03 December 2018

0398 | Photo | 13. Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS "Handschar" (kroatische Nr. 1)



Members of the "Handschar" Division massacred by fighters of the VII Vojvodina Brigade near Strošinci in early July 1944. The soldiers' throats were cut, some were set on fire and one had his skull broken. The Partisans, however, failed to mention such treatment of the enemy in their reports and memoirs. On the contrary, the opponents were presented as savages; a statement by the political commissar of the I Company, VII Vojvodina Brigade, Janko Stupovski: "They walked cautiously, combing the forest, like us. It looked as if they all had submachine guns in their hands. But what was particularly striking, and that is the real truth, was that they held unsheathed kama daggers between their teeth [...]. The bastards probably thought that they would catch us asleep, so they prepared to finish off with knives what they fail to destroy with submachine guns. When we spotted them, the distance was not larger than twenty metres. I remember the commander Đorđe Milekšić immediately yelling: 'Get down! Rapid fire!' The hellfire burst through the forest. Grenades, Handgranaten! The 'fez-wearers' had their belts filled with hand grenades. They just kept throwing them. The already poor visibility, due to forest vegetation, was reduced to zero, disappearing in the clouds of heavy smoke. The 'fez-wearers' charged hawking and yelling. But our fire was so thick that no living thing could pass it [...]." (This rare photo, which is kept in the German Federal Archives, originates from the collection of Dr Herbert Jöllingen, commander of the massacred soldiers; it was taken the day after he took over the command over their unit.)

Text: Ivan Ž.; Janko Stupovski.

Photographer: unknown.
Date: 8 July 1944.
Location: Strošinci (district of Šid), Yugoslavia.
Original caption: unknown.

Sources: Bundesarchiv, N 756/168a; Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Vojno delo, Beograd, 1956, vol. I, bk 8, p. 254; Nikola Božić, Sedma vojvođanska NOU brigada, Vojnoizdavački zavod, Beograd, 1984, pp. 34–35.

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Pripadnici "Handžar" divizije masakrirani od boraca VII vojvođanske brigade kod Strošinaca početkom jula 1944. godine. Vojnici su klani, paljeni, a jednom je i razbijena lobanja. Partizani, međutim, u svojim izveštajima i sećanjima ne pominju ovakvo ophođenje prema neprijatelju. Naprotiv, protivnici su prikazani kao divljaci; izjava političkog komesara I čete VII vojvođanske brigade, Janka Stupovskog: "Išli su oprezno i, kao i mi, pročešljavali šumu. Učinilo mi se da svi u rukama imaju mašinske puške. I što je još frapantnije, a to je prava istina, u zubima su držali isukane kame [...]. Po svemu sudeći, izrodi su mislili da će nas zateći na spavanju, pa su se pripremili da ono što ne unište mašinkama dokusure noževima. U trenutku kad smo ih primetili, razdaljina nije bila veća od dvadesetak metara. Sećam se da se u tom trenutku prolomio glas komandira Đorđa Milekšića: 'Lezi! Brza paljba!' Paklena vatra je prolomila šumu. Bombe, hand-granate! 'Fesaroši' su oko pasa načičkali hand-granate. Bacali su ih na nas kao kruške. Ionako slaba preglednost zbog šumskog rastinja svedena je na nulu, [nestavši] u oblacima zagušljivog dima. 'Fesaroši' jurnuše uz halaukanje i povike. Ali naša vatra je bila tako gusta da živi stvor nije mogao proći [...]." (Ova retka fotografija, koja se čuva u nemačkom saveznom arhivu, potiče iz zbirke dr Herberta Jelingena, komandira masakriranih vojnika; snimljena je dan nakon što je preuzeo komandu nad njihovom jedinicom.)

Tekst: Ivan Ž.; Janko Stupovski.

Fotograf: nepoznat.
Datum: 8. jul 1944.
Mesto: Strošinci (srez Šidski), Jugoslavija.
Originalni natpis: nepoznat.

Izvori: Bundesarchiv, N 756/168a; Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Vojno delo, Beograd, 1956, tom I, knj. 8, str. 254; Nikola Božić, Sedma vojvođanska NOU brigada, Vojnoizdavački zavod, Beograd, 1984, str. 34–35.

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