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The Germans of Romania or Rumäniendeutsche are an ethnic group of Romania. During the interwar period in Romania, the total number of ethnic Germans amounted to as much as 786,000 (according to some sources and estimates dating to 1939),[2][3] a figure which had subsequently fallen to circa 36,000 as of 2011 in contemporary Romania.

Germans in Romania
Germanii din Romania (2002).png
Distribution of Germans in Romania (2002 census)
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Transylvania, Banat, and Bukovina

Mainly German (Standard German) but also Romanian and Hungarian

Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups

Mainly Germans and Austrians; see also below



The Germans of Romania are not a single, homogeneous group. That is because of the fact that they came in different waves of settlement as early as the High Middle Ages, firstly to southern and northeastern Transylvania (some of them even crossing the outer Carpathians to neighbouring Moldavia and Wallachia), and subsequently during the Modern Age in other Habsburg-ruled lands (such as Bukovina, at the time part of Cisleithania, or Banat), as well as in other areas of present-day Romania (such as Dobruja).

Thus, given their rather complex geographic background, in order to understand their language, culture, customs, and history, one must regard them as the following independent groups:

Contributions to Romanian cultureEdit

The Black Church (German: Schwarze Kirche) and city hall of Brașov (Kronstadt), two representative landmarks of the German community in Romania.

Throughout the passing of time, the German community in Romania has been actively and consistently contributing to the culture of the country. The most noteworthy examples of such contributions are visible in the following regards:

House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in RomaniaEdit

Members of the German House of Hohenzollern (Romanian branch, more specifically) who ruled over the Principality of Romania/Kingdom of Romania for a period:

  Denotes Regent
King Reign Claim
Portrait Name
Reign start Reign end Duration
1   Carol I
15 March 1881 10 October 1914 33 years, 209 days Ruled beforehand as Domnitor (i.e. 'Prince') (1866–1881)
2   Ferdinand I
10 October 1914 20 July 1927 12 years, 283 days Nephew of Carol I
3   Michael I
20 July 1927 8 June 1930
2 years, 323 days Grandson of Ferdinand I
  Prince Nicholas
20 July 1927 8 June 1930
2 years, 323 days Son of Ferdinand I
4   Carol II
8 June 1930 6 September 1940
10 years, 90 days Son of Ferdinand I
(3)   Michael I
6 September 1940 30 December 1947
7 years, 115 days Son of Carol II

Pretenders to the throne of Romania (after 1947, when King Michael I was forced to abdicate):

Portrait Pretender Pretending from Pretending until
1   Michael I 30 December 1947 1 March 2016
2   Margareta 1 March 2016 Incumbent


Year Pop. ±%
1887 50,000 —    
1930 745,421 +1390.8%
1939 786,000 +5.4%
1948 343,913 −56.2%
1956 384,708 +11.9%
1966 382,595 −0.5%
1977 359,109 −6.1%
1992 119,462 −66.7%
2002 59,764 −50.0%
2011 36,042 −39.7%
Starting with the 1930 figures, the reference is to all German-speaking groups in Romania.

German minority population by settlementEdit

The data displayed in the table below highlights notable settlements (of at least 1%) of the German minority in Romania according to the 2011 Romanian census. Note that some particular figures might be estimative.

German minory population by settlement (Source: 2011 Romanian census)
Romanian name German name Percent (%) of total population County
Brebu Nou Weidenthal 30.2 Caraș-Severin
Petrești Petrifeld 27.8 Satu Mare
Urziceni Schinal 23.9 Satu Mare
Cămin Kalmandi 22.5 Satu Mare
Beltiug Bildegg 11.4 Satu Mare
Tiream Terem 10.9 Satu Mare
Laslea Grosslasseln 7.5 Sibiu
Anina Steierdorf 5.6 Caraș-Severin
Ațel Hatzeldorf 5.3 Sibiu
Cârlibaba Mariensee 5.1 Suceava
Saschiz Keisd 5.0 Mureș
Biertan Birthälm 4.6 Sibiu
Ardud Erdeed 4.5 Satu Mare
Vișeu de Sus Oberwischau 4.0 Maramureș
Deta Detta 4.0 Timiș
Tomnatic Triebswetter 3.9 Timiș
Semlac Semlak 3.6 Arad
Peregu Mare Deutschpereg 3.5 Arad
Sântana Sanktanna 2.9 Arad
Jimbolia Hatzfeld 2.9 Timiș
Jibert Seiburg 2.8 Brașov
Măieruş Nussbach 2.6 Brașov
Căpleni Kaplau 2.4 Satu Mare
Lovrin Lowrin 2.3 Timiș
Carei Grosskarol 2.3 Satu Mare
Parța Paratz 2.1 Timiș
Buziaș Busiasch 2.1 Timiș
Periam Perjamosch 2.1 Timiș
Sânnicolau Mare Grosssanktnikolaus 2.1 Timiș
Pâncota Pankota 2.1 Arad
Cristian Neustadt 1.9 Brașov
Lenauheim Schadat 1.9 Timiș
Lugoj Logosch 1.9 Timiș
Miercurea Sibiului Reussmarkt 1.8 Sibiu
Rupea Reps 1.7 Brașov
Sânpetru Petersberg 1.7 Brașov
Ungra Galt 1.7 Brașov
Reșița Reschitz 1.7 Caraș-Severin
Ciacova Tschakowa 1.6 Timiș
Cisnădie Heltau 1.5 Sibiu
Mediaș Mediasch 1.5 Sibiu
Moșna Meschen 1.5 Sibiu
Sighișoara Schässburg 1.5 Mureș
Oțelu Roșu Ferdinandsberg 1.4 Caraș-Severin
Timișoara Temeschburg 1.4 Timiș
Nițchidorf Nitzkydorf 1.4 Timiș
Hălchiu Heldsdorf 1.4 Sibiu
Merghindeal Mergeln 1.3 Sibiu
Beba Veche Altbeba 1.3 Timiș
Iacobeni Jakobsdorf 1.3 Sibiu
Lipova Lippa 1.3 Arad County
Homorod Hamruden 1.2 Brașov
Hărman Honigberg 1.2 Brașov
Matei Mathesdorf 1.2 Bistrița-Năsăud
Sebeș Mühlbach 1.1 Alba
Becicherecu Mic Kleinbetschkerek 1.1 Timiș
Caransebeș Karansebesch 1.1 Caraș-Severin
Bod Brenndorf 1.1 Brașov
Brateiu Pretai 1.0 Brașov
Bocșa Neuwerk 1.0 Caraș-Severin
Satu Mare Sathmar 1.0 Satu Mare
Sibiu Hermannstadt 1.0 Sibiu
Mănăstirea Humorului Humora Kloster 1.0 Suceava
Agnita Agnetheln 1.0 Sibiu
Hoghilag Halvelagen 1.0 Sibiu
Dumbrăveni Elisabethstadt 1.0 Sibiu
Șeica Mare Marktschelken 1.0 Sibiu
Codlea Zeiden 1.0 Brașov
Gătaia Gattaja 1.0 Timiș
Măureni Moritzfeld 1.0 Caraș-Severin

German minority population by countyEdit

Below is represented the notable German minority population (of at least 1%) for some counties, according to the 2011 census.

County Percent (%) of total population
Satu Mare 1.5
Timiș 1.3
Caraș-Severin 1.1
Sibiu 1.1

Administration, official representation, and politicsEdit

Lutsch house, the seat of the DFDR/FDGR in Sibiu (Hermannstadt)

The entire German-speaking community in contemporary Romania is represented at official level by the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (German: Demokratisches Forum der Deutschen in Rumänien). It has a centrist ideology and supports the rights of the German minority from Romania.

Since 1989, the DFDR/FDGR has competed in both local and legislative elections and has also been cooperating with two historical parties of the Romanian politics, namely the National Liberal Party and the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party, most notably at local administration level in cities such as Sibiu or Timișoara. The party also adheres to a pro-monarchic stance regarding the restoration of monarchy in Romania.

Until 1 January 2007 (i.e. the date of accession of Romania to the European Union), the DFDR/FDGR was also an observing member of the European Parliament, briefly affiliated with the European People's Party Group (between January and November of the same year).


Samuel von Brukenthal National College in Sibiu (Hermannstadt)

In Bucharest there are two German schools, namely Deutsche Schule Bukarest and Deutsches Goethe-Kolleg Bukarest. The Deutsche Schule Bukarest serves Kinderkrippe, Kindergarten, Grundschule, and Gymnasium (high school).[16]

In Timișoara, the Nikolaus Lenau High School was founded during the late 19th century. It was named this way in reference to Nikolaus Lenau, a Banat Swabian Romantic poet. Nowadays, the Nikolaus Lenau High School is considered the most important of its kind from Banat.[17]

In Sibiu, the Samuel von Brukenthal National College is the oldest German-language school from Romania (recorded as early as the 14th century), being also classified as a historical monument. It was subsequently renamed this way in reference to baron Samuel von Brukenthal, a Transylvanian Saxon aristocrat.

Additionally, there are two Goethe Institut cultural associations in Romania: one based in Bucharest and another one in Iași.


The Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung für Rumänien (ADZ) is the daily German-language newspaper in Romania. It is currently the only German-language newspaper from Eastern Europe.[18] Regional German-language publications also include the Banater Zeitung (de) in Banat and the Hermannstädter Zeitung (de) in Sibiu.

Recent historyEdit

Although the German minority in Romania has dwindled in numbers to a considerable extent since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the few but well organised Romanian-Germans who decided to remain in the country after 1989 are respected and regarded by many Romanians as a hard-working, thorough, and practical community who has contributed tremendously to the local culture and history of, most notably, Transylvania, Banat, and Bukovina, where the largest German-speaking groups once lived alongside the Romanian ethnic majority.[19]

Furthermore, the bilateral political an cultural relationships between post-1989 Romania and unified Germany increased positively after the signing of the 1992 friendship treaty between the two countries.[20] Also, on the occasion of the election of Frank Walter Steinmeier as President of Germany in 2017, incumbent Romanian president Klaus Johannis stated, among others, that: "[...] Last but not least, there is a profound friendship bounding the Romanians and the Germans, thanks mainly to the centuries-long cohabitation between the Romanians, Saxons, and Swabians in Transylvania, Banat, and Bukovina."[21]

Notable German-RomaniansEdit

Below are represented several lists comprising selected notable German-Romanians by historical region.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Official Romanian census from 2011
  2. ^ Dr. Gerhard Reichning, Die deutschen Vertriebenen in Zahlen, Teil 1, Bonn 1995, Page 17
  3. ^ Die deutschen Vertreibungsverluste. Bevölkerungsbilanzen für die deutschen Vertreibungsgebiete 1939/50. Herausgeber: Statistisches Bundesamt – Wiesbaden. - Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 1958 Page 46
  4. ^ Monica Barcan, Adalbert Millitz, The German Nationality in Romania (1978), page 42: "The Satu Mare Swabians are true Swabians, their place of origin being Wurttemberg. They were colonized between 1712 and 1815. Their most important settlements are Satu Mare/Sathmar and Petresti/Petrifeld in North- West Romania."
  5. ^ Oskar Hadbawnik, Die Zipser in der Bukowina (1968) discusses the Zipserfest held in Jakobeny in 1936 to commemorate 150 years since the Zipsers migrated to Jakobeny in 1786.
  6. ^ І. Я. Яцюк, Тернопільський національний педагогічний університет ім. Володимира Гнатюка, Наукові записки. Серія “Філологічна”, УДК 81’282.4:811.112.2(477): Lexikalische Besonderheiten Deutscher Dialekte in Galizien- und der Bukowina: “Die Siedler in den ursprünglichen Bergwerksgemeinden im Südwesten der Bukowina sprachen Zipserisch und zwar Gründlerisch, wie es in der Unterzips gesprochen wurde. Dabei wurde [v] im Anlaut wie [b] ausgesprochen: Werke – berka, weh – be, Schwester – schbesta. Anlautendes [b] wurde zu [p]: Brot – prot, Brücke – prik.”
  7. ^ Identity and multiculturalism in the Romanian Banat, Remus Creţan, David Turnock and Jaco Woudstra, p. 17-26
  8. ^ Perjamosch, Banat/List of Families Connected to Hubert Family
  9. ^ Association pour la promotion de l'Alsace en Roumanie: L’étonnante histoire des alsaciens et lorrains du Banat. (in French)
  10. ^ The French in Banat: Story on Tomnatic/Triebswetter
  11. ^ De l'Ouest à l'Est et de l'Est à l'Ouest : les avatars identitaires des Français du Banat, Smaranda Vultur (in French)
  12. ^ Dimitrie Macrea, "Originea și structura limbii române", Probleme de lingvistică română (Bucharest: Editura Științifică, 1961), 7–45: p. 32.
  13. ^ Academia Română, Dictionarul limbii române moderne, ed. Dimitrie Macrea (Bucharest: Editura Academiei, 1958).
  14. ^ Gabriela Pană Dindelegan, ed., The Grammar of Romanian, Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 3, ISBN 978-0-19-964492-6
  15. ^ Hans Dama, "Lexikale Einflüsse im Rumänischen aus dem österreichischen Deutsch" ("Lexical influences of 'Austrian'-German on the Romanian Language") (in German)
  16. ^ "Entstehung." Deutsche Schule Bukarest. Retrieved on 20 February 2015.
  17. ^ (in German) Geschichte Temeswars Schulwesen
  18. ^ Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung für Rumänien[permanent dead link], Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (in German)
  19. ^ Ziarul Româ | Klaus Iohannis: «Germanii din România sunt apreciați și respectați de toți românii» (in Romanian)
  20. ^ Ministerul Afacerilor Externe - 25 de ani de la semnarea tratatului de prietenie România-Germania (in Romanian)
  21. ^ | Mesajul lui Iohannis pentru președintele ales al Germaniei (in Romanian)