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Gottscheer Relief Association, New York

Gottscheer Vereinigung

Description:  The Gottscheer Vereinigung von Gross New York, Inc. is a fraternal sick benefit society which assists members with benefits when ill and death benefits to the beneficiary when a member dies.

History:   The Gottscheer Vereinigung dates back to the summer of 1935, when signs of the depression were highly visible – work was scarce, jobs were few, benefits nonexistent, and the struggle to provide for oneself and one’s family was great.


A small group of young Gottscheer men gathered informally every Sunday afternoon at Menahan Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Ridgewood to reminisce about their homeland and talk about their economic plight, thus forming a bond of friendship that would last a lifetime.  They were proud, honest, hardworking, and thrifty men who were willing and happy to work for their existence without seeking any public assistance or charity.


The following year, in 1936, the membership group decided to formally organize a sick benefit organization whose purpose would be to provide financial assistance to its members in case of illness.  The organization came to be known as the “Gottscheer Vereinigung von Gross New York, Inc.”  Bylaws and regulations were drawn up with the assistance and guidance of Mr. Adolf Schauer, whose legal knowledge made it possible.  A New York State charter was obtained and the organization was incorporated.  The charter was signed on May 28, 1936 by John E. Loser, Josef Erker, Ferdinand Darowitsch, Frank Widmer and Louis Krisch.


Through the membership’s dedication and combined efforts, the Vereinigung became more prosperous with each passing year.  In order to raise funds to meet the Vereinigung’s sick benefit payments, the members organized dances, picnics, and raffles.  They also cooperated with other Gottscheer societies.  In addition, they continued to maintain the longstanding customs, songs, and dances of their native homeland, which are still being practiced today.  The Gottscheer dialect is commonly spoken at the monthly meetings.


To this day, the Gottscheer Vereinigung remains in a healthy financial condition, with sufficient funds set aside to guarantee sick and death benefit payments to each member according to the bylaws.  The Vereinigung hopes to continue this worthwhile tradition of assisting its members with sick and death benefits in the future.

    Robert J. Hoefferle - President
    Hermann Ostermann   - Vice President
    Joseph Hoefferle    - Financial Secr.
    Michael H. Wilhelm  - Treasurer
    Christian Matzelle  - Recording Secr.
    Erwin Sterbenz,
    Franz Sterbenz,
    Joseph Morscher     - Trustees
    Fred Zagar,
    Matthias Petsche,
    Daniel Kikel        - Revisoren

For information, contact:

    Robert J. Hoefferle
    (718) 628-5031

657 Fairview Avenue
Ridgewood, New York 11385
tel: 718-366-3030