Danube Swabia

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Plaque with the former settlement areas of the Danube Swabians. Donauschwabenpark, Vienna - Floridsdorf

Donauschwaben (also Danube Germans ) is a collective term for the Germans who emigrated to the lands of the Hungarian St. Stephen's Crown from the end of the 17th to the second half of the 19th century , but also a small number of French , Spanish and Italians whose settlement areas along the central reaches of the Danube in the Pannonian Plain . The settlements were initially limited to the military border, a chain of military districts along the border with the Ottoman Empire . This military border remained the imperial crown land until the end of the 19th century, while the remaining, but larger Danube-Swabian settlement areas were incorporated into the Hungarian county administration .

After the collapse of Austria-Hungary as a result of the First World War , the settlement areas of the Danube Swabians in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire were divided into three parts by the Allied powers. One part remained with Hungary , the second part was allocated to Romania and the third part fell to the newly founded state of Yugoslavia . The Danube Swabians had to fight for legal equality as citizens and for the preservation of their cultural traditions. The German Reich used these circumstances to spread National Socialist ideas among the Danube Swabians.

During the Second World War , Danube Swabians fought in the Hungarian and Romanian armies on the side of the German Reich, but also in the Wehrmacht and in the Waffen SS . In Yugoslavia they took part in occupation tasks. Danube Swabians took part in the partisan war against the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army in divisions of the Waffen-SS, which were known for their brutal reprisals and illegal shootings of civilians. In Yugoslavia as well as in Romania and Hungary, volunteers initially registered for the Waffen-SS ; in the further course of the war, levies took place in all three states .

In the final phase of the Second World War, tens of thousands of Danube Swabians fled mostly to the western part of the German Empire. After the war, the remaining Danube Swabians were disenfranchised, expropriated and in many cases deported to the Soviet Union . In Hungary half of the Hungarian Germans were expelled. After the years of German occupation, the pent-up need for retaliation erupted in Yugoslavia, according to which the “ethnic Germans” were collectively considered war criminals . At first there was mistreatment and mass executions of Yugoslav Germans by partisans, and later they were sent to central labor camps and internment camps by Yugoslav authorities. In the years after the camps were dissolved, most of the Yugoslav Germans left the country. In the last third of the 20th century, many of the still existing German settlements, especially those of the Romanian Germans, largely dissolved due to large waves of emigration, mainly to Germany and Austria.


Ulm Box
Historical illustration

The fortified farmers of the most diverse origins, languages, religions and traditions settled in the Habsburg Empire in south-east Europe consisted for the most part of Lorraine (almost 25 percent), followed by the Palatinate and Alsatians. Only about 6% of the settlers actually came from Swabia . Most of the Sathmar Swabians come from the Kingdom of Württemberg in Upper Swabia , from where they were specifically recruited by Count Alexander Karolyi and his descendants between 1712 and 1815 . In contrast to the haphazard German emigration overseas, the settlement organized by the House of Habsburg clearly had the character of a community settlement . Until the end of the First World War, the Danube Swabians were known as the Hungarian Germans .

The term Donauschwaben has a predominantly political history. It was only after the Trianon Treaty of 1920 that the Germans began to develop an awareness of the national team that the name Swabia came into its own. It was coined in the early 1920s by the Graz geographer Robert Sieger , and in 1922 by the historian and National Socialist Hermann Rüdiger (from 1941 head of the German Foreign Institute ) and was intended to portray a common opposition between these minorities and the others there for a long time serve local populations. At the same time, the term Danube Bavarians for the Bavarian dialect-speaking settlers and the name Danube Germans used for all Germans in the region could not prevail.

The term Donauschwaben was confirmed in 1930 by the Foreign Ministry of the Weimar Republic , which recognized the ethnic group as of German descent. It includes the following ethnic groups:

During the time of National Socialism , Germans (people with German mother tongue) who lived in Europe outside of the states with a German population majority and mostly had the citizenship of their foreign-language country of residence were generally referred to by the term Volksdeutsche .



Nine years after the Battle of Kahlenberg near Vienna in 1683, five years after the Second Battle of Mohács in 1687 and three years after the reconquest of Oven (now Buda, part of Budapest ) in 1689, the first Imperial Impopulation Patent “[…] for better relief, appeared again Survey and population of the same ”. The planned repopulation of the Pannonian lowlands, which was largely depopulated after the Turkish wars, took place in several smaller and three large Swabian plateaus . The Austrian settlement policy (policy of Prince Eugene of Savoy , Karl VI. And Claudius Florimund Mercy , colonization patent of Empress Maria Theresa , the settlement patent of Emperor Joseph II. , And the policy of the last Roman-German Emperor Franz II. (Later as Franz I, Emperor of Austria )) favored the settlement of taxpayers.

The superficial conditions for the settlement were:

  • Recognition of the emperor from the House of Habsburg as head
  • Catholic faith ( this condition was lifted with the tolerance patent issued by Joseph II in 1781 )
  • Obligation to defend the military frontier

Within the emigration area, Lorraine , Alsace , the Palatinate , Rhine and Main Franconia were particularly prominent. The other areas from which the emigrants came were Swabia , Franconia , Bavaria , Hesse , Bohemia , Inner Austria , the Austrian Netherlands (today: Luxembourg, Belgium), but also foreign speakers from Italy , France , Hungary , Croatia , Romania , Spain and the Ukraine settled in the lowlands. In the entire central Danube region, German settlers were called Swabians by their Magyar, South Slav and Romanian neighbors, as well as by Bulgarian , Slovak and Czech immigrants, although this name only applied to a small number of settlers. In parts of the former Yugoslavia, the unofficial term Schwabo is still used today for the colloquial term used by Germans .

The thesis that was widespread among nationalist Serbs and the communist partisans , in which the settlement of the Danube Swabians aimed at " Germanizing the area" , can be regarded as refuted . Rather, they were settled as pioneers of mercantilism , whereby their ethnicity was irrelevant, their economic skills, knowledge and their willingness to do military service counted more.

In southern Germany, Alsace-Lorraine , and southern Serbia , farmers and craftsmen were released for various reasons. The aim of the Habsburgs was to revive economic life in Vojvodina, which was then economically fallow. The Batschka and the Banat, here primarily the military border, were the preferred settlement areas of the settlement regulated by the court chamber. These target regions were sparsely populated, but not deserted. The first settlers were about 60-70,000 Serbs (about 37,000 families), who in 1690 during the Great Turkish War under the leadership of the Patriarch of Peć , Arsenije III. Crnojević , were settled from Turkish-occupied territories at the invitation of Leopold I. Here denominational and national freedoms were guaranteed in specially issued privileges.

In addition to the settlement on state camera property, there was also a settlement on private property. The settlement of various population groups was a deliberate attempt by the imperial authorities to use their respective skills to rebuild the deserted and depopulated landscape. They consciously rely on the ethnic diversity of the settlers in order to take advantage of their different cultural traditions when developing the landscape. The already tense relationship between Serbs and Wallachians on the one hand and the colonists on the other was intensified by the general contradiction between pasture and cattle farming and agriculture in all forms of settlement. The mutual adoption of material ethnic characteristics and customs associated with living together was complemented by the desire for greater separation from foreign ethnic groups. The diversity of the settlers was, among other things, reinforced by their different denominations and financial circumstances. However, the demarcation from the Wallachian and Serbian neighbors went hand in hand with a leveling of the differences within the German-speaking part of the settlers, and they developed their own ethnic characteristics.

The hopes of the settlers were bitterly disappointed in the first time after their arrival in the Banat. The unfamiliar climate with hot summers and cold winters and the marsh fever that occurred in the lowlands due to the seasonal floods made the colonists to create. Due to the indebtedness of the empire, camera goods were sold to private landlords from 1778, whereby the colonists who settled on these estates became directly dependent on their landlords. The widespread myth of "creatio ex nihilo" ( German development  from nowhere ), held in high esteem by representatives of the Danube Swabians, seems to be a bit one-sided despite the extreme initial difficulties, as the Slavic neighbors had to overcome no fewer adversities.

Joseph II's attempt to make the German language the official language was the beginning of a never-ending dispute about the meaning of the various languages ​​in the Empire. For the various population groups, the struggle for their own language had become a symbol of the struggle for their independence. Between 1867 and 1918, after the transformation of the Austrian Empire to the dual monarchy Austria-Hungary , as in the period between 1941 and 1944 during the occupation of the Batschka, the resident Germans, Slavs and other non-Hungarian minorities were to be Magyarized alike .

After the difficulties of the first period of colonization had been overcome, the majority of the Danube Swabian settlements in the countryside had developed successfully. The principle that was widespread among the Danube Swabians, that only the firstborn son inherited, prevented a division of their farms into smaller plots, as is common with the other ethnic groups. The more modern methods of the Danube Swabians, such as intensive farming and animal husbandry, had a productive effect on the development of their agriculture in the long term, especially during the time of the dissolution of the manor in the 19th century and the associated capitalization of agriculture. This was particularly beneficial for the more developed farms. As a result, there was both an increase in the land holdings of Danube Swabian farmers in the villages where they predominantly live and land purchases in communities that were mainly inhabited by the other ethnic groups. The majority of the Danube Swabians achieved a level of prosperity in the countryside that over time was well above that of the neighboring ethnic groups.

From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, due to the increasing scarcity of land and the associated poverty of parts of the rural population, there was increased emigration, especially to the United States of America , in which many Danube Swabians also took part. Due to their better economic situation, the Danube Swabians took part in emigration less than other ethnic groups. There were, however, regional and social priorities, for example the Danube Swabian population in the Batschka and the Banat was disproportionately involved in emigration and accounted for over half of all emigrants there. At the same time, however, there were also repatriations of former emigrants who often became wealthy abroad. Here, too, the Danube Swabians from the Batschka and the Banat were disproportionately represented, which resulted in a further economic strengthening of parts of the Danube Swabian population group.

Settlement areas

Main articles: Banat Swabians , Yugoslav Germans , Romanian Germans , Hungarian Germans

Settlement areas of the Danube Swabians (German-speaking areas in the Pannonian Plain)

The Danube Swabian settlement area was divided into:

These areas belonged to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy . After the Trianon Peace Treaty (1920) came

  • the Banat partly to Romania, partly to Vojvodina ( Serbia ), hence the name Romanian or Serbian Banat ; a small part stayed in Hungary
  • the Batschka to Yugoslavia (today Serbia ), part of it remained in Hungary;
  • Syrmia to Yugoslavia (today Croatia and Serbia );
  • Sathmar to Romania;
  • The Ofener Bergland near Budapest and Swabian Turkey are still in Hungary today.

Since the development in the countries in which the German settlement areas in south-eastern Europe broke up after the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy and after the Trianon Peace Treaty , the Danube Swabians can only be viewed as a unified ethnic group to a limited extent.

Forms of settlement

Although the majority of the colonists came from clustered villages or Waldhufendörfern , in the Danube Swabian settlement area there are predominantly street villages with a checkerboard layout. The geometric form of settlement developed since the Theresian colonization period lasted well into the 19th century and was gradually adopted by Hungary. The ground plan of the place was drawn on the drawing board and was square or rectangular, but in any case rectangular. This checkerboard pattern was not deviated from even if the place was built in a circle around an arm of the river like Jabuka on the old Timisoara.

The basic idea was a series of parallel main streets that intersect at right angles with cross streets. In the center of the place, a square was not given to settlers and was left out primarily for the church, the rectory, the town hall, the school, but also for the doctor, the judge, the notary, the post office, the park or the market square . However, with increasing distance from the plaza, there was no social core-edge divide . The alleys, which are up to 40 m wide, usually led to two parallel sewers and were lined with trees.

The fields were mostly scattered in the form of parcels and given to the colonists far apart, in order to distribute fields with different soil quality more equitably among the settlers. This approach also reduced the risk of total write-offs due to hail, drought or flooding for individual farmers.

House and homestead shapes

From the initial single house with residential, stable and storage functions under one roof, a homestead of several buildings with correspondingly divided functions developed with increasing prosperity in many places. The first settlers were assigned rectangular plots of land up to 2000 m² in size. There was little wood in the Banat, but large quantities of reeds and reeds. The walls of the first houses were still tamped with earth. A few wooden beams served as the ceiling, and a layer of clay on the boards. The roofs were made of reed and had a side overhang to protect the clay walls from the rain. The first courtyards consisted of a living room (living room and kitchen) in the front courtyard, followed by a stable, shed, pig and chicken coop and vegetable garden. The entrance to the houses across the street was mostly through the large courtyard gate. Each house had a covered, open arcade or colonnade, in which practically the entire family life took place except for the cold season. There were generally no windows facing the neighbor (back of the house). In today's Hungary you can still find the restriction to at most small rear windows even in new buildings.

From the middle of the 19th century, fired bricks replaced the tamped walls and the thatched roofs. The nave has now developed from the small house . The gables were now decorated, the name of the house owner was integrated into the facade under the roof window or windows. With the economic upturn, the nave initially developed into a semi-transverse building and leading to an elegant transept. The homestead now consisted of the manor house with the parade room , several rooms - also for guests, a kitchen with a basement and stables. Opposite the front courtyard was the summer kitchen with an adjoining room, sometimes also used as an elderly area. The elderly part and the manor house were often connected by a wagon shed with a hambar above . The corn was dried in the hambar (from Persian, Armenian, Ottoman ambar , “storage container for grain”), an airy shed .

First World War and the interwar period

Political background

Before the beginning of World War I, efforts towards the formation of sovereign nation states intensified in the Danube region. The Austrian heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand worked actively in the imperial policy of Emperor Franz Joseph I. with. The reforms planned by Franz Ferdinand aimed at the amalgamation of Croatia, Bosnia and Dalmatia into a separate part of the empire South Slavia , which competed with Serbia's interest in founding a South Slav kingdom under Serbian leadership. These plans and the heated public discussion fueled the Serbs' mood against Franz Ferdinand and the Habsburgs. The Hungarian Prime Minister István Tisza was a prominent opponent of a federalist Austrian state .

Franz Ferdinand and his wife died in the assassination attempt in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, which at the end of the July crisis led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia and the beginning of World War I on July 28, 1914. On August 12th the Austro-Hungarian offensive against Serbia began, in which tens of thousands of Danube Swabian soldiers were deployed in regiments of the Common Austro-Hungarian Army and the Royal Hungarian Army . Unless they were drafted, the Danube Swabians were largely spared direct acts of war.

In the winter of 1916, the population in the cities and industrial centers began to feel the strained supply situation more and more, which became a serious threat to social peace. The ongoing war was increasingly perceived as a burden by all social classes, especially because of the frequent requisitions to the civilian population. In the summer of 1918 the desertions in Austro-Hungarian regiments reached their peak. Accompanied by the military defeat in the war and the internal breakdown in the different interests of the nationalities of the multi-ethnic state, the death of Franz Joseph I on November 21, 1916 finally heralded the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy two years later.

After the First World War, it was above all the American President Woodrow Wilson who tried to realize the idea of ​​a League of Nations as a constant in international peacekeeping. After the revolutions of 1848/49 it was the idea of ​​the nationality principle , according to which every ethnic group should have the right to its (own) state. In his 14-point program , Wilson first took up the peoples' right to self-determination , which was the basis for the reorganization of Europe after the First World War. The multi-ethnic Axis powers were to be smashed and the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe were to be given their own state space, which, however, did not always coincide with the settlement areas of the state peoples. The aim was to prevent the "atomization" of the European community of states, which resulted in the creation of new state structures which in turn included ethnic minorities or were even new multiethnic states such as B. Yugoslavia. The peoples' own decisions about the state in which they wanted to organize were ignored. Referendums on the new borders were not held in the areas that had to be ceded by the Axis powers, nor in the areas that were merged to form new states. The application of the right to self-determination under international law was more a decree of the victorious powers than the democratic declaration of will by peoples to want to govern themselves.

With the constitutional amendment following his “People's Manifesto” on October 16, 1918, Charles I wanted to transform the monarchy into an ethnically structured federal state, which should offer every tribe the opportunity to develop their own state community in their own settlement area. It was a last symbolic attempt to prevent the disintegration of the Danube Monarchy, whose peoples invoked the right of peoples to self-determination proclaimed by US President Wilson, proclaimed their independence and thus disintegrated into individual nation states. In a few weeks the former great power with more than 51 million inhabitants had become a small state with 6.5 million inhabitants. Many feared that the new state would not be able to survive and therefore demanded annexation to the German Reich, which had also already been converted into a republic.

On October 17, 1918, István Tisza demanded the independence and territorial integrity of Hungary before the National Assembly in Budapest , while respecting the right of self-determination for all nationalities in Hungary. The Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed in Prague on October 28, 1918 . The negotiations between the Hungarian government under Count Mihály Károlyi with the southern Slavs , who were also striving for national independence, were also unsuccessful. On December 1, 1918, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (SHS) was proclaimed in Belgrade . The negotiations with Romania in Arad also failed, since the Romanian leadership demanded full sovereignty over all areas inhabited by Romanians. On December 1, 1918, the annexation of Transylvania to Romania was decided in Alba Iulia by the resolutions of the National Assembly of Romanians from Transylvania, the Banat and Hungary . The Banat Republic , which was proclaimed on November 1, 1918, could not prevail.

For Hungary, which had exerted pressure on the ethnic groups in the Hungarian part of the dual monarchy through the Magyarization policy since the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 , the negotiations with Austria in Paris at the end of 1919 had largely created the facts. Hungary unsuccessfully demanded a revision and a referendum on the areas to be ceded. In the Trianon Peace Treaty of June 4, 1920, Hungary lost two thirds of its territory, while Romania's territory doubled. The settlement area of ​​the Hungarian Central Mountains , Swabian Turkey and North Batschka remained with Hungary, the majority of the settlement area of Banat and Sathmar came to Romania, while the residential areas Batschka, West Banat , Syrmia , Slavonia and Croatia fell to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Likewise, the Banat was divided into three parts; 18,945 km² fell to Romania (the Timiș , Arad and Caraș-Severin counties and part of the Hunedoara and Mehedinți counties ), 9,307 km² to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (Vojvodina and central Serbia ) and 217 km² remained with Hungary ( Csongrád county ).


In the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (also the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes ) 450,000 Danube Swabians lived in the former southern Hungary, in the West Banat, the Batschka, the South Baranja, in East Slavonia and Syrmia . The majority lived in rural areas, only 16% in the cities. The Germans owned 31.2% of the cultivable land, were involved in industrial production with 46.7%, and 40% in handicraft production. The Germans thus made up 55% of the gross domestic product .

  • 11% of the arable land were dwarf holdings under 5 yokes (1 yoke = 0.575 ha), so-called "small houses",
  • 36.6% were small holdings (less than 5 ha),
  • 32.3% were small businesses (less than 10 ha),
  • 25.4% medium-sized enterprises (under 25 ha),
  • 4.9% were larger medium-sized enterprises (less than 60 ha) and
  • only 0.8% of the large farms (over 60 ha) were in the hands of Danube Swabians.

The “national” borders that the Ottoman Empire had left on the Balkans in the 19th century all turned out to be fragile. The attempt to solve some of these border problems after 1919 by establishing the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes failed because the new Yugoslavia soon turned out to be the Serbian royal dictatorship. In the new multi-ethnic state, no population group was in the majority. The situation of competing minorities was exacerbated by ethnic nationalism, which, as a result of the First World War, had become the predominant ideology in south-eastern Europe and was particularly decisive among the population groups that supported the state.

The German population in Yugoslavia was not a homogeneous group, but very different in terms of their regional origins, their social affiliation and their cultural roots. The lack of a uniform settlement area contributed to the fact that there was no coordinated policy among the German ethnic groups. The various ethnic groups of the Danube Swabians in Yugoslavia had not been closely related to one another until then. Overall, a similar style of clothing had developed among the Danube Swabians, interspersed with influences from ethnic groups who spoke another language. In spite of this, there was still a separate costume and hairstyle in every village in the countryside (84 percent of the Danube Swabian population lived in rural communities). Then there were the differences in denomination. In Yugoslavia, too, the vast majority of the Danube Swabian population was Catholic. Their priests were trained at Croatian Catholic seminaries, whereby the tendency already observed in Hungary continued that the Catholic clergy could not be won over as organizers for a German national policy. The Protestants, who made up about 25 percent of the German-speaking population, on the other hand, had their own German church from 1930, which later became an important institution in the spread of nationalist positions among the Danube Swabians in Yugoslavia.

When the German movement was built up, the town of Neusatz (Novi Sad) in the Batschka developed into an organizational center because of its central location. The Deutsche Druckerei- und Verlags-AG was founded here in 1919 and the Deutsche Volksblatt was published, followed by a wealth of publications from all areas of Danube Swabian cultural and economic club life. Also in Neusatz on June 20, 1920, the Swabian-German Cultural Association was founded , which was responsible for the various cultural areas of “Volkstumsarbeit”, which were intended to ensure the cohesion of the Danube Swabians: organization of lectures, distribution of books, music and film, the establishment of libraries as well as the training of “German” teachers. It existed from 1920 to 1939 as a free and independent association; In 1924 there were already 112 local groups with over 55,000 members. Back in Neusatz in October 1922, when Agraria mbH was founded, the first step in building a Danube Swabian cooperative system was taken. The Agraria could be expanded in the following years and should soon become one of the most important institutions of the German movement in Vojvodina.

On December 17, 1922, the Party of Germans in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (PdD, also the Party of Germans in Yugoslavia ) was founded in Hatzfeld ( Jimbolia ). Under the leadership of Stefan Kraft and Ludwig Kremling , the party, both politically and personally based on the tradition of the Hungarian German People's Party (UDVP) from before 1918, advocated the promotion of German educational institutions and the official use of the German language. In 1922, under the Yugoslav Minister of Education, Svetozar Pribièeviæ, all private schools were nationalized. In the school year 1923/24 there were 193 schools with 561 classes and 26,091 students in Vojvodina for the German ethnic group. The German affiliation of the students was determined by means of the "name analysis of the grandparents". It was only with the school ordinances from 1930 to 1933 that this practice was discontinued and the language used in the family as a criterion for the choice of school. German kindergartens and the German teacher training college were opened in Großbetschkerek ( Zrenjanin ). The party of Germans in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes also spoke out against the disadvantages of German farmers in the land reform and in favor of the principle of equal rights in land distribution.

Educational and cultural-political impulses came from the Evangelical Church in Yugoslavia , which was constituted in 1930 and headed by Philipp Popp as bishop. The renewal movement , mostly young Protestant intellectuals who had studied many times in Germany and had come into close contact with National Socialism there, created a basic program that differs from the principles of the old, predominantly Catholic leadership of the Kulturbund in the political demands and differed in behavior towards the Yugoslav government in Belgrade. In 1934 the renewers founded the youth organization Kameradschaft der renewal movement , an organization with a pronounced German national orientation. In 1935 the moderate representatives of the innovators formed a coalition with the German national-conservative faction of the “Volksgemeinschaft”. The center of the renewal movement was relocated to Croatian Slavonia , where the Slavonian People's Messenger had its own press organ. The “national awakeners” took advantage of the existing social and economic grievances affecting the minority in order to mobilize groups that were previously barely politicized. With the active help of Reich German agencies, this ultimately resulted in the implementation of a Nazi leadership. In the spring of 1939, the innovator and later “ ethnic group leaderJosef Janko took over the leadership of the federal government, which soon brought the cultural and political institutions of the Yugoslav Germans into line in the spirit of National Socialism.


After the dissolution of the Habsburg monarchy, the lawyer Kaspar Muth tried to "revive the Banat Swabians" with Wilson's 14-point program "as an autonomous language and cultural community". With his supporters, he called a meeting in Timisoara on October 20, 1918, in which a resolution for an independent Hungarian state and the territorial integrity of the borders of medieval Hungary were adopted and cultural rights were demanded for the other nationalities. On November 3, 1918, on behalf of the 315,000 Banat Swabians, the Swabian National Council decided to remain with Hungary.

Muth's fiercest opponent was Rudolf Brandsch , whose German-Swabian People's Party advocated a decidedly German-national course and advocated joining the Banat to Romania. Brandsch expected more cultural and political autonomy for the German ethnic group under a Romanian state power.

The numerous currents and tendencies that emerged in the Banat in the autumn of 1918 also included the aspirations for autonomy , which advocated an undivided Banat as well as political autonomy for all ethnic groups residing in the Banat. The representatives of the autonomy movement included mainly Hungarian, German and Jewish intellectuals. On October 31, 1918, military councils were constituted according to nationality, such as the Romanian, Hungarian, Swabian, Jewish and Serbian military councils. From the balcony of the old town hall in what was then Temesvar , Otto Roth proclaimed the Banat Republic on November 1, 1918 , as an attempt to save the Banat from division. The short history of the republic ended on November 15, 1918 with the invasion of Serbian troops, who temporarily took over the administration. In January 1919, the Swabian Autonomous Party was founded, which posed as a moderate advocate of an independent and undivided Banat Republic as part of Hungary or under the Hungarian-French protectorate.

Both Romania and Serbia had made claims to the Banat, which the Entente powers had promised both states in secret treaties. At the urging of the Entente powers, especially France, the states agreed on the division of the Banat. In the Trianon Peace Treaty of June 4, 1920, the agreed borders were recognized and confirmed in the Sevres Treaty on August 10, 1920. By the Convention of Belgrade on 24 November 1923, the border control was concluded. As a result, Modosch and Kudritz fell to Yugoslavia, Hatzfeld and Großscham to Romania.

In 1919 the Swabian Agricultural Association was founded. In the same year, the Banat German Cultural Association , a German nationalist opposition movement to the German-Swabian national community , was founded.

On August 8, 1920, Kaspar Muth, as a member of the Romanian parliament, made a declaration of loyalty to the “new fatherland”. With the establishment of the rather Catholic-conservative German-Swabian national community , a non-partisan interest group was brought into being, which was supposed to represent all Germans in the eastern Banat and the Sathmar Swabians further north . In addition to the very limited possibilities of the German-Swabian national community , the Catholic Church played an important role, which under Bishop Augustin Pacha looked after the cultural life of the German ethnic group. German-speaking schools were set up in the Romanian Banat, the teachers of which were mainly trained in the Banatia teacher training institute in Timisoara. The administrative districts with the highest literacy rate were exclusively in the settlement areas of the Romanian Germans. The importance attached to comprehensive German-language teaching explains the persistent Romanian-German insistence on maintaining their own, tried-and-tested school system and rejecting the Romanian state schools that are only just emerging.

On November 20, 1940, the Romanian government under General Ion Antonescu passed a law which granted the German National Community in Romania , which automatically included all Germans living in Romania, the status of a legal person. In May 1943, Germany signed an agreement with Romania, according to which all Germans capable of military service were drafted into the Waffen SS. Due to the ideological rapprochement between the Romanian royal dictatorship and the German Reich from 1933 to 1945 , the Banat Swabians also got caught up in the national socialist ethnic group policy.

Resistance to the innovators came mainly from church circles who, after the constitution of the German ethnic group, opposed party-political and ideological conformity, the anti-church worldview of the National Socialist ruling elite and the withdrawal of the denominational school system.


According to the census of 1920, over 551,000 Germans lived in Hungary. Jakob Bleyer was at the head of the German ethnic group in Hungary . The first attempts for a German minority policy after Trianon took place under the government of the Hungarian Prime Minister István Bethlen . With the formation of the German-Hungarian People's Council , Bleyer demanded the establishment of a German school system and the literary cultivation of the German language in their own settlement area. On June 15, 1923, Bleyer founded the Hungarian German National Education Association (UDV) to implement these goals . The association was to promote the cultural and linguistic traditions of the German ethnic group in Hungary on the basis of Christian ethics, free of any politics, in order to strengthen the bond with the Hungarian fatherland. In 1926, Bleyer got a seat in the Hungarian parliament through the ruling party list, where he tried to represent the goals formulated in the UDV in the interests of the German minority.

The hesitant attitude of the Hungarian government led to a repositioning at Bleyer from 1932, which ultimately resulted from the results of the census of 1930 and the consequences of the National Socialist takeover in Germany. In the 1930 census, only 478,000 people claimed to be German. Bleyer now increasingly spoke out in favor of the formation of a Hungarian-German elite, which, in cooperation with Reich German authorities, should put pressure on Budapest. Gusztáv Gratz , who had headed the UDV until his resignation in 1932, was one of Bleyer's closest advisors . Gratz campaigned for the preservation of the Hungarian-German identity. After Bleyer's death, the internal discussion about the future direction of Hungarian-German minority policy intensified. The concept of a German-Völkisch orientation was opposed to the Hungarian-German conservatism of Gusztáv Gratz, which is firmly anchored in the Hungarian sense of tradition.

The innovators under the leadership of Franz Anton Basch formed into the Volksdeutsche Kameradschaft . In 1938 Basch founded the People's Union of Germans in Hungary (VDU) and approved it by the Hungarian authorities in April 1939. This was programmatically very much based on the National Socialist model. Tensions that prevailed between the Kálmán Darányi government and the National Socialist leadership in Berlin between 1936 and 1938 were quickly resolved after the Munich Agreement of September 30, 1938 and the military destruction of the First Czechoslovak Republic , after Hungary with the First Vienna arbitration From November 2, 1938, the southern regions of Slovakia fell to.

World War II and post-war period


Second World War
Map of Serbia (1941-1944)
Troop registration number of the "Prinz Eugen" division
Secret Führer order
Fresco Ulm - Plintenburg in Visegrád (Plintenburg) to commemorate the resettlement of the place by the Danube Swabians after the Turkish wars and the expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War.
Role of the Danube Swabians in the German occupation of Yugoslavia

Many of the Yugoslav Danube Swabians of military age served in the Yugoslav army during the attack on Yugoslavia with the task of fighting the German troops. Instead, many chose to flee to Styria, Hungary or Romania, or hid until the German troops arrived. After the Yugoslav surrender in 1941 , the Danube Swabians of Vojvodina found themselves in three or four states. Syrmia fell to the Independent State of Croatia , a vassal state of the Axis powers . The Batschka and the Baranja fell to Hungary under Miklós Horthy , a member of the three-power pact of the Axis powers since 1940. The Serbian Banat citizens became citizens of the Wehrmacht-occupied Serbia under Milan Nedić's puppet government ; or came directly under German military administration. In some cases before the arrival of German troops in Serbia, smaller units of the Yugoslav army, gendarmerie and police posts were disarmed by semi-military units from the ranks of the resident “ethnic Germans”. Even before the establishment of the military administration in Serbia, the "ethnic Germans" had already taken over the administration in this part of the Banat.

The Third Reich noticeably favored the German minority. As early as mid-1941, the Banat police were composed mainly of “ethnic Germans”. To strengthen the position of “ Germanness ” until 1943, 80 percent of the “Jewish property” in the Serbian Banat was sold to ethnic and imperial Germans in the course of the “ Aryanization measures”. In addition to the withdrawal of the land reform of 1919, new property legislation was passed, as was school autonomy. The “ethnic group leader” Josef Janko described the economic and social situation of the “ethnic Germans” in the Banat during the time of the German occupation: “The wishes of the ethnic group that had been cherished for 20 years [were] fulfilled almost entirely as a result of the occupation of the country and the West Banat [ was] thus at an advantage over the other German ethnic groups in the Southeast. "

Military service in Reich German associations

The 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division "Prinz Eugen" was a division of the Waffen-SS , which was established in 1942 mainly in the northern Serbian Banat from among the ranks of the German men of the Vojvodina, east of the river Tisza (German military administrative area Serbia) and from the Banat Swabia from the Romanian part of the Banat Banat was established. SS-Gruppenführer Arthur Phleps , a "particularly proven" officer of the former Austro-Hungarian Army from Transylvania , who had joined the Romanian army after the First World War, was in charge of the list. The officers and NCOs came from other divisions of the Waffen SS in the Reich or from the Austro-Hungarian Army. Although the term volunteer division was initially introduced and retained, it was already indicated in the first calls for advertisements that the recruitment of volunteers as the sole measure for the recruitment of "ethnic Germans" would also be abandoned in Serbia and soon through the nationwide recruitment of "ethnic Germans" Recruits should be supplemented. On March 1, 1942, Josef Janko called for "armed service to protect our homes [...] for all German men between the ages of 17 and 50", unless they are "a business that is important for food or other supplies" directed or exercised. This happened under the threat of "the strictest penalties". No reliable information can be given about the numerical ratio between “real” volunteers, regularly called up and “ethnic Germans” who are forced to serve in the “Prinz Eugen”. Slightly more than half of the “volunteers” are said to come from the Pančevo district .

After it quickly became clear that the number of conscripted Banat Swabians would not be sufficient to bring the division up to the intended combat strength, the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler decided in the same year that all 17 to 30-year-old "Volksdeutsche" Croatians in Croatia be drafted. which, among other things, served to replenish the division that was still in Serbia at the time. In the course of an agreement between the SS and Romania, some of the “ethnic Germans” from Romania were also used to replace the division in the further course of 1943.

In October 1942, the division had its first deployment in Serbia as part of its training. It was only used in Yugoslavia until May 1945. The division became known for its war crimes in the partisan war in Yugoslavia and thus shaped the historical image of the war between the German Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS in Yugoslavia. By January 1944, around 22,000 men had been drafted from Vojvodina and Serbia, of which only around 600 served in the Wehrmacht and more than 15,000 in the Waffen SS, while a number that cannot be precisely determined belonged to the Banat police.

The western part of Vojvodina had become part of the national territory of Hungary through annexation in 1942. A state treaty between Germany and Hungary introduced compulsory military service for citizens of Hungary of German origin. Based on this legal basis, German citizens of Hungary were also drafted into the Waffen SS from the area of ​​western Vojvodina. A service in the Wehrmacht to do the military service was not possible, as a German citizenship was required. Danube Swabians from this part of Vojvodina mainly served in the SS Panzer Divisions Frundsberg and Hohenstaufen . Other paramilitary units that were subordinate to the ethnic group leadership in Yugoslavia were, for example, the "Local Security" and the "Banat State Guard".

Withdrawal of the Wehrmacht and evacuation

In view of the advance of the Red Army in 1944, the Danube Swabians were supposed to be evacuated, but the evacuations from the Batschka and the western Banat began too late because they were delayed by the ethnic group leadership and the German occupation authorities under the Higher SS and Police Leader of Serbia, Hermann Behrends . Behrends wanted to retake Timișoara and needed the support of the auxiliary police (HIPO) and members of the armed forces who were on vacation . This effort failed around September 20th. As early as September 10th, Behrends had issued an alleged Fuehrer order which, under threat of a court martial, forbade any form of evacuation and only allowed the Banat Swabians to smuggle through from Romania. Declared as a Secret Reich Matter , it could not be passed on to those affected as a prohibition, but the ethnic group leadership under Josef Janko was forced to minimize the danger in their speeches and answers and to delay those affected. An evacuation plan to "evade the prospective battle zone" , dated September 2, 1944, ten days after Romania turned around and drawn up by Jakob Awender , could therefore not be implemented. On September 28th, Behrends said on request by phone: "Anyone who dares to initiate or favor an evacuation against my express prohibition will be brought to court martial and face the death penalty." Not until October 1st At the beginning of the major attack by the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Armies on Belgrade , Behrends gave permission for the evacuation at 5:00 p.m. Around 60,000 people from the Danube Swabian population were able to flee, around 160,000 remained behind.

post war period

The approximately 160,000 Germans ( Mathias Beer names 200,000 ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia) remaining in Vojvodina after the invasion of the Red Army and the advancing partisan units were collectively stigmatized and disenfranchised as "traitors", " enemies of the people " and "collaborators"; their property was confiscated. In the first few weeks, they were at the mercy of mass shootings (around 7,000 dead), arrests, mistreatment, looting, rape and forced labor. Part of the civilian population also took part.

Even before the end of the war in Europe, the command of the People's Liberation Army for the Banat decided on November 18, 1944, that most of the Danube Swabians were brought together in camps in Yugoslavia. This decision ordered, among other things, that:

  • "It is forbidden for all Germans to leave their villages without permission",
  • "All Germans who have left their homes are to be interned in camps immediately",
  • "The use of the German language in public is prohibited",
  • "All German inscriptions are to be removed within 12 hours, if not observed, Germans will be shot".

South Slavic, Hungarian and Romanian opponents of the “people's liberation struggle” also suffered from the partisans' need for retaliation. On November 29, 1944, the commandant for the Banat, the Batschka and the Baranja issued an order for all German men between the ages of 16 and 60 to be interned in camps. In addition to these internments, up to 12,000 people (mostly women) were deported to the Soviet Union for forced labor at Christmas 1944.

By spring 1945, around 90% (around 119,000 people) of the remaining Yugoslavian German population had been interned, for example in central labor camps for men who were able to work, in local camps for the population of entire towns and in internment camps for women, children and the elderly who were unable to work. Around May 1945 there were 41 camps and villages under special supervision on the territory of Vojvodina, and 50 to 70 camps for the German population are assumed in all of Yugoslavia. The majority of the suspected German war criminals had already fled Vojvodina with the Wehrmacht, which was in retreat. Often old and sick men, women and children were left behind. A total of 214 people among the Danube Swabians could be classified as war criminals. The report of a control commission set up by the Presidium of the Council of Ministers for the Banat on May 15, 1945 stated that the "internment of the Germans" was not lawful in any of the camps and that there was mistreatment, rape and personal enrichment of military and civilians People came. There were shootings; Medical care in the camps was inadequate; Tens of thousands died of malnutrition and disease. In January 1946, the Yugoslav government applied to the Western Allies to expel the, according to Yugoslavian information, about 110,000 Yugoslav Germans who had remained in the country to Germany. However, this was refused.

In 1947 groups of Germans were allowed to leave the country or were able to flee from the camps across the borders to Romania or Hungary. In the first months of the year, escape was tacitly promoted, as the Germans could find less and less use, but at the end of the year the possibilities of escape were restricted again. In 1948 the camps were closed; The approximately 80,000 surviving Germans were dismissed, but were then often forced to sign mostly three-year employment contracts with prescribed employers. During this time, they were not given ID cards and were not allowed to leave their homes. Only after completing the service and often only after paying a bounty did they receive the status of “full citizen”.

According to Dieter Blumenwitz's legal opinion (2002), 59,335 Danube Swabians perished in the camps, including 5,582 children. This number includes those who died in the temporary camps and the Danube Swabians shot while trying to escape. Michael Portmann (2004) named around 46,000 Germans from Vojvodina alone who, according to statistical estimates, died in the camps between autumn 1944 and spring 1948.

Since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, most of the Yugoslav Germans tried to get an exit permit to Germany or Austria. Some managed to leave the country early. For the majority of those wishing to leave Germany, however, the legal prerequisites for their transfer to the federal territory were only created after the transfer of passport sovereignty from the Allies to German offices in October 1951. With the help of the International Red Cross , provisional agreements had been reached with the Yugoslav Red Cross since April 1950, according to which attempts were made to primarily reunite families living separately according to urgency levels . In 1952 the emigration program was put on a broader basis, according to which the Yugoslav Germans had to show the immigration permit of a German federal state and have their discharge from the Yugoslav state association confirmed. The price for the waiver was initially 1,500 dinars per person, but soon rose to 12,000 dinars, which corresponds to three to four average monthly salaries. That was unaffordable for many people wishing to leave the country, but over the years most of them managed to raise the fees and travel expenses. Gradually, the family reunification program was also expanded and the procedure was simplified until 1956 in such a way that, in order to move to the Federal Republic of Germany, it was sufficient to prove German nationality to a German authority or to a Yugoslav authority in accordance with Section 6 of the Federal Expellees Act. By 1960 the number of "emigrants" from Yugoslavia rose to more than 60,000 (Mathias Beer mentions 62,000 in the 1950s), but gradually fell in the following years. In the first twenty years of the Federal Republic's existence, around 80,000 and in the thirty years since 1949 around 86,000 resettlers were registered.

The 350,000 Danube Swabians who had been evacuated, fled, interned and murdered since autumn 1944 were replaced by around 230,000 mostly Serbian new settlers who were rewarded with land for their service in Josip Broz Tito's army as part of a land reform .

Around 550,000 Danube Swabians lived in Yugoslavia in 1940, around 75,000 in 1950, and around 50,000 in 1980. Their number is currently estimated to be less than 10,000.

Motivation for the behavior of the partisans and the communist leadership in the post-war period
Partisans in World War II

The action of the partisans and the communist leadership against the Yugoslav German population was a bitter consequence of the often brutal behavior of some of the Yugoslav Germans - in particular the murder actions that the SS division Prinz Eugen had committed against partisans and civilians, as well as the involvement of many Auxiliary police deployed in German settlements and the “German team” in the vicinity of “ethnic German” communities and their share of hostage arrests and executions - but also because of their close collaboration with the occupying power and their superior position during the occupation. The involvement in the shooting of hostages or in the burning of fields and villages during the war and civil war had fatal consequences for the Yugoslav Germans and was proof of the partisans' consistently aggressive and disloyal attitude. The partisans wanted to retaliate against all opponents of the “people's liberation struggle”, while the communist leaders wanted total power. The number of “ethnic German” partisans and their supporters was so small and the membership in the German ethnic group was so extensive that only a few “ethnic Germans” were exempt from repression. After four years of German occupation, the pent-up need for retaliation against the Danube Swabian population was released, after which the ethnic Germans were collectively considered war criminals. Tito's former comrade in arms and later regime critic Milovan Đilas described "Tito's credo": "It was better to put an end to once and for all."

The historian Zoran Janjetović suspects that the considerable wealth of Germans in Yugoslavia can only be part of the answer: many of those affected would have lost their property without being murdered or imprisoned. He also refers to nationalism, which, however, could have played a role at the lower levels. The fear that one day a reinvigorated Germany would once again make use of the German minorities to implement imperialist plans cannot, however, be dismissed out of hand. However, according to the files, there is no clear evidence of this.

International reactions

The hostile treatment of the Yugoslav Germans was hardly noticed by the world public and was seen as an expected reaction to Germany's excessiveness under Adolf Hitler . In December 1949, the rapporteur of the Committee on the Occupation Statute and Foreign Affairs described the retention of prisoners of war as a violation of Article 20 of the Hague Land Warfare Regulations and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights . In a motion that was unanimously accepted, the Federal Council in 1950 called on the Federal Government, citing the POW Agreement, to campaign for the repatriation of German prisoners of war convicted in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. In January 1950, Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer described the convictions of German prisoners of war in Yugoslavia as "offenses and crimes against humanity".

Susceptibility of many Danube Swabians to the ideology of National Socialism

The settlement of German-speaking colonists in south-eastern Europe in the 18th century led to the development of various ethnic groups of the Danube Swabians over generations. The delimitation of the different cultural traditions created a new cultural identity along with the newly developing ethnic characteristics. At the same time, other traditions were marginalized and understood as something definitely foreign. This structure made it possible for the colonists to create a manageable space for themselves, which offered opportunities for orientation and thus helped them to find their way abroad. This delimitation was primarily effective with regard to ethnic groups who spoke other languages. Influenced by the development of nation states taking place in Europe, the population groups living in south-eastern Europe increasingly oriented themselves towards the national characteristics of language and origin in the further course of the 19th century. No group of the competing minorities was numerically strong enough to dominate the ethnic groups who spoke other languages.

In the period after the revolution of 1848/49, the German-speaking population did not yet have a comprehensive national orientation. Within the Danube Swabian leadership elite, the first signs of building a German movement appeared, but the ethnicity of the overwhelming majority of the Danube Swabian population in rural areas was still limited to traditional customs and traditions, i.e. ethnic characteristics beyond the national. In the cities there had been extensive assimilation of the German-speaking bourgeoisie by Hungarian society. With the end of the First World War and the division of the Danube Swabians into different nation states, the situation for the German-speaking ethnic groups became more difficult. The situation changed, especially for the Danube Swabians, who, against the declared will of their representatives, now belonged to the new state of Yugoslavia. The forced assimilation operated by the Yugoslav state included both cultural and economic aspects and threatened not only the ethnic identity of the Danube Swabian elites, but also their social status. It now meant the abandonment of one's own ethnic characteristics in favor of merging into a population group from which one had deliberately separated oneself since the first days of colonization and to which one also felt economically superior. The resulting fears were transferred by the Danube Swabian leaders to the existence of the Danube Swabians as a whole.

The low spread of national consciousness within the German-speaking population primarily threatened the young Danube Swabian leaders of the "innovators" who were oriented towards German National Socialism. Only with the orientation of the Danube Swabian population as a German ethnic group, as part of the German people, and the associated support from the “Third Reich”, could their position in Yugoslavia be permanently strengthened. To facilitate the development of a German ethnic group, the National Socialist organization of the ethnic group therefore deliberately dissolved the diversity of ethnic characteristics and replaced them with the mythological meaning of language and origin or race. In this way it made possible the instrumentalization of the ethnic for the goals of National Socialism. Even before the attack by the German Wehrmacht in April 1941, a National Socialist-led German ethnic group had formed in Yugoslavia.

With the clear siding with the German side, which had been exclusively victorious up to that point, the ethnic group leadership had the concrete opportunity, through the destruction and occupation of Yugoslavia, to promote a long-term upgrading of their own “ethnic Germans” population group compared to foreign, foreign-speaking population groups. In all areas a privileged position of the "ethnic German" population developed. This position could only be held as long as German troops occupied the former Yugoslavia. Not only the ethnic group leaders like Jakob Reiser or Michael Lichtenberger benefited from this, but also the whole “ethnic German” population. The expansion of the partisan struggle from June 1941 threatened not only the German occupation but also the recent rise of the German ethnic group. The willingness of large parts of the "Volksdeutsche" to defend their privileges on the one hand in their closer homeland, but on the other hand also in a broader sense in the form of German occupation, as early as 1941, is demonstrated by their voluntary work both in the self-protection formations and in the units of the German armed forces and the SS clearly. In 1942, this willingness and the war situation as well as the plans of the SS resulted in a situation in which the instrumentalization of the ethnic by National Socialism developed its full dynamic.

The subordination of the Banat to the Commander-in-Chief in Serbia had created a special situation here. Only in the Serbian Banat was unhindered access by the SS to the “Volksdeutsche” possible at that time, so here the Waffen SS could be recruited without any foreign policy consideration for other states. This resulted in a rigorous attempt on the part of the SS leadership to exhaust the military capabilities of the Banat Swabians as much as possible. The leadership of the ethnic group, as well as large parts of the ethnic group, did not fully equate the interests of the German Reich with their interests in the Danube Swabian homeland. Since the war situation required a strong German occupying power in the former Yugoslavia, and although the SS pushed for the ethnic group to be fully deployed in the war, the leadership of the ethnic group demanded that their ethnic group be deployed exclusively in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The use of the Danube Swabians in the SS division was not advertised on the basis of abstract national goals, but specifically with reference to the need to defend “house and yard”. This use of ethnic motives for the national war was to become the distinguishing feature of the war in the former Yugoslavia. On the one hand, this war was a classically national war both in its causes and in its importance for the German Empire. It was about raw material resources, strategic considerations and spheres of influence. On the other hand, for the population groups living there, the war had all the characteristics of an ethnic conflict. It was not German and Allied armies that faced each other, but increasingly the various ethnic groups who waged the fighting. The destructive forces set free were linked to pre-existing ethnic differences. The long history of the demarcation of the self from the foreign between the different ethnic groups, the humiliations and injuries experienced in the process, preserved as selected traumas in the collective memory of the ethnic groups, facilitated the formation of hatred and pushed for reparations. Only what was really one's own offered security, because everything foreign was ultimately life-threatening.

The main emphasis of the troops deployed for counterinsurgency should be permanently on the German divisions. Since the German occupying power ultimately only served German interests, German rule could only be consistently supported by its profiteers, the “ethnic Germans”. The German claim to rule was also reflected in the mythologization of the history of the Danube Swabians. The selected glorious acts of German colonization were an important aspect in the ideological appropriation of the Danube Swabians for the war of the German Empire. The identification with the “Grenzertradition”, the knight “Prinz Eugen” and the supposed cultural superiority was part of the self-image of the ethnic group leadership and the division “Prinz Eugen”. Only the combination of the national with the ethnic made it possible for the division to become a decisive power factor in maintaining German rule in the former Yugoslavia.

The willingness to denounce their Jewish roommates was widespread among the Danube Swabians. Not only the Jews, but also those with “too much” foreign blood from “mixed marriages” were denied belonging to their own. The fact that members of potentially allied ethnic groups (members of the Ustascha, Croatian SS volunteers) also fell victim to the cleansing measures to cleanse their own ethnic group is shown by the increasing reduction of good self and bad evil to the national characteristics of language and origin. While in the further course of the war the units of the other ethnic groups fighting on the German side showed more and more signs of disintegration, the fighting strength of the division "Prinz Eugen" remained unbroken. The consistency with which the “ethnic Germans” participated in the fighting in the former Yugoslavia to the end shows the special importance of the ethnically based war. The temporary rise of the “Volksdeutsche” population had also been enforced and defended by the majority of its members with all inhumanity and severity against population groups who spoke other languages. Another aspect of the ethnic war came to light both in the measures taken by the ethnic group leadership and in the behavior of the “Volksdeutsche” SS division. The annihilation of the enemy, even the foreign civilian population, was ultimately not perceived as a crime or misdeed. Rather, it was seen as a necessary defense measure to protect one's own.

Voluntariness under the National Socialist regime

The vacancies in the volunteer mountain division "Prinz Eugen" were determined by the SS headquarters on March 1, 1942:

6.) Filling of the leadership position is carried out by the divisional command, which falls back on the staff of the Serbian area and active German-national officers of Northern Transylvania .
7.) Filling of the subordinate commanders and teams by voluntary position of the German-ethnic inhabitants of the Serbian area, with partial completion by other German-ethnic volunteers. "

On the same day, the leader of the ethnic group, Josef Janko, called for “all men between the ages of 17 and 50 [...] to report to serve with weapons to protect our homes. No one who is healthy can exclude himself from this service. ”By April 1942, according to estimates by Undersecretary Martin Luther, 10,000 to 15,000 men had registered in the Banat during the ongoing advertising.

At that time, the chief judge of the Supreme SS and Police Court Günther Reinecke wrote to Heinrich Himmler that the "Prinz Eugen" division was no longer an organization of volunteers, but that most of the "ethnic Germans" of the Serbian Banat were only threatened by the Germans People group leadership (later by the SS main office ) would respond to the call. On the drafting orders issued by the SS Supplementary Office of the German Ethnic Group, it was pointed out that non-compliance would result in the strictest punishment . On June 16, 1943, the head of the SS Supplementary Office Gottlob Berger wrote in his letter to the personal staff of Reichsführer SS Rudolf Brandt : “... if an ethnic group is managed reasonably well, then everyone volunteers, and those who do not Report voluntarily, you just get the houses beaten up! ”No reliable information can be given about the numerical ratio between“ real ”volunteers, regularly called up and“ Volksdeutsche ”forced to serve in the“ Prinz Eugen ”.

The representatives of the German ethnic group who served in the Yugoslav army until the Yugoslav surrender in 1941 found themselves in a dilemma. The Chetniks only accepted Serbs. In the Batschka and the Baranja, the national-Hungarian Horthy regime claimed all the privileges of a sovereign state and drafted able-bodied men of German descent into the Hungarian army for military service. The new Croatian government also claimed its new citizens. The Danube Swabians who were compulsory for military service were faced with the alternative of being "volunteers" in the German armed forces or being drafted into an army directed against royal Yugoslavia. The indictment at the Nuremberg trials , however, stated that the “voluntariness” among the German people was “mere pretense, deliberate deception and deception”.

The historian Thomas Casagrande stated: "The abandonment of the voluntary principle in favor of conscription in the Waffen-SS is the subject of all important work on the Waffen-SS." As important as the discussion of this question is, it should not lead to the wrong assumption that conscripts generally identify less with their tasks and goals or fulfill their duties less consistently than volunteers. Casagrande continues: “Both belong together: On the one hand, the cynicism and rigor with which the SS leadership pursued the exhaustion of the“ Volksdeutsche Menschenmaterial ”, and on the other hand, the protection of the“ Volksdeutsche ”then serving in the Waffen SS. One served the largest possible quantitative expansion of the Waffen-SS, the other was necessary in order to maintain the combat readiness of the "Volksdeutsche". Only the appropriation of the various German-speaking ethnic groups under the sign of National Socialism - as parts of a common German people - made the expansion of the Waffen-SS possible. For the "Volksdeutsche" the willingness to fight in the Waffen-SS was closely connected with the idea of ​​having to defend their ethnic identity against ethnic groups who spoke other languages. "

Yugoslav historians and politicians, both under Tito and under Slobodan Milošević , took the view that the AVNOJ resolutions with the accompanying disenfranchisement and expulsion of the German people would not have been possible without their “collaboration with the German occupying power”. Exceptions were those Germans who had joined the partisans or were married to Yugoslavs. Members of mixed marriages did not have to defend themselves, while otherwise Germans of all age groups were automatically guilty due to their ethnicity. The participation of other national minorities who joined their own nationalist associations under duress or voluntarily was not punished.

Since about the year 2000, however, there has been a rethink among Serbian and Croatian historians, which is expressed in publications and joint conferences with Western scientists. Croatia and Slovenia have meanwhile also released their archives to Western scientists.

Resistance to the National Socialist regime

In 1933 the German-language newspaper Die Drau on April 22nd from Osijek (Esseg) expressed sharp criticism of the National Socialist regime in the German Reich and condemned the seizure of power . Apatin in der Batschka was the spiritual center of German Catholicism in the country. Since the spring of 1935, the Catholic weekly Die Donau, which became known beyond the borders of the country due to its anti-Nazi policy and was banned by the Hungarian occupation authorities in 1941 at the instigation of Germany, has been published here . According to Carl Bethke , nowhere else in “ Fortress Europe ” could one read so much criticism of the Nazi regime in German except in Switzerland . According to Slobodan Maričić , up to 2,000 Germans were involved in the partisan movement. In March 1943 - reinforced by defectors from the Wehrmacht - a Thälmann Brigade several hundred men strong ( called Telmanovci by the Serbs ), equipped with black, red and gold cockades. The commanding officer was the former Spanish fighter Hans "Ivan" Pichler . It was supposed to be used against NDH and Tschetnik troops, but was destroyed by armored units of the Wehrmacht near Mikleuš in November 1943 . Dunica Labović, for example, names 30 German families from Semlin who sided with the partisans, including the Semlin communist Jaša Reiter, who is said to have saved Tito's life on his escape from occupied Belgrade.

Thomas Casagrande came to the conclusion: "The strength to withdraw from the power of the national characteristics of language and origin, to oppose the racist temptation, only a small part of the" ethnic Germans "population possessed."

Yugoslav historiography avoided the mention of resistance until the nineties to legitimize the expulsion legislation within the AVNOJ resolutions, since the fortunes of opponents of National Socialism of German origin were also divided among the partisans. The historian Zoran Žiletić explains it like this: "The glorious history of the partisan war was not possible without a built-in demonization of the Danube Swabians and is still not possible."


Second World War
Withdrawal from Romania to Hungary, Romanian and German soldiers with civilian population on horse-drawn vehicles, June 21, 1944

After the beginning of the war, Germany's influence on the Banat Swabians increased, especially when they were given a certain degree of autonomy under group law, particularly in the school and cultural sectors, which was guaranteed by interstate groups. The Banat Swabians in the Romanian part of the Banat were first drafted into the Romanian army , but according to the 1943 agreement between Berlin and Bucharest, Romanian citizens of German ethnicity were recruited into the Wehrmacht , SS associations and the Todt Organization . However , in its appeals, the leadership of the national minority group under Andreas Schmidt did not issue the recruitment as a voluntary report, but as a general recruitment of "men of the German national minority capable of military service". At the end of 1943, around 54,000 German people belonged to these associations in Romania, of which around 25,000 were members of the Banat Swabians.

During the Second World War , many Banat Swabians fought as citizens of Romania in the Romanian army only on the side of the Axis powers . The first single entries of Romanian Germans into the Waffen-SS took place between 1937 and 1939, on May 1, 1940 there should have been a total of 110 men. On May 12, 1943, Berlin and Bucharest concluded an agreement according to which “ethnic German” Romanian citizens could now be recruited into the Wehrmacht and SS units .

With Romania's change of front after the royal coup in August 1944, parts of the German population began to flee westwards with the retreating German army. However, the majority of the Banat Germans stayed in their ancestral home.

post war period

In January 1945 around 35,000 Germans were deported from the region to do forced labor in the Soviet Union, many of whom did not return in 1949 (→ Deportation of Romanian Germans to the Soviet Union ). Their agricultural property was expropriated in March 1945, three years later also those industrial and handicraft businesses that had been spared from the first wave of confiscation after Romania's change of front.

In the summer of 1951, a new wave of massive internments hit the Banat, in which around 40,000 people of different ethnic origins from the Romanian-Yugoslav border area, including around a quarter of German descent, were forcibly resettled to the Bărăgan steppe east of Bucharest by 1956 , most of them but were able to return to their homeland after a few years. Church dignitaries and intellectuals were exposed to particular persecution. Not only Romanian Germans were deported: in June 1951, 12,791 families from a border zone between Romania and Yugoslavia were forcibly resettled to the Bărăgan steppe because of the rift between Stalin and Tito . Of the 40,320 people affected, 9,410 were of German descent; around 30,000 other victims were of Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian or Hungarian nationality.

The ethnic group decree of November 20, 1940 declared all Romanian citizens with German mother tongue to be members of the German ethnic group. Decree No. 187 on the Romanian agrarian reform of March 23, 1945 ordered expropriations for the following groups of people:

  • Romanian citizens who were members of the German Waffen SS, with their family members in ascending and descending line,
  • Romanian citizens who withdrew with the German or Hungarian army,
  • Romanian citizens of German nationality who belonged to the German ethnic group,
  • all persons who carried out Hitlerian propaganda in the field of culture, politics or economy and
  • all agricultural holdings of persons guilty of war crimes.

Thus, the German population in post-war Romania could be collectively expropriated by Decree 187, point c. In fact, as a result of the Romanian agrarian reform, over 90 percent of the entire agricultural property of the German ethnic group fell to the state. In addition to the collective expropriation of agricultural goods, the German population was exposed to further discriminatory measures in the first years after the Second World War. The Germans were excluded from the right to vote by the ordinances in the electoral law of July 14, 1946, although all Romanian citizens were guaranteed the same rights under Petru Groza's government, regardless of race, nationality, language or religion. It was not until 1948 that the Romanian Labor Party adopted a program of measures at its second party congress on the concerns of the German ethnic group in the sense of communist social doctrine. In 1949 the German Antifascist Committee was founded in Romania .

The constitution of September 24, 1952 guaranteed the national minorities the use of their own mother tongue in public life and as a language of instruction, the publication of mother tongue literature and the maintenance of their own art and theater business. In 1956 the Romanian state returned a large part of the houses expropriated in 1945 to the former German owners after the post-war regulations against the Germans had been repealed in 1954.

In 1968 the Council of Working People of German Nationality was founded, which according to official propaganda was supposed to promote the interests of the minority in the state as a whole. In reality, the communist state apparatus created an effective control body for the 383,000 Germans who were still living in Romania in 1966. The communist state apparatus also secured a direct influence on the German ethnic group through the German press, which was brought into line in 1968/69. Aside from communist cultural work, the German ethnic group had the opportunity to maintain their customs, festivals and traditions within the limits set by the state. The leadership of the Communist Party of Romania announced to the Romanian public that, through the policies of National Socialist Germany, the Romanian leadership at the time had introduced measures which "wrongly hit many working people of German nationality."

In 1978 the Federal Republic of Germany signed a joint declaration with the Romanian regime, in which it was agreed to facilitate bilateral travel and family reunification . The emigration of Romanian Germans was promoted by the communist regime Nicolae Ceaușescus to acquire foreign currency until 1989 , with the older generation often staying in Romania.

In the Banat , the border area with Hungary and Serbia with the capital Timișoara (German Timişoara), traces of Germany cannot be overlooked today. In small towns you meet people who can quickly switch from German to Romanian or Serbian and who are familiar with EU politics. Attention is paid to the maintenance of the old building structure, the stucco of many houses is painted with German family names, and of the three churches in small towns, the Catholic one has fallen into disrepair less often. The emigration among the Sathmar Swabians was less pronounced than among the Banat Swabians, so this German minority is now comparatively more represented in their settlement area. In 1940 there were 350,000 Danube Swabians in Romania, in 2002 only 60,000. Currently, the number of Germans living in all of Romania is estimated at around 15,000.


The historian Paul Milata noted that “the entry [of the Romanian Germans into the Waffen-SS] was less of a politically and culturally determined intoxication, but rather the result of a sober consideration of the possible and known alternatives in the threefold area of ​​tension between Berlin and Moscow and Bucharest. Joining the Waffen SS was not only a gesture of support for Nazi Germany, despite or because of Hitler, but also a reaction to the nationalist system of Romania from 1918 and a clear testimony against the Soviet Union with its Stalinist character. "


Second World War

In 1944 about 700,000 people of German nationality lived in Hungary, 4.8% of the total population. They were much less Nazi-minded than the German population of the Yugoslav and Romanian territories that Hungary had annexed. Only about 40% of the Hungarian Germans followed the leadership of the Volksbund der Deutschen in Hungary . The main task of the ethnic group leadership was to recruit soldiers for the Waffen SS. Under great reprisals, around 120,000 Germans from Hungary have been recruited for the SS since 1941.

The end of the First World War meant the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. A German population of 550,000 remained in "Rumfungarn", which was essentially concentrated in three areas: Swabian Turkey (southern Hungarian counties), the Hungarian low mountain range and a narrow strip along the Austrian border. The proportion of Germans in Hungary fell from 10% to 5–6%.

After the Peace of Trianon , the Magyarization of the minorities began again, which was rooted in the idea of ​​a unified nation state. The assessment of the situation by the Hungarian Germans was inconsistent. The Hungarian-German National Education Association , founded in 1924 under Jakob Bleyer, tried to collect the Hungarian Germanness spiritually by consciously cultivating nationality and culture and to defend its minority rights guaranteed in the Trianon Treaty, especially in the school system. Bleyer, who wanted to bring German nationality together within the Hungarian nation, believed that he could serve the fulfillment of the Hungarian state idea as well as the duty to the people. It failed because of the opposing forces of Hungarian nationalism, which itself rejected minority nationality in the sense of Bleyer. His death in December 1933 made the Hungarian Germans, including the Danube Swabians, practically leaderless.  

The National Socialist-oriented Volksbund der Deutschen in Hungary , founded in 1938 under Franz Anton Basch , exerted increasing pressure on Hungarian Germans to do military service in the Waffen-SS.

post war period

The Potsdam Agreement concluded between the Allies provided for the expulsion of the Danube Swabians from Hungary to Germany or Austria. As a result, between 1945 and 1948 around 250,000 - roughly every second - Hungarian Germans were expropriated and expelled. Tens of thousands of Hungarian Germans were taken to labor camps in the Soviet Union in cattle trucks. The remaining Germans, including the Danube Swabians, did not receive identity cards until 1950. In 1955 the Association of Hungarian Germans was founded.

The Danube Swabians in Hungary were again subject to a strong Magyarization: There were hardly any German lessons, so that a "dumb generation" grew up who did not speak German or understood the dialect a little. From the mid-1980s, German lessons were introduced in several schools, and academic work in the field of folklore and dialects was made possible. After the fall of the Wall, associations were formed, and in November 1995 164 German self-governments were established. Like the other minorities, the Danube Swabians who remained in Hungary are today largely integrated linguistically and culturally. In 1940, 650,000 Danube Swabians lived in Hungary, compared to only 220,000 in 1990.

Other countries

After fleeing the Banat, some Banat Swabians settled in France from 1948, for example in the mountain village of La Roque-sur-Pernes in the Vaucluse department .

In 1951 around 500 families moved to Brazil , such as the Entre Rios settlement near Guarapuava in Paraná , which is divided into five villages and has a population of around 2,500. German is spoken in these settlements; Traditional festivals such as stealing the maypole or the church fair are accompanied by traditional music and dance groups.


Of the 1.4 million (other sources say 1.5 million) Danube Swabians of 1940, or of the 1,235,000 who survived war, expulsion and internment, around 40% are still alive as of the year 2000, so 490,000. The overwhelming majority of those who survived after 1945, around 810,000 people, found a new home in the German-speaking area, especially from 1970 and increasingly until 1990, of which around 660,000 were in Germany and around 150,000 in Austria. For resettlement overseas (as early as 1920) the following figures can be assumed: USA 70,000, Canada 40,000, Brazil 10,000, Argentina 6,000 and Australia 5,000. Another 10,000 Danube Swabians have settled in other countries around the world. Danube Swabian return migrants cultivate the language and customs in numerous associations.



Due to the origin of the settlers, Danube Swabian has mainly Franconian , Bavarian and Alemannic elements in various variations and with numerous overlaps. The most important contact languages of Danube Swabian are Croatian / Serbian , Romanian , Hungarian , French and Turkish . Numerous everyday words were borrowed from the respective contact languages, such as the Hungarian néni ( German  aunt ), paprikash from Serbian, and sarma or pekmes (grape juice boiled down to honey thickness ) from Turkish.

According to estimates by Josef Volkmar Senz, one third of the approximately 200,000 Danube Swabian settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries are of Franconian, Palatinate, Hessian and Moselle-Franconian origins, a third of Bavarian and a quarter of Swabian or Baden and Alsatian origins. The remaining eight percent are French, Italian, Spanish and other ethnic groups. The share of Lorraine was around ten percent. In addition, shifts occur on the time axis of the language equalization due to the different arrival times of the individual dialects.

  • In Mercydorf, today Carani , first Italians were settled in 1734, then German-Lorraine people, and after the Seven Years' War (1756–1763) finally military settlers from Bohemia, Moravia and Austria, then West German immigrants from the Rhine, the Moselle and the Saar, see above that in 1774 the Moselle Franks were in the majority. In the third settlement period in 1774, many Palatine colonists came, whereupon a Palatinate balancing dialect developed.
  • Of the settlers in Hatzfeld, today Jimbolia , 44% came from the Trier area, 25% from Luxembourg, 17% from the Sauerland in Westphalia, 7% from Lorraine, 4% from the Palatinate and 3% from the diocese of Mainz. Ultimately, a Rhine-Franconian dialect with a strong Moselle-Franconian influence prevailed here.


The parish fair is a permanent feature of the Danube Swabians . The Danube Swabian culture is also passed on in dances, which are performed by couples in traditional costumes to traditional brass music at the parish fair . The Danube Swabian dance and folklore group Reutlingen is one of the oldest Danube Swabian dance groups.


The poets Nikolaus Lenau and Adam Müller-Guttenbrunn as well as the painter Stefan Jäger are identifying figures of the Danube Swabians. Leopold Ružička , Stefan Hell and Herta Müller are Nobel Prize winners.

Federal Chairman of the Danube Swabian Landsmannschaft is currently Hans Supritz .

Other well-known Danube Swabians can be found in the list of Danube Swabian personalities .

Documentation and memorial sites

The Institute for Danube Swabian History and Regional Studies , founded on July 1, 1987 in Tübingen , is a research institution directly subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg , which deals with historical-genetic settlement research, demography / social geography, dialect research / linguistics, cultural studies / literary studies, modern history and contemporary history the Danube Swabia deals. Reinhard Johler has been the head of the institute since September 1st, 2008 .

The Foundation Danube Swabian Museum in Ulm has to preserve the task of the cultural tradition and the cultural heritage of the Danube Swabians in July 1998 by well documented history, culture and landscape that collects cultural and presented as well as the country and ethnographic research accessible via the Danube Swabian areas of origin power. At the same time, it is intended to disseminate and deepen knowledge about the south-eastern neighbors in order to contribute to understanding in Europe. For this purpose, the foundation operates the museum in the Reduit Obere Danube Bastion of the federal fortress in Ulm.

On 1500 m² the museum shows the history of the Danube Swabians in the permanent exhibition Rooms, Times, People in 26 sections the life of this ethnic group in the multi-ethnic region of Southeast Europe. The chairman of the board is currently the mayor of Ulm, Sabine Mayer-Dölle .

The Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić , the chairman of the Landsmannschaft Hans Supritz and Archbishop Robert Zollitsch inaugurated a memorial in Bački Jarak in May 2017 , which is intended to commemorate the disenfranchisement, internment and death of the Danube Swabians in Vojvodina from 1944 to 1948. The inscription on the memorial states that around 6,500 “German civilians”, “mainly women and children”, were killed in the Bački Jarak camp between the end of 1944 and 1946 as a result of “hunger, disease and mistreatment”.

coat of arms

The " coat of arms of the Danube Swabians " - designed in 1950 by Hans Diplich - is used as a logo by the Landsmannschaft der Donauschwaben and the Landsmannschaft der Banat Schwaben .

See also

Sources for Danube Swabian genealogy

  • Institute for Foreign Relations (Stuttgart), church records of Banat localities as microfilms
  • Franz Wilhelm , Josef Kallbrunner : Sources on German settlement history in Southeast Europe (=  writings of the German Academy . Issue 11). Ernst Reinhardt, Munich / Basel 1936 (Bavarian State Library, call number: Germ.g.602 b-11).
  • Stefan Stader: Collection of Danube Swabian colonists. Working group of Danube Swabian family researchers V. (AKdFF)
  • Donauschwäbische Kulturstiftung , (Documentation Working Group): The suffering of the Germans in Communist Yugoslavia , Volumes I-IV,
  • Hans J. Prohaska: The Banat Sleeping Cross Calculations Family history sources for Banat genealogy a. Settlement history 1766–1804 . III. 1982 LXVII. Park Ridge, S. 664 (IFA-Stuttgart Library, call number: 5/1032).


  • Hans Gehl : Danube Swabian ways of life on the middle Danube. Interethnic coexistence and perspectives . Elwert, Marburg 2003, ISBN 3-7708-1228-X , p. 330 .
  • Zoran Janjetović : The Danube Swabians in Vojvodina and National Socialism . In: Mariana Hausleitner , Harald Roth (Hrsg.): The influence of National Socialism on minorities in Eastern Central and Southern Europe . IKS, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-593-37234-7 , pp. 219–235 ( freenet-homepage.de ).
  • Thomas Casagrande: The Volksdeutsche SS-Division "Prinz Eugen" - The Banat Swabians and the National Socialist war crimes . Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-593-37234-7 , p. 194 ff .
  • Immo Eberl , Konrad G. Gündisch, Ute Richter, Annemarie Röder, Harald Zimmermann : The Danube Swabians. German settlement in Southeast Europe, exhibition catalog, scientific management of the exhibition Harald Zimmermann, Immo Eberl, and employee Paul Ginder . Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg, Sigmaringen 1987, ISBN 3-7995-4104-7 , p. 318 .
  • Danube Swabian history. Donauschwäbische Kulturstiftung, Munich.
  • Gerhard Seewann : History of the Germans in Hungary.
    • Volume 1: From the early Middle Ages to 1860. Herder Institute, Marburg 2012 ISBN 978-3-87969-373-3 .
    • Volume 2: History of the Germans in Hungary, 1860 to 2006. Volume 2, Herder Institute, Marburg 2012 ISBN 978-3-87969-374-0 .
  • Mariana Hausleitner : The influence of National Socialism on the Danube Swabians in the Romanian and Serbian Banat. Series: Multicultural Banat, 1. In: Reflections. Journal for German culture and history of Southeast Europe. Booklet 2, vol. 9, Institute for German Culture and History of Southeast Europe at the University of Munich IKGS, Munich 2014.
  • Mariana Hausleitner: The Danube Swabians 1868–1948. Your role in the Romanian and Serbian Banat. Steiner, Stuttgart 2014, ISBN 978-3-515-10686-3 .
  • Mathias Beer , Reinhard Johler , Christian Marchetti (eds.): Donauschwaben and others. Southeast European Research in Tübingen . Tübingen 2015, ISBN 978-3-932512-73-5 ( PDF )

Broadcast reports

Web links


  1. The conditions on the private goods were generally less favorable for the settlers than on the camera goods (cf. Casagrande p. 102)
  2. At the end of the First World War in 1918, Hatzfeld was occupied by Serbia and was given the name Žombolj . The official affiliation to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia took place through the Treaty of Trianon. With the Belgrade Convention of November 24, 1923, a border adjustment took place, whereby Hatzfeld fell to Romania. Another name change to Jimbolia took place in 1924 under Romanian administration .
  3. The "Banater Staatswache" worked together with the German occupation authorities and is listed in the Federal Archives as the "Border and Guard Unit of the SS" (Source: Federal Archives, N 756 Nachlass Wolfgang Vopersal, Volume 3.3.4 Border and Guard Units of the SS , 325a, there under Banat Swabia ).
  4. The documentation The Fate of Germans in Yugoslavia , published by the former Federal Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims , is viewed critically by historians, writes Mathias Beer: “With a view to foreign policy, [the documentation] should contribute to German guilt relativization and thus guilt minimization perform. "(cf. Mathias Beer: In the field of tension between politics and contemporary history. The major research project" Documentation of the expulsion of Germans from East Central Europe " , Quarterly Issues for Contemporary History, Issue 3, Munich-Berlin, Volume 46 (1998), p. 345 –389 .; PDF; 2.1 MB) It should be noted that the document 177E cited there is a copy of a draft notice.
  5. For example the Magyars of the Batschka, who expelled Serbs as Hungarian citizens, or the Kosovar Albanians as citizens in Greater Albania , a state founded and externally controlled by Italy and Germany. Without prejudice remained the Bulgarian minority in southern Serbia and the Croatian nation, whose collaboration with the Ustasha regime was largely untracked. Those Serbs who were expelled from Kosovo in 1941 suffered a similar collective punishment with consequences . Tito also revoked their home rights on the grounds that in 1941 they joined the “anti-communist” Chetnik resistance in Kosovo, regardless of the fact that at that time there was no other organization in this region that they could join to protect their lives can connect. (cf. Miodrag Zečević: Pogubna istorijska amnezija ( German  The fatal loss of historical memory ) . In: Jedan svet na Dunavu, from Borba of July 24, 1992. Tiker, Belgrad 1996, p. 204 (Serbian). )
  6. Here mainly the Rhine Franconian dialect , but to a lesser extent also the Moselle Franconian dialect (see also literature by Anton Scherer and Anton Peter Petri ).

Individual evidence

  1. gbv.de , Common Library Association , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , Johannes Hürther: Review: Casagrande, Thomas: The Volksdeutsche SS Division "Prinz Eugen" - The Banat Swabians and the National Socialist War Crimes. ISBN 3-593-37234-7 , December 18, 2003, p. 8
  2. ^ Mathias Beer : Flight and expulsion of the Germans. Requirements, course, consequences. Munich, 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-61406-4 , p. 86.
  3. Ingomar Senz: The Danube Swabians. Langen Müller, 1994, p. 126 f.
  4. genealogy.net , origin of the Danube Swabians
  5. a b c d e Immo Eberl, Konrad G. Gündisch, Ute Richter, Annemarie Röder, Harald Zimmermann: Die Donauschwaben. German settlement in Southeast Europe, exhibition catalog, scientific management of the exhibition Harald Zimmermann, Immo Eberl, and employee Paul Ginder . Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg, Sigmaringen 1987, ISBN 3-7995-4104-7 , p. 262-265 ( Internet publication ).
  6. ^ Edgar Hösch, Karl Nehring, Holm Sundhaussen, Konrad Clewing: Lexicon for the history of Southeast Europe . UTB, 2004, ISBN 3-8252-8270-8 , pp. 770, here p. 201 .
  7. Uwe Andersen, Woyke Wichard (Hrsg.): Concise dictionary of the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. 5th updated edition. Leske + Budrich, Opladen, 2003, bpb.de ( Federal Agency for Civic Education )
  8. a b zajednica-nijemaca.org ( Memento from September 1, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.1 MB), Vladimir Geiger: Sudbina Jugoslavenskih Nijemaca u Hrvatskoj i Srpskoj književnosti , Zagreb, 2009, p. 6.
  9. Holm Sundhaussen, in: "Zavičaj na Dunavu" ( German at  home on the Danube ), Muzej Vojvodine, Novi Sad 2009, p. 99.
  10. Borislav Jankulov: Naseljavanje Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Matica Srpska 1961, p. 62.
  11. Mile Milosavljevic: Srpski velikani ( German  Serbian giants ), JRJ Publishers, Zemun-Belgrade, 2006
  12. ^ Dušan Šimko: Lecture: Political Geography of the Balkan Countries , University of Basel , September 30, 2009, Word document
  13. Ingomar Senz: The Danube Swabians. Langen-Müller, 1994, ISBN 3-7844-2522-4 , p. 18.
  14. ^ William R. Shepherd : Distribution of Races in Austria-Hungary in: Historical Atlas, 1911.
  15. ^ A b Anton Scherer: Suevia-Pannonica . Donauschwäbisches Bibliographisches Archiv, Graz 2009, ISBN 978-3-901486-21-0 , p. 29 .
  16. deposit.ddb.de , German National Library , Alina Teslaru-Born: Ideas and projects for the federalization of the Habsburg Empire with special consideration of Transylvania 1848–1918 , Inaugural dissertation to obtain the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of History of the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe- University of Frankfurt am Main, 2005, p. 399, here p. 12, 1.2. The South Slav question.
  17. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p donauschwaben.net (PDF; 7.8 MB), Peter Wassertheurer: History of the German ethnic groups in Southeast Europe. Settlement, national coexistence, displacement, integration. Self-published, Vienna, 2008.
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  19. newsclick.mobbing-gegner.de  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Jens Berger: Self-determination. April 4, 2008.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / newsclick.mobbing-gegner.de  
  20. hoelzel.at ( Memento from June 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), Ed. Hölzel , Bernd Vogel, Birgit Wallner-Strasser: Through the times, history 4th grade. Teachers' booklet, 2008, textbook number: 135378.
  21. donauschwaben-bayern.de (PDF; 766 kB): Who are the Danube Swabians?
  22. ^ Anton Scherer: Suevia-Pannonica . Donauschwäbisches Bibliographisches Archiv, Graz 2009, ISBN 978-3-901486-21-0 , p. 49 .
  23. wirtschaftsblatt.at ( Memento from January 14, 2013 in the web archive archive.today ), Wirtschaftsblatt , Herbert Geyer: Erbe der Roman Reichsteilung , July 16, 2009, accessed on November 7, 2011
  24. ^ Hans-Ulrich Wehler : Nationality Policy in Yugoslavia. Volume 3 of the Vandenhoeck Collection, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1980, ISBN 3-525-01322-1 , p. 164, here p. 10, (Internet publication)
  25. ^ Zoran Janjetović : The Danube Swabians in Vojvodina and National Socialism. In: Mariana Hausleitner , Harald Roth (ed.): The Influence of Fascism and National Socialism on Minorities in East Central and Southeast Europe, IKGS Verlag, Munich, 2006, ISBN 3-9809851-1-3 , pp. 219-235.
  26. a b banat.de , Richard Weber: The turbulence of the years 1918-1919 in Temeschburg
  27. ^ Paul Milata : Between Hitler, Stalin and Antonescu. Romanian Germans in the Waffen SS. Böhlau-Verlag, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-13806-6 , p. 22.
  28. Anneli Ute Gabanyi : History of the Germans in Romania , originally published in the Federal Agency for Civic Education : Information on Civic Education , Issue 267 Aussiedler
  29. Stephan Olaf Schüller: For Faith, Leader, People, Fatherland or Motherland ?: the struggles for the German youth in the Romanian Banat (1918–1944). Volume 9 of Studies on the History, Culture and Society of Southeast Europe. LIT Verlag, Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-8258-1910-1 , p. 558, Internet publication
  30. ^ Johann Böhm : The German ethnic group in Yugoslavia 1918–1941 . Peter Lang GmbH, Frankfurt am Main 2009, p. 339 .
  31. ^ Michael Portmann , Arnold Suppan : Serbia and Montenegro in World War II (1941-1944e / 45) . In: Österreichisches Ost- und Südosteuropa-Institut (Ed.): Serbia and Montenegro: Space and Population, History, Language and Literature, Culture, Politics, Society, Economy, Law . LIT Verlag, Münster 2006, ISBN 3-8258-9539-4 . Pp. 274-275
  32. Gabriele Vasak: The third the bread. Septime Verlag, 2016, ISBN 3-903061-40-9 , p. 75.
  33. Akiko Shimizu: THE GERMAN OCCUPATION OF THE SERBIAN BANATE 1941–1944. Münster 2003, ISBN 3-8258-5975-4 , p. 233f.
  34. a b c d e f g h Michael Portmann, Arnold Suppan: Serbia and Montenegro in the Second World War . In: Austrian Institute for East and Southeast Europe: Serbia and Montenegro: Space and Population - History - Language and Literature - Culture - Politics - Society - Economy - Law . LIT Verlag 2006, p. 277 f .
  35. Klaus Schmider : A detour to a war of extermination? The partisan war in Yugoslavia, 1941–1944. In: RD Müller, HE Volkmann, (Ed. On behalf of MGFA ): The Wehrmacht: Myth and Reality. Oldenbourg, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-486-56383-1 , p. 910 ff.
  36. Martin Seckendorf, Günter Keber: The occupation policy of German fascism in Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania, Italy and Hungary (1941–1945) (= Europe under the swastika. The occupation policy of German fascism (1938–1945) , vol. 6). Hüthig, Berlin, 1992; Decker / Müller, Heidelberg 2000, ISBN 3-8226-1892-6 , p. 438, here p. 36.
  37. ^ Johann Böhm: The German ethnic groups in the independent state of Croatia and in the Serbian Banat. Your relationship to the Third Reich 1941–1944 . ( Memento from January 18, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Peter Lang, 2013. ISBN 978-3-631-63323-6 , pp. 14, 22
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  39. ^ Arnold Suppan: Hitler - Beneš - Tito: Conflict, War and Genocide in East Central and Southeast Europe. Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2014. ISBN 3-7001-7560-4 , p. 1324
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  41. Zoran Janjetović , The Conflicts Between Serbs and Danube Swabians , p. 162 In “The Influence of National Socialism on Minorities in East Central and Southern Europe”, editors: Mariana Hausleitner and Harald Roth, IKS Verlag, Munich, 2006 (scientific series “History and Contemporary History "Of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Volume 107: Edgar Hösch, Thomas Krefeld and Anton Schwob)
  42. Branko Petranović, Momčilo Zečević: Jugoslovenski federalizam: ideje i stvarnost: tematska zbirka dokumenata . Belgrade 1987, p. 145 ff .
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  49. ^ Zoran Janjetovic: The conflicts between Serbs and Danube Swabians. Belgrade, 2004
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  1. p. 89
  2. p. 90
  3. p. 95
  4. p. 100
  5. p. 98
  6. p. 103
  7. p. 101
  8. p. 102
  9. p. 108ff.
  10. p. 106
  11. p. 121
  12. p. 125.
  13. p. 114.
  14. p. 126
  15. p. 128
  16. a b c d e p. 129ff.
  17. p. 345
  18. p. 178ff.
  19. p. 343
  20. p. 179, original document printed in: Josef Janko: Weg und Ende der Deutschen Volksgruppe in Yugoslavien. Leopold Stocker, Graz 1982, p. 230.
  21. p. 194
  22. a b p. 193ff.
  23. p. 194
  24. p. 195
  25. p. 200
  26. p. 187
  27. p. 288ff.
  28. a b p. 196
  29. p. 336ff.
  30. p. 299
  31. p. 339
  32. p. 340,341
  33. p. 342
  34. p. 343
  35. p. 343
  36. p. 344
  37. p. 345
  38. p. 346
  39. p. 105
  40. p. 347
  41. p. 348
  42. p. 213, from: BA: NS19 / 3519
  43. p. 267, original document printed in: Josef Janko: Weg und Ende der Deutschen Volksgruppe in Yugoslavien. , Stocker, Graz 1982, p. 226.
  44. p. 195
  45. p. 306
  46. p. 267
  47. p. 348