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The Last Generation Forgotten and Left to Die

An Illustrated History of the Donauschwaben

Introduction
by Hans Kopp

    The old cliché, “one picture is worth a thousand words,” holds especially true for the Donauschwaben since the time photography was developed toward the end of the 19th Century.  We are grateful for the technology which was used to the full extent by our ancestors during the time the end of World War II in 1945. Especially grateful to

the individuals who took the pictures showing the variety of life during the last 50 years our culture existed in the settlement regions of Hungary or after WWI in Romania and Yugoslavia; and to those who saved and preserved them at the end of the war and make them available in the many books of individual Donauschwaben villages, towns and cities.  These book projects were spearheaded by small groups of men and women from these villages, towns and cities of the so-called “Heimatortsgemeinschaft groups,” who have devoted and volunteered their valuable time to document our history in word and pictures. 

     Many of those volunteers became the members of the donauschwäbische Kulturstiftung with Hans Sonnleitner as their “Vorsitzeder” chairman.  We find such names as Hans Diplich, the designer of the Coat of Arms, such scholars as Josef Beer, Dr. Georg Wildmann, Dr. Valentin Oberkersch, Dr. Ingomar Senz or Hermann Rakusch with the illustrations and maps created by Magdalena Kopp-Krumes. We also find a Friedrich Binder, Karl Schumm, Anton Scherer, Oskar Feldtänzer, Leopold Barwich, Fritz Hoffmann, Friederich Kühbauch, Ernst Lung, Josef Pertschi, Martin Reinprecht, Georg Tscherny and Dr Roland Vetter. Then there are the many personalities such as Stefan Nuber, who documented the death camp of Gakowa or an Ernst Jäger, Hans Gassmann, and Andreas Pfuhl, to mention only a few of the many authors whose works, collections of documents, articles and pictures are priceless and provide the basis for our complete history today.   

     Since all those books were written in the German language, I was asked by Franz Awender, the Vice President of our Donauschwaben Society of North America in 1995 to write a book about the Donauschwaben in the English with a picture presentation depicting the lives of our ancestors. The collection of images in this book were acquired by many various contributors.  

     Their lives centered on the church. The Sunday was holy for them and during the summer months their Sunday afternoon where often spent with friends gossiping and talking about the latest news.  By 4:00 pm the farmers’ Sunday was over.  The farmers had to go about their routine work of feeding the animals and milking the cows.  During the winter months one visited relatives and prepared for the biggest holiday, Christmas. 

     The chores during the summer months were tending the fields and in fall the farmers had to bring in the harvest. During the winter months the farmer had to load manure on his wagon and take it to the fields to spread so the new plants would grow strong and bring in another harvest to sustain the lives of their families.  In the evenings the farmer had to work repairing and making new bridles for his horses, fix a broken wagon and other equipment.

      In this section we are pleased to present a collection of pictures with captions, depicting the lives of our Donauschwaben ancestors.  The pictures were selected on the basis of their availability and quality, and an effort was made to select pictures from as many villages as possible.

Hans Kopp

[Published at DVHH.org 14 Nov 2006 by Jody McKim Pharr]

 Last Updated: 24 Nov 2018

Keeping the Danube Swabian legacy alive

 

 


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