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

Danube Swabian History
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Atrocities Against The Danube Swabian in Yugoslavia - Starting in 1944

A Watershed in the Danube Swabian History

Formerly Secret SS Reports on the Evacuation of German Populations in South Eastern Europe

Population Statistics of the Donauschwaben (1918-1948)

1. Central Civilian Internment and Labor Camps - The imprisonment of the Danube Swabians in internment camps began in December of 1944 and was completed by April 1945.  There were three kinds of camps:

  1. Zentralarbeitslager “Central Labor Camp”

  2. Ortslager “Regional or District Camp”

  3. Konzentrationslager fuer Arbeitsunfaehige “Concentration Camp For Those Unable to Work”

     In the Central Labor Camps most of the inmates were men who were put into work groups and put to hard labor.  In the District or Regional Camps, the local Danube Swabian population was interned, often in their own villages as a stopgap method.  The Concentration Camps were for women, children and older men unable to work.  But in some cases, mothers were separated from their children and teen-agers were later taken to the Labor Camps with them as well. 
Locations: Yugoslavia Banat | Batschka | Syrmia


  Concise accounts of war crimes during  & after World War II - Tito's Camps

New . . .
A Gakowa Survival Story
by Paul Hoenisch

The Sekitsch Camp: The village of Sekitsch was declared a concentration camp and received the name “Logor Sekić pod naročitim re˛imom”which means “Camp Sekitsch under special administration." Translated by Brad Schwebler

Genocide, Horror & Survival, by John Mueller - A most descriptive first-hand account of a Banater from Mastort who suffered and survived Tito's concentration and extermination camps from 1944 to 1948.

Ration Card from the village camp of Gakowa By Josef Hornung "the cook of the camp"

A Vrbas, Backa, Story by Karl Kreutzer. Translated by Valerie Kreutzer

Katy (Katch) - My Life, the Flight 1944-45 by Kathe Fichtinger Written by my Aunt Kathe Fichtinger, who now lives in Bavaria. Translated by Kathe and her son Rudi, submitted by Larry Hale.

Letter from Camp Pasicevo/Altker by Eva Zentner. Translation by niece Rose Vetter.

Memories from Gakowa 1940's by Katherine Hoeger-Flotz

The Potatoes by Adam Martini, translated by Hans Martin. A Story of a brave 8 yr old boy in Bukin, WW2.

Thinking often on VRBAS in the Backa by Valerie Kreutzer

Escape from Yugoslavia & Coming to America by Hans Kopp

My Big Adventure: America - 1956 by Adam Martini, translation by son, Hans Martini

2. Deportation to Soviet Slave Labor Camps

Survivor Story: Anni Tissl Turkalak - As told to Rita Tomkins

A Survivor Story of a Russian Ukraine Slave Labor Camp - A twist of fate for a Donauschwaben-US Born Young Woman
- In the wrong place - at the wrong time? Rediscovered by Jody McKim Pharr

Article about Maria Ruck, born in Ridjica, Ukraine labor camp survivor. Submitted by Helga Kiely

Katharina Lettang Searches for Susanne, by Karl Springenschmid (1979).
Translated from "Our lost children: Janissaries" by Eve E. Koehler and John A Koehler, 1980

Soviet Work Camp Interrogation Record and Death Report by Dennis Bauer

The Beginning of the Following Sorrowful Story January 21, 1945  by John Knodel, survivor from Batschka, then to America (39 amazing pages of a daily diary John kept from 1945-1949 translated by his granddaughter Gerti Soderquist)
A must read!

Survivors Peter Fedrich & Marie Ingrisch of slave labor in Russia for four years by Sister Suzanne Kullowitch

The Destruction of German Lutheranism In Swabian Turkey (Tolna, Baranya & Somogy Counties) -  During the deportation to East Germany, on the night of May 28th, 1948 my sister Elisabeth gave birth to her son Konrad as the rolling, packed, sealed cattle cars moved Across Czechoslovakia into an unknown future. 1944-1948 by Heinrich Keri

Deportation to the Soviet Union by Anton Neidenbach

Memories of September & October 1944 by Alex Leeb

Deported to the USSR - Frankfurt/Oder - Door to Freedom and End Station for Many by Peter Krier

Last Letters from a Deportee by Peter Krier

Fate of the Donauschwaben "January 14, 1945" by Alex Leeb

The Beginning of the Following Sorrowful Story, Sunday, January 21ST, 1945 by John Knodel, (39 pages)

The Deportation of Bogarosch people to Russia in 1945 by Rosina Goschi née Holz

Stefan and Erna Deutsch Interview – The Labor Camps – Audio File - TEXT Version Stefan and Erna Deutsch that was conducted by Mark and Henly Deutsch on May 15, 2011 where they share their experiences immediately before and following World War II.

3. The Eight Liquidation Camps "In addition to the numerous local work camps and central camps the Tito regime established a third category, "special camps."

A map visualizing the genocide ("the cleansing" 1944-1948) of the ethnic German minority (Danube Swabians) in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's northern regions.  The last concentration camps were closed in 1948, on the anniversary of the arrival of the first German settlers in 1748.

Swabian Orphans - Ethnic German Children of Yugoslavia & Romania, Under the Tito regime 1944-1948

Swabian Orphans Transferred in 1946, Reunited with Families 1948-1960

The Lost Danube Swabian Children of Yugoslavia Janitscharen? ~a must read!

Katharina Lettang Searches for Susanne, a case history Janitscharen?

Documentation of Human Casualties

Völkermord der Tito-Partisanen 1944-1948 - "Genocide Carried out by the Tito Partisans"
Atrocities Against The Danube Swabian in Yugoslavia - Starting in 1944

Chapter 1: General Introduction | The Mass Liquidations | Deportations to Russia | Internment | The Forced Labor Camps |  Concentration Camps | The Closing of the Camps

Chapter 2: In the Batschka: The systematic liquidation program of the Danube Swabian population in the Batschka closely followed the parameters of the governmental districts into which the Batschka was divided for administrative purposes.

The South and South West Batschka . . . people were treated as if they were even worse than animals.”:
Neusatz | Futok | Batschki Jarek | Bulkes | Palanka | Novoselo | Obrowatz | Tscheb | Towarisch | Plavna
The North and Middle Batschka "Where the bloodletting raged":
Werbass | Kula | Klein-Ker | Subotitza | Sekitsch-Feketitisch
West and North West Batschka "Death reaps a plentiful harvest”:
| Karavukovo | Milititisch | Batsch | Filipovo | Apatin | Sonta | Sentiwan | Doroslo | Sombor | Gakowa-Kruschevlje

Chapter 3: Genocide in the Yugoslavian Banat: "Where innocent blood flowed like a river"Pardanj

The Northern Banat "Where the lust for murder raged": Sanad | Kikinda | Nakovo | St. Hubert, St. Charleville & SolturHeufeld | Ruskodorf | Beodra, Molidorf
The North Eastern Banat "The Hunt for Danube Swabians"
: Cernje |
Stefansfeld | Betscherek/Grossbetscherek | Ernsthausen | St. Georgen | Kathreinfeld
The South Eastern Banat "Crimes of Horror": Werschetz | Karlsdorf | Alibunar
The Southern Banat "A Bloodbath Without Borders": Kovin | Ploschitz | Mramorak | Homolitz | Startschevo | Bavanischte
The South Western Banat "Wholesale Murder": Pantschowa | Brestowatz | Glogau | Kowatschitza | Jabuka
The Western Banat "The Starvation Mill": Rudolfsgnad

Chapter 4: Tito's Starvation Camps - The Cauldron:

Syrem: When the Beasts Ruled “Whoever cannot work will not be allowed to live”: Semlin | Ruma | Mitrowitz | Vukovar
Esseg-Josipowatz | Valpovo | Djakovo |

ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross

Many families were reunited through the efforts and posters of the Red Cross. When we arrived in Austria in 1944 we did not know where my grandparents were. Through the Red Cross we found out they were about sixty-five miles from where we were. We were able to go there. When my father's unit was dissolved he found us, too (in Austria). A lot of public offices had big posters with hundreds of peoples' names who were looking for their relatives. ~ Anne Dreer, 23 Mar 2008


Displaced Persons' Camps in Post War Europe

The AVNOJ-Regulations & the Genocide of the Germans in Yugoslavia between 1944-1948

Map of German-speaking settlements in Central and Eastern Europe 1937

4. Deportation to the Baragan - 50 years on - From 1950 onwards, the situation between the Soviet Union under Stalin, and Yugoslavia under Tito, worsened. There were ideological differences between the two. Tito didn't want to be as subservient as the powerful Stalin would have liked. This was the reason for moving those untrustworthy people not faithful to the regime who lived in the zone bordering Yugoslavia. Big Brother, the Soviet Union, had already demonstrated this many times. On the other hand, there were still areas in south-eastern Romania which were sparsely populated and where the State needed cheap labour for the newly-founded agricultural collective. So one day the decision made by the government to deport a section of the population from this border zone to the so-called Baragan Steppes was carried out.

Compulsory Relocation to the Baragan

Deportation to the Bărăgan 1951-1956 [Konschitzky]

And Over Us The Endless Blue Sky [Weber]

External Links

Totenbuch der Donauschwaben: (Death Roll) - Online Search Surname / Village: English - Deutsch. The genocide of the Germans in Yugoslavia between 1944 and 1948 ... The Danube-Swabian Association (DAG) has published this documentation in the Internet for documentation in the Internet for making it accessible to all interested persons, particularly to our young generation.  Sorted by home town (PDF) | Sorted by surname (XLSX) | Sorted by home town (XLSL)

Axis Invasion of Yugoslavia - United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

The German Expellees: Victims in War and Peace - Theses on the expulsion - Alfred de Zayas

The Expulsion: A Crime Against Humanity by Alfred de Zayas

A German People on The Danube: Denied Their Rights, Persecuted, and Betrayed
On Thursday September 1, 2005 this article by Katharina Nysten, with The Danube Swabian Foundation of the U.S.A., Inc., was published in the German World Magazine

German Expellees & Their Homelands ZVG Website (www.z-g-v.de) - Its objective is to counteract displacements and expulsions of peoples all over the world, to outlaw and to prevent them and thus to create understanding among nations, reconciliation and the peaceful neighborliness of peoples. 


GENOCIDE of the Ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia 1944-1948. Published by the Danube Swabian Association of the USA, 2001. ISBN 0-9710341-0-9

Volume III of the documentation Leidensweg der Deutschen im kommunistischen Jugoslawien, 1995; respectively in the Weissbuch der Deutschen aus Jugoslawien. (The Tragedy of the Ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia).

"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 & Contributed by Henry Fischer.

Die Kinder Tragödie im Banat by Karl Springenschmid (1979). Translated to English: "Our lost children: Janissaries" by Eve E. Koehler and John A Koehler, 1980)

Supritz, Hans "Palanka an der Donau" 1986. Chairman of the Palanka HOG, the Donauschwaben Association of Baden Württemberg, the Donauschwaben Association of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as vice president of the World Association of Donauschwaben.   Hans Supritz was honoured last year with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to the DS cause beyond the call of duty. swp.de

Last Updated: 25 Feb 2021

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