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The Pavel House


In 1995, the Article VII - cultural association of Styria
was able to acquire a farm house in the Radkersburg region, which the local inhabitants knew as Grof-House. Through financial support from Slovenia and Austria, the arm, which was built in 1837, a hook-shaped building, could be renovated with respect to the historically valuable substance. 

On May 16 of 1998, the house was inaugurated by Mihaela Logar, secretary of state for resident Slovenians, and by Bruno Aigner (replacing the president of the national assembly, Dr. Heinz Fischer). The association regards this house of culture as a meeting point for Slovenians and Austrians, for Štajrern and Styrians, and as a cultural institution for the local, multi- and monolingual community. The house features a permanent exhibition of picture boards on the history of Slovenians in Styria. A number of events, which are indebted to an intercultural principle, present the lived notion of culture in this region. The namer, August Pavel, who taught in three languages, refers to this phenomenon.



The Styrian Slovenians - a picture board exhibition.

The Styrian Slovenians are explicitly mentioned in Article 7 of the Austrian State Treaty of 1955.The status of a separate ethnic group has still not been granted. In the Province of Styria, there have always been residents whose mother tongue is Slovenian.

The picture board exhibition at the Pavel house demonstrates the history of a forgotten minority, which has been living in Styria up to the  present day. The Article VII - cultural association of Styria, founded in 1988 The association tries to render the Slovenian population part in Styria a status which has been denied for decades. The association comprehends its work within an overarching European context. Apart from the cultural  institution in Laafeld, the association's primary goals are: the political recognition of Slovenians in Styria as well as the extension of Slovenian as elective subject in Styrian schools.



Who was Avgust Pavel?
- the lived principle of a multiple identity. 

Avgust Pavel was a linguist, folklorist, poet, lecturer at Szeged University, and museum director. He was born in 1886 in Cankova (Kaltenbrunn/Vashidegkút) in today's Slovenia, not far away from Bad  Radkersburg. He attended the lower grades of high school in Szentgotthard (St. Gotthart/Monoster) and the upper grades in Szombathely. From 1905 to 1909 he studied Slavonic Studies, Latin, and Hungarian at Budapest University. 

At the same time, his family settled in Laafeld and lived in house No. 30. First, Pavel's parents kept a small farm there, which was taken over by his brother Victor. At the beginning of the 1920s, the father died and got buried at the Catholic cemetery in Goritz/Gorica near Radkersburg. The Slovenian gravestone of the father, Ivan Pavel, as well as that of the early deceased sister Sidonja (Szidonia) are still preserved. In 1913, Pavel obtained his Ph.D. in Slovenian philology, and in 1914, he married the bourgeois  Irene Benko from Szentgotthard (St. Gotthart/Monoster). Relatives with the name Benko had an inn at Korovci  (Karlsdorf/Karolyfa), others lived in the city of Radkersburg. 

After military service, Pavel worked as high school teacher until he became deputy director of a high school in Szombarthely in 1920. In 1927, the Pavel family sold the farm in Laafeld to Karl Grof and left for Slovenia. In 1929, Avgust Pavel's brother Alfons celebrated his Catholic priesthood in Cankova, left Yugoslavia in 1945 and thereafter, worked as Salesian priest in California. Avgust Pavel qualified as university lecturer during the Horthy dictatorship in Szeged. The ongoing war, however, prevented him from lecturing. Avgust Pavel died on January 2, 1946. Today, his daughter Judit  Simon (her married name), lives in Szombathely, his son in Chicago.


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