A Short History of The Danube Swabians
by Nick Tullius, 2013 DVHH Editorial
among the colonists settled along the middle course of the Danube in the 18th
and 19th centuries were generally called Swabians (Schwaben in
German, svabok in Hungarian, şvabi in Romanian; Švaba in Serbo-Croatian)
by their neighbours, even though the majority of them did not come from the
region of Swabia in Germany. Around 1922, following the dismemberment of Hungary
and the tripartide division of its Germans, a consequence of WWI, the common
designation Donauschwaben was coined. The designation Donauschwaben (Danube
Swabians in English; a Dunamenti Svábok in Hungarian; Şvabii Dunăreni in
Romanian; Švaba podunavski in Serbian) became generally accepted in literature
and by the affected ethnic Germans themselves.
Settlements with either entirely or substantial German
developed mainly in the following six areas
The Hungarian Highlands East of Raab/Györ, from the northern shore of Lake Balaton to the Danube bend, with the cities Ofen and Pest/Budapest (Bakony forest, Vértes/Schildgebirge mountains);
The region of Swabian Turkey between Lake Balaton, Drau/Drava and Danube with the city of Fünfkirchen/Pécs (Branau/Baranya), Kaposvár/Ruppertsburg (Schomodei/Somogy), Bonyhád (Tolnau/Tolna);
The Batschka, a fertile plain between the rivers Danube and Theiß with the cities Abthausen/Apatin, Neusatz/Novi Sad and Ulmenau/Bački Brestovac;
The Banat, a fertile plain between the rivers Marosch, Theiß and Danube, to the ore-rich foothills of the southern Carpathian Mountains, with the city of Temeswar/Timişoara;
The Sathmar region in the Northeast, on the river Krasna, around the cities of Sathmar/Satu Mare and Großkarol/Carei;
Slavonia, a hilly area, and Syrmia, a swampy area, both bordering on Bosnia; with the city of Esseg/Osijek.
Danube-Swabian Settlement Areas
Background in History
The title of
Roman Emperor was first restored to
Pope in 800.
As the Holy Roman Empire of the
Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation, Latin:
Imperium Romanum Sacrum Nationis Germanicć) it was an often-changing assembly of
lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.
was formally dissolved on 6 August 1806 when the last Holy Roman Emperor
abdicated, following a military defeat by the French under
before his abdication, Francis became Emperor Francis I of Austria (1804). The
Habsburgs ruled the
from 1804 to 1867, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918.
were the emperors of the German Empire when the Danube-Swabian settlements were
established, but their family also acquired other land possessions that
constituted the basis for establishing the Austrian Empire.
In the battle
of Mohács (August 29, 1526) the Hungarian army under King Louis II was defeated
by the forces of the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman I. The Ottoman Turks
occupied Ofen (today
Buda, part of Budapest) in 1541. The territory was divided into three parts [1
Kingdom of Hungary with Croatia and a narrow strip of the Western and Upper
Hungary, ruled by the Habsburg emperor;
Pest in the Great Hungarian plain, including Slavonia, which later spread to
the North and West;
Principality of Transylvania under Turkish suzerainty, stretching out to the
West and North of Transylvania proper.
Map of the Ottoman Empire
between the Emperor and the Turks took place throughout the 16th century. The
Turks failed in their siege of Vienna and their defeat of the battle of
Kahlenberg in 1683 proved to be a historical turning point in the history of
South-Eastern Europe. 
The Treaty of
Karlowitz (1699) allocated Transylvania, the Batschka, Slowenia and all of
Hungary except the Banat to Austria, which became a great power. After more
victories by Prince Eugene of Savoy, the Austrian
general in the service of the Holy Roman Empire, the Treaty of Passarowitz
(1718) gave possession of the Banat, Northern Serbia and other territories to
Austria, making it the leading power in the Balkans. After a later encounter,
Austria lost parts of these territories, but held on to the Banat. The borders
established by the Treaty of Belgrade (1739) remained in effect until 1918.
a century and a half of Turkish occupation, many of the liberated territories
acquired by the Habsburgs (Hungary, Transylvania, Banat and regions up to the
Danube-Save region) were devastated and depopulated. The Imperial Court in
Vienna was determined to develop these regions to reach their economic
potential, through the recruitment of German settlers [3 p.14].
German settlers arrived during the final years of the 17th century, following
direct invitations by private landowners. They settled primarily in the
Hungarian Highlands, later in Swabian Turkey [3 p.15].
following localities were settled:
Laskafalu (Lashkafeld) (1720), Himesháza (Nimmersch) (1722) in Baranya (Braunau);
Závod (Saawet) (1720), Varsád (Waschad) (1716), Kismanyók (Klein Manyok) (1717)
in Tolna (Tolnau); Kӧtcse (Kӧtsching) (1723) Felsӧ Mocsolád (Obermetschelad)
(1725) in Somogy (Schomodei); and in the Hungarian Highlands (Schildgebirge)
there were Tӧrӧkbálint (Grossturwall) (1700), Piliscsaba (Tschawa) (1725) in
Pest (Pesth) and Vértesacsa (Atschau) (1720) in Fejer County.
settlement of the Sathmar region was undertaken by Alexander Károly in 1712,
when he recruited 1400 Swabians. Because of the unsatisfactory conditions,
around 1000 of them returned to their homelands. More settlers arrived in the
following years, so that eight settlements were created. Between 1712 and 1838
about 2075 Swabian families arrived in Sathmar. Although not very numerous, by
the end of the 19th century, they were a prosperous and secure ethnic group [1
Batschka, tradesmen and merchants first settled in Neusatz (1694). Settlers came
to Baja (around 1715), Tschatalja (1729), Bukin (1749), Apatin (1750), Hodschag
(1756), Kollut (1756). The settlement continued to a total of 13 settlements
with either entirely or substantial German population, until 1771. Under Joseph
II, 7 villages were added and German families settled in Hungarian villages,
such as Bácsalmás, Gara, and Csávoly [1 p.88].
insistence of Prince Eugene, the Banat became an Imperial Province and remained
under the military administration of count Claudius Florimund Mercy until 1751.
It came under Hungarian administration in 1778. The Military Frontier District (Militärgrenze)
created in 1765 only became part of Hungary in 1873 [1 p.89].
At the end of
the Turkish occupation, the population of the Banat had shrunk to about 90,000
inhabitants, mostly Romanians and Serbs. The Magyar population had retreated
deeper into Hungary [2 p.31]. Purely strategic and economic considerations
prompted Count Mercy to settle German farmers, officials, craftsmen, and
merchants, in addition to other nationalities. Tendencies towards Germanisation
were unknown at that time [2 p.33]. The Imperial administration in Vienna
organized three large settlement actions, the so-called Swabian Migrations (Schwabenzüge).
Target areas were mainly the Banat and the Batschka.
The Swabian Migrations came to be known as
"Der Grosse Schwabenzug" or "The Great Swabian Trek."
first Swabian Migration (1722 – 1726) under Karl VI
settlements established in the Banat were Perjamosch, Deutschsanktpeter, Neuarad,
Guttenbrunn, Lippa around the fortress of Arad; fortress-style settlements
Pantschowa, Kubin, Neupalanka, Neu-Orschowa (Ada Kaleh) and Mehadia; the towns
of Werschetz and Weißkirchen; the villages of Ploschitz, Saalhausen, Langenfeld,
Jasenowa, Rebenberg, Lagerdorf, Kudritz, Freudenthal, Suchenthal; the mining
town of Neu-Moldowa and Mühlenbach near Orschowa [2 p.33].
fortress Temeswar, Jahrmarkt, Bruckenau, Freidorf, Ulmbach, Yschakowa, Wojtek,
Detta and Denta; the cities Groß-Betschkerek and Lugosch; the villages Rekasch,
Fatschet, Karansebesch; the mining town of Deutsch-Bokschan, Orawitza,
Dognatschka, Galina and Häuerdorf.
number of settlers was between 15,000 and 20,000 [2 p.35]
A new war
against the Turks (1787 – 1791) destroyed the settlements in the district of
Neu-Palanka and lead to the loss of the North-Serbian district around Belgrade.
settlements that were established in Hungary were Nagyszékely (Gross Säckel),
Kistormás (Klein Tormasch), Kurd (Kurt), Gyӧrkӧny (Jerking), Bikács (Wikatsch),
Izmény (Isming), Májos (Majesch), Bonyhád (Bonnhad), Murga, Kalaznó (Gallas),
Kéty (Ketsch), Szárázd (Scharasd), Keszӧhidegkút (Hidegkut), Gyӧnk (Jink),
Morágy (Moragy), Hidás (Hidasch), Tófü (Toffu), Batáapáti (Abstdorf), Hӧgyész (Mercystetten),
Páks, Tevél, Mucsi (Mutsching), Lengyél (Lengel), Tolna and Udvári in Tolna
County; Bár, Kislippó (Lipewar), Máriakéménd (Keemend), Mekényes (Mekenyesch),
Szalatnak, Újpetre (Raazpetr), Mecseknádasd (Naadasch), Lováshetény (Lovasch),
Siklós (Schiklosch), Somberek (Scomberg), and Szajk (Seik) in Baranya County.
Kӧtcse (Kӧtsching), Felsӧ Mocsolád (Obermetschelad), Somogydӧrӧcske (Dӧrӧschke)
in Somogy County. Elék and Meszӧberény in Békes County. Budaӧrs (Wudersch),
Érd (Hanselbeck), Torbagy (Klein Turwall), Soroksar (Schorokschar), Solymasr (Schaumar)
and Ujpest (Neu Pesth) in the Budapest environs. Dӧbrӧnte (Dewrenter),
Németbánya (Deutsch Schütten) and Bakonyjako (Jaka) in Veszprem north of Lake Balaton.
second Swabian Migration (1763 – 1773) under Maria Theresia
moved into existing German villages. New villages were established: Billed,
Hatzfeld, Sackelhausen, Schöndorf, Engelsbrunn; Tschatad, Großjetscha, Glogowatz,
Grabatz, Bogarosch. In 1770: Albrechtsflor, Heufeld, St. Hubert, Kleinjetscha,
Marienfeld, Mastort, Blumenthal, Segenthau, Reschitza. In 1771: Charleville,
Soltour, Wiesenhaid, Altringen, Charlottenburg, Buchberg, Greifenthal, Königshof,
Lichtenwald, Neuhof. In 1772: Gottlob, Ostern, Triebswetter. In 1773: Steierdorf
and Anina. The total number of settlers was around 50,000 persons.
third Swabian Migration (1782 – 1787) under Joseph II
evangelical and reformed immigrants were settled on the state-owned estates of
the Banat, Batschka and Slavonia. At the same time, the mining localities in the
Banat, as well as the glass hut locations in the Bakony Forest, in the Mecsek
Mountains, in Slovakia and in the Sathmar region. [3 p. 17]
In 1778 the
administration of the Banat was given to Hungary. The state-owned land was
divided and sold to private individuals. The privileges of the settlers were
taken away and they reverted to the status of serfs. Forty Swabian villages were
sold and their inhabitants became serfs of the buyers. They had to perform free
manual labour (Robot), provide carriage services, and deliver the ninth of their
harvest in kind. After 1782 another 3000 German families were settled in six new
villages. New settlers arrived under Emperor Franz II, establishing the villages
of Karlsdorf (1803), Großscham (1809) and Franzfeld (1790 and 1802) [1 p.91].
The total number of settlers was around 45,000 persons.
Settled by government
Syrmia and Slavonia
Other sources give the numbers of settlers as 115,000 by government, and 35,000
privately settled [3 p.17].
and Slavonia became part of Austria, Slavonia had about 140,000 inhabitants and
Syrmia was practically depopulated. The first German settlers came to
Peterwardein and Esseg. Because the country was still largely covered by bush
and swamp, the rural settlement of the land occurred in a less planned fashion
than in the Batschka. Between 1785 and 1787 the state settled Josefsfeld-Kula
and Josefsdorf-Porec. A new part of Esseg (1792) and new German settlement took
place in Neu-Passua, Karlowitz, Ruma and Bukowitz. During the 19th century, the
new villages were settled and existing villages were reinforced by
Danube-Swabians from the territories North of Drau and Danube (Swabian Turkey
and the Batschka [1 p.92].
Development until the end of WWI
arrival in the Banat, many of the settlers were bitterly disappointed. They
found an unusual climate, with hot summers and cold winters, with malaria and
seasonal floods in the lowlands. After overcoming the initial difficulties of
the colonization, the majority of the Danube Swabian settlements developed
successfully. The principle by which only the first-born inherits the property,
prevented the subdivision of their farms into smaller plots, as was common with
other ethnic groups. The modern methods of intensive farming and animal
husbandry introduced by the Danube Swabians proved very productive. Later on,
many farmers increased their land holdings in their own villages mainly
inhabited by Danube Swabians, as well as by land purchases in communities that
were inhabited mainly by other ethnic groups. Eventually, the majority of
Danube-Swabian farmers achieved a level of prosperity well above their
neighbouring ethnic groups [5 p.4].
ancestors of the Danube Swabians, an important reason for emigrating was their
life of hereditary serfdom with its ever increasing demands by their noble
landlords. Those settled by the government (in the Banat and Batschka, for
example) were “free farmers, with obligations only to their Emperor” [3 p.66].
When the Banat was placed under Hungarian administration (1778), there were
attempts to reintroduce hereditary serfdom, as happened in 40 communities sold
by the government to private landlords.
Joseph II attempted to modernize his Empire, by eliminating hereditary serfdom
and making German the official language throughout the Empire. The latter
started a never ending dispute over languages used in administration and
promoted in sections of the Empire. For the various ethnic groups, the struggle
for their own language became a symbol of the struggle for their independence.
Under pressure from the Hungarian nobility, Joseph II had to retract those
reforms shortly before his death in 1790.
revolution of 1848 with Hungary declaring its independence from Austria,
presented the Swabians a dilemma: they supported the abolition of hereditary
serfdom, but they felt threatened by Magyar nationalism. In the Petition of
Bogarosch (1849) the representatives of some 40 Banat villages professed their
allegiance to the Emperor and asked for protection of their language and
identity, similat to that accorded other nationalities. The administration in
Vienna never acknowledged the petition.
Compromise (“Ausgleich”) of 1867 converted the Austrian Empire into the Dual
Monarchy of Austria-Hungarian. From that date until 1918, the resident Germans,
Slavs, and other non-Hungarian nationalization were subjected to intensive
efforts to assimilate them into Magyars (Magyarization) [5 p.4]
of the Danube Swabians were mostly chessboard-shaped, with parallel streets
intersecting at right angles with parallel cross streets. The fields were mostly
small plots, often of 1 Joch (1.422 acres) size, scattered around the various
terrains surrounding the village. This ensured that each settler received fields
with different soil quality, and reduced the risk of total loss by hail, drought
or flood for the individual farmer.
consisted of living room, barn and storage room, all under one roof. The walls
were pounded clay. The ceiling was made of stringers and boards covered with
clay. Because there was little wood, but reed and cane in abundance, the roofs
were made of reeds and had a lateral overhang to protect the clay walls from
rain. Around the mid-19th century, burnt brick replaced the clay walls and the
roofs made of reeds. The houses became larger, with more rooms. The gables were
decorated, and the name of the owner was integrated into the facade. Across the
front yard, there was often a summer kitchen, sometimes with adjacent room for
older family members. The hambar, an airy shed for drying and storing corn,
could be located on top of a storage room for the wagon, or it could be
village streets were very wide, up to 40 meters (130 feet), to prevent the
spread of fire. All houses were aligned on a straight line along the street, the
gaps between them being fenced in. An open corridor supported by pillars
stretched along the courtyard. Behind the house were the utility buildings, such
as barns, and behind them, the garden with vegetables, fruit trees and flowers.
end of the 19th century, the increasing scarcity of land and the resulting
poverty in parts of the rural population, led to increased emigration. Between
1899 and 1913 about 200,000 Germans emigrated from Hungary, mostly to the USA.
These included more than 90,000 Banat Swabians and 25,000 from the Batschka. 
At the same
time, there were also return moves by emigrants who had done well in America.
The Danube Swabians from Batschka and Banat were overrepresented, a fact that
contributed to further economic strengthening of those parts of the Danube
Swabian community [5 p.5].
In 1910, the
undivided Banat had 390,000 Germans living in 130 communities (representing 23
percent of the population); the Batschka had 190,000 in 44 communities (24.5
percent); the Swabian Turkey had 150,000 (35 percent); Syrmia and Slavonia had
126,000 11 percent); Budapest had 80,000 (9 percent). 
Between WWI and WWII
start of WWI the Danube River basin already saw tendencies toward the formation
of sovereign nation states. The
assassination of Austrian Archduke and heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary,
Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo, triggered WWI,
which eventually led to the demise of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
1, 1918, in Temeswar, Otto Roth proclaimed the Banat Republic, as an attempt to
prevent the division of the Banat. The short life of the Banat Republic was
ended on November 15, 1918, when Serbian troops entered the city.
On December 1,
1918 the National Assembly of Romanians of Transylvania and Hungary
convened in Alba Iulia/Karlsburg and decreed the
unification of those Romanians and of all the territories inhabited by them,
with Romania. They voted a resolution on the
"fundamental principles for the foundation of the new Romanian State": Full
national freedom for all the co-inhabiting nationalities, each having the right
to education, administration and judicial recourse in its own language, by
individual elected from its own population. Unfortunately, the government of
Greater Romania later on largely ignored those principles. However, elementary
schools in the Banat villages and higher schools in the cities were allowed to
use German as the language of instruction.
1918 a Swabian National Council had been formed and sent its own delegation to
the peace negotiations in Paris. On behalf of the 315,000 Banat Swabians, it
asked for the preservation of a united Banat, but its request was ignored. In
secret agreements, the Allies had pledged the Banat to both Romania and Serbia.
At the insistence of France, they now agreed to divide the Banat.
multi-ethnic axis countries were dismantled and separate territories were
allocated to the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe, which however did not
always coincide with the settlements inhabited by their people. The peace treaty
of Trianon (1920) divided the regions with Danube-Swabian settlement and
allocated them as follows:
to Romania (18,945 km˛ or 7315 square miles), partly to Serbia (9,307 km˛ or
3593 square miles), hence the naming of Romanian or Serbian Banat, a small
part (217 or 84 square miles km˛) remained in Hungary;
to Yugoslavia (now Serbia), a part remained in Hungary;
and Slavonia to Yugoslavia (now Serbia and Croatia);
Hungarian Highlands and the Swabian Turkey to Hungary.
million Danube Swabians were divided up between the successor states. Their
subsequent development followed the different development of the three
countries, which must now be considered separately.
the Census of 1920, over 551,000 German lived in Hungary. Their first spokesman
was Jakob Bleyer. As member of the Hungarian Parliament, he called for the
establishment of a German school system and maintenance of the German language
in the areas of German settlement.
In 1930 the number of Germans in Hungary 480,000 according to official figures,
but 650,000 according to the national group. 
attitude of the Hungarian Government led to the Renewal Movement under the
leadership of Franz Anton Basch. In 1938 Basch launched the Volksbund der
Deutschen in Ungarn (VDU), which was recognized by the Hungarian government in
April 1939. The program of this organization was strongly oriented towards the
example of Nazi Germany, and exerted
growing pressure on the Germans of Hungary to join the German armed forces.[1
By a later
adjustment of the border (Belgrade, November 24, 1923) Modosch and Kudritz fell
to Yugoslavia, Hatzfeld and Großscham to Romania. In 1920, as a
member of the Romanian Parliament, Kaspar Muth issued a declaration of loyalty
to the "new fatherland". The conservative Catholic-oriented "Deutsch-Schwäbische
Volksgemeinschaft" was launched as a non-partisan association to represent all
Germans in the Eastern Banat and Sathmar. Under Bishop
Augustin Pacha, the Catholic Church played an important role in the cultural
life of the Banat Germans. German-language schools developed, with the teaching staff primarily educated at
the teachers' college Banatia in Temeswar.
Sathmar region joined Romania, there were 47,000 Sathmar Germans. Only 31,000
persons identified themselves as Germans, of whom only 22,000 were
and 1930, about 42,000 Swabians emigrated overseas, leaving 275,000 in the
Romanian Banat. 
Kingdom of Yugoslavia (also called Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), in
the former Southern Hungary, comprising the Western Banat, the Batschka, the
Southern Baranya, Eastern Slavonia and Syrmia, lived around 450,000 Danube
Swabians [5 p.9]. Because of different regional origin, social affiliation and
cultural roots, the German population in Yugoslavia was not a homogeneous group.
The lack of a single settlement area contributed to the lack of a coordinated
policy among the various ethnic German groups.
In 1920 the
Schwäbisch Deutscher Kulturbund (Swabian German Cultural Association ) was
founded in Neusatz, and remained as a free and independent association until
1939. In October 1922 Agraria, the first Danube-Swabian cooperative was set up
in Neusatz. Agraria expanded in the following years to become one of the most
important institutions of the German movement in the Vojvodina. Under the
leadership of Stefan Kraft and Ludwig Kremling, the Party of Germans in
Yugoslavia (Partei der Deutschen in Jugoslawien) fought for the promotion of
German educational institutions and for the official use of the German language.
and cultural impulses also came from the Evangelical Church of Yugoslavia,
constituted in 1930 under Bishop Philipp Popp. The Renewal Movement created a
program that differed considerably from the principles of the old, mainly
Catholic leadership in the Kulturbund. The center of the renewal movement
shifted to the Croatian Slavonia, where it possessed its own newspaper
Slawonischer Volksbote (Slavonian People’s Messenger). In 1939 Sepp Janko took
over the agenda of the Kulturbund and proceeded to restructure the cultural and
political institutions of the German minority in the direction of the Nazi
ideology. [5 p.10]
Localities with German Majority of Inhabitants [1 p.147/8]
Swabian Turkey-Hungarian Part
Swabian Turkey-Yugoslavian Part
Yugoslavian defeat in 1941 the Batschka and the Lower Baranya were returned to
Hungary, which had joined the axis tripartite pact in 1940 under Miklós Horthy.
His regime claimed all the prerogatives of a sovereign state and conscripted
German men for military service into the Hungarian army. The
conscripted Danube Swabians confronted an alternative: To become "volunteers" of
the German armed forces, or to join the national army of their native country.
Starting in 1941 and under threat of major reprisals, around 120,000 Germans
from Hungary were recruited into the Waffen-SS . [1 p.26]
About 32,000 Hungary-Germans died as soldiers in the German or Hungarian armed
forces. About 50,000 were evacuated before the Soviets invaded, while 60,000 to
65,000 were deported to forced labour in the Soviet Union.
20, 1940, the Romanian Government under general Ion Antonescu passed a law that
granted the status of a legal person to the "Deutsche Volkgruppe in Rumänien",
to which all Germans in Romania automatically belonged as members. In May 1943,
Germany signed an agreement with Romania, according to which all able-bodied
Germans could be recruited into the German armed forces. The Danube Swabians
men could either become "volunteers" of the German armed forces, or join the
national army of their native country. Due to the ideological convergence
between Romania and the German Reich, the Banat Swabians found themselves in the
wake of the Nazi policy on ethnic groups.
Banat Swabians died as soldiers in the German or Romanian armed forces. About
70,000 were evacuated to Austria and Germany in the fall of 1944. In January
1945, 40,000 to 50,000 were deported to forced labour in the Soviet Union, of
whom little more than half returned, some to Romania and others to East Germany.
Sathmar Swabians, about 3,000 were evacuated before the Soviets invaded, while
6,000 were deported to forced labour in the Soviet Union.
German attack on Yugoslavia, many able-bodied Yugoslav Danube Swabians served in
the Yugoslav army, fighting against the German troops. Many chose escape to
Styria, Hungary or Romania, or went into hiding until the arrival of German
troops. The Banat Germans either became citizens in the Wehrmacht-occupied
Serbia, or came directly under German military administration. Syrmia became
part of the independent State of Croatia.
In the period
between 1941 and 1944, during the occupation of the Batschka, , the resident
Germans, Slavs, and other non-Hungarian ethnic groups were subjected to
intensive efforts of Magyarization. [5 p.4]
The 7th SS
Volunteer Mountain Division "Prinz Eugen" was a division of the Waffen-SS, which
was established in 1942 primarily in the northern Serbian Banat, from the ranks
of the able-bodied German men of the German Military Administration Area Serbia
(Vojvodina East of the Theiss River). Although the initially introduced term
"Volunteer Division" was maintained later on, the first recruiting calls already
indicated that the recruitment of "volunteers" would soon be extended to the
ethnic Germans of Croatia, Romania and the Hungarian part of the Vojvodina.
before the Red Army invaded and the partisans took control, just over half of
the 510,000 Danube Swabians living in Yugoslavia at the beginning of the war
were able to escape to the West. Included are 90 percent from Syrmia and
Slavonia, about half from the Batschka and the Baranja triangle, and only about
15 percent from the western Banat. 
Agreement between the Allies provided for the expulsion of the Danube Swabians
from Hungary to Germany or Austria. As a result, between 1945 and 1948
approximately 250,000 Hungary-Germans were expropriated and expelled. About
6,000 of them died during transportation . The remaining Germans only
received identity cards in1950. The Association of Hungary-Germans was founded
Swabians in Hungary were once again subject to a strong Magyarization. There
were hardly any German schools, so that a "silent generation" grew up, which did
not master the German language, but just understood the dialect. From the
mid-1980s, German was introduced in several schools, and research in the field
of folklore and dialects was made possible. After the end of communism, more
German associations were formed. In November 1995, 164 German
self-administrations were formed. Like other minorities, the Danube Swabians
remaining in Hungary are, both linguistically and culturally, largely
integrated. Of the 650,000 Danube Swabians present in 1940, in 1990 only 220,000
still lived in Hungary. [1 p.27]
Romanian agricultural reform of March 23, 1945 (Decree No. 187) the German
population was collectively dispossessed (expropriated). More than 90 percent of
the total agricultural holdings of the Banat Swabians became property of the
state. The electoral
law of July 14, 1946, excluded the Germans from the right to vote, even though
all Romanian citizens without distinction of race, nationality, language and
religion had been assured of the equal rights. In1948, the Romanian Workers
Party adopted a program addressing the concerns of the German minority in the
sense of Communist social theory.
constitution of September 24, 1952, guaranteed to the national minorities the
use of their mother tongue in public life and as a language of instruction, the
publication of literature in their mother tongue, and the development of their
own art and theatre. Nevertheless, in 1951, about 10,000 of them were deported,
together with other nationals, to the Baragan steppe in South-Eastern Romania.
They were allowed to return five years later.
the post-war provisions against the Germans were gradually lifted. In 1956 the
Romanian State returned the bulk of the houses expropriated in 1945 to their
former German owners. The Communist State secured itself the effective
supervision over the Germans still living in Romania in1966, by fully taking
over the German-language press in 1968-69. Apart from the Communist cultural
work, the German ethnic group had the opportunity, within state-prescribed
limits, to maintain their customs, festivals and traditions.
In 1978, the
Federal Republic of Germany signed a joint declaration with the Romanian regime,
containing concessions in bilateral travel and family reunification. The
emigration of Germans from Romania was promoted by Communist dictator Nicolae
Ceauşescu until 1989, as a source for the acquisition of foreign currency. Only
some members of the older generation often decided to remain in Romania.
following decades, tens of thousands were resettled in Germany. After the
revolution of 1989 led to the execution of Ceauşescu and the fall of his regime,
Germans were free to leave. More than 160,000 Germans left Romania, about half
of them Banat Swabians. 
emigration of the Sathmar Swabians was less pronounced than that of the Banat
Swabians, so that today they remained relatively better represented in their
settlement area. [1 p.25]
Added since publication: The Fate of the Germans in the Banat After the Coup of August 23, 1944,
and until their deportation in the Bărăgan-steppe in June 1951 by Wilhelm Weber, 2001. Translated and Edited by Nick Tullius 21 Apr 2014
about 195,000 Swabian civilians remained under the regime of Communist dictator
Tito. More than 7,000 civilians were murdered in 1944. About 12,000 Danube
Swabians, including 8,000 women, were deported to forced labour in the Soviet
Union. By 1949 an estimated 2,000 of them had died. Almost all of the remaining
170,000 suffered expropriation and were detained in work camps and starvation
camps. Some 50,000 of them died within three years as a result of hunger,
sickness and shootings. Thousands of children were taken from the camps and
placed into children’s homes, becoming subjects to assimilation. Before the
camps were broken up in 1948, about 35,000 were able to escape to Hungary and
425,000 who had survived in the West, 190,000 found a new homeland in Germany,
80,000 in Austria, and 35,000 overseas.
Of the 1.4
million (other sources say 1.5 million) Danube Swabians alive in the year 1940,
about 1,235,000 survived the war, expulsion and internment. Of these, about 40
percent, or 490.000 survive in the year 2000. Between 1970 and1990, the vast
majority of those that survived after 1945, about 810,000 people, have found a
new homeland in the German-speaking countries, about 660,000 in Germany and
about 150,000 in Austria. For the resettlement overseas (since 1920) the
following numbers appear reasonable: 70,000 in the USA, 40,000 in Canada,
10,000 in Brazil, 6,000 in Argentina, and 5,000 in Australia. More than 10,000
Danube Swabians have resettled in other countries worldwide. [6 p.34]
the 2011 census, the population of Romania was as follows:
Innenministerium Baden-Württemberg (1987): Die Donauschwaben, Deutsche Siedlung
in Südosteuropa, Sigmaringen
Valentin, Anton (1959): Die Banater Schwaben, München
Ingomar (2005): Die Donauschwaben, München
Dama, Hans (Publisher) (2007): Österreich und die Banater Schwaben, Wien
Donauschwaben (2013) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donauschwaben
Gehl, Hans (2003): Donauschwäbische Lebensformen an der mittleren Donau
gegen Vertreibungen (2013) http://www.z-g-v.de/index1.html
 Karl Beel
(2001) Tscherwenkaer Heimat-Zeitung, Folge 37, Jahrgang 15
 Henry Fischer – Summarized from local monographs
[i] Pashaluk or Pashalik (Turkish: paşalık) is a term for one type of
the Subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire.
[Published at DVHH.org
13 Feb 2013 by Jody McKim
20 Sep 2017