Nazi Atrocities in Yugoslavia - John Tschinkel

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Nazi Atrocities in Yugoslavia - John Tschinkel

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Abgeschickt von John Tschinkel am 14 Maerz, 2005 um 21:34:59:

Nazi Atrocities in Yugoslavia.

Those who keep talking about the atrocities of Yugoslavia against the “Germans” (Nazis and sympathizes), conveniently omit the other side of the coin.

1. They ignore the fact that it was Nazi Germany that in 1941 invaded the sovereign State of Yugoslavia. And like any other State, Yugoslavia battled to drive out the invader and administered bitter justice to the collaborators.

2. They ignore the atrocities practiced by the invader to hold on to his conquest. Only ignorance or a fixed and telling bias justifies such omission of facts.

The following is a reminder of this other side of the coin:

In the four years of liberation struggle against the German occupier and his supporters, the nations of Yugoslavia suffered enormous casualties: 303,000 killed and 425,000 wounded defenders and supporters of their land. According to official Yugoslav statistics, altogether 1.7 million people died. The total number of killed, wounded and prosecuted (in prisons and concentration camps, displaced and sent to forced labor) was almost 3.75 million, nearly 25% of the population of the country, in 1938 being 15.4 million.

Unable to combat the hit, run and hide guerrilla tactics of the Partisans and other defenders of their land, the Nazi invader, realizing his impotence even with overwhelming forces, resorted to the edict of September 16, 1941 issued by the German High Command.

According to this edict, 100 civilian hostages were to be shot for every German soldier killed and 50 civilian hostages shot for every German soldier wounded. In this, entire villages were wiped out.

But this form of retaliation during the next four years of occupation only helped to increase the hatred of the Yugoslav population toward the Nazi invader and solidified their support of the Partisans.

The soldiers of the SS Divisions "Das Reich" and "Prince Eugen” were particularly active in enforcing this edict. Both of these SS Divisions were heavily staffed with ethnic German volunteers, many of them Gottscheer, all citizens of occupied Yugoslavia. Even more to the point, the "Prince Eugen" division was formed after the occupation and, except for its German officers, consisted mainly of ethnic German-Yugoslav volunteers, technically still citizens of Yugoslavia. With the war at an end, these now fleeing soldiers, aware of the hatred accumulated during four years of occupation, were not counting on or receiving forgiveness and mercy from the victors who considered them to be traitors to their country.

Forgiveness and mercy were even less likely for the Ustashe, the soldiers of the Croatian Nazi puppet State. Not only were the Ustashe considered traitors by the largely Serbian Partisans; they were also the enforcers of a brutal anti Serbian policy practiced by their Nazi Puppet leaders toward its large Serbian minority and Serbs in general. In the period after the establishment of the "Independent State of Croatia" in April 1941 and the following October, the Ustashe expelled 120,000 of the Serbian minority by ejecting them over the border into Serbia. The Croats also established the Jasenovac Concentration Camp in which as many as 400,000 members of the Serb minority, as well as 35,000 Jews were exterminated in ways that even the SS officers described as barbaric.

This is not to say that all Croats were allied with the occupier. While the existence of the Croatian fascist state is a historical fact, it is equally accurate that a majority of the deeply nationalistic population never accepted this state which was imposed on them by the fascist allies of Nazi Germany occupier. They joined, in thousands, the ranks of the anti-fascist Partisans, especially after the brutal edict of executing hostages by the German military was brought also to the Croatian villages in eastern Croatia into which the bulk of the Partisans had withdrawn after the great if ineffective German offensive in the fall of 1941.

The Slovene, at first only hostile to the occupier, soon rebelled against the forced labor, forced resettlement, and germanization of the remaining population.

Forced resettlement of the Slovenes immediately following the occupation was high on Himmler's agenda, in which the removal of 37,000 Slovene to make room for the 12,000 Gottscheer is only a minor example. Already in May 1941, a total of 260,000 Slovene were targeted for resettlement, a plan postponed later by Himmler only after other, far more urgent priorities had emerged. Instead, able Slovene were pressed into slave labor in factories in the Reich or assigned as individual laborers without pay to German farmers. In the meanwhile, the racial profiling bureau of the SS concluded that a large part of the Slovene living in the annexed northern parts of Slovenia were racially fit to be 'Germanized'. This was enforced by having all elementary education and all official language conducted in German, while the use of Slovene in ordinary conversation was discouraged and its use in public forbidden and all were required to learn German.

The Slovene, in addition to being hostile, countered the enforced dictate with armed resistance and increased Partisan activity. This generated sharp counteraction by Himmler who issued, in June 1942, an edict to the German forces battling the Partisans in the territories of Slovenia annexed to the Reich. According to this edict, all captured Slovene male supporters of the Partisans were to be executed, their wives sent to concentration camps and their children sent into the "Altreich' for reorientation to be raised as good German 'Janissaries'.

Of interest is the following:

(The Nazi Gauleiter of Styria, Uiberreiter and Kasche, the German ambassador to the Croatian State declared, in 1942, that even those Slovene who had been targeted for resettlement were, "as human material", superior to the in-gathered Gottscheer and should be allowed to stay. This was backed up by the SS Settlement Authority that evaluated the Gottscheer in a damning "Final Evaluation Report" in which it states that "these people have no especially defined communal awareness; each is looking for selfish advantage, most men have no desire for work". Both of these evaluations undoubtedly reflect the lack of enthusiasm of the Gottscheer for the National Socialism of the Germans which they believed had betrayed and misled them into giving up their heritage and their lands).

The victorious Partisans were particularly brutal against the Slovene anti-Communists known as the Domobranci or Home Guard who, in 1943, pledged allegiance to the Nazi occupier. In this, the average Domobran soldier was (like the Gottscheer) misled by their pro-Nazi leaders. These Domobranci were misled to fight the "Communist" liberator and as a result the majority of them lost their lives as traitors to their country.

All of the above facts are omitted by those who today lump all retribution from the liberators of the Yugoslavia blindly into a pot labeled "Yugoslav brutality" while conveniently (and tellingly) ignoring the brutality of the Nazis, i.e., the other side of the coin.