Carpathian Germans

Carpathian Germans

Carpathian Germans

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Carpathian Germans (, , ), sometimes simply called Slovak Germans (German: Slowakeideutsche), are a group of German language speakers on the territory of present-day Slovakia. The term was coined by the historian Raimund Friedrich Kaindl, and is also sometimes used to refer to Germans in the Carpathian Ruthenia.


Germans settled in the northern territory of the Kingdom of Hungary (territory of present day Slovakia) from the 12th to 15th centuries (see Ostsiedlung), mostly after the Mongol invasion of 1241. There were probably some isolated settlers in the area of Pressburg earlier. The Germans were usually attracted by kings seeking specialists in various trades, such as craftsmen and miners. They usually settled in older Slavic market and mining settlements. The main settlement areas were in the vicinity of Pressburg and some language islands in the Spiš (Hungarian: Szepesség; German: Zips; ) and the Hauerland regions. The settlers in the Spiš region were known as Zipser Sachsen ("Scepusian Saxons"). Until approximately the 15th century, the ruling classes of most cities in present day Slovakia consisted almost exclusively of Germans.

The Carpathian Germans, like the Slovaks, were subjected to Magyarization policies in the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. However, many Carpathian Germans voluntarily magyarized their names to climb the social and economic ladder.<ref...
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