28 July 2017

0240 | Photo | 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"



Operation "Daredevil". Drained by the summer heat and daily fighting, members of the 14th Regiment, SS Division "Prinz Eugen", led by their commander Michael Groß, move through a farmyard in Montenegro, questioning the housewife along the way, asking whether her family has anything to do with the "gangs", which she denies decisively. It was soldiers of this very regiment who were one of the main participants in the horrific war crime that ended this (failed) German operation. By the order of SS-Oberführer August Schmidhuber, commander of the Albanian SS Division "Skanderbeg" and the leader of the operation, on 28 July 1944, for collaborating with the Partisans, the Montenegrin village of Velika was razed to the ground. On this occasion, 428 civilians – women, children and elderly – were massacred in the most horrible ways (the figure does not include unborn and unbaptised children). The crime was committed by Battlegroup E, consisting of the following units: recruit companies of the "Skanderbeg" Division, II Battalion of the 1st Albanian Jäger Regiment (minus one company), an MG platoon and a mortar section of the 14th Regiment, "Prinz Eugen" Division, and the entire Albanian militia located in the section of the group. The villagers were slaughtered, shot, burned alive, women and girls raped, children tortured and cut to death, unborn children cut from pregnant women's stomachs with bayonets... There were, however, also a couple of examples of humanity in this savage campaign – soldiers who helped the civilians escape and save their lives (the following quotes were taken from the book "21st SS Division 'Skanderbeg'" by Pavle Dželetović Ivanov). A statement by Zdravko Bjelanović (based on Jovana Bjelanović's testimony): "The soldiers spoke good Serbian. One of them shouted 'run' and then fired over heads, so in all the confusion, a lot of people escaped certain death." A statement by Milorad Gojković (based on Zorka Gojković's testimony): "Among them there was a blonde one, who told one of the women present: 'Dear sister, take these children into the woods, if others should come after we leave, they will shoot them all, exterminate them!' Soon they continued their journey and never came back. My wife Zorka said for the blonde one that: 'He was kind, if I should see him now, I would treat him, he saved my four children!'" Unfortunately, most of the villagers of Velika did not have the fortune to encounter such soldiers on that day. One of the most distressing testimonies of the Albanian-German (para)military savagery was left by Milunka Vučetić (née Bošković): "When the soldiers arrived, I saw Tomislav, son of Milovan Vučetić, playing in the plum orchard. Two of them grabbed him, the third one ran over, then more of them gathered round, one took out a knife and began skinning the child from the eyes down. I couldn't bare to watch what they were doing. I started crying, while his mother Leposava – Lepa rushed over to defend him. She was killed in the creek. I heard when Leposava cried: 'What are you doing, people, you non-soldiers!' Then they killed her. She didn't suffer, unlike her son. [...] Natalija, the daughter of Stanija and Radovan Vučetić, was tortured the most. She screamed and cried so hard that the mountains echoed. When the bloodthirsty men left, I came in to bring water to the survivors. Natalija was still alive, her clothes were torn and she was dripping with blood, with squeezed fists full of ashes. The son of Radovan and [Stanija] Vučetić somehow managed to crawl to me. They called him Žarko. His leg was torn off, the blood flowed, he embraced me and said: 'Sister-in-law, defend me!' Then he died in pain..." (The commander of the "Skanderbeg" Division, August Schmidhuber, was hanged as a war criminal in February 1947, in Belgrade. The commander of the 14th Regiment, "Prinz Eugen" Division, Michael Groß, was shot as a war criminal in December of the same year.)

Text © Ivan Ž.

Photographer: Ernst A. Zwilling.
Date: July 1944.
Location: unknown, Yugoslavia.
Original caption: "SS mountain troopers and Albanian volunteers in the fight against Bolshevik gangs in the mountains of Bosnia and Albania. SS men on a homestead in the Albanian mountains. A woman denies that they have anything to do with the Bolshevik gangs. The soldiers must be extremely cautious, because the enemy fights using all sorts of tricks and treacheries."

File source: ECPAD, LFT SO F2679 L33.

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.



Operacija "Drznik". Izbezumljeni od letnje vreline i svakodnevnog ratovanja, pripadnici 14. puka SS-divizije "Princ Eugen", predvođeni svojim komandantom Mihaelom Grosom, prolaze kroz jedno seosko dvorište u Crnoj Gori, ispitujući usput domaćicu da li njeni imaju veze sa "bandama", što ona odlučno poriče. Upravo su vojnici ovog puka bili jedni od glavnih učesnika stravičnog zločina kojim je okončana ova (neuspela) nemačka operacija. Po naređenju SS-oberfirera Augusta Šmidhubera, komandanta albanske SS-divizije "Skenderbeg" i rukovodioca operacije, 28. jula 1944. godine, zbog saradnje sa partizanima, sravnjeno je sa zemljom crnogorsko selo Velika. Ovom prilikom je na najstrašnije načine masakrirano 428 civila – žena, dece i staraca (u ovu brojku se ne ubrajaju nerođena i nekrštena deca). Zločin je izvršila Borbena grupa E, koju su činile sledeće jedinice: regrutne čete "Skenderbeg" divizije, II bataljon 1. albanskog lovačkog puka (bez jedne čete), mitraljeski vod i minobacačko odeljenje 14. puka "Princ Eugen" divizije i celokupna albanska milicija koja se nalazila na odseku grupe. Meštane su klali, streljali, žive palili, žene i devojke silovali, decu mučili i sakatili do smrti, nerođenu decu bajonetima vadili trudnicama iz stomaka... Bilo je, međutim, i nekoliko primera ljudskosti u ovom divljačkom pohodu – vojnika koji su pomogli civilima da pobegnu i spasu svoje glave (sledeći citati preuzeti su iz knjige "21. SS-divizija 'Skenderbeg'" Pavla Dželetovića Ivanova). Izjava Zdravka Bjelanovića (prema svedočenju Jovane Bjelanović): "Vojnici su dobro govorili srpski. Jedan je uzviknuo 'bježite', a pucao preko glava, tako da je u tom metežu dosta njih izbjeglo sigurnu smrt." Izjava Milorada Gojkovića (prema svedočenju Zorke Gojković): "Među njima je bio jedan plavokosi, koji je rekao jednoj od prisutnih žena: 'Mila sestro, vodi ovu djecu u šumu, ako drugi dođu za nama, sve će ih streljati, slistiti!' Ubrzo su nastavili put i više se nijesu vraćali. Moja supruga Zorka kaže da taj plavokosi: 'Bijaše dobar, da mi je sada da ga vidim, častila bih ga, spasao mi je četvoro djece!'" Nažalost, većina meštana Velike nije imala tu sreću da se tog dana susretne sa ovakvim vojnicima. Jedno od najpotresnijih svedočenja o divljaštvu albansko-nemačke (para)vojske ostavila je Milunka Vučetić (rođ. Bošković): "Kada je naišla vojska, vidjela sam kako se u šljiviku igra Tomislav, sin Milovana Vučetića. Uhvatili su ga dvojica, treći je pritrčao, a onda se okupilo više njih, a jedan je izvadio nož i počeo da dere dijete od očiju nadolje. Nijesam mogla gledati šta rade. Zakukala sam, a njegova majka Leposava – Lepa potrčala je da ga brani. Ubili su je u samom potoku. Čula sam kada je Leposava vikala: 'Šta radite, ljudi, nevojsko!' Tu je ubijena. Nije se mučila, za razliku od svog sina. [...] Najviše je mučena Natalija, kćerka Stanije i Radovana Vučetića. Toliko je piskala i kukala, da su se brda razlamala. Kada su krvnici otišli, ušla sam da živima dam vode. Nataliju sam našla još živu, odjeća joj je bila pocijepana i bila je sva krvava, sa stisnutim pesnicama punim pepela. Do mene je nekako dopuzao sin Radovana i [Stanije] Vučetić. Zvali su ga Žarko. Noga mu je bila otkinuta, krv je tekla, zagrlio me i rekao: 'Snaho, brani me!' Tu je izdahnuo u mukama..." (Komandant "Skenderbeg" divizije, August Šmidhuber, obešen je kao ratni zločinac februara 1947. godine u Beogradu. Komandant 14. puka "Princ Eugen" divizije, Mihael Gros, streljan je kao ratni zločinac decembra iste godine.)

Tekst © Ivan Ž.

Fotograf: Ernst A. Cviling.
Datum: jul 1944.
Mesto: nepoznato, Jugoslavija.
Originalni natpis: "Brdski lovci SS-a i albanski dobrovoljci u borbi protiv boljševičkih bandi u planinama Bosne i Albanije. Esesovci na seoskom imanju u albanskim planinama. Žena poriče da oni imaju ikakve veze sa boljševičkim bandama. Vojnici moraju biti veoma oprezni, jer se neprijatelj u borbi služi svakojakim obmanama i podlostima."

Izvor fajla: ECPAD, LFT SO F2679 L33.

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