The Danube Swabians (German: ) is a collective term for the ethnic German-speaking population who lived in various countries of southeastern Europe, especially in the Danube River valley, from the late eighteenth century. Most were descended from late 18th-century immigrants recruited by Austria-Hungary as colonists to repopulate the area and restore agriculture after the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire. They were allowed to keep their language and religion, and initially developed strongly German communities in the region.

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  • The Danube Swabians (German: ) is a collective term for the ethnic German-speaking population who lived in various countries of southeastern Europe, especially in the Danube River valley, from the late eighteenth century. Most were descended from late 18th-century immigrants recruited by Austria-Hungary as colonists to repopulate the area and restore agriculture after the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire. They were allowed to keep their language and religion, and initially developed strongly German communities in the region. The Danube Swabians are considered to be the most recent group of ethnic German people to emerge in Europe. In the 21st century, they are considered to be made up of ethnic Germans from many former and present-day countries: Germans of Hungary; Satu Mare Swabians; the Banat Swabians; and the Vojvodina Germans in Serbia's Vojvodina, and Croatia's Slavonia (especially in the Osijek region). They called themselves Schwowe in a Germanized spelling or "Shwoveh" in an English spelling; in the singular first person, they identified as a Schwob or a Shwobe. The Carpathian Germans and Transylvanian Saxons are not included within the Danube Swabian group. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I, the settlement areas of the Danube Swabians 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 established state of Yugoslavia. In this atmosphere of ethnic nationalism, the Danube Swabians had to fight for legal equality as citizens and for the preservation of their cultural traditions. The German Reich promoted National Socialist ideas to the Danube Swabians, and claimed protection of these ethnicities as part of its reason to expand in eastern Europe. The Danube Swabians faced particular challenges in World War II, when the Axis powers, including Nazi Germany, overran many of the nations where they lived. While they were initially favored by the occupiers, some were moved from their homes. As the war progressed and Nazi Germany needed more soldiers, the men were conscripted. Many atrocities took place during and after the war, as a result of the complicated allegiances and the brutality of the Nazis. Toward the end of the Second World War, tens of thousands of Danube Swabians fled west ahead of the advancing Soviet army. After the war, the remaining Danube Swabians were disenfranchised, their property seized, and many were deported to labor camps in the Soviet Union. Hungary expelled half of its ethnic Germans. In Yugoslavia, the local "ethnic Germans" were collectively blamed for the actions of Nazi Germany and branded as war criminals. Immediately after the end of the war, partisan troops conducted mass executins of numerous Yugoslav Danube Swabians. Survivors were later confined to labor and internment camps by the Yugoslavian authorities. Following the dissolution of the camps, the majority of the remaining Yugoslav Danube Swabians left the country, seeking refuge in Germany, Europe and the United States. Of the 1.4 to 1.5 million pre-war population of Danube Swabians, the overwhelming majority of the survivors resettled in German-speaking countries: about 660,000 in Germany and about 150,000 in Austria. Danube Swabians also resettled in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Australia. Diaspora Danube Swabians maintain their language and customs in numerous societies and clubs. The number of organizations is shrinking as the generations that lived in the Danube Swabian homeland die off. (en)
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  • The Danube Swabians (German: ) is a collective term for the ethnic German-speaking population who lived in various countries of southeastern Europe, especially in the Danube River valley, from the late eighteenth century. Most were descended from late 18th-century immigrants recruited by Austria-Hungary as colonists to repopulate the area and restore agriculture after the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire. They were allowed to keep their language and religion, and initially developed strongly German communities in the region. (en)
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  • Danube Swabians (en)
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  • Danube Swabians (en)
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