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Márkó liegt heute im ungarischen Verwaltungsbezirk Veszprem. Als Maria Theresia Römisch-Deutsche Kaiserin, Erzherzogin von Österreich und Königin von Ungarn und Böhmen war, rief sie schwäbische und rheinländische Bauern und Handwerker ins Land. Sie folgte damit der Siedlungspolitik, die vor ihr bereits ihr Vater, Kaiser Karl VI., erfolgreich initiiert hatte. Die deutschen Bauern und Handwerker sollten rund um den Plattensee siedeln, das Land urbar machen und mit ihrem Fleiß zu seiner Blüte beitragen. So kam es, dass sich auch unsere Vorfahren Anfang des 18. Jahrhunderts auf den Weg machten und in Márkó sesshaft wurden. Soweit reichen jedenfalls die greifbaren Aufzeichnungen zurück, die heute die Grundlage unseres Familienstammbaumes bilden.

Die "Donauschwaben" kämpften im Ersten Weltkrieg an der Seite Österreich-Ungarns, im Zweiten Weltkrieg in der Deutschen Wehrmacht. Als Ergebnis der Alliiertenkonferenz von Jalta mussten nach Hitlers Untergang auch viele deutschstämmige Ungarn ihre Heimat verlassen. Ihre Staatsangehörigkeit war Ungarisch, ihre Muttersprache jedoch Deutsch. Und so war auch der Zimmermann Johann Simon (1897 - 1988) gezwungen, den schweren Gang "Heim ins Reich" anzutreten, gemeinsam mit seiner Frau Johanna Simon, geb. Freund (1905-1990), seinen elf Kindern, seinen Geschwistern und deren Familien sowie mit den Großeltern, Verwandten und Bekannten aus Márkó und den Nachbardörfern. Viele verloren in jenen Nachkriegsjahren Haus und Hof, manche auf dem Transport in Viehwaggons ihr Leben. Die einst homogene Dorfgemeinschaft der "Donauschwaben" wurde in alle Welt zerstreut.

Ettliche landeten nach dem Transport in Leipzig (Sachsen) und Umgebung, manche fanden sich in Westdeutschland wieder, andere machten sich auf nach Amerika und Kanada. Im Gegensatz zur Vertreibung der Deutschen aus anderen ehemals deutschen Gebieten, beispielsweise aus dem Sudetenland, war die Vertreibung der deutschstämmigen Bevölkerung aus Ungarn eher ein willkürlicher Akt. So konnten zum Beispiel Bauern und Handwerker, die einen ungarischen Partner geheiratet hatten, in der alten Heimat bleiben. Nur war es ihnen unter Strafe verboten, Deutsch zu sprechen.

Wer sind wir? Was wollen wir mit dieser Internet-Seite erreichen?

John W. Simon lebt heute in Orlando, Florida. Er ist der Sohn von Franz Simon (*1928 in Märkó - † 2002 in Oviedo, FL) und Barbara Simon, geb. Horvath (*1932 in Márkó - † 1980 in Union, NJ).

Thomas Steierhoffer lebt heute in Zepernick-Berlin. Er ist der Sohn von Ignaz Steierhoffer (*1941 in Bánd) und Veronika Steierhoffer, geb. Simon (*1944 in Márkó).

Nach dem Fall der Mauer und der deutschen Wiedervereinigung fanden sich auch die beiden Cousins wieder, nahmen Kontakt auf und besuchten sich gegenseitig in Deutschland und Amerika. Mit den Möglichkeiten der modernen Kommunikationssysteme möchten sie heute einen Beitrag zur Erinnerung an die eigenen Wurzeln leisten. Die Zeit ist absehbar, da die "Alten" nicht mehr in der Lage sein werden, in ihrer Mundart über die alte Heimat zu berichten. Und so soll mit diesem Internetauftritt, mit Namen, Fakten, Daten, Fotos, Audio- und Videoclips, Zeugnissen und Urkunden die Erinnerung an ein Stück deutsche Geschichte im Gedächtnis wach gehalten werden. Zur Ehre der vorangegangenen Generationen und zur Orientierung für die künftigen Generationen werden diese Seiten weltweit veröffentlicht.


My Marko Heritage
by beatMouse John W. Simon

I grew up knowing that I was a descendant of people who came from a small village by the name of Marko, which is located near the city of Veszprem, Hungary. My parents were able to speak three languages; German, Hungarian and English. I knew that I was an American, but I also knew that my heritage was a combination of German and Hungarian. And that was about all I knew for a good part of my earlier childhood.

In 1966, when I was 11 years old, our American family took a trip to Germany to meet our relatives and my Uncle Matthias and Tante Barbara came along with us. We traveled first to Leipzig, where for the first time, I met my Great-Grandmother Freund and my Simon Grandparents, Aunts and Cousins. Then we traveled to Stadt Wehlen where I met my Horwath Grandparents, Uncles and Cousins. It was wonderful to finally meet my Grandparents and to learn about who they were and what they were like and how they lived.

One of the things that I remember most about that time was the difficult time had crossing the border between then West Germany and East Germany. We arrived late in the evening, at a pretty deserted border crossing and the guards went through all of our luggage and also our new Volkwagen Bus, which my father had bought for our trip. It took more than an hour for us to be allowed to cross the border. At the age of 11, I really didn't understand why we were being scrutinized in such a strict manner. All I knew was that my parents had crossed the same border in 1948 to get away from the life in Communist East Germany so that they could start a new life in West Germany and maybe even the USA. They were grateful that they had escaped the east, but they never forgot their families that remained there. They were always thinking of ways to help them, sending them food packages and also money whenever they could.

Years later, in 1989, we learned of the fall of the Communist government in East Germany and were filled with joy with the fact that our family would now begin to experience a more open way of life. In 1992, I traveled to Hungary with my Cousins Thomas and Steffan Weiss who I had met the year before when they visited us in the US. It was my first opportunity to see the village where my parents were born and grew up. What I learned was that this place called Marko was such a wonderful, beautiful and peaceful place. I had heard stories from my parents about how difficult life was for them growing up in large families where there was never enough food. But I was struck by how pleasant it was to walk around the village and into the open fields and I could imagine that it also was a very nice place for children to grow up.

During our visit, we met some of the older people who had not been forced to leave in 1948 at the time of ethnic cleansing of Germans from Hungary. These people, once they knew who we were, had such a strong desire to speak with us and offer us food and drink. I could imagine a time when the whole village was filled with such people and it was sad to think that those days were gone forever. I wondered what it would have been like to grow up in Hungary had my family been allowed to stay there. I'm sure I would have had less material things than what I had growing up in America, but the chance to live in a place where almost everyone was a relative would have been very special.

Since 1989, I have had the good fortune to be able to establish close ties and friendships with my relatives in Germany. I met my cousin, Thomas Steierhoffer (beatOpa), for the first time in 1966. At that time, he was a very small 1 year old boy and we did not really get to know each other. I did not see him again until 2003, almost 40 years later. We quickly got to know each other and enjoyed sharing our lives and interests. Since that time, Thomas has also visited my home in Florida and we have kept in touch via email and the internet. We began to discuss the possibility of creating a web site which would allow all Marko families to contribute information about the lost Marko culture. This would serve as a tribute to our ancestors as well as a source of information for current and future generations who might want to know about their heritage.

Even though we did not grow up in Marko, our souls are still hurting from the loss of such a special home and culture. However, the spirit of Marko is still alive in our hearts and is now living in all parts of this world. Marko is not forgotten.



Marko - Oberdorf


Vor dem Elternhaus Simon


Friedhof


Christkindl in Marko


Barbara Horwath in Marko


Frank Simon in Marko


Familie Horwath trifft Familie Simon (rechts)