Place:Banat, Austria

Watchers
NameBanat
Alt namesDanube Schwben or Donuschwben.
TypeFormer province
Located inAustria     (1849 - 1960)
See alsoBanat, Hungary
Banat, Romania
Serbia and Montenegro
Contained Places
Unknown
Albrechtsflor
Alexanderhausen
Alt Sankt Anna
Alt Tschanad
Arad Sankt Martin
Arad
Aurelheim
Bakowa
Billed
Blumenthal
Bogarosch
Bosowitsch
Brestowatz
Bruckenau
Charlottenburg
Detta
Deutsch Bentschek
Deutsch Elemer
Deutsch Sankt Peter
Deutsch Tschernja
Deutsch-Bogschan
Deutsch-Etschka
Deutsch-Sartscha
Deutsch-Stamora
Dognatschka
Dárda
Ebendorf
Eichental
Engelsbrunn
Ernsthausen
Fatschet
Ferdinandsberg
Franzdorf
Franzfeld
Freidorf
Freudenthal
Gertianosch
Glogau
Glogovatz
Gottlob
Grabatz
Groß Betschkerek
Groß Jetscha
Groß Sanktnikolaus
Groß Sredischte
Groß-Kikinda
Groß-Sanktpeter
Groß-Termin
Großkomlósch
Guttenbrunn
Gyorok
Hatzfeld
Hellburg
Heuerdorf
Heufeld
Homolitz
Jabuka
Jahrmarkt
Johannisfeld
Karansebesch
Karlsdorf
Katharinenfeld
Kernei
Klein Jetscha
Klein Schemlak
Kleinbetschkerek
Klek
Knees
Kranichstätten
Kreutzstätten
Kubin
Kudritz
Kumane
Königsdorf
Königsgnad
Königshof
Lazarfeld
Lenauheim
Liebling
Lindenfeld
Lippa
Lowrin
Lugosch
Mastort
Mehadia
Mercydorf
Modosch
Morawitza
Moritzfeld
Mramorak
Nakodorf
Nerau
Neu Arad
Neu Palanka
Neu-Beschenowa ( 1718 - 1773 )
Neu-Karansebesch
Neu-Moldowa
Neu-Panat
Neu-Sanktpeter
Neuburg an der Bega
Neudorf
Neuhof
Nitzkydorf
Odwosch
Offsenitza
Orawitz
Orschowa
Orzidorf
Ostern
Pankota
Pantschowa
Pardan
Perjamosch
Radna
Rebenberg
Rekasch
Reschitza
Roschowa
Ruskberg
Ruskitza
Ruskodorf
Saalhausen
Sackelhaus
Sackelhausen
Saderlach
Sankt Andreas
Sankt Georgen
Sankt Hubert
Sankt Miklós
Saska
Schag
Schupanek
Schöndorf
Segenthau
Semlak
Setschan
Slatina
Startschowa
Stefansfeld
Steierdorf
Temeschburg
Topolya
Traunau
Triebswetter
Tschakowa
Tschanad
Tscherwenka
Tschiklowa
Ulmbach
Warjasch
Weißkirchen
Werschetz
Wetschehausen
Wiesenhaid
Wiseschdia
Zichydorf
source: Family History Library Catalog

{{Banat was a large area that had been a war zone of the Ottoman empire for over 150 years. Early 18th century, the Germans, were encouraged by the Hapsburg, Austrian/ Hungarian Government, to settle in Banat. The German colonists came for religious freedom and free lands, but some were forced into exile. Most were poor peasants, who had farmed the land of the feudal lords, and who had been subjected to heavy taxation and military draft. Settlers came from regions known as Baden, Wuerttemberg, Alsace, Lorraine, Rhinelands, Westphalia, Bavaria, Swabia and other areas of Germany. The first group to migrate to Banat, were about 15,000 Germans from the Black Forest area. The first settlers came between 1718 and 1737, and many died from the Ottoman raids or the bubonic plague. In the second group, 1744-1773, they received financial support and long-term tax relief from Maria Theresa, Queen of Austria/Hungary, That government sponsored colonization ended in 1773. The South East Germans came by barges, down the Danube, giving them their name Danube Schwben or Donuschwben. The settlement was extended to 1787. Under difficult conditions, and loss of lives, these German colonists built the villages, roads, and drained the swamps. They eventually changed Banat with its rich soils, into the most productive agricultural region of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

It was decided by Habsburg that each ethnic group lived in their own villages. 

In 1860, Banat became a part of Hungary of the dual Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The Hungarian law in 1868, was that all towns and villages in Hungary must have Hungarian names. Hungary also required the schools to teach only in the Hungarian language but rural Swabian villages still taught in German.

Before World War I, there was a mass immigration. Most went out of Bremen into New York and Baltimore and the majority settled in the Mid West. They left because the Swabian Germans custom was of the first born son inheriting the land to keep farm sizes large and intact, so the other sons were forced to earn their livelihood as landless farm workers or in other professions. In America, industry was growing rapidly, steamship lines and manufacturers sent agents to villages to recruit factory workers. During the Balkan wars , which was before the outbreak of World War I, the permits were suspended for emigrating men subject to call up. So after 1907 there were more single women and family groups to emigrate then men. About 92,000 Swabians immigrated to America between 1899 and 1913 and most came around 1906-1907 August 9, 1849 saw the deciding battle of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was close to Neubeschenowa. On 31 October 1918 Banat declared it self as a independent county, with a area of 9776 km and a population of 1,677,061, Banat becomes a Independent republic. - For 2 weeks! On November 15, 1918, the republic was invaded by the army of neighboring Serbia. The next year, its territory was divided primarily between Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and Romania. WWI During World War I from 1916 to 1918, about 8,500 Banat Germans were killed or were missing in action. After the war, the borders were moved and Hungary loss of two thirds of her former territory. The land in Transylvania and most of Banat was awarded to Romaina. Yugoslavia gained land in Southern Hungary, including a strip of the western Banat. Czechoslovakia became a new country fashioned out of the former Hungarian territory. The Swabian villagers whose families had lived in Hungary for almost 200 years, now found themselves in three different countries.

Under Romanian rule in 1920, Banat Swabians could have German-language schools for the first time since 1898. There was a German language theater in Timişvara, and across Banat there were German language newspapers. The Banat Swabian culture flourished. And in 1921, a cultural association called the “Union of Germans in Romania” was founded. 

1943 Ethnic German men can either join the Romanian army or the German Army, by the end of the year 54,000 joined the Waffen SS (it was a multi-ethnic / multi-national military force for Nazi Germany). 1944 - Romania switches sides as Soviet forces close in. Over 100,000 Swabians left Romania ahead of the Russian army. Before WWII, nearly half a million Germans had lived in Banat. 1945 - Soviet-backed government is installed. The iron curtain goes up. Jan 6 1945, the Russians came to the villages and 75,000 Swabian Germans were forced to work in coal mines and labor camps in the Ukraine, Soviet Union. They took German woman between ages 18-32 and German men 17 to 45. but the younger and older were also deported. The children were left to fend for their selves and most were looked after by relatives and the villagers. 11,000 Germans died in the Ukraine and Urals because of working conditions, diseases and food shortage. In 1950, Romania put into place a 25 Kilometer Security Zone along the Yugoslavian border. The Romanian Government were afraid the people in Banat would join Tito s Yugoslavia and fight against the Romanians. But the attack never took place. June 17th, 1951, in the late evening, Romanian Soldiers had a list and beat on doors telling the occupants they have till morning to pack for their families. A soldier was left to guard at each home.

Each family were allowed enough to get on a wagon; furniture, clothes, bedding, household items and food, plus 2 horses, one cow, 2 hogs, 5 chickens and feed for the livestock. 

In the morning, each family were escorted to the train station where they waited, surrounded by soldiers with machine guns, for the freight trains to arrive. They were loaded 2 families per boxcar. The people were so afraid they were going to Russia, so when the train turned east toward the Danube, they knew they were not going to coal mines. The trains went east for 3 days ending close to the Danube. Their new home was the Baragan-Steppe. This was a barren plain, with no civilization, lots of thistles and no water. From there they were taken to where their new village was going to be, about 1 to 10 KM away. They even were given numbers for their plot of land. There were 18 new villages, with all new names. The first weeks on the Baragan Steppe, they stayed in any kind of shelter they could make. They had about 4 month to prepare for winter. First , the villagers worked together to make wells, and they brought in water from the Danube. With that they made bricks of straw and mud. It took 3 days for the bricks to dry in the sun. Buildings were made of adobe brick with a thatched roof They all worked together to build a village. The women also assisted, wearing dresses. Over the years they improved the houses and added small trees and gardens and crops, like cotton. The land had a layer of fertile earth over a layer of rock. In 1955, Romania wanted to become a member of the UN, and meet the Human Rights requirements, they had to released the people in the Baragan Steppe. A total of 9,413 people were sent to the Baragan Steppe in 1951, in 4 years 629 had died.In 1955 there were a mass resettlement of the Swabian Germans to Austria, Germany, US and Canada. Wp-Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat}}

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