Graz, Uhrturm
«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 programs.
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 Austrian culture. (more history)

1Table reserved for regulars; A monthly A-AA gathering with German conversation

News & Announcements

Friday, May 22, 2020
(May 18, 1930 - May 13, 2020)

We very sadly announce the passing of Lita Siagel on the 13th of May 2020, 5 days before her 90th birthday.  She was a long-term active member of the Austro-American Association and a very special friend of Renate Yasigian for over 50 years.  Lita was a frequent and wonderful culinary contributor to many of our events.
She was born in Shanghai, China on May 18, 1930 and in 1949 left and spent the next two years in Hong Kong and Italy before moving to the United States in 1951 where she and her husband raised three children. (Dan, Stephanie, and Errin). Lita was full of passion and love and she had many interests including entertaining, fashion, design, flower arranging, and travel, although family was always her first priority.
Lita was an incredible cook and took great joy in preparing meals for her family and friends. She loved reading and was forever juggling multiple books at a time. Eternally curious, she frequently visited museums, attended lectures, and loved ballet. She was fluent in Russian, French, Italian, and English.
Her floral shop, Tiger Lily in Copley Square, offered a public outlet for Lita’s flower arranging and design talents and she was recognized for her impeccable taste and style. It was here that Lita created many masterpieces for several of the best area hotels and special events.
Lita was a loving grandmother to 6 children and great-grandmother to 5 others in her family.
Losing her to complications from COVID-19 reminds us of the difficult time we are living in now. Lita will be greatly missed by those whose lives she touched, and she will always be remembered for her deep appreciation for life and its beauty.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Robert was born on April 2, 1927 in Patchogue, N.Y. His grandfather was a medical doctor who visited his patients with a horse and buggy and received as payment chickens and other goods. His father Earle Z. Sittler was a high school teacher and his mother Hattie Sittler (Homm) taught for a short time in a one room schoolhouse.
Robert played the clarinet in the High School band and after graduating served in the U.S. Navy in 1946. He was a Recipient of a Victory Medal. He then attended MIT from 1948-1951 graduating with B.S. (Bachelor of Science) in Electrical Engineering.
In 1952 S.M (Master of Science) in EE and in 1954 Sc. D. In EE (Doctor of Science) Statistical Communication and Control Theory.
It was said that Robert might have been the smartest student at MIT at that time. His first job after MIT was as an engineer/scientist at Lincoln Laboratories working on the SAGE air defense system (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) from 1954 to 1960. He made track-while-scan contributions and also programmed the largest computer in the world at that time. He worked on the Cold War NORAD tracking Russian bombers from north US and Canada.
On March 1, 1960 he founded ARCON Corporation along with two friends and Colleagues who he had worked with at Lincoln Lab.
The company started out in Lexington, MA, then moved to Wakefield and finally to Waltham.
Robert was the technical wizard who brought in high-level defense and FAA contracts. He solved the hardest technical and mathematical problems these contracts contained.
During his ARCON years, he developed tracking systems, many that are still in use by the FAA today. His Alpha-Beta tracker was incorporated in tracking aircraft as they land and take off from US airports. We all have been safely tracked by Robert’s system when we have flown. His reputation in the FAA was legendary. Two senior level FAA people appeared at ARCON just to meet with Robert. They had a big problem that Mitre could not solve. Robert was a great mentor of younger engineers and scientists at ARCON. In fact the current technical director developed his current tracking expertise while working under Robert’s tutelage.
Robert had a wide range of technical interests: Chemistry, Computer design and programming in machine language, and Egyptology - he even learned to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, after returning from a trip to Egypt in the early 1990’s. One of his colleague's spouse introduced Robert to Hana Strobl and they married in a civil ceremony in Cambridge on August 12, 1976. A church wedding followed in Vienna, Austria on August 21.
Robert liked to dance and took lessons in Cambridge, Wayland and on Cape Cod in Harwich Port at the Wychmere Harbor Club with Hana where they vacationed in the summer. He loved nature, especially birds and all other animals. He was a long time member of the Austro-American Association of Boston and enjoyed particularly the Christmas Parties and the Annual Dinners at the Wayside Inn. He was also very fond of the Strauss Ball given at the Boylston Schulverein. He was a quiet man and liked small dinner parties with dear friends and a stimulating conversation. According to him there was only one great composer - Mozart.
Robert as a person, was just a stellar guy. He was honest and sensitive to the people he worked with. He was viewed as the “Integrity Compass” of ARCON. With customers he was honest and true, making no promises he could not keep. So he has left a real legacy. He is dear to the heart of ARCON and will be missed. Robert passed away on March 30, 2020. His funeral took place on April 2, 2020, That was also his birthday. He was buried at the Wadsworth Cemetery in Sudbury. The Chairman and former president of ARCON gave a beautiful eulogy. Robert was a devoted husband, the soul of a man with a big heart.
He is survived by his beloved wife Hana, cousins, and his treasured pet, a turtle named Goldi. Robert will be missed by ALL but will stay in our hearts forever.

Thursday, March 19, 2020
More Events Cancelled!
Dear Members and Friends,

These are very difficult times and we hope that all of you are taking very good care of yourselves and your family. Try to obey all the recommended precautions and keep your hands and everything else clean. It is our new way of life.

Therefore, we regretfully cancel the Concert with Rebecca Thornblade and her friends on April 25th.
We hope we can reschedule this great event in the fall.

For the same reason we also must cancel the event with our scholarship recipient Maxfield Fulton, which was scheduled on May 24 at the BSV. We let you know when this interesting event is rescheduled.

Please be extremely careful and stay healthy.
Hope we can see each other soon.

Traude and David

Thursday, March 12, 2020
3/28 Stammtisch Cancelled!
Dear Members and Friends,

Regarding the latest news about the Coronavirus, we are cancelling the Stammtisch on March 28.
We are very sorry to miss all of you, but we hope that you will take care of yourselves and the people around you.

This is a difficult time, but we have to make changes in our lifestyle for now.

With our best wishes to all of you,
Traude and David

Sunday, February 02, 2020
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Louise Hauser!
Louise Hauser
Happy Birthday, Louise Hauser!
The Austro-American Association of Boston wishes to extend a very Happy Birthday to Louise Hauser on her 99th Birthday on Feb 3, 2020.
Louise grew up in Newton, MA and was very active in the town of Newton affairs and related fund-raising for many years. She likes going to movies, the symphony, played tennis for many years, and loves lobster rolls! is a long time member of the A-AA and is a significant contributor to the A-AA Scholarship Award Program that enables us to offer financial help to students in advancing their future careers. We are also grateful for the work and effort of her late husband, George, who was Chairman of the Scholarship Program for over 15 years.
The A-AA highly admires Louise as a member and friend, and we will continue to look forward to seeing her at our events for many years!
Louise, we wish you a wonderful special day!
With love, the A-AA!

Friday, October 19, 2018
Angelika Amon wins 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
Angelika Amon is the first Austrian scientist to win the prestigious Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. The $3 million price is sponsored by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Ma Huateng, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki. Amon, a resident of Andover, MA and a graduate of the University of Vienna, moved to the US from Austria in 1994 with her husband Johannes. She is Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor of Cancer Research and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at MIT. The prize recognizes her research of the basic causes of cancer. We congratulate!

Saturday, January 20, 2018
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)
Consul General Ambassador Dr. Heindl with Traude Schieber-Acker, President of the A-AA
Consul General Ambassador Dr. Heindl with Traude Schieber-Acker, President of the A-AA
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.

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.

Visit the Photo Gallery (Thanks to Roland Pirker for tirelessly taking pictures throughout the evening)

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