A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Looking for Work

by Stefan Schmied
Translated by
Gerald "Jerry" Thomas Boyle

      The quick increase in population and the absence of industries at the turn of the century was the cause of emigration to North America. Among the 187 people who went to Hungary, mostly men 20-40 years old, were many German settlers; sons of farmers who wanted to seek a better livelihood in the United States. By 1907, the number of emigrants more than doubled. The emigration swell seized the Sathmar Swabian communities. This was especially the case in the eastern area, where the heavy white clay soil caused poor crops, as in Scheindorf, for example. By 1913, 121 people had emigrated: 53 men, 15 women, 13 boys, and 40 girls. Stopped by the First World War, the emigration resumed when peace was declared. Those who had trouble going to the United States because of quota restrictions, now went to Cuba, Mexico, and Canada. In 1928, 8 adults went to Canada, 1 to the United States, and 4 to France. 17 people went to Canada the following year. During the Depression, however, numerous Scheindorfer returned home; 14 in 1931, 24 in 1932, and 5 in 1933.

      After World War I, more and more young people went to Banat, where they could make a good living working on farms. In 1926, 20 young men and women worked in neighboring communities; 12 in 1928, and 11 in 1929.

      After 1940, many Scheindorfer went to the Batschka (Yugoslavia) and to Germany.

      Happily, most emigrants kept in touch with their families and supported their relatives at home. Many came home or to nearby towns and bought farms or built houses with the money they had made in other countries. Scheindorf acquired 700-800 acres of fertile farmland and almost doubled its land ownership. The emigrants were not only able to acquire new land, but also, especially in Scheindorf, encouraged community. Luckily, after the events of World War II, many emigrants were able to support their landsmen in Germany and Austria, and help many get to the United States and Canada.

[Published at 29 Sep 2006 by Jody McKim Pharr]

Heritage Collections Boyle Schmied