Yugoslav Swabians in Hungary, 1944–1950

Principal investigator: Ágnes Tóth

Period: 2015-2022

Research questions and objectives:

Between the autumn of 1944 and the end of 1948, German refugees from Yugoslavia continuously arrived and stayed in Hungary. The intensity of the process decreased, but it did not end. Within this timeframe, different periods can be distinguished, both in terms of the nature of the process and the formal proceedings against the persons concerned. The end date of the first period is the very end of 1945/the beginning of 1946, when the deportation of the Germans to Hungary began.

German refugees came from two directions: from Germany (those who intended to return to their original place of residence in Hungary) and from Yugoslavia. Some of the latter fled retaliation on the basis of a personal decision, while others were expelled by the Yugoslav authorities in large groups and were deported from Yugoslavia through Hungary. The number of those wishing to return from the West steadily declined and completely disappeared by the summer of 1945.

The location or movement of each major expelled group cannot be tracked. It is probable that these large groups did not reside in the country for years. A larger number of them may have left the country individually or were expelled illegally.
The Hungarian government, just like the German minority in Hungary, considered these individuals to be politically unreliable and did not want to admit them permanently to the country. Therefore, beginning in the autumn of 1945, they were brought under closer control, and their registration became the competence of the police instead of the municipal prefectures. However, until the deportation of Germans to Hungary began, the problem was treated as a refugee issue in accordance with international law. In terms of attitudes, both on the part of local authorities and society, the humanitarian element was strong.

The accommodation, catering, etc. for Yugoslav Swabians living in Hungary was first turned into a “German issue” when the deportation of Hungarian Germans began. In other words, the Hungarian authorities deported or wished to deport these refugees too. However, they did not have the authority to do so, as the possibility of deportation was limited to Germans of Hungarian citizenship.

On the one hand, the research will focus on the above issues, and on the other hand, the diaries of Katharina Ackermann/Jauch and Katharina Ackermann from 1944 to 1947 will be processed.

Research history:

The topic is completely under-researched.

Research methods:

The nuanced approach of the topic requires the exploration of various sources, including archival documents created at different levels of public administration, and national and county dailies.

The description and annotation of the diaries of Katharina Ackermann (Jauch) and her daughter Katharina Ackermann require the application of linguistic knowledge.

Research results in 2019:

The paper “Erfahrung von Internierung und Zwangsarbeit in der Vojvodina 1944-1947. Aus dem Tagebuch einer schwäbischen Bäuerin” was completed and accepted for publication in the “Jahrbuch Kulturelle Kontexte des östlichen Europa.”

Publications, databases:

Tóth Ágnes: Személyes sors és sorsközösség egy sváb parasztasszony naplójában (1944-1947) In: Egyén és közösség: Tanulmányok. Bárdi Nándor, Tóth Ágnes (szerk.) Zenta, Vajdasági Magyar Művelődési Intézet, 2012. pp. 253-275.