Making of the German Minority in Yugoslavia
Picture for PDF
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
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 years
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 particular importance.
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 minority.
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 world wars.
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.
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 first.
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 us.
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
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
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 models.
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 suffer.
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 no
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 illegally.
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 first
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
Even though not all German cooperatives were part of the “Agraria”,
it became synonymous with the success of the Volksdeutsche cooperatives.
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
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 resented.
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
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 organizations.
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 parties.
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 Slavic
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 proportionally.
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 minority.
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 Syrmium.
Deca careva, pastorčad kraljeva. Nacionalne manjine u
Jugoslaviji 1918-1941 [Children of the Emperors, Stepchildren
of the Kings. National Minorities in Yugoslavia 1918-1941].
Beograd 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 1971], pp.
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.
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. Donauschwäbische
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
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.
Janko Orožen. Zgodovina Celja in okolice [History of Cilli and its
Surroundings], II. Celje 1971, p. 314.
Lojze Ude.Boj za severno slovensko mejo 1918-1919 [Struggle for the
Northern Slovenian Border]. Maribor 1977, pp. 65-66.
Ude (as footnote 28), p. 64.
Anton Vončina: 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.
Penič (as footnote 30), p. 388;
Ude (as footnote 28), pp. 87-94.
Penič (as footnote 30), p. 389;
Ude (as footnote 28), p. 101; Vončina (as footnote 29), p. 96.
(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 Slovenian
Territory] . 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. 32-33.
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 1926.
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), pp.
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), p.
Annabring (as footnote 41), pp. 41-42.
Plautz (as 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 1918-1928. Beograd
1928, p. 736; Branko Bešlin: Nemci u Vojvodini 1918-1941[The
Germans in the Vojvodina 1918-1941]. In: Tokovi istorije 1-4 (1999),
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, p.
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),
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
(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.
271; Günter 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 same taxes.
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
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
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.
Biber (as footnote 39), pp. 43-210; Zoran
Donauschwaben in der Vojvodina und der Nationalsozialismus. In:
Mariana Hausleitner, Harald Roth (eds.): Der Einfluss von
Faschicsmus und Nationalsozialismus auf Minderheiten in Ostmittel-
und Südosteuropa. München 2006, pp. 219-235.