We would not do justice to Nikolaus Tullius by expressing our heartfelt wishes and gratitude, primarily based on biographical data. Nevertheless, we will try to do it with nostalgic solidarity, based on his words.
What the then 26-year-old took with him from the Banat to Canada were and remain his Banat Swabian roots. Nikolaus Tullius was born in Alexanderhausen on October 23, 1935, the son of Titus and Barbara Tullius (née Lukas). As an only child, he spent a carefree childhood in this village of the Banater Heide, unique for the roundabout with the twin-towered church in the village center. But the Second World War with its grave consequences for the Romania Germans also had a fateful effect on the boy's life. Nikolaus Tullius experienced the mobilization of his father into the German army, as well as the disenfranchisement, expro-priation and deportation of Romania Germans to the Soviet Union for
forced labor, which also affected his mother. She lost her young life in a foreign country; his father was taken to England as a prisoner of war and emigrated to Canada after his release.
Nikolaus Tullius' only remaining support was his elderly, walking disabled grandmother Katharina Lukas, the "Lukasin", as she was
called by villagers. He fended for himself, went his way undeterred and mastered all challenges, including learning the Romanian language, since lessons were taught in this language as of 1945. The talented and clever boy was always at the top of his class, and after finishing elementary school he attended the Romanian high school (Gymnasium) in Timisoara on the recommendation of Director Alexa. He graduated one year early upon completing the tenth grade, after which he studied electrical engin-eering at the Technical University "Politehnica". This came as no surprise to friends and acquaintan-ces. As there were hardly any radios available, he built a small device with which he and his friends were able to receive Radio Timisoara on
the Uiheler Wiese (meadow). After his beloved grandmother died in 1957, Nikolaus was left on his own. However, he did not allow himself to be discouraged; he completed his studies and took up a position as a new graduate engineer with the municipal company ICOA in Arad.
After much effort, Tullius man-aged to emigrate in 1961 and join his father, who had started a new family in Canada. Starting a new life and gaining a foothold in an un-familiar world was fraught with the difficulties of being an immigrant. But life was kind to him and led him
to the largest Canadian telecommuni-cations company in Montreal at the time, and subsequently to his dream job in the newly founded Research and Development Subsidiary in Ottawa, where he played a major role in the new developments in semiconductor technology and the application of soft-ware in telecommunications. Nikolaus also started a family in Ottawa. His marriage to Donna produced two sons, Raimond and Konrad, one graduated from the renowned Harvard University.
Since his retirement in 2000, the jubilarian has increasingly devoted himself to writing. In 2011 he sub-mitted his impressive biography in a book which he published in English and German, as well as in Romanian two years later. "From the Banat to Canada. From the Life of a Migrant" is the summary of a rich, fulfilled life "between the poppy and maple", as the reviewer Hans Gehl put it in a nutshell. The poppy symbolizes origin and roots, the familial, cultural and
social character in the Banat - the maple leaf, as the emblem of Canada, for the rootedness in the adopted country. For Nikolaus, the poppy and maple form a symbiotic unit.
For many years, Tullius has been one of the most avid collaborators of the "Banater Post". He regularly provides articles in our "Schandr-haaser" Schwowisch for the dialect page "Mei Mottersproch". In 2017, the Democratic Forum of Germans in Timisoara published a collection of his dialect texts, titled "Gschichte vun drhem", some of which had ap-peared in the "Banater Post" and in the "Pipatsch" supplement of the "Banater Zeitung". His stories recall places, events, people and exper-iences from his childhood and youth in the Banat. They are mostly perm-eated by nostalgia and bring to mind the lost world of his Banat village in a sensitive, sometimes cheerful way. Tullius' dialect texts
demonstrate his bond to his homeland, his love for the land of his birth, his appreciation for its people.
The jubilarian made a valuable contribution to the publication of our village monograph. We are grateful to him for this.
Nikolaus Tullius is an associate member of the Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands (DVHH),
whose mission is to preserve the history, traditions, culture and heritage of our Danube Swabian ancestors. He has translated numerous articles, as well as some of his dialect texts, from German into English for the English speaking descendants. Tullius collab-orates on the DVHH Banat section and is the Village Coordinator for dvhh.org/alexanderhausen, which is dedicated to his hometown. All of his essays and translations are accessible at
In recognition of his great services to our hometown, the local council awarded Nikolaus Tullius the title of "Honorary Citizen of Alexanderhausen" in 2017. He would have deserved this honor anyway, based on the fact that after living far from his old homeland for almost sixty years, he still masters our dialect and contributes to its preservation through his publications.
Nikolaus Tullius was, is and remains a Banat Swabian. We are grateful that we can call him a ”Schandrhaaser” and wish him all the best for the future and God's blessing!
~Christa Albert, Hans Schuch
The editorial staff joins in the good wishes and thanks Nikolaus Tullius for the faithful cooperation.