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Sebastian Berger
(1938-1986)

Sebastian Berger lived in Piesendorf, Salzburg, Austria. He trained as a truck mechanic and as a demolitions expert, then worked in Vorarlberg and eventually moved with his wife to Höflein bei Bruck an der Leitha, Austria, where they owned a small grocery store.

After a break-up with his partners, Klaus Wenzel and Heinrich Hammerle, Sebastian Berger became the sole proprietor of the Austrian company Smaragdbergwerk Habachtal —specializing in emeralds from the famous Habachtal emerald mine in Austria. He built small living quarters near the tunnel entrance, and he rebuilt parts of the facilities in a technically skilled way, such that even today they serve as good accommodations. He also built the compressor compartment. At the bottom of the chute, he drove a tunnel and achieved very good finds there in a bright, talc-rich mica schist. He had learned the mining technique from a book.

Unfortunately, Sebastian Berger gradually began to show signs of mental illness, feeling constantly threatened and persecuted. In 1985, he handed over the mining supervision to Alois Hofer and Alois Steiner after he (as it turned out later) had blown up the chute. In April 1986, in Höflein, Sebastian Berger killed his wife and then took his own life.

Reference:
BURGSTEINER, E. (2002) Kristallschätze / Zur Geschichte der Steinsammler im Oberpinzgau. Bode-Verlag, Haltern, 104.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
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