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Subject: History of the name Donauschwaben
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 16:44:27 +0000

I've been wondering about the history of the name Donauschwaben (Danube Swabian). I found an old post that said the word was coined in 1920, and I mentioned this date in another post.

Since the Treaty of Trianon was in 1920, I thought that maybe the name was mentioned in the treaty. However, it is not. (Read the Treaty of Trianon at

The only tidbit I can find about the beginnings of the name Donauschwaben on an English language site is on the Donauschwaben Villages' Helping Hands Project web site ( It says:

"The Hungarians as well as the southern Slavs have always called these settlers Schwaben (Swabians) even though they not only came from the west and southwest lands (Hessen, Pfalz, Alsace, Lorraine, Baden, and Wurttemberg) but also from Bavaria, Austria, German Bohemia, and even from Switzerland, although only a part of them came from Swabia. For this reason this name gradually came to be in use by the people themselves. As a further consequence, after World War I, these Swabians were, to differentiate them from the Swabians in Baden-Wurttemberg, first by the ethnologists and the historians and then in general called DONAUSCHWABEN."

This information is reiterated on a number of German language websites without further clarification. The only German language web site that I found that said something slightly different is this genealogy site:

Erst nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg und nach der Aufteilung der donauschwbischen Siedlungsgebiete auf Ungarn, Jugoslawien und Rumnien wurde 1922 die Bezeichnung Donauschwaben geprgt.

English translation:
Only after the First World War and after the allocation of the Danube-Swabian settlement areas to Hungary, Yugoslavia and Romania in 1922 was the designation "Danube swabia" was coined.

My questions are: Who were the ethnologists and historians who coined the term Donauschwaben? When did it come into general use? Is it an "official" designation? If so, what makes it official? I'm looking for web sites or citations.

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