Tue 10 Apr 2012
The isolation the Children of the Danube experienced from the upheavals of history in the rest of Europe would no longer hold true in the second half of the 19th Century and beyond. At the outset, Emperor Francis Joseph’s attempts to preserve the position of the House of Habsburg in the face of the rising power of Prussia among the German states would inevitably lead to a disastrous war. Austria’s defeat set the stage for the rise of the German Empire and the struggle for supremacy in Europe among the major powers resulting in the catastrophic wars of the next century which would destroy the only life the Children of the Danube had ever known.
The agricultural sector was in a shambles in Hungary during the last decades of the century which had repercussions for the Children of the Danube among whom the landless were the fastest growing part of the population and among whom poverty had become a way of life. Land was expensive and simply unavailable. As in the past, the only remedy was emigration. The first wave of emigrants from Swabian Turkey sought their future in Slavonia recently opened for colonization. It was just the prelude for the massive emigration movement soon to take place to the New World.
Some of the surviving emigrants and exiles will meet in a railway station in a small town in Canada as the final phase of the Schwabenzug takes place and the Children of the Danube transplant their roots in their new Heimat.