceremony in Boston on May 3, 1963. A church wedding in Austria followed on August 3.
She taught German and History at Abbot Academy in Andover while Joe completed his doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They then moved to Austria for 2½ years to fulfill Fulbright exchange requirements. She earned her PhD at the University of Vienna in 1971, writing the definitive work on a pre-WWI Austrian political party. An earlier paper was entitled “The Role of Women in the Revolution of 1848”. Their son Joseph was born in Vienna in 1967, and their son Robert was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1969. They moved to Westborough in 1973.
She gradually resumed her teaching career, first by volunteering at Westborough High School, then progressively as a lecturer at Central New England College, Wellesley College, Worcester State College, and finally Worcester Polytechnic Institute, teaching English as a Second Language and German language and history. She was Testing Chair, Vice President, and President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German, and in 1995 was the first recipient of their Educator of the Year award. She was also President of the Westborough Music Parents Association for two years, served on the Troop Committees of Westborough Boy Scout Troops 100 and 382, and was on the board of Hundreds Swimmers, Inc.
Diethild retired in 1996. From 1997-2000 she was President of the Austro-American Association of Boston. She served on its Board of Directors and Scholarship Committee intermittently until her death. She stayed close to her Austrian roots, bringing cultural events to New England, hosting visitors, and traveling home to visit family frequently. She was recognized by the Austrian-American Council of North America for her accomplishments.
Didi enjoyed opera, rock concerts, Star Trek, mountaineering, and travel. She was an avid swimmer and skier as recently as February.
She loved and was loved by many, and will be sorely missed. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Joseph Harrington, and their sons Joseph and Robert, as well as Joe’s wife Sara Sullivan and their son Joseph (“Jay”), and Rob’s wife Heidi Harrington and their two sons Maxwell and Bradley. She was a beloved “Oma” to those three grandsons, and liked nothing better than being with them. She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law Herburg and Dieter Ihringer, of Rheinfelden, Germany, her niece Sigrid Grobben and her husband Peter Grobben, as well as nephew Rainer Ihringer. Diethild was predeceased by her sister Reingard as well as Reingard’s husband Peter Somm and his second wife Katrin, but stayed in good touch with their children, Kanja, Alexander, Reto, and Jennifer. Further, she is survived by her sister-in-law Joan Smith and her husband Roger Smith, and their daughters Audrey Anne Smith and Diana Smith Comfort, as well as her sister-in-law Anne Heider and Anne’s husband R. Stephen Warner and daughter Sarah Dove Hunter.
Calling hours will be 4-7 pm Friday May 26 at the David A. Pickering Westborough Funeral Home. Burial will be private. A memorial service will be held 3 pm Saturday May 27 at 4 Jefferson Road, Westborough.
Diethild was, and her family remains, extremely grateful for the care she received at UMass Memorial Hospital. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Austro-American Association of Boston, 67 Bridle Path, Sudbury, MA 01776, or to the charity of one’s choice.
Friday, January 20, 2017
The Austro-American Association of Boston Scholarship Program
|The Austro-American Asociation offers a scholarship award to qualified canditates whose studies are focued on Austrian culture. We are pleased to be able to grant an award of $3,000. The selected recipient will make a presentation regarding an Austrian subject connected to their field of studies.|
In the past, we have had wonderful, talented recipients who have gained international recognition in the advancement of their careers. We look forward to helping other young students working on Austrian cultural subjects and to the benefit they gain from their association with Austria's rich cultural heritage.
For more information regarding our scholarship award program, please visit the scholarship page on our website.
Sunday, January 01, 2017
Austro-American Association President, Traude Schieber-Acker, receives Das Silberne Ehrenzeichen from Austria (The silver Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria)
On the occasion of the Austrian National Holiday (Staatsfeiertag) A-AA event celebration on October 22, 2016, our Consul General, Ambassador Dr. Georg Heindl made a special announcement to present Traude Schieber-Acker with "Das Silberne Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich" (The silver Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria). He remarked that Traude has made countless significant contributions in support of Austria, as President of the A-AA, regarding multiple facets of Austrian culture, political situations and other key events to her members over the past 16 years as President.Traude was deeply honored to receive this special award from Austria and noted it was a distinct privilege to have the Consul General present it in person. She remarked that the award is very dear to her, and especially thanked Dr. Heindl for nominating her to the Austrian Government. While the award was given to her, she acknowledged and thanked the A-AA Board and all members and friends of the A-AA, who have supported her work for Austria through this organization over many years.
Consul General Ambassador Dr. Heindl with Traude Schieber-Acker, President of the A-AA
Saturday, June 21, 2014
The Austro-American Association of Boston celebrates its 70th Anniversary
|The 70th jubilee was celebrated on June 21 at MIT Endicott House in Dedham, Mass. The Association was founded in 1944 with a main purpose to help Austrian immigrants to settle here in the Boston area. The A-AA, through its 70 years existence, has continued to provide cultural and social events for its many members and friends, and sponsors scholarship research programs on Austrian related projects.|
The festivities started with cocktails on the magnificent terrace with its historic park in the MIT complex. Guests of honor included the Austrian Consul General, Ambassador Dr. Georg Heindl with his family, Mrs. Juliana Belcsak, National Chair of the Austrian-American Councils, and Mr. Roland Pirker, president of the Austrian Canadian Council with his wife, Burgie. Musical delights were interpreted by Josef Porteleki and Dr. Emilian Badea and during dinner with a string quartet playing a beautiful selection of classical pieces. With 15 years in office, Mrs. Acker is the longest-serving president in the history of the association. The A-AA is also one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the USA.