The Germans from Galicia
Galicia was a crown land
of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy until 1918. Today its territory is located in
southern Poland and western Ukraine.
The region was annexed
by Austria after the First Partition of Poland in 1772 and organized as the
Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. After the Third Partition, Galicia was
greatly expanded between 1795 and 1809 as a consequence of the Napoleonic Wars,
and in 1846 Cracow was added. The Austrian government promoted the
modernization of the land, amongst others, by the settlement of German-language
immigrants, the founding of the University of Lemberg (L'viv), the introduction
of basic education, and a guarantee of religious tolerance. After 1867, the
Poles in Galicia received significant influence at the expense of the
Ukrainians. In 1910, 54.8% of the population were Poles, 42.2% were Ruthenians,
and 2.9% were Germans.
In 1914 Galicia was
occupied, briefly re-taken by Austria, until it finally became a part of the new
Polish state in 1918. After Poland's annexation by Germany and the Soviet Union
in 1939, eastern Galicia became part of Ukraine, and western Galicia was made a
part of the Generalgouvernement Warsaw. This division has been maintained to
the present between Poland and Ukraine.
In 1774, Empress Maria
Theresa issued the first settlement patent which gave immigrants permission to
settle in the cities and towns. In 1781, Emperor Joseph II. issued the second
patent; it allowed foreign settlers also to settle in the country and provided
for religious tolerance of Protestants. As a consequence, thousands of
families, mostly from the Palatinate, immigrated to Galicia and settled in
newly founded German-speaking communities in the country or as craftsmen in the
At the end of the 18th
century the following settlements were in existence: Hohenbach, Reichsheim,
Maidhof, Steinau, Königsberg, Schönanger, Josefsdorf und Wildental. A few years
later Einsingen, Schumlau, Hartfeld, Kaltwasser, Münchenthal, Weisenberg,
Ottenhausen and Brünndorf were added; to the east were Bruckenthal, Wiesenberg
und Weinbergen. The largest German settlements were founded to the south and
northeast of Lemberg: Dornfeld, Falkenstein, Kaiserdorf, Kranzberg, Josefsberg,
Königsau und Brigidau. After 1815, settlements were established in Romanowka
und Heinrichsdorf, Deboldowka near Dolina, Michalowka near Rawa-Ruska and
Bagingsberg near Kolomea, Polowce. In 1820 Konstantinowka und Mogila southeast
of Stanislau and Theodorshof were
Before WW II, there were three German newspapers in
Galicia, 95 schools in which German was the language of instruction and 27
Polish schools in which it was taught as a foreign language.  In 1939, there
were about 70,000 Germans in Galicia. After 1945 only very few remained; many
of those who survived the re-settlement and expulsion fled to Germany and then
on to the United States and Canada where they had relatives who had emigrated
there already at the beginning of the 20th century. 
Settlement in Alberta
The emigration from the
German villages began in the 1880s and was directed mainly to western Canada.
In 1889 the first Germans from Galicia settled in the colonies of Hoffnungstal,
near Langenburg in Saskatchewan as well as in Josephsberg, near Dunmore in
southern Alberta. In 1890 Germans from Galicia founded Landestreu near
Langenburg, Neudorf, and Lemberg which became stopovers for most of the
immigrants from Galicia who arrived later, especially between 1900 and 1908. In
Alberta, they also settled in Edmonton, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Golden
Spike, and Josephsburg. 
In 1889, 630 Germans,
mostly from Galicia, founded a colony south of Dunmore. Their scouts had been
fooled by the mild climate and the quality of the soil, but neither they nor
the immigration agents had considered the hot winds and usual paucity of
precipitation which made farming without systematic irrigation in this area
virtually impossible. After three years of drought, the newly founded
Josephsberg and Rosenthal colonies south of Dunmore and the colony
east of Seven Persons were almost totally abandoned. Some of settlers went to
Saskatchewan, but others moved to the Edmonton area.
The Lutherans from
Galicia founded Hoffnungsau and Rosenthal (Stony Plain) while 24 families of
Reformed Germans from Galicia founded Josephsberg near Fort Saskatchewan. In
1897 there were more than 40 families in the colony.
After 1901, immigrants
from Galicia established Golden Spike, where, around 1910, German families from
Russia also settled.
According to Lehmann's
personal research with Galician immigrants, most can be traced to the districts
of Drohobycz and Stryj, primarily to the communities of Josephsburg, Neudorf,
Gassendorf, Bolechow, Gelsendorf, Duliby, and the town of Stryj. Other places
mentioned were Kaisersdorf, Alt-Jazow, Münchenthal, Hartfeld, Ottenhausen,
Weissenberg, Ebenau, Landestreu, Neu-Kalusz and Kamionka Strumilowa.
Almost all the
immigrants from Galicia were Lutherans. Only a few small groups professed the
Reformed faith and Catholicism. 
Heimatgeschichte," http://www.galizien-online.de/history/machliniec/Machliniec.html. Accessed on
April 16, 2004.
 Thierfelder, Franz,
"Deutsche Sprache im Ausland," in: Wolfgang Stammler (ed.), Deutsche
Philologie im Aufriss, Vol. I (Berlin 1957, p. 1406).
 "Galizien-Online," http://www.galizien-online.de/. Accessed on April
 Lehmann, Heinz, The
German Canadians: 1750-1937. Immigration, settlement and culture. Translated,
edited and introduced by Gerhard P. Bassler (St. John's, NF: Jesperson Presss,
1986), pp. 119-120.
 Lehmann, p. 120.