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Encyclopedia > Banat Swabians

The Banat Swabians are a German-speaking population in Southeast Europe, part of the Danube Swabians, who immigrated over 200 years ago from different parts of Southern Germany into Banat, after it had been almost entirely depopulated during wars with Turkey. This formerly strong and important German minority has now become quite small. Almost all its members have returned to Germany. Banat was split between several countries by the Treaty of Trianon: the greatest part went to Romania, a smaller part went to Yugoslavia, and a small strip in the area of Szeged remained with Hungary. The Balkans is the historic and geographic name used to describe southeastern Europe (see the Definitions and boundaries section below). ... The Danube Swabians (German: Donauschwaben, Hungarian: Dunai-Sváb or Dunamenti németek, Romanian: Şvabi or Şvabi Dunăreni) is a collective term for Germans who lived in the former Kingdom of Hungary, especially in the Danube (Donau) River valley. ... Banat (Romanian: Banat; Serbian: Банат or Banat; German: Banat; Hungarian: Bánát or Bánság; Slovak: Banát) is a geographical and historical region in Southeastern Europe divided among three countries: the eastern part belongs to Romania (the counties of Timiş, Caraş-Severin, Arad, and Mehedinţi), the western... The wars of the Ottoman Empire in Europe marked the better part of the history of southeastern Europe, notably, giving infamy to the Balkans. ... The Grand Trianon at Versailles, site of the signing The Treaty of Trianon was an agreement that regulated the situation of the new Hungarian state that replaced the Kingdom of Hungary, part of the former dualist Austro-Hungarian monarchy, after World War I. It was signed on June 4, 1920... Yugoslavia (Jugoslavija in all south Slavic languages, in Macedonian and Serbian Cyrillic Југославија) is a term used for three separate but successive political entities that existed during most of the 20th century on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe. ... Votive Church Szeged (help· info) (in Serbian Segedin or Сегедин, in German Szegedin/Segedin, in Polish Segedyn, in Romanian Seghedin, in Slovak Segedín) is the fourth largest city of Hungary, the regional centre of South-Eastern Hungary and the capital of Csongrád county. ...

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Banat and the Danube Swabians

The Banat colonists are often grouped together with other German-speaking ethnic groups in the area under the name Danube Swabians. Besides Banat, these groups lived in nearby western Bačka, in Swabian Turkey (present-day southern Hungary), in Slavonia, and in Sathmar. All these places were then were under Austian rule. The Danube Swabians (German: Donauschwaben, Hungarian: Dunai-Sváb or Dunamenti németek, Romanian: Åžvabi or Åžvabi Dunăreni) is a collective term for Germans who lived in the former Kingdom of Hungary, especially in the Danube (Donau) River valley. ... Bačka (Serbian: Бачка or Bačka, Hungarian: Bácska, Croatian: Bačka, Slovak: Báčka, German: Batschka) is an area of the Pannonian plain lying between the rivers Danube and Tisa. ... The term Swabian Turkey (German: Schwäbische Türkei) describes a region in southeastern Transdanubia in Hungary delimited by the Danube (Donau), the Drava (Drau), and Lake Balaton (Plattensee) inhabited by an ethnic German minority. ... Coat of arms Map of Croatia with Slavonia highlighted Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia and western Serbia. ... Satu Mare (pronunciation in Romanian: ; name in Hungarian: Szatmárnémeti, German: Sathmar) is a city with a population of 115,000 and the capital of Satu Mare county, Romania. ... Official languages Latin, German, Hungarian Established church Roman Catholic Capital & Largest City Vienna pop. ...


The Colonists' Origins and Recruitment

Most of the settlers came from Alsace-Lorraine, Austria, Bavaria, Franconia, and the Palatinate; another small group can be traced to Middle Germany; however, only a small few actually came from the Swabian regions of what was then known as Further Austria. Therefore, it is unclear how the group came to be called the Banat Swabians. It is probably due to the fact that the majority of the immigrants were registered and enbarked at the Swabian city of Ulm, and then were transported with Ulmer Schachteln on the Danube to Belgrade, where they then set off on foot to found their new homeland. Imperial Province of Elsass-Lothringen (497 Kb) Alsace-Lorraine (French: Alsace-Lorraine; German: Elsass-Lothringen) was the territory originally of the German empire, ceded to Louis XIV by the peace of Westphalia in 1648, but returned by France to the newly-unified Germany under the 1871 Treaty of Frankfurt (which... The Free State of Bavaria  (German: Freistaat Bayern), with an area of 70,553 km² (27,241 square miles) and 12. ... The Franconian Rake is originally is a heraldic symbol of the bishops of Würzburg, who - though nominally Dukes of Franconia - only ruled in parts of Franconia. ... The Palatinate (German: Pfalz), historically also Rhenish Palatinate (German: Rheinpfalz), is a region in south-western Germany. ... Middle Germany is not central Germany. ... Swabia (German: Schwaben or Schwabenland) is both a historic and linguistic (see Swabian German) region in Germany. ... Further Austria (in German: Vorderösterreich or die Vorlande) was the collective name for the old possessions of the Habsburgs in south-western Germany (Swabia), the Alsace, and in Vorarlberg after the focus of the Habsburgs had moved to Austria. ... Ulm is a city in the German Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg (about 100 km south-east of Stuttgart). ... The Danube (German: , Slovak: Dunaj, Hungarian: , Croatian: Dunav, Serbian: Дунав/Dunav, Bulgarian: Дунав, Romanian: , Ukrainian: , Latin: Danuvius) is Europes second-longest river (after the Volga). ... Mayor Nenad Bogdanović Area 359. ...


The majority of the colonists came from agricultural areas, and were the younger sons of poor farming families, who saw little chance for success in their native land. Under Maria Theresa they received financial support and long-term tax relief. Later many failed to get married, because the gender-ratio had become too skewed, and there were not enough women. Many craftsmen were financially assisted, as were teachers, doctors, and other professionals. This page is about Maria Theresa of Austria (often only known as Empress Maria Theresa), ruler of the Habsburg Empire from 1740-1780. ...


Banat Swabians 1920-1944

The Treaty of Trianon of 1920 was the beginning of the end for the Swabians of Banat. Of course, the end of the empire and the assumption of most of Banat by Romania had many positive effects as well. Towards the end of the 19th century, Hungary had undergone a period of Magyarization, when it attempted to assimilate all of its minorities. With the end of the monarchy, it was possible to have German schools for the first time since 1867. German culture was flourishing: once again there was a German theatre in Timişoara, and across Romania more German newspapers were being established. 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... Magyarization or Magyarisation is the common name given to a number of forced assimilation policies applied by the Hungarian authorities at different times in history. ... 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Economically, things did not go so well. Black Friday and the subsequent financial crises of the 1930s hit Banat hard. This caused many Swabians to leave Banat to work as cheap labor in such places as Argentina, Brazil, and the United States to seel their fortunes and never return. Disambiguation Page In history there have been a number of events that happened on a Friday and are known as Black Friday: Black Friday (1869) - a stock market crash in the United States Black Friday (1919) - a riot in Glasgow stemming from industrial unrest Black Friday (1939) - a day of... // Events and trends A public speech by Benito Mussolini, founder of the Fascist movement The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the global depression. ...


Also, after 1933, the majority of Banat Swabians, like most ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe, became supporters of Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich in its mission for economic and military strength. In the Second World War, many were drafted into the Romanian army. After 1943, a German-Romanian treaty allowed them to fight with the SS. 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) is a historical term which arose in the early 20th century to apply for Germans living outside of the German Empire. ... Current division of Europe into five (or more) regions: one definition of Eastern Europe is marked in orange Eastern Europe as a region has several alternative definitions, whereby it can denote: the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Central Europe and Russia. ... (help· info) (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945) was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 and Führer (Leader) of Germany from 1934 until his death. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... SS or ss or Ss may be: The Schutzstaffel, a Nazi paramilitary force Steamship (SS) (ship prefix) The United States Secret Service A submarine not powered by nuclear energy (SS) (United States Navy designator), see SSN A Soviet/Russian surface-to-surface missile, as listed by NATO reporting name Shortstop...


Life After 1944

The Kingdom of Romania, formerly a German ally, changed sides and joined the Allies on August 23, 1944. Overnight, all Germans living in Romania became potential enemies of the state. The approach of the unstoppable Red Army cause a flood of refugees to flee from all parts of the country into Germany. From 1859 to 1877, Romania evolved from a personal union of two vassal principalities (Moldavia and Wallachia) under a single prince to a full-fledged independent kingdom with a Hohenzollern monarchy. ... When spelt with a capital A, Allies usually denotes the countries supporting the Triple Entente who fought together against the Central Powers in World War I and against the Axis Powers in World War II. For more information, see the related articles: Allies of World War I and Allies of... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (in Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya), the armed forces first organised by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ...


In Yugoslavian Banat, the Red Army sent another wave of refugees westwards. After the Soviet occupation, came Serbian partisans who killed more than a thousand men and forced more into exile. In the last week of the war, not only German soldiers, but entire villages were imprisoned. Lasting from 1944 to 1945, this marked the end of Banat Swabians in Yugoslavia. Soviet redirects here. ... ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Life in Romania was not much better. By 1945, the nation was completely under Soviet influence. The head of the Communist Party, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, was called a Romanian Stalin. In 1944, much of the German population was deported to labor camps in the Soviet Union. Thousands died. Those who remained (as well as those who fled West) lost their citizenship and were disspossessed. In 1951 more than a thousand German-speakers were displaced and forced to found new villages in the Bărăgan Steppe of southeast Romania. The majority were allowed to return in 1955. In modern usage, a communist party is a political party which promotes communism, the sociopolitical philosophy based on Marxism. ... Gheorghiu-Dej (center) and CeauÅŸescu (left) Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (November 8, 1901, Bârlad - March 19, 1965, Bucharest) was the Communist leader of Romania from 1948 until his death in 1965. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვილი; see Other names section) (December 21, 1879[1] – March 5, 1953) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and leader of the Soviet Union. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... The Baragan Plain is a plain in south-central Romania. ... 1955 (MCMLV in Roman) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In the 1960s the Romanian political atmosphere relaxed significantly. Gradually the policy of disenfranchising and dispossessing the German minority was retracted. Once again they could enjoy all the privileges of a Romanian citizen. The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ...


It was during this time that the final departure of the Banat Swabians for Germany began. The discrimination and economic adversity were too much, and before long, many had developed a desire to emigrate permanently, which also took hold among the Transylvanian Saxons. Although the families of the Danube and Banat Swabians had lived in the area for around ten generations, and even though their culture and way of life had grown to be different from that of Germany, they still wanted to leave. Transylvanian Saxons (German: Siebenbürger Sachsen; Romanian: Saşi) are a population of German origin that were settled in the south and north-east of Transylvania starting with the 12th century. ...


The Ceauşescu Era

In 1965, Nicolae Ceauşescu came to power in Romania. At first he opened the country to the West, but by the end of the 1970s, he had become nationalistic and a great opponent of the ethnic minorities. This did not keep him from making a profit from them though. Under his rule, any German willing to emigrate would have to pay the regime a bounty of up to more than a thousand Marks (depending on age and education). In this way over ten thousand Germans left Romania. The departing families would need the right papers to emigrate and to get them, they would have to pay a bribe, or else wait for years. This doubled Ceauşescu's income from the emigrants. Nevertheless, the Banat Swabians' continued going to Germany into the 1980s. The extreme economic crisis of this time, as well as increased persecution of minorities - including a village destruction project - caused 200,000 to flee Romania during that decade. 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link goes to calendar). ... Nicolae CeauÅŸescu (IPA ) (January 26, 1918 - December 25, 1989) was the leader of Communist Romania from 1965 until shortly before his execution. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Bounty can refer to different things: The Bounty a 1984 film with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins A bounty is an amount of money or other reward offered by an organization for the capture of a person or thing Bounty is a brand of paper towel manufactured by Procter & Gamble... Mark is a common male given name, and a name for many terms and places. ... The 1980s decade refers to the years from 1980 to 1989, inclusive. ...


The "Bleeding" after the Fall

After Ceauşescu's fall in 1989 and German Reunification in 1990, almost all the remaining Germans in Romania left the country for Germany. The German population in Romania is much reduced, and skewed towards older people because it is mainly young people who leave. Individual emigrants are returning, usually entrepreneurs with economic ambitions or as part of a development project. 1989 (MCMLXXXIX in Roman) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... West Germany and the GDR German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) took place on October 3, 1990, when the areas of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, in English commonly called East Germany) were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, in English commonly called West Germany). After the GDRs... This article is about the year. ...


In Serbia and Croatia the situation is similar, whereas in Hungary there are still over 200,000 Danube Swabians left, who even have political representation. One city and many towns have German-speaking mayors. Displacement and dispossession of the German minority took place in Hungary only between 1945 and 1948. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ...


The Current Situation

Of around 750,000 Germans who once lived in Romania, less than a tenth remain there today. The remaining population is too small and aged to build a functioning society. Only in a few places with large populations can a Romanian live a culturally German life. Still, the Allgemeinen Deutschen Zeitung is a strong weekly paper, and the Deutschen Staatstheater Temeswar still produces good German theatre. In the cities of Timişoara and Arad there are still German langugage secondary schools, attended mostly by Romanian students. Arad is: Arad County is located in the Western corner of Transylvania, Romania. ...


The Banat Swabians of today are generally well integrated into the society in which they live. They keep contact through cultural organisations. Notably in Vienna and in South Germany, where most Banat Swabians live, they maintain their customs and dialect, and support those who remain in Romania. Vienna (German: Wien [viːn]; Slovenian: Dunaj, Hungarian: Bécs, Czech: Vídeň, Slovak: Viedeň, Romany Vidnya; Croatian and Serbian: Beč) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ...


The remaining Germans (including Banat Swabians) in Romania are represented in politics by the DFDR or Demokratisches Forum der Deutschen in Rumänien (The Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania)


Famous Banat Swabians

Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan in Tarzan and His Mate Johnny Weissmuller (June 2, 1904 – January 20, 1984) was a Danube Swabian swimmer and actor born in Austro-Hungary (in a town now in the Romanian Banat), who came with his parents to the United States. ...

References

  • The information in this article is based on and translated from that found in its German equivalent.
  • German-speaking Europe

 
 

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