Ethnic German

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Ethnic Germans – often simply called Germans – are those who are considered, by themselves or others, to be ethnically German but do not live within the present-day Federal Republic of Germany, nor necessarily hold its citizenship. In English usage, but less often in German, the term may be used for assimilated descendants of German emigrants. The traditional English language practice has been to refer to the ethnic Germans of a given country by combining the country or region name (or its adjective) with "Germans"; for example, "Brazilian Germans" was at least traditionally used (see below) to refer to ethnic Germans living in Brazil. Already in the past, this practice broke down when referring to countries that no longer existed ("Kingdom of Hungary" Germans) or regions that transcended national boundaries (thus "Black Sea Germans").

In addition, the modern trend is to emphasise the status as citizens of the new country and to invert the order of the compound expression. According to this system, one uses the word "German" as an adjective, not a noun. For example, German Americans are never called "U.S. Germans" or "American Germans". Likewise, German Swiss should not be called "Swiss Germans"; they are not and never were Germans and are even offended when erroneously denoted as such. "Swiss German" is only a correct expression for the language, where the word "German" is logically in the noun position. Already in the past, many ethnic German groups preferred to call themselves in this way that emphasised that they were assimilated members of the society of their new country. For example, the German Alsatians and the German Balts (who also called themselves that way) were called "Alsatian Germans" and "Baltic Germans" against their will in Germany's nationalistic phases.

The concept of ethnic belonging is always problematic; it can relate to:

  • having a connection with German culture;
  • speaking the German language;
  • having ancestors who were born in Germany or an area that is or was otherwise considered German.

The concept of who is an ethnic German has repeatedly changed in history. For example, in contrast to the German Swiss, who had already shaped a national identity centuries before even the idea of "Germany" had arisen, most German-speaking Austrians used to consider themselves as ethnic Germans until the mid-20th century. The first attempts to create a consciousness of the "Austrian nation" took place during the Napoleonic Wars (at which time "Austrian" identity included non-German-speaking subjects of the Austrian Empire) and in the early 1930s, but without major effects. After World War II, Austrians increasingly came to see themselves as a nation distinct from the German nation. <ref>Austria. Library of Congress Country Studies, 2004.. Accessed 1 Oct 2006.</ref>


[edit] Distribution

Ethnic Germans are an important minority group in many countries. (See Germans, German language, and German as a minority language for more extensive numbers and a better sense of where Germans maintain German culture and have official recognition.) The following sections briefly detail the historical and present distribution of ethnic Germans by region, but generally exclude modern expatriates, who have a presence in the United States, Scandinavia and major urban areas worldwide. See Groups at bottom for a list of all ethnic German groups, or continue for a prosaic summary by region.

Ancestry according to the U.S. 2000 census: Counties with plurality of German ancestry in light blue

[edit] North America

  • Canada (2.7 million, 9% of the population)

[edit] Latin America

They are a considerable part of the population in:

  • Brazil: Mainly in Southern Brazil and São Paulo, there are 6 million single-ancestry ethnic Germans, 3% of the national population; 12 million Brazilians are part German, 6% of the national population. Hunsrückisch and Pomeranians are some of the more prominent such groups.

Notable examples of German-Brazilians are former president Ernesto Geisel, politician Jorge Bornhausen, actress Vera Fischer, Cacilda Becker, top models as Gisele Bündchen, Ana Hickmann, Letícia Birkheuer and Rodrigo Hilbert, musicians like Andreas Kisser and Astrud Gilberto, architect Oscar Niemeyer, landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser, physician Adolfo Lutz, basketball player Oscar Schmidt, tennis player Gustavo Kuerten, swimmer Fernando Scherer, tv host Xuxa Meneghel, the Catholic prelates Cláudio Cardinal Hummes and Paulo Evaristo Cardinal Arns and the renowned sailor Robert Scheidt among many others.

Argentine president Néstor Kirchner is an ethnic German. Other notable examples of Argentine ethnic Germans are top model Nicole Neumann, basketball player Walter Herrmann, football player Gabriel Heinze among many others.

Notable communities of ethnic Germans exist in:

  • Chile: 35,000, counting standard German-speakers only,
  • Ecuador: 32,000, counting standard German-speakers only.
  • Mexico, Bolivia, and Belize: 40,000, 28,567, and 5,763 Mennonite German speakers respectively, as well as notable (but more assimilated) public figures from various German groups.
  • Puerto Rico: 1,453 speakers
  • Uruguay: 28,000 standard German, 1,200 Plautdietsch.
  • Dominican Republic : There is a colony of around 25,000 Germans who have settled in the country, mostly on the northern coast's Puerto Plata, as well as a colony of the decendants of German and Austrian Jewish refugess in Sosua.

[edit] Western Europe and the Alpine nations

In Italy there are two main groups. The 225,000 ethnic Germans of South Tyrol, formerly (before the 1919 annexation) part of Austrian Tyrol, now constitute a growing majority in this autonomous region of Italy. Naturally, their dialects are basically extensions of Austrian German. There also exist some unique populations of Germans: the Cimbrians, the Móchenos and some groups of Walser, who arrived so long ago that their dialect retains many archaic features heard nowhere else. The Cimbrians, though celebrated since their discovery, are relatively few in number and concentrated in various communities in the Carnic Alps, north of Verona, and especially in the Sugana Valley (Valsugana or Suganertal) on the high plateau northwest of Vicenza in the Veneto Region. The Italian Walser (who originated in the Swiss Valais) live in the provinces of Aostatal, Vercelli, and Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. The Móchenos live in the Fersina Valley.

Image:Austria hungary 1911.jpg
Austria-Hungary in 1911 showing ethnic Germans in pink (primarily Sudeten Germans, Danube Swabians, and Transylvanian Saxons), along with the main body of German-speakers in Austria.

In Switzerland, German Swiss constitute the majority of the population. They write formally in Standard German, but have developed a separate national identity due to their long history of stable, alpine, isolationist, multinationalist neutrality and their various Swiss German dialects. Swiss German is intelligible to speakers of other Alemannic dialects but is usually not intelligible to speakers of Standard German. In Austria and Liechtenstein, both of which are primarily German-speaking countries, the situation is less extreme. Nevertheless, only very few German-speaking people in any country would call Swiss, Austrians, or Liechtensteiners ethnic Germans. This would be considered pan-German nationalism and usually also offensive or belittling.

In France, the Alsace-Lorraine region and cities such as Strasbourg (with bilingual signs) and Thionville ("Diedenhofen" in German and Luxembourgish) were originally German-speaking, but because of territorial transfers resulting from various wars, and given the French stance on language and ethnicity within the Republic, assimilation has decimated the Alsatian dialect. The German-speaking population is estimated at 1,500,000, plus another 40,000 for ethnic Luxembourgers.

Image:Duitstalige GemeenschapLocatie.png
German-speaking areas of Belgium.

In Belgium, there is also a German minority, which forms the majority in its region of 71,000 inhabitants (though Ethnologue puts the national total at 150,000, not including Limburgisch and Luxembourgish). In Luxembourg, ethnic Germans constitute the majority, though they speak the Luxemburgish language, which has a separate written standard. In the Netherlands, there are 380,000 Germans<ref>See Demographics of the Netherlands.</ref>, along the German-Dutch border, a similar number of Dutch people is estimated to live along the same border line in Germany<ref>See Demographics of Germany.</ref>.

In Denmark, the part of Schleswig that is now South Jutland County (or Nordschleswig) has about 23,000 Germans. These Germans mostly speak the Schleswigsch variety of Low Saxon.

[edit] Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union

The great bulk of ethnic Germans outside of the German-speaking countries have historically been concentrated in Central and Eastern Europe, and these Germans are the population to which the term Volksdeutsche is most frequently applied. There are many ethnic Germans in the countries that are now Germany and Austria's neighbors to the east—Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia— but there are or have been significant populations in such areas as Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia. The German presence in Central and Eastern Europe is rooted in centuries of history, that of Prussia, Austria-Hungary, Bukovina, Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), Bessarabia and of a fractious Germany and eastward parts of Europe made up of many city states, whose royal families ruled over multi-ethnic populations. Every city of even modest size as far east as Russia had a German quarter and a Jewish quarter (though, of course, there were relatively few Jews east of the Pale of Settlement). Travellers along any road would pass through, for example, a German village, then a Czech village, then a Polish village, etc., depending on the region.

[edit] History

[edit] Eastward expansion

See main articles East Colonisation and Ostflucht

Near the end of the Migration Period (300-900 AD) that brought the Germanic and Slavic tribes as well as the Huns, etc., to what is now Central Europe, Slavs expanded westwards at the same time as Germans expanded eastwards. The result was German colonization as far east as Romania, and Slavic colonization as far west as present-day Lübeck (on the Baltic Sea), Hamburg (connected to the North Sea), and along the river Elbe and its tributary Saale, further south. After Christianization, the superior organization of the Roman Catholic Church led to further German expansion, known as the medieval Drang nach Osten. By 1100 or so, various rulers were often inviting ethnic Germans to their territories as craftsmen, miners, or farmers. The crusades of the Teutonic Knights at times led to further German settlements.

German domination of trade in the Baltic Sea and Eastern Central Europe was established through the Hanseatic League. Such areas had become important within trade routes and flourished. German urban law within these regions, (Stadtrecht), was promoted by the presence of large, relatively wealthy "German" populations. At the time, their culture and worldview was very different from that of the surrounding rural peoples. These other "Germans", commoners that were often influenced by these powerful city-states, stretched as far away from present-day Germany as Bergen (in Norway), Stockholm (in Sweden), and Vyborg (in Russia). Some groups, such as the Baltic Germans, the Volga Germans, and the Transylvanian Saxons, had established residence in the eastern Baltic, southern Russia, and what is now Romania, respectively. Over time, other groups like this would be joined by later waves of Germans.

By the 1500s, much of Pomerania, Prussia, the Sudetenland, Bessarabia, Galicia, South Tyrol, Carniola, and Lower Styria had many German cities and villages. Numerous transfers and migrations occurred later: for example, within the Habsburg Monarchy at the end of Ottoman incursion into Europe (which penetrated as far as Vienna). Thus, the Danube Swabians settled in Pannonia and the Bukovina Germans in Bukovina.

[edit] The World Wars

By World War I, there were isolated groups of Germans or so-called Schwaben as far southeast as the Bosphorus (Turkey), Georgia, and Azerbaijan. After the war, Germany's and Austria-Hungary's loss of territory and the rise of communism in the Soviet Union meant that more Germans than ever were minorities in various countries, though on the whole they still enjoyed fairly good treatment.

The status of ethnic Germans, and the lack of contiguity resulted in numerous repatriation pacts whereby the German authorities would organize population transfers (especially the Nazi-Soviet population transfers arranged between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, and others with Benito Mussolini's Italy) so that both Germany and the other country would increase their homogeneity. However, this was but a drop in the pond, and the Heim ins Reich rhetoric over the continued disjoint status of enclaves such as Danzig and Königsberg was an agitating factor in the politics leading up to World War II, and is considered by many to be among the major causes of Nazi aggressiveness and thus the war.

The actions of Germany ultimately had extremely negative consequences for most ethnic Germans in Central and Eastern Europe, who often fought on the side of the Nazi regime - some were drafted, others volunteered or worked through the paramilitary organisations such as Selbstschutz, which supported the German invasion of Poland and murdered tens of thousands of Poles. In places such as Yugoslavia, Germans were drafted by their country of residence, served loyally, and even held as POWs by the Nazis, and yet later found themselves drafted again, this time by the Nazis after their takeover. Because it was technically not permissible to draft non-citizens, many ethnic Germans ended up being (oxymoronically) forcibly volunteered for the Waffen-SS. In general, those closest to Nazi Germany were the most involved in fighting for her, but the Germans in remote places like the Caucasus were likewise accused of collaboration. The territorial changes following World War II can be very roughly understood as the following: Russia became bigger, Germany became smaller, and Poland was forced west. This anecdotal summary (minus the plight of the Poles) can be extended to Germany's borders with France and Czechoslovakia as well.

[edit] Post-War situation

If the ethnic Germans of Eastern Europe survived the fighting, the ethno-politics of the victorious Allies aimed at removal of German minority from new borders of countries that were freed from Nazi German rule. In Poland and Czechoslovakia, millions fled the Red Army and local governments, mostly on foot and in wagons, but also by ship. Elsewhere, especially in Russia and Yugoslavia, Germans were treated even more brutally, and often interned in harsh labor camps, to "pay the debts" induced by their nation and the cost of communist liberation. The remaining German inhabitants were expelled or fled from present-day Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, today's Kaliningrad Oblast, and other East European countries. In Romania, Germans were forcibly transferred within the country, to destroy their cohesion as an ethnic group.

See also:

It was due to such population transfer in the Soviet Union that Germans (along with many other peoples) ended up as far east as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. As recently as 1990, there were 1 million standard German speakers and 100,000 Plautdietsch speakers in Kazakhstan alone, and 38,000, 40,000 and 101,057 standard German speakers in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, respectively.

There were reportedly 500,000 ethnic Germans in Poland in 1998. Recent official figures show 147,000 (as of 2002)[1]. But, because the census only registers declared nationalities, the actual figure is probably higher. Of the 700,000 Germans in Romania in 1988, only about 100,000 remained. In Hungary the situation is quite similar, with only about 150,000. There are 1 million in the former Soviet Union, mostly in a band from southwestern Russia and the Volga valley, through Omsk and Altai Krai to Kazakhstan.

These Auslandsdeutsche, as they are now generally known, have been streaming out of the former Eastern Bloc since the early 1990s. For example, many ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union have taken advantage of the German Law of return, a policy which grants citizenship to all those who can prove to be a refugee or expellee of German ethnic origin or the spouse or descendant of such a person. This exodus has occurred despite the fact that many of the ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union speak little or no German.

[edit] Expelled Germans in postwar Germany

After World War II many expellees (German: Heimatvertriebene) from the land east of the Oder-Neisse found refuge in both West Germany and East Germany. Refugees who had fled voluntarily but were later refused to return are often not distinguished from those who were forcibly deported, just as people born to German parents that moved into areas under German occupation either on their own or as Nazi colonists.

In a document signed 50 years ago the Heimatvertriebene organisations have also recognized the plight of the different groups of people living in today's Poland who were resettled there by force. The Heimatvertriebene are just one of the groups of millions of other people, from many different countries, who all found refuge in today's Germany.

Some of the expellees are active in politics and belong to the political right-wing. Many others do not belong to any organizations, but they continue to maintain what they call a lawful right to their homeland. The vast majority pledged to work peacefully towards that goal while rebuilding post-war Germany and Europe.

The expellees are still highly active in German politics, and are one of the major political factions of the nation, with still around 2 million members. The president of their organization is as of 2004 still a member of the national parliament.

Although expellees (in German Heimatvertriebene) and their descendants were active in West German politics, the prevailing political climate within West Germany was that of atonement for Nazi actions. However the CDU governments have shown considerable support for the expellees and German civilian victims.

[edit] Polish-German relations

Although relations between Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany have generally been cordial since 1991, there remain disputes about the War, the post-War expulsion, the treatment of the current German minority in Poland and the treatment of German heritage in modern day Western Poland and the Polish half of the former East Prussia.

Since 1990, historical events have been examined by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance. Its role is to investigate the crimes of the past without regard to the nationality of victims and perpetrators. In Poland, crimes motivated by the nationality of victims are not covered by a statute of limitations, therefore the criminals can be charged in perpetuity. In a few cases, the crimes against Germans were examined. One suspected perpetrator of retaliatory crimes against expelled innocent German civilians, Salomon Morel, fled the country to Israel, which has denied Polish requests for his extradition.

[edit] Finalization of the Polish-German border

The Oder-Neisse line was officially considered completely unacceptable by the CDU controlled German government for decades. Even certain factions within the Social Democrats, the SPD refused to accept the Oder-Neisse line. The Ostpolitik of Social Democratic Chancellor Willy Brandt confirmed the Oder-Neisse line as unalterable through the Treaty of Warsaw on the 7th of December 1970. The 1991 Polish-German border agreement finalized the Oder-Neisse line as the Polish-German border. The agreement gave to minority groups in both countries several rights, such as the right to use national surnames, speak their native languages, and attend schools and churches of their choice. These rights had been denied previously on the basis that the individual had already chosen the country in which they wanted to live.

[edit] Polish criticism of German "revisionism"

Some Poles criticise the current German historical view as tending to move toward the portrayal of Germans as both victims and perpetrators of the War, rather than being purely perpetrators.

Some German expellees, on the other hand, criticise the official Polish outlook on the War and post War events as mostly based on a collectivist view (of mixed communist and nationalist ideas) that does not look at the individual suffering on both sides, but emphazises the ethnic background of each individual.

Such positions are viewed critically in Poland as it allegedly ignores widespread collaboration and support for Nazi occupation by the German minority in the pre-1939 Polish Republic, and the fact that German people enjoyed privileged status during the war while Poles were classified as subhumans by German authorities.

As evidence for the view that German "arrogance and haughtiness" will return, some point to the high support for National Socialism in German society after the German Reich lost the war. For example, according to sixty year old polls conducted in the American Zone of Occupation among Germans from November 1945 till December 1947, the percentage of the German population that supported the view that "National Socialism was a good idea, but badly implemented" was on average 47%, while in August 1947 the percentage increased to 55% <ref name="Rocznik">Rocznik Polsko-Niemiecki Tom I "Polska a Niemcy; ludność, odbudowa, przemiany polityczne w pierwszych latach powojennych" Edmund Dmitrów Warszawa 1992</ref>

[edit] Restrictions on the sale of property to foreigners

In November 2005 Der Spiegel published a poll from Allensbach Institut which estimated that 61% of Poles believed Germans would try to get back territories that were formerly under German control or demand compensation[2],[3].

There are also some worries among Poles that rich descendants of the expelled Germans would buy the land the Polish state had confiscated in 1945. It is believed that this may result in large price increases, since current Polish land prices are low compared to Western Europe. This led to Polish restrictions on the sale of property to foreigners, including Germans; special permission is needed. This policy is comparable to similar restrictions on the Baltic Åland Islands. These restrictions will be lifted 12 years after the 2004 accession of Poland to the European Union, i.e. on May 1 2016. The restrictions are viewed by some as weak - they aren't valid for companies and certain types of properties.

The attempts by German organisations to build a Centre Against Expulsions dedicated to the suffering of expellees during World War II (as well as other conflicts) has led Polish politicians and activists to propose a Center for Martyrology of the Polish Nation (called also Center for the Memory of Suffering of the Polish Nation). This would document the systematical oppression of Polish people by the Nazi state during World War II, serving to educate German people about atrocities perpetrated against their neighbours. However, this proposal was criticized by German politicians on the grounds that similiar institutions already exist, whereas the expulsion of Germans has been relatively ignored [4].

[edit] Status of the German minority in Poland

The remaining German minority in Poland (152,897 people according to the 2002 census, some say much higher) is still awaiting formal recognition of minority rights, as a minority law has not been introduced by the Polish parliament yet. There are German speakers throughout Poland, and most of the Germans live in the Opole/Oppeln Voivodship. There are a few unofficial bilingual signs in some of the smaller towns of the Opole/Oppeln region. In addition, there are some bilingual schools and in a few towns German can sometimes be used instead of Polish in dealings with officials on a lower level at the discretion of local council officials. However, Western European standards of minority protection, including universal bilingual topography, use of the language in courts and dealings with all government officials, as well as bilingual education for the entire population, remain unfulfilled.

See also Germans of Poland.

[edit] Czech-German relations

On 28 December 1989, Václav Havel, at that time a candidate for president of Czechoslovakia (he was elected one day later), suggested that Czechoslovakia should apologise for the expulsion of ethnic Germans after World War II. Most of other politicians of the country didn't agree, and there was also no reply from leaders of Sudeten German organizations. Later, the German President Richard von Weizsäcker answered this by apologizing to Czechoslovakia during his visit to Prague on March 1990 after Václav Havel repeated his apology saying that the expulsion was "the mistakes and sins of our fathers". The Beneš decrees however continued to remain in force in Czechoslovakia.

In Czech-German relations, the topic has been effectively closed by the Czech-German declaration of 1997. One principle of the declaration was that parties will not burden their relations with political and legal issues which stem from the past.

However, some expelled Sudeten Germans or their descendants are demanding return of their former property, which was confiscated after the war. Several such cases have been taken to Czech courts. As confiscated estates usually have new inhabitants, some of whom have lived there for more than 50 years, attempts to return to a pre-war state may cause fear. The topic comes to life occasionally in Czech politics. Like in Poland, worries and restrictions concerning land purchases exist in the Czech Republic. According to a survey by the Allensbach Institut in November 2005, 38% of Czechs believe Germans want to regain territory they lost or will demand compensation.

[edit] Recognition of Sudeten German anti-Nazis

In 2005 Czech Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek announced an initiative to publicise and formerly recognise the deeds of Sudeten German Anti-Nazis. Although the move was received positively by most Sudeten Germans and the German minority, there has been criticism that the initiative is limited to Anti-Nazis who actively fought for the Czechoslovak state, but not Anti-Nazis in general. The German minority in particular also expected some financial compensation for their mistreatment after the War.

[edit] Status of the German minority in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

There are about 40,000 Germans remaining in the Czech Republic. Their number has been consistently decreasing since World War II. According to the 2001 census there remain 13 municipalities and settlements in the Czech Republic with more than 10% Germans.

The situation in Slovakia was different from that in the Czech lands, in that the number of Germans was considerably lower and that the Germans from Slovakia were almost completely evacuated to German states as the Soviet army was moving west through Slovakia, and only the fraction of them that returned to Slovakia after the end of the war was deported together with the Germans from the Czech lands.

The German minority in the Czech Republic has been granted some rights on paper, however the actual use of the language in dealings with officials is usually not possible. There is no bilingual education system in Western and Northern Bohemia, where the German minority is most concentrated. The Czech authorities have enacted a unique hurdle in their minority act. [citation needed]The Czech Republic has introduced a law in 2002 that guarantees the use of native minority languages (incl. German)as official languages in municipalities where autochthonous linguistic groups make up at least 10% of the population. Besides the use in dealings with officials and in courts the law also allows for bilingual signage and guarantees education in the native language. The law so far only exists on paper and has not been implemented anywhere, neither in the Polish speaking Tesin/Cieszyn area nor in Western and Northern Bohemia where a hand full of towns still have in excess of 10% German speakers.

Many representatives of expelees organizations support the erection of bilingual signs in all formerly German speaking territory as a visible sign of the bilingual linguistic and cultural heritage of the region. While the erection of bilingual signs is technically permitted if a minority constitutes 10% of the population, the minority is also forced to sign a petition in favour of the signs in which 40% of the adult minority population must participate.

[edit] German minority in Hungary

Today the German minority in Hungary have minority rights, organisations, schools and local councils but spontaneous assimilation is well under way. Many of the deportees visited their old homes after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1990.

[edit] Russia

Many descendants of Germans who were expelled from the former city of Königsberg can be found today in Germany. Although the deportation of Germans from this northern part of former East Prussia often was conducted in a violent and aggressive way by Soviet officials who sought to revenge the Nazi terror in Soviet areas during the war, the present Russian inhabitants of the Kaliningrad sector (northern East Prussia) have much less animus against Germans. German names have even been revived in commercial Russian trade. It is possible that, in the future, the name of Kaliningrad might be reverted to the original name, Königsberg. Because the exclave during Soviet times was a military zone which nobody was allowed to enter without special permission, many old German Prussian villages are still intact, though they have become dilapidated over the course of time. The city centre of Kaliningrad however was entirely rebuilt, as the British bombing campaign of 1944 and the siege of Königsberg in 1945 had left it in ruins.

[edit] Africa, Oceania, and East Asia

Unlike other major European powers of the 20th century, Germany was not very involved in colonizing Africa (though mainly because it came too late and from a difficult geopolitical location), and lost German East Africa and German South-West Africa after World War I. Similarly to those in Latin America, the Germans in Africa tended to isolate themselves and be more self-sufficient than other Europeans. In Namibia there are 150,000 ethnic Germans, 6% of the population, though it is estimated that only a third of those retain the language. Most German-speakers live in the capital, Windhoek, and in smaller towns such as Swakopmund and Lüderitz, where German architecture is highly visible. In South Africa, a number of Afrikaners are of partial German ancestry, being the descendants of German immigrants who intermarried with Dutch settlers and adopted Afrikaans as their mother tongue.

Like North America, Australia has received many ethnic German immigrants from Germany and elsewhere. Numbers vary depending on who is counted, but moderate criteria give an estimate of 750,000 (4% of the population). The first wave of German migration to Australia began in 1838, with the arrival of Prussian Lutheran settlers in South Australia (see German settlement in Australia). After the Second World War, Australia received a large influx of displaced ethnic Germans. In the 1950s and 1960s, migration of Germans continued as part of Australia's ambitious immigration program.

During the Meiji era (1868-1912), many Germans came to work in Japan as advisors to the new government. Despite Japan's isolationism and geographic distance, there have been a few Germans in Japan, since Germany's and Japan's fairly parallel modernization made Germans ideal O-yatoi gaikokujin.

In China, the German trading colony of Jiaozhou Bay in what is now Qingdao existed until 1914, and did not leave much more than breweries, including Tsingtao Brewery. Communist East Germany had relations with Uganda and Vietnam, but in these cases population movement went mostly to, not from, Germany.

See also: German colonial empire and List of former German colonies

[edit] Groupings

Note that many of these groups have since migrated elsewhere. This list simply gives the region with which they are associated, and does not include the Germans from countries with German as an official national language, which are:

In general, it also omits some collective terms in common use defined by political border changes where this is antithetical to the current structure. Such terms include:

Roughly grouped:

In the Americas, one can divide the groups by current nation of residence:

…or by ethnic or religious criteria:

In Africa, Oceania, and East Asia

[edit] Notes

Most numbers are from the (see See also), apart from a few from German language and Germans, as well as the following in-line citations: <references />

[edit] See also

Three similar terms:

Other articles detailing the distribution of German language or people:

German-language Wikipedia entries:

Ethnologue entries:


ja:ドイツ人 ka:გერმანელები ko:독일인 no:Etniske tyskere sl:Nemci sv:Tyskar zh:德國人

Ethnic German

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