The Forgotten Czechs of the Banat

The villages depicted in this work were settled in the early 1800's by Czech natives who were lured into this region by a rich and unscrupulousRomanian lumber merchant named Mad'arli.

In search for cheap labourers to clear the large pristine forests of the Banat, Mad'arli sent recruiting agents to Bohemia and Moravia. Poor Czech peasants were approached and promised, among other things, land and wages in exchange for their work

Upon their arrival, after a two-month journey, they discovered that their homeland was a rocky terrain high in the Carpathian mountains completely untouched by civilization, and very unfavorable to human habitation. Stranded in the hills, the labourers and their families built log cabins and set to work. Several years later when the forests had been cleared, Mad'arli disappeared and was never heard from again. Having overcome the extremely difficult beginnings by this time, the immigrants were settled and decided to stay on in these villages, many of which exist today.

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