Walen - Walhen - Wahlen - Wälsche - Welsche - Venedigermandln - Vennizianer - Venezianer - Venetianer

The names Venediger and Walen, as well as a variety of modified spellings, have been used since the Middle Ages for a special race or a type of magical creature. These have to do with mining, are in search of gold or precious stones or ores, are usually very small in stature and are not entirely familiar to normal miners.

A shepherd throws a stone at a cow, which is worth more than the cow itself

In Europe, there is a whole area of legends in which mining and especially fantastic foreigners in search of raw materials are told. They have a great deal of knowledge, come from a distant land—it is only implied that they come from Venice—and are also small in stature. They buy, help with the search, and sometimes they even mine themselves, which is where their small size comes in handy. Their strange language and incomprehensible behaviour led to magical properties being attributed to them. As Venetians, they are said to come from Venice and to search for minerals for glass production, glass cleaning or colouring, a reference to Murano. They were also said to have secret knowledge of elements that were not yet generally known. As Wahlen, from the Latin Vallenses, they are said to come from the valleys of Switzerland or northern Italy. But they are always accused of being more successful than the local miners and of returning home with riches. This is obviously envy and xenophobia talking.

The enigmatic Venetians belong to the ore-mining dwarfs; they come and go in the wind chaff, which often rises as high as a tower, in the wind's swirl; far away, towards the south, is their home; they search for precious ores in the Upper Palatinate mountains, especially in the Fichtelgebirge, and return richly laden. Their size and appearance is like that of dwarfs.
Franz Schönwerth (1857): Aus der Oberpfalz. Sitten und Sagen 1–3, Band 2, Augsburg 1857/58/59, S. 332-333.

A Wale came to the Lauchatal every year, who knew that the saying that is common on the Inselberge was true: A shepherd often throws a stone at a cow, which is worth more than the cow itself. A young lad from Cabarz or Tabarz had to serve as a guide for the Walen. When the Venetian stopped coming, he became a carter, and travelled far around the world, once even carrying goods as far as Venice. Then a shop caught his eye, in which a shop window sparkled with gold and precious stones, and a rich jeweller lived there. He saw the Thuringian standing and gawping and greeted him in German, and was none other than the gold and stone prospector he used to guide in the mountains. He told him that he had won all this gold and all these stones in beautiful Thuringia, that the Thuringians did not know how to find it and cut the stones, that they only found uncut ones there. The Venetian left the Thuringian with a rich gift. Many similar legends are told; an almost identical one about the Bayerberg off the Rhön.
Ludwig Bechstein (1930): Deutsches Sagenbuch

In various regions, Welsche is a synonym for foreigner, mostly in Romance languages. It varies from region to region which foreigner is meant, but mostly it is foreigners who are not so far away, neighbours so to speak. The term is often used in a derogatory way. It is similar with the Venetians, Venice is far away and speaks a foreign language, the people have a culture which is met with suspicion, partly because they don't understand the language.

If a Venetian swears by God, it counts for nothing; but if he swears by St Anthony, he can be believed.

The story of the Venetian tunnel is particularly curious. In the legend, the Venetians are only heard, not seen, which is not unusual in mining. Nevertheless, the mine is usually not found. If old mines are discovered which are very small, they are attributed to the Venetians because they are small in stature. They are often called Venetianerstollen (Venetian tunnel).

The legends of the Venetians are widespread throughout Central Europe. It is significant that the Wikipedia page is available in German, Polish and French, but not in English. Mining in Wales, Cornwall and northern England had no fewer traditions and superstitions, but they were different traditions and superstitions. It is also easy to understand that no Venetian would have made it to Britain during the Middle Ages, and the journey would have been unnecessary too.