The Danube Swabians is a collective term for the German-speaking population who lived in various countries of southeastern Europe in the Danube River valley. Most were descended from 18th-century immigrants recruited as colonists to repopulate the area after the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire; the Danube Swabians are the most formed distinct line of ethnic German people. They are made up of ethnic Germans from many present-day countries: Germans of Hungary, they called. The Carpathian Germans and Transylvanian Saxons are not included within the Danube Swabian group; this group of people had particular challenges in World War II, when the Axis powers, including Nazi Germany, overran many of the nations where these ethnic Germans were long settled. They were first favored, yet moved from their homes, as the war progressed and Nazi Germany in particular 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.
In the long years since, German-speaking populations have re-established in the new nations formed in the early 1990s after the fall of the communist bloc. Beginning in the 12th century, German merchants and miners began to settle in the Kingdom of Hungary at the invitation of the Hungarian monarchy. Although there were significant colonies of Carpathian Germans in the Spiš mountains and Transylvanian Saxons in Transylvania, German settlement throughout the rest of the kingdom had not been extensive until this time. During the 17th–18th centuries, warfare between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire devastated and depopulated much of the lands of the Danube valley, referred to geographically as the Pannonian plain; the Habsburgs ruling Austria and Hungary at the time resettled the land with people of various ethnicities recruited from the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the Habsburgs, including Magyars, Slovaks, Serbs, Romanians and Germanic settlers from Swabia, Palatinate, Franconia, Bavaria and Alsace-Lorraine.
Despite differing origins, the new immigrants were all referred to as Swabians by their neighbor Serbs and Romanians. The Bačka settlers called themselves Schwoweh, the plural of Schwobe in the polyglot language that evolved there; the majority of them boarded boats in Ulm and traveled to their new destinations down the Danube River in boats called Ulmer Schachteln. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had given them funds to build their boats for transport; the first wave of resettlement came after the Ottoman Turks were being forced back after their defeat at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The settlement was encouraged by nobility, whose lands had been devastated through warfare, by military officers including Prince Eugene of Savoy and Claudius Mercy. Many Germans settled in the Bakony and Vértes mountains north and west of Lake Balaton, as well as around the town Buda, now part of Budapest; the area of heaviest German colonization during this period was in the Swabian Turkey, a triangular region between the Danube River, Lake Balaton, the Drava River.
Other areas settled during this time by Germans were Pécs, Satu Mare, south of Mukachevo. After the Habsburgs annexed the Banat area from the Ottomans in the Treaty of Passarowitz, the government made plans to resettle the region to restore farming, it became known as the Banat of Temesvár, as well as the Bačka region between the Danube and Tisza rivers. Fledgling settlements were destroyed during another Austrian-Turkish war, but extensive colonization continued after the suspension of hostilities; the late 18th-century resettlement was accomplished through private and state initiatives. After Maria Theresa of Austria assumed the throne as Queen of Hungary in 1740, she encouraged vigorous colonization on crown lands between Timișoara and the Tisza; the Crown agreed to permit the Germans to retain their religion. The German farmers redeveloped the land: drained marshes near the Danube and the Tisza, rebuilt farms, constructed roads and canals. Many Danube Swabians served on Austria's Military Frontier against the Ottomans.
Between 1740 and 1790, more than 100,000 Germans immigrated to the Kingdom of Hungary. The Napoleonic Wars ended the large-scale movement of Germans to the Hungarian lands, although the colonial population increased and was self-sustaining through natural increase. Small daughter-colonies developed in Bosnia. After the creation of Austria-Hungary in 1867, Hungary established a policy of Magyarization whereby minorities, including the Danube Swabians, were induced by political and economic means to adopt the Magyar language and culture. Beginning in 1893, Banat Swabians began to move to Bulgaria, where they settled in the village of Bardarski Geran, Vratsa Province, founded by Banat Bulgarians several years prior to that, their number exceeded 90 families. They built a separate Roman Catholic church in 1929 due to conflicts with the Bulgarian Catholics; some of these Germans moved to Tsarev Brod, Shumen Province, together with a handful of Banat Bulgarian families, as well as to another Banat Bulgarian village, Pleven Province.
House of Habsburg
The House of Habsburg called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740; the house produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland, Kingdom of Portugal, Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they maintained close relations and intermarried; the House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau, who chose to name his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title.
The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, 13th centuries. By 1276, Count Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg moved the family's power base from Habsburg Castle to the Duchy of Austria. Rudolph became King of Germany in 1273, the dynasty of the House of Habsburg was entrenched in 1276 when Rudolph became ruler of Austria, which the Habsburgs and their descendants ruled until 1918. A series of dynastic marriages enabled the family to vastly expand its domains to include Burgundy and its colonial empire, Bohemia and other territories. In the 16th century, the family separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches, who settled their mutual claims in the Oñate treaty; the House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon; the remaining Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, in 1780 with the death of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa of Austria.
It was succeeded by the Vaudémont branch of the House of Lorraine, descendants of Maria Theresa's marriage to Francis III, Duke of Lorraine. The new successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, because it was confusingly still referred to as the House of Habsburg, historians use the unofficial appellation of the Habsburg Monarchy for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1521 and 1780 and by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918; the Lorraine branch continues to exist to this day and its members use the Habsburg name. The Habsburg Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities, its industrial base was thin, its naval resources were so minimal. It typified by Metternich. Along with the Capetian dynasty, it was one of the two most powerful continental European royal families, dominating European politics for nearly five centuries.
Their principal roles were as follows: Holy Roman Emperors, kings of Germany, kings of the Romans) Rulers of Austria Kings of Bohemia Kings of Hungary and Croatia Kings of Spain Kings of Portugal Kings of Galicia and Lodomeria Grand princes of Transylvania Numerous other titles were attached to the crowns listed above. The progenitor of the House of Habsburg may have been Guntram the Rich, a count in the Breisgau who lived in the 10th century, forewith farther back as the early medieval Adalrich, Duke of Alsace, father of the Etichonids from which Habsburg derives, his grandson Radbot, Count of Habsburg founded the Habsburg Castle, after which the Habsburgs are named. The origins of the castle's name, located in what is now the Swiss canton of Aargau, are uncertain. There is disagreement on whether the name is derived from the High German Habichtsburg, or from the Middle High German word hab/hap meaning ford, as there is a river with a ford nearby; the first documented use of the name by the dynasty itself has been traced to the year 1108.
The Habsburg Castle was the family seat in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Habsburgs expanded their influence through arranged marriages and by gaining political privileges countship rights in Zürichgau and Thurgau. In the 13th century, the house aimed its marriage policy at families in Upper Swabia, they were able to gain high positions in the church hierarchy for their members. Territorially, they profited from the extinction of other noble families such as the House of Kyburg. By the second half of the 13th century, count Rudolph IV had become one of the most influential territorial lords in the area between the Vosg
Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950)
During the stages of World War II and the post-war period, German citizens and people of German ancestry fled or were expelled from various Eastern and Central European countries and sent to the remaining territory of Germany and Austria. The post-war expulsion of the Germans formed a major part of the geopolitical and ethnic reconfiguration of Eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War II, that attempted to create ethnically homogeneous nations within redefined borders. Between 1944 and 1948 about 31 million people, including ethnic Germans as well as German citizens, were permanently or temporarily moved from Central and Eastern Europe. By 1950, a total of 12 million Germans had fled or were expelled from east-central Europe into Allied-occupied Germany and Austria; the West German government put the total at 14.6 million, including 1 million ethnic Germans settled in territories conquered by Nazi Germany during World War II, ethnic German migrants to Germany after 1950 and the children born to expelled parents.
The largest numbers came from preexisting German territories ceded to Poland, the Soviet Union and from Czechoslovakia. The areas affected included the former eastern territories of Germany, which were annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union after the war, as well as Germans who were living within the prewar borders of Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Baltic States; the Nazis had made plans—only completed before the Nazi defeat—to remove many Slavic and Jewish people from Eastern Europe and settle the area with Germans. The death toll attributable to the flight and expulsions is disputed, with estimates ranging from 500,000-600,000 and up to 2 to 2.5 million. The removals occurred in three overlapping phases, the first of, the organized evacuation of ethnic Germans by the Nazi government in the face of the advancing Red Army, from mid-1944 to early 1945; the second phase was the disorganised fleeing of ethnic Germans following the Wehrmacht's defeat. The third phase was a more organised expulsion following the Allied leaders' Potsdam Agreement, which redefined the Central European borders and approved expulsions of ethnic Germans from Poland and Hungary.
Many German civilians were sent to internment and labour camps where they were used as forced labour as part of German reparations to countries in eastern Europe. The major expulsions were complete in 1950. Estimates for the total number of people of German ancestry still living in Central and Eastern Europe in 1950 range from 700,000 to 2.7 million. Before World War II, East-Central Europe lacked shaped ethnic settlement areas. There were some ethnic-majority areas, but there were vast mixed areas and abundant smaller pockets settled by various ethnicities. Within these areas of diversity, including the major cities of Central and Eastern Europe, regular interaction among various ethnic groups had taken place on a daily basis for centuries, while not always harmoniously, on every civic and economic level. With the rise of nationalism in the 19th century, the ethnicity of citizens became an issue in territorial claims, the self-perception/identity of states, claims of ethnic superiority; the German Empire introduced the idea of ethnicity-based settlement in an attempt to ensure its territorial integrity.
It was the first modern European state to propose population transfers as a means of solving "nationality conflicts", intending the removal of Poles and Jews from the projected post–World War I "Polish Border Strip" and its resettlement with Christian ethnic Germans. Following the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the Russian Empire, the German empire at the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles pronounced the formation of several independent states in Central and Eastern Europe, in territories controlled by these imperial powers. None of the new states were ethnically homogeneous. After 1919, many ethnic Germans emigrated from the former imperial lands back to Germany and Austria after losing their privileged status in those foreign lands, where they had maintained majority communities. In 1919 ethnic Germans became national minorities in Poland, Hungary and Romania. In the following years, the Nazi ideology encouraged them to demand local autonomy. In Germany during the 1930s, Nazi propaganda claimed that Germans elsewhere were subject to persecution.
Nazi supporters throughout eastern Europe formed local Nazi political parties sponsored financially by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, e.g. by Hauptamt Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. However, by 1939 more than half of Polish Germans lived outside of the German territories of Poland due to improving economic opportunities. Ethnic German population: 1958 West German estimates vs pre war national census figures Notes: According to the national census figures the percentage of ethnic Germans in the total population was: Poland 2.3%. The West German figures are the base used to estimate losses in the expulsions; the West German figure for Poland is broken out as 939,000 monolingual German and 432,000 bi-lingual Polish/German. The West German figure for Poland includes 60,000 in Zaolzie, annexed by Poland in 1938. In the 1930 census this region was included in the Czechoslovak population. A West German analysis of the wartime Deutsche Volksliste by Alfred Bohmann put the number of Polish nationals in the Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany who identified themselves as German at 709,500 plus 1,846,000 Pol
Pest is a county in central Hungary. It covers an area of 6,393.14 square kilometres, has a population of 1,213,090. It surrounds the national capital Budapest and the majority of the county's population live in the suburbs of Budapest, it shares borders with Slovakia and the Hungarian counties Nógrád, Heves, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok, Bács-Kiskun, Fejér, Komárom-Esztergom. The River Danube flows through the county; the capital of Pest County is Budapest, but it is planned to separate the capital from the county at least until 2020, as it loses catch-up aids from the European Union because of the high development of Budapest. The present county Pest was formed after World War II, when the former county Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun was split in two parts. Pest County existed in the early days of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, its territory comprised the north-eastern part of present Pest County. It was combined with adjacent Pilis county before the 15th century. More information can be found at the entry of former Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun county.
In 2015, it had a population of 1,226,115 and the population density was 192/km². Besides the Hungarian majority, the main minorities are the Germans, Slovaks and Serbs. Total population: 1,217,476 Ethnic groups: Identified themselves: 1,090,882 persons: Hungarians: 1,024,768 Germans: 24,994 Gypsies: 20,065 Others and indefinable: 21,055 Approx. 178,000 persons in Pest County did not declare their ethnic group at the 2011 census. Religious adherence in the county according to 2011 census: Catholic – 445,106; the Pest County Council, elected at the 2014 local government elections, is made up of 43 counselors, with the following party composition: Pest County has 1+ urban county, 47 towns, 17 large villages and 122 villages. City with county rights Érd Towns Villages. Pest County has a partnership relationship with: Official site in Hungarian and English
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold I was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Bohemia. The second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain, Leopold became heir apparent in 1654 by the death of his elder brother Ferdinand IV. Elected in 1658, Leopold ruled the Holy Roman Empire until his death in 1705, becoming the longest-ruling Habsburg emperor. Leopold's reign is known for conflicts with the Ottoman Empire in the east and rivalry with Louis XIV, a contemporary and first cousin, in the west. After more than a decade of warfare, Leopold emerged victorious from the Great Turkish War thanks to the military talents of Prince Eugene of Savoy. By the Treaty of Karlowitz, Leopold recovered all of the Kingdom of Hungary, which had fallen under Turkish power in the years after the 1526 Battle of Mohács. Leopold fought three wars against France: the Franco-Dutch War, the Nine Years' War, the War of the Spanish Succession. In this last, Leopold sought to give his younger son the entire Spanish inheritance, disregarding the will of the late Charles II.
Leopold started a war. The early years of the war went well for Austria, with victories at Schellenberg and Blenheim, but the war would drag on until 1714, nine years after Leopold's death, which had an effect on the warring nations; when peace returned, Austria could not be said to have emerged as triumphant as it had from the war against the Turks. Born on 9 June 1640 in Vienna, Leopold received a careful education by excellent teachers. From an early age Leopold showed an inclination toward learning, he became fluent in several languages: Latin, German and Spanish. In addition to German, Italian would be the most favored language at his court. Leopold was schooled in the classics, literature, natural science and astronomy, was interested in music, as was his father. Leopold had received an ecclesiastical education and was intended for the Church, until plans changed on 9 July 1654 when smallpox took his elder brother Ferdinand and made Leopold heir apparent. Nonetheless, Leopold's church education had marked him.
Leopold remained influenced by the Jesuits and his education throughout his life, was uncommonly knowledgeable for a monarch about theology, metaphysics and the sciences. He retained his interest in astrology and alchemy which he had developed under Jesuit tutors. A religious and devoted person, Leopold personified the pietas Austriaca, or the loyally Catholic attitude of his House. On the other hand, his piety and education may have caused in him a fatalistic strain which inclined him to reject all compromise on denominational questions, not always a positive characteristic in a ruler. Leopold was said to have Habsburg physical attributes. Short, of sickly constitution, Leopold was cold and reserved in public, awkward. However, he is said to have been open with close associates. Coxe described Leopold in the following manner: "His gait was stately and deliberate. Spielman argues that his long-expected career in the clergy caused Leopold to have "early adopted the intense Catholic piety expected of him and the gentle manners appropriate to a supporting role.
He grew to manhood without the military ambition. From the beginning, his reign was defensive and profoundly conservative."Hungary elected Leopold as its king in 1655, with Bohemia and Croatia following suit in 1656 and 1657 respectively. In July 1658, more than a year after his father's death, Leopold was elected Emperor at Frankfurt in spite of the French minister, Cardinal Mazarin, who sought to put the Imperial Crown on the head of Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria, or some other non-Habsburg prince. To conciliate France, which had considerable influence in German affairs thanks to the League of the Rhine, the newly elected Emperor promised not to assist Spain at war with France; this marked the beginning of a nearly 47-year career filled with rivalry with France and its king, Louis XIV. The latter's dominant personality and power overshadowed Leopold to this day, but though Leopold did not lead his troops in person as Louis XIV did, he was no less a warrior-king given the greater part of his public life was directed towards the arrangement and prosecution of wars.
Leopold's first war was the Second Northern War, in which King Charles X of Sweden tried to become King of Poland with the aid of allies including György II Rákóczi, Prince of Transylvania. Leopold's predecessor, Ferdinand III, had allied with King John II Casimir Vasa of Poland in 1656. In 1657, Leopold expanded this alliance to include Austrian troops; these troops helped defeat the Transylvanian army, campaigned as far as Denmark. The war ended with the Treaty of Oliwa in 1660; the Ottoman Empire interfered in the affairs of Transylvania, always an unruly district, this interference brought on a war with the Holy Roman Empire, which after some desultory operations began in 1663. By a personal appeal to the diet at Regensburg Leopold induced the princes to send assistance for the campaign. By the Peace of Vasvár the Emperor made a twenty years' truce with the Sultan, granting more generous terms than his recent victory seemed to render necessary. After a few years of peace came the first of three wars between Fr
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta