Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 December 2021
The Romanian German community underwent a transnational reinvention in mainstream Romanian and German society as a minority that (re)built bridges across Europe. For Romanian politicians intent on showing a ‘western face’ during EU accession, Romanian heritage served well as evidence of Europeanness. In Germany, even before the end of the Cold War, Romanian Germans were able to recast older Saxon and Swabian myths of civilising colonists as a new Romanian German European mission. Meanwhile, their increasing absence in Romania in the new millennium opened up spaces for wild fantasies of reconstructing Saxon and Swabian worlds: Romanian German activists attempted to muscle their way back into Romanian life as Romanians celebrated Saxon traces around Sibiu’s role as European Capital of Culture in 2007. All the while, British imaginings of an untouched rural Saxon world gave Romanian Germans a platform in Europe in the twenty-first century.