Project: Donauschwaben

Categories: German Projects | Austro-Hungarian Empire | Donauschwaben | German Roots Project

Donauschwaben Germany is a sub project of the Germany project.

There is a campanion Free-Space Project page which covers some of the same territory Banater Schwaben

The Donauschwaben, or Danube Swabians, are German-speaking people who settled in and around the Danube River in southeastern and central Europe in several waves through the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire, having taken much of the area back from the Ottoman Empire, actively recruited subjects to colonize the neglected lands and make them arable and profitable, and not incidentally, to defend them against Ottoman raids.

It's estimated that around one million ethnic Germans lived in these regions before WWII.

Danube Swabians/Donauschwaben

The [1]Donauschwaben or Danube Swabians is a term for the German-speaking population who lived in various countries of southeastern Europe, mainly the Danube River valley. Most were descended from 18th-century immigrants recruited as colonists to repopulate the area.


The Danube Swabian language is a mixture of many dialects of the original German settlers, mainly Swabian, Franconian, Bavarian, Rhinelandic/Pfälzisch, Alsatian, and Alemannic, as well as Austro-Hungarian administrative and military jargon. Other influences include Serbian and Croatian, Russian, Romanian, Turkish, English, Balkan and South Slavic loanwords like Kukuruts.

Coat of Arms

A black eagle representing the protection of the Emperor of Austria
A blue ribbon representing the Danube River
A crescent moon representing the waning of Islamic influence through the withdrawal of the Ottoman Turks
The Sun representing both Prince Eugene of Savoy and the light of Christianity; and
A fortress representing the fortified city of Temeschburg.

Notable Banat Swabians

Geza von Cziffra, film director
Helmuth Duckadam, football goalkeeper, winner of European Cup and current record holder for most penalty kicks saved in a shootout.
Werner Fricker, President, United States Soccer Federation 1986–1990
Franz Xaver Kappus (1883–1966), writer, poet, newspaper editor
Stefan Jäger, painter
Nikolaus Lenau, writer
Herta Müller, poet, novelist and recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature
Anthony N. Michel, American engineering educator
Johnny Weissmuller (born Johann Weißmüller), American actor; Olympic swimming gold medalist
Michael J. Wendl, American engineer
Stefan Hell, co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Zita Johann, Austrian-American actress (The Mummy)

Donasuschwaben im Karpatenbecken


How to Participate germany.gif

If you would like to be involved in the Donauschwaben Team, please join the Germany Project and let them know you're interested in the Donauschwaben team.

Project Members:

Project Mission and Tasks at WikiTree

The main mission of the Donauschwaben Roots Project is to spot Donauschwaben profiles and develope them on WikiTree.

  • Identify ancestors with Donauschwaben roots.
  • Add sources to Donauschwaben profiles.
  • Place regional category on your Donauschwaben ancestor. If your village or town has not been created yet, ask Maggie or the categorization leader, Steven Harris, to make one for you.
  • Copy and paste the following template on profiles that have German ancestry.
{{German Roots Sticker}}

All about Banater and the Donauschwaban Territories

Donauschwaben [1]

Regions with significant populations

Hungary - 131,951
Romania - 13,510
Serbia - 4,064
Croatia - 2,965


Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian, Croatian, German


Roman Catholicism, Lutheran

Related ethnic groups

Germans of Hungary
Germans of Romania
Germans of Serbia
Germans of Croatia
Banat Swabians
Satu Mare Swabians


For more information, see:

  1. Wikipedia - Danube Swabians

This page was last modified 08:35, 19 March 2023. This page has been accessed 2,370 times.