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The town of Gottschee, present-day Kocevje, Slovenia.
Gottscheers are descendants of the people who lived in the German-speaking district of Gottschee in the Austrian Duchy of Carniola (Krain), which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918 when the Empire was dissolved following World War I… Today, Gottschee is a city and district in Slovenia and is known by its Slovene name: Kocevje.
Of course, Gottschee isn’t the only place where German communities in Slovenia once flourished but have since disappeared. To give you an idea: In the last Austro-Hungarian census of 1910, there were 103,949 German-speaking people in Slovenia. They were scattered mainly in lower Styria and in Carniola, which includes Kocevje, but also in Ljubljana and elsewhere.
Fast-forward eighty years later, to the 1991 census, where you find just 745 Germans and Austrians, plus an additional thousand people speaking German as their mother tongue. Taken together, that adds up to about 0.08 percent of the population. (source)
So what happened to the Germans of Gottschee/Kocevje? Well, they’re still around. The page explains:
For the most part, throughout their over 600 year presence, the German-speaking Gottscheers lived peacefully with their Slovene neighbors. In 1941, they were relocated by the Third Reich so that the area could be given to Italy. After 1945, most Gottscheers left Slovenia altogether.
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