Banat. The land bounded by the Danube River, lower Tisa River, Mures River, and the Transylvanian Alps. It is flat towards the west and mountainous towards the east. Until 1919 this area belonged to Hungary. Then it was divided between Yugoslavia (9,310 sq km) and Romania (18,715 sq km). The population is composed of Romanians, Serbs, Hungarians, and Germans (until 1945). Ukrainians, numbering about 10,000, belong to the minority groups and live in the Romanian part of the Banat, around the city of Lugoj (Timişoara province). Two of the 11 villages in which Ukrainians live—Copăcele and Zorile—are exclusively Ukrainian. Ukrainians came here from western Transcarpathia in the 18th century as colonists after the Banat was liberated from the Turks and annexed by Austria in 1718. Under Hungarian rule the Banat Ukrainians were Magyarized to some extent and then Romanianized. In 1785 some of the Danube Cossacks (see Danubian Sich) who recognized Austrian sovereignty (8,000 people) settled in the Banat, but they returned to the Danube delta in 1812. In the 1930s the Banat Ukrainians maintained ties with the Ukrainians in Bukovyna and had Ukrainian priests. Some of the Ukrainians were Greek Catholics, some Orthodox. In 1948 many of them were resettled in the Ukrainian SSR. In the 1950s and 1960s the Banat Ukrainians had their own schools, which were closed down in the 1970s. Today only church services are conducted, in Old Church Slavonic.

O. Horbach, A. Zhukovsky


Encyclopedia of Ukraine