14 Facts About Banat Swabians


Banat Swabians are an ethnic German population in Central-Southeast Europe, part of the Danube Swabians.

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Under Romanian rule, Banat Swabians could have German-language schools again for the first time since 1868.

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Many Banat Swabians left to work in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States, never to return.

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Towards the end of the war, some Banat Swabians openly opposed the Nazis, who in retaliation publicly executed a group of them in Jimbolia.

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Banat Swabians who served in the Prinz Eugen Division gained notoriety because of the division's war crimes against Jews and Serbs during the Banat period.

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Early in 1945, under Stalin's orders, many Banat Swabians were expelled or deported to forced labor camps in the Soviet Union, where thousands of them died.

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In 1951 more than a thousand Banat Swabians were displaced to the Baragan Steppe of southeast Romania, where they founded new villages.

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Some Swabian families from both Romanian and Yugoslavian Banat Swabians managed to flee to Germany in the immediate postwar years.

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Banat Swabians were extended the full rights of Romanian citizenship.

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Nevertheless, many Banat Swabians chose to use the looser conditions to emigrate to Germany, since they no longer trusted Romania's communist government's promises.

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Some former Banat Swabians now have a renewed desire to return to their long-time home, but most had to sell their property when they left and have no home to return to.

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In December 2007 the remaining Banat Swabians formed their own minority council in Novi Sad, having gained the required 3,000 voter signatures.

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Banat Swabians estimated the total number of remaining Danube Swabians in Serbia and their descendants as between 5,000 and 8,000.

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Banat Swabians who emigrated to Germany are generally well integrated into the society in which they live.

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