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Thread: 'Trading Germans': the Secret Cold War Traffic in Human Beings

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    'Trading Germans': the Secret Cold War Traffic in Human Beings

    Romania under Nicolae Ceaușescu, empty state coffers, a need to make money.

    But how? A secret plan was hatched.

    Euronews’ Wolfgang Spindler takes up the story: “It is not widely known, but during the Cold War, Romania sold close to 250,000 ethnic Germans back to West Germany. A secret deal between the governments made it possible. It is the most profound example of human trade during the Cold War. A documentary film ‘Trading Germans’ co-produced by Germany and Romania reveals all.”

    German communities have been living in Romania for 800 years, in the 1960s, 350,000 were still in the Communist country.

    The business began at the end of the 1960s when the Romanian economy collapsed under the Communist regime. Freedom was in short supply.

    The Federal Republic of Germany, under the chancellorships of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, offered massive financial renumeration to Romania in return for the Romanian-Germans who wanted to leave the country.

    For years the deal remained buried, unknown, undercover, controlled by state security, the Securitate.

    The producer of ‘Trading Germans’ Alexandru Soloman explained how the secret was uncovered: “A couple of years ago there was a big volume published by historians, the researchers that studied the Securitate archives. They published a book from the Romanian files on these negotiations.”

    Millions upon millions of German marks were paid to Romania to allow Germans to leave for the Federal Republic of Germany.

    Hein Günther Hüsch was Germany’s secret negotiator. He would travel to Romania with cash stuffed into his attaché case: “It was for the purchase of freedom. I don’t know of any precedent in history, I believe this was an unparalleled act, both in its implications and its dimension.”

    Alexandru Solomon said uncovering the facts was difficult: “The process of opening the archives was a painful one and I guess it was not only a political issue, but involved peoples lives, the people in the files were touched by this. So you may call it past or the recent past, but in fact it is the present because it something that we live with.”

    Karl Hahn, who left Romania at the end of the ’70s, feels that with prices between 2,000 and 10,000 marks each, they were sold on the cheap.

    Later the Romanian authorities engaged in double deals. Germany paid up, but those that wanted to leave also had to hand over cash to the Romanian government.

    Erika Lazar took her chance in 1983 when the price was 47,000 marks. She says there was a massive desire to leave.

    ‘Trading Germans’ producer Alexandru Solomon explained: “I think there are communities all over Europe that are somehow related to this kind of story, of mass emigration, and this is the story about the last mass emigration in Europe that we know of.”

    Erika Lazar recalled: “It was not easy, buses full of us arriving in Germany. We came to the land of our ancestors, we definitely had that feeling. We have always been Germans, but it wasn’t easy to adapt because things were so different here, no dictatorship.”

    Former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher summed up why people were prepared to give up everything to leave their homes, he said simply: “The desire to live in freedom was strong.”
    The source: http://www.euronews.com/2014/08/01/t...n-human-beings

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    Transylvanien

    It breaks my heart what was done to the Transylvanian Saxons in 1919.

    The just thing was to allow Transylvania to become an Independent German speaking nation with its capital city of Kronstadt.

    I personally think of Transylvania as a different land from that entity known as Romania created by the vicious victors of WW1.
    Wahrheit Macht Freiheit.
    http://www.rheinwiesenlager.de
    HISTORY IS NOT HISTORY - UNLESS IT IS THE 100% TRUTH

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    Trading Germans: The Fate of the Transylvanian Germans . . . & the Rest of Us

    Trading Germans (otherwise known as Pașaport de Germania in Romanian, Deutsche gegen Devisen in German, and Eladó életek in Hungarian) is a documentary film that was made by a Romanian team and produced by HBO Europe. It was first released in 2014. It has since been broadcast on television in Romania, Germany, and Hungary. It is unlikely to garner much attention elsewhere, however, due to the rather specialized nature of its subject matter: namely, the clandestine sale and emigration of ethnic Germans from Transylvania to Germany during the Cold War, which stands to this day as the largest migration to occur within Europe since the Second World War. This is rather unfortunate given that the film contains a number of important lessons that those who are concerned with the future of the European identity would do well to heed.

    The film provides no historical background on the Transylvanian Germans prior to the Second World War, so I will provide some here. Historically, there have been two major groups of Germans in Transylvania: the Siebenbürger Saxons and the Banat Swabians, although there are several other minor groups as well.

    The Saxons (so called by the Hungarian crown because the initial settlers were from Saxony, although in fact they ultimately came from all the regions in Germany, as well as from The Netherlands, Flanders, Wallonia, and France) were first invited to colonize the region by the Hungarian King Géza II in the twelfth century in order to help defend it, as well as to develop it by bringing in German techniques of agriculture, architecture, and mining. In the thirteenth century, they were bolstered by a second wave of immigration which accompanied the arrival of the Teutonic Knights, who were based in Transylvania for fourteen years until they were expelled by Hungarian King Andrew II, after which they relocated to Prussia. The Saxons established a network of defensive fortifications, including many fortified churches and seven fortified towns in particular, from which the German name for Transylvania, Siebenbürgen, is derived. These defenses were first used against the Mongols and later against the incursions of the Ottoman Turks, and the Saxons were involved in all of the conflicts which wracked this region.

    For centuries the Saxons enjoyed an elite status in Transylvania, although this began to change following the 1848 Revolution, when Hungary revoked these special rights as part of an effort to assert greater control by ethnic Hungarians over the land. Saxons again fought as part of the Austro-Hungarian army during the First World War, and the Saxons became Romanian citizens when Transylvania was ceded to Romania as part of the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I have a vested interest in their story, as my mother’s ancestors were Transylvania Saxons who immigrated to the United States in the early twentieth century.

    The Banat Swabians, who originated from the Swabian region of southwestern Germany, were invited to settle in Transylvania by the Austrian monarchy during the eighteenth century to compensate for the depopulation which resulted from the wars with the Ottoman Empire, in an effort to restore and reclaim it from devastation and to reestablish a bulwark along the border with the Ottomans.

    Trading Germans picks up the story of the Transylvanian Germans at the time of the Second World War, as told by several of its interviewees. In 1939, the number of Saxons and Swabians in Transylvania was eight hundred thousand. As elsewhere throughout the Germanic world, many of the Transylvanian Germans were excited and inspired by the rise of the Third Reich, and National Socialism took root among them as well. Although, as several of the people interviewed in the film state, while many were enthused, many were not, especially as the latter felt that the ideology of Nazism would lead to conflict with their Romanian neighbors. This sometimes even led to disagreements within families, in which some embraced National Socialism while some did not.

    When Romania first entered the war in 1940, the Transylvanian Germans at first served in the Romanian army or else volunteered for the Waffen-SS. Following an agreement between Marshal Antonescu and Hitler in 1943, however, the Germans in the Romanian army were transferred (as one of the film’s subjects states, it was known as being by their “compulsory free will”) into the Wehrmacht, or one of the other branches of the German military. Seventy thousand Romanian Germans served in either the Waffen-SS or the German military; of those, one-third were killed in the war.

    The war led to the beginning of the mass emigration of Romania’s Germans back to Germany when Romania switched sides to join the Soviet Union in 1944. The German military began to evacuate Transylvania’s Germans to Germany proper before the advancing Red Army, and an estimated one hundred thousand were successfully resettled. Likewise, many of those Romanian Germans who were serving in the German armies found themselves in Germany at the end of the war, and they were allowed to remain. Under family reunification laws that were enacted for humanitarian reasons at the time, the relatives of these new arrivals were allowed to join them in the West.

    For those who remained behind, however, things quickly took a turn for the worse. Even before the war had ended, mass deportations of ethnic Germans to labor camps in the Soviet Union were ordered — seventy thousand men and women were seized, fifteen percent of whom died before they could return to their homes. In March 1945, the Romanian government nationalized the property only of ethnic Germans (although this was applied to everyone in 1948), which left them as wage workers employed on land which had been owned and tilled by their ancestors for centuries.

    This was followed by the Bărăgan deportations in 1951, when, on the night of June 18, the Romanian government seized forty-five thousand people in the Banat region — not only Germans, but also ethnic Serbs and Aromanians, and others deemed a threat to Communism — and were deported to Bărăgan, otherwise known as the “Romanian Siberia,” where they were left without even basic housing and expected to fend for themselves. Again, many died before they could return.

    In spite of these hardships, the Transylvanian Germans nevertheless fared better than the ethnic Germans anywhere else in the Eastern bloc — in every other country, the German populations were forcibly deported in the aftermath of the war. This was in recognition of the important role the Germans played in the economic life of Romania. They were likewise allowed to continue speaking German and even to take educational degrees in German, which was to prove a great advantage when they later emigrated to Germany. Nevertheless, several of the subjects interviewed in the film state that Germans were a disliked minority in post-war Romania.

    This is when the story that the film revolves around really begins. As a result of the harsh treatment they had received following the end of the war, compounded by the difficult living conditions of life in Communist Romania (which included shortages, restrictions, and the burden of having to navigate the bureaucracy which dominated all aspects of life), by the 1960s a large number of Romania’s Germans had a strong desire to leave the country. The writer Johann Lippet, one of the film’s interview subjects, states that the mood which prevailed among the Germans in Romania was reflected in the poetry that their writers were producing at the time (some of which he recites), which depicts a hopeless and apocalyptic sensibility.

    It was at this time that the West German government recognized that a humanitarian crisis was occurring among their brethren in Romania. The German nationality law states that those of ethnic German origin in Eastern Europe are understood as being Germans and that they are eligible for citizenship (this law has been tightened since 1990). They then reached out to the Romanian authorities — and the Romanian government saw an opportunity.

    The German official who led the secret negotiations was Heinz Günther Hüsch, who held this role from the beginning of the trade in 1968 until it ended with the fall of Romanian Communism in 1989. Hüsch is one of the primary interview subjects in the film. He made hundreds of trips to Romania during these years in no official capacity beyond that of a tourist; in other words, with no diplomatic protection whatsoever. He describes how in the beginning he had had to carry millions of Deutschmarks on each trip in a suitcase, with no security beyond a handgun that he carried with him — later, apparently, they switched to bank transfers. On each trip he would make arrangements for thousands of Romanian Germans to be allowed to emigrate to Germany. He continued this work under four German Chancellors. Neither country ever officially acknowledged that the trade was happening; indeed, Hüsch explains that they were never even certain exactly who they were dealing with at the time, although their presumed partner was the Securitate, the secret police (which, in fact, it was).

    The film tells the story of this mass migration from the perspectives of both the political and the personal realms through interviews. The political side is narrated through the eyes of some of the German and Romanian officials who were involved, including Hüsch and the well-known politician Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Germany’s Minister of the Interior from 1969-1974 and then Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1974 until 1992, as well as Stelian Octavian Andronic, who was the chief negotiator on the Romanian side during the 1980s. The impact of this trade on those who left is described by migrants Johann Lippet, a Swabian writer; Karl Hann, an organic farmer; Hans-Günther Schmidt, a famous Swabian handball player who was a rising athletic star in Romania until he defected to West Germany in 1963, where he became a famous player for them during the 1960s and ‘70s; Hartwig Ochsenfeld, a Swabian translator; Erika Lazar, a medical assistant; and the couple Helmut and Christine Bader, an IT specialist and a teacher, respectively.

    One thing that all of the migrants seem to agree on is that, in spite of their strong desire to leave Romania for the West, they nevertheless did not feel happy about leaving their homes and the land of their ancestors. As Erika Lazar says, however, “But that was the course of history and no one could avoid it,” suggesting that the Romanian Germans were resigned to their fate, given that they saw no future in their homeland. Erika further says that they had the sense of returning to the original homeland of their ancestors, and that while there was a period when they had to adapt themselves to their new country, given that they were Germans, this went quickly and easily.

    Still, some of the migrants interviewed explain that things were far from ideal when they arrived in Germany. Christine Bader says that before leaving, they had been told about the material benefits to be had there, but that nobody had anticipated the ensuing homesickness that they would suffer from, or the fact that the native Germans would not be entirely welcoming. Likewise, Karl Hann describes being disappointed in West Germany, which he found to be missing the “human factor,” and where life was dominated by consumerism. (Conversely, Hartwig Ochsenfeld describes being primarily attracted by the shopping to be had in Germany.) Indeed, Hann soon left Germany for Switzerland and then Canada, and then ultimately returned home to Transylvania, where he is now an organic farmer. Regarding this, he makes this interesting comment: “If you think how much unused land there is here, how many people work in other countries to earn a couple of euros, and here everything lies untilled . . . It is a country with a future. Therefore, the future does not lie in the West for me anymore, but in the East — that is, in Transylvania.”

    This sense of disappointment is reflected in a poem of Lippet’s that he recites: “This is where I live now, in Sandhausen, Heckengarten. Behind and around this area — the burden: streets bearing the names of Mörike, Hauptmann, Lessing, Brecht, Hölderlin, Kant, and Hegel, but if you look closely, though, they are only alleys. Will everything be fine? The view is straight over Odenwald. And no sooner had I learned to write again that I now have to learn anew. The new orthography requires it. But this I can avoid.” To complement his words the filmmakers end their accompanying montage with a shot of a McDonald’s in Lippet’s neighborhood in Germany.

    But we should not dwell too much on this sense of alienation, which is only to be expected when exchanging one homeland for another. All of the people interviewed in the film make it clear that they very much appreciate the lives they have lived since leaving Romania. And certainly the saga of the mass migration of the Transylvanian Germans has a much happier raison d’être and ending than most other historical migrations of the sort. With the exception of Hann, all of them continue to live in Germany today. Likewise, Ochsenfeld describes how he managed to make peace with his dual identity. When he first came west, he says, he would have given anything to become a native German; today, however, he says that he values his Banat Swabian origins and would not exchange it for anything. He also comments that his youth in Transylvania, which is a region comprised of many different ethnicities living side-by-side, prepared him for the globalized world that Europe is now entering.

    To conclude the story of the trade program, Trading Germans describes the various obstacles that the Romanians introduced over the years in order to extort more money. Many of the immigrants were unaware of the fact that Germany had already paid for their release; Romanian officials exploited this fact to force them to pay again, sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of Deutschmarks (a currency which was actually illegal to possess in Communist Romania). Also, during the 1980s, the Romanian government suddenly introduced a requirement that Germans had to pay back the cost of their higher education — which, as the Romanian negotiator Andronic points out in the film, had been paid for by the state — before they could leave the country, and they were forced to pay it in foreign currency. Andronic defends this by stating that the Romanian government saw it as a way of protecting themselves from a brain drain which would have resulted from the loss of individuals who had been educated through Romania’s educational resources. Hüsch responds that this was clearly a lie since many of the people who were asked to pay were either elderly or children, and that only a quarter to a third of the migrants were of working age. He further explains that Germany assumed the pensions for those retirees who emigrated, and paid for the educations of the younger migrants, thus relieving Romania of the burden; likewise, many of those Romanian Germans who held educational qualifications were still unable to work in Germany without additional training due to the difference in standards. Nevertheless, Germany resolved the crisis by increasing the price it paid per person.

    Near the end of the film, Andronic and Hüsch are shown meeting again in 2014 to reflect on the work they had done together, leading to the following amusing exchange:

    Andronic: It was first of all a humanitarian question.
    Hüsch: From our point of view.
    Andronic: From yours and from ours.
    Hüsch: No, it was business!
    Andronic: We didn’t consider it business because it was a business lost . . .
    Hüsch: Loss of people, indeed, but gain of money. . . . I agree it was a great loss for Romania and a gain for Germany. But mostly it was a gain for liberty.

    One of the last people we hear from in the film is Viorel Bucur, a Romanian police captain who had been involved in the trading (and from which, by his own admission, he made a great deal of money). He praises his former business partners: “I bow to Germany. All my respect. If someone else other than Bucur had asked for one more payment, rest assured that the Germans would have paid — only to be able to take home their own people. The reunification of the nation: you’ll never see Romanians do that!”

    The trade in Germans continued right up to the overthrow of Communism in Romania in December 1989. The film ends by informing us that two hundred forty thousand ethnic Germans left Transylvania under the aegis of this program; from eight hundred thousand in 1939, the most recent Romanian census indicates that fewer than thirty-eight thousand remain today. It neglects to mention what happened immediately after this: with Romania’s borders suddenly thrown open, the vast majority of the remaining Transylvanian Germans seized the opportunity to leave, fearing that the window of opportunity might soon pass: in 1990, hundreds of thousands more fled the country for Germany, Austria, the United States, and other destinations. This has left many of the centuries-old German towns and villages of Transylvania empty and abandoned; nowadays gypsies have moved into many of them, paying scant respect for the remains of the once-flourishing German communities, and many of them now lie in ruins.

    As Lippet mentions, while the Transylvanian Germans may have gained their freedom, entire European ethnic communities with unique, centuries-old traditions have been rendered extinct as a result. While this destruction may have occurred peacefully and voluntarily, it is nevertheless a great tragedy. All of those interviewed are aware of what has been lost; Helmut Bader, when asked to define the concept of homeland, says, “Homeland is like music” in that it is something undefinable and beyond language. While the Romanian Germans have been successful in integrating into their new home, they had to sacrifice their actual homeland in order to do so.

    In the extras on the DVD, some consolation is offered in that it is explained that the post-Communist Romanian government has been very active in trying to preserve the German traditions of Transylvania in spite of the loss of the Germans themselves: local Romanians now learn their dialects and study their crafts, for which they were renowned. Perhaps this is the greatest tribute to their legacy that can be offered, when their former neighbors see it as something worthy of saving to a greater extent than the Germans themselves do. Also in the extras, Hüsch says that he was always conscious of the fact that something was being lost as a result of his work, although he asserts that the responsibility for this lies with the Romanian Communists and the conditions they had created, and not with the Germans.

    If any fault could be found with this film, it is only in that it remains very narrowly focused on the trade itself; the many consequences following it are only touched on briefly, if at all. The interview subjects only mention what became of them after their migration in passing; it would have been interesting to know more about this, and perhaps also about what the statistics show concerning the subsequent lifestyle and welfare of the migrants in Germany as a community over the past few decades. Also, in spite of the fact that the migration began half a century ago, the issue of first- or second-generation immigrants from Transylvania isn’t discussed at all, even though this is obviously a crucial part of the story. (Hopefully, another documentary that was recently completed will cover this ground.) Likewise, the subsequent mass migration of the remaining Germans following the collapse of Communism is completely ignored. (I was also annoyed by the cheesy “scary” music that was played in the background when archive footage of National Socialists in Transylvania during the Second World War was shown, to remind us of how “evil” what we’re seeing is, although this is a minor quibble.)

    Despite these drawbacks, Trading Germans does more than simply provide an interesting history lesson regarding a little-known episode of the Cold War. It also contains lessons which are of interest to anyone with an interest in the future of European identity. I imagine that many liberals watching it would want to draw a comparison between this humanitarian migration action and the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe today. This comparison can be easily refuted, however, by the simple fact that the Transylvanian German migrants were already part of the same ethnic community as the Germans, and they shared all the same fundamental cultural suppositions and foundations; this cannot be said for those who are currently colonizing Europe. (Although of course radical neoliberals would have us believe that the concept of ethnic identity is nothing more than an invention.)

    No, the real lessons of Trading Germans lie deeper in terms of what it says about identity, and also about ethnic loyalty. Bucur is right to praise Germany for its willingness to spend billions to bring their kin home, to a safer place. This is the sort of ethnic consciousness that we, as European identitarians, should extend not only to our own ethnic kin but to all those of European descent in this time of crisis. Germany stood up for its own. The failing of the contrasting approach is exemplified by the actions of the Romanian Communists: out of bigotry and the desire for short-term material gains, they were willing to turn their backs on their German countrymen rather than attempt to address their problems; as a result, Transylvania has suffered severe long-term economic and cultural damage from the ensuing vacuum. It’s simply unfortunate that the German government cannot make a distinction between the humanitarian action it took during the Cold War and the welcoming of millions of “refugees” today.

    The fate of the Transylvanian Germans can also act as both a warning and as a harbinger of things to come. Today, it is not only the fates of minority communities that are being threatened with extinction. Even the traditional identities of large communities are under assault, both from within by neoliberalism and multiculturalism, and from without by mass immigration. And the fact is that even we, as identitarians and nationalists, cannot stop the tide of change. Soon, if it hasn’t happened already, those things which have defined the identity of our peoples for centuries will be abandoned, like many of the towns of the Transylvania Saxons, and relegated to museums, and only brought out rarely for special commemorative occasions, just like the Saxons’ colorful and exotic apparel for which they were renowned.

    No matter what happens, and in spite of our best efforts, the future of the English, French, German, American, or any other identity will never return to what it was in the past. Such a notion is quixotic. The world is changing at an ever-accelerating rate. Rather than trying to repeat the past, like Gatsby, we should instead seek to shape a new identity for our future — one that will be based on a deep understanding of our own ethnic and historical traditions, of course, but also which is not slavishly bound to them. We can still welcome change while at the same time retaining our sense of who we are and rejecting the notions of plastic identity that are propagated by neoliberalism. More importantly, as a greater number of European and American nationalists are beginning to look toward Central and Eastern Europe for inspiration and as a possible refuge to escape the problems in their own countries, the saga of the Transylvanian Germans should offer a sense of hope: as a last resort, if all else fails, we may have to relocate in order to save ourselves, but in spite of the difficulties involved, it is possible to adopt and thrive in a new homeland based on the values and traditions that we cherish. For some of us, then, the fate of the Transylvanian Germans may soon become our own.
    https://www.counter-currents.com/201...ading-germans/

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    It seems like Romania first traded the Jews to Israel, and then started to do the something similar with the Germans, according to what the author of the movie says here (in Romanian).

    Here is a short movie about this:



    And here is almost the whole movie 'Trading Germans' ('Paşaport de Germania'):




    Unfortunately many Germans from Romania were deported to USSR at the end of the second world war, especially those from the Eastern parts of Romania, from Moldavia and especially from Bessarabia (which is now a separate country, Republic of Moldova, with a government very much influenced by Russia), together with almost all the Romanian intellectual elite, and many of them died due to the harsh conditions they were exposed to.


    The deportation of Germans from Romania after World War II, conducted on Soviet order early in 1945, uprooted tens of thousands of Romania's Germans, many of whom lost their lives. The deportation was part of the Soviet plan for German war reparations in the form of forced labor, according to the 1944 secret Soviet Order 7161.
    (...)
    The deportation order applied to all men between the ages of 17 and 45 and women between 18 and 30. Only pregnant women, women with children less than a year old and persons unable to work were excluded. On January 13, 1945, when arrests had already begun in Bucharest and Brașov, the Rădescu government sent a protest note to the (Soviet) Vice-President of the Allied Control Commission for Romania, General Vladislav Petrovich Vinogradov. This note explained that the armistice treaty (signed on September 12, 1944) did not envision expulsions and that Romanian industry would suffer following the deportation of so much of its workforce, and especially of a high percentage of its skilled workforce, to be found among its German population. In closing, Rădescu raised humanitarian concerns regarding the fate of women and children left behind. The expulsion has been characterised as being one of the first manifestations of the Cold War, as it showed the impossibility of joint control between East and West, even before the end of World War II.
    (...)
    3,076 of the deportees died while in the USSR,[1] three quarters of them being male. When they were freed, a quarter of deportees were sent to Germany, of whom just a seventh returned to Transylvania.The highest number of deaths occurred in 1947. Starting in 1948, the situation improved, with a dramatic drop in the number of sick and dead expellees.
    In 1948, those able to work also began to be freed from the camps (49% of them), so that in October 1949 the camps were shut down. The last third of the expellees returned to Transylvania. Of those brought to the Soviet occupation zone, around half received permission to return home. The rest moved elsewhere (mostly to West Germany), but a few remained in East Germany.
    202 expellees were allowed to return home only in 1950-52. According to Soviet documents, 7 expellees chose to remain in the USSR.
    Further turmoil came for Romania's ethnic Germans (this time mainly Banat Swabians) during the Bărăgan deportations of the 1950s.
    (...)
    1995 revelations

    An article in the newspaper Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung für Rumänien, published on January 13, 1995, revealed that the Romanian government was not in fact "completely surprised" by the deportation order. In fact, even before receiving the order, the government had ordered that lists of men and women capable of performing hard labour be drawn up. Weeks in advance, the state railway, Căile Ferate Române, had begun to prepare cattle wagons to transport the deportees. Documents uncovered after 1989 show that the deportations were planned in detail: as early as December 19, 1944, the prime minister's office transmitted orders by telephone to police inspectors for the purpose of registering the work-capable German population, to comply with the Soviet Order 7161 issued 3 days earlier.
    All Red Army groups had orders to bring a certain number of work-capable ethnic Germans to camps, and then to deport them to the Soviet Union - this mission was accomplished with the Romanian authorities' assistance, as well as by Red Army units and GRU agents.

    Read more here: https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknF...ld_War_II.html
    There are more about this deportation, of course, of which probably not too much is known. It wish someone would do more research on this too.
    As I am myself from North-Eastern Romania, my family who was alive at that time, at the end of the war, witnessed what happened in my hometown back then. The Russians were killing almost every German they could see on the streets, and even the great-grandfather from my mother's side was shot by the Russians and killed in front of his pub, where it was known that many Germans used to come and drink (he was Romanian, not German though, but he was friends with the Germans).
    They wanted to deport my German great-grandfather too, but thanks to some good relations he and his wife (a wonderful kind-hearted Moldavian woman) had, he was able to avoid that. But it was a really harsh time back then, and it was not easy to escape the order to be deported. My grandmother witnessed some of these, as she was a little child back then. So I know some of these also from her.

    But there are many untold stories like that in my hometown and region, I've been hearing so many, and they are not in any historical books, as far as I know. Many of the people who witnessed all of these are not alive anymore, unfortunately. I've once heard that at some point at the end of the war on the streets of the city there were rivers of blood from the people who were killed on the streets. I cannot know how much of this is true or not, I've heard an old man telling this story on a bus, he was very old and he said many people he knew witnessed this. Probably the Russians in the Red Army were the authors of this.

    From my Germanic family I know they were staying inside their house when the officials came, and my great-grandfather was probably hiding somewhere to save his life. My great-grandmother had to gather a huge list of signatures from important people so he was not killed and not deported. I could literally say that his Moldavian wife saved his life.

    It was very difficult for the Germans at the end of the war, and especially for those who decided to stay in Romania... It was very difficult for my great-grandfather too. He had a very good job before the war, and after that he had to start over again from the very beginning, also having small children.


    Hann soon left Germany for Switzerland and then Canada, and then ultimately returned home to Transylvania, where he is now an organic farmer. Regarding this, he makes this interesting comment: “If you think how much unused land there is here, how many people work in other countries to earn a couple of euros, and here everything lies untilled . . . It is a country with a future. Therefore, the future does not lie in the West for me anymore, but in the East — that is, in Transylvania.”
    I could say Romania is somehow crying for the Germans that left Romania, wishing them to come back. Well, I cannot extend that to whole Romania, of course, but I'm sure Germans are well seen in Romania as an ethnic minority. It is certainly the best ethnic minority of Romania, but well, here I am a little bit subjective, of course.
    Die Farben duften frisch und grün... Lieblich haucht der Wind um mich.

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    After December '89 many ethnic Romanians emigrated to Germany too, and now lots of them have German citizenship. Some of them are ethnic Romanians, while some have mixed German-Romanian ancestry. But I know for sure that lots of Germans from Romania continued to move to Germany also after '89.


    Quote Originally Posted by Untersberger View Post
    The just thing was to allow Transylvania to become an Independent German speaking nation with its capital city of Kronstadt.
    I personally think of Transylvania as a different land from that entity known as Romania created by the vicious victors of WW1.
    I cannot agree with that, of course! Romania as we know it today is indeed just 100 years old, but Transylvania was inhabited by the ancestors of Romanians since ancient times, unlike some extremist nationalist Hungarians want to believe. So that land belongs to Romanians. It was indeed part of the Austrian Empire, but that cannot change the history from Ancient times. But of course, Germans are very welcome there, and the German/Austrian influence on Transylvania makes it the most wealthy and prosperous part of Romania!
    There is also a huge minority of Magyars in two of the counties of Transylvania, who would wish to be independent too. They don't even want to speak Romanian, and if you go as a Romanian in one of those villages you have to speak Hungarian, because they don't speak Romanian to you. Some Magyars are more extreme with that, while others not.

    Well, my grandfather was from a village from Transylvania, not too far away from Kronstadt, actually. There were mostly Magyars and Romanians in the village, and very few Gypsies at the border of the village, living outside the village. Last time I've been there, and it was more than 10 years ago, there were just a few Romanians left, still many Magyars, but unfortunately lots of Gypsies, who invaded close to the center of the village. And the situation is like that in many parts of Transylvania, unfortunately, because of the high birth rates of the Gypsy population.

    So in my view the problem is not with Romanians or with Germans or with Magyars, even if they were fighting against each other a lot during the history (especially Magyars against Romanians, as far as I know Germans were not so much involved), but now it's with the Gypsies who are much too many than they used to be decades ago, especially in rural areas.

    So the Germans left and their empty houses are now inhabited by Gypsies... what a pity! And not only German houses, be sure of that!

    Indeed Transylvania's history is a bit different from that of other Romanian regions, but the majority of people living there since ancient times were all speaking the same language, sharing the same culture, so it should belong to Romania. Well, personally I don't like the name Romania, which probably some freemasons chose for the country, since it's easy to be connected to another official name they give to the Gypsy population.

    Southern Romania has definitely more Gypsies than any other regions and it's the worst part of Romania, but the capital city is there. Moldavia is another region of Romania, and, unlike some parts of today's Transylvania, it was never under the Roman empire occupation. What usually Romanians consider to be the most important link between all Romanian regions, including those who are not part of Romania anymore after second world war, is the language spoken, especially because Romanian language, unlike most of the languages, has no dialects, and that is a very interesting thing. Also, it has more things in common with the old Latin language than any other so-called Latin languages have.

    If you travel from Moldavia to Transylvania, immediately when you enter Bukowina (historically it has been part of both regions) you start to see a huge difference! And when you are fully in Transylvania the differences are even more obvious than that! But this also has something to do with the government, since they avoid to invest anything into Moldavia, even thought it has the most inhabitants of all Romanian regions and a lot of unknown ancient history (but here it's the same with all Romania).

    But there are some guys over there who wish to lead the world and who don't want us to know more about Romanian history, and who trigger all these useless inter-ethnic conflicts, while there are more important things to focus on.
    Die Farben duften frisch und grün... Lieblich haucht der Wind um mich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Untersberger View Post
    It breaks my heart what was done to the Transylvanian Saxons in 1919.

    The just thing was to allow Transylvania to become an Independent German speaking nation with its capital city of Kronstadt.

    I personally think of Transylvania as a different land from that entity known as Romania created by the vicious victors of WW1.
    Sadly the Germans in the area have become too scarce to assert themselves with such an idea, though Hermannstadt still has a strong German community. Its former mayor, Klaus Iohannis has developed the city quite well and many German businesses have flourished here, which lead to a revival of the German minority, the German language and customs. It is not just Transylvania though, Germans made up 23.7% of the population of Banat, for example.

    Traditionally German (Saxon or Swabian) territories in Banat and Transylvania



    During the interwar period in Romania, the total number of ethnic Germans in Romania amounted to as much as 786,000, a figure which had subsequently fallen to circa 36,000 in contemporary Romania.



    The distribution of the Germans in Romania (census 2002)

    The largest German-speaking area by population are Weidenthal (Brebu Nou), with 30.2% Germans, then Petrifeld (Petrești) with 27.8%, Schinal (Urziceni) with 23.9% and Kalmandi (Cămin) with 22.5%. Most of these Germans are however Swabians (Sathmar Swabians, Banat Swabians). The Kreischgebiet was/is also a strong German area. However, the Kreischgebiet, the Banat and Maramuresch are also seen as historical regions of Transylvania.

    I don't know about independence but if Germans concentrated in this area, they could perhaps greater autonomy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Víðálfr View Post
    I cannot agree with that, of course! Romania as we know it today is indeed just 100 years old, but Transylvania was inhabited by the ancestors of Romanians since ancient times, unlike some extremist nationalist Hungarians want to believe. So that land belongs to Romanians. It was indeed part of the Austrian Empire, but that cannot change the history from Ancient times.
    But who says that the land belongs to those who inhabited it in ancient times? Isn't that a bit arbitrary? If we go back enough in time, most people are migrants and the land doesn't "belong" to anyone. Furthermore as I'm sure you are aware, the ethnogensis of a people includes more than one or two peoples and there are several theories. Daco-Roman continuity is just one theory, and the Romans themselves were colonists, they weren't born on that land. Three major ethnic groups – the Dacians, Illyrians and Thracians – inhabited the northern regions of Southeastern Europe in Antiquity. Later came the Goths, the Huns, the Gepids, the Avars, the Tatars, Cumans, Pechenegs etc. All of these people had a contribution to the local genepool.

    The competing immigrationist theory states that the Romanians' ethnogenesis commenced in the provinces south of the river with Romanized local populations (known as Vlachs in the Middle Ages) spreading through mountain refuges, both south to Greece and north through the Carpathian Mountains. According to the "admigration theory", migrations from the Balkan Peninsula to the lands north of the Danube contributed to the survival of a Romance-speaking population in those territories. The Romanians' ancestors came into close contact with sedentary Slavic-speaking communities in the 10th century at the latest.

    Once more why stop at antiquity? Go back in time some more, and Bronze and Iron Age Balkan samples do not cluster with modern Balkan groups, but lie between Sardinians and other southwestern European groups, suggesting later phenomena caused shifts in population genetic structure. Looks like other people were there first. Shall Romania give the land to the Sardinians then? What about the Americans and the New World inhabitants? Shall they give the lands to the Amerindians? Simply because they happened to be living there? What about those who built those communities and civilized the areas? Those who administered the region for thousands of years? The Altland or Hermannstadt Provinz was founded by Germans, for example. Many other communities have originally German (or Hungarian) names. Furthermore, when the Germans came to Transylvania, they did not invade it or annex it, but they were invited there by the Hungarian crown to defend the borders and for their mining expertise and ability to develop the region's economy. They were given both administrative and religious autonomy and were a privileged class. While Romanians were largely a people of peasants and shephers, who were not included in the Unio Trium Nationum. This isn't to say they contributed nothing either and have no rights, but having claims to a land extends beyond inhabiting it.

    As a region with a complicated past and at least two strong minorities, Transylvania should ideally be organized in a similar manner to Switzerland. Nobody should be disadvantaged, everyone should have the same autonomy and rights. In fact, the Germans traditionally supported the Romanians, because they did not appreciate the aggressive politics of Magyarization, which was threatening their language and religious rights. It's sad that in the end the Germans were treated as a commodity to sell out for money, despite their contributions and committment.

    There is also a huge minority of Magyars in two of the counties of Transylvania, who would wish to be independent too. They don't even want to speak Romanian, and if you go as a Romanian in one of those villages you have to speak Hungarian, because they don't speak Romanian to you. Some Magyars are more extreme with that, while others not.
    Perhaps they don't know the language? If they live in a strong minority areas, they might be lucky enough to go to Hungarian-speaking schools. And since there are Hungarian-speaking communities, their shops, administration etc. are likely in Hungarian. Romania currently has extensive laws relating to the rights of minorities to use their own language in local administration and the judicial system. However, that's only a recent phenomenon. Under the communist regime, minorities were oppressed. They had no language rights. Due to this aggressive regime of Romanization, some families lost their ancestral languages. Perhaps these Hungarians are now emphasising the importance of reviving their national language. If you work with the public though it would be foolish not to learn at least basic communication skills in Romanian, unless Romanian customers are very rare. In villages, that may well be...

    Quote Originally Posted by Víðálfr View Post
    I could say Romania is somehow crying for the Germans that left Romania, wishing them to come back. Well, I cannot extend that to whole Romania, of course, but I'm sure Germans are well seen in Romania as an ethnic minority. It is certainly the best ethnic minority of Romania, but well, here I am a little bit subjective, of course.
    That is true. Over the last years, the economic situation in Romania has improved, especially in Transylvania. I'm not from Romania originally but I've lived here in Transylvania for a little while and it was not difficult to establish myself and get a job here as a German speaker. German business is booming in the area, many German-speaking companies have outsourced since the rent, taxes and labor is cheaper than in the West, however the wages are more than satisfactory by Romanian standards. German-speaking jobs are well paid, in that sense German has become a more sought-after language than English and French. Germans are not seen as troublesome as the Hungarians, who are often seen as extremists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleyer View Post
    The distribution of the Germans in Romania (census 2002)
    I posted that map too, a few days ago, here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bleyer View Post
    Daco-Roman continuity is just one theory, and the Romans themselves were colonists, they weren't born on that land. Three major ethnic groups – the Dacians, Illyrians and Thracians – inhabited the northern regions of Southeastern Europe in Antiquity.
    Personally I don't believe in the theory that says the Romanian folk was born as a mix between the Dacians and the Romans. That theory has lots of shortcomings, even if it is what they teach in schools. There are theories against it too, that emphasize the fact that only a small part of Dacia, less than a third I think, was under Roman occupation, and that wasn't for too many years. Meanwhile, the free Dacians from today's Moldavia were still attacking the Roman occupation. After some years the Romans left. Comparing to other regions that were under Roman occupation, other regions in the Roman Empire were more years under occupation and the people living there didn't inherit any Latin language. It seems that the Dacians were speaking, as their mother tongue, a language very similar to that spoken by the Romans, the Dacians were speaking the so-called 'Vulgar Latin', from which the other Latin languages developed. And this explains why Romanian language is much more closer to Latin than Italian is! So this theory with the Romans who imposed their language on the Dacians is just a scam in my oppinion.
    Also, the Rome was founded by Thracians, so the Romans and the Dacians were, let's say, siblings. Dacians were a North Thracian tribe, by the way. So it was just Thracians and Illyrians there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bleyer View Post
    The competing immigrationist theory states that the Romanians' ethnogenesis commenced in the provinces south of the river with Romanized local populations (known as Vlachs in the Middle Ages) spreading through mountain refuges, both south to Greece and north through the Carpathian Mountains. According to the "admigration theory", migrations from the Balkan Peninsula to the lands north of the Danube contributed to the survival of a Romance-speaking population in those territories. The Romanians' ancestors came into close contact with sedentary Slavic-speaking communities in the 10th century at the latest.
    As I said above, I don't believe this theory with the Romanians' ethnogenesis, it's already outdated. The Romanian language is a Latin language because the Dacian language was actually the vulgar Latin... so all the Latin languages developed from it. Romanian language is also one of the very few languages with no dialects.
    There are a lot more to be known about the Romanian history, but it will take some time... because it's challenging to rewrite the history, especially if some 'elites' in power don't want that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bleyer View Post
    That is true. Over the last years, the economic situation in Romania has improved, especially in Transylvania. I'm not from Romania originally but I've lived here in Transylvania for a little while and it was not difficult to establish myself and get a job here as a German speaker. German business is booming in the area, many German-speaking companies have outsourced since the rent, taxes and labor is cheaper than in the West, however the wages are more than satisfactory by Romanian standards. German-speaking jobs are well paid, in that sense German has become a more sought-after language than English and French. Germans are not seen as troublesome as the Hungarians, who are often seen as extremists.
    Indeed, to speak German in Romania is really helpful to get a better paid job! I wish more Germans will come to Romania too!
    Die Farben duften frisch und grün... Lieblich haucht der Wind um mich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Untersberger View Post
    It breaks my heart what was done to the Transylvanian Saxons in 1919.

    The just thing was to allow Transylvania to become an Independent German speaking nation with its capital city of Kronstadt.

    I personally think of Transylvania as a different land from that entity known as Romania created by the vicious victors of WW1.
    I'd support the idea, however unfortunately I don't think it's feasible. As Bleyer said, we've too few Germans concentrated in just one region and many of the Transylvanian Saxons have been sold to the German government during communistic times. And of these Germans, while they're politically organised and fight for minority rights, too few would support independence. The German minorities around the world are usually quiet, introverted, keep to themselves inside their communities but still get on well with the host countries. Compared to the Hungarians, who want Transylvania for themselves only, Germans are happy enough with the current status, especially if you compare it with communistic times or the time Transylvania was forcefully magyarised. Germany has given ethnic Germans the right of return so they could immigrate there and apply for citizenship, however not all want this today, especially since the situation has improved for us as a minority.

    I was entertaining the idea of moving myself a few years back, however if you compare the situations nowadays, it's a much better option to stay in Transylvania. Central Europe hasn't suffered from the consequences of the mass migration wave so much yet, while the situation in Germany, especially in cities has become dire. Romania is more socially conservative in that sense, for example recently we had a referendum supported by the president and even the socialist politicians to add a provision in the constitution for traditional marriage. Multiculturalism here has a whole different meaning than in the West, people are still very religious and traditional, both the Germans, Hungarians and Romanians themselves. The country is note ready to open the gates to the refugees and they don't want that the streets become violent and unsafe, nor Sharia being implemented de facto. An article:

    ROMANIA joins Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic in rejection of accepting Muslim migrants

    "We don’t want to end up like Western Europe where they are afraid to let children walk to school alone, or for their wives to be alone in the streets."

    Discussions between Romania and Turkey about the construction of a mosque in the city of Bucharest were stalled for 14 years because the Romanian government demanded that the Romanian Orthodox Church also be allowed to build a church in Constantinopole, something which the Turkish government had refused. That showed the double standards of the Muslims, they want privileges in other countries, but they themselves won't be tolerant, of course. Peoples also protested and eventually the project was cancelled. There are few Muslims in Romania, and peoples want to keep it that way. And personally, I prefer to be among other ethnic Europeans than among Muslims and other non-Europeans who mock and disrespect our culture. As long as the situation in the West remains so dire, I've no ambitions to become part of it. I wouldn't want my children to grow up in such an environment...

    About the situation of ethnic Germans, in my view ideally there should be a larger organisation with pro-Germanic laws which would function in German communities, at the very least. Because there are many German communities around the world, even in Africa and South America... Our languages, cultures and traditions need to be preserved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siebenbürgerin View Post
    The German minorities around the world are usually quiet, introverted, keep to themselves inside their communities but still get on well with the host countries. Compared to the Hungarians, who want Transylvania for themselves only, Germans are happy enough with the current status, especially if you compare it with communistic times or the time Transylvania was forcefully magyarised. Germany has given ethnic Germans the right of return so they could immigrate there and apply for citizenship, however not all want this today, especially since the situation has improved for us as a minority.
    I was wondering... how did the forced magyarisation affect the Germans in Transylvania?
    One of my grandfathers was originally from a village in Transylvania, and his family witnessed that times... He was Romanian and for Romanians it was really horrible under the Hungarians, but his family, among few other Romanian families, resisted this process! I know from him that they tried to change all names to Hungarian names, for example, and of course also imposing the language. Some Romanian families in his village accepted that, but his family didn't, so they kept their Romanian names and language, even if it was not easy!
    Was it the same with the Germans? I knew Germans still had some privileges under the Hungarians, unlike Romanians. If you know anything about that, I am really interested to know more!


    Quote Originally Posted by Siebenbürgerin View Post
    I was entertaining the idea of moving myself a few years back, however if you compare the situations nowadays, it's a much better option to stay in Transylvania. Central Europe hasn't suffered from the consequences of the mass migration wave so much yet, while the situation in Germany, especially in cities has become dire. Romania is more socially conservative in that sense, for example recently we had a referendum supported by the president and even the socialist politicians to add a provision in the constitution for traditional marriage. Multiculturalism here has a whole different meaning than in the West, people are still very religious and traditional, both the Germans, Hungarians and Romanians themselves. The country is note ready to open the gates to the refugees and they don't want that the streets become violent and unsafe, nor Sharia being implemented de facto. An article:

    ROMANIA joins Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic in rejection of accepting Muslim migrants

    "We don’t want to end up like Western Europe where they are afraid to let children walk to school alone, or for their wives to be alone in the streets."

    Discussions between Romania and Turkey about the construction of a mosque in the city of Bucharest were stalled for 14 years because the Romanian government demanded that the Romanian Orthodox Church also be allowed to build a church in Constantinopole, something which the Turkish government had refused. That showed the double standards of the Muslims, they want privileges in other countries, but they themselves won't be tolerant, of course. Peoples also protested and eventually the project was cancelled. There are few Muslims in Romania, and peoples want to keep it that way. And personally, I prefer to be among other ethnic Europeans than among Muslims and other non-Europeans who mock and disrespect our culture. As long as the situation in the West remains so dire, I've no ambitions to become part of it. I wouldn't want my children to grow up in such an environment...
    That's good news, that they are not going to build that mosque soon! Hopefully they will never build it at all!

    The situation here in Northern Europe is also... frightening! I simply cannot find a proper word to describe it, but... my soul cries when I see so many non-Europeans here! And at their birth rates, I am very afraid that ethnic Norwegians will become minority in their own country! And I thought Norway was the best Scandinavian country... I still think it's the best, but I am really impressed, in a negative way, of what's going on here! I assist at a genocide here... and it's not very often that I am pessimistic, usually I'm an optimistic person, but with the present situation...

    I really love the Norwegian people, they have such a wonderful soul (I mean the soul of the folk), I also have a few good Norwegian friends who are really wonderful people... and my heart and soul are crying about what's going on here in Norway!

    I don't plan to have any kids, but I'm also against abortion, so in case something would ever happen... I am thinking the same as you, Siebenbürgerin, that I wouldn't want my children to grow up in such an environment!

    Yes, Norway is magnificent with its Nature and this is one important reason why I decided to move back to Norway! In Romania they don't seem to care so much about Nature and they are destroying the forests, for example, at such a fast pace! I am from Moldavia region, but I consider moving back to Romania too, either to Bukovina (best part of Moldavia, for sure!) or to Transylvania (obviously the best part of Romania). I love Romanian mountains and Romanian nature, and honestly, I always compare Norway with Romania when it's about Nature and wilderness... Romania still has so many treasures there... So I'm considering coming back too, if the situation in Norway becomes too unbearable!

    Also... Romania still has some good naturist and holistic medicine! Even if the Romanian hospitals are horror! Maybe in Transylvania they are better? It's good to think abut the medical care too!


    Quote Originally Posted by Siebenbürgerin View Post
    About the situation of ethnic Germans, in my view ideally there should be a larger organisation with pro-Germanic laws which would function in German communities, at the very least. Because there are many German communities around the world, even in Africa and South America... Our languages, cultures and traditions need to be preserved.
    Good idea! Maybe that can be possible in Romania, at least. I've heard in Bulgaria they have a few tourist villages specially for Germans, with German police and German laws, at the seaside. And Germans are really going there on holidays. It's more about business, but still... Bulgarians knew what to do with their seaside, it's much better than Romanian seaside! Romania used to have many tourists from Scandinavia at the seaside, especially Norwegians, I've heard, during the communist era, but after the 'fall' of communism all the important touristic places by the seaside were not properly managed, so no more Norwegian tourists there, unfortunately...
    Die Farben duften frisch und grün... Lieblich haucht der Wind um mich.

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