Swabia is a cultural, historic and linguistic
Swabian German
Swabian is one of the Alemannic dialects of High German. It is spoken in Swabia, a region which covers much of Germany's southwestern state Baden-Württemberg, including its capital Stuttgart, the rural area known as the Swabian Alb, and Bavaria...

 region in southwestern Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...



Like many cultural regions of Europe, Swabia's borders are not clearly defined. However, today it is normally thought of as comprising the former German state of Württemberg
Württemberg , formerly known as Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg, is an area and a former state in southwestern Germany, including parts of the regions Swabia and Franconia....

 (with the Prussian Hohenzollern Province) and the administrative region of Bavarian Swabia.

In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, the term Swabia indicated a larger area, covering all the lands associated with the Frankish stem duchy of Alamannia
Alamannia or Alemannia was the territory inhabited by the Germanic Alamanni after they broke through the Roman limes in 213.The Alamanni expanded from the Main basin during the 3rd century, raiding the Roman provinces and settling on the left bank of the Rhine from the 4th century.Ruled by...

 stretching from the Vosges Mountains
Vosges mountains
For the department of France of the same name, see Vosges.The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. They extend along the west side of the Rhine valley in a northnortheast direction, mainly from Belfort to Saverne...

 in the west to the broad Lech river in the east: This also included the region of Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 and the later Margraviate of Baden
Margraviate of Baden
The Margraviate of Baden were a historical territory in the Holy Roman Empire. It was already named so in 1112 and existed until the division in 1535 and lived with the reunion back in 1771, until the Electorate of Baden came up in 1803...

 on both sides of the Upper Rhine
Upper Rhine
The Upper Rhine is the section of the Rhine in the Upper Rhine Plain between Basel, Switzerland and Bingen, Germany. The river is marked by Rhine-kilometers 170 to 529 ....

 Valley, as well as modern German-speaking Switzerland, the Austrian state of Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state of Austria. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area and population , it borders three countries: Germany , Switzerland and Liechtenstein...

 and the Principality of Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

 in the south.


2000 years ago, the Suebi
The Suebi or Suevi were a group of Germanic peoples who were first mentioned by Julius Caesar in connection with Ariovistus' campaign, c...

 or Suevi were an Elbe Germanic tribe whose origin was near the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, which was thus known to the Romans as the Mare Suebicum (today, the term "Swabian Sea" is applied to Lake Constance
Lake Constance
Lake Constance is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee , the Untersee , and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein.The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps...

). They migrated to the southwest, becoming part of the Alamanni
The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Rhine river . One of the earliest references to them is the cognomen Alamannicus assumed by Roman Emperor Caracalla, who ruled the Roman Empire from 211 to 217 and claimed thereby to be...

c confederacy. The Alamanni were ruled by independent kings throughout the 4th and 5th centuries. Also, a number of Suevi (20,000-50,000) reached the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 under king Hermeric
Hermeric was the Suevic King of Galicia from perhaps as early as 406 and certainly no later than 419 until his retirement in 438. He was a pagan and an enemy of the Roman Empire throughout his life...

 and established an independent kingdom in 410 in what is now northern Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Galicia, and western regions of Asturias
The Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain, coextensive with the former Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages...

 and most of León
León (province)
León is a province of northwestern Spain, in the northwestern part of the autonomous community of Castile and León.About one quarter of its population of 500,200 lives in the capital, León. The weather is cold and dry during the winter....

 (in northwest Spain). Their kingdom was known as Galliciense Regnum
Suebic Kingdom of Galicia
The Suebic Kingdom of Galicia was the first independent barbarian Christian kingdom of Western Europe and the first to separate from the Roman Empire, as well as the first one to mint coins. Based in Gallaecia, it was established in 410 and lasted as independent state until 584, after a century of...

 and endured until 585. Its political center was Braccara Augusta (present-day Braga
Braga , a city in the Braga Municipality in northwestern Portugal, is the capital of the Braga District, the oldest archdiocese and the third major city of the country. Braga is the oldest Portuguese city and one of the oldest Christian cities in the World...

, Portugal).

Duchy of Swabia

Swabia became a duchy under the Frankish Empire
Frankish Empire
Francia or Frankia, later also called the Frankish Empire , Frankish Kingdom , Frankish Realm or occasionally Frankland, was the territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks from the 3rd to the 10th century...

 in 496, following the Battle of Tolbiac
Battle of Tolbiac
The Battle of Tolbiac was fought between the Franks under Clovis I and the Alamanni, traditionally set in 496. The site of "Tolbiac", or "Tulpiacum" is usually given as Zülpich, North Rhine-Westphalia, about 60km east of the present German-Belgian frontier, which is not implausible...

. Swabia was one of the original stem duchies
Stem duchy
Stem duchies were essentially the domains of the old German tribes of the area, associated with the Frankish Kingdom, especially the East, in the Early Middle Ages. These tribes were originally the Franks, the Saxons, the Alamanni, the Burgundians, the Thuringii, and the Rugii...

 of East Francia, the later Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, as it developed in the 9th and 10th centuries. The Hohenstaufen
The House of Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings in the High Middle Ages, lasting from 1138 to 1254. Three of these kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1194 the Hohenstaufens also became Kings of Sicily...

A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 (the dynasty of Frederick Barbarossa), which ruled the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in the 12th and 13th centuries, arose out of Swabia, but following the execution of Conradin
Conrad , called the Younger or the Boy, but usually known by the diminutive Conradin , was the Duke of Swabia , King of Jerusalem , and King of Sicily .-Early childhood:Conradin was born in Wolfstein, Bavaria, to Conrad...

, the last Hohenstaufen, on October 29, 1268, the original duchy gradually broke up into many smaller units.

Holy Roman Empire

Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

's ) family is known to have hailed from Swabia. The major dynasties that arose out of the region were the Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

s and the Hohenzollerns, who rose to prominence in Northern Germany. Also stemming from Swabia are the local dynasties of the Dukes of Württemberg
Württemberg , formerly known as Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg, is an area and a former state in southwestern Germany, including parts of the regions Swabia and Franconia....

 and the Margrave
A margrave or margravine was a medieval hereditary nobleman with military responsibilities in a border province of a kingdom. Border provinces usually had more exposure to military incursions from the outside, compared to interior provinces, and thus a margrave usually had larger and more active...

s of Baden
Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

. The Welf
Elder House of Welf
The Elder House of Welf was a dynasty of European rulers in the 9th through 11th centuries to 1055. It consisted of two groups, a Burgundian group and a Swabian group. It is disputed whether the two groups formed one dynasty or whether they shared the same name by coincidence only.-Burgundian...

 family went on to rule in Bavaria
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...

 and Hanover
Kingdom of Hanover
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg , and joined with 38 other sovereign states in the German...

, and are ancestral to the British royal family
British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

 that has ruled since 1714. Smaller feudal dynasties eventually disappeared, however; for example, branches of the Montfort
Montfort of Vorarlberg
The Counts of Montfort were a German noble dynasty landed in Swabia. The influential and wealthy counts of Montfort had their name from an ancestral castle, Montfort, which was situated quite close to today's Swiss border near Götzis in the present-day Austrian state of Vorarlberg.They held the...

s and Hohenems
Hohenems is a town in the westernmost Austrian state of Vorarlberg, in the Dornbirn district. It lies in the middle of the Austrian part of the Rhine valley. With a population of 15,200 it is the fifth largest municipality in Vorarlberg...

 lived until modern times, and the Fürstenberg
Fürstenberg (princely family)
Fürstenberg is the name of a noble house in Germany, based primarily in southern Baden-Württemberg. The family derives its name from the fortified town of the line's founder, Count Heinrich von Fürstenberg, today part of Hüfingen...

 survive still. The region proved to be one of the most divided in the Empire, containing, in addition to these principalities, numerous free cities
Free Imperial City
In the Holy Roman Empire, a free imperial city was a city formally ruled by the emperor only — as opposed to the majority of cities in the Empire, which were governed by one of the many princes of the Empire, such as dukes or prince-bishops...

, ecclesiastical territories, and fiefdoms of lesser count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

s and knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....


The Old Swiss Confederacy
Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy was the precursor of modern-day Switzerland....

 was de facto independent from Swabia from 1499 as a result of the Swabian War
Swabian War
The Swabian War of 1499 was the last major armed conflict between the Old Swiss Confederacy and the House of Habsburg...


Fearing the power of the greater princes, the cities and smaller secular rulers of Swabia joined to form the Swabian League
Swabian League
The Swabian League was an association of Imperial States - cities, prelates, principalities and knights - principally in the territory of the Early medieval stem duchy of Swabia, established in 1488 at the behest of Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg and supported as well by Bertold von...

 in the 15th 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
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, and the Duke of Württemberg was soon restored. The region was quite divided by the Reformation. While secular princes like 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 bishopric
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

s of Augsburg, Konstanz and others) remained Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, as did the territories belonging to the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns and the Margrave of Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is a spa town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe...


Modern history

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
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, forming what is now the Swabian administrative region of Bavaria.

Swabian settlements abroad

Outside of Germany, many Swabians settled in Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, including part of what is now Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

; and Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 (the Danube Swabians
Danube Swabians
The Danube Swabians is a collective term for the German-speaking population who lived in the former Kingdom of Hungary, especially alongside the Danube River valley. Because of different developments within the territory settled, the Danube Swabians cannot be seen as a unified people...

 and Swabian Turkey
Swabian Turkey
The term Swabian Turkey describes a region in southeastern Transdanubia in Hungary delimited by the Danube , the Drava , and Lake Balaton inhabited by an ethnic German minority...

) in the 18th century, where they were invited as pioneers to repopulate some areas. They also settled in Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

, and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

. They were well-respected as farmers. Outside of Europe, Swabian settlements can also be found in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The town of Swaffham
Swaffham is a market town and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The town is situated east of King's Lynn and west of Norwich.The civil parish has an area of and in the 2001 census had a population of 6,935 in 3,130 households...

, Norfolk
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...

, means "homestead of the Swabians", some of whom must presumably have settled in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 alongside the Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

 and Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

. Among the Germans who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century, Swabians in some areas maintained their regional identity and formed organizations for mutual support.

In several languages of eastern and south-eastern Europe, the local name for "Swabian" has come to be used as a colloquial name for "Germans" in general.

Popular culture

For information on the distinct Swabian dialect see Swabian German
Swabian German
Swabian is one of the Alemannic dialects of High German. It is spoken in Swabia, a region which covers much of Germany's southwestern state Baden-Württemberg, including its capital Stuttgart, the rural area known as the Swabian Alb, and Bavaria...


In the past, Swabians were the target of many jokes and stories where they are depicted as excessively stingy, overly serious, prudish, or as simpletons, for instance in "The Seven Swabians" (Die sieben Schwaben) published in Kinder- und Hausmärchen by the Brothers Grimm
Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm , Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm , were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who collected folklore and published several collections of it as Grimm's Fairy Tales, which became very popular...

. However, this has ceased to a large extent, while Swabians are nowadays said to be frugal, clever, entrepreneurial and hard-working. In a widely respected publicity campaign on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...

, the economically most successful state in modern Germany, the Swabians famously replied to the former jokes with: "We can do everything—except speak Standard German
Standard German
Standard German is the standard variety of the German language used as a written language, in formal contexts, and for communication between different dialect areas...

" (Wir können alles. Außer Hochdeutsch), alluding to the region's distinct local dialect.

Many Swabian surnames end with the suffixes -le, -el, -ehl, and -lin. Examples would be: Schäuble, Egeler, Rommel
Erwin Rommel was a German World War II field marshal.Rommel may also refer to:*Rommel *Rommel Adducul , Filipino basketball player*Rommel Fernández , first Panamanian footballer to play in Europe...

, and Gmelin. The popular surname Schwab is derived from this area, meaning literally "Swabian".

In Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, "Sauschwab" is a derogatory term for Germans, derived from the Swabian War
Swabian War
The Swabian War of 1499 was the last major armed conflict between the Old Swiss Confederacy and the House of Habsburg...

 of 1499. In Macedonian
Macedonian language
Macedonian is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora...

, Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

, and Bulgarian
Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

, "Shvab" or "Szwab" may be a semi-abusive term for any German, not just one from Swabia. In parts of the former Yugoslavia (i.e. Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

), the term Švabo is somewhat applied to all German peoples who lived in those regions until shortly after World War II, and many of their descendants; it is even occasionally used as a slang term to refer to all Germans including Austrians and Swiss Germans. Also, is it frequently used as a derogatory term for all Germans.

The Nazi film Jud Süß
Jud Süß (1940 film)
Jud Süß is an antisemitic propaganda film produced in 1940 by Terra Filmkunst at the behest of Joseph Goebbels. The movie was directed by Veit Harlan, who wrote the screenplay with Eberhard Wolfgang Möller and Ludwig Metzger, and starred Ferdinand Marian and Harlan's wife Kristina Söderbaum.The...

 took place in the Kingdom of Württemberg
Kingdom of Württemberg
The Kingdom of Württemberg was a state that existed from 1806 to 1918, located in present-day Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was a continuation of the Duchy of Württemberg, which came into existence in 1495...

, with the Swabians being terrorized by Jews.

Related Alemannic dialects

Swabian (Schwäbisch) is one of the Alemannic German
Alemannic German
Alemannic is a group of dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family. It is spoken by approximately ten million people in six countries: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy...

 dialects of High German, spoken in the region of Swabia, present in the North-Eastern area of the Alemannic Sprachraum
Sprachraum is a linguistic term used to designate a geographical region/district where a language, dialect, group or family of languages is spoken. The German word Sprachraum literally means "language area"....

. A separate version of Wikipedia is maintained in Alemannic German.

Famous Swabians

The following is an abbreviated list of individuals who hailed from the region. Inclusion in this list is not indicative of descent from the original Swabians.
  • Friedrich Adler (artist)
    Friedrich Adler (artist)
    Friedrich Adler, , was a German academic, artist and designer. He was especially renowned for his accomplishments in designing metalwork in the Art nouveau and Art deco styles; he was also the first designer to use bakelite....

     (Jugendstil and Art Deco designer)
  • Roland Asch
    Roland Asch
    Roland Asch is a race car driver who is strongly associated with his home town Ammerbuch near Stuttgart, speaking the local Swabian dialect in interviews and commercials....

     (race driver)
  • Dieter Baumann
    Dieter Baumann
    Dieter Baumann is a former German athlete and winner of 5000 m at the 1992 Summer Olympics.Born in Blaustein, Germany , Dieter Baumann was one of the few non-African athletes who were able to seriously challenge the African dominance of middle-distance running during the 1990s...

    Olympic Games
    The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

     gold medalist and anti-doping
    Doping (sport)
    The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport is commonly referred to by the term "doping", particularly by those organizations that regulate competitions. The use of performance enhancing drugs is mostly done to improve athletic performance. This is why many sports ban the use of performance...

  • Götz von Berlichingen
    Götz von Berlichingen
    Gottfried "Götz" von Berlichingen and also known as Götz of the Iron Hand, was a German Imperial Knight and mercenary....

     ("the knight with the iron fist")
  • Robert Bosch
    Robert Bosch
    Robert Bosch was a German industrialist, engineer and inventor, founder of Robert Bosch GmbH.-Biography:...

     (inventor, industrialist and philanthropist)
  • Berthold Brecht (poet and playwright)
  • Gottlieb Daimler
    Gottlieb Daimler
    Gottlieb Daimler was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist born in Schorndorf , in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development...

     (developer of the second modern car (presented November 1886), 10 months after Karl Benz
    Karl Benz
    Karl Friedrich Benz, was a German engine designer and car engineer, generally regarded as the inventor of the gasoline-powered car, and together with Bertha Benz pioneering founder of the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz...

    ' patent of January 29, 1886. Founder of Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft
    Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft
    Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft was a German engine and later automobile manufacturer, in operation from 1890 until 1926. Founded by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, it was based first in Cannstatt...

    , today: Daimler)
  • Rudolf Diesel
    Rudolf Diesel
    Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel was a German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the diesel engine.-Early life:Diesel was born in Paris, France in 1858 the second of three children of Theodor and Elise Diesel. His parents were Bavarian immigrants living in Paris. Theodor...

     (Engineer & Inventor of the Diesel Engine)
  • Josef Eberle (Swabian Poet who versed Swabian poems)
  • Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

     (physicist, Nobel laureate)
  • Siegfried Einstein
    Siegfried Einstein
    Siegfried Einstein was a German-Jewish poet, novelist, essayist and journalist.-Life:The son of department store owner Max D. Einstein, Siegfried Einstein was born in the small city of Laupheim in Württemberg. His father was the owner of the city's largest department store...

  • Georg Elser
    Georg Elser
    Johann Georg Elser was a German opponent of Nazism. He is most remembered for his unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, but he also wanted to assassinate Hermann Göring and Joseph Goebbels in 1939....

     (tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

     in Munich in 1939)
  • Roland Emmerich
    Roland Emmerich
    Roland Emmerich is a German film director, screenwriter, and producer.His films, most of which are Hollywood productions filmed in English, have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide, more than those of any other European director...

     (Hollywood director)
  • Gudrun Ensslin
    Gudrun Ensslin
    Gudrun Ensslin was a founder of the German militant group Red Army Faction . After becoming involved with co-founder Andreas Baader, Ensslin was influential in the politicization of Baader's voluntaristic anarchistic beliefs. Ensslin was perhaps the intellectual head of the RAF...

     (a founder of the German terrorist group Red Army Faction
    Red Army Faction
    The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

     or RAF, a.k.a. the Baader-Meinhof Gang)
  • Johann Georg Faust
    Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust's tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical...

     (protagonist of tales and dramas)
  • Wilhelm Groener
    Wilhelm Groener
    Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener was a German soldier and politician.-Biography:He was born in Ludwigsburg in the Kingdom of Württemberg, the son of a regimental paymaster. He entered the Württemberg Army in 1884, and attended the War Academy from 1893 to 1897, whereupon he was appointed to the General...

     (railroad chief in the German General Staff
    German General Staff
    The German General Staff was an institution whose rise and development gave the German armed forces a decided advantage over its adversaries. The Staff amounted to its best "weapon" for nearly a century and a half....

    , Minister of Transportation, Minister of Defense, and acting Minister of the Interior in the Weimar Republic
    Weimar Republic
    The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

  • Alfred Haag
    Alfred Haag
    Alfred Haag was a member of the Youth movement of the Communist Party of Germany in the small Württemberg town of Schwäbisch Gmünd in the 1920s, he married another communist; Lina Haag in 1927...

     (Communist & member of German Resistance)
  • Lina Haag
    Lina Haag
    Lina Haag née Jäger is a former member of the Youth movement of the Communist Party of Germany in the small Württemberg town of Schwäbisch Gmünd in the 1920s. In 1927, she married fellow Communist Alfred Haag. Alfred was a member of the regional Parliament for the KPD until Hitler's rise to...

     (Communist & member of German Resistance)
  • Erich Hartmann
    Erich Hartmann
    Erich Alfred Hartmann , nicknamed "Bubi" by his comrades and "The Black Devil" by his Soviet enemies, was a German World War II fighter pilot and is the highest-scoring fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare...

     (highest-scoring ace of WWII, 352 victories)
  • Wilhelm Hauff
    Wilhelm Hauff
    Wilhelm Hauff was a German poet and novelist.-Early life:Hauff was born in Stuttgart, the son of August Friedrich Hauff, a secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs, and Hedwig Wilhelmine Elsaesser Hauff...

  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

  • Martin Heidegger
    Martin Heidegger
    Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

  • Ernst Heinkel
    Ernst Heinkel
    Dr. Ernst Heinkel was a German aircraft designer, manufacturer, Wehrwirtschaftführer in the Third Reich, and member of the Nazi party. His company Heinkel Flugzeugwerke produced the Heinkel He 178, the world's first turbojet aircraft and jet plane, and the Heinkel He 176, the first rocket aircraft...

     (aircraft designer)
  • Herman the Cripple (blessed of the Catholic Church and author of the Salve Regina
    Salve Regina
    The "Salve Regina", also known as the Hail Holy Queen, is a Marian hymn and one of four Marian antiphons sung at different seasons within the Christian liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. The Salve Regina is traditionally sung at Compline in the time from the Saturday before Trinity...

  • Hermann Hesse
    Hermann Hesse
    Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature...

     (poet, writer, 1946 Nobel laureate for Literature)
  • Theodor Heuss
    Theodor Heuss
    Theodor Heuss was a liberal German politician who served as the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany after World War II from 1949 to 1959...

     (former President of the Federal Republic of Germany)
  • Friedrich Hölderlin
    Friedrich Hölderlin
    Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin was a major German lyric poet, commonly associated with the artistic movement known as Romanticism. Hölderlin was also an important thinker in the development of German Idealism, particularly his early association with and philosophical influence on his...

  • Friedrich Gustav Jaeger
    Friedrich Gustav Jaeger
    Friedrich Gustav Jaeger was a resistance fighter in Nazi Germany and a member of the July 20 Plot.-Life:...

     (German officer during World War II who participated in an assassination attempt on Hitler)
  • Johannes Kepler
    Johannes Kepler
    Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican...

     (astronomer and mathematician)
  • Justinus Kerner
    Justinus Kerner
    Justinus Andreas Christian Kerner was a German poet and medical writer.-Life:He was born at Ludwigsburg in Württemberg...

  • Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer
    Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer
    Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer was a German biologist and naturalist born in Bebenhausen, today part of the city of Tübingen....

  • Kurt Georg Kiesinger
    Kurt Georg Kiesinger
    Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and Chancellor of West Germany from 1 December 1966 until 21 October 1969.-Early career and wartime activities:...

     (former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany)
  • Jürgen Klinsmann
    Jürgen Klinsmann
    Jürgen Klinsmann is a German football manager and former player who is currently the coach of the United States Men's National Team. As a player, Klinsmann played for several prominent clubs in Europe and was part of the West German team that won the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the German one that...

     (football (soccer) player, current coach of the U.S. national soccer team, and former coach of the German national team)
  • Manfred R Kühnle (inventor, with over 600 patents worldwide)
  • Carl Laemmle
    Carl Laemmle
    Carl Laemmle , born in Laupheim, Württemberg, Germany, was a pioneer in American film making and a founder of one of the original major Hollywood movie studios - Universal...

     (founder of Universal Studios in Hollywood)
  • Ottmar Mergenthaler
    Ottmar Mergenthaler
    Ottmar Mergenthaler was an inventor who has been called a second Gutenberg because of his invention of the Linotype machine, the first device that could easily and quickly set complete lines of type for use in printing presses...

     (inventor of the linotype)
  • Eduard Mörike
    Eduard Mörike
    Eduard Friedrich Mörike was a German Romantic poet.-Biography:Mörike was born in Ludwigsburg. His father was Karl Friedrich Mörike , a district medical councilor; his mother was Charlotte Bayer...

  • Leopold Mozart
    Leopold Mozart
    Johann Georg Leopold Mozart was a German composer, conductor, teacher, and violinist. Mozart is best known today as the father and teacher of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and for his violin textbook Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule.-Childhood and student years:He was born in Augsburg, son of...

    , father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

    , the family originally came from Swabia
  • Reinhold Nägele (World War I soldier, painter)
  • Johannes Nauclerus
    Johannes Nauclerus
    Johannes Nauclerus was a 16th century Swabian historian and humanist. He was born Johann Vergenhans to a noble man of the same name...

     (historian, university rector/chancellor)
  • Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer
    Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer
    Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer was a German theologian, religious philosopher and Protestant education reformer who was a native of Württemberg....

     (theologian, philosopher and patron of Hegel)
  • Erwin Rommel
    Erwin Rommel
    Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel , popularly known as the Desert Fox , was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought....

     (World War II general)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
    Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
    Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling , later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German idealism, situating him between Fichte, his mentor prior to 1800, and Hegel, his former university roommate and erstwhile friend...

  • Friedrich Schiller
    Friedrich Schiller
    Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life , Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

     (historian and writer, Wilhelm Tell, Die Räuber, Maria Stuart, "Ode an die Freude"/"Ode to Joy")
  • Harald Schmidt
    Harald Schmidt
    Harald Franz Schmidt is a German actor, writer, comedian and television entertainer best known as host of two popular German late-night shows.- Early life :...

     (late-night talk show host)
  • Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer
    Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer
    Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer was a German Luftwaffe night fighter pilot and is the highest scoring night fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare...

     (highest scoring Nightfighter ace of WWII, 121 victories)
  • Hans Schober
    Schlaich Bergermann & Partner
    Schlaich Bergermann & Partner, based in Stuttgart, Germany is a world-renowned structural engineering firm. It was founded in 1980 by Jörg Schlaich and Rudolf Bergermann.-Projects:* 1978-1992: Vidyasagar Setu , Kolkata, India...

     (structural engineer)
  • Hans Scholl
    Hans Scholl
    Hans Fritz Scholl was a founding member of the White Rose resistance movement in Nazi Germany.-Biography:...

     (founder of the White Rose
    White Rose
    The White Rose was a non-violent/intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor...

     resistance against the Nazis)
  • Sophie Scholl
    Sophie Scholl
    Sophia Magdalena Scholl was a German student, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. She was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich with her brother Hans...

     (member of the White Rose
    White Rose
    The White Rose was a non-violent/intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor...

     resistance against the Nazis)
  • Gustav Schwab
    Gustav Schwab
    Gustav Benjamin Schwab was a German writer, pastor and publisher.-Life:Gustav Schwab was born in Stuttgart, the son of a professor and was introduced to the humanities early in life...

     (writer, most popular for "die schönsten Sagen des klassischen Altertums")
  • Claus von Stauffenberg (leader of the July 20 Plot
    July 20 Plot
    On 20 July 1944, an attempt was made to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Third Reich, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The plot was the culmination of the efforts of several groups in the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi-led German government...

     to assassinate Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

  • Margarete Steiff
    Margarete Steiff
    Steiff is a German-based plush toy company known for its high quality. It was begun in 1880 by Margarete Steiff, who was later assisted by her brother Fritz....

     (toy maker)
  • Andreas Stihl
    Andreas Stihl
    Andreas Stihl was an engineer and important inventor in the area of chainsaws, the founder of the company Stihl....

     (founder of Stihl Maschinenfabrik)
  • Ludwig Uhland
    Ludwig Uhland
    Johann Ludwig Uhland , was a German poet, philologist and literary historian.-Biography:He was born in Tübingen, then Duchy of Württemberg, and studied jurisprudence at the university there, but also took an interest in medieval literature, especially old German and French poetry...

  • Richard Vogt (aircraft designer)
    Richard Vogt (aircraft designer)
    Richard Vogt was a German engineer and aircraft designer.He is well known as a designer of unique warplanes, including an asymmetrically-shaped reconnaissance aircraft and a nuclear-powered bomber, during and after World War II.- Biography :Richard Vogt was born in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a town in the...

  • Richard von Weizsäcker
    Richard von Weizsäcker
    Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker , known as Richard von Weizsäcker, is a German politician . He served as Governing Mayor of West Berlin from 1981 to 1984, and as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1984 to 1994...

     (former President of the Federal Republic of Germany)

See also

  • Danube Swabians
    Danube Swabians
    The Danube Swabians is a collective term for the German-speaking population who lived in the former Kingdom of Hungary, especially alongside the Danube River valley. Because of different developments within the territory settled, the Danube Swabians cannot be seen as a unified people...

     (Donauschwaben), Banat Swabians
    Banat Swabians
    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...

    , Germans of Serbia
    Germans of Serbia
    The Germans of Serbia are an ethnic minority which numbers about 3,900 people, mostly in the autonomous Vojvodina region. The Germans of Vojvodina refer to themselves as Swabian. The Hungarian and Serbian populations also refer to them as Swabian as well. They are known as the Danube Swabians or...

    , Sathmarer Swabians
  • Duke of Swabia
    Duke of Swabia
    The following is a list of Dukes of Swabia in southwest Germany.Swabia was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German kingdom, and its dukes were thus among the most powerful magnates of Germany. The most notable family to hold Swabia were the Hohenstaufen, who held it, with a brief...

  • Swabian children
    Swabian children
    The Swabian children were peasant children taken from poor families in the Alps of Austria and Switzerland to work on German farms. They were taken in Spring and brought to the child markets in Germany, mainly in upper Swabia, where they would be purchased by farmers for the season...

  • New Swabia
    New Swabia
    New Swabia is a cartographic name sometimes given to an area of Antarctica between 20°E and 10°W in Queen Maud Land, which within Norway is administered as a Norwegian dependent territory under the Antarctic Treaty System...

  • Swabian League
    Swabian League
    The Swabian League was an association of Imperial States - cities, prelates, principalities and knights - principally in the territory of the Early medieval stem duchy of Swabia, established in 1488 at the behest of Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg and supported as well by Bertold von...

  • Schwaben Redoubt
    Schwaben Redoubt
    The Schwaben Redoubt lies between the Thiepval Memorial and the Ulster tower. It was a German strongpoint on the western front in the First World War. Consisting of a mass of gun emplacements, trenches and tunnels, this warren of defensive works helped anchor the German line on the Somme until late...

     (World War I
    World War I
    World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

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