The feelings of sorrow burn like children's tears …
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Memorial of the Danube Swabians and Expellees

In esteemed remembrance of our pioneer ancestors, of those deceased in the homeland, of the soldiers who died in action, of those expropriated, enslaved or imprisoned, who innocently lost their lives. May God grant them everlasting peace.
Dedicated to future generations
The German Cultural Society of St. Louis
(The memorial is located at Sunset Memorial Park in St. Louis County)
Injustice is never justified

The Danube Swabians are descendants of German farmers and craftsmen who, after the expulsion of the Turks from Hungary, settled in the area known as the Pannonien Basin, between the years of 1630 and 1794. With the plow, not the sword, they established a new homeland in the regions known as Banat, Batschka, Syrmia, Slavonia, Baranya-Tolna and the hills around Budapest. Through hard work, cultivation of the soil and the clearing of the land, what was once marsh and wasteland became the breadbasket of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Danube Swabian people lived in peace and harmony with neighboring nationalities. Through their ability, drive and hard work, they also became role models for them. At the end of World War I, their homelands were divided between Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. In the 1940, 650,000 Danube Swabians lived in Hungary, 350,000 in Romania, and 550,000 in Yugoslavia. After World War II, the Danube Swabian people were deprived of their rights and dispossessed of their properties by the communist dictators in their countries. They were banished from their homes and either deported or imprisoned as forced laborers. In Yugoslavia alone, over 100,000 Danube Swabians, mainly women and children, were killed or starved to death between the 1944 and 1948. Those who survived are now scattered throughout the world.

Before 1945, some 220,000 Danube Swabians had emigrated to the United States and after 1945, another 30,000 followed.  By 1993, some 250,000 Danube Swabians have made the United States their home.

Jakob Thalheimer

German Cultural Society
3652 South Jefferson Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63118
(314) 771-8368

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