The Banat Swabians are an ethnic German population in Southeast Europe, part of the Danube Swabians. They emigrated in the 18th century to what was then the Austrian Banat province, which had been left sparsely populated by the wars with Turkey. This once strong and important ethnic Banat Swabian minority has now become quite small. Most of its members were expelled to the West by the Soviet Union and its subsidiaries after World War II. Others left for economic and emotional reasons after 1990. At the end of World War I in 1918, an attempt was made by the Swabian minority to establish an independent multi-ethnic Banat Republic; however, the province was divided according to the Wilsonian Principles of self-determination (the wish of the majority population), by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, and the Treaty of Trianon of 1920. The greater part was annexed by Romania, a smaller part by former Yugoslavia, and a small region around Szeged remained part of Hungary.
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