Croatia Cultural Groups

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For history of German colonization and involvement in Syrmia, Slavonia, Croatia, and Bosnia see the following publication:

Oberkersch, Valentin. Die Deutschen in Syrmien, Slawonien, Kroatien und Bosnien: Geschichte einer deutschen Volksgruppe in Süosteuropa. (Germans in Syrmia, Slavonia, Croatia and Bosnia: History of a German ethnic group in Southeast Europe). Stuttgart: Donauschwäbische Kulturstiftung, 1989. (FHL book 949.7 F2o)

Excerpt translated by Henry A. Fischer with his family permission 2006:

Compared to the emerging settlements in Syrmia, very little development took place in Slavonia. Germans who came from Tolna County in Hungary settled Johannesdorf (Jovanovac) in 1836. In 1843 Germans from Veszprem County in Hungary settled Neu Zoljani.

To a large extent Slavonia remained a wilderness. The Swabian villages of Hungary and the Batschka were overcrowded. The government in Vienna Austria set the stage for a new settlement movement.

The Regulation and Decree was issued by the Emperor on December 31 1858 and was addressed to Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, the Serbian Vojvodina, the Banat, and Transylvania with a renewed call for agricultural settlement and development. Some of the regulations included: homes for 50 families or more, all members of the community must be of one nationality regardless of origin, and of one religion.

The results of the new settlement decree were not very successful in Croatia and Slavonia. Only 10 German settlements were established in response to it. Three were established in 1866. They were Blagorodovac, Eichendorf-Hrastovac, and Antunovac. The settlers came from Baranya, Tolna, and Somogy Counties in Hungary. In the same year there were settlements established in Sokolovac, Miokovicevo, and Dobrovac. Filipovac was settled in 1886. The village of Kerndia was settled in 1880/1881. The last two communities were Kapetanovo Polje in 1882 and Franjevac-Strizicevac in 1886. The land involved was heavily forested wilderness and the main task of the colonist was clearing the land.

For more information about Die Deutschen in Syrmien, Slawonien, Kroatien und Bosnien: Geschichte einer deutschen Volksgruppe in Süosteuropa see:'sEthnicGermans-1.htm

Population Statistics[edit | edit source]

In 1995 there were approximately 5 million people in Croatia. Croats comprised 78 percent of the population and Serbs about 12 percent. This distribution has changed since the conclusion of the civil war in 1995 but no official statistics have been published. Croats are almost exclusively Roman Catholic and Serbs are Orthodox. Greek Catholics are included with the Orthodox in the official statistics. The large population centers are Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, and Osijek.

There has been a significant emigration from Croatia to America. It is estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 Croatians came to the United States before World War I, the high point of this immigration occurring from1900-1914. An additional 34,000 arrived between the two world wars.

Large population transfers occurred during and after World War II. 120,000 Serbs were forcibly evacuated after 1941 from Croatia to German-ruled Serbia. 70,000 Croats from Serbia were resettled during the same years to Croatia. After the war, 300,000 Germans from northern Yugoslavia were expelled to Germany and 40,000 Magyars to Hungary. Replacing these groups were 40,000 Serbs and Croats from Hungary and 300,000 Serbs from western Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. An estimated 130,000 Italians left Istria for Italy and were replaced by Croatians. Approximately 40,000 Croatians immigrated to the United States after the war. It was estimated in 1970 that one-fourth of all Croatians lived abroad.

Large transfers were instigated during the Croatian war of independence. Between 1991-1995, some 450,000 Serbs were expelled or fled from Croatia. Their homes were given to 200,000 Croats displaced by the fighting in 1991-1992.[1]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Croatia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1999.