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Officers of the Danube Swabian Foundation of the USA

How it All Began

During the 1970’s many questions arose about the preservation of the Danube Swabian history, language, traditions and overall culture.   This was often discussed at the annual Landesverband meetings.  After many exchanges of ideas, Mr. Theo Junker, the then president of the Danube Swabian Association suggested the creation of a Foundation.  This idea was agreed upon by most delegates and a committee was formed.  The committee members consisted of Mr. Junker, Mr. Joseph Hugery, Mr. Matthias Arringer, Mr. Joseph Stein, Mr. Johan Abt and Mrs. Martha Kretschmann.  All members were from the Milwaukee area apart from Joe Stein.The committee began meeting in 1982 to devise the by-laws of the foundation.  These by-laws were presented to all the delegates at the National Meeting in April 1984.  After more discussions and a few minor changes, the document was accepted.  It was submitted to the IRS for approval as a non-profit organization and was approved.  After the IRS approval, it was then officially registered in the state of Wisconsin as “The Danube Swabian Foundation of the USA, Inc.” The Foundation continues to serve Danube Swabian descendants and their community.  All donations to the Foundation, a 501 c3 benevolent organization are tax deductible. 

Founders of The Daunbe Swabian Foundation, USA

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Missing from photo - Theo Junker, Praesident of Landesverband USA

Brief History of the Danube Swabians

The Danube Swabians are German colonists who were invited by Austrian-Hungarian Emperors to settle and repopulate the land after the Ottoman Empire was defeated by allied forces led by Prince Eugene of Savoy. There were three Great Swabian Migrations.   These settlers were called German-Hungarians at first.    After World War I, when the area was divided between Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia, the German population became known as Danube Swabians. This name was derived from the   Danube river, where they lived now and Swabia, a province in Germany, where many of the settlers came from, originally.   Others came from all over Europe, even Italy and France. Most of them lived in all German towns. They were hard  workers who did what was asked of them. They stabilized the area, prospered and supported the various governments, but were envied by the other nationalities. Many of them came to the United States before and after World War I and then World War II. Just like in the Old Country, they prospered here, too.  Most of them came in the early 1950's, served in the Armed Forces and became good and loyal citizens of the USA.

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