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The History of the Batschka
by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
From Dr. Viktor Pratscher's book "The Germans of the Community of Feketic / Feketitsch"
Translated by Brad Schwebler
Published at DVHH.org 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr

     The area of the Batschka was a fresh-water lake in prehistoric times, as geologists have proven.  This lake evaporated very slowly.  The oldest known sites of inhabitants are from the 5th Century B.C.

   In the 3rd Century B.C. the world conquering power of the Roman Empire reached across to this region and the Romans found the nomadic people of the Jazigen between the Danube and the Thiess Rivers.  They moored here on the left shore of the Danube around their marvelous province: Pannonien (present day Baranya and beyond that the Danube) and Syrmien.  The so-called Roman entrenchments came from that time.

   In the 4th Century A.D. the migration of people took place which pushed people farther west, or subjugated it.  The German known as the Goths, who we can thank for our writing, shook the power of the great Roman Empire.  These people lived in the Batschka and the greatest part of our fatherland to the Adriatic and Italy.  The city of Belgrade, Nisch, etc. had already been settled by the Goths.

   In the following century our homeland was ruled by Huns.  The empire of the Huns, at its prime here in the year 450 A.D., got rid of the decaying empire of the Romans.  The rich culture of the place where the Romans first stood fell into ruins because the people from the moral swamp in which it found itself could not get out of it.

   The authority of the Huns did not last long.  Then came the Germanic people of Gepiden (500 A.D.).  Around the year 800 A.D. the Slavs appeared.  After them the Magyars (Hungarians) (896 A.D.) expelled or subjugated the people they found here.

Villages already stood along the Danube and Theiss Rivers in ancient times, but only very slowly did life come to the interior of the Batschka.  Around the year 1500 the Turkish invasion began.  After the Turks had conquered the whole Balkan Peninsula they invaded here and inhabited our region for almost 200 years, plundering and devastating everything.

   In the year 1590 there were recorded 37 Christian inhabitants in Sekitsch, 36 in Vrbas, and 12 in Schowe.  Prince Eugene, the noble knight, with a German army was finally able to drive the Turks away with the great victory at Senta on 11 September 1697.  Swabians in Prince Eugene's army helped to expel the enemy who inhabited this land.  Individuals who valiantly took up the German sword already made themselves residents here at that time, as they received their discharge from the military.

   In this wasted land the Serbs and Bunjevacen settled.  The Serbs feared the vindictiveness of the Turks after their failed rebellion.  They came under the leadership of their patriarch from Pecs in 1690, 35,000 families strong, over the Sava and the Danube and a greater part ended up in the Batschka below.  Maria Theresia was the first German settlement (1740-1780).  At that time the German-Catholic villages flourished.  Not everything in this wasted land had yet become populated, so Emperor Josef II determined between 1780 and 1790 to have the ownerless German subjects of the crown from the 'Empire" populate this area regardless of their beliefs.


Last Updated: 04 Feb 2020

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