Federal Union of European Nationalities
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Júlia u. 9 • HU-1026 Budapest
+36 12129151

Ibolya Hock-Englender Chairwoman

Since 1995, the Self-Government of Germans in Hungary has been the highest body of the German minority, with a central office and regional offices in the regions of the country inhabited by Germans. It is the umbrella organisation for 406 local minority administrations, over 500 cultural groups and Hungarian-German associations throughout the country. 

Mailing address: Pf. 348, H-1537 Budapest
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Landesselbstverwaltung

The German minority in Hungary is the largest national minority with a population estimated at 200-220,000. It should be mentioned that the expulsion of about 200,000 Germans in 1946-48 was based on the data of the official census of 1941, therefore no real figures can yet be expected from the Statistical Office (KSH). However, the data of the last census in 2001 showed a positive trend in the case of the German minority. Compared to the 1990 census, the number of those who indicated German as their nationality increased from about 36,000 to 63,000, and almost 90,000 persons indicated a strong attachment to the culture of the German minority.

In today's Hungary there are three major settlement areas where members of the German minority live in higher numbers: Western Hungary along the Austrian border, the Hungarian Central Uplands (from the Overn Hills (Hung. Budai hegyek) to the Lake Balaton Uplands (Hung. Balaton-Felvidék) and South-Eastern Transdanubia (counties of Branau (Hung. Baranya), Tolnau (Hung. Tolna), Schomodei (Hung. Somogy). The ancestors of the German minority in West-Hungary are "original inhabitants" of this area and from the 13th - 14th centuries they formed the majority population in the former German West-Hungary in important centres such as Ödenburg (ung. Sopron) and Wieselburg (ung. Moson). In south-eastern Transdanubia, with Fünfkirchen (Hungarian: Pécs) as its centre, live the descendants of settlers after the Turkish wars, especially in the 18th century, most of whom came from Hesse, the Palatinate, the Mainz, Frankfurt and Fulda regions, and also from the hereditary lands of the Habsburg monarchy.

About 30-40,000 members of the German minority still speak a German variety as their first language, but large parts of the Hungarian-German population use the standard German language as their learned second language. Linguistic assimilation has progressed differently in the three regions, least in southern Hungary and most in the Budapest area.

The legal status of the 13 recognised minorities has been regulated since 1993 in a "Law on the Rights of National and Ethnic Minorities", and the fundamental rights of the minorities are also enshrined in the Hungarian constitution. On the municipal and nationwide level, elected bodies (so-called minority self-governments) have been established as the political representation of the German minority on the basis of the Minorities Act since 1994.



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