Donauschwaben in den USA

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Description of Coat of Arms


Gold and white are separated by a wavy blue chevron; the upper area has a black eagle spiced with red; below is a white fortress with six towers and a red-roofed building on green arable soil above which float the shining golden sun on the right and the white waning moon on the left.


The left and right are described-as customary in heraldry, not from the viewpoint of the observer, but rather from the eyes of the knight on a horse.


Meaning of the Symbols and Colors of the Coat of Arms


As a distinctive imperial sign the eagle holds his wings protectively over the Pannonian countryside (Roman province) in the central region of the Danube and symbolizes the obligation of the Holy Roman Emperor to protect those borders of the Empire.  The emperor Charlemagne chose the eagle as imperial symbol in the 9th century.  Since the 12th century it has represented power and unity as the German coat of arms.


The wavy chevron symbolizes the Danube-the river of destiny for the new ethnic group on which the ancestors traveled in box-boats called "Ulmer Schachtel" (named after the city of embarkation, Ulm).  They settled on both sides of the central Danube region from the Raab River in the north-west to the Iron Gate in the south-east, partially as the emperor's guards along the defensive military border (protecting against further attacks). A German landscape was thereby created. The geographical aspect of this group's name refers to the Danube, however, the ethnic content does not refer to a regional dialect, but rather to a ethnological and historical factors-combined with settlement and folklore-and has become an understandable expression. Amidst fertile farmland  which the Danube-Swabians made arable stands the strong fortress of Temeschburg (Timisoara), a symbol of the imperial, German defense fortifications and military border against the Turks. The fortress is flanked by the half-moon, the temporal symbol of Islam representing the Turkish threat to Europe which was declining during the 17th and 18th centuries; then there is the bright rising sun, symbol of Christ, who is honored as the sun of justice and true light-a focal point for the future, and therefore representing victory and a new beginning for the Western, Christian culture against barbarity and retreating Islam. This victory was accomplished in the Pannonian basin during the 18th century. The six towers of the fortress represent the six main regions of settlement for the Danube-Swabians: Kis (Little) Alföld (the mountains of south-western Hungary), Swabian Turkey (south of Lake Balaton), Slavonia-Syrmia, Batschka, Banat, Sathmar with the Crisana-Maramures region.


The coat of Arms shows Germany's national colors-black, red and gold, and the Danube-Swabian ethnic colors-white and green. Black-red-gold, the symbol of German unification as well as colors of the German League, are incorporated into the coat of arms because Danube-Swabian history developed within the framework of the Holy Roman Empire (under Germanic kings) until 1806.


White is the symbol for the peaceful sentiments of Danube-Swabians; green represents hope and also the new fields of their homeland which were cultivated to become an important grain region.



Coat of arms originator: Hans Diplich, 1950 (1909-1990)

 Authored by: Hans Sonnleitner


The Arrival of the Danube Swabians into Hungary by Stefan Jäger

(“Die Einwanderung der Deutschen in Ungarn”)


Stefan Jäger (1877-1922) Self-Portrait



Who are the Danube Swabians ?


The Danube Swabians are those German colonists, who settled during the three “Great Swabian Migrations” in Hungary (see map before WW I). The colonization was done by explicit invitation of the Hungarian Landlords, during the reign of the Habsburger as Emperors of the “Holy Roman Empire of German Nation”; to repopulate the land after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire by a contingency of German-Austrian allied forces (1683-1718). They became first known as the “Ungarländische Deutschen” (German-Hungarians). After the dismantling of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire at the end of WW I by the allied Nations, the regions the Germans had settled in Hungary were divided among three nations, Hungary, Romania and the newly created Yugoslavia, thus making the collective name “Ungarländische Deutschen” for the Germans no longer valid.


The name “Danube Swabians” was coined in 1920 by Robert Sieger (Geographer from Graz) and Dr. Hermann Rüdiger (Scientist from Stuttgart) and defined by the German Foreign Department in 1930, during the Weimar Republic, acknowledging the German origin of the Danube Swabians. The Germans realized that, left unassisted and divided among Romanians, Yugoslavs and Hungarians, the Danube Swabians would not be able to resist assimilation attempts and as an ethnic group would disappear and with them a culture and values worth preserving. This collective name would identify and better describe the Germans, whose ancestors settled in Hungary during the three “Great Swabian Migrations”.


The name derived from the German province of Swabia (Schwaben), and the Danube (Duna/Donau) River. The name Danube derived from the Celtic word Danubius their name for the Danube. However, the name was not personally used by the “Danube Swabians”, the youngest of the German “Volksgruppe“ (folks groups), until after their expulsion by the Communist Governments of their respective countries after WW II. The Danube Swabians are also referred to as Donau-Deutsche” meaning Danube Germans.


By Hans Kopp


Wer sind die Donauschwaben?


Die „Donauschwaben“ sind jene deutschen Kolonisten, die während der drei „Großen Schwabenzügen“ unter der Regierung der Habsburger, Kaiser des „Heiligen römischen Reiches deutscher Nation“, nach der Schlacht von verbündeten Truppen aus deutsch-österreichischen Ländern gegen die Türken (1683-1718), auf ausdrücklichen Wunsch der ungarischen Adeligen in Ungarn angesiedelt wurden (siehe Landkarte vor dem ersten Weltkrieg). Sie waren vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg als „Ungarländische Deutsche“ bekannt. Nach dem Zerfall der Österreich-Ungarischen Monarchie, als Folgen des Ersten Weltkrieges, wurden die Siedlungsgebiete der Deutschen in Ungarn durch die alliierten Mächte dreigeteilt. Ein Teil verblieb an Ungarn, der zweite Teil, wurde Rumänien zugeteilt und der dritte Teil fiel and den neu gegründeten Staat Jugoslawien. Dadurch wurde der frühere Name „Ungarländische Deutschen“ hinfällig.


Der Name “Donauschwaben” wurde 1920 von Robert Sieger (Geografiker aus Graz) und Dr. Hermann Rüdiger (Gelehrter aus Stuttgart) geprägt und im Jahre 1930 durch das deutsche Außenministerium der Weimarer-Republik bestätigt, dadurch wurden die „Donauschwaben“ als deutsch stämmig anerkannt. Man erkannte auch, dass wenn alleine gelassen unter Ungarn, Rumänen und Jugoslawen verteilt, die Donauschwaben nicht fähig sein würden der Assimilierungspolitik dieser Länder als ethnische Gruppe standzuhalten und sicherlich würden sie unter diesen Völkern, samt ihrer Kultur die es wert war zu retten, verloren gehen. Mit diesem Sammelnamen konnte man die Deutschen aus Ungarn, Rumänien und Jugoslawien, besser identifizieren und beschreiben.


Im Namen „Donauschwaben“ sind die deutsche Provinz „Schwaben“ und der „Donaufluß“ enthalten, die beide von großer Bedeutung im Leben der Donauschwaben sind.


Der Name wurde jedoch erst nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg, nach ihrer Vertreibung aus deren Heimat durch die kommunistischen Regierungen dieser Länder, benutzt. Die Donauschwaben, der jüngste der deutschen Volksstämme, sind auch als “Donaudeutsche” bekannt.


Von Hans Kopp



Thumbnail Maps (Click on each thumbnail image below to view a larger image)


005 Land der Donauschwaben.JPG (382187 bytes)


Land of the Danube Swabians

(Land der Donauschwaben)


003 Europa bevor WK I.JPG (351157 bytes)


Europe before WWI

(Europa bevor WKI)


004 Europa nach WK I.JPG (377868 bytes)


Europe after WWI

(Europa nach WKI)



Partial Map of Europe (showing original and settlement areas)



FEEFHS Map Library

The Federation of East European Family History Societies




Article on how the Banat was settled with Germans




History of German Settlements in Southern Hungary

by Sue Clarkson

This Previous Link has apparently been removed by the author!


The Federation of East European Family History Societies



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