04 February 2016

0131 | Photo | SS-Jagdverband Südost



An extremely rare photograph of Serbs in SS uniforms. At the end of 1944, the situation reversed in a large part of Yugoslavia; with the help of Soviet troops, the power was now being seized by the former guerrillas, the Partisans – while in Germany the former occupiers formed guerrilla units to fight them. These small groups (raiding platoons) consisted mainly of members of the Serbian Volunteer Corps (SDK) and POWs, and their goal was to transfer to Serbia and carry out acts of sabotage and raids on weaker enemy units, as well as to spread the underground propaganda, for the purpose of gathering and organising the anti-communist oriented part of the population (very similar to the Partisan beginnings, only on the opposite side). The acts of sabotage against the new, pro-Soviet authorities were to be carried out with the use (and leaving traces) of the British material, in order to intensify the already tense enough relations between the Western and Eastern Allies. These (Serbian) raiding platoons belonged to Company Serbia-Croatia of the SS Raiding Unit South-East. Their training was carried out within the Waffen-SS and under the auspices of the Reich Security Office (RSHA). Even though the (Serbian) platoons officially belonged to an SS unit, their soldiers, however, were not members of the SS. The photo shows the Raiding Platoon "Ringelnatter" transporting from Vienna (via Zagreb) to Sarajevo. According to the platoon commander, Captain Branko Gašparević "Gara" (pictured on the left), they travelled "dressed in German uniforms, with various insignia, camouflaged as the Banat Germans" (that is, temporarily disguised, in someone else's uniforms). The soldiers were disguised, most likely, for security reasons and unhindered transport (only a couple of weeks earlier, in Zagreb, the Ustashas stopped the transport of a group of officers in Serbian uniforms, members of the SDK, and shot them all, even though they had German papers, were on a German mission and accompanied by a German NCO). In any case, the "Ringelnatter" Platoon was essentially an illusory formation and for the majority of its members merely a means to return to their homeland. When the platoon finally reached Bosnia, its members abandoned it as soon as possible; some went to the Chetniks, some to the SDK, and the rest (who got sick along the way) were left to be treated in hospitals – and Gašparević soon had only one man at his disposal. Formally, a new group was assigned to him, consisted of Chetniks, over which (according to his own confession) he had no authority. He was used as a convenient source of armament, and after the planned crossing of the Drina river (from Bosnia to Serbia), he was supposed to be liquidated. However, he was captured (without resistance) on the Bosnian side, by the Partisans, and executed after a trial. He was a teacher by profession (and a captain of the old army), born in Croatia, from where he escaped because of the Ustashas (who killed his parents) in 1941, with no possessions, to Serbia – where he was taken care of by the "Zbor" organisation, through which he also became a member of the SDK. He left the Serbian volunteers rather quickly, after a few months, and spent most of the war as a music teacher in a home for refugee children, and as a "Zbor" educator. At the end of the war, he returned to the SDK and served in a raiding platoon, which (according to him) had its only fight upon the very arrival in Bosnia, with the Ustashas. Although, at the trial, he was also accused of (fictional) terrorist actions in Serbia (whose border he did not even cross), Gašparević pleaded guilty anyway.

Text © Ivan Ž.

Photographer: unknown.
Date: winter 1944/45.
Location: unknown.
Original caption: unknown.

File source: "Nemačka obaveštajna služba" IV (various authors).
Number: LXXI (p. 981).

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.



Izuzetno retka fotografija Srba u SS-uniformama. Krajem 1944. godine, situacija se u većem delu Jugoslavije bila preokrenula; uz pomoć sovjetskih trupa, sada su vlast preuzimali bivši gerilci, partizani – dok su u Nemačkoj bivši okupatori formirali gerilske jedinice za borbu protiv njih. Ove male grupe (diverzantski vodovi) bile su sastavljene mahom od pripadnika Srpskog dobrovoljačkog korpusa (SDK) i ratnih zarobljenika, a njihov cilj je bio prebacivanje u Srbiju radi vršenja sabotaža i prepada na slabije neprijateljske jedinice, kao i širenje podzemne propagande, u svrhu okupljanja i organizovanja protivkomunistički orijentisanog dela stanovništva (vrlo slično partizanskim počecima, samo na suprotnoj strani). Sabotaže protiv nove, pro-sovjetske vlasti trebalo je vršiti uz korišćenje (i ostavljanje tragova) engleskog materijala, ne bi li se time još više pooštrili već dovoljno napeti odnosi između Zapadnih i Istočnih saveznika. Ovi (srpski) diverzantski vodovi pripadali su četi Srbija-Hrvatska Diverzantske SS-jedinice Jugoistok. Njihova obuka je vršena pri SS-oružju, a pod okriljem Odeljenja bezbednosti Rajha (RSHA). Iako su ovi (srpski) vodovi zvanično pripadali SS-jedinici, njihovi vojnici, međutim, nisu bili pripadnici SS-a. Na slici je prikazan Diverzantski vod "Belouška" tokom transporta iz Beča (preko Zagreba) u Sarajevo. Prema izjavi komandira voda, kapetana Branka Gašparevića "Gare" (na slici levo), putovali su "obučeni u nemačke uniforme, sa raznim oznakama, kamuflirani kao banatski Nemci" (dakle, u tuđim uniformama, privremeno prerušeni). Vojnici su prerušeni, najverovatnije, iz bezbednosnih razloga i radi nesmetanog transporta (samo par nedelja ranije, u Zagrebu, ustaše su zaustavile transport jedne grupe oficira u srpskim uniformama, pripadnika SDK, i sve ih streljale, iako su imali nemačke papire, bili na nemačkom zadatku i u pratnji nemačkog podoficira). U svakom slučaju, vod "Belouška" u suštini je bio jedna prividna formacija i za većinu njegovih pripadnika samo sredstvo za povratak u domovinu. Kada je vod konačno stigao u Bosnu, njegovi su ga pripadnici u najkraćem roku napustili; jedni su otišli u četnike, drugi u SDK, a treći (koji su se usput razboleli) su ostali da se leče po bolnicama – i Gašparević je na raspolaganju ubrzo imao samo jednog čoveka. Formalno mu je dodeljena nova grupa, sastavljena od četnika, nad kojom (po sopstvenom priznanju) nije imao nikakav autoritet. Korišćen je kao povoljan izvor naoružanja, a nakon planiranog prelaska Drine (iz Bosne u Srbiju), trebalo je da bude likvidiran. Međutim, zarobljen je (bez otpora) na bosanskoj strani, od strane partizana, i posle suđenja pogubljen. Po zanimanju je bio učitelj (a u staroj vojsci kapetan), rodom iz Hrvatske, odakle je pobegao zbog ustaša (koje su mu ubile roditelje) 1941. godine, bez ičega, u Srbiju – gde je zbrinut od strane organizacije "Zbor", preko koje je postao i pripadnik SDK. Srpske dobrovoljce je napustio prilično brzo, posle nekoliko meseci, i veći deo rata proveo kao učitelj muzike u domu za izbegličku decu, i kao prosvetar "Zbora". Pred kraj rata se vratio u SDK i služio u diverzantskom vodu, koji je (prema njegovim rečima) svoju jedinu borbu vodio po samom dolasku u Bosnu, i to sa ustašama. Iako je na suđenju bio optužen i za (izmišljene) terorističke akcije u Srbiji (čiju granicu nije ni uspeo da pređe), Gašparević je svejedno izjavio da se oseća krivim.

Tekst © Ivan Ž.

Fotograf: nepoznat.
Datum: zima 1944/45.
Mesto: nepoznato.
Originalni natpis: nepoznat.

Izvor fajla: "Nemačka obaveštajna služba" IV (grupa autora).
Broj: LXXI (str. 981).

NIJE DOZVOLJENO: uklanjanje naziva izvora sa fajlova – korišćenje teksta bez navođenja izvornog autora – korišćenje fajlova i informacija u političko-propagandne i komercijalne svrhe.