15 September 2016

0191 | Photo | SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"



A kind-hearted village woman serves milk to a (rather unkempt) member of the SS Division "Prinz Eugen", somewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Germans often took similar photographs with the people, for propaganda purposes, in order to present their soldiers as protectors and liberators. In reality, the kindness of civilians was generally a product of fear – and of upbringing as well (it was polite to serve the guest, whoever he may be), and there certainly were some individuals who even saw the Germans as liberators (the people abused by members of some of the other armed groups, on religious, ethnic, political, gender or material basis). In the general chaos caused by the war, there were also many unusual encounters; one of them was described by history professor Jovan Milinković, based on a memoir of his father (an eyewitness), whose family (being Serbian) was expelled at the beginning of the war from Bačka to their native Herzegovina (two years later, some of the Bačka Germans also found themselves in Herzegovina, but on a mission, as members of the "Prinz Eugen" Division): "After the war broke out in Yugoslavia, my ancestors were expelled from Temerin by Hungarian fascists, and they returned to Herzegovina. During the Battle of Sutjeska (Operation 'Schwarz'), in my ancestors' home village (called Lipnik, near Gacko), there was a German field hospital (they moved their wounded from there down to the Gatačko Polje and then transported them by planes to Sarajevo, Mostar or elsewhere). When the Germans arrived, all able-bodied men from the village had taken refuge, so my grandmother remained alone with the children. One day, in the midst of fighting, someone knocked on the house door, and grandmother Vasilija opened. It was a German soldier. He greeted my grandmother in Serbian and introduced himself, saying that he was from Bački Jarak and explaining whose son he was. His father was friends with my grandfather Jovan before the war (they presumably traded cattle together). Both he and his father visited our home many times. When the grandmother asked him how he found them, he replied that he recognised the cart next to the house, that he knew they were my grandfather's and that he assumed they were living there now, since he knew they were refugees and Herzegovinian by origin. He left all the food he had to the grandmother, including cigarettes for 'uncle Jovan' and some chocolate for the children (incidentally, when the Hungarians expelled my ancestors from Temerin, as they were passing through Bački Jarak, German women approached the refugee women, weeping and giving them bundles of food for their children). He advised the villagers not to disturb the Germans so that they wouldn't burn the village down, and said that they would soon leave. And so it was, they did no harm to the village and left after the Chetniks were pushed back to Montenegro and the Partisans to Bosnia." Stationed in the Gacko area at the time (early June 1943) was the SS Division "Prinz Eugen". Just a few weeks later, the division continued torching villages. At the end of the same month, near Nevesinje (50 km from Gacko), villages of Donji Drežanj and Ljeskov Dub were burnt down, and 244 civilians were killed – including women and children.

Text © Ivan Ž. / Jovan Milinković.

Photographer: Hermann Heiß.
Date: summer 1943.
Location: unknown, Yugoslavia.
Original caption: unknown.

File source: National Archives, 242-JRP-30-13-26A.

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.

Index | Sources 


Dobrodušna seljanka poslužuje mlekom jednog (prilično zapuštenog) pripadnika SS-divizije "Princ Eugen", negde u Bosni i Hercegovini. Nemci su često pravili slične fotografije sa narodom, u propagandne svrhe, ne bi li svoju vojsku prikazali kao zaštitničku i oslobodilačku. U stvarnosti, ljubaznost civila bila je najčešće plod straha – ali i kućnog vaspitanja (red je poslužiti gosta, ko god on bio), a svakako je bilo i pojedinaca koji su čak i Nemce doživeli kao oslobodioce (ljudi koje su pripadnici neke od ostalih oružanih grupacija zlostavljali na verskoj, nacionalnoj, političkoj, polnoj ili materijalnoj osnovi). U opštem ratnom haosu dešavali su se i mnogi neobični susreti; jedan od njih je opisao profesor istorije Jovan Milinković, po sećanju svoga oca (očevica), čija je porodica (kao srpska) početkom rata proterana iz Bačke u rodnu Hercegovinu (dve godine kasnije, i pojedini bački Nemci su se obreli u Hercegovini, ali na zadatku, kao pripadnici "Princ Eugen" divizije): "Kada je počeo rat u Jugoslaviji, moji su proterani iz Temerina od strane mađarskih fašista, i vratili su se u Hercegovinu. U vreme bitke na Sutjesci (operacija 'Švarc'), u selu odakle su moji (zove se Lipnik, kod Gacka) bila je prihvatna nemačka bolnica (odatle su ranjenike spuštali u Gatačko polje i avionima prebacivali za Sarajevo, Mostar ili drugde). Pošto su došli Nemci, svi vojno sposobni muškarci iz sela su se sklonili, tako da je moja baba ostala sama sa decom. Jednog dana, u jeku borbe, neko je zakucao na vrata kuće, i baba Vasilija je otvorila. Kad ispred vrata – nemački vojnik. Pozdravlja moju babu na srpskom jeziku i predstavlja se, kaže da je iz Bačkog Jarka i govori čiji je sin. Njegov otac je sa mojim dedom Jovanom bio prijatelj pre rata (valjda su trgovali stokom zajedno). I on i otac su u našu kuću dolazili više puta. Kada ga je baba upitala kako ih je pronašao, odgovorio je da je prepoznao zaprežna kola pored kuće, da je znao da su mog dede i da je pretpostavio da oni sada tu borave, jer je znao da su izbegli i da su poreklom Hercegovci. Babi je dao šta je imao od hrane i cigar za 'čika Jovana', a za decu je ostavio čokolade (inače, kada su moje proterivali Mađari iz Temerina, dok su prolazili kroz Bački Jarak, Nemice su plačući prilazile i davale ženama zavežljaje sa hranom da imaju za decu). Savetovao je da seljani ne diraju Nemce da ne bi selo popalili, i rekao da će oni brzo otići. Tako je i bilo, ništa nisu selu nažao učinili i otišli su kako su četnici potisnuti ka Crnoj Gori, a partizani ka Bosni." Kod Gacka se u to vreme (početak juna 1943) nalazila SS-divizija "Princ Eugen". Samo par nedelja kasnije, divizija je nastavila sa paljenjima sela. Krajem istog meseca, kod Nevesinja (50 km od Gacka), spaljena su sela Donji Drežanj i Ljeskov Dub, i ubijena su 244 civila – uključujući žene i decu. 

Tekst © Ivan Ž. / Jovan Milinković.

Fotograf: Herman Hajs.
Datum: leto 1943.
Mesto: nepoznato, Jugoslavija.
Originalni natpis: nepoznat.

Izvor fajla: National Archives, 242-JRP-30-13-26A.

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

12 September 2016

0190 | Photo | 23. Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS "Kama" (kroatische Nr. 2)



Formation of the 23rd SS Mountain Division "Kama". This unit was intended to be the second SS division composed of Bosnian Muslims, but its formation had to be cancelled after only a few months, due to the advancing Soviets and the very poor state the first division was in (loss of manpower and morale, along with more frequent desertions). In the picture, two officers and an NCO, probably all three of them Germans (the division command personnel was German), pose for a photograph in tropical uniforms in a farmyard, in front of corn crib, during their training in Bačka. German officers didn't have an easy job with the Bosnians; although, on one hand, the Bosnians often appeared quite likeable, on the other hand, because of their unrestrained (wild) nature, obstinacy and customs, they often shocked the Germans and even frightened them. An anecdote from training, a memoir of a German company commander (a quotation from the book "For the Homeland!" by Rudolf Pencz): "On one occasion, my Muslims entered a village and shot all the pigs! The Hungarian farmers were furious. I too was angry and raised hell with them about it. Ali, my interpreter, told me that this was normal, and that pigs were dirty animals anyway." And when the formation of the second Bosnian-Herzegovinian SS division was cancelled and it was time for its Bosnian members to return to their homeland, into the first division, because of the increasingly tense and uncertain situation, the behaviour of individuals got drastically worse – and even a mutiny occurred. A memoir of a German soldier (from the aforementioned source): "Some of the Bosnians attempted to desert. Untersturmführer Fiedler tried to stop them and stood in their way. They just shot him and threw his body in the water! Sturmbannführer Syr believed himself forced to let them go. They took a large number of weapons, including machine guns, and a considerable amount of ammunition with them."

Text © Ivan Ž.

Photographer: unknown.
Date: summer 1944.
Location: unknown, Yugoslavia.
Original caption: no caption.

File source: Wehrmacht Awards Forum / RD Rygaard.

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.

Index | Sources 


Formiranje 23. brdske SS-divizije "Kama". Ova jedinica je trebalo da bude druga SS-divizija sastavljena od bosanskih muslimana, ali je njeno formiranje posle samo nekoliko meseci moralo biti otkazano, zbog nadirućih Sovjeta i veoma lošeg stanja u prvoj diviziji (gubitak ljudstva i morala, uz sve češća dezertiranja). Na slici, dva oficira i podoficir, verovatno sva trojica Nemci (komandni kadar divizije je bio nemački), poziraju za fotografiju u tropskim uniformama u jednom seoskom dvorištu, ispred kotobanje, tokom obuke u Bačkoj. Nemačkim oficirima nije bilo lako sa Bosancima; iako su, s jedne strane, Bosanci često bivali vrlo simpatični, s druge strane su svojom neukrotivom (divljom) prirodom, svojeglavošću i običajima Nemce često šokirali, pa i plašili. Anegdota sa obuke, sećanje jednog nemačkog komandira čete (citat iz knjige "Za domovinu!" Rudolfa Penca): "Jednom prilikom moji su muslimani ušli u jedno selo i pobili sve svinje! Mađarski seljaci su pobesneli. Ja sam takođe bio besan i izdrao sam se na njih zbog toga. Moj prevodilac Ali mi je rekao da je to za njih normalno, i da su svinje ionako nečiste životinje." A kada je formiranje druge bosansko-hercegovačke SS-divizije otkazano i bilo vreme da se njeni bosanski pripadnici vrate u domovinu, u prvu diviziju, usled sve napetije i neizvesnije situacije, ponašanje pojedinaca drastično se pogoršalo – pa je došlo i do pobune. Sećanje jednog nemačkog vojnika (iz prethodno pomenutog izvora): "Neki od Bosanaca su hteli da dezertiraju. Unteršturmfirer Fidler je pokušao da ih zaustavi i stajao im je na putu. Jednostavno su ga upucali i bacili telo u vodu! Šturmbanfirer Sir se smatrao prisiljenim da ih pusti. Sa sobom su poneli veliki broj oružja, uključujući mitraljeze, i znatnu količinu municije."

Tekst © Ivan Ž. 

Fotograf: nepoznat.
Datum: leto 1944.
Mesto: nepoznato, Jugoslavija.
Originalni natpis: bez natpisa.

Izvor fajla: Wehrmacht Awards Forum / RD Rygaard.

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

04 September 2016

0189 | Photo | Festungs-Brigade 963



Breakthrough of the Syrmian Front. Smiling fighters of the XIII Proletarian Brigade (of the I Division) escorting captured Germans near the village of Bapska. The prisoners are members of the 963rd Fortress Brigade, commanded by Colonel Clotz. This unit defended the area from the village of Mohovo to (the vicinity of) Bapska and fought as part of the 41st Infantry Division. It was composed of three battalions (two of its own plus the III Battalion of the 440th Grenadier Regiment), only one of which survived the breakthrough of the Syrmian Front.

Text © Ivan Ž.

Photographer: unknown.
Date: 12 April 1945.
Location: Bapska (Ilok), Yugoslavia.
Original caption: unknown.

File source: Todor Radošević, "13. proleterska brigada 'Rade Končar'" (p. 318).

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.

Index | Sources 


Proboj Sremskog fronta. Nasmejani borci XIII proleterske brigade (I divizije) sprovode zarobljene Nemce kod sela Bapske. Zarobljenici su pripadnici 963. tvrđavske brigade, kojom je komandovao pukovnik Kloc. Ova jedinica je branila područje od sela Mohova do (blizine) Bapske i borila se u sastavu 41. pešadijske divizije. Sastojala se od tri bataljona (dva sopstvena i III bataljona 440. grenadirskog puka), od kojih je samo jedan preživeo proboj Sremskog fronta.

Tekst © Ivan Ž.

Fotograf: nepoznat.
Datum: 12. april 1945.
Mesto: Bapska (Ilok), Jugoslavija.
Originalni natpis: nepoznat.

Izvor fajla: Todor Radošević, "13. proleterska brigada 'Rade Končar'" (str. 318).

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

0188 | Photo | Kroatische Ausbildungs-Brigade



Parade of the Croatian Training Brigade in Zagreb. Cadets of the Officer and NCO School of the Croatian Training Brigade parade before the Poglavnik in the Croatian capital. (The brigade trained future members of the German-Croatian divisions, the 369th "Devil's" and the 373rd "Tiger". A couple of months later, a third division was formed, the 392nd "Blue".)

Text © Ivan Ž.

Photographer: unknown.
Date: 8 June 1943.
Location: Zagreb, Yugoslavia.
Original caption: "Poglavnik parade. [...]"

File source: eBay / baronwacker2013.

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.

Index | Sources 


Parada Hrvatske brigade za obuku u Zagrebu. Pitomci oficirske i podoficirske škole Hrvatske brigade za obuku paradiraju pred poglavnikom u glavnom gradu Hrvatske. (Brigada je obučavala buduće pripadnike nemačko-hrvatskih divizija, 369. "Vražje" i 373. "Tigar". Par meseci kasnije formirana je i treća divizija, 392. "Plava".)

Tekst © Ivan Ž.

Fotograf: nepoznat.
Datum: 8. jun 1943.
Mesto: Zagreb, Jugoslavija.
Originalni natpis: "Poglavnikova parada. [...]"

Izvor fajla: eBay / baronwacker2013.

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