17 November 2015

0104 | Photo | SS-Freiwilligen-Division "Prinz Eugen"



Members of the I Battalion, 2nd Regiment, SS Division "Prinz Eugen", practising mountaineering in Serbia. Just a few weeks earlier, during the division's first action, this battalion committed horrific atrocities against civilians, including the Kriva Reka massacre. The photo also shows their commander, SS-Sturmbannführer Richard Kaaserer (up on the rock, bareheaded) – one of the biggest criminals in the territory of Yugoslavia during World War II. Besides abusing the civilian population, Kaaserer also tortured his own soldiers, and was tried for it too, already during the war, in Germany. He was accused of beating, kicking and whipping soldiers during the training, of running one of them over with a horse, of keeping an entire company "at attention" under the sun until everyone fainted, and even of shooting one of the soldiers. The court attributed the crimes to his mental incompetence – and Kaaserer continued his service in Yugoslavia, and ended up as SS and Police Commander in Sandžak. His bestialities and derogation of the division's recruits, most of whom were just plain farmers, may at least partially explain their future violence against civilians (as is known, violence begets violence). In any case, it was Kaaserer and his battalion who started the criminal reputation of this division, which was later only strengthened, and is to this day remembered.

Text: Ivan Ž.

Photographer: Homann.
Date: November 1942.
Location: unknown, Yugoslavia.
Original caption: unknown.

File source: National Archives, 242-JRP-34-30-14.

NOT ALLOWED: removing source credits from the files – using text without crediting the original author – using files and information for political propaganda and commercial purposes.



Pripadnici I bataljona 2. puka SS-divizije "Princ Eugen" vežbaju planinarenje u Srbiji. Samo nekoliko nedelja ranije, za vreme prve akcije divizije, ovaj bataljon je izvršio strašne zločine nad civilima, uključujući i pokolj u Krivoj Reci. Na fotografiji se vidi i njihov komandant, SS-šturmbanfirer Rihard Kazerer (gore na steni, gologlav) – jedan od najvećih zločinaca na prostoru Jugoslavije za vreme II svetskog rata. Osim zlostavljanja civilnog stanovništva, Kazerer je mučio i sopstvene vojnike, zbog čega mu je i suđeno, još za vreme rata, u Nemačkoj. Bio je optužen da je tokom obuke udarao, šutirao i bičevao vojnike, gazio konjem, da je celu jednu četu držao u stavu "mirno" na suncu dok se nisu svi onesvestili, i da je jednog vojnika čak i upucao. Sud je zločine pripisao njegovoj neuračunljivosti – i Kazerer je službu u Jugoslaviji nastavio, i završio kao komandant SS-a i policije u Sandžaku. Njegovo iživljavanje i nipodaštavanje regruta ove divizije, koji su većinom bili obični ravničarski seljaci, može makar delimično objasniti njihovo kasnije nasilje nad civilima (kao što je poznato, nasilje rađa nasilje). U svakom slučaju, upravo su Kazerer i njegov bataljon zaslužni za stvaranje zločinačke reputacije ove divizije, koja je potom samo učvršćena, i do danas upamćena.

Tekst: Ivan Ž.

Fotograf: Homan.
Datum: novembar 1942.
Mesto: nepoznato, Jugoslavija.
Originalni natpis: nepoznat.

Izvor fajla: National Archives, 242-JRP-34-30-14.

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