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Transylvanian Saxons

Transylvanian Saxons are the descendants of German speaking settlers that migrated to Transylvania in the 12th and 13th century. Today Transylvania is a region in central Romania. Transylvanian Saxons speak a Transylvanian Saxon dialect. For centuries they owned their own land and had their own local government. After the end of the Second World War, many Transylvanian Saxons fled the region. They had been considered part of the German people (Volksdeutsche) under National Socialist rule and now feared persecution. Those who stayed in Romania were forced into labour and their land was dispossessed. In the 1970s, many of the remaining Transylvanian Saxons emigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany within the context of a bilateral agreement between the FRG and Romania. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union new large groups of Transylvanian Saxons emigrated to Germany as late repatriates (Spätaussiedler*innen).