Making of the German Minority in Yugoslavia
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Yugoslavia was founded at the end of WWI. It comprised the former
kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro and the former Habsburg lands: the
Vojvodina (the former South Hungary), Croatia-Slavonia, Slovenia and
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Practically all these territories were to a
smaller or larger degree multi-ethnic. Apart from the Slavic majority,
the former Habsburg possessions were also home to numerous Hungarians,
Germans, Romanians, Jews and other ethnic groups. Their numbers,
dispersion and history were different and in that they matched the
heterogeneity of the majority Slavic population of the newly founded
state. Among the non-Slavic ethnic minorities, the Germans were the
largest group. However, they too were not a homogeneous ethic
community, but formed rather a string of more or less scattered
settlements in various parts of the Vojvodina, Syrmium, Slavonia,
Slovenia and Bosnia. Having lived in administratively separated
territories with different ethnic make-up, history and historically
acquired characteristics, these groups evinced great diversity. After
the formation of Yugoslavia, the German leaders had to overcome these
differences and to forge a unified national minority. Within the
framework of this paper we will outline the basic events and
institutions which furthered that process.
The Ethnic-Germans were not only the
largest national minority in the former Habsburg territory, but also
the largest minority in the country as a whole. According to the 1921
census, there were 505.790 Germans in Yugoslavia.
Ten years later, the census registered a slight drop in the number of
the Volksdeutsche: 499.969.
Most of these Germans, some 305.000, lived in the Vojvodina.
Some 80.000 lived in Slavonia, and almost 50.000 in its Eastern
ending, Syrmium. Less than 30.000 lived in Slovenia – out of that
number some 12.500 in the wooded area of Gottschee/Kočevje, and
most of the others in the Lower Styrian towns of Cilli/Celje, Marburg/Maribor,
Petau/Ptuj as well as in some villages. The smallest group comprizing
some 15.000 people, lived scattered in villages in Northern Bosnia.
The remaining Germans were to be found in smaller numbers as workers,
experts and artizans in many towns throughout the country. This
territorial dispersal, historical and numerical diferences would play
a significant role in the building of a unified natioanl minority.
One may ask how reliable the Yugoslav
cenususes were? Members of the minorities tended to adduce much higher
numbers for their respective groups, and the German minority was no
exception. Its leaders claimed that the actual number of
Ethnic-Germans in Yugoslavia ranged (depending on the source) between
550.000 and 900.000!
Although the authorities of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia were not well
disposed toward minorities, they conducted the censuses with fairness
– for their own benefit. Thus the results of the 1931 census were
never published by the Yugoslav government since it was deemed
publication would be nefarious for the interests of the State. After
the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the Germans themselves
made a census of the German population of the enclave of Gottschee.
They found 12.487 Germans in Gottschee,
whereas the Yugoslav census of 1921 showed 12.680 Volksdeutsche in the
Even though twetny years had elapsed between the two censuses, if one
takes into account the large emigration from the area, the results of
the Yugoslav census seem quite plausible. Another example was the
census the Hungarian authorities took in the occupied Bacska in 1941.
They found 161.905 Ethnic-Germans there,
as opposed to 173.058 the Yugoslav census registered ten years
previously. Allowing for the declining birth-rate, emigration and the
fact that some Swabians certainly gave Hungarian as their nationality
under the changed circumstances in 1941, one has another proof that
the Yugoslav, rather than the Volksdeutsche numbers were correct.
Indirectly, the accuracy of the Yugoslav census was confirmed also by
the census the Volksdeutsche themselves took in the occupied Banat in
1941: under the propitious conditions for the Ethnic-Germans, they
found only some 10.000 Germans more than the Yugoslav authorities ten
If these findings were applied to the whole country, it would mean one
can accept the number of roughly
500.000 Ethnic-Germans in Yugoslavia as reliable.
We shall now briefly show the ways
these Germans came into the country and give a brief survey of their
relations with the majority Slavic populations. The enclave of
Gottschee was the oldest non-Slavic area in the territory which had
been inhabited by the Slavs ever since 6th century. It is the land of
some 800 km2 between the Krka and the Kulpa in the former Habsburg
crownland of Carniola. It was settled with German colonists by the
counts of Ortenburg in 14th century. Although German and Slovenian
authors tend to disagree as to the exact date, it is actually of no
It is also of little importance if some Slovenes from Carinthia were
also among the colonists, as some Slovenian authors claim,
or if the area had already been thinly populated by Slovenes.
What is important is the fact that Gottschee remained solidly German
until 1918, even though some Slovenes immigrated there during the last
couple of decades before WWI.
Most of the towns in the Slovenian
territory were founded by the Germans or German feudal lords who
settled predominantly German burghers there. The number of Germans in
towns increased later on through immigration and assimilation of
numerically and economically weaker Slovenian newcomers.
In Cilli, Petau and Marburg the German burghers retained preponderance
until the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy, whereas in some other
towns they represented an economically and socially important
Until Slovenian national consciousness started awakening in mid-19th
century, the relations between the two ethnic groups were good.
However, since then, an increasingly dogged struggle developed with
the Germans striving to preserve their supremacy and the Slovenes
striving to attain equality.
It would leave a bitter aftertaste and it would determine to the
largest degree the treatment of the Germans in Slovenia between the
The largest German group in Yugoslavia
inhabited the Banat, the Bacska and Baranya – i.e. the respective
counties of Southern Hungary. They were settled there by the Viennese
Court, feudal and ecclesiastical lords from the early 18th century to
early 19th century. After some 150 years of Ottoman rule, vast tracts
of land in Southern Hungary was liberated in 1699 and 1718. In order
to make the thinly populated new territories productive, secular and
ecclesiastical powers-that-be launched colonization of people of
various descent in several waves. The Germans, who were seen as
obedient, frugal, modern and hard-working farmers, were the most
desirable colonists. At first only Roman Catholics, mainly from
Southern and South-Western Germany, Alsace and Loraine, as well as
from Austrian lands and Bohemia, were admitted, but later on under
Josef II (1780-1790), Protestants were also allowed to settle down.
The colonists received government aid in money and kind, including
houses, tools and some cattle. Although the colonization was an uneven
process, not without set-backs, by mid-19th century the colonists were
firmly established. The Germans made up roughly one quarter of the
total population of the area.
Unlike their Serbian, Romanian or
Magyar neighbors, the Germans in Hungary (usually called Swabians) had
no interest in politics, and only little in developing national
culture. This made them prey to Hungarian attempts at assimilation of
the non-Magyar population of the country which became increasingly
intensive since 1840s. It was particularly the better-off and the
educated who renounced their German ethnic affiliation and who
identified themselves with the Hungarians.
Most of the time their relations with the main Slavic people in the
area, the Serbs, were correct but never very close. Initially, clashes
between German farmers and Serbian cattle-breeders occurred, but
gradually the Serbs adopted the German way of life – however,
without their materialism and frugality. In the last decades of 19th
century the Serbs saw the Germans as economic rivals who, being better
workers and thriftier, were expanding their plots at the expense of
other ethnic groups. At the same time, since most of the Swabians
remained ethnically dormant until WWI, the Serbs could find only few
allies against the Magyars among them. On the other hand, the
Magyarized Swabians who often out-Hungarianed the Hungarians, caused
animosity both with their own fellow-Germans and members of other
non-Magyar ethnic groups.
The first German settlements in
Slavonia date from the late 18th century, but their number was small:
that province was more densely populated than Southern Hungary and at
the same time economically less opened for exploitation. It was only
after serfdom had been abolished and the quicker economic development
of Croatia-Slavonia set in that a larger number of Germans started
coming to Syrmium and Slavonia – either as colonists on estates of
large landowners, or as buyers of land from the impoverished Croat and
Serbian peasants. This emigration lasted until early 20th century,
and was often resented by the local Slavic peasantry.
The youngest group of Ethnic-Germans
came into being approximately at the same time, but only partly for
the same reasons. Already before the Habsburg Empire had occupied the
formerly Ottoman provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1878, smaller
groups of land-hungry Germans from Southern Hungary and the German
Reich started obtaining land in Northern Bosnia and settling down.
Theirs was a private enterprise at first, but was later on helped by
the authorities who hoped to gain loyal subjects, to weaken the
Serbian compactness by riddling it with German, Polish or Ruthenian
villages and to spur faster economic development.
However, these groups of Germans remained weak both numerically and
economically and would play insignificant role in the development of
the German minority in the new South Slav state after 1918.
From the above said, it is clear just
how much various groups of Germans in various areas of settlement
differed among themselves. The territorial dispersal, denseness of
German population in certain places or areas, vicinity to other German
groups, relations with the leading and other nationalities, as well as
political and national goals of the latter influenced the behaviour of
these German groups in the days of the break-up of the Habsburg
Monarchy and later on. For this reason we shall briefly sketch the
role of the Ethnic-Germans in the days of that historical upheaval
easiest situation prevailed in Croatia-Slavonia (which comprised
Syrmium too) and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Having clear-cut borders and
certain political autonomy, the leading Slavic politicians of these
two crownlands simply seceded from the collapsing Monarchy and started
preparing unification with Serbia.
Being only a small fraction of the population and the suffrage being
anyway extremely limited, the minorities had no say in the process
whatsoever. In the Bacska, the Banat and Southern part of Baranya, the
situation was somewhat different. The borders were not clear in
advance, but the local Serbs could count on the support of the
occupying Serbian troops. This enabled the Serbian People’s Council,
founded on the model of the Hungarian People’s Council and similar
bodies of other
nationalities, to organize the elections for the Great Popular
Assembly, to be held on November 25, 1918. To be sure, since the
Assembly was to proclaim unification with Serbia, only Slavs had the
right to vote. However, despite that, among its 757 members, there
were six Germans and one Hungarian.
Presumably that was the token of appreciation for their personal
merits, but it couldn’t influence the course and the outcome of the
debate. Indeed, not even the names of the German deputies came down to
situation was even more complicated in the territory predominantly
inhabited by the Slovenes. Their chronic dispute with the Germans
escalated in the moment the future state borders were to be drawn.
Thus the Germans of Gottschee tried to proclaim their enclave integral
part of the new Austrian republic which was in the making. When this
failed, they tried to proclaim an independent republic under American
The Slovenes nipped this in the bud by arresting the ringleaders.
In Cilli, the Slovenes took over military control and sacked
non-Slovenian officers. Faced with the loss of real power, the German
town administration resigned.
In the German citadel of Marenberg, the power was taken over by the
Slovenian People’s Council. When looting began in the Mežica
Valley, the German authorities called help from Klagenfurt/Celovec,
but the Slovenes from Cilli came first, reestablished order,
disbanding German administration in the process.
In Petau a Slovenian detachment from Ljubljana disarmed the local
German Civilian Guard on November 7 and disbanded the Town Council by
the end of the month.
The more numerous Germans of the town of Marburg an der Drau/Maribor
which was situated on the German-Slovenian ethnic border, offered
stronger resistance. Already on October 30, 1918, the Town Council
decided that the town would become (i.e. remain) part of Austria.
However, the Slovenes took command of the troops in the town, as
well as power in Lower Styria. Thus they were able to threaten
Marburg with cession of food supply.
After some wrangling, power dualism ensued, with the Slovenes
controlling the military and the Germans the civilian administration.
After the Slovenes took control of railroads, the German railwaymen
went on strike between November 28 and December 13. Eventually the
strike petered out: the railways – hitherto a bulwark of Germanism
– remained firmly in Slovene hands.
this ambiguous situation couldn’t last long – particularly since
the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed Yugoslavia in
1929) was proclaimed on December 1, 1918. On January 2, 1919 Slovene
forces disbanded the town administration and took power.
However, the Germans wouldn’t give up. They used the visit of the
American mission under colonel Sherman Miles (which was part of the
commission of Professor Coolidge mediating in drawing the border in
Carinthia and Styria) to stage large demonstrations on January 27,
1919. During the rally, hustling began which led to shooting in which
9 Germans were killed and 18 severely wounded. The two parties accuse
one another for the beginning of the massacre to this day. The
bloodshed changed nothing. German victims were in vain: the town
remained in Slovenian hands and was eventually allotted to Yugoslavia.
The intention of the provincial authorities in Graz to send troops to
the beleaguered city were soon dropped due to the opposition of
Social-Democrats, snowy weather and Austrian military weakness.
The incident only served to further
embitter the relations between the two ethnic groups. The events in
Slovenia in fall 1918 and in winter 1918/1919 were
a kind of continuation of the German-Slovenian ethnic strife
that had been going on ever since mid-19th century. The relations
remained tense throughout the inter-war period, which would impede the
integration of the Slovenian Ethnic-Germans into the new state. It
would also hinder their full integration into the new German national
minority that would be built around the Vojvodina Swabians: the
Germans in Slovenia would always have a somewhat different agenda from
other Volksdeutsche in the country.
Of all German groups the Swabians in
the Vojvodina had the best possibilities of development. Not only were
they the largest Volksdeutsche group in the country, but they also
enjoyed certain benevolence on part of the authorities which other
German groups didn’t. The reason was the wish of the powers-that-be
to wean them from the Magyars under whose influence many Swabians
stood. This being one of the consequences of the decades long policy
of Magyarization the new authorities were bent on undoing.
The leaders of the Ethnic-Germans there seized the opportunity. Their
first step was to found a common German newspaper which would be read
in all areas inhabited by the Volksdeutsche. This was necessary, since
until then practically all German papers were strictly of local
Furthermore, in the Vojvodina, where most of these newspapers
appeared, most of them wrote in Hungarian national spirit, albeit in
the German language. This called for a widely read newspaper that
would not only be written in German, but one that would also awake the
nationally dormant Volksdeutsche In the Vojvodina and Slavonia.
This was achieved comparatively
quickly. The weekly Deutsches Volksblat für Syrmien which had been
published in Ruma (Syrmium) between 1904 and 1914, was transferred to
the largest town in the Vojvodina, Novi Sad/Neusatz. In order to
secure its financial independence a joint-stock company (Druckerei-
und Verlags-Aktiengesellschaft) was founded on September 29, 1919.
Some prominent German industrialists from Slovenia were also among the
stock-holders, supporting thus the unifying tendencies of the
Ethnic-German political leaders. The company’s aim was to publish a
newspaper and to run a German book-store. The first issue of the
Deutsches Volksblatt appeared on October 25, 1919. The paper would
become the leading German daily in the country. It was read in all
parts of Yugoslavia where the Ethnic-Germans lived, although its
readership was not equally distributed. It was moderate, well informed
and with ties to institutions in Germany, which lent it occasional
support. After the common Volksdeutsche institution, the Swabian-German
Cultural Union (Schwäbisch-deutscher Kulturbund) was founded the next
year, it became its mouthpiece, contributing significantly to the
development of the sense of common identity among Ethnic-German groups
in various parts of the country. It also wrote about the problems of
the Volksdeutsche throughout Yugoslavia, and not only in the Vojvodina,
where the majority of its readers lived. Although its influence
shouldn’t be overestimated (it had the print-run of 10.000 to 12.000
copies), it was the largest German daily and was read by the
Ethnic-German opinion leaders.
Another important vehicle meant to
further the Volksdeutsche unity was the Swabian-German Cultural Union
(Schwäbisch-deutscher Kulturbund). The Ethnic-German leaders used the
comparative goodwill of the authorities in the Vojvodina right after
WWI, to found a blanket organization for the national minority they
hoped to build. They envisaged it as much more than just a cultural
association. Before its foundation the German leaders sounded the most
important Yugoslav politicians (the Prime Ministre Stojan Protić,
the leader of the Democratic Party Ljubomir Davidović, the leader
of the strongest party, the People's Radical Party, Nikola Pašić,
the Minister of the Interior, Milorad Drašković). On principle,
none of them was against the idea, but they feared the new association
could be used for spreading Hungarian influence (thanks to
pro-Hungarian sentiments of large part of the Swabians) or that it
would be emulated by the Hungarians.
The founders of the Union took the former cultural association of the
Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina Prosvjeta and the cultural association of
the Germans in Czechoslovakia, Deutscher Kulturverband as their
The Union was founded in Novi Sad on
June 20, 1920, and after some minor changes had been inserted into its
statutes, it was approved by the government.
The declared goals of the Kulturbund were spreading of German books,
works of art, musical literature and films, founding and supporting of
libraries, reading rooms and other cultural institutions, organizing
public lectures, educating of German teachers and priests, taking care
of social issues and economical institutions. The most important task
of them all was writing a curriculum according to the Volksdeutsche
wishes and founding of private German schools.
This was a tall order indeed. There were two major obstacles to be
conquered. On the one hand, there was the religious rift between the
Lutheran and the Roman-Catholic Ethnic-Germans coupled with the
pro-Hungarian sentiments of the latter. Large part of German
Roman-Catholic priests were Hungarian-friendly and viewed the
Kulturbund as a Protestant organization.
Since 80% of the Yugoslav Germans were Roman-Catholics, this was a
serious obstacle to the development of the Cultural Union.
On the other hand, the government
benevolence was short-lived: soon after the borders were secured by
the treaty of Trianon, the Volksdeutsche were increasingly the target
of the government’s anti-minority policy. The problem was that
Yugoslavia was a country where no strict division of spheres of
activity existed: economy, culture, religion and politics were
inextricably intertwined, the developments in one sphere influencing
those in others. This was one of the reasons the Kulturbund had to
However, in the very beginning, the
prospects were bright. 97 branches were founded by 1921, and 128 by
The numbers also show that the vast majority of branches was founded
during the first year of the Union’s existence. Later on, the pace
slackened considerably. By 1923 the Kulturbund managed to attract some
i.e. 11% of the Volksdeutsche. Obviously, the increasingly
anti-minority policy, which prevented the Volksdeutsche from taking
part in political life, from developing their educational facilities
or from benefiting from the land distribution within the framework of
the agrarian reform, discouraged many from joining. Furthermore, the
Union’s territorial dispersion was very much one-sided: 13 branches
were founded in Syrmium and all the rest, except for one, in the Banat
and the Bacska.
This corresponded with the area of settlement of the majority of the
Volksdeutsche, but it still left out tens of thousands of
Ethnic-Germans in Croatia, Slavonia, Bosnia and Slovenia. The reasons
for this were twofold. In Slovenia, where most of the Germans were
nationally very conscious, the main obstacle was the authorities
who were engaged in vicious persecution of the German minority, which
they saw as comeuppance for the inequality the Slovenes had suffered
in the Habsburg Monarchy as well as for the unsatisfactory position of
the Slovenes in Austrian Carinthia.
In Croatia-Slavonia the obstacles on part of the powers-that-be
were only partly responsible. More important was the fact that the
Germans there lived scattered in many small villages which were far
apart, or were just a tiny minority in Croat villages and towns, and
therefore well on the way to be assimilated to Croats.
The Cultural Union engaged in various
activities: in public lectures, musical and folk festivals, amateur
drama and puppet performances, in publishing song-books, founding
libraries, promoting German-language schools, stamps collecting and
even reading fairy tales to children. It strove to found youth
sections and choirs. It was not active only in the field of culture:
it also strove to find work for the unemployed Volksdeutsche, to take
care of apprentices and to organize professional training courses.
All this was aimed at fostering national solidarity that would
overcome social and religious differences which were quite deep. For
this reason it enjoyed support of the Association for the Germans
Abroad (Verein für das Deutschtum im Ausland).
Although its work went unmolested at
the Union could evolve into an important institution – the more so,
since all other German associations were local in character. Than came
the blow: on April 11, 1924 the government dissolved the Kulturbund
and confiscated its property. The alleged reason was the treatment of
the Slovene minority in Austria, but the real one was that the Party
of the Germans had joined the opposition in Yugoslav Parliament.
This was yet another proof of the intermingledness of politics and
other issues. Luckily for the Volksdeutsche, some local authorities
ignored the ban, so some branches continued operating – albeit
Under the changed political
circumstances, the Kulturbund was
allowed to resume its operations in January 1927.
29 branches were registered in that year, 12 more the next, and until
the royal dictatorship was imposed on January 6, 1929, 13 more were
This time the zeal of the Volksdeutsche was visibly dampened. People
lost confidence that they themselves could change anything, even in
the apparently nonpolitical field of culture. It took a wide
recruitment action to gather only 5.000 members before the
dictatorship put an end to the Union’s activities once again.
Nevertheless, despite all odds, the Kulturbund scored some successes
between 1924 and 1929, such as the founding of the National Union of
the University Graduates (Landesverband deutscher Akademiker) (1926)
and the Union of Singers (Sängerbund) (1928).
Probably the most important achievement of the Kulturbund during the
first ten years of Yugoslavia’s existence, was that it managed to
survive in the face of all odds of the minority-unfriendly
environment. Its very survival would be an important fact in the
further development of national
cohesion of the Volksdeutsche in 1930s.
The Kulturbund’s importance lies
partly in spin-off associations which covered other fields of
activity, particularly in the economy. Thus already on October 1, 1922
the association of German cooperatives, “Agraria”, was founded in
Novi Sad. The Kulturbund’s agricultural section switched to the “Agraria”.
The leading Ethnic-German politician, Dr Stefan Kraft, became its
This very fact testifies to the extraordinary importance the
Ethnic-German leaders ascribed the economy. This was in keeping with
the materialist world-view of most of their fellow-countrymen, 80% of
whom were engaged in agriculture.
The goal of the “Agraria” was to
sell and buy agricultural products of its members, as well as
to bankroll them.
Even though not all German cooperatives were part of the “Agraria”,
it became synonymous with the success of the Volksdeutsche
Their number was 39 in 1925. In 1930 it reached 251, and would
continue to rise throughout 1930s.
Since 1927 the “Agraria” became only trade central office
for selling agricultural products and buying industrial goods for
agriculture. Three departments were set up: for goods (dealing in
agricultural machines), grain and hemp.
These organizations branched out further during 1930s and they gave
the German minority a stabile economic backing which no other minority
possessed. Among other things, their advantage was that they were more
or less immune to political turbulences. From the national point of
view, their major weakness was that their members (and thus main
beneficiaries) tended to be farmers
who were better off in the first place, so that cooperatives rather
widened than bridged the social gap.
The institution which was meant to
represent the Volksdeutsche national interests was the Party of the
Germans (Partei der Deutschen). In a country where politics was the
ultimate activity, and in which almost all parties were organized on
ethnic basis, it was only too natural that the Germans wanted to set
up a party of their own. Although normal for them, it didn’t delight
the leading Yugoslav politicians who wanted to recruit members of
national minorities for their parties (the Democratic and the
People’s Radical Party, Croat Peasants’ Party).
The obstacle to participation in political life on part of the
minorities in the former Habsburg lands in the first years after WWI
were stipulations of the peace treaties with Austria and Hungary which
left the people in these areas the possibility of choosing to remain
in their homeland and acquire Yugoslav citizenship, or to emigrate to
Austria or Hungary and retain Austrian or Hungarian citizenship they
had had until 1918. This stipulation was used by the Yugoslav
government to deny the Germans and Hungarians the right to vote at the
elections for the Constituent Assembly. “People who could become
foreign citizens the next day, couldn’t decide on the Yugoslav
constitution”, ran the argument.
It would have been a valid one, if the same authorities didn’t levy
taxes and call up members of the minorities. As it was, it was clearly
a measure aimed at depriving the minorities of the right to have a say
in the debate about the constitution of the new state.
The Volksdeutsche reluctantly put up
with it, but started making preparations
for the foundation of their own political party already before
the right to opt expired. German press started discussing the matter
already since the beginning of 1921. It would seem the nationally ripe
and politically experienced German burghers of Lower Styria were the
obvious choice for the leadership of the new party.
However, it didn’t turn out quite so. They were not numerous enough,
they lived far from the areas where bulk of the Yugoslav Germans
lived, the government pressure on the Volksdeutsche was the strongest
in Slovenia, and, last but not least, they tended to look down on
their less developed Swabian fellow-Germans, which the latter
On the other hand the Germans of
Gottschee, organized in their Gottschee Peasants’ Party (Gottscheer
deutsche Bauernpartei) too weak economically and not numerous enough
to play an independent political role, joined collectively the Party
of the Germans in the making already in February 1922.
Until July 1922 47 chapters of the new party were founded. Out of that
22 were in the Banat, 17 in the Bacska and 4 in Syrmium.
The less numerous Banat Swabians founded more chapters than the more
numerous and more opulent Bacska Germans. This was in keeping with the
tradition from the Habsburg times: the Volksdeutsche in the Banat
lived with the nationally conscious Serbs and Romanians and with
comparatively few Hungarians, becoming therefore nationally riper than
their fellow-countrymen in other parts of Hungary. On the other hand,
those in the Bacska lived predominantly among the Magyars and stood
under their spell. Thus the Swabians in the Banat were the first to
found a German political party in the German-Serbian town of Werschetz/Vršac
back in 1906.
These facts were at least partly
responsible for the birth-place of the Party of the Germans and the
make-up of its leadership. The party was founded in the town of
Hatzfeld/Žombolj/Jimbolia on the Yugoslav-Romanian border.
Other important factors
speaking in favour of Hatzfeld were its predominantly Swabian
population and its peripheral position which sheltered it to a degree
from possible attacks of raiding parties of Serbian nationalist
Furthermore, in such an out-of-the way place one could count on weaker
The founding assembly was held on December 17, 1922. The party program
of 26 points was adopted, calling for fulfillment of all civil rights
guaranteed by the Constitution, equality of churches, reduction and
professionalization of the administration and an end to its
arbitrariness. The program asked for social justice and equality of
Pursuing the interests of its peasant voters, the party demanded a tax
and customs policy which would favor the farmers, as well as building
of such a traffic infrastructure that would aid the development of
agriculture. It also called for a fair census and that military
service be served in one’s region of origin. Another set of demands
concerned strictly minority issues such as personal and educational
autonomy, ethnically rounded precincts, a fair agrarian reform for
all, economic liberties for all, German share of state employees,
application of German place-names etc.
Such a party program was tailored
according to the needs of the majority of the Ethnic-German community.
It mirrored above all economic interests, which played major role in
the Volksdeutsche thoughts and actions. It abstained from dealing with
the major Yugoslav political issues (such as federalism vs.
centralism, one Slavic nation or several etc.). This remained the rule
throughout 1920s: the Party of the Germans felt it counterproductive
to meddle into what its leaders considered strictly Slavic matters.
They were fearful lest taking sides in the internal Yugoslav squabbles
would hurt Ethnic-German interests. On the other hand, this sometimes
brought the party reproaches for isolationism from the major Slavic
The first elections at which the party
took part, on March 18, 1923, seemed promising. It ran on its own
ticket and, despite the government pressure, received 43.007 votes,
which was translated into 8 MP.
Although this was a good showing for the beginners, most of the
Volksdeutsche voted for other, non-German parties: the Croat
Peasants’ Party in Croatia and Slavonia, the Socialists in the
Bacska or the Slovenian People’s Party in Slovenia.
The reason lay partly in the division of constituencies, partly in
pressure of the authorities and nationalist organizations,
but also in the opinion of the many that the Volksdeutsche could
better further their interests if they went along with the strongest
The same pattern prevailed in the next
two elections in 1920s. Those in 1925 were marked by increased
violence. Adherents of opposition and minority parties were attacked
by nationalist organization, and even the leaders of the Party of the
Germans, Dr. Stefan Kraft and Dr. Georg Grassl, were severely beaten
in the village of Neu-Siwatz/ Novi Sivac at the beginning of 1925.
In such atmosphere of violence and intimidation the party managed to
broaden a little its electorate. It got 45.172 votes, but due to the
changed electoral system, only 5 MPs.
At the parliamentary
elections on September 11, 1927, the party again increased the number
of votes – 48.032 – achieving six MPs this time.
The party also did well at the local elections on November 6, 1927.
It got 511 deputies in assemblies of 111 communes.
However, the number of Volksdeutsche mayors was only 10, which was
less than would have been, had the offices been distributed
The Party of the Germans usually stuck
to the governing parties in the Parliament, but voicing minority
complaints every now and then. These concerned the agrarian reform,
German language education, civic equality and malpractices of the
authorities. The party
was too weak to do more. It never had the occasion to influence
the vital decisions or to tip the parliamentary scales. Its major
success was to prevent the passing of a stipulation that would
strongly limit the possibility of members of minorities to acquire
real-estate in the zones along the state border in 1928/29.
Its important bill on primary schools, submitted on December 20, 1928
never came before the Parliament since it was disbanded after the
imposition of King’s dictatorship on January 6, 1929.
Although the palpable results of the
party’s activity were meager, it nevertheless contributed to
political ripening of the German minority. Its leaders learned the
rules of the political game as played in Yugoslavia and could gain
experience and acquaintances in government circles. Even though it
never managed to attract the majority of the Volksdeutsche votes, and
had its electorate mostly in the Vojvodina at that, its existence was
an important step in the direction of building up an unified national
Yugoslavia entered the second decade
of its existence without having overcome many legacies of the past.
Legislation was still not unified in its historical provinces and
political integration couldn’t surpass ethnic level. Except for few
marginal parties ideological issues were not the
able to unite the population across ethnic borders. Differences
in the levels of economic development remained great. The
Ethnic-Germans basically fitted into that pattern. They didn’t
manage to achieve full unity of various Volksdeutsche groups. Many
people of German origin, particularly in Croatia and Slavonia were
still ethnically unconscious and due to internal weaknesses and
government pressure, Ethnic-German organizations couldn’t take root
in many areas. Nevertheless, there were some undeniable achievements.
The first one was the Deutsches Volksblatt which reached
supra-regional readership. The other was the Kulturbund, which,
despite all odds, managed to overcome the tribulations of 1920 and to
survive as a pivotal folk institution. Economic cooperatives which
evolved from it were even stronger and would continue to grow in
number and strength in 1930s. The Party of the Germans wasn’t so
lucky, but its leaders gathered experiences and continued to make
politics under the changed circumstances in Yugoslavia and in Europe
in 1930s. In the decade preceding WWII the German minority in the
country would finally be blended into a solid whole – albeit under
the nefarious influence from Hitler’s Germany.
pregled Kraljevine Jugoslavije [1921.]
po banovinama [Statistical survey of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(1921) According to Banovinas]. Beograd 1930, p. 5.
Das Schicksal der Deutschen in Jugoslawien. Augsburg 1994, p. 11E.
The Vojvodina was the political concept of Serbs in
Southern Hungary during 19th century who strove to
acquire political autonomy in that area. It comprised the Western
part of the Banat, most of the Bacska and the southernmost tip of
Baranya. Paradoxically, almost immediately after the foundation of
Yugoslavia the central government did its best to erase it from
the mental map of the population. The Autonomous Province of the
Vojvodina which was created after WWII had a somewhat different
territory: it didn’t comprise Baranya, but it included Eastern
Deca careva, pastorčad kraljeva. Nacionalne manjine u
Jugoslaviji 1918-1941 [Children of the Emperors,
Stepchildren of the Kings. National Minorities in Yugoslavia
2005, p. 77.
Hans Hermann Frensing. Die Umsiedlung
der Gottscheer Deutschen. Das Ende einer südostdeutschen
Volksgruppe. München 1970, p. 116.
Hugo Grothe. Deutsche Sprachinsel Gottschee. Ein Beitrag
zur Deutschtumskunde des europäischen Südostens. Münster in
Westfalen 1931, p. 80.
Nemci u Bačkoj u Drugom svetskom ratu [The Germans in
the Bacska in WWII].
Novi Sad 1974, p. 116.
Ekkerhard Vökl. Der Westbanat 1941-1944. Die deutsche, die
ungarische und andere Volksgruppen. München 1991. p.
Grothe (as the footnote 6), p. 18; Herbert Otterstädt.
Gottschee. Verlorene Heimat deutscher Waldbauer. Freilassing
, pp. 6-8; Idem, Gottschee. Eine deutsche Volksinsel im Südosten,
Graz 1941, p. 9; Ivan
Simonič, Zgodovina kočevskega ozemlja [History
of the Gottschee Territory], in: Kočevski
zbornik. Razprave o Kočevski in njenih ljudeh [The
Gottschee Collection. Studies on Gottschee and its People]. Ljubljana
1939, pp. 51-58; Jubiläums-Festbuch der
Gottscheer-600-Jahresfeier. Aus Anlaß des 600-jährigen Bestandes
des Gottscheer Landes. [Kočevje
1930], pp. 39-42; 500 let mesta Kočevja [500 Years of
the Town of Gottschee]. [Kočevje
8-10; Karl Schemitsch, Das war Gottschee. Landskron, Kitchener
, p. 16-18; Kočevsko. Izgubljena kulturna dediščina
kočevskih Nemcev / Gottschee. Das verlorene Kulturerbe der
Gottscheer Deutschen. Ljubljana 1992, p. 18.
500 let (as footnote 9), p. 9.
(as footnote 9), pp. 45-46; Jože Rus: Jedro kočevskega vprašanja.
Zgodovina, sedajnost in bodočnost kočevskega
gospodarstva in njegovih prirodnih in socijalnih podlag [The Core
of the Gottschee Question. History, Present and Future of the
Gottschee Economy and its Natural and Social Basis], in: Kočevski
zbornik, pp. 131-133; S. Šantel: O izvoru kočevske narodne
noše [On the Origins of the Gottschee Folk-Costumes] in: Kočevski
zbornik, pp. 347; 500 let (as footnote 9), pp. 8
Handwörterbuch des Grenz- und Auslanddeutschtums
(henceforth: HWBGAD), III. Breslau 1938, p. 322; Doris Kraft. Das
untersteierische Drauland. Deutsches Grenzland zwischen
Unterdrauburg und Marburg. München 1935, p. 127.
Fran Zwitter: Etnična struktura in politična
vloga mest v slovenskih deželah od srede XIX do začetka XX
stoletja [The Ethnic Make-Up and the Political Role of Towns in
the Slovenian Territory from Mid-19th to Early 20th
Jugoslovenski istorijski časopis, 3-4 (1973); Balduin Saria:
Mittelalterliche deutsche Besiedlung in Krain. In: Gedenkschrift für
Harold Steinacker (1875-1965). München 1966, p. 102; Ferdo
Gestrin, Vasilj Melik. Slovenska zgodovina od konca
osamnajstega stoletja do 1918 [Slovenian History from the End of
18th Century to 1918]. Ljubljana 1966, p. 6.
Gestrin, Melik (as footnote 13), pp. 83, 105.
Janez Cvirn. Trdnjavski trikotnik. Politična
orijentacija Nemcev na Spodnjem Štajerskem (1861-1914) [The
Fortress-Triangle. Political Orientation of the Germans in Lower
Styria (1861-1914)]. Maribor 1997.]
The literature on colonization of Southern Hungary is
immensely rich. Probably the best overviews are: Oskar Feldtänzer.
Geschichte, Bd.I. Das Jahrhundert der Ansiedlung 1689-1805. München
Jankulov, Pregled kolonizacije Vojvodine u XVIII i XIX veku [A
Survey of the Colonization of the Vojvodina in 18th and 19th
Centuries]. Novi Sad
1961; Konrad Schünemann. Österreichs Bevölkerungspolitik unter
Maria Theresia, I. München .
Johann Weidlein. Madjarisierung der Deutschen in Ungarn.
zwischen Serben und Donauschwaben. In: Südost-Forschungen 58
(1999), pp. 120-122, 128
Georg Wild: Die Deutschen in Syrmien, Slawonien und Bosnien. In: Südostdeutsches
Archiv, XIV (1971), p. 150; Valentin Oberkersch. Die Deutschen in
Syrmien, Slawonien und Kroatien bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg. Ein
Beitrag zur Geschichte der Donauschwaben. Stuttgart 1972, pp.
17-19; Vladimir Geiger. Nijemci u Đakovu i Đakovštini
[The Germans in Djakovo and the Djakovo Area]. Zagreb
2001, pp. 13-17.
Geiger (as footnote 19), pp. 43-49; Oberkersch (as footnote
19), pp. 22-33; Wild (as footnote 19), p. 151.
Oberkersch (as footnote 19), pp. 35-42, 62-65; Holm
Sundhaussen: Die Deutschen in Kroatien-Slawonien und Jugoslawien.
In: Günter Schödl (Hg.): Deutsche Geschichte im Osten Europas.
Land an der Donau. Berlin 2002, pp. 296-314.
Hans Maier. Die deutschen Siedlungen in Bosnien. Stuttgart
Tomislav Kraljačić: Kolonizacija stranih seljaka u Bosnu
i Hercegovinu za vrijeme austrougarske uprave [The
Colonization of Foreign Peasants in Bosnia-Herzegovina During the
In: Istorijski časopis, XXXVI (1989).
Istorija Jugoslavije, I [History of Yugoslavia]. Beograd 1988, pp.
21-26; Josip Horvat. Politička povijest Hrvatske [Political
History of Croatia], II. Zagreb 1989, pp. 85-98.
Povijest oslobođenja Vojvodine [History of the
Liberation of the Vojvodina].
Subotica 1939, p. 310.
This choice of the prospective protector was made due to
the large number of Gottschee emigrants in USA, particularly in
Frensing (as footnote 5), p. 10; Grothe (as footnote 6), p.
180; HWBGAD, III (as footnote 12), p. 76; Dušan
Biber: Kočevski Nemci med obema vojnama [The Gottschee
Germans Between the Two World Wars].
In: Zgodovinski časopis XVII (1963), p. 27.
Zgodovina Celja in okolice [History of Cilli and its
Surroundings], II. Celje 1971, p. 314.
za severno slovensko mejo 1918-1919 [Struggle for the
Northern Slovenian Border]. Maribor 1977, pp. 65-66.
Ude (as footnote 28), p. 64.
Maribor v letih 1918-1919 [Marburg in the Years 1918-1919]. In:
Kronika IV (1956), p. 94; Fran Kovačič. Slovenska Štajerska
in Prekmurje [Slovenian Styria and Prekmurje]. Zgodovinski opis.
Ljubljana 1926, p. 399.
Konec avstrijske oblasti v Mariboru 1918-1919. In: Časopis za
zgodovino in narodopisje, L (1979), pp. 385-387; Ude (as footnote
28), pp. 40-63, 66-80; Vončina (as footnote 29), p. 95; Kovačič
(as footnote 29), pp. 400-401.
(as footnote 30), p. 388;
Ude (as footnote 28), pp. 87-94.
(as footnote 30), p. 389;
Ude (as footnote 28), p. 101; Vončina (as footnote 29), p.
(as footnote 30), p. 389; Ude (as footnote 28), p. 104-115; Arnold
Suppan: Ethnisches, ökonomisches oder strategisches Prinzip? Zu
den jugoslawischen Grenzziehungsvorschlägen gegenüber Österreich
im Herbst und im Winter 1918/1919. In: Saint Germain 1919. Wien
1979, p. 172; Kovačič
(as footnote 29), pp. 401;
Vončina (as footnote 29), p. 98.
Janjetović (as footnote 4), pp. 228-229.
Smilja Amon: Nemško časopisje na Slovenskem [German
Press in Slovenian Territory].
In: Teorija in praksa, XXV (1988), pp. 1330-1332; Tanaj Žigon.
Nemško časopisje na Slovenskem[German Press in
. Ljubljana 2001, pp. 32-59; Branko Bešlin. Vesnik tragedije.
Nemačka štampa u Vojvodini 1933-1941. godine [Harbinger
of Tragedy. German Press in the Vojvodina 1933-1941].
Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci 2001, pp. 17-20.
footnote 36), pp. 22-30.
Branimir Algeyer. Elaborat o njemačkoj
narodnoj skupini, I[Study on the German Ethnic Group, I].
s.l. 1947 in: Vojni arhiv [Military Archives] (henceforth: VA),
Belgrade, Nemačka arhiva, k. 40-D, f. 3, d. 1.
Oskar Plautz. Das Werden der Volksgemeinschaft in Südslawien.
Novi Sad 1940, p. 26; Josef Volkmar Senz. Das Schulwesen der
Donauschwaben im Königreich Jugoslawien. München 1969, pp.
51.52; Idem: Politische Aktivitäten der Donauschwaben in
Jugoslawien zwischen den beiden Weltkriegen. In: Deutsche
Forschungen in Ungarn IX (1944-1985), p. 300; Dušan Biber.
Nacizem in Nemci v Jugoslaviji 1933-1941. Ljubljana 1966, pp.
Biber (as footnote 39), p. 33.
Biber (as footnote 39), p. 33; Mathias Annabring, Volksgeschichte
der Donauschwaben in Jugoslawien. Stuttgart 1955, p. 40; Plautz
(as footnote 39), p. 34; Hans Rasimus. Als Fremde im Vaterland.
M[nchen 1989, p. 43.
Nemačka katolička štampa u Vojvodini i njen spor sa
nacionalsocijalistima 1935-1941. godine. In: Zbornik Matice srpske
za istoriju, XXIV (1999), p. 110; Handwörterbuch
des Grenz- und Auslanddeutschtums, I (henceforth: HWBGAD,
I). Breslau 1933, p. 283; Theodor Grentrup. Das Deutschtum an der
Mittleren Donau in Rumänien und Jugoslawien. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung
seiner kulturellen Lebensbednigungen. Münster in Westfalen 1930,
pp. 93-94; Josef
Haltmeyer. Die katholische Donauschwaben in der Batschka. In: Die
katholische Donauschwaben in den Nachfolgestaaten 1918-1945. Im
Zeichen des Nationalismus. Freilassing 1972, p. 240; Anthony
Komjathy Rebecca Stockwell. German Minorities and the Third Reich.
Ethnic-Germans of Eastern Europe Between the Wars. New York,
London 1980, p. 127.
Biber (as footnote 39). p. 35.
Komjathy, Stockwell (as footnote 42),
Biber (as footnote 39), p. 34.
Although representatives of the Ethnic-Germans from
Slovenia took part at the founding assembly of the Union, only
several short-lived branches were founded there. The Kulturbund
managed to take root there only in 1930s. (Biber (as footnote
39), p. 34.)
Cf. Arnold Suppan: Zur Lage der Deutschen in Slowenien
zwischen 1918 und 1938. In: Idem, Helmut Rumpler (eds.):
Geschichte der Deutschen im Bereich des heutigen Slowenien
1848-1941. Wien, München 1988; Martin Wute, Oskar Lobmeyr, Die
Lage der Minderheiten in Kärnten und in Slowenien. Klagenfurt
Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes (henceforth: PA
AA), Abt. IIb. Nationalitätenfrage, Fremdvölker in Jugoslawien. Politik
6, Jugoslawien, Bd. 1; Plautz (as footnote 39), p. 35; Rasimus (as
footnote 41), pp. 71-73.
Valentin Oberkerschh. Die Deutschen in Syrmien, Slawonien,
Kroatien und Bosnien. Geschichte einer deutschen Volksgruppe in Südosteuropa.
Stuttgart 1989, p. 282-283; Sundhaussen (as footnote 21),
HWBGAD, I (as footnote 42), p. 284; Rasimus (as footnote
41), pp. 46, 52-64; Annabring (as footnote 41), pp. 42-43.
Komjathy, Stockwell (as footnote 42), p. 130.
It was sometimes accused of meddling into politics and
therefore put under pressure of local authorities. (Arhiv
Jugoslavije [Archives of Yugoslavia] (henceforth: AJ), 14,
135/479; 144/502; 105/405; PA AA. Nationalitätenfrage,
Fremdvölker in Jugoslawien. Politik 6, Jugoslawien, Bd. 1.)
Annabring (as footnote 41), 41; Senz: Politische (as
footnote 39), 41; Plautz (as footnote 39), p. 35; Biber (as
footnote 39), p. 34; Oberkersche (as footnote 47), p. 283.
AJ, 14, 27/71; Altgeyer (as footnote 38), p. 15; Biber (as
footnote 39), p. 34.
Plautz (as footnote 39), p. 35-39; Biber (as footnote 39),
p. 34; Arnold Suppan. Jugoslawien
und Österreich 1918-1938. München, Wien 1996, p. 722; Oberkersch
(as footnote 47), p. 283.
Biber (as footnote 39), p. 35. Mirnić
adduces 64 branches in this period. (Mirnić (as footnote 7),
Annabring (as footnote 41), pp. 41-42.
footnote 39), p. 43; Mirnić (as footnote 7), p. 30.
Jovan Durman: Zadrugarstvo Nemaca u Jugoslaviji do Drugog
svetskog rata [The Cooperatives of the Germans in Yugoslavia
Before WWII]. In: Zadružni arhiv 2 (1954), p. 115; Plautz (as
footnote 39), p. 90; Todor Avramović.
Privreda Vojvodine od 1918. do 1929/30. godine s obzirom na stanje
pre Prvog svetskog rata [The Vojvodina Economy 1918-1929/30
Regarding its Situation Before WWI]. Novi Sad 1965, pp. 113-114.
Das Schicksal (as footnote 2), p. 15E. Even those Germans living
in towns relied heavily on agriculture for their income.
Josef Wilhelm. Dr.
Stefan Kraft, Stuttgart 2008, p. 19; Leopold Egger. Das Vermögen
und die Vermögensverluste der Deutschen in Jugoslawien.
Sindelfingen 1983, p. 189; Arno Oebser. Das deutsche
Genossenschaftswesen in den Gebieten der ehemaligen
Tschechoslowakei, in Rumänien, Südslawien und Ungarn. Stuttgart
1940, pp. 220, 224; Plautz (as footnote 39),
Daka Popović. Banat, Bačka i Baranja. Savremeni
nacionalni, politički i društveni profil [The Banat, the
Bacska and Baranya. Their Contemporary National, Political and
Social Profile]. Novi Sad 1935, p. 30; L. Lenard: Narodne manjine
u SHS [National Minorities in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and
Slovenes]. In: Jubilarni zbornik života i rada SHS 1.XII
1928, p. 736; Branko Bešlin: Nemci u Vojvodini 1918-1941[The
Germans in the Vojvodina 1918-1941]. In: Tokovi istorije 1-4
(1999), p. 226.
Egger (as footnote 61), pp. 181-182; Ljubica
Šijački. Privreda Banata između dva svetska rata [The
Economy of the Banat Between the Two World Wars]. Novi Sad 1987,
Ivan Milivoj Varga: Naše zadrugarstvo [Our Cooperatives].
In: Jubilarni zbornik života i rada SHS 1.XII 1918-1928. Beograd
1928, pp. 279-289.
Wilhelm (as footnote 61), p. 17; Annabring (as footnote
41), p. 32.
Parlament i političke stranke u Jugoslaviji (1918-1929)[Parliament
and Political Parties in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia].
Beograd 1970, pp. 70-71; Zlatko Matijević: »Građani na
odkaz« - njemačka nacionalna manjina i 9. članak Zakona
o izborima narodnih poslanika za Ustavotvornu skupštinu
Kraljevine SHS (1920) [»Conditional Citizens«. The German
National Minority and the article 9 of the Law on the Election of
the MPs for the Constitutent Assembly of the Kingdom of the Serbs,
Croats and Slovenes]. In: Godišnjak Njemačke narodnosne
zajednice X (2003); Geiger (as footnote 19), pp. 92-93.
Just how important the minorities could be was subsequently
proven by the fact that the Constitution was passed only thanks to
the votes of the Turkish-Albanian Xhemiet party. (Cf. Gligorijeć
(as footnote 66), pp. 103-104 ; Janjetović (as footnote 4),
As late as 1938 the Germans (who were just 2.5% of the
population) were 13% of all medical doctors and 10.6% of engineers
in Slovenia. (Dušan
Biber: Socijalna struktura nemačke nacionalne manjine u
Kraljevini Jugosalviji [Social Structure of the German National
Minority in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia]. In: Jugoslovenski
istorijski časopis 1-4 (1978), p. 408.)
Two Germans from Slovenia made it to the upper echelons of
the Volksdeutsche organizations: Oskar Plautz, the manager
of the “People’s Bank” in Zemun/Semlin and Franz Perz,
manager of the Druckerei- und Aktiengesellschaft which
published the Deutsches Volksblatt. (Bešlin
(as footnote 34), p. 25.)
Biber (as footnote 26), p. 30; HWBGAD, III (as footnote
12), p. 77; 500 let (as footnote 9), p. 42; Kočevsko
(as footnote 11), p. 26.
Plautz (as footnote 39), pp. 47-48.
Friedrich Gotas: Die Deutschen in Ungarn. In: Adam
Wandruszka, Peter Urbanitsch (eds.). Die Habsburgermonarchie
1848-1918, Bd. III. Die Völker des Reiches. Wien 1980, pp.
372-374, 395-398, 401-402, 407-410; Ingomar Senz, Die nationale
Bewegung der ungarnländischen Deutschen vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg.
Eine Entwicklung im Spannungsfeld zwischen Alldeutschtum und
ungarischer Innenpolitik. München 1977, pp. 63, 98; Arpad Lebl. Građanske
partije u Vojvodini 1887-1918[The Bourgeois Parties in the
Vojvodina 1887-1918]. Novi Sad 1979, p.
Schödl: Am Rande des Reiches, am Rande der Nation. Deutsche im Königreich
Ungarn (1867-1914/18). In: Idem (ed.). Deutsche Geschichte im
Osten Europas. Land an der Donau. Berlin 2002, pp. 402-408.
Yugoslavia and Romania swapped pieces of territory, so
Hatzfeld eventually fell to Romania
in November 1923. (Das Schicksal (as footnote 2), p. 4E. )
PA AA, Abt. IIb, Nationalitätenfrage, Fremdvölker in
Jugoslawien. Politik 6, Jugoslawien, Bd. 2; Senz. Politische
(as footnote 39), p. 302.
Various Yugoslav provinces had inherited different taxation
systems from the predecessor states, so that very different
amounts of taxes were paid in various parts of the country. The
Vojvodina, where bulk of the Volksdeutsche lived, had
inherited the Hungarian system of taxation and paid the highest
taxes. This was often incorrectly construed as deliberate measure
of the government against the minorities. However, this view is
unacceptable, since the local Serbs and Croats had to pay the very
Rasimus (as footnote 41), pp. 627-629; Annabring (as
footnote 41), pp. 29-30.
Plautz (as footnote 39), pp. 53-55; Annabring (as footnote
41), p. 32; Das Schicksal (as footnote 2), p. 33E.
Altgeyer (as footnote 38), p. 48; PA AA, Abt. IIb,
Nationalitätenfrage, Fremdvölker in Jugoslawien. Politik
6, Bd. 2; Biber (as
footnote 26), p. 30; 500 let (as footnote 9), p. 42; HWBGAD,
III (as footnote 12), p. 77.
Ballot was public so it was no secret how one voted.
Avramovski. Britanci o Kraljevini Jugosalviji. Godišnji izveštaji
britanskog poslanstva u Beogradu 1921-1938 (The British on
the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Annual Reports of the British Embassy
in Belgrade (1921-1938).
I. Zagreb, Beograd , p. 307; Annabring (as footnote
41), p. 27; Stenografske
beleške Narodne skupštine Kraljevine Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca.
Vanredni saziv za 1925 [Minutes of the Parliament of the Kingdom
of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Extraordinary Session of 1925],
II. Beograd 1925, pp. 216-217; Branislav Gligorijević: Srpska
nacionalna omladina (SRNAO). Prilog izučavanju nacionalističkih
i terorističkih organizacija u staroj Jugoslaviji [The
Serbian Nationalist Youth (SRNAO) A Contribution to the Research
of Nationalist and Terrorist Organizations in the Old Yugoslavia].
In: Istorijski glasnik 2-3 (1964), p. 27; PA
AA, Abt. IIb, Politische Beziehungnen Jugoslawiens zu Deutschland.
Politik 2, Jugoslawien, Bd. 1.
Plautz (as footnote 39), p. 55; Annabring (as footnote 41),
p. 36; Das Schicksal (as footnote 2), p. 33E.
Annabring (as footnote 41), p. 38; Das Schicksal (as
footnote 2), p. 33E; Plautz (as footnote 39), p. 55; Gligorijević
(as footnote 66), p. 294.
Unlike other parts of the country, this was the first time
after WWI that local elections were organized in the Vojvodina
too. Due to the large number of non-Slavic inhabitants of the
province, the government had avoided to introduce local
self-government there for years.
Plautz (as footnote 39), p. 64; Goran
Nikolić. Društvena obeležja nemačke nacionalne manjine
u Vojvodini u periodu 1918-1929. godine. Magistarski rad u
rukopisu [Social Characteristics of the German national
Minority in the Vojvodina 1918-1929. MA paper, manuscript ]. Novi
Sad 1992, p. 191.
Annabring (as footnote 41), p. 38; Nikolić
(as footnote 85), p. 191; László Rehak. Manjine u Jugoslaviji.
Pravno-politička studija. Doktorska teza u rukopisu
[Minorities in Yugoslavia. A Legal and Political Study. Ph.D.
paper, manuscript]. Novi Sad, Beograd 1965, p. 243.
Plautz (as footnote 39), pp. 64-65.
Plautz (as footnote 39), pp. 77-78; Der
Minderheitenschulgesetzentwurf des deutschen Abgeordnetenklubs.
Nation und Staat. II, no. 4, 1929, pp. 275-280.
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