Sep 4, 2008

Why and Where were Croats in Moravia?

◆Because of Ottoman expansion on the Balkans in the 16th century, more than 100,000 Croats were forced to leave their homeland (Kingdom of Croats, Northern Parts of Dalmatia, West Slavonia) and moved to today's Burgenland (Austria), Niederösterreich, West Hungary, West Slovakia and South Moravia. "Burgenland Croats", now living in the land of Burgenland and Wien, are descendants of those immigrant Croats.

Croats immigration in the 15-16th century

Adolf Turek, a Czech historian, uncovered that Croats were first moved into South Moravia in 1530s by the house of Liechtenstein, and immigration of Croats continued until 1580s(1). Croats settlements in South Moravia counted nearly 20 places, most of which had been Czechizised or Germanized in the 17-18th centuries. Croats colonized, for example, Charvátská Nová Ves, “Croatian New Village”, but subsequently outnumbered by Czech inhabitants, they had been completely assimilated by early 18th century, leaving the trace of Croats only by its name(2). Hlohovec was another Croats settlement near Breclav, and Croats here preserved their language and tradition until the end of the 19th century: census in 1869 shows that 15% of inhabitants of Hlohovec were Croats, or speakers of Croatian language(3). It is said that the last Croatian speaker in Hlohovec died in 1923 at the age of 90(4).

(1)Turek, Adolf, 1937, 'Charvátská kolonisace na Moravě.' Časopis Matice Moravske, 61.pp.49-70, 195-212, 363-390.
(2)For detail, see: (in Czech)
(3)Breu, Josef, 'Prostorni opseg i posljedice za sliku naselja.' Kampuš, Ivan (ed.) Povijest i kultura gradišćanskih Hrvata, 43-104. Zagreb:Globus, p.94.
(4) (in Czech)

Paintings of Othmar Ružička,
photo copy provided by Josef Lawitschka

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My grandfather, Johan Malinkovic (deceased), was born in Hlohovec in 1883. His ancestors were Croats, probably from the 16th century. He emigrated to Chicago in 1907 where he became a well known church decorator/artist. His mother's maiden name was Drobilic, which I believe is also Croatian. He still has family living in southern Moravia.