Drang nach Osten
The Drang nach Osten (“push towards the German East” in ) or Ostkolonisation was a Germanic colonial movement initiated by the holy Germanic Roman Emperor Frederic II Hohenstaufen in first half of the 13th century. It results in a movement of German colonists into Slavic and often pagan grounds. The order of the knights Teutoniques, created at the time of the Crusades, founder of a State in the Baltic States, is an aspect of this Colonialisme, until their defeat with Tannenberg, in 1410. Évangélisant these pagan areas with an extreme brutality, these monk-soldiers allowed the installation of German colonists in what will become later the Prussia.
A Germanic settlement was spread more peacefully in several areas of the Central Europe, with the installation of peasants, of merchants and craftsmen. In Transylvania, left current the Romania, the Saxons started to colonize the country as of the 12th century, at the request of the king of Hungary. This type of colonization continues irregularly in Central and Eastern Europe, until the 18th century, in particular within the framework of the Austrian Empire. The Germans become majority in areas of Tchéquie (Sudètes) or of Poland (Silesia, Poméranie). In these two last areas, the policy of germanisation, resulting in the obligatory use of the German language and the land domination of the noble Prussians ( Junkers ), was applied to the 19th century by the kingdom of Prussia, then the Second Reich. The Germans also constitute important communities in Transylvania, Hungary, ex-Yugoslavia or in the Baltic States.
The near total of these populations, whose presence had served as a pretext for the doctrines pangermanists, in particular with the Nazi Germany, was expelled at the end of the Second world war. The cities which bore a German name initially were débaptisée either in 1919, or in 1945: Presbourg (Bratislava), Lemberg (Lvov), Brown (Brno), Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary), Lager (Plzeň), Stettin (Szczecin), Breslau (Wroclaw), Posen (Poznan), Dantzig (Gdansk), Hermannstadt (Sibiu), Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Memel (Klaipėda).
Drang nach Osten and the Knights Teutoniques
The beginning of Drang nach Osten sometimes is allotted to Charlemagne which, not being able more to extend towards the west, pushed back the Eastern border of Germanic of the Elba, reached by the Slaves at the time of the great invasions, with the Oder, which separated the two Germanic and slavic people under Othon Ier (936-973). But the majority of these territories were lost in consequence of indigenous revolts. The German expansion could begin again only in the middle of the 11th century: it was Drang nach Osten.
Wendes, Slavic population between the Germans and the Poles, then were destroyed or assimilated by a flood of germanisation. The 12th century, the temporary weakening of Polish monarchy allowed the creation of the “steps” (frontier military districts) of Brandebourg and of the Mecklembourg. The christianization of these areas was taken again after the pagan revolts of the 11th century and saw the rebirth of évêchés of Brandebourg, Lübeck, Schwerin, while the German peasants emphasized all the territories until the Neisse of Görlitz, letting however remain a Slavic population, the Sorabe S, which always exist around Bautzen.
The Oder was largely exceeded in North by the Eastern Poméranie, disputed with the Poles and germanized in its turn during the 14th century, while, more with the South, the Silesia and of Hungary devastated by the invasions of the Mongolian S Is kingdom were repopulated by the German colonists established in the crown of Saint-Etienne like hosts (hospites) enjoying specific rights.
The Bohemia, on the other hand, resisted the Germanic push better. To the 13th century, the king Ottokar II of Bohemia proceeded to a massive colonization with Germans come especially from Bavaria and areas the Rhineland. He establishes them as minors to work the mines of money discovered with Kutná Hora, where they were relayed by tradesmen and organized cities like Eger or Iglau.
The most spectacular company was the colonization of the grounds between the Vistula and the Golfe of Finland (called today Baltic States) which was the work of two religious orders, the “Knights Carry-Sword” and the “Teutoniques Knights”. The first was created especially in 1202 to support the first efforts of colonization-christianization of the mouth of Düna where the archbishop of Bremen had sent in 1150 a missionary of the Holstein named Meinhardt. Progress was weak, but made it possible to establish in 1180 a city, Riga, seat of one évêché and meeting place of the sailors and tradesmen of the great association of tradesmen of Hamburg and Lübeck, the Hanse. Not very the many (their manpower were of 120) knights called upon many crusaders, soldiers attracted by spiritual favors, “indulgences”. With their assistance, they built in the current Latvia monasteries and cities which had to deal with many attacks of the autochtones of Baltic origin, Estes and Lives. The two orders amalgamated in 1237 and ran up against the Danish and the Russian , but established finally their domination on the whole of the territory until the Golfe of Finland. The country was divided into " seigneuries" with, at their head, a titular knight of the ground.
The Teutoniques Knights, whom one calls Deutscher Orden , had been created in 1190-1191 out of Holy Land under the name of " German hospitallers of Sainte-Marie de Jérusalem". This charity association left Palestine and was called by the Polish duke Conrad de Mazovie whose possessions were attacked by its neighbors of North, Prusses or Borusses, pagan belonging to the Baltic ethnos group, installed between the Niémen and the the Vistula. An established Polish bishop with Kulm also complained about these independent tribes. Both called upon Teutoniques, the pope having agreed to sponsor this crusade which was organized in 1230 with the people come from all the Christian Occident. It was difficult because the autochtones resisted and were raised against the invaders.
The country was subjected only in 1283. It was controlled by the large Master of the Order, assisted of a council which managed twenty bailliages, with the head of which a knight was. The crusaders became peasants established to replace the population borusse killed or in escape: they germanisèrent lowland. In Marienwerder, fortress-capital, united cities such Thorn, Kulm, Elbing, which maintained the relations with Hanse. In 1255 finally “Königsberg was created” (“Royal mount”), now Kaliningrad, in the honor of king de Bohême who had contributed to it. The institutional links of the State of the Order ( Ordenstaat ) with the Germanic Empire were rather vague and, in fact, Teutoniques enjoyed a total independence. As for the other territories, the emperors left the territorial princes of Brandebourg or the Saxony the care to coordinate the whole of colonial work, in agreement with the Church whose vast ones évêchés of Magdeburg or Leipzig preserved a a long time dominating role. The 14th century indisputably marked the apogee of the Teutonique order and Drang nach Osten.
The expansion towards the South and the advent of Habsbourg
Beside this movement which was largely celebrated by IIIe Reich, one should not forget the German push towards the south, Austria first of all. This time still, it is necessary to still go back to Charlemagne to know the origins of them. Master of the Bavaria, the king of the Francs undertook a series of campaigns against the people of the Avars (wandering of Central Asia) which it crushed. He extended his empire until the the Tisza in current Hungary. In the conquered area, it establishes " marches" (military districts) that its successors had to evacuate at the time of the installation of the Hungarian. The Germanic emperor Othon Ier restores, vis-a-vis these invaders very stirring up, a news " marche" whose Babenberg became the marquis (Markgraf) until the 13th century. They called upon Bavarian families to colonize it, while the Church, by the bishops of Salzburg, Freising and Passau, there monopolized vast domains and created large monasteries like Melk and Saint-Polten. In 996, one lives for the first time to appear the name of Ostarrichi , whose Latinized form of Austria gave our current Austria. In 1002, a fortress was built close to the ruins of the old Roman city of Vindobona which was going to become Vienna.
From there, all walk was germanisée with colonists come from Bavaria and areas the Rhineland, whereas Babenberg transformed the area by the creation of important convents like Heiligen Kreuz and by the development of city-hearths of the German culture such Salzburg, Linz, Innsbruck, Graz. It extended to the steps close to Carinthie (Kärnten), of Carniole (Krajn) where the germanisation was limited to cities like Laïbach (Ljubljana), while the Slovenien, now independent, constituted the rural population of it. The the Tyrol, on the other hand, remained divided into counties until the 13th century. In 1246, the dynasty of Babenberg died out and the Habsbourg, originating in the Argovie Suisse, became the owners of this great unit which they preserved until 1918. Emperors of the Saint Worsens, they were crowned with Rome initially, then with Aachen and joined together under their authority the main part of the German populations of Europe.
For this push towards the South, it is necessary to add that towards the East the call of king de Hongrie with colonists at the end of the 12th century and at the 13th century: it was a question for him of defending the southernmost border of its kingdom and of populating a little inhabited area. They came, in their great majority, of the Rhineland, the Luxembourg, Flanders and Saxony. By simplification, they were called since 1206 " Saxons". In the current Romania, one employs the name of Sasi . They were established in the areas of Karlsburg (Alba Julia), Hermanstadt (Sibiu), Kronstadt (Brassov), Nösen (Bistrita). The Magyar king André II granted to them a statute (Andreanum) which gave to these Germans the monopoly of colonization and their organization in seven seats ( sedes ) the right to elect a count and administrators n the other hand of military obligations in the royal army. They were enough important to constitute, beside the Magyars and of the Sicules, the third " nation " country in the legal enumeration of the components of Hungary.
At the end of the 14th century, the first large wave of colonization was completed: Germans left their " fatherland " ( Heimat ) between the the Rhine and the Oder had essaimé in North to the gulf of Finland, in the South almost until the Adriatique, in the East to the heart of the Rumanian Carpates.
The second wave and the Reform Lutheran
The Réforme of Luther touched the Austrian States and brought various shifts in population. The anabaptists of the the Tyrol found refuge in Moravie, before leaving for North America. The Lutherans were numerous (one speaks about 100.000) to flee towards the towns of Germany, of Switzerland, of Sweden and in the Swedish Baltic provinces. The war against the Othoman S involved other exoduses and at the time of the reconquest of Othoman Hungary after the head office of Vienna in 1683, one attended the recolonisation of the comitats of Szegedin, Szolnok and all the area with peasants of Franconie, Souabe and the Rhineland which was fixed on free grounds of obligation. At the 18th century, the emperor Charles VI wanted to increase the population of Hungary by establishing there Germans who brought their more developed agricultural techniques. After the occupation of the Banat in 1718, Vienna sent to it German merchants and craftsmen and some 15.000 peasants of the Rhineland, Souabe and Franconie, forming a new Germanic core whose members were designated name of " Souabes" (in Rumanian Svabi ).
The Empress Marie-Therese Anger of Hungary, concerned of agricultural progress, establishes on the royal fields approximately 45.000 colonists, coming in particular from Bavaria. The Banat and the area close to Batschka under its reign were entirely dominated by the German culture. One designated as “Lorraine” these newcomers of future the Vojvodine. It is also necessary to add the individual colonists in the search of better grounds: one estimates from 105.000 to 200.000 Germans who fixed themselves in Austria between 1740 and 1780. Joseph II, on his side, confirmed by a license the privileges of the 13.000 German colonists benches in Galicie and Bucovine. For the period of the Napoleonean wars, the rights of all the German colonists of Austria were specified and their confirmed establishment.
In Prussia, the Reform had surprising consequences. The large Master about the Knights, Albert de Brandebourg, adhered to the doctrines Lutheran in 1525 and secularized the State of which he became the duke, under the authority of king de Prusse. The knights transformed themselves into feudal lords - Junkers - and made exploit their grounds by serfs transformed into personally free peasants as from 1807. This situation lasted up to 1914. In the interval, the sovereigns of Prussia were obliged to undertake operations of colonization because of the wars, the plague of 1709 and the successive divisions of Poland. For only the 18th century, one estimates at 300.000 the number of colonists from Germany and installed in the kingdom.
The areas of the Baltic knew a similar evolution. The Large Master about Livonie (depend on Teutoniques) also passed to the Reform and adapted the area: in 1551, the last archbishop of Riga sold his cathedral with the Council of the city for eighteen thousand marks. The peasants, mainly Baltic, became officially Protestant, just like the sailors, craftsmen, tradesmen who all, almost, spoke German. The wars of the 16th century - in particular that of Livonie (1558-1561) - caused severe losses among the knights who were replaced thanks to a not very demanding recruitment. A papal bubble declared on this occasion that “any convict could be raised of his excommunication while entering the Order; those which had been made guilty of rape, arson or wear could be allowed as knight-monks”. It is not astonishing that the Order entered in decline and that the nobility of the “Baltic barons” put itself at the service of the capacity, which was Swedish until 1710, then Russian until 1917.
The Germanic emigration in Russia
In the Russian Empire, the empress Catherine II called by a proclamation, in 1763, upon German colonists to emphasize the territories of the the lower Volga practically depopulated. In the old ports of Hanse, Lübeck and Danzig, emigrants embarked, coming from the Palatinat, of the Hesse, the Souabe, the Alsace, to unload with Saint-Pétersbourg and from there, to gain the new grounds conquered on the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the 18th century, 30.000 of them had survived the hunger, the diseases and the attacks of the Kyrgyz of the area. Alexandre Ier consolidated this work while calling of Würtembourgeois, which it establishes along the Black Sea and in Bessarabia, while the conquest of the the Caucasus led the tsar to create villages of German colonists until in Georgia. In second half of the 19th century, the industrial development of Russia brought many craftsmen and workmen of German origin to fix itself at it: one counted 150.000 with the census of 1897 of them.
Retreat towards the West
The First World War, with the advance of the German armies in Russia then their retreat rose, in the new borders of the country, in 1923, to 1.000.000 inhabitants approximately. Russia Bolshevik was obliged to recognize in 1920 the independence of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, of which the feudal structures maintained up to that point left the good share to the Baltic barons. The new States issued land reforms, so that the great landowners sought refuge in Germany; to them many intellectuals, tradesmen and craftsmen were added: on the whole more than 400.000 individuals. Areas of the the Volga, many colonists also left, in consequence of the collectivization of the grounds. From 750.000 in 1914, they were only 450.000 to constitute the Soviet republic of the Volga.
The Second world war carried to the Ostkolonisation a mortal blow. Initially, the Hitler-Stalin treaty of 1939 resulted in the “repatriation” of some 120.000 Germans of the three Baltic States, of 160.000 of the Polish territories annexed by the USSR, while the Bucovine and the Rumanian Bessarabia provided 140.000 repatriates. On the whole, the policy of IIIe Reich showed the return of approximately 450.000 Volksdeutsche . In consequence of the projection of Wehrmacht, 350.000 Germans arrived from Ukraine and the Crimea, 60.000 of the Caucasus. But they are the capitulation of 1945 and the treaties which followed which was fatal with the great dream of the Lebensraum (vital space). The agreements of Potsdam envisaged frightening exchanges of population. The transfer in Poland of half of Eastern Prussia, Poméranie Eastern, Eastern Brandebourg resulted in the arrival into FR of Germany of 4.500.000 inhabitants of these provinces colonized since the 12th century.
The Czechoslovakia reconstituted Edvard Benes had obtained the expulsion of its Sudètes (Germans of the circumference of Bohemia) estimated at 1.900.000. The Yugoslav government of Tito drove out the few 400.000 Germans whose ancestors had colonized Vojvodine formerly. Hungary dominated by the Communists expelled half of his German population, evaluated with 500.000 individuals in 1941, which took refuge in the two German States. In Romania, by order of the Soviets, the Saxon ones of Transylvania and Souabes of Banat all were almost off-set in the coal mines of the Donbass, then the survivors repatriated in Romania.
On the whole, 13-14 000.000 heirs to the Ostkolonisation arrived in the two German States, the Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic republic. Their sons or grandsons live now in reunified Germany and in Austria, while approximately 1.000.000 of their brothers remained in Poland, in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, in various and in general rather difficult situations. They represent there a proud culture of its origins and its past, being expressed by speeches of the Germanic type, newspapers and books in German, songs also and a music which sometimes refers to a very remote past. The Ostkolonisation was and remains one of the components of Europe of today.
Germanic Colonization in Eastern Europe () : ()
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