Bukovina Chronology

in the Context of European History

Sophie A. Welisch, PhD

Published in the Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans From Russia,
Vol. 13, No. 1 – Spring 1990, pp. 16 – 19.

Posted with permission of the AHSGR and of the author, April 25, 1996


1490-1775Bukovina an integral part of the Principality of Moldavia; under local rulers but a tributary state of the Ottoman Empire.
1768-1774Russo-Turkish War; Russians gain concessions from the Ottoman Empire by Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji, making it the chief power in the Near East.
1772First partition of Poland by Russia, Prussia, and Austria in which Austria annexes Galicia.
1774Major General Gabriel Baron von Spleny crosses Galician-Polish frontier and carries out military occupation of “Austrian” Moldavia, later called Bukovina; serves as military governor until his replacement by General Karl von Enzenberg.
1775By Treaty of Constantinople, Austria annexes Bukovina which serves as a land bridge connecting its provinces of Galicia and Transylvania.
1778First census of Bukovina shows a population of a little more than 100,000.
1780Death of Empress Maria Theresa after a reign of forty years; accession to the Austrian throne of Joseph II, an “enlightened monarch.”
1781Patent of Toleration grants freedom of worship to Protestants and opens the way for Protestant Germans from outside the Austrian Empire to settle within its territories.
1782Patent of Settlement offers land, farm implements, livestock, and frame houses to those inside and outside the realm who wish to settle in Bukovina.
1782-1787German Protestants from the Palatinate, Rhineland, and Württemberg settle in already-existing communities of Arbora, Tereblestie, Illischestie, Fratautz, Milleschoutz-Badeutz, Satulmare, Molodia, Rosch, Zuczka, Mitoka-Dragomirna, and Czernowitz.
1784-1809Germans from the Zips (Spiss in today’s Slovakia) brought to Bukovina by Anton Manz who had gained concessions to exploit mineral deposits after silver, lead, iron, and copper had been discovered; miners settled in Jakobeni (1784), Kirlibaba (1797), Luisental (1805), and Freudental (1807); others put down roots in Stulpikany, Frassin, and Paltinossa. Manz provides housing and garden plots for those in his employ.
1786-1849General Karl Baron von Enzenberg recalled by Vienna; military government withdrawn; Bukovina administratively linked with Galicia; Polish orthography adopted for the spelling of many place names in Bukovina.
1787-1792Catherine II’s second war against the Ottoman Empire; further encroachments by Russia at the expense of the Turks by the Treaty of Jassy.
1789Summoning of the Estates General by Louis XVI of France; outbreak of the French Revolution.
1790Death of Joseph II; accession to the Austrian throne of Francis I (known as Francis II in his capacity of Holy Roman Emperor).
1792-1815Six major coalitions against revolutionary France and Napoleon.
1793Second partition of Poland between Russia and Prussia.
1793-1817First wave of state-sponsored Germans from Bohemian Forest (present-day Czechoslovakia); settlements in Althütte (1793), Karlsberg (1797), Fürstenthal (1803), Neuhütte (1815); some had first homesteaded in Galicia.
1795Third partition of Poland between Prussia, Russia, and Austria; Poland liquidated from the map of Europe until its restoration in 1919.
1804Coronation of Napoleon as Emperor of France.
1806Demise of Holy Roman Empire after more than 800 years; replaced by Confederation of the Rhine with Napoleon as its “protector.”
1810Marriage of Napoleon to Archduchess Marie Louise von Hapsburg, daughter of Francis I.
1815Congress of Vienna attempts to restore the old order after defeat of Napoleon; German Confederation of thirty-nine states under presidency of Austria replaces Confederation of the Rhine; wave of political repression.
1835 Death of Francis I; accession of Ferdinand I as Emperor of Austria.
1835-1850Second wave of German settlers from Bohemian Forest settled in Bori and Lichtenberg (both in 1835); Schwarztal and Buchenhain (Deutsch-Pojana-Mikuli, both 1838), Augustendorf (1850), and Glitt (1843).
1848-1849Revolutionary turmoil spreads throughout Europe. Austrian Chancellor Metternich flees; Ferdinand I abdicates in favor of eighteen-year-old Francis Joseph I, destined to have the longest reign of any monarch in modern times (sixty-eight years); Bukovina becomes an autonomous crown land; last vestiges of feudalism rescinded; poor harvests and cholera epidemics.
1854First telegraph service in Czernowitz.
1860End of state-sponsored colonization; German professionals, officials, artisans, and farmers migrate to Bukovina on their own initiative.
1862Manz mines go into receivership; miners reduced to dire economic straits until well into the twentieth century; emigration from Bukovina in search of better livelihood begins.
1863German Protestant daughter colony of Alexanderdorf founded.
1866Prussia secedes from German Confederation; outbreak of Seven Weeks’ War (Austria and German Confederation against Prussia and Italy); demise of German Confederation; Austria excluded from German affairs by Treaty of Prague; outbreaks of cholera in Bukovina; railroad completed linking Lemberg (Lvov) with Czernowitz.
1867Ausgleich (compromise) with Hungarians in Austrian Empire; establishment of Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary which lasts until end of World War I; national unrest within Empire intensifies.
1868Beginnings of a viable press in Bukovina with the publication of the Czernowitzer Zeitung; by the end of Hapsburg period Bukovina emerges with most sophisticated journalistic tradition in southeast Europe in which the German press predominates.
1869Austrian census reveals a population in Bukovina of more than 500,000 including 40,000 Germans; enactment of law for compulsory elementary school education (Reichsvolksschulgesetz) throughout Austrian Empire; German Protestant daughter colony of Katharinendorf founded.
1871Proclamation of German Empire under Prussian leadership.
1875Founding of Francis Joseph University in Czernowitz, with faculties in law, philosophy, and theology; easternmost German-language university until its Romanization in 1919.
1883First telephone in Czernowitz.
1885German Protestant daughter colony of Neu-Zadowa founded.
1893German Protestant daughter colony of Nikolausdorf founded.
1900Sixty post offices in Bukovina equipped with telegraph.
1905 National Theater opened in Czernowitz.
1913 Eichenau, the last German colony in Bukovina, founded through the auspices of the Association of German Agricultural cooperatives (Verband Deutscher Landwirtschaftlicher Genossenschaften).
1914Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo; outbreak of World War I.
1915-1917Intermittent Russian occupation of Bukovina.
1916Death of Francis Joseph I; accession of Charles I, last reigning Hapsburg monarch.
1918 Defeat of Central Powers; collapse of Austria-Hungary; Romanian troops occupy Bukovina; German National Council (Deutscher Volksrat für die Bukowina) votes to support union with Romania.
1919 Treaty of St. Germain by which Bukovina passes to Romanian administration; although treaty contains provisions for the protection of ethnic and religious minorities, these are not incorporated into Romanian constitution.
1919-1923omanization of schools and civil service; those not competent in Romanian language are removed from their positions; German National Council works to promote and safeguard German cultural interests.
1921-1924Agrarian reform carried out throughout Romania.
1924 All public schools removed from community control and placed under jurisdiction of the state.
1925 Centralization of government; Bukovina loses its provincial status and autonomy; divided into five administrative districts: Czernowitz, Storozynetz, Radautz, Suczawa, and Kimpolung, which are governed directly through Bucharest.
1928Of the seventy-three German public schools in operation in 1913, only one remains open.
1930Census shows 853,524 inhabitants of whom 8.9 percent are German.
1930-1939Great Depression; high tariffs and a policy of autarchy intensify economic problems.
1933Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany, with dictatorial powers.
3/1938Anschluss (annexation) of Austria to Germany.
9/1938Munich Agreement paves way for Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland.
1939German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact; fourth partition of Poland in modern times; World War II; ethnic Germans permitted to leave Soviet-occupied Baltic States and eastern Poland for resettlement in the Third Reich.
1940 Soviet annexation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina; Germans in northern and southern Bukovina permitted to immigrate en masse to Germany; some 95,000, or all but 7,000, avail themselves of this opportunity.
1941-1944Germany attacks Soviet Union; Bukovina reoccupied by German and Romanian troops.
1944Evacuation of Germans seeking to escape advancing Soviet armies begins.
2.1945Yalta Conference sanctions Soviet annexation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina; northern Bukovina incorporated into Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
5/1945World War II ends in Europe.
7/1945Potsdam Conference sanctions “humane and orderly” transfer of indigenous German population in eastern and southeastern Europe; over 12,000,000 German refugees and expellees stream westward; transfer results in death to tens of thousands due to massacre and privations. Many Germans forcibly repatriated to Soviet Union and Bukovina.
1949Lifting of Allied ban on association in western sectors of Germany; Landsmannschaft der Buchenlanddeutschen (Association of Bukovina Germans) established to safeguard social, cultural, and economic interests of Bukovina Germans.
1950 Expellee associations (including Landsmannschaft der Buchenlanddeutschen) sign charter supporting right to homeland but eschewing violence and revenge.
1954-1966“Economic miracle” under chancellors Adenauer and Ehrhard leads to rebuilding of Germany and gradual integration of refugees and expellees into West German economy.
1970sDetente and Ostpolitik of Chancellor Willi Brandt open door for resettlement in Germany of ethnic Germans still living in eastern-bloc countries, including several thousand from Bukovina and Transylvania.
1980sUnder the Ceausescu regime, Romania emerges as the poorest country in Europe; food shortages, rationing, power outages, and political surveillance become a way of life; Germans wishing to immigrate to Federal Republic of Germany must pay high sums for an exit visa in a process that may take years.
1989Peaceful dismantling of the Communist regimes begins in Eastern Europe following massive protests in Leipzig, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, and Sofia; Berlin Wall comes down amidst great fanfare and celebrations, its pieces sold internationally as souvenirs of a bygone era. In Romania government resistance to demonstrators results in at least 70,000 deaths. After a dictatorship of twenty-four years, the rule of President and Party Secretary General Nicolae Ceausescu ends as he and his wife Eleana are executed after a summary trial.