The Info List - Swabia

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SWABIA (/ˈʃweɪbiə/ ; German : Schwaben, colloquially Schwabenland or Ländle; in English also archaic Suabia or Svebia) is a cultural, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany
. The name is ultimately derived from the medieval Duchy of Swabia
Duchy of Swabia
, one of the German stem duchies , representing the territory of Alemannia , whose inhabitants interchangeably were called Alemanni
or Suebi.

This territory would include all of the Alemannic German
Alemannic German
area, but the modern concept of Swabia
is more restricted, due to the collapse of the duchy of Swabia
in the thirteenth century. Swabia
as understood in modern ethnography roughly coincides with the Swabian Circle
Swabian Circle
of the Holy Roman Empire as it stood during the Early Modern period , now divided between the states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg

Swabians (Schwaben, singular Schwabe) are the natives of Swabia
and speakers of Swabian German . Their number was estimated at close to 0.8 million by SIL Ethnologue as of 2006, compared to a total population of 7.5 million in the regions of Tübingen , Stuttgart
and Bavarian Swabia .


* 1 Geography

* 2 History

* 2.1 Antiquity * 2.2 Duchy of Swabia
Duchy of Swabia
* 2.3 Later medieval period * 2.4 Early modern history * 2.5 19th century and later

* 3 Swabian people

* 3.1 Language * 3.2 List of notable Swabians

* 4 See also

* 5 References

* 5.1 Notes * 5.2 Bibliography

* 6 External links


Today's Swabia
within modern Germany. The area shaded in red corresponds to the districts of Tübingen , Stuttgart
and Bavarian Swabia
, to the exclusion of Main-Tauber-Kreis (Stuttgart), and the inclusion of Calw and Freudenstadt ( Northern Black Forest
Northern Black Forest
), Rottweil and Tuttlingen (Freiburg ). Shown in yellow is Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis , situated at the transitional area between the Swabian, Upper Rhenish and Lake Constance dialects within Alemannic. Historic Swabia
included also Baden
, the Alsace
, the German-speaking Swiss and Vorarlberg . Swabia
as marked on this map has a total population of close to 8 million (as of 2012), or roughly 10% of total German population .

Like many cultural regions of Europe, Swabia's borders are not clearly defined. However, today it is normally thought of as comprising the former Swabian Circle
Swabian Circle
, or equivalently the former state of Württemberg
(with the Prussian Hohenzollern Province ), or the modern districts of Tübingen , Stuttgart
, and the administrative region of Bavarian Swabia .

In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, the term Swabia
indicated a larger area, covering all the lands associated with the Frankish stem duchy of Alamannia
stretching from the Vosges Mountains in the west to the broad Lech river in the east: This also included the region of Alsace and the later Margraviate of Baden
on both sides of the Upper Rhine Valley, as well as modern German-speaking Switzerland, the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and the principality of Liechtenstein
in the south.


Duchy of Swabia
Duchy of Swabia
around AD1000 shown in gold yellow including (present day) southern Alsace
, the southern part of Baden-Württemberg
, Bavarian Swabia , Vorarlberg in Austria
, Liechtenstein
, eastern Switzerland
and small parts of northern Italy . In green: Upper Burgundy.


Like all of Southern Germany
, Swabia
was part of the La Tène culture , and as such has a Celtic substrate. In the Roman era, it was part of the Raetia
province. In the third century, it was gradually settled by the Elbe Germanic Suebi
and other components that came to make up the Alemanni
. The Alemanni
were ruled by independent kings throughout the fourth and fifth centuries. By the late fifth century, the area settled by the Alemanni
extended to the Alsace
and the Swiss Plateau , bordering on the Bavarii
to the east, the Franks
to the north, the remnants of Roman Gaul to the west, and the Lombards
and Goths , united in the Kingdom of Odoacer , to the south.


Main articles: Alamannia
, Duchy of Swabia
Duchy of Swabia
, and Dukes of Swabia

became a duchy under the Frankish Empire in 496, following the Battle of Tolbiac . Swabia
was one of the original stem duchies of East Francia , the later Holy Roman Empire , as it developed in the ninth and tenth centuries. Due to the foundation of the important abbeys of St. Gallen and Reichenau , Swabia
became an important center of Old High German
Old High German
literary culture during this period.

The Hohenstaufen
dynasty (the dynasty of Frederick Barbarossa
Frederick Barbarossa
), which ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, arose out of rich Swabia, but following the execution of Conradin
, the last Hohenstaufen, on October 29, 1268, the duchy was not reappointed during the Great Interregnum . In the following years the original duchy gradually broke up into many smaller units.

Rudolf I of Habsburg
, elected in 1273 as emperor, tried to restore the duchy, but met the opposition of the higher nobility who aimed to limit the power of the emperor. Instead, he confiscated the former estates of the Hohenstaufen
as imperial property of the Holy Roman Empire, and declared most of the cities formerly belonging to Hohenstaufen
to be Free Imperial Cities , and the more powerful abbeys within the former duchy to be Imperial Abbeys.

The rural regions were merged into the Reichslandvogtei of Swabia, which was given as Imperial Pawn to Duke Leopold III of Austria
in 1379 and again to Sigismund, Archduke of Austria
in 1473/1486. He took the title of a "Prince of Swabia" and integrated the Landvogtei of Swabia
in the realm of Further Austria


Charlemagne\'s family is known to have hailed from Swabia. The major dynasties that arose out of the region were the Habsburgs and the Hohenzollerns , who rose to prominence in Northern Germany. Also stemming from Swabia
are the local dynasties of the dukes of Württemberg
and the Margraves of Baden
. The Welf family went on to rule in Bavaria and Hanover , and are ancestral to the British Royal Family that has ruled since 1714. Smaller feudal dynasties eventually disappeared, however; for example, branches of the Montforts and Hohenems lived until modern times, and the Fürstenberg survive still. The region proved to be one of the most divided in the empire, containing, in addition to these principalities, numerous free cities , ecclesiastical territories, and fiefdoms of lesser counts and knights .


The territory of Swabia
as understood today emerges in the early modern period. It corresponds to the Swabian Circle
Swabian Circle
established in 1512. The Old Swiss Confederacy
Old Swiss Confederacy
was de facto independent from Swabia from 1499 as a result of the Swabian War
Swabian War
, while the Margraviate of Baden
had been detached from Swabia
since the twelfth century.

Fearing the power of the greater princes, the cities and smaller secular rulers of Swabia
joined to form the Swabian League in the fifteenth century. The League was quite successful, notably expelling the Duke of Württemberg
in 1519 and putting in his place a Habsburg governor, but the league broke up a few years later over religious differences inspired by the Reformation , and the Duke of Württemberg was soon restored. Imperial abbeys and Free cities in Swabia
in the late eighteenth century

The region was quite divided by the Reformation. While secular princes such as the Duke of Württemberg
and the Margrave of Baden-Durlach , as well as most of the Free Cities, became Protestant , the ecclesiastical territories (including the bishoprics of Augsburg , Konstanz and the numerous Imperial abbeys ) remained Catholic , as did the territories belonging to the Habsburgs (Further Austria
), the Sigmaringen branch of the House of Hohenzollern
, and the Margrave of Baden- Baden


In the wake of the territorial reorganization of the empire of 1803 by the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss , the shape of Swabia
was entirely changed. All the ecclesiastical estates were secularized, and most of the smaller secular states, and almost all of the free cities, were mediatized , leaving only Württemberg, Baden, and Hohenzollern as sovereign states. Much of Eastern Swabia
became part of Bavaria , forming what is now the Swabian administrative region of Bavaria.

The Nazi propaganda
Nazi propaganda
film Jud Süß took place in the Kingdom of Württemberg
, with the Swabians shown being terrorized by Jews.


Main article: Swabians


Main article: Swabian German The traditional distribution area of Western Upper German ( = Alemannic) dialect features in the nineteenth and twentieth century

SIL Ethnologue cites an estimate of 819,000 Swabian speakers as of 2006. This corresponds to roughly 10% of the total population of the Swabian region, or roughly 1% of the total population of Germany.

As an ethno-linguistic group, Swabians are closely related to other speakers of Alemannic German
Alemannic German
, i.e. Badeners , Alsatians , and German-speaking Swiss .

Swabian German is traditionally spoken in the upper Neckar basin (upstream of Heilbronn ), along the upper Danube
between Tuttlingen and Donauwörth
, and on the left bank of the Lech , in an area centered on the Swabian Alps roughly stretching from Stuttgart
to Augsburg

Many Swabian surnames end with the suffixes -le, -(l)er, -el, -ehl, and -lin, typically from the Middle High German diminutive suffix -elîn (Modern Standard German -lein). Examples would be: Schäuble, Egeler, Rommel , and Gmelin. The popular surname Schwab is derived from this area, meaning literally "Swabian".


This article contains embedded lists that MAY BE POORLY DEFINED, UNVERIFIED OR INDISCRIMINATE . Please help to clean it up to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Where appropriate, incorporate items into the main body of the article. (October 2014)

* Friedrich Adler , Jugendstil and Art Deco designer * Roland Asch , race driver * Dieter Baumann
Dieter Baumann
, Olympic gold medalist and anti-doping activist * Albrecht Behmel , writer and historian * Götz von Berlichingen , "the knight with the iron fist" * Robert Bosch
Robert Bosch
, inventor, industrialist and philanthropist * Berthold Brecht , poet and playwright * Gottlieb Daimler , developer of the second modern car (presented November 1886), ten months after the patent of Karl Benz
Karl Benz
on January 29, 1886. Founder of Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft
Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft
, today: Daimler * Dieter Dengler , Wildberg-born U.S. pilot and Vietnam POW * Rudolf Diesel
Rudolf Diesel
, engineer and inventor of the Diesel engine * Josef Eberle , Swabian poet who versed Swabian poems * Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
, physicist, Nobel laureate * Siegfried Einstein , poet * Georg Elser
Georg Elser
, tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler in Munich in 1939 * Roland Emmerich
Roland Emmerich
, Hollywood director * Gudrun Ensslin , a founder of the German terrorist group Red Army Faction or RAF, a.k.a. the Baader-Meinhof Gang * Hartmut Esslinger , industrial designer and founder of design consultancy Frog Design Inc. * Johann Georg Faust
, protagonist of tales and dramas * Wilhelm Groener , railroad chief in the German General Staff , Minister of Transportation, Minister of Defense, and acting Minister of the Interior in the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
* Alfred Haag , Communist and member of German Resistance * Lina Haag , Communist and member of German Resistance * Philipp Matthäus Hahn , priest and inventor * Erich Hartmann , highest-scoring fighter ace of all time, 352 victories * Wilhelm Hauff , poet * Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
, philosopher * Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger
, philosopher * Ernst Heinkel , aircraft designer * Herman the Cripple , blessed of the Catholic Church and author of the " Salve Regina
Salve Regina
" * Hermann Hesse
Hermann Hesse
, poet, writer, 1946 Nobel laureate for Literature * Theodor Heuss
Theodor Heuss
, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany * Friedrich Hölderlin
Friedrich Hölderlin
, poet * Uli and Dieter Hoeneß
Dieter Hoeneß
, former football players and managers * Friedrich Gustav Jaeger , German officer during World War II who participated in an assassination attempt on Hitler * Alfred Kärcher , inventor, founder of Kärcher Cleaning equipment * Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
, astronomer and mathematician * Justinus Kerner
Justinus Kerner
, poet * Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer , biologist * Kurt Georg Kiesinger , former chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany * Jürgen Klinsmann , football (soccer) player, current coach of the United States men\'s national soccer team , and former coach of the Germany
national football team and FC Bayern München * Jürgen Klopp
Jürgen Klopp
, Current Liverpool FC football coach, former coach of Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund
and Mainz 05 * Sándor Wekerle , former Prime Minister of Hungary * Ignaz Semmelweis
Ignaz Semmelweis
, physician and an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures * Stefan Hell
Stefan Hell
, Nobel Prize-winning physician * Ferenc Erkel , composer * Franz Liszt , composer * Carl Laemmle , founder of Universal Studios
Universal Studios
in Hollywood * Johann von Leuchselring , chancellor of Augsburg * Ottmar Mergenthaler
Ottmar Mergenthaler
, inventor of the linotype * Eduard Mörike , poet * Leopold Mozart
Leopold Mozart
, father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart —the family originally came from Swabia * Gerd Müller , former football (soccer) player * Johannes Nauclerus , historian, university rector/chancellor * Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer , theologian, philosopher, and patron of Hegel
* Karl Reusch, Master Glovemaker and founder of Reusch (company) * Erwin Rommel , World War II general * Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
, philosopher * Friedrich Schiller
Friedrich Schiller
, historian and writer, Wilhelm Tell, Die Räuber, Maria Stuart, "Ode an die Freude"/"Ode to Joy" * Harald Schmidt , late-night talk show host * Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer , highest scoring nightfighter ace of WWII, 121 victories * Hans Schober , structural engineer * Hans Scholl , founder of the White Rose
White Rose
resistance against the Nazis * Sophie Scholl
Sophie Scholl
, member of the White Rose
White Rose
resistance against the Nazis * Bernd Schuster
Bernd Schuster
, former football player and coach * Gustav Schwab , writer, most popular for "die schönsten Sagen des klassischen Altertums" * Claus von Stauffenberg , leader of the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler * Margarete Steiff , toy maker * Andreas Stihl , founder of Stihl Maschinenfabrik * Ludwig Uhland
Ludwig Uhland
, poet * Richard Vogt
, aircraft designer * Richard von Weizsäcker
Richard von Weizsäcker
, former president of the Federal Republic of Germany * Ferdinand von Zeppelin airship manufacturer


* Danube
Swabians (Donauschwaben): Banat