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From:
Subject: Banater Schwaben versus Donauschwaben
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 23:09:27 +0000


Would someone help me understand why there's a controversy over the term Banater Schwaben (Banat Swabian)? There's a woman who's on this list and also on a Donauschwaben (Danube Swabia) list, who says:

"Please, please, there is no such a thing as BANAT SCHWABEN. They were all BANAT'S DONAUSCHWABEN!"

However, I find my Banater sites that use the term Banater Schwaben or the English variant. From my understanding, the Banater Schwaben are a part of Donauschwaben, similar to way that people in Washington County are a part of Oregon.

From the BANAT-L archives, I find that the term "Donauschwaben" was only coined in 1920. This is after my ancestors immigrated to the United States. My family called themselves German on their immigration papers. What did other Banaters' ancestors call themselves?

I also find that some of my Banater ancestors came to the area from Schwabia. However, the same woman tells me that my heritage can't be both Donauschwaben and Schwaben because the two are unrelated. If I claim to have any Schwaben ancestry, she says, "...you can skip the Donauschwaben altogether and do your research on strictly a Schwaben list." I understand from her that most Donauschwaben are not from Schwabia. However, from what I've seen about the Banaters so far indicates that most Banaters were from Schwabia. It seems our ancestors are a mixed bunch with a common language from a common area.

Is there something I'm missing here? Is there a resentment by someone for some reason I can't understand against people with Schwaben ancestry? Yes, I know the old jokes and the stereotypes. However, this seems to go beyond that.

I have only recently and joyfully found the Donauschwaben and the BANAT-L and already I am managing to find myself in the middle of some controversy that I don't understand. I had planned to go to the Donauschwaben Celebration in Mt. Angel, Oregon next month. However, now I'm unsure.

Regards,

Cindy Quitta


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