International conference of the partner museums in Ulm

28. October 2022

At the invitation of the Danube Swabian Central Museum (DZM), representatives of museums from Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Germany met in Ulm from October 16 to 18 for a professional exchange. The final protocol gives an outlook on future cooperations.

Most of the invited museums are institutions with which the DZM has longstanding partnership agreements. In addition, other friendly museums were added, such as the Museum of the History of the Danube Swabians in the Serbian city of Sombor, which will be completed in 2020. The aim of the conference was to inform each other about the current development in the respective museums after the phases of the Covid 19 pandemic and the reorganization of the DZM. The meeting was intended to re-establish contacts that had been partially interrupted and to discuss future projects of international cooperation.

The museums agree that the common cultural heritage in the regions along the middle Danube is of special importance. This includes in particular the material culture of the Danube Swabians in the settlement areas, but also the heritage of the Habsburg Monarchy and the coexistence of different ethnic groups in Hungary, the Banat, the Batschka, the Sathmar region, Syrmia and Slavonia.

In the years leading up to the Covid 19 pandemic, individual partners have already successfully carried out project-related collaborations. These include the traveling exhibition “Migration in the Danube Region. The Settlement of Germans in the 18th Century” (2012-2014). The EU-funded exhibition project could be shown in four countries.

The representatives of the museums declare that in the future they want to exchange information about projects that are suitable for cooperation. Cooperations refer for example to the object collections in the different institutions and the common cultural heritage in the settlement areas. Through the exchange of collection data, a transfer of knowledge regarding the collection holdings between the museums could take place and knowledge about the culture and history of the Germans and other ethnic groups in the region could be exchanged and made available to an international public in digital form. The exchange of exhibitions, including digital formats, is also suitable for making art and culture between Germany and the Southeast European countries known to a broad public. For example, the Caransebeș County Museum (Romania) was able to present the DZM exhibition “Glowing Steel and Smoking Chimneys. Industrial History of the Banat Mountains” in several Romanian museums since fall 2021.


Concrete starting points for joint projects emerged in the workshops.

The DZM is preparing an exhibition with traditional costumes from its own collection under the working title “Schwerer Stoff – die Trachten der Ungarndeutschen” (Heavy fabric – the traditional costumes of the Hungarian Germans), which will be shown in Ulm from autumn 2023. The Hungarian museums have signaled their interest in subsequently bringing the presentation to Pécs and other cities and supplementing it with their own holdings.
Mutual job shadowing and internships of scientists at the partner museums abroad can deepen the cooperation between the museums.
The museums want to support each other in scientific research regarding culture and history of the respective regions by exchanging collection holdings in digitalized form.

Thanks to the international conference, these approaches of the cross-border network could be concretized. The participants agreed to expand the mutual contacts and to continue the discussions in 2023 in Timisoara/Timișoara.


Representatives of the following institutions participated in the meeting:


Janus Pannonius Múzeum (Janus Pannonius City Museum, Pécs, Hungary).
Német Nemzetiségi Múzeum (County Museum, Tata, Hungary)
Muzeul National al Banatului (Banat Museum, Timișoara, Romania)
Muzeul Satului Bănățean (Banat Village Museum, Timișoara, Romania)
Muzeul Banatului Montan (Museum of the Banat Mountains, Reșița, Romania)
Muzeul Caransebeș (Caransebeș County Museum, Romania)
Complexul Muzeal Arad (Museum Complex, Arad, Romania)
Gradski Muzej Sombor (City Museum, Sombor, Serbia)
Muzej Vojvodine (Museum of the Province of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia)
Coordination East-Central and Southeast Europe (Museum of European Cultures, Berlin)
Danube Swabian Central Museum, Ulm (Germany)

Photo: DZM