"History is the memory of things said and done."
 - Carl L. Becker

Danube Swabian History
1700's
  1800's   1900's   2000's
DS History 101 Ethnic Cleansing 1944-48 Displaced Persons' Camps Atrocity Books Maps


Contact Registry

Subscribe to DVHH-L email list.

 

"Völkermord der Tito-Partisanen" 1944-1948
"Genocide Carried out by the Tito Partisans"
Österreichische Historiker-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Für Kärnten und Steiermark, 1992
(Austrian Historian Working Group for Kärnten & Steiermark) 
Translated by Henry Fischer. Edited & Published at dvhh.org by Jody McKim, Sep. 2006
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4

Chapter 3

Genocide In the Yugoslavian Banat
"This is where innocent blood flowed like a river" 

(After World War I, the Banat was divided between Yugoslavia & Romania, with two thirds going to Romania & one third annexed to Yugoslavia)

The Northern Banat
"Where the lust for murder raged" 

Sanad

The far northern portion of the Banat had a very small Danube Swabian population.  The liquidation of these Swabians happened in their own home communities or in the district towns of Neu Kanischa and Kikinda. 

  The mixed language village of Sanad was far to the north.  On October 20, 1944 all of the Danube Swabian men were arrested and taken to Neu Kanischa and imprisoned there.  For several days they were brutally beaten by the Partisans.  On October 25th all of them were shot.  Only one of the men was able to escape and make his way to Hungary.  Now it was the turn of the Swabian women. 

  The first group of Swabian women was also taken to Neu Kanischa and shot.  The other women and children were driven out of their homes on December 9th of 1944.  Most of them ended up in the concentration camp at Kikinda.  On December 17th, late in the evening sixty-four women were shot.  Among them were thirty-two women from Sanad.  Only five of the women from Sanad remained alive in the camp at Kikinda.  In March of 1945 the new authorities in Sanad discovered that four Swabian women had hidden in one of the homes in Sanad: a mother, her two daughters and an old woman.  They were apprehended and taken to Neu Kanischa to be shot.  The Partisans decided to be lenient and not shoot one of the girls.  She said she did not want to live if the others were to be shot.  All four were executed.


Kikinda

    The northern Yugoslavian Banat is the site of Kikinda (Gross Kikinda).  There were twenty thousand inhabitants in the city, of whom about one third were Danube Swabians.  The rest of the population was Hungarian and Serbian.  In the vicinity of the city there were numerous communities with Danube Swabian inhabitants.  Very close to the city was Nakovo an entirely Danube Swabian village with a population of five thousand.  To the east were the Swabian villages of Heufeld and Mastort.  In the north east were the so-called “Welsh Villages”: St. Hubert, Scharlevil (Charlesville) and Soltur.  Their ancestors had been French.  They originated in Alsace and Lorraine and had emigrated to the Banat about two hundred years before in the time of Maria Theresia along with the German settlers to resettle the former Turkish and now depopulated Banat. They lived in harmony with their Swabian neighbors and over the years they assimilated with them and became German speaking.  At the beginning of October 1944 after the Russians marched into the Banat from Romania they handed over the control of the Banat to the Partisans and Communists and all of what these “French Swabians” had was also taken away from them.  They were driven from their homes and property and in long columns were dragged to Kikinda and from there to various concentration camps where they were exterminated. 

Rose Mularczyk from Heufeld reports: 

  “On Octbober 20th at mid-night we were taken from our beds by Serbian Partisans.  There were eighty-two men and twenty-two women.  We were imprisoned in the community center overnight.  The next day we were forced to walk to St. Hubert.  The men in the group were beaten along the way.  The night of that same day we left St. Hubert for Kikinda.  We were imprisoned there in the courthouse and all of the women were placed in one small cell.  On the 22nd of October we were led to the Milk Hall.  All night long we were threatened and abused by two Russians.  For five days we received hardly any food.  On November 2nd the Partisans brought in another group of men and women, about one hundred in all from our village of Heufeld. 

  On November 3rd I was an eye-witness of the first slaughter of a large group of men.  In the past individuals had been killed individually.  This group of twenty-two men was  brutally murdered and two of them were from our neighboring village of Mastort.  The men were first stripped naked, forced to lie down and their hands were tied behind their backs.  Then all of them were thrashed with ox-hide whips.  After this torture, they cut pieces of flesh from their backs, and others had their noses, tongues, ears and male parts cut off.  Their eyes were poked out and all through this they were whipped and thrashed at the same time.  They were also hit with pipes.  At this time I was with another prisoner in the ground floor cell of the Milk House and I could witness all of this.  The prisoners screamed and writhed in pain.  This lasted for about an hour.  The screaming died down until there was only silence.  The next day when we crossed the courtyard it was bathed in blood and tongues, ears, eyes and male parts lay everywhere.

  The following day all of the married and single young women were force to do labor.  At the train station we cleaned the bricks and loaded heavy stones. 

  Around November 10th the Partisans and Russians brought in a transport of two hundred and eighty prisoners of war.  All of them were Germans, except for six Italians and two Hungarians.  These soldiers could no longer walk.  They were in rags and many were ill.  I heard one of the Russian guards who had accompanied the prisoners tell one of the Partisans that the prisoners had had no food or water for six days.  If anyone bent to drink water in a puddle he was immediately shot on the spot.  In Kikinda they did not receive any food or water, but were packed into the cellar.  The prisoners were left there for three days, with no food or water and were abused and mistreated in all kinds of ways I do not want to relate.  Then they were taken out of the cellar and led away.  Most of them were unable to walk and like animal carcasses they were tossed on wagons and driven away.  The column set out in the direction of Schindanger and from there we later heard the shooting.  Later we learned that they had all been shot at Schindanger and were buried there in a mass grave. 

  I along with the other women and young girls were given the task of house cleaning and we were somewhat freer than the others and I always tried to locate any of the Heufeld prisoners who might be there and did find some of my relatives and bring them water.  But one could only do very little to ease their pain, through the constant mistreatment they became apathetic and depressed and most had been beaten beyond recognition.  One man went around on all fours and bellowed like a dog. 

  About eight days after the prisoners of war were shot, it was on a Friday, they began to murder Swabian men.  The Partisans announced that all those men who were sick were to report to the so-called camp “hospital” and be looked after.  After the sick men reported in they had to stand behind the Milk Hall in the courtyard, forced to strip from their clothes and were slaughtered on the spot.  We could hear the screams of the victims from inside of the Milk Hall where we were working.  The women received some food but the men got nothing. 

  Later, additional women were brought to the Milk Hall from Kikinda and neighboring villages.  Civilians were not allowed to enter the Milk Hall and any who dared to approach the barbed wire fence were shot down. 

  On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there were always large numbers of men and women who were slaughtered.  When one passed through the courtyard there was nothing but blood, eyes, ears, tongues, noses, etc.  It was horrible.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were used to refill the camp with prisoners, people who were driven to Kikinda from the surrounding countryside.  On Fridays the slaughter began again.  Later, I could not see the "actions" but I could hear them.  The screams of the victims and the mirth and frivolity of the Partisans who thought it was all in good fun. 

  Often men were forced to kneel together in threes, and were shot in the nape of the neck and fell in a pile.  A Swabian woman who was from Mokrin was married to a Russian but still imprisoned with us.  One time she was able to swipe a potato and a Partisan saw her and thrashed her and all of the rest of us had to watch.  The woman was then placed in the cellar with the men.  She was bound together with several men and they were forced to lie on the floor.  The Partisans stomped all over them.  Then each person had their hands tied to their feet and they had to rise and sit down in exercise fashion.   Most of them just lay there.  They simply could not go on.  Later, all of them were taken away including the woman in the direction of Schindanger and then again we heard the shooting. 

  Until the end of November I worked in the Partisan’s kitchen, and then along with nineteen other women we were sent to work in the city.  Six of us, including myself were taken to work in a store.  We had to sort clothes.  The other women had to go washing clothes, and most of them had belonged to the murdered Swabian men.  Four days later we had to go to the store again and were no longer allowed back into the camp at night, and so we slept in work place.  On one night, an automobile came and brought clothing.  The clothes were bloodied and there were bullet holes in all of them.  The cassock of a priest (Father Adam of St. Hubert) was among them.  In the evening we had to pile up clothes in one of the rooms, and then we could see that the rest of the rooms were piled ceiling high in clothes.  The next day we had to take the clothing again to the cellar for sorting.  We also found clothing of acquaintances from our villages who had disappeared and of whom there was no trace.  I found the clothing of our schoolmaster.  His clothes were pierced like a sieve and bloody, a sign that he had been whipped and tortured.  The next day we had to wash and iron the clothes and some of the women found items belonging to their husbands and relatives. 

  In the camp at Kikinda there was a young girl from Charleville.  She was assigned to work in the office and had to record the names of all the men brought to the camp who were murdered or had died otherwise.  Eventually she was sent into the camp because did not want to marry one of the Serbian Partisans.  He denounced her and she was to be shot.  She had to write her own death sentence.  She was imprisoned in the cellar and the door was nailed shut.  That was always the case for those who had been sentenced to death.  Because of all she had seen and heard she lost her nerve and she became hysterical.  The political commissar of Kikinda of whom the girl was quite fond spoke against the action taken by the other Partisan and the girl was released from solitary confinement.  She was then deported to slave labor in Russia with many others. 

  On December 26th we convinced the Partisans to let us go home to get some more clothes for the winter.  On the 27th of December at 3:00 am we were loaded on cattle cars and sent to Russia to forced labor.  For many of us it was a release from an intolerable situation…” 

  The largest extermination camp in the region was in the city of Kikinda located in the east end of the community, centered in the buildings associated with the Milk Hall.  Countless numbers of Swabians, both men and women perished or were killed here.  The first to be driven into the camp by the Partisans were the Swabian men, women and children of Kikinda who were thrown out of their homes.  They took everything from them while others took up residence in their homes and shared their possessions with one another.  The Swabians were killed one after the other at the camp.  Whenever they were in the mood the Partisans would select one hundred Swabians and take them out of the camp and kill them.  Very often the Partisans tortured and abused their selected victims, then beat them to death, or used knives and butchered them like pigs, or shot large groups of them.  The first mass shooting took place here on October 8th, 1944 when twenty-eight were killed that day.  Shootings followed day after day.  The first to be liquidated were the “leading” Swabians in the region.  The parish priest Michael Rotten of Kikinda was among them.  He had been shot in the early days of Partisan rule. 

Nakovo

  Because so many Danube Swabians from Kikinda had been liquidated the empty spaces in the camp were filled by Swabians from the neighbhoring communities forced there by the Partisans.  One evening in October 1944, sixty-eight Swabian men were brought in chains from Nakovo.  For three days they were locked up.  During this time they were brutally tortured by a large group of Partisans.  The Partisans were free to do whatever they wanted to these defenseless men.  They used their rifle buts on their backs to injure the men’s kidneys, threw them to the ground, jumped and stomped on their stomachs, knocked in their teeth, broke their ribs and mistreated them in every way imaginable.  This torture lasted for three days and nights.  Then they dragged them out of town.   It was a Sunday just before sunrise.  Close to the cemetery, but outside of its walls a large pit was dug.  The men from Nakovo and three men from Kikinda who had been taken with them, now numbering seventy-one persons had to strip naked by the cemetery wall.  Later, the victims’shoes and clothing were traded by the Partisans.  They were tied to one another with wire, and with thrashings and blows of their rifles the men were driven to the edge of the pit.  In the grey dawn these men were butchered with knives and thrown into their grave.  One man was able to free himself and escape in the early morning mist, naked as a jay bird.  He was fortunate.  They shot after him but they missed.  He fled across the Romanian border.  But the new city authorities of Kikinda posted notices that there were now seventy-one fewer Danube Swabians to deal with in the Banat. 

  The first Danube Swabian liquidated in Nakovo was Franz Hess who was beaten to death by Partisans at the beginning of October 1944.  Another man, Josef Kemper was shot as he drove his wagon home from work.  Johann Kuechel was shot by Partisans in front of the community center on May 13th.  Nikolaus Hubert was shot when he was found hiding in a hay stack.  Johann Junker was shot for no reason at all. 

  On December 22, 1944 all of the men from sixteen to sixty were taken to the camp in Kikinda and on March 18, 1945 they took all of the men over sixty years.  These eighty men were taken to do heavy forestry and lumbering work at Mramorak.  All of them died there including the former long standing mayor, Johann Blassmann. 


St. Hubert ~ St. Charleville ~ Soltur 

  A large armed Partisan unit set a blockade around the three “Welsh French” Danube Swabian communities on October 31, 1944.  On the same day, three hundred Swabian men were driven into the concentration camp at Kikinda.  For eight days they went without food, but the Partisans drove them out of the camp to do heavy labor.  When they returned to the camp at night they had to report for roll call.  Then the Partisans got the toll of those shot, beaten to death, or tortured to death the night before.  On November 3rd of 1944 all of the farmers who had large landholdings were shot.  On the evening of November 4th after arriving back at the camp after a day of hard labor forty of the men in the camp were sought out.  They had to strip naked and were shot next to the camp.  Their bodies were buried next to the railway tracks behind the Milk Hall. 

  On November 5th all of the inmates of the camp had to sit on the ground in one place all day long.  At evening they selected one hundred and twenty men.  Almost all of them were from the “Welsh” villages.  Father Adam the Roman Catholic priest from St. Hubert was among them.  A heavily armed woman in Partisan uniform dragged him out of the line by his black cassock and beat him ruthlessly, supported and assisted by other Partisans, simply because he was a priest.  The Partisans whipped him with an ox-hide belt so that his gown was torn off of his back.  She boxed his ears, hit him with the back of her pistol and kicked him in the groin.  But he had to stand up on his own and offer no resistance.  She screamed that priests were not needed in the new Yugoslavia and therefore he would be shot.  Like a martyr he accepted what was happening to him. Then all one hundred and twenty men plus a few others chosen by the Partisans were forced to strip naked beginning with the priest.  They were bound to one another with wire and had to crawl under a barbed wire fence and from behind and above they received blows from the rifle stocks on their backs. When they reached the area behind the camp they were machine gunned to death. 

  Johann Tout of Soltur was among the one hundred and twenty victims, but he was only grazed at the temple and was unconscious.  For a long while he lay under the corpses which were only buried in the morning.  During the night he came to and escaped to his native village of Soltur.  He was stark naked.  He hid out for ten days.  Women who still remained in the village tended his wounds.  But soon the authorities became aware of his presence.  They arrested him and he was dragged off to Cernje where he was shot. 

  A week later a gruesome massacre occurred in the Kikinda camp.  One morning all of the Danube Swabian war invalids in the district, some of them veterans of the First World War and other elderly men unable to work were slaughtered.  They were kept locked up in a cellar of the concentration camp.  They were shackled and beaten and led to an area behind the camp.  They had to undress and give their clothes and shoes to the Partisans.  They let them wait for a long time in the cold, so that one of the old veterans from the First World War who was an invalid became impatient and called to the Partisans, that they were far too old to be tortured like this any longer and they should shoot them quickly and get it over with.  After awhile the Partisans ordered them to lie down in the bottom of the pit.  Whoever would not go, was shoved in.  So they lay there on the earth, one beside the other, and because the pit was too small, some were on top of one another.  The Partisans who stood above them began to shoot into the grave.  They were buried immediately and no one checked to see if they were alive or dead.  The next day another one hundred Swabian civilians were killed.  Sixty of them were from Baschaid and forty more from Kikinda.  They were killed in the same way as the group the day before. 

  The large number of remaining older Danube Swabian women bothered the Partisan command now that most of the men had been liquidated.  On December 17, 1944 the first group of older and elderly Swabian women was shot.  That evening for no reason at all another sixty-four women were selected.  Most of these women were simply too old to work.  Thirty-two of them were from Sanad.  They were all shot the next day in an area behind the camp. 

  For several weeks now with the mass shootings and executions the thousands of Danube Swabians who once lived in the district were reduced to those who were in the Kikinda camp.  Some one thousand victims were buried in the fields behind the Milk Hall.  Months later the earth sank where the mass graves were located.  Pigs that came to scrounge for food and dogs often pulled up bones and body parts of human beings.  When this became known throughout the city, the authorities had the land leveled and sowed oats over it, to hide and cover up the genocide that had been perpetrated there. 

  The extermination camp at Kikinda earned a reputation for its gruesome atrocities.  In the summer of 1946 a young man was successful in escaping.  Because of that all of the remaining inmates were brutally punished.  All of them had to stand in one spot for three days in the camp courtyard in the hot July sun.  During these three days they received nothing to eat.  Whoever wavered in any way had to stand on their toes.  The Partisans then placed a board with a nail driven through it just under the heel of the victim so that if he sought to rest on his foot he would impale himself on the nail.  Just another example of what the Partisans were prepared to do to exterminate the Danube Swabian population as painfully as possible. 


Heufeld

  Heufeld was a Danube Swabian community in the northern Banat almost on the Romanian border.  In the early days of October in 1944 the Partisans took control of the area after the Russian Army had moved through and the leading Swabian men in the Heufeld and Mastort, seventeen in all were taken from their homes and after gruesome torture in neighboring Kikinda were put to death. 

  On November 2, 1944 the Partisans arrested all of the Swabian men and eighty-six of them were brought to the town hall.  They also wanted to take Adam Steigerwald, a seventy-five year old retired Roman Catholic priest who had returned to the village where he had been born.  He protested and refused to the leave rectory.  The Partisans beat him with their rifles and forced him out of the rectory yard.  The Partisans continued to brutally assault the old man in one of the rooms in the town hall.  The other Swabian men who were standing in the courtyard of the town hall both saw and heard how the old priest was being manhandled.  The Partisans knocked him down and jumped on his stomach breaking countless ribs in the process.  Because of his internal injuries he was unable to rise from the floor.  They tossed him down the stairs so that he landed at the feet of the men in the courtyard.  Not even now was he able to raise himself.  The Partisans shot him from the stairs in disgust.  This was the morning of November 2, 1944.  In the afternoon the priest’s body still lay there.  Finally, the Partisans called the Gypsies to take the body for burial.  They stripped him of his clothes and buried him naked along with some dead animals. 

  On the same day the remaining Swabian men in Heufeld were driven on foot to Kikinda where after brutal torture by the Partisans most of them were killed.  Only three men from Heufeld survived. 

  Anna Klein of Heufeld remembers: 

  “My father was reported missing in action from the German army in 1944, and then in the same year at Christmas, the Russians dragged off our mother to go to forced labor.  With hefty sobs we cried after her, “Momma stay with us!  Don’t leave us!”  It was only years later that we discovered she had been taken to Ukraine where she along with many other Swabian women were working on construction projects. 

  I remained behind with my older sister and younger brother.  We lived with our great Aunt until the spring of 1945 when all of us Swabians were forced to report at the town hall in the neighboring village.  She got us already to go and sent the three of us on our own, because she felt it was her duty to remain behind with her mother who was unable to walk.  My sister, who was nine years old at the time, took us two younger siblings by the hand and we followed close behind the rest of the people from Heufeld.

  A huge crowd of people had already assembled at the front of town hall by the time we arrived there.  Because we were terrified and we were beyond crying we witnessed what was happening all around us.  How fortunate we were, to be able to find our grandmother in the midst of all the weeping and fearful people who immediately grasped us into her arms as we clutched her body in every way we could.  We were taken to the internment camp in Molidorf where hunger, poverty, fear and need became greater and greater every day.  We lay on straw with many other people all packed together.  Many people began to die because of hunger, exhaustion and mistreatment and abuse.  As children we watched many people around us starve and die. 

  One day our grandmother was to be among the victims.  In the early morning she slept longer than usual, and we did not want to waken her, but she never woke up, she lay dead there beside us on the straw.  She was wrapped up in a blanket, and a wagon that came by every morning to pick up all of the dead, arrived and took her along.  We were not allowed to go with her and we watched from a distance and saw the place where she was buried in a mass grave.  We now faced everything alone among strangers.  After two years the Communists took the surviving children who had escaped death into their State Homes.  This included the three of us who they considered to be orphans and put us in the Children’s Home in Debeljaca.  Here we found ourselves treated like human beings again, we could even sleep in beds.  But what was most important to us was the fact that we could eat to our heart’s content. 

  During this early period away from the camp I lived in constant fear of the future and what it might hold for me and my brother and sister.  Because of everything we had gone through I was mistrustful and kept everything to myself and distant.  Shortly after we had been able to be rehabilitated physically we were all sent to different State Homes.  We had all been Swabian children in the first home but now we were placed among Serbian orphans.  At the age of nine I entered the Serbian public school.  We had already had a working knowledge of the Serbian language but now we were forbidden to speak German and I could only speak a few words to my sister in German secretly in the hiding places we found.  If we had been discovered doing so we would be severely punished and have our eating privilege suspended for a day or we received a beating. 

  Slowly but surely I began to lose my ability to speak in German or even remember it, until I could only speak Serbian.  But now we were well treated.  They took a special interest in the state of our health and children who were still weak were sent to special rehabilitation.  As a result I spent some time with a Serbian farm family and on one occasion I was taken to the Adriatic coast to Split.  The first letter we received was from my uncle and for the first time we had news of our mother and this filled us with a rising sense of hope.  After years, there was hope and joy once more after our abandonment.  After what seemed like forever for us children who held on to our hope on October 12th in 1950 I arrived in Germany to meet my mother for the first time after six long years.” 


Ruskodorf 

  There were one hundred and twenty Danube Swabian families who lived in Ruskodorf.  The remainder of the population was Hungarian.  They were all poor people, most them did not own land and hired themselves out as day farm laborers on the large estates, and the two nationalities lived in harmony with one another.  After the annexation of this portion of the Banat to the new state of Yugoslavia after the First World War many Slavic colonists were brought from the south and settled here by the Yugoslavian government.  The estates of the Hungarian nobles who had left the county were divided up among these new colonists and the Hungarian and Danube Swabian population were not eligible to buy any of it.  After the Partisans came to power in the fall of 1944 these colonists wanted to confiscate the homes and property of the Swabians and see to their physical extermination.  During the first days of October, there were twenty leading Swabians in the community who were taken by force to nearby Cernje, including four women.  Here they were imprisoned in a cellar along with many other Swabians from the area and were brutally abused for several days.  On October 27th most of them were shot in the meadows just outside of Cernje where they executed one hundred and seventy-four of them. 

  Fourteen Swabian men from Ruskodorf were taken to the camp at Kikinda and seven of them were brutally killed shortly after they arrived.  Another group of men were taken to the camp at Julia Major where many of them perished. 

  But in Ruskodorf itself there were large portions of the Danube Swabians who were being gruesomely liquidated by the Partisans.  On November 5th, 1944 two men and one woman were horrendously slaughtered, the fifty-six year old machinist Matthias Frauenhofer, the forty-three year old landowner Johann Martin and thirty-two year old Maria Rottenbach.  After the Partisans inflicted all kinds of cuts to their bodies with knives, they then chopped off of their arms and legs while they were still alive with axes.  The walls of the room where these brutal atrocities were committed were splattered with blood.  Swabian women were given the task of cleaning up the mess.  The limbless bodies were tossed in a basket, loaded on a wagon and taken and buried in the animal cemetery. 

  There were ten young women both married and unmarried who were tortured, violated, raped and liquidated by an extermination squad of Partisans made up of eight young Slavic colonists who lived in Ruskodorf who were rabid beasts who committed the atrocity in the presence of other terrified Swabian women in a room of the castle residence of the former Hungarian noble landowner.  The five married women, Katharina Kartje, Fanni Hass, Elisabeth Martin, Margarete Frauenhofer and Anna Reff had all of their finger nails torn off by a pair of pliers and then their hands and feet were chopped off with axes and they were raped and tormented until they died.  All ten women were buried in the animal cemetery.  After this bloodletting the ceiling of the room remained splattered with blood. 

  The Danube Swabians who remained were in a local camp in Ruskodorf that was set up for that purpose.  On April 18, 1945 they were driven on foot out of the village to the camp in Molidorf.  A great portion of them died of hunger there.  Today you will find the Slavic colonists living in the homes of the Danube Swabians. 


Beodra

  There were seventy-one Danube Swabian families that lived in Beodra.  At the beginning of October 1944 the Partisans brought twenty-eight Danube Swabian men, mostly from other communities to Beodra.  They were imprisoned in the stable of the police station and during the night they were hacked and chopped to death.  In addition, ten of Beodra’s Swabian men and two women were taken from their homes and imprisoned in the jail and were abused and tortured for sixteen days and early in the evening of October 18th, 1944 they were shot at the community manure pile.  The corpses were later buried.  Other Swabians died as a result of individual acts of terror by the Partisans.  The rest of the Swabian community was sent to the extermination camps at Kikinda, Betscherek and Rudolfsgnad. 


Molidorf 

  In Molidorf a community in which a thousand Danube Swabians once lived, the Partisans established a large concentration camp in 1945.  It was one of the largest in the Banat.  Approximately nine thousand Danube Swabians, mostly women and children from various other communities in the Banat were brought here.  In the year 1946 there were four thousand deaths.  They were simply left to starve.  Many of them were abused and shot.  In 1947 Swabians inmates were still being put to death.  In January of 1947 two children aged twelve and fourteen were shot.  In May of 1947 the camp authorities killed two women from Soltur, one of whom had three children and the other four.  At the end of May in 1947 this camp was closed down.  The surviving inmates were divided up among other camps.  But even now in the resettlement of the survivors from Molidorf, the women were beaten by the Partisans along the way to the new camps.  The old and sick people who were unable to travel were simply left behind to die because there was no one to care for them. 


[Edited and Published at DVHH.org by Jody McKim Pharr Sep 2006]