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Alternative Educational Materials

The Second World War

CDRSEE Rapporteur to the Board for the Joint History Project: Costa Carras
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Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe). This book contains the views expressed by the authors in their individual
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Table of Contents

Introduction 13
Chronology 17

Map 1: World War II, 1939-1942 26

Chapter I: Policies 27

Ia . L e a d e r s a n d i d e o l o g i e s 27
I-1. Fitzroy MacLean, Churchill’s delegate to the Partisans, about Tito in 1943 27
v1. Leader of the Partisan ‘People’s Liberation Movement’, Josip Broz -Tito,
and commander of ‘The Yugoslav Army in the Homeland’ (‘Chetniks’),
general Draža Mihailović 28
I-2. Pavelić’s photographer gives evidence of his personality 29
v2. Ante Pavelić 29
I-3. Descriptions of Mehmet Shehu and Enver Hoxha 29
I-4. An English spy on the leader of the political opposition
in Romania - Iuliu Maniu 31
I-5. Metaxas’s address to the editors and publishers of all the Greek
newspapers (October 30th, 1940) 31
v3. Lottery ticket to raise money for the families of soldiers fighting on the
Albanian front against the Italians in 1940-41 32
I-6. Hitler’s Directive No. 26 (3 April 1941) 32
I-7. Ion Antonescu about the ‘Jewish problem’ 33
I-8. The Proclamation to the Country of king Mihai (August 23, 1944) 33
I-9. The Communist ideology of the LNC, displayed by Sejfulla Maleshova 34
I-10. A leaflet written by the District Committee of the Communist Party of
Yugoslavia for Macedonia to the Macedonian people 34

Ib. Armies and soldiers 35

I-11. American report on the activities of the Albanian resistance 35
I-12. Allies’ representatives in the Balkans on guerrilla strategies in Albania 36
I-13. Croatian military deputy in Sofia about the situation in Macedonia 36
v4. The replacement of the German army by the Bulgarian army,
after the fascist occupation of Yugoslav Macedonia (April 1941) 37
I-14. Declaration (tract) of the National Liberation Front (EAM)
(Committee of Sterea Ellada) 37
I-15. Declaration (tract) of the National Democratic Greek Union (EDES) 1943 37
v5. Photo of Partisans (men and women) of the left wing resistance in Greece 38
I-16. Basic points of the Osvobodilna Fronta (OF)
(The Liberation Front of the Slovenian Nation) 39
I-17. From the diary of a Yugoslav Partisan commander 39
I-18. From the minutes of the meeting between D. Mihailović and representatives
of the German command in Serbia in the village of Divci 40
I-19. From the instructions of Draža Mihailović to major Djordje Lašić
and captain Pavle Djurišić 40
v6. Serbian poster 41


I-20. Collaboration between the Ustashas and the Chetniks 41

I-21. Beginning of the insurrection in Bosnia 41
I-22. The foundation of the SS-“Handžar division” as the peak
of Muslim collaboration 42
I-23. The beginning of the Partisan movement in Croatia 43
I-24. Testimonies about how Ohrid saw the coming of Germans, Italians,
Bulgarians and Partisans during the Second World War 43
v7. Bosnian Muslims in the Ustasha forces 44
I-25. A child about the rivalry of the political groups in Albania 45
I-26. LNC Central Council circular letter to all regional committees in Albania
(dated 9 September 1943) 45

Ic . R e l a ti o n s w i th th e tw o c o a l i ti o n s a n d w i th th e n e i g h b o u r i n g c o u n tr i e s 46
I-27. News report on the military coup in Yugoslavia 46
I-28. Report by the chief rabbi of Yugoslavia on the population’s reaction
to the military coup on 27th March 1941 46
v8. March 27th 1941. Mass anti-Axis demonstrations in Belgrade 47
I-29. From the memoirs of Konstantin Katzarov, a famous Bulgarian lawyer,
on the first year of World War II 47
I-30. Bulgarian journalist Danail Krapchev about the accusation against Bulgaria
of not offering resistance to the German army 47
I-31. Danail Krapchev comments on Germany’s swift victory over Yugoslavia
in April 1941 48
v9. Romanian newspaper: king Michael, Antonescu, Mussolini, Hitler (1941) 48
v10. Romanian newspaper: king Michael and Stalin (1945) 48
I-32. Extract from the Mnemonio (18 October 1941) of prime minister Tsouderos,
in the official Greek government in Cairo, to the British 49
I-33. Message from the British Foreign Office to the British minister in Cairo
(14 August 1944) 49
I-34. Brigadier Myers assesses the impact of Greek resistance on the overall
evolution of the war 49
v11. Romanian newspaper photo: comradeship between the Romanian army
and the Red Army: officers on the front 50
I-35. The treatment of the English prisoners in Romania (1944) 50
I-36. From the minutes of the talk between J.B. Tito and W. Churchill in Naples,
12 August 1944 51
I-37. Order of the Italian king Victor Emanuel III, dated May 3, 1941
on the annexation of the province of Ljubljana to Italy 51
I-38. An anecdote told by Ivan Venedikov, a famous Bulgarian archaeologist,
about his relations with the Germans in Macedonia 52

Id . R e l i g i o u s o r g a n i s a ti o n s
I-39. Declaration of the archbishop of Ioannina (Greece) to all Christians
in his authority (10 September 1943) 52
I-40. Letter by archbishop Damaskinos and other eminent Greeks to Gunther
von Altenburg, German ambassador to Greece 53
I-41. Catholic church of Albania about the Italian invasion of Albania 54
I-42. Sarajevo Muslims about the situation in Bosnia 54
I-43. Islamic clergy and the creation of the Muslim SS-division in 1943 55
I-44.The speech made by Nicodim, patriarch of Romania, in 1942 55
I-45. Press article: The sister-churches. Great perspectives of Orthodoxy,
by Mihai Burlacu 55


I-46. Arrest of patriarch Gavrilo by German Gestapo in the Ostrog monastery,

23 April 1941 56
I-47. Stepinac’s letter to Pavelić, dated May 14, 1941 57
I-48. Stepinac’s letter to Pavelić, dated July 21, 1941 58
I-49. Father Zlatko Svirić about the conversion of the Orthodox Serbs
to Catholicism 58

Chapter II: Life in time of war 60

IIa. Poverty, insecurity 60

II-1. Bread rationing in Romania during the war (1942) 60
II-2. Bread rationing in Romania during the war (1944) 60
v12. Bread rationing in Istanbul 61
II-3. A Greek peasant’s description of the Italian occupiers 61
II-4. Ivan D. Stanchov, Bulgarian diplomat, about his family’s life during the war 61
II-5. American consul general in Istanbul on the public feelings in Bulgaria
in September 1942 61
v13. Lines behind a shop in Ljubljana during the war 62
v14. Queue for meat in Zagreb 62
II-6. Serbian journalist demands shame ribbons for black marketers 62
v15. Turkish cartoon 63
II-7. The urban population sells virtually everything that had a buyer 63
II-8. Insecurity of civilian life during war in Albania 63
II-9. Citizens of Belgrade grow vegetables 64
v16. Famine victims in Greece during the tragic winter of 1941/1942 64
II-10. Faik Okte about the Turkish Capital Tax 65
II-11. The story that spread among the people during the revenue of wealth tax
in Turkey 65

IIb. Civilians 66
II-12. A threat by the German authorities to Belgraders 66
v17. German propaganda poster-strip 66
II-13. Work in time of war in Romania 66
II-14. The Secret Service reports on the population’s discontent with the living
conditions in Romania 67
v18. Civilian defence rehearsals in Bayezid square in Istanbul 67
II-15. Military deputy of the Independent Croatian State in Sofia reports
on the situation in Vardar Macedonia under the Bulgarian rule 68
II-16. The 1941 situation according to the Regional Committee of the Yugoslav
Communist Party for Macedonia 68
II-17. Love in time of war 68

IIc. Soldiers’ lives 69

II-18. Odysseas Elytis, Nobel Prize winner for Literature (1979), describes
a regular Greek soldier’s experience at the Albanian front 69
v19. Lithography representing an ancient Greek fighter from the battle
of Marathon, a fighter from the Greek War of Independence of 1821
and an ‘evzone’ (modern Greek fighter) 70
II-19. Ivan Šibl’s first days in the Partisan units in Croatia 70
II-20. Ivan Šibl about women Partisans 70


II-21. Women in the villages of Grevena (Greece) demand more respect and
more participation in public affairs after taking part in the resistance movement 71
II-22. Young woman Partisan – a song by unknown Macedonian author 71
v20. The heroines of 1940 72
v21. Partisan newspapers: Pocket newspapers of the liaison troop,
Zadar (Croatia), 1944 72
II-23. Partisan indefatigability 72
II-24. Dencho Znepolski, a famous Bulgarian guerrilla commander,
about the relations between men and women in the group 73
II-25. The fighting at Don’s Bend – Stalingrad 73
II-26. Neagu Djuvara, a historian and prestigious diplomat,
remembers the period of participating in the fighting on the eastern front 74
v22. Those who sang to the war 75
II-27. Difficulties faced by combatants when adapting to civilian life 75
v23. The Yugoslav Macedonian military units’ collage of newspapers from 1944 75
II-28. A terrible mistake 75

IId. Culture and education 76

II-29. Bitola District School Inspectorate’s recommendations to the teachers 76
v24. The Partisan School 77
II-30. The statute of the central cultural club in Macedonia – ‘Kliment Ohridski’ 77
II-31. The Antonescu government promotes the cult of the heroes 77
II-32. Extract from a schoolbook for elementary education published by the
National Liberation Front (led by Communists) in the liberated parts of Greece 78
v25. Ilia Beshkov: Without living space, 1942 79
II-33. American consul general in Istanbul about propaganda in Bulgarian schools 79
v26. Romanian newspaper photo: article about women’s fashion (1942) 80
v27. A scene from Dragoljub Aleksić’s movie Innocence without protection 80
II-34. Romanian law-decree for the regulation of the education of Jews 80
II-35. Changes to the school curricula in Albania during the Italian occupation 81
v28. Announcements of cinema performances in Belgrade movie theatres
in mid-September 1942 81
v29. Children entering the primary school ‘Hasan Prishtina’ 82
II-36. Life in the youth camping centre Italo Balbo, organised
by the fascists in Albania 82
v30. NDH (Independent State of Croatia) national football team 82
v31. Romanian newspaper report about a football match between Romania
and Croatia in 1942 83
II-37. The Ministry of National Education of Romania forbids maps that
may remind people of the Soviet invasion in 1940 83
II-38. Pavelić’s language purism 84

Chapter III: War horrors 85

IIIa. The frontline 85

III-1. Military law practiced by Albanian Partisans 85
III-2. Treatment of prisoners by Albanian Nationalists 86
v32. Partisan 4th division in the mountains of Montenegro, 1944 86
v33. Romanian soldiers on camels in the Caucaz battles 86


IIIb. Brutalities 87
III-3. Announcements addressed to the Greeks by German army commanders
in Greece (1943) 87
III-4. German pamphlet (October 1943) after the first wave of mass retaliations
in Greece 87
III-5. Hitler’s order in connection with the army’s behaviour in the occupied
territories in South-East Europe 87
v34. Reprisals by the German army in Greece: photograph of mass executions
in Agrinio, 1943 88
III-6. German atrocities during the occupation of Albania 88
III-7. Italian atrocities in Slovenia 89
v35. Photographs of burnt or destroyed villages (reprisals) 89
III-8. Fragment from the interview with Cveto Kobal 90
v36. Front page of the pamphlet on Mauthausen 90
III-9. A letter to Hitler 90
III-10. German measures to counter the uprising in Serbia 91
III-11. Massacre of civilian hostages in Kragujevac 91
III-12. A Partisan report on the Italian-Chetniks’ actions in the area of Lika,
summer and autumn 1942 92
III-13. Horrors in the Ustasha prisons in Sarajevo 93
v37. Photograph from Belgrade’s central city square, 17 August 1941 93
III-14. Report on the state of the Gypsies in Transnistria 93
v38. Poster with the names of dead hostages in the German occupied zone
in Slovenia 94
III-15. Life in concentration camp Stara Gradiška 94
III-16. A letter to the family from the concentration camp ‘Stara Gradiška’ 95
III-17. An Ustasha soldier describes his acts of brutality 95
III-18. Partisan crimes in Bleiburg 96
III-19. Tito about Partisan crimes 97
v39. Victims, Vladimir Filakovac, oil on canvas, Zagreb 1943 97

IIIc. The Holocaust 97

III-20. From the Bulgarian Law for the Protection of the Nation 97
III-21. Bulgarian deputies protest against the deportation of Jews 98
III-22. Order issued by the Military Command, Belgrade 98
III-23. Ion Antonescu condemns the pogrom in Iaþi 99
v40. Turkish cartoon 100
v41. Turkish cartoon 100
III-24. Concentration camp of Sajmište, Belgrade 101
v42. Unknown girl, waiting for deportation, near Celje in Slovenia 101
III-25. Sufferings of a young Jewish girl from Sarajevo 102
III-26. The anti-Jewish measures in Greece 102
III-27. Extract from the memoirs of a Greek Jew of Salonique (1941-43) 103
v43. Belgrade concentration camp at Banjica 104
v44. Concentration camp Uštica, 1942 104
III-28. Rozalija Kremer’s letter to Pavelić’s office 104
v45. The front page of a catalogue of the anti-Jewish exhibition in Zagreb, 1942 105

Chapter IV: Human solidarity 106

IV-1. Partisan-Ustasha conversation 106

v46. Romanian newspaper poster: Help orphans 107


IV-2. Celebrating a name-day in the concentration camp 107

IV-3. Memoir of the intellectuals addressed to I. Antonescu (April 1944) 108
IV-4. Extract from a letter by the president of the Greek ministers
(7 October 1943) to the German authorities 109
IV-5. George Enescu trying to protect the Gypsies 110
IV-6. Memorandum of a group of Bulgarian barbers and hairdressers
to the ministers concerning the Bill for the Protection of the Nation 110
IV-7. Turkish help and support to Greece 110
IV-8. Turkish ambassador rescues Jewish Turks in Marseilles, France 111
IV-9. From the diary of a Bulgarian soldier in Western Thrace 112
IV-10. Relations between Romanian soldiers, Russian prisoners of war and
the Bulgarian community in Romania during World War II 112
IV-11. A Greek Jew describes the help provided to him and his family by Orthodox Greeks 113
v47. Jewish Turks standing in front of the Turkish consulate-general in Paris in 1943
to get passports and visas to enable them to return to Turkey 113
IV-12. Romanian official’s humane treatment of Jews 114
IV-13. A German officer saves a Bulgarian diplomat from the Gestapo in Bulgaria 114
v48. Secret Partisan hospital ‘Franja’, near Cerkno in Slovenia 115
IV-14. Alfonz Baron, a commissioner for the candy and chocolate factory ‘Union’,
to the Ustasha police headquarters, July 9, 1941 115
v49. Letter from an anonymous Belgrader to the German military commander in Serbia 116

Chapter V: Consequences 117

Va. War losses, war victims 117

V-1. Enver Hoxha at the peace conference in Paris about the casualties
and material damage in Albania 117
v50. 17 November 1944 117
1. The number of people killed in Yugoslavia, arranged by nationality 118
2. Greece’s losses during WWII 118
3. Greek merchant shipping losses during WWII 119

Vb. Migration during and after the war 119

V-2. German report about the mass evictions of the Slovenians 119
V-3. Report by the high commissioner for the province of Ljubljana, August 24, 1942
on a programme of activities in the region 120
v51. Refugees from Bosnia in Serbia 1941 121
V-4. Persecution of the German minority in Romania after the war 121
V-5. Winston Churchill about the deportation of Romanian citizens of German ethnic
origin to Russia 121
v52. Return of the Slovene Home Guard (domobranci) in June 1945 122

Vc. Changes in political systems 123

V-6. W. Churchill’s offer for a “Percentage” agreement 123
v53. The people of Athens cheer the arrival of the British army after liberation 123
V-7. One step towards the Communist monopoly on the authorities in
Yugoslavia after the war 123
V-8. Departure of the Ustashas and arrival of the Partisans in Zagreb 124


v54. Partisans entering Zagreb on May 8, 1945 124

v55. The meeting at Ban Jela cić square in Zagreb, in May 1945,

after the Partisans took over the authorities 124
V-9. Report of a Bulgarian Workers’ Party (Communist) session, where the
judgements on the members of the former regime are disputed 125
V-10. Report by the minister of justice about the number of people sentenced
by the People’s court in Bulgaria 125
V-11. British memorandum concerning the trials and carrying out of
the sentences against the so-called war criminals in the liberated
and satellite countries 125
v56. A warm reception for the Yugoslav Macedonian military, political
and state leaders in liberated Skopje (November 13, 1944) 126
V-12. Red Army invasion of Bulgaria and the seizure of power
by the Fatherland Front 126
v57. Belgraders welcoming the Bulgarian army 126

Chapter VI: The memory of the war 127

VI-1. Interview with Jože Požar (born in Slovenia in 1932), WW II orphan 127
VI-2. An extract from the semi-biographical novel by Fikret Demirag 128
VI-3. Bulgarian Partisans’ commander Dencho Znepolski, about how the
history of the resistance was rewritten in the years after World War II 128
v58. A fresco-composition by Borko Lazeski 128
v59. A scene from the movie The Užice Republic 129
VI-4. General Ctin Sanatescu about the contrast between the “public”

information and the reality on the front line 129

v60. Ðord-e Andrejević-Kun, Shooting, 1943 129
VI-5. Andjelka Martić, in her short story Meeting, describes a boy searching
for his Partisan father 130
VI-6. The fugitive – a song written by Iakovos Kambanellis 130
VI-7. Evelyn Waugh describes a Partisan assault (from the last part of his war
trilogy Sword of Honour) 131
v61. Poster from the Greek film Treachery, 1964 132
v62. Poster from the Greek film What did you do during the war Thanassis?, 1971
VI-8. An extract from the first novel of Dobrica Cosić, Far Away is the Sun 132
v63. Painting by Fatos Haxhiu which shows an episode from the battle-field
during WWII 134
v64. Painting by Guri Madhi showing a Partisan attack on a German military unit 134
VI-9. Description of an event from the perspective of a fighter, by Marin Preda 134
v65. A sheet from the comic strip Balkan Express, by Branislav Kerac and
Branko Plavšić, based on Gordan Mihić’s script 135
VI-10. Extracts from the novel Tobacco by Dimitar Dimov 135
VI-11. Turkish Cypriot Kemal Recep Susuzlu about his prisoner of war days,
spent with the Greek Cypriot leader Glafkos Clerides 136
v66. Scene from the Albanian movie When a day dawned 137

Table: National holidays related to WWII 137

Map 2: Southeast Europe after World War II 138

References 139


According to the historian Mark Mazower, “no experience was more crucial to the development of
Europe in the twentieth century [than the Second World War]… it was a struggle for the social and
political future of the continent itself… We cannot hope to understand the subsequent course of
European history without attending to this enormous upheaval and trying to ascertain its social and
political consequences. The years of Nazi occupation, followed by the chaos of the immediate post-
war period, sundered human ties, destroyed homes and communities, and in many cases uproot-
ed the very foundations of society.”
Although historians take a number of factors into account when examining the lead up to World
War II; namely, that after World War I the populations of the countries that had lost thought that they
had been treated unjustly by the victors, that democracy in many European countries was fragile
and that the international economic crisis of the ’30s struck the continent severely, it is, however,
the aggressive imperialist policy of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Japan that is considered by
almost all historians to be the main cause of World War Two.
The focus of this collection of historical sources has been chosen through geographically defined
parameters and is limited to the region of South-East Europe. Unlike Mussolini, in whose plans for
the expansion of the Italian empire the Balkan territory was an essential, if not major part (the Italian
army invaded Albania in 1939 and Greece towards the end of 1940), this region didn’t stand high
on Hitler’s priority list, at least not as far as the potential engagement of the German army was con-
cerned. Bearing in mind the Nazi’s great plans for expansion to the east, and occupation of greater
swathes of territory, a military operation in South-East Europe would have meant unnecessary
expenditure of men and resources. Diplomatic pressure on the countries which were frightened (or
impressed) by the strength of the German Blitzkrieg should have been enough to ensure German
supremacy and collaboration. Matters seemed to be developing in that direction at first: German
control was established over the Hungarian and Romanian resources through diplomatic pressure,
and Bulgaria and Yugoslavia entered the Tripartite Pact at the beginning of 1941. Political orienta-
tions, the reopening of accounts by extreme nationalists and fears of war or Communism led these
Balkan countries to shift from neutrality to a pro-Nazi stance.
Albania was left to Italy, and Greece was finally placed under Nazi control. Hitler’s military oper-
ation became inevitable after Mussolini’s failure to subjugate Greece and the British decision to
send troops to that country. When the armed forces staged a successful coup in Belgrade in which
the government that had signed Yugoslavia into the Tripartite Pact a few days earlier was over-
thrown, Hitler ordered the Wermacht to invade the country and also Greece. Simultaneously and to
some extent, prior to the coup, a part of the population expressed their frustration at the prepara-
tions made by Yugoslavia for entry into the Tripartite Pact and later on, the act itself, through pub-
lic demonstrations. These events carry both symbolic and moral significance, because they provide
the first example of public opposition to the decision of their own government to join the Tripartite
Pact. In addition to the moral and symbolic importance of these public displays of opinion, the
unprecedented events had military ramifications: according to some historians Hitler’s decision to
attack South-East Europe was actually a nervous reaction to these. To a certain extent, this reac-
tion changed the direction of World War II inasmuch as the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union was
delayed. Therefore, a hypothetical question can be asked: What course would the war have taken
had German troops arrived in Moscow in September instead of in November, 1941?


By the middle of 1941 all of the Balkan states except Turkey were either under Nazi occupation
or allied to the Nazis. Yugoslavia was fragmented: Croatia (with Bosnia-Herzegovina as one of its
regions) became a puppet-state of the Axis powers, while the rest of the country was divided into
occupation zones under Italian, German, Hungarian and Bulgarian rule. Greece was also divided
into three occupation zones under Italian, German and Bulgarian rule. Turkey tried to retain its neu-
trality although the Turkish-German Amity Treaty signed in June 1941 may suggest the adoption of
a position leaning towards the Axis powers.
Hitler’s racial thinking and the idea of industrialising mass murder led to the killing of 5 to 6 mil-
lion European Jews by the end of the war. Other ethnic groups such as the Gypsies and the Slavs
were also involved in Hitler’s racial policies, but the systematic nature of what he called the “Final
Solution” demarcates the Nazi approach to “the Jewish Problem” from their general treatment of
minorities and thus makes it a case apart, worthy of separate examination in itself. In the Balkans,
as in other European countries, Nazi occupation brought to the surface and deliberately exploited
the tensions simmering between different ethnic groups and offered some minorities the opportuni-
ty to avenge their oppression or redress grievances. Thus The Independent State of Croatia, for
example, which won independence as a puppet-state of the Axis powers and was ruled by an
extreme nationalist party, the Ustashas, persecuted the Serbs and Jews. This phenomenon was not
limited to one area; elsewhere too, extreme nationalist groups embarked on programmes of demo-
graphic engineering. The Nazis and the support for them in the Balkans led to a transformation of
the ethnic composition of the area. Its Jewish population dropped from 856,000 in 1930 to under
50,000 in 1950. After the war hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans were expelled from
Yugoslavia and deported from Romania, while Slavs and Albanians fled northern Greece.
By the end of the ‘30s, right-wing dictatorships had replaced democratic governments every-
where in the Balkans and the Communist parties had been banned. But Balkan dictatorships dif-
fered from the fascist regimes, in that mass parties failed to survive in the region, perhaps with an
exception of the only real grass roots movement and fascist appeal in the region – that of Codreanu
in Romania. The devastating shock of total war and the flight of some heads of state into exile swept
away the pre-war political elites. Nazi occupation underlined the inability of the state to protect its
civilians from violence, malnutrition and deprivation. The shock of living under a regime of unprece-
dented and systematic violence coupled with the intensity of suffering and destruction which struck
civilians over the six year period, profoundly transformed all European societies, but particularly
those of South-Eastern Europe, where the Nazi policies of expropriation and reprisals led to terri-
ble conditions. Thus, it was mainly hunger and terror that initially drove many to fight against the
Nazis, but these spurs to action were later supplemented by ideological and political considerations.
In addition to their military importance (although different in each country), resistance movements
had an enormous political and moral impact. An egalitarian and morally elevated vision of the post-
war world and the goal of a fairer distribution of wealth were shared by the majority of resistance
movements. Resistance movements, however, were fragmented, and under the conditions of
uncertainty and ideological confusion which the war produced, in-fighting ensued within almost
every group, often to the point of civil war. As resistance movements burgeoned after 1943, they
provoked reprisals by collaborationist militias thereby inciting another sort of civil war in many coun-
tries. However, by 1944 mass resistance movements, dominated by Communists, seemed ready to
take over power once the Nazis withdrew in many countries.
Powers outside of the SEE region, however, were working towards their own ends, and despite
the growing strength of the resistance, had other plans for the Balkans which held little regard for
the self determination of the states or people. In October 1944, at the same time as these mass
movements were poised to take power, Churchill and Stalin agreed on postwar spheres of influence


in South-East Europe: Greece was to come under British control; the rest, with an exception of
Yugoslavia for which the deal was 50:50, would be left to the Soviet Union. The Greek Communists
were finally defeated after a long civil war (1946-49). In Yugoslavia and Albania Communist
Partisans quickly seized power. Bulgaria and Romania suffered their own occupation by Soviet
troops who imposed Communist regimes. By the end of the ‘40s the division of Europe into two
zones was complete and wartime enmities had been transmuted under the pressure of the Cold
From today’s perspective it is obvious that WWII was much more than a series of battles and
diplomatic negotiations (although unfortunately, this is very often the main or sometimes the only
impression that students get from their textbooks): apart from the military component, WWII dis-
played some of the characteristics of religious, ethnic and racial conflict. As mentioned previously,
in some countries it turned into civil war - the conflict between resistance movements and also
between resistance movements and the collaborationist forces whose actions often outdid the
Nazi’s in cruelty. Such examples can be also found in South-East Europe and thereby in this col-
lection of historical sources. This, however, does not mean that we may, even for a second, forget
who the main villains were, neither can we allow them to abnegate responsibility for the evil done
to the Balkan nations and peoples. The Nazi accountability for starting the war and thereby for its
consequences can’t be diminished, not to mention disputed. However, bearing in mind the criminal
character of the Nazi regime that started the war, the fact remains that the political elite inclined
towards the Nazis in many countries. It is evident that many among these elites exploited the oppor-
tunity (under Hitler’s cover) to settle some old disputes with their neighbours, revise the Versailles
order, get rid of some ‘embarrassing’ minority, or enlarge their personal lands and accumulate
assets. It’s obvious that these elites didn’t come out of nowhere, nor could they have emerged from
a vacuum – there were open as well as hidden Nazi sympathisers in most of the countries of the
region along with levels of tacit consent for Nazi ideology and a latent predisposition towards racial-
ly divisive philosophies. When a country either joined the Tripartite Pact or subsequent to occupa-
tion by the Nazi-Fascists, the sympathisers seized the opportunity to show their loyalty to the Nazi
regime and acceptance of the foundations of the Nazi ideology. This uncompromising consent
paved the way for the Nazis and contributed to the ensuing brutality.

Our intention is to provide students with a multi-layered presentation of WWII. Consequently, a com-
paratively small number of sources within this Workbook deal with war operations. In taking this
approach, we had no intention of minimising the military importance of the resistance movements
in South-East Europe, (nor the great contribution made by the region in the overthrow of fascism
and Nazism) – the aim was rather to shed light, at least partially, on the aspects of life during war
which are less often presented in the students’ textbooks in accordance with the wishes and sug-
gestions of the teachers who use them in their teaching. Thus, it is well known that in most text-
books in South-East Europe, political history is given pre-eminence and this is therefore generally
the case with the presentation of WWII. Other contents, at least equally important and definitely
more interesting to students, for example, everyday life, the status of women and children, cultural
life, the echo of the war on literature and the other branches of art, love in wartime, and so on, are
mostly neglected and we find them only in traces.
This collection contains sources from 11 countries of South-East Europe, and this has its advan-
tages and disadvantages. The main advantage of the collection of historical sources conceived as
such, is that it enables students to gain a multi-perspective insight into this historical period. The
view of a certain historical period, in this case WWII, from two or more different points should be
not only interesting but also explicitly useful: students are offered the opportunity to read and anal-


yse how the same problem, incident or process is/was looked upon in their regional ‘neighbour-
Through analysis of the sources students will find striking similarities in many cases – poverty,
famine, uncertainty, and the great suffering that marked that period in the whole of South-Eastern
Europe. On the other hand, they will come across some opposing, contradictory sources, which
treat the same problem from completely different points of view or in a quite different way from the
one found in their textbooks. In such cases, our suggestion is not necessarily to ask students to
judge which source is correct, truthful or at least closest to the truth – it’s enough for students to
become aware of their existence, that is, to become aware of the fact that some historical incidents
and processes are not unambiguous, as they might be presented in their textbooks. Namely, in
some (most?) countries of South-East Europe, history teaching (and consequently history textbooks
have this conception) is subsequently based on ‘the single truth’, so it is an exception for students
to meet contradictory sources. With this in mind, we are aware that among those teachers and stu-
dents who may be unaccustomed to finding contradictory, opposing sources in their textbooks
and/or history teaching in general, the collection of sources based on a multi-perspective approach
might provoke certain disorientation, even rejection. We are, however, of the opinion that without a
multi-perspective approach there is no real, high quality study, understanding and learning of histo-
ry – otherwise, it becomes merely data memorisation.
On the other hand, the collection of sources conceived in this way has a significant defect. That
is, taking into consideration the fact that in the restricted area of this collection there are textual and
visual materials from 11 countries of South-East Europe, it is obvious that this collection does not
provide the complete picture of WWII in this area - to expect something like that would be preten-
tious at the least. Since the very beginning of this project we have been aware of that fact, so it was
necessary to make a selection of topics, e.g. choose only some of the numerous aspects of WWII,
while some others, though not any less important, might not even be mentioned. Besides choosing
the topics which are presented less often in the textbooks, the other significant criterion concerning
selection of the sources was a methodological one: we tried to include as many sources as possible
which may provoke some emotional reaction in our students (anger, shock, sympathy, admiration,
laughter...). Common people’s destinies – tragic, heroic, funny – often give us a better, more lifelike
picture of the cruel times than proclamations, political statements or diplomatic reports (of course, we
have no intention of depriving them of their value and so they are a part of this collection).
In short, our intention is to offer our students and fellow teachers a somehow different, multiper-
spective view on a gloomy period of our history, hoping that this collection of sources will also lead
to its better understanding because, in spite of transparency and the simplicity of the events in
WWII, (at least when we are talking about its moral component e.g. about the obvious distinction
between good and evil), in some countries of South-East Europe some doubts about this matter are
still artificially created, due to the fact that the leading role in most of the resistance movements con-
tained Communists. In addition to this, in world and European history, a Western perspective has
marginalised the part played by South-East Europe in WWII and has sometimes subordinated it to
long lasting stereotypes about the region. We think that this collection of documents will contribute
to a more comprehensive understanding of our history as part of the history of humanity.



Year Month World SEE

1939 April 7 - Italians invade Albania

12 - Albanian Constituent Assembly
proclaims the Personal Union with Italy
and Victor Emanuel III the king of
Albania. The Italians set up a puppet
fascist government under Shefqet
Verlaci and soon absorb Albania’s
military and diplomatic service into

August 23 - Soviet-German “Ribbentrop-

Molotov” Pact includes a secret
agreement to future Soviet occupation
of Romanian Bessarabia

September 1 – Germany invades Poland 7 - Romania declares its neutrality

3 – Britain and France declare war 15 - Bulgaria declares its neutrality
against Germany
17 – Soviet Union invades Poland

October 19 - Turkey, France and Britain sign

Ankara Treaty to aid one another if
attacked by a European power in the

1940 February 15 - new royalist government of

Bulgaria led by Professor Bogdan

April 9 – Germany invades Denmark and


May 10 – Germany invades Holland,

Belgium and Luxembourg; Winston
Churchill becomes prime minister of
Great Britain
12 – Germany invades France

June 10 – Italy declares war on Britain and 26-27 - Romania cedes Bessarabia
France and Northern Bukovina, subsequent
22 – France signs armistice with Axis to a Soviet ultimatum

August 10 – Anti-Semitic law in Romania

30 – Under German and Italian
pressure Romania surrenders
northern Transylvania to Hungary


September 13 – Italy invades Egypt 4 - Ion Antonescu is appointed

27 – Japan joins Axis alliance as president of the council of ministers
of Romania
6 - Charles II abdicates in favour of his
son Michael I; de facto ruler of
Romania is ‘Conducator’ Ion
7 - Craiova agreement. Romania
returns South Dobruja to Bulgaria

October 12 - German Army enters into

Romania as “military advisors”
28 – Italy invades Greece using
Albania as base

November 5 – Roosevelt re-elected US President Bulgaria refuses to join the Axis

11 – British defeat Italian fleet at Powers, attack Greece or to sign a
Taranto guarantee pact with USSR
20 – Hungary joins Axis alliance 14 – Greek troops counter attack on
Albanian front taking all major towns in
Southern Albania from the Italians
within a month
23 – Romania joins Axis alliance
25 – Turkey declares Martial law in a
zone covering Istanbul, Edirne,
Kýrklareli, Tekirdað, Çanakkale
and Kocaeli
30 - Blackout starts in Istanbul

December 9 – British troops begin to drive Pro-fascist bills are voted for by the
the Italians out of Egypt Bulgarian Parliament: Bill for the
Organisation of Bulgarian Youths and
the anti-Semitic Bill for the Protection
of the Nation
19 - Assistance materials sent
from Turkey to Greece via Kurtuluþ
(Independence) cargo boat

1941 January 9-British invade Eritrea 20 - Bulgarian cabinet votes for signing
the Tripartite Pact
21-23 - Iron Guard (fascist) rebellion in
Romania, defeated by general

February 8 – Germany and Bulgaria

sign military pact
17 - Bulgarian-Turkish declaration of

March 11-U.S. starts supplying war materials 1 - Bulgaria joins the Axis Powers;
to Britain and other allies German armies enter Bulgarian territory
24-Rommel commences first 24 - Turkish-Russian Declaration: In
offensive in Libya case Turkey is attacked by any party,
Soviet-Russia shall keep its neutrality
25 – Yugoslavia joins Axis alliance
27 – Following mass protests Yugoslav
government is overthrown in a military
coup d’etat


April 11 – German siege of Tobruk begins Failed attempt at a pro-British coup

13 – Soviet Union and Japan sign by the left Agrarians in Bulgaria
five-year non-aggression pact 6 – Germany invades Yugoslavia
and Greece
10 – Creation of Independent State
of Croatia (ISC), a puppet state
under German/Italian domination
11-15 Hungarian army occupies
Bac kac in Northern Serbia (Vojvodina)

17 – Yugoslav army surrenders
19 - Bulgarian army enters Macedonia,
South Eastern Serbia and Aegean
23 – Greece signs armistice
with Germany
30 – Ante Pavelić issues several
decrees on race in the Independent
State of Croatia

May 27 – Bismarck sunk; Roosevelt 17 - Failed assassination attempt on

proclaims national emergency because king Victor Emanuel III by the young
of events in Europe and Africa revolutionary Vasil Laçi (1922-1941)
in Tirana
18 – Pavelić and Mussolini sign
agreement in Rome: ISC surrenders
most of the Croatian coast to Italy
21-31 The battle of Crete. The Greek
cabinet and the king leave the country
and settle in Cairo; Greece is divided
into three occupation zones controlled
by the German, Italian and Bulgarian
31 – Removal of swastika from
Acropolis: first symbolic act of

June 22 – Germany, Italy and Romania 18 - Turkish-German Amity Treaty

attack Soviet Union; Turkey declares of Friendship and Non-aggression
its neutrality signed
26 – Finland declares war on Soviet 22 – The first Yugoslav Partisan unit
Union established near Sisak (Croatia),
uprising in Croatia begins
24 - Bulgarian Communists start
armed resistance
25 - Turkish-German Treaty ratified
with unanimous vote by Turkish
National Assembly
29 - Mussolini decrees “Greater

July 12 – Britain and Soviet Union sign 7 – Partisan uprising in Serbia begins
treaty assuring British aid to Soviets 13 – Partisan uprising in Montenegro
24 – Japan occupies French Indochina begins
26 – U.S. halts trade with Japan 22 – Partisan uprising in Slovenia
27 – Partisan uprising in Bosnia and
Herzegovina begins


September 8 – Germans lay siege to Leningrad Formation of the three main resistance
19 – Germans capture Kiev organisations in Greece: National
Democratic Greek Union (EDES),
National and Social Liberation (EKKA)
and National Liberation Front (EAM);
Ustashas open concentration camp of
Jasenovac approximately 100 km
south of Zagreb;
In Romania deportation of more than
100,000 Jews to Transnistria begins,
with a large part of them dying due to
bad living conditions

October 17 – Hideki Tojo becomes prime Mass reprisals of the German

minister of Japan occupation authorities against civil
population in Serbia;
11 – Partisan uprising in Macedonia

November 18 – British launch offensive in Libya Beginning of the civil war between
Partisans and Chetniks in Serbia.
8 - Communist party of Albania founded
13 – Germans refuse Chetniks’ terms
for collaboration against Yugoslav
Partisans, in spite of which Chetniks
continue fighting against Partisans
and avoid fighting against Germans

December 5 – German drive on Moscow halted 12 – Independent State of Croatia

7 – Japan bombs Pearl Harbour declares war on U.S.A. and Britain
8 – Japan declares war on U.S.A. and 13 - Bulgaria declares war on U.K.
Britain and U.S.A.
11 – Germany and Italy declare war on

1942 January 21 – Rommel’s Afrika Korps launches

counteroffensive in Libya

February 15 - Singapore captured by Japan EAM decides to form armed guerrilla

groups (National Popular Liberation
Army - ELAS)

June 4-6 Battle of Midway

21 – Rommel captures Tobruk

July The armed section of EDES is formed

August 12 – Churchill and Stalin meet with German occupation forces “solve
U.S. and Free French Representatives the Jewish question” in Serbia, killing
to discuss Second Front almost 90% of Jewish population
13 - General Montgomery takes by the end of summer 1942
command of British forces in Egypt 25 - First issue of Zëri i Popullit
19 – Allied cross-channel raid (‘The Voice of the People’,
on Dieppe ends in disaster a periodical representing the Albanian
Communist movement’s ideology)


September 22 – Germans reach centre of A British task force lands secretly in

Stalingrad Greece
16 - Conference of Peza: creation of
the Albanian Anti-fascist National
Liberation Front

October 23 – Montgomery’s forces attack Creation of the political organisation

at El Alamein, Egypt “Balli Kombëtar” in Albania, with
an anti-Communist programme

November 8 – First major Allied invasion takes 12 – Introduction of Turkish

place in Morocco and Algeria Capital Tax
13 – Tobruk retaken by British 25 - Dynamiting of the Gorgopotamos
19 – Soviets launch counteroffensive railway bridge (Greece) by joint British,
at Stalingrad EAM and EDES guerrilla forces
26 – In Bihać (Bosnia and
Herzegovina) Partisans establish
their highest political body - AVNOJ
(Anti-fascist Council of Peoples
Liberation of Yugoslavia)

1943 January 31 – General Paulus surrenders

Sixth Army at Stalingrad

March 5 – Allied bombing of Ruhr begins 5 - A general strike in Athens prevents

the conscription of Greek workers
March-May - Bulgarian society suc-
cessfully opposes the “Final solution”
and the deportation of Bulgarian Jews
March-June - deportation of about
50,000 Jews from Thessaloniki to

June 13 – Axis forces defeated in Tunisia; 14 – In Otoc ac Partisans establish the


African campaign concluded highest political body for Croatia –

ZAVNOH (Anti-fascist Council of
Peoples Liberation of Croatia)

July 5-17 – Huge tank battle at Kursk 10 - National Liberation Army of

on Eastern Front: Soviet victory Albania formed
9 – Allies land in Sicily
25 – Mussolini overthrown and arrest-
ed, succeeded by Pietro Badoglio

August 2 - Mukje Agreement between National

Liberation Army of Albania and Balli
Kombëtar signed. Rejected only few
days later by the Central Committee of
the Communist Party of Albania (CPA)
and the National Liberation Council
28 – Bulgarian king Boris III dies in
Sofia; proclamation of king Simeon II


September 3 – Allies land on Italian mainland 8 - Partisan units temporarily capture

across Split (Croatia) and an enormous Italian
Strait of Messina supply depot located there
8 – Italy surrenders to Allies 9 - Election of a regency in Bulgaria:
12 – Mussolini freed by S.S. prince Kiril, professor Filov and
and taken to Germany General Mihov
9 – October 10 – Yugoslav Partisans
10 Italian divisions, 2 divisions join the
17 – British-American military mission
to Yugoslav Partisans arrives to liber-
ated territory in west Bosnia and
20 – ZAVNOH proclaims reunification
of the territory occupied by Italy with
Croatia and Yugoslavia

October 13 – Italy declares war on Germany

November 7 – Kiev liberated; German defences 20 - King Zogu’s followers headed by

on Dnieper begin to crumble Abaz Kupi found the “Legaliteti” Party
28 – December 1 – Churchill, which aimed to re-establish Zogu’s
Roosevelt monarchy after the war in Albania
and Stalin meet in Teheran to plan 29 – In Jajce (Bosnia and
invasion of France Herzegovina) AVNOJ establishes
Partisan government (NKOJ – National
Committee of the Liberation of

December 24 – Eisenhower named to direct 7 – Roosevelt, Churchill and Ýnönü

invasion of Europe meet in Cairo

1944 January 27 – Soviets defeat Germans at Formation of a Gendarmerie in

Leningrad Bulgaria to fight the armed resistance.
8 – Churchill in his letter to the
president of NKOJ (Yugoslav Partisan
government) states Britain will stop
aid to Chetniks. From this point on all
help is given exclusively to Partisans

March 15 – Japan invades India 10 - EAM sets up the Political

Committee for National liberation
(PEEA), a second Greek administra-
tion parallel to the official government
in Cairo

May 9 – Soviets recapture Sevastopol A convention in Lebanon leads to

18 – Germans withdraw from Monte agreement on the formation of a Greek
Cassino national coalition government with G.
Papandreou as Greek prime minister;
Deportation of more than 100,000
Jews from (Hungarian ruled) Northern
Transylvania to the German extermina-
tion camps
24 – The Albanian


Communists at the Congress of

Përmet elect a National Liberation
Anti-fascist Council as the highest leg-
islative body and form
a Committee with the attributes of a
provisional government

June 6 – D-Day, Allied landings in 1- New royalist government in

Normandy Bulgaria, led by Ivan Bagryanov

July 20 – Attempt on Hitler’s life fails

25 – Allies begin breakout from

August 15 – Allied landings in southern France 2 – Turkey resolves to discontinue

25 – Paris liberated relations with Germany
12 – Churchill and Tito meet in Naples
23 – Coup d’état in Romania: king
Michael supported by a coalition of the
major parties and Communists arrests
Antonescu and his government;
Romania surrenders to Soviets
26 – Bulgarian prime minister
Bagryanov proclaims neutrality,
makes first attempts to negotiate
with USA and UK in Ankara and
sends a delegation to Cairo
29 – Yugoslav king Peter II disowns
Draža Mihailović and recognises
Tito as leader of the resistance in
30 – Pavelić prevents coup d’etat in
Independent State of Croatia and
keeps his loyalty to the Axis Powers

September 3 – Brussels liberated Beginning of fighting for the liberation

19 – Armistice between Finland and of Serbia by Partisan and Red Army
Allies units
25 – Allies break through Gotic Line in 2 – A government of pro-Russian
Italy political parties is appointed by the
Bulgarian regents, led by Konstantin
Muraviev (first government formed
from the political parties since May
3 - Formation of a new Greek
national coalition government
under G. Papandreou
5 – Soviet Union declares war
on Bulgaria
8 – Red Army enters Bulgaria;
Armistice between Soviet Union
and Bulgaria; Bulgaria declares war
on Germany
9 - Communist takeover in Bulgaria-
government of the Fatherland front led
by Kimon Georgiev (leader of the


Zveno party) dominated by the

12 – Romania signs armistice with
Allies: acknowledges Soviet rule of
Bessarabia and northern Bukovina and
the supreme authority
of an Allied Control Committee, domi-
nated by the Soviets

October 2 – Germans crush revolt in Warsaw 5 – British land in Greece

while Soviet armies pause and refit a 8 - Bulgaria starts war operations
few miles away; Allies penetrate West against Germany
Wall into Germany 12 - German army leaves Athens
9 – Churchill-Stalin “Percentage agree- 14 – British enter Athens
ment” in Moscow 18 - Greek government enters Athens
23 – Allies recognise de Gaulle as 20 – Belgrade liberated by Soviet Red
temporary head of provisional French Army and Yugoslav Partisans
government 23 - Anti-Fascist Committee of
National Liberation becomes the
Provisional Democratic Government of
Albania, with Enver Hoxha
as a prime minister
25 - Transylvanian territory is freed of
Hungarian Army by allied Romanian
and Red Army
28 - Armistice between the Anti-fascist
coalition and Bulgaria

November 7 – Roosevelt wins fourth term 13 – Partisans liberate Skopje

as U.S. President 29 - Albania liberated from the

December 15 – U.S. landings on Mindoro, 3 – EAM organises a demonstration

Philippines in Athens which ends in bloodshed;
fighting between EAM-ELAS and the
government forces aided by the
British begins

1945 January 17 – Warsaw occupied by Soviets About 70,000 ethnic Germans

19 – Germany in full retreat on Eastern from Romania are deported to USSR
20 – Hungary signs armistice with

February 4-11 – Churchill, Roosevelt Signing of the Agreement of Varkiza

and Stalin meet at Yalta on organising general elections and
8 – Allies launch major offensive a plebiscite about the monarchy in
to reach Rhine Greece, the disbandment of guerrilla
13-14 – Allied firebombing organisations and the surrender of
destroys Dresden ELAS arms
19 – U.S. landings on Iwo Jima 23 – Turkey declares war on Germany
and Japan


March 3 – Finland declares war on Germany 6 - The Soviets impose the appoint-
9 – U.S. firebombs Tokyo ment of a coalition government in
22 – Patton crosses Rhine at Romania led by Petru Groza,
Oppenheim but controlled by the Communists
23 – Montgomery crosses Rhine north 7- Provisional Government of
of Ruhr Democratic Federative Yugoslavia
formed with Tito as prime minister and
Partisan domination over the
members of the Exile Government

April 12 – Roosevelt dies, Harry S. Truman 6 – Sarajevo liberated

becomes President 14 – Communist dominated
23 – Soviets enter Berlin Government of Federative State of
25 – U.S. and Soviet forces meet at Croatia created
Elbe River; San Francisco Conference 28 – USA recognises Tito’s Provisional
on United Nations begins Yugoslav Government
28 – Mussolini executed by Italian
30 – Hitler commits suicide in Berlin

May 1 – Berlin surrenders to Soviet forces 2 - Yugoslav Partisan army enters

7 – Germany formally surrenders Trieste creating tense partition
(later into Zone A & B) between
Italy and Yugoslavia
6 – Pavelić and his government
flee from Zagreb towards Austria
8 – Partisans liberate Zagreb

June 5 – Allies divide Germany into 10 – AVNOJ becomes Provisional

four occupation zones People’s Assembly of Yugoslavia
26 – The United Nations Charter
is signed by representatives of 50
countries, United Nations established

July 17-August 2 – Churchill, Stalin

and Truman meet at Potsdam
to plan for peace in Europe
and final assault on Japan

August 6 – Atomic bomb dropped

on Hiroshima
9 – Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
14 – Japan surrenders

MAP 1: World War II, 1939-1942

CHAPTER I: Policies

The purpose of the first chapter is to act as a kind of a framework, as most of the selected docu-
ments belong to political history, unlike all the other chapters. Descriptions of a few eminent politi-
cal leaders of the time are introduced at the start, which provide valuable insights into the subjects
of the descriptions as well as the authors. The material is therefore considered to be relevant and
of analytical interest. These outlines are followed by some distinguishing ideological statements by
which the governing structures were trying to justify their actions and/or their existence itself, as well
as some ideologically coloured statements of the resistance movements.
The subchapter Armies and soldiers is, for understandable reasons, somewhat large. This is a
consequence of the fact that in some countries, numerous armies (occupying forces, collabora-
tionist armies, resistance movements) met in comparatively small areas. We tried to clarify, to a cer-
tain degree at least, their activities, their ideological backgrounds, their aims and their (often very
complicated) mutual relationships. Further to this, there are documents which deal with the relation-
ships among the different sides in the war and the neighbouring countries.
The concluding sub section to chapter I, Religious organisations, sets out documents which deal
with the activities of the religious organisations during the war: how openly and clearly the religious
organisations showed their attitude towards the war itself, towards the parties involved, towards the
members of the other nation/religion, towards war suffering, war crimes etc.

Ia . L e a d e r s a n d i d e o l o g i e s

I-1. Fitzroy MacLean, Churchill’s delegate to Fitzroy MacLean’s conversation with Tito in
the Partisans, about Tito in 1943 Partisan Belgrade in 19441

“Tito is of medium height and carefully shaved. On that occasion I informed Tito what anger he
His face is sunburnt and his hair is steel-like provoked in the Allies when he secretly left Vis.
grey. His mouth is very firm and his eyes are (...) I told Tito that Churchill was very offended
lively and blue. (...) I was wondering what by the manner he had left. I also informed him
impression I would get of this man when I com- of unreasonable behaviour of some of his sub-
pared him to Communist that I met in Russia. ordinates, as well as of disagreement and
(...) One thing struck me immediately: his read- numerous small difficulties we had during his
iness to consider the problem from all sides absence.
and, if necessary, to make an immediate deci- It obviously made him sincerely sad. He told
sion. He seemed to me quite confident. That me he was sorry to hear that his subordinates
man is a senior, not a junior. It was completely had treated us unreasonably but he added that
new for me – to discover such confidence and everything would be made right immediately.
self-reliance in one Communist.” (...)

Their first meeting after Tito’s secret leaving of the island of Vis (where he was protected by the British forces) in
order to visit Stalin.


I replied I was glad. ‘However’, I added, ‘it v1. Leader of the Partisan ‘People’s
seems that you don’t understand that the main Liberation Movement’, Josip Broz -Tito, and
cause to all that was your disappearance and commander of ‘The Yugoslav Army in the Ho -
the fact that you didn’t tell us where you where meland’ (‘Chetniks’), general Draža Mihailovi cć´
going’. But Tito either couldn’t or didn’t want to
understand it, so he innocently said: ‘Not long
ago Churchill went to Quebec to meet presi-
dent Roosevelt and I was informed of that only
after his return. However, it didn’t make me
MacLean, p. 14-15, 240-241.

Josip Broz Tito was born in Kumrovec

near Zagreb in 1892. He learned a trade
and worked as a locksmith and a factory worker.
The start of World War I saw him drafted into the
Austria-Hungarian army and sent to the eastern
frontline. Taken prisoner by the Russians, he
spent a couple of years in Russia where he be-
came acquainted with Bolshevik ideas. He then
returned to his homeland, the newly-founded
state of Yugoslavia, in 1920. He joined the
Communist Party; and spent several years in
prison after being arrested on a couple of occa-
sions. In 1937 he took over the lead of the Yu-
goslav Communist Party. From 1941 he became
the main coordinator of the resistance move-
ment and later on “Commander-in-chief” of the
Partisan forces. After the war he became the
president of Yugoslavia and ruled in a dictatorial
manner till his death in 1980.

? What did MacLean like about Tito?

What did he dislike about him? Why did
Tito make a good first impression on Mac- Beograd, Narodna biblioteka Srbije, Zbirka plakata
Lean? (What was his Communist reputa- (Belgrade, National Library of Serbia, Collection of Posters).

tion?) What soured their relations? In your

opinion, did Tito behave incorrectly towards Translation:
his British allies? Tito’s ‘rascal’ behaviour at “100,000 gold Reichsmark award!
the last meeting with MacLean is appreciat- 100,000 gold Reichsmark will be awarded to the
ed by his fans because they look upon it as one who catches Communist leader Tito dead
a confirmation of the enduring spirit of Yu- or alive.”
goslav independence. What do you think
about it? Were the British asking for a rela- “100,000 gold Reichsmark award!
tionship based on an equal footing or did 100,000 gold Reichsmark will be awarded to the
one who catches gang leader Draža Mihailović
they want to dominate the alliance with the
dead or alive.”


I-2. Paveli cć´ ’s photographer gives evidence of v2. Ante Paveli cć´
his personality in 1961

Taking Pavelić’s photo portrait was nothing but

trouble as in all photographs he came out just as
he really was: gloomy and with that well-known
gangster-like expression. Of course, his wife,
‘Pharaoh’s wife Mara’, didn’t like the photos so
shooting was repeated indefinitely by her explic-
it order. (...) Finally she arrived at a solution
about how best to make her husband look gen-
tle in front of the photographers; she required
that jokes should be told to him while posing.
Vojinović, p. 16.

Ante Pavelić was born in Bradina (Bosnia

and Herzegovinia) in 1889. He was a
lawyer by training and a member of the Party of
Right since his youth. After the establishment of
a dictatorship in Yugoslavia in 1929, Pavelić em-
igrated and with his Ustasha movement argued
strongly for the overthrow of the dictatorial regi-
me and the dissolution of the state of Yugoslavia.
He gained sympathy from the fascist leaders,
most of all from Mussolini who thought that
through helping Pavelić he could annex the coa-
stal parts of Croatia to Italy. After the collapse of
Yugoslavia, Mussolini and Hitler enabled Pavelić
to set up a puppet state, the ISC (Independent
State of Croatia; hereafter: ISC). At the very end
of the 2nd World War, Pavelić fled abroad (Arge-
ntina, Spain). He died in 1959.
? Study the photograph. Did the photogra-
pher tell the truth? Is it possible to gain
anything about a person’s character through ? Look the questions connected with the
photographs? What does the fact that he testimony of Pavelić’s photographer
couldn’t smile tell us about Pavelić as a per- (text I-2).
son? (He couldn’t stop thinking of himself as
of a deadly serious leader?) The photogra-
pher gave his evidence long after Pavelić’s I-3. Descriptions of Mehmet Shehu and En -
fall; would this evidence have been different ver Hoxha
if the photographer had given it at the time
when Pavelić was in power? What does the
photographer want to say about Pavelić “Some days later McLean returned and we
when he speaks about his relationship with received the first of many visits from Shtab -
his wife? Can gossip be a historical source? the General Staff of LNÇ2, of whom the two

LNÇ – Levizja Nacional Clirimtare (National Liberation Movement) was the organisation led by the Communists dur-
ing WWII in Albania. It organised the biggest armed resistance in the country. Having eliminated all the other political
groups during and after the war, they took all the credit for the liberation of Albania and as a result they became the lead-
ing force in the country after the war.


leading members were Mehmet Shehu3 and become a French teacher at the State
Enver Hoxha4. Mehmet Shehu was a short, Gymnasium in Tirana; he was later transferred
wiry, dark, sallow-faced man of about thirty to the lyceé in Korçë, still as a teacher of
who seldom smiled except at other people’s French. We always knew him as ‘Professor’
misfortunes. He spoke good English, was very Enver Hoxha – presumably he derived this title
capable, and had far more military knowledge from his teaching appointments. He gave up
than most other Albanians. teaching in 1940 to run a tobacconist’s shop in
Tirana which became a Communist cell and
“Enver Hoxha was an entirely different char- rendezvous for anti-government elements;
acter – a big man with too much flesh and a after the founding of the Albanian Communist
flabby handshake. He was not a military man Party in 1941 he became the Secretary-
although he had military pretensions, but he General to the Party Central Committee which
was more sociable than Shehu, and spoke was probably the position he still held when we
with us in fluent French. He may have disliked first met him.”
Smiley5, p. 56.
us, but at least he concealed his feelings,
whereas with Shehu you could feel the hostili-
ty. Hoxha was about thirty-five years old. He ? What kind of differences can you see
between the two leaders described abo-
had been educated in Gjirokaster Grammar
ve? Do you think that the differences in their
School, the lyceé in Korçë, and the University
characters were important for their suc-
of Montpellier in France, which he was com-
cess? How does the author give the reader
pelled to leave for failing his exams. He went
clues about his feelings towards Shehu and
on to Brussels and Paris to study law, though
he never graduated, and returned to Albania to

Mehmet Shehu was born on January 10, 1913 in Çorush, South Albania. In the 1930’s he studied at a military col-
lege in Naples. From 1937 to 1939 he fought in the Spanish Civil War in the Garibaldi International Brigade. From 1939
to 1942 he was in an internment camp in France. From 1942, Shehu participated in the Partisan movement and the work
of the Albanian Communist Party. From 1944 to 1945 he was a member of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation
(the provisional government). During the war, Shehu gained a reputation for brutality. On his command most tribal chiefs
in the mountains of northern Albania were executed. After Albania was liberated from the German occupation, Shehu
became the chief of the general staff. From 1948 to 1954 he was the deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers and the
minister of internal affairs (and the chief of the secret police). In 1954 he succeeded Enver Hoxha as the chairman of the
Council of Ministers and retained this position until 1981. Shehu was regarded as Enver Hoxha’s right hand man and held
in esteem as the “second person” of Albania. It is claimed that in 1981 Shehu opposed Enver Hoxha’s isolationism and
following this, he was accused of being a Yugoslav spy. On December 17, 1981, he was found dead in his bedroom with
a bullet in his head. According to the official announcement (December 18), he had committed suicide during a nervous
breakdown, which was a crime according to Albanian law. Shehu was declared to be a “people’s enemy” and he was
buried in a wasteland near Tirane. After his death, it was claimed that Shehu was an agent of not only the Yugoslav secret
services but also both the CIA and the KGB. In Hoxha’s book Titoites (1982) several chapters are dedicated to Shehu’s
denunciation. This tome notwithstanding, Shehu has otherwise disappeared from the official history of Albania.
Enver Hoxha was born in Gjirokastër on 16 October 1908. In 1930 he was granted a fellowship to study in Montpellier
until 1934 when his grant finished. After that, he went to Paris till late 1935. During 1935 he went to Brussels and worked
in the Albanian embassy in Belgium. In 1936 he was fired for his revolutionary ideas. In 1936 he returned to Albania and
after several months taught in the middle school of Tirana and in April 1937 he taught in the lycée of Korça. In 1939 he
was fired with the reason given as “subject against the regime”. On 8 November 1941, the Communist Party of Albania
was founded and Enver Hoxha was elected member of the Central Temporary Committee. In November 1944 he was
elected prime minister, and in 11 January 1946 head of the Ministers Council. Enver Hoxha ruled Albania as a dictator
from 1944 till 11th of April 1985 when he died.
David Smiley was a captain of the British Army who volunteered to join the Special Operations Executive in the
Balkans and particularly in Albania. He gives a vivid account of WWII and his assignments with the Communists and then
the royalists in organising the Albanian antifascist resistance.


I-4. An English spy on the leader of the political Already now after Italy’s unjust attack, the pol-
o p p o s i ti o n i n R o m a n i a - Iu l i u M a n i u icy I am following is the policy of Venizelos of
eternal memory. For it is the policy of identify-
“Maniu (...) was one of the least flamboyant ing the policy of Greece with the fortunes of
heroes any country has ever produced—hon- that Power for which, as for Greece, the ocean
est, prudent, too often right and completely has always been not a barrier which divides
lacking the fashionable bombast of war. Slight- but a sea-lane that unites. [… ]
ly built with mild, intelligent eyes, rather formal- For Greece, England is a natural ally and has
ly dressed, he had the air of a provincial notary, repeatedly proven a defender, at times even
rather than the popular idea of a wartime resis- the only defender. Victory will be and cannot
tance leader. He must have been sixty-eight in but be hers. It will be a victory of the Anglo-
1938, but looked younger (…) Saxon world, at whose hands Germany, since
she has not been able to achieve a final result
From the start he set himself and his party high by this date, is condemned to be crushed. For
standards of conduct. Measures were taken to from this point on the horizon for the Axis pow-
prevent any anti-Semitic demonstrations. He ers must not be considered cloudless even in
encouraged foreign investments and although the direction of the East, and the East is
some of his colleagues undoubtedly lined their always a place of mystery. It was so always,
pockets, the idea of Maniu himself taking a but today more than ever before it is full of
bribe of any kind was inconceivable. He and unexpected developments and of mysteries.
his close collaborators—men like Ion Mihala- Thus in the end we shall triumph. […]
che and the economist Madgaru—were There are moments when a people owes it to
among the most distinguished Romanians of itself, if it wishes to remain a great people, to
the century.” be able to fight even without any hope of victo-
ry. Only because that is what it should do.
Porter, p. 18, 20.
Metaxas, p.525-526.

On October 28th 1940, Italy gave Greece

I-5. Metaxas’ address to the editors and pub - an ultimatum. Ioannis Metaxas, Greece’s
lishers of all the Greek newspapers (October Prime Minister and Dictator since 4th August
30, 1940) 1936, at once replied “OXI” (“NO”), and “OXI”
day remains Greece’s second national holiday,
even though his dictatorship is still unpopular.
Turkey is not, as she was in 1916 an ally of the On October 30th, with Italian troops still advanc-
Germans, she is an ally of the English. Bulgar- ing and Italian planes bombing, Metaxas
ia of course is awaiting her chance now as addressed the editors and publishers of all the
then, but in any event, at this moment, and at Greek newspapers, under censorship. Metaxas
least for the time being, does not dare to died on 29th January 1941, with Greek troops
move. Time however is not working for the Axis deep into Albania, and did not live to see the
powers. It is working for the Axis countries’ German invasion on April 6th.
opponents. Finally, for Germany victory would
in any event only be possible if she achieved
world domination. But world domination ? Comment on the last paragraph. What
became definitively impossible for Germany at kind of effect did Metaxas want to
Dunkirk.[…] achieve?


v3. Lottery ticket to raise money for the fam - in the military campaign against Yugoslavia are
ilies of soldiers fighting on the Albanian front given by the following political objectives:
against the Italians in 1940-41 Hungary, which shall get the Banat, will like-
wise have to occupy this region, but has made
the commitment to provide additional assis-
tance to destroy the enemy.
Bulgaria shall get back Macedonia and there-
fore will most likely direct its attention to the
attack of this region, without putting special
pressure from the German side. Additionally,
the Bulgarians will be in charge of providing
backing, supported by the German tank divi-
sion, against Turkey. For this operation Bulgaria
also will call in the three Divisions posted at the
Greek border.
Romania will limit its task in its own as well as
in German interest, to the safeguarding of the
Yugoslavian and Russian borders. The Head
of the German military mission has to arrange
that the readiness to provide defence against
Russia has to be enlarged and that the
Romanian Forces sited around Temesvar are
to be brought further East, in order not to dis-
turb the connection between the Hungarian
IEEE, To epos tou ’40. Laiki Eikonografia, 166. second Army and the German forces.
At least the mutual movement of Hungarian
Translation: “Greeks,
Our heroic soldiers, who follow on the
and German Missions has to be able to cross
steps of Leonidas, have entrusted the defence the Romanian/Hungarian border without diffi-
of the interior front to you. culties.
One of the weapons of this defence is 2. For the military cooperation and the organ-
THE GREAT WAR LOTTERY isation of the Commando for the up-coming
Half of the revenues from this new Lottery will Operation the following guidelines will be in
provide winter care, clothing, mess kitchens, force:
medical care, etc. to the children and aged par- The corporate Guidance of the military cam-
ents of our fighters. The other half offers major paign, as far as the operative setting of targets
prizes to the buyers, who can win 10,000,000
for the Italian and the Hungarian Forces are
Drs. every month
1st Prize 2,500,000 Drs.
concerned will remain within my responsibility.
200, 100 & 50 Drs. tokens available” It has to be done in a manner, which takes into
account the sensitivities of the allies and which
enables the heads of the Italian and Hungarian
States to appear in front of their nation and
I-6. Hitler’s Directive No. 26 (3 April 1941) their military forces as independent military
Cooperation with the allies on the Balkans
1. The tasks of the South-East European States Hitlers Weisungen für die Kriegsfürung, p. 108-109.


I-7. Ion Antonescu6 about the ‘Jewish problem’

? Who was Romania’s main ally, from
Antonescu’s perspective, in 1940? What
1940, September 17
were the means for solving the “Jewish
Propaganda, press and radio will work in per-
problem” in Romania, in Antonescu’s opin-
fect harmony, both on internal and external
ion? Compare this situation in Romania with
levels. The action must be unitarian and prob-
other states during the same time. Do you
lems are to be avoided.
think that the “Jewish problem” was really “a
On an external level
vital problem” for Romania in 1940 (when it
It should be made known that our only point of
had lost 1/3 of the territory and it was on the
support from the perspective of external politics
way to being dragged into the war)?
is: the Axe. General Antonescu will not lead the
politics lead by his predecessors; general
Antonescu has chosen a single road he will
walk on. The Romanian politics is one hundred
I-8. The Proclamation to the Country of king
percent with the Axe. We will maintain a loyal,
Mihai7 (August 23, 1944)
total correctness to the powers of the Axe…
The Jewish problem is a vital problem. I will try
– with civilised means – to gradually remove
In the most difficult moment of our history I
the Jews from the Romanian economic struc-
considered, together with my people, that
tures. All Jews who have come clandestinely
there is only one way to save the country from
and installed themselves after the Union in the
a total catastrophe: and that is for us to get out
country, in any form and under any pretext, will
of the alliance with the powers of the Axe and
be invited to liquidate and leave. Ignoring the
the immediately stop the war against the
Jewish problem or its concealing by apparent
United Nations.
solutions would mean to betray the notion of
being a Romanian. Though the violence of the
A new government of national union was
gesture or the word does not solve this prob-
charged with accomplishing the country’s
lem, but degrades the one who practices it.
decided will, to conclude peace with the United
General Antonescu took the responsibility of
Nations. Romania accepted the armistice
solving this problem methodically and progres-
offered by the Soviet Union, Great Britain and
sively, for it not to misbalance economic life.
the United States of America. From this
The removal of the alien element is condi-
moment on, any fight or act of hostility against
tioned by its replacement with native forces.
the Soviet army has to stop, as well as the
Evreii din România între anii 1940-1944, vol. II, doc. 44. state of war against Great Britain and the
United States of America. Please receive the
These are the directions to the press, the soldiers of these armies with trust. The nations
radio and the telegraphy agency. have guaranteed our country’s independence
Specifications were made concerning the
and their not interfering in our internal con-
“Jewish problem”. This was how the political cen-
cerns. They have recognised the injustice of
sorship on the press, installed by the former
regime, continued. the Vienna dictate, by which Transylvania was
taken away from us …

Ion Antonescu (1882–1946), military man and politician. Held important positions in the Romanian Army. Prime–min-
ister (4 September 1940– 23rd August 1944). Leader of the state (1940–1944). Allied with Hitler’s Germany. Convicted and
executed as a criminal of war (1946).
Mihai I (1921–) king of Romania (1927–1930; 1940–1947). On August 23 1944, sustained by the political opposition,
he arrests Ion Antonescu, and decrees the war against the United Nations over. In 1947, the king is forced, under threat,
to abdicate, and Romania is proclaimed a popular republic.


Romanians, today we have an army made of brigades and

The dictatorship has come to an end and divisions, an army of peoples, able to resist to
together with it all oppression ends. This new the German divisions and the reactionary
government is the beginning of a new era, in bands and destroy them, are the first guaran-
which the rights and liberties of all citizens of tee for the triumph of a democratic peoples
the country are guaranteed and will be regime in Albania. (...) Our people, actually
respected.” together with the whole progressive world, will
Istora României între 1918–1944 (culegere), p. 261. not let the others, who oppressed and exploit-
ed him till now, to collect the harvest of its
blood. What has happened till now will not be
? What are the main items on the new
Romanian Government’s agenda? How repeated; the people are killed and the others,
is the former Government regarded? At first who work against its interests, take the leading
king Mihai supported the pro-fascist leader positions.”
Antonescu; why did he change his mind? Bashkimi (The Unity), June 1944.

Was he sincere or just opportunistic? Com-

Sejfulla Maleshova was one of the most
pare this with some other examples of a
prominent Communist leaders of the Alb-
leader changing his political orientation. anian antifascist resistance. The Communist ide-
ology of the LNC, displayed in the source, puts
forward their manifesto for leading the country
I-9. The Communist ideology of the LNC, dis - after the war, framing their statement within a ra-
played by Sejfulla Maleshova8 tionale that paints all the other political groups as
collaborators and traitors. One can gain a rea-
“The Albanian people, fighting the occupiers listic view of the Communist propaganda during
and the reactionary clans, have recently been the war by reading this article.
becoming politically educated, gaining the
consciousness of their interests, and under-
standing that there is no other true way except ? Analyse the language being used in this
the one that leads to the Peoples’ Democracy. extract. Which elements of this article
The nature of the future regime in Albania and could be considered to be propaganda?
the people’s democratic movement are in
direct relation to the activity and the contribu-
tion of our people in today’s war. Today, in the I-10. A leaflet written by the District Committee
battles of the National Liberation War, is decid- of Communist Party of Yugoslavia for Macedo -
ed the fate of tomorrow’s Albania. The fact that n i a to th e M a c e d o n i a n p e o p l e
the majority of Albanians is gathered around
the National Antifascist Liberation Front; the 1941, November
fact that we could organise free elections in the …The Bulgarian government has committed
most developed regions and held a Congress massacres in Kumanovo, there were 7-8 dead
with representatives from all over Albania; the people, among them some women, (...) Our
fact that today we have got an Antifascist cities have been surrounded and occupied and
Council that represents the political power of the people has been held at their homes for
the people and Albanian State; the fact that days; in Prilep (and some other places) there

Sejfulla Malëshova was born in Malëshovë near Përmet in 1900. When he was 24 years old he began to write poet-
ry and his first articles. Later he went to Moscow as a member of Comintern. He participated very actively in WWII. After
the war he was appointed head of the Writers League and later minister of education in Albania. He has translated works
of Gete, Nekrasov, etc. He was imprisoned by the Communist regime for these liberal political views and was sent to jail
for 20 years. Sejfulla Malëshova died in 1971 in Fier where he had been sent in exile.


have been hundreds of people arrested, beat- plough should be made, and that’s why he
en spat on, beaten in the streets. In the streets goes against the Soviet Russia, the land of the
you can very often see honest Macedonians to socialism, the protector of all the people with-
be taken into prison by the Bulgarian fascist out rights, especially to the small Slavic peo-
police-the best sons of the Macedonian people. ple.
Who is doing all this? Are those the Bulgarians? Today, the heroic battle of the Soviet people is
No. The Bulgarian people have nothing in com- a battle of all the Slavic people against the
mon with this; it has been done by the traitors mutual evil. Their victory is our victory too, a
of the Bulgarian people, who are selling them- victory which will put an end to the slavery, the
selves for a hand full of the dirty fascist’s silver. hunger and the terror that the fascism has
Those traitors are doing everything in their brought.
power to obey the monster Hitler and to get us Sources for the liberation war and
revolution in Macedonia, p. 28-29.
Macedonians to fight and hate the Bulgarians,
the Russians, the Serbians and the other
Slavic people. The bloody Hitler wants to clear ? What were the aims of this leaflet? What
is the attitude of the DC of CPY for Ma-
up the Slavic people and to make them feudal
cedonia towards the Bulgarian people?
slaves-slaves who will plough and dig the land
Explain the role of the USSR in the struggle
for the German counts and barons. Mindless,
of the Macedonian people. Compare the lan-
Hitler yells that 4-5 million Slavic people
guage being used with the previous source.
should be gone, so as a place for the German

? Overall questions on subchapter Ia.

Do the sources present the political leaders realistically? What similarities can you find in
the descriptions of the leaders? What differences can be seen between the descriptions of the
Find descriptions of leaders in your country from the same time. Can you identify similarities
between them? Find some different descriptions of the same leader. Why do you think the same
person is described in different ways?

What could you conclude about the propaganda pictures – what do they show? What did they
want to say to people? Try to find out for each source: Which ideology did it support? Why was
propaganda so important during the war? Can you identify the main political and ideological con-
flicts in each country? Can you find common trends in all of the countries?

Ib. Armies and soldiers

I-11. American report on the activities of the their early days has been, “Let the Allies do our
Albanian resistance fighting for us”. Now that the LNC10 has
strengthened its position to a point where it
“The Ballists9 have shied from fighting either looks as though it stands a fair chance of dom-
Italians or Germans. Their principal policy in inating the country at the end of the war, the

Ballista: members of the Balli Kombetar.
National Liberation Movement, led by the Communists.


Ballists are becoming skittish and call in the I-13. Croatian military deputy in Sofia about
Germans to do their fighting for them in an the situation in Macedonia
attempt to wipe out the LNC without doing any
fighting themselves. Whatever happens, it […] The relations between the Bulgarians and
looks as though the Gentlemen Ballista, as Germans are good. Some time ago an incident
they are called by LNC, are determined to do of a political nature took place in a night club in
no honest-to-goodness fighting. They will do Skopje, and on the occasion some German
some refined sniping, and fancy assassina- officers intervened. In that same club the music
tions, probably, and some folks will call it civil band played the Macedonian anthem, to which
war, but they are not going to stand up and one Bulgarian lower officer applauded. Then a
fight. At least all the signs point that way.” higher-ranked Bulgarian officer approached
Costa, p. 166.
him and asked why he was applauding, to
This extract is a part of an official report, which he replied: “What is Macedonian is also
dated 23 December 1943, sent by the Bulgarian.” On these words, the Bulgarian offi-
American representative of the Office of cer slapped him. This event was noticed by
Strategic Services and those of the Special some German officers, also sitting in the same
Executive to his command headquarters, con- club, and they asked the Bulgarian officer why
cerning the activities of the Albanian resistance. he slapped the other one but he did not answer
It makes it easy to gain an idea of each group’s and left the place. The German officers fol-
war strategy and it gives a comparative per- lowed him and beat him up outside. This inci-
dent caused certain dissatisfaction among
everybody who was there and who loves
Macedonia […]
I-12. Allies’ representatives in the Balkans on
guerrilla strategies in Albania Dokumenti za borbata na makedonskiot narod
za samostojnost i nacionalna država, p. 308-9.
BK says in effect, “Let us organise now but
fight later”
Or as an additional report put it, The following is a fragment of a wider re-
port about the situation in occupied Ma-
“We will go into action when the British land at
cedonia, submitted by the Croatian military de-
Durazzo” puty in Sofia to the Croatian Ministry of Defence.
LNC. Said in effect “Let us organise now and This somewhat bizarre story shows some aspe-
fight now. Let us keep on fighting as long as cts of relations between the Bulgarian and Ger-
there is an Axis soldier on Albanian soil”. man army personnel in Vardar Macedonia, whi-
Costa, p. 167.
ch was officially a Bulgarian territory at the time.
This is an excerpt from reports on the
guerrilla war and the war strategies of
Balli Kombetar11 and LNC during 1943, written
by the Allies’ representatives in Balkans. ? Describe the relations between the
German and Bulgarian army personnel
in Macedonia.
? Do you approve of the tactics described
in the sources above? Are ‘small nations’
really supposed to stay hidden while the
Great Powers fight? Explain your position.

Balli Kombetar (The National Front) was a political and military organisation during WWII in Albania. It wanted to estab-
lish a republic after the liberation. It fought the occupiers but at a certain point in the war collaborated with the Germans in
order to destroy the Communists. This was used by Communist propaganda to discredit them among the Albanians.


v4. The replacement of the German army But now that the EDES organisation is openly
by the Bulgarian army, after the fascist occu - collaborating with the Germans […]; now that
p a t i o n o f Yu g o s l a v M a c e d o n i a ( Ap r i l 1 9 4 1 ) they organise joint operations against the
Greek people in order to slaughter them and
divide its fight for freedom, we declare in the
name of the interests of the Greek people that
we shall BREAK them and render them unable
to harm the gigantic task the Greek people
have undertaken for its freedom and which
they have nurtured and still nurture with their
Have total faith in EAM-ELAS
Join its Ranks
Only EAM was born from the people and fights
for the people
I-14 and I-15. We call upon any persons who may have been
led astray by the unpatriotic EDES organisa-
D e c l a r a ti o n ( tr a c t) o f th e N a ti o n a l L i b e r a ti o n tion to open their eyes and join us in the sa-
Front (EAM) (Committee of Sterea Ellada) cred struggle for FREEDOM. Long live EAM.
Long Live ELAS.
PROCLAMATION Death to the invaders, the traitors and the kil-
lers of their own nation.
To the People of Roumeli EAM COMMITTEE for STEREA HELLAS
Brothers, Fleischer, Stemma kai svastika, 2, p. 229.
The mask has fallen and the true face of the
EDES organisation has been revealed.
Sections of this organisation made a cowardly Declaration (tract) of the National
attack from the back against our own forces in Democratic Greek Union (EDES) 1943
Epirus and captured higher members of the
National Liberation Front without provocation. NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC
Their aim is clear: in co-ordination with their GREEK UNION [EDES]
German partners […] to disband the National
Liberation Front, the pioneering organisation PROCLAMATION
of the Greek people which struggles to liberate
Greece. The Communist Party, having sacrificed this
Brothers, country, having masterly and craftily usurped
We knew the EDES organisation, we knew its sacred and holy traditions, having needles-
they collaborated with the traitorous scound- sly created victims upon victims, having organ-
rels […]. We knew their aim: to massacre ised assassination and terrorist attempts
Greece, to break down the national liberation everywhere, having extorted the good citizens,
movement, to subdue the Greek people and having exploited everyone and everything, is
impose a dictatorial regime. We knew it all. Yet now surpassing all limits of affront and shame-
we did all we could to preserve unity as much lessness by daring to accuse EDES, saying
as we could, because it was to the interest of that it consists of Germanophiles, Gestapo
the Greek people – because that was what the agents and murderers!!! […]
struggle for freedom demanded. EDES stands too high for this wretched libel to


reach and affect it. EDES includes in his ranks Greek Democrats and Patriots!
the entire military glory of modern Greece, all Stay away from the traitors and the slanderers.
moral political figures and every progressive Away from those who want to poison the joy of
element in this country. our liberation. Away from those who denounce
The banner of EDES is Popular Socialist De- the bloodied Northern Epirus and continue to
mocracy, and this banner it holds high and firm flirt with the bears of Bulgaria. Away from the
and will continue to hold until Popular Socialist enemies of your peace and happiness. In one
Democracy is established and becomes the word, away from the Communist Party. Join
source of happiness for all Greeks. EDES, the Noah’s ark of purity and superiority.
EDES is the genuine torchbearer of genuine Join EDES, the powerful tidal wave of genuine
patriotic spirit. Its origins and long tradition, the Popular Power.
personal history of its members make it a EDES
sworn enemy of all the enemies of Greece and Fleischer, Stemma kai svastika, 2, p. 230.
the bloodthirsty wolves from Sofia. […]

By the beginning of June 1941 the whole

of Greece was under a tripartite German,
? Compare the previous two sources.
What ideologies do the two proclama-
Italian and Bulgarian occupation. The Germans
imposed a harsh occupation regime, plundering tions represent? What kind of arguments do
the country’s agricultural resources, its industry, they use? Do you think that choosing a side
and requiring Greece to pay for the costs of the was merely a matter of ideology? Was it
occupation. A devastating famine followed dur- easy for the majority of the population (bear-
ing the winter of 1941-1942, which claimed ma-
ing in mind the average level of education of
ny tens of thousands of victims. The Communist
Party moved to establish the National Liberation the people of that time) to choose a side?
Front (EAM) in September 1941. This had two
declared aims: the organisation of resistance
and a free choice as to the form of government v5. Photo of Partisans (men and women) of
on the eventual liberation of Greece. Other small the left wing resistance in Greece
agrarian and socialist groups were also parties
in the establishment of EAM. A military arm
(ELAS) was created shortly after. The inability of
the traditional ‘political world’ to offer leadership
was perpetuated under the occupation. The po-
litical void that had been created during the Me-
taxas dictatorship was now aggravated by the
fact that a large segment of the country’s liberal
leadership was in exile. The Communists, a
marginal force during the inter-war period, were
quick to fill this vacuum. They were offering a
vision of a better and more just future. Besides,
having survived earlier persecution, especially
under the Metaxas dictatorship, they had gained
experience and ability in operating underground.
Although the party leadership kept a firm grip on Athens, War Museum; British Collection (Istoria, vol.16, p.16).
the leadership of both EAM and ELAS, the over-
whelming majority of the rank and file were not ELAS forces marching. EAM/ELAS was
Communists. A number of non-Communist re-
reinforced by large numbers of Greeks
sistance groups also came into existence, the
most important of which was the National De- who sought to resist the invaders, and it was the
mocratic Greek Union (EDES) set up by former- most important opponent to the occupying forc-
ly liberal officers. In 1943 large areas of Greek es in Greece throughout the country’s occupa-
mountains were under resistance control. tion by the Axis powers.


I-16. Basic points of the Osvobodilna Fronta Yugoslav nations. At the same time it strives
(OF) (The Liberation Front of Slovenian Nation) towards a union of all the Slav nations under
the leadership of the great Russian nation on
1st November 1941 the grounds of the right to self-determination of
1. A merciless armed battle against the enemy every nation. (...)
is to be carried out. 5. All the groups participating in the Liberation
2. This activity represents the foundation for the Front have agreed to be loyal to each other.
liberation and unification of all the Slovenians. (...)
3. Understanding the community of Yugoslav 7. After the liberation, the Liberation Front will
nations as a natural and historic one, the consequently introduce people’s democracy.
Liberation Front (OF) does not recognise the All the questions exceeding the national liber-
break up of Yugoslavia. It will use all its efforts ation will be solved in a democratic way. (…)
to fight for good understanding and unity of all Repe, Sodobna zgodovina, p. 187.

Shortly after Germany, Italy and Hungary ? Look closely at point 7. Was it realised?
occupied Slovenia in April 1941, the Com-
munist Party of Slovenia (CPS) organised an
Anti-Imperialistic front, whose aim was to liber-
ate Slovenia with the help of Soviet Union. Such I-17, I-18 and I-19.
an organisation did not extend to the other parts
of Yugoslavia. In addition to the CPS other found- From the diary of a Partisan commander
ing groups of the Anti-Imperialistic front were
Christian Socialists, a liberal group named So-
1 November (1941)
kol (Falcon) and various left and liberal oriented
cultural intelligentsia groups. After Germany’s A few nights ago fighting broke out with 500
attack on the Soviet Union (June 22nd, 1941) Chetniks from the Draža Mihailović’s units.
the organisation was renamed the Liberation They were defeated and about 140 arrested.
front of the Slovenian nation (Osvobodilna fro- Our forces have liquidated the Chetniks in Po-
nta slovenskega naroda – OF). In the summer žega. In this fighting our Partisans sustained
of 1941, OF called for armed resistance against enormous casualties. The commander of the
the occupiers. Many people of different political
battalion, comrade Kapelan, was killed, and so
persuasions joined the Partisans. In autumn 1941
it drew up a statement of ideals, called the were two company commanders and many
“basic points of the OF”. Although the OF includ- Partisans.(…)
ed political groups of different ideologies, the It so happened that instead of fighting against
CPS had taken control. Beyond liberation, the fascist aggressors we fight against our broth-
goal of the CPS was revolution, and this was ers; instead of spilling enemy blood, we feud
what repelled many people and also provoked among ourselves. Instead of Draža Mihailo-
Civil War in parts of Slovenian territory. But in
vić’s people intercepting enemy trucks and
general, the majority of Slovenians supported the
OF, which joined the Anti-Fascist Council of the looting them, they intercept our trucks and loot
Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ), and together what the Serbian people have pinched and
laid down the basic principles of the new federal scraped to donate for people’s struggle; in-
Yugoslavia. In October 1944 at the OF Congress, stead of intercepting Germans and killing
attended by delegates from all of Slovenia, a them, they intercept our people and kill them
National Liberation Committee was elected. A from ambush.
year later it was renamed in parliament, and
formed part of the provisional government. OF, as Dudić, p. 230, 231.
part of People’s front of Yugoslavia seized power
in the first elections after the war in 1945.


From the minutes of the meeting between D. – Partisans because they are fighting against
Mihailovicć´ and representatives of the German the dynasty and for carrying out social revolu-
command in Serbia in the village of Divci tion. (…)
Procedure: with Albanians, Muslims and
11 November 1941 Ustashas according to their merits for their
Draža Mihailović: As a soldier I am not loathsome crimes towards our population, i.e.
ashamed of being a nationalist. In this capaci- they should be left to the “People’s Court” –
ty I only want to serve the people. In doing this, Croats who are under the Italian occupation
I have not put myself on the side of those who should be treated according to their attitude in
want to drive the Germans out. But, I will not the given moment.
permit, taking into consideration weak German Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o NOR naroda Jugoslavije,
XIV, book 1, doc. nr. 34
forces in the country, that Serbia becomes
Communist. Struggle was under way with cer-
tain commissioned and non-commissioned These three sources are an attempt to
officers, but that is only a minor number. Our shed light on the role and position of the
duty as soldiers is that we do not surrender as Chetniks and their relationship with the Part-
long as we can endure. Therefore, we cannot isans and Germans. The Chetniks were led by
be criticised for not surrendering. the colonel of the defeated Yugoslav army,
…Struggle against the occupiers was a neces- Dragoljub Mihajlović. The summer of 1941 saw
sary evil to prevent popular masses from sid- the Chetniks and the Partisans cooperating and
ing with the Communists. To me as a soldier together they succeeded in liberating some
towns in western and central Serbia. From the
the situation is quite clear. I would never eng-
very beginning of the uprising the Partisans and
age in attacks unless Communist attacks were Mihailović’s units fought for control of the towns
to occur and the Germans surrendered cities they liberated. By the start of November 1941
and villages. the conflict between the two movements grew
Branko Petranović, Momc ilo Zec ević, p. 529-530.
í í

into open civil war. Both armies claimed that

they were the only real fighters against the
occupying forces, and that their rivals were col-
From the instructions of Draža Mihailo vicć´ to laborating with the occupiers. Up until the con-
major Djordje Laš icć´ and captain Pavle Djuriš icć´ : ference in Teheran, the Allies had looked upon
the Chetniks as their allies and it was only after
20 December 1941 this, that the Partisans started receiving some
…The goals of our units are: help from the Allies.
Struggle for the liberation of our entire nation
under the sceptre of HRH King Petar II.
To create great Yugoslavia and within it Great-
er Serbia, ethnically homogenous within the ? How did Mihailović explain the Chetniks’
borders of Serbia – Montenegro – Bosnia and attacks on the Germans, to the German
Herzegovina – Sirmium – Banat and Backa. commander in the first months of the occu-
Struggle for the incorporation into our state of pation? In your opinion, did he really regard
all still occupied Slavic territories under the the Partisans as a greater danger than Ger-
Italians and Germans (Trieste – Gorizia – Istria mans?
and Carinthia) as well as Bulgaria and north- Notice the attitudes and prejudices towards
ern Albania including Skadar. other nations in source I-19. Which parts of
Clearing from the state territory, all ethnic the instructions are, in fact, an invitation to
minorities and non-national elements. (…) commit war crimes?
There can be no cooperation with Communists


v6. Serbian poster sures. They have introduced some Serbian

representatives into the “Croatian state parlia-
ment”, and they have established the “Croatian
Orthodox church” and some of young Serbian
recruits were called to join the Croatian army.
The Ustasha’s leadership has accepted the
policy of collaboration with the Chetniks. The
first agreements with the Chetnik commanders
were made by authorities of Independent State
Croatia (ISC) at Ozren and Trebava. With this
agreement the Chetniks have recognised the
ISC and expressed their loyalty to the head of
the Croatian state. All hostilities towards the
military and civil authorities of the ISC are bro-
ken, which will be recognised by the whole ter-
ritory where the Chetnik units are present. In
order to lead a common fight against the
Partisans, the Chetniks will keep their fighting
formations, arms and commands, and in the
actions against the Partisans they will be sup-
plied by military units of the ISC. Wounded
Chetniks will be treated in hospitals which
belong to the military forces of the ISC.
Albahari et al, p. 398-399.

Although the forces of the Independent

Nikolić, p.37. State of Croatia were in a state of war
with the representatives of the Serbian ultra-
nationalists (the Chetniks), which resulted in a
Translation: Serbia is a part of the anti- lot of victims among innocent civilians, during
Communist front. the time (1942), under German pressure, the
Croatian and Serbian nationalists were brought
together to lead a common fight against the
I- 2 0 . C o l l a b o r a ti o n b e tw e e n th e U s ta s h a s a n d Communists.
the Chetniks

Testimony by Savo Predja ? What made the enemies (the Chetniks

and the Ustashas) cooperate? In your
Under the pressure of the Germans, the Ust- opinion, was it only because of the German
asha’s authorities have begun to change their pressure?
policy towards Serbian inhabitants in Bosnia
and Herzegovina. For the German occupiers it
was very important to have peace and so to I-21. Beginning of the insurrection in Bosnia
have the possibility for exploitation of natural
resources and use it for the front. Pavelić’s Testimony by Žarko Zgonjanin12
government has brought in a series of mea- We were enthusiastic about the creation of first

Žarko Zgonjanin, Bosnian Serb, was born near Prijedor (northwest Bosnia) in 1916. He was one of the organisers
of insurrection on Kozara mountain and in Bosanska krajina 1941. After World War II he was one of the leaders of the
state police in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He died in Zagreb in 1970.


Partisan group and very satisfied with the

development of our efforts, but suddenly there ? Why did the Partisan leaders of Kozara
was a change of situation in the whole of region suggest that the people should
Kozara13. Between 28th and 30th of July14 there return to their houses and remain there until
were many appearances of well informed mes- consultation with the leadership about what
sengers who have spread the news about the should be done had taken place? Why it
beginning of an insurrection and that every- was important that they (the Communists)
body should arise. organised the insurrection? How and why
Rebels from Dubica’s15 district, probably self- does the interpretation of the historical
initiating, have attacked and liquidated the event(s) sometimes differ from the event
police station at Knezica. That is the approxi- itself?
mate geographical centre of Kozara, so the
word was spread all over the mountain that the
insurrection had started. We have had the deal
I-22. The foundation of the SS-“Handžar18 divi -
to advise the people that they should return to
their houses until we ask the leadership16 what s i o n ” a s th e p e a k o f M u s l i m c o l l a b o r a ti o n i n
should be done further. Some have agreed, Bosnia19
some not. I have gone there and found
Shosha17. I have told him about the present sit- Testimony by Džemal Bijedic20
uation and asked is there any new directive. That is the period in which the enemy leads the
Shosha has responded to me that neither he propaganda-mobilisation action in Sarajevo
knows what is going on. The folk just arise with the goal of forming the XIII SS-division,
massively and fire on all sides. called the “Handžar division”. That is the rea-
Albahari et al, p. 101. son why the German agent El Huseini, Palest-
ine’s religious leader, has come to Sarajevo.
He has established contacts with the group of
After World War II the Communist auth-
orities insisted that the insurrection be-
reactionary Muslims. We have had information
gan as a movement, which was inspired only by about the objects of their discussions, because
the Yugoslav Communist Party. However, this one of our infiltrated men was present in their
source shows that the insurrection was inspired meetings. El Huseini has insisted that Muslims
by the instinct for survival as well. should give their contribution to German victo-
ry and intended to form the aforementioned
special SS-unit. The “Handžar division”, and
after that one division more. The most reac-
tionary part of the Muslims, oriented towards
an Independent State of Croatia and Germany,
has counted that a unit like this can be the

Mountain in northwest Bosnia.



City in northwest Bosnia.
Communist leadership.
Famous Partisan hero from Kozara.
Handžar is name for long battle knife which was used during the Osmanlian period.
During WWII Bosnia was part of the Independent State of Croatia.
Džemal Bijedić was born in Mostar 1917. He was a member of the Yugoslav Communist party from 1939, and mem-
ber of the Communist Partisan movement from 1941. During and after World War II he was one of the key people in the
Yugoslav political hierarchy. Although he was Bosniak-Muslim he never hesitated to write about examples of Muslim col-
laboration with the Nazis (for example, a story about the Muslim SS-division “Handžar”). He died in an airplane crash near
Kreševo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 1977. At the time of his death, he still was one of the main Yugoslav political leaders.


force for Muslim calculations during the time. house in Žabno. They walked about a hundred
Abusing the already extremely hard position of metres from the village and under an oak they
the Muslim refugees, the enemy has succeed- had a meeting. They talked till midnight. Then
ed in their attempts to involve a large number the members of the Party from the nearby vil-
of them (refugees) in this SS-division. The lages left in order to complete some tasks that
“Handžar division” was formed in numbers and same night. Capo and Marijan stayed alone
organisation like other German troops, the under that oak, spread a tent-half and lay
Nazis have sent division on training exercises down. It was their first Partisan night. They
in France and Germany. In the beginning of were the first Yugoslav Partisans.”
1944 this unit arrived first in Srem, and after In the first days of the Partisan war...
that in the eastern part of Bosnia, where they “... everybody wanted to know how long the
have committed numerous crimes. The divi- war would last. That is, how long we will fight,
sion was composed of bloodthirsty Ustashas if we have any chance for rebellion, etc. (...)
and a rabble, and was supported by most Some asked: ‘If we hide in the barn and stay
reactionary Muslims towards fascist oriented there for five-six weeks, will this be over?’ We
circles. used to reply that it’s not likely to finish so
What kind of milieu was the one from which soon, that the most important thing for us is to
members of this division were recruited, we oppose with arms, that it is now our decision
can see from preserved data of Third Reich’s and that such decision will be made by the
military and police institutions in Independent whole Party.”
State of Croatia. Namely, on the occasion of Dedijer, p. 397.
recruiting “volunteers” into the Muslim SS-divi-
sion, an amount of money and food equivalent ? What was Partisan reality in the first
to the amount which German soldiers have days of the resistance movement? What
received during the war was “guaranteed” to do you think about the ‘barn’ aspiration?
every family with at least one “volunteer”. How-
ever, this was never realised because the rela-
tives (of the volunteers) –wives, parents or kids I-24. Testimonies about how Ohrid saw the co -
– had to fill out certain forms, but they could ming of Germans, Italians, Bulgarians and Pa -
not do that because they all were illiterate. rtisans during the Second World War
Albahari et al, p. 398-399.
The coming of the Germans in Ohrid,
? What, in your opinion, were the motives 10 April 1941
for joining the SS? Do you believe that “On Thursday evening, at around five o’clock,
the food and money promised to the volun- all of the bells began to ring, because that was
teers’ families was never received due to when the German units started to arrive […]
the reason given in the text? Some people waited for them in the centre and
they were offered bread, salt and water by
Panto Rilkoski. Because they were afraid that
it might be poisoned, Panto had to try it first,
I-23. Darko Stupari cć´ writes about the estab - and then they ate as well. Afterwards some
lishment of the first Partisan unit near Sisak Serbian navy officer led them to the navy and
(Croatia) in June 1941 handed it over to them. He knew German and
was probably a Croat. After having a walk
“That night about ten Communists and the through the city, they sat to eat their dinner,
members of the League of Young Communists and it was a canned food…Shops were
gathered in the yard of the Lasic’s family closed. Only two coffee-bars were working, but


without offering drinks, coffee or tea, because v7. Bosnian Muslims in the Ustasha forces
there was no sugar…”

Coming of the Italians, 11 April 1941

“In The night between Friday and Saturday the
Italian units came with cars full of soldiers and
armaments…The Italians were quite hungry
and were asking the population for eggs,
chicken, buying bread and such. The children
were selling them food, receiving instead
money – liras and Albanian leks.”

Coming of the Bulgarians, 12 May 1941

“On 12th May at five o’clock in the afternoon,
the Bulgarian police came first. They were
received by the president of the municipality
Ilija Kocareski. Fifteen days later the rest of the
Bulgarian troops came as well. The German
general Lindeman held a speech, which was
translated, saying that he handed over the
town to the Bulgarians because it had been
theirs and they should govern it. Then the
Bulgarian general held a speech saying that
we had been slaves to the Serbian people and
expressed gratitude to the German liberating
That is how in Ohrid change masters three
times in one month…”

The coming of the Partisans, 15 October 1944

“On 15th October (1944), Sunday morning, the
Krišto, p. 257.
Partisans came. The people knew about their
coming. When they came they were riding
horses. The people gave them magnificent
reception. There were many people, young
The Ustashas paid special attention to
and old ones […] The next day some more Bosnian Muslims. Pavelić used to ex-
Partisans came. Amongst them there were plain that the figures of about 7,5 million Serbs
women armed with bombs, machineguns, bul- and only 2,5 million Croats were wrong; there
lets and wearing trousers, which was quite a were 5,5 million “Catholic and Muslim Croats”.
news…” In order to get Muslims on their side, the Usta-
Mitreski, pp 230-232, 280. shas called them “The flowers of the Croatian
people”. Bosnian Muslims formed separate
? What are the similarities and differences units in the Ustasha forces. They were distin-
between these descriptions? Is it possi- guishable from other units by the “fez”, a tradi-
ble to discern the author’s attitude towards tional Muslim cap.
the different armies that came to Ohrid?


I-25. A child about the rivalry of the political I-26. LNC Central Council circular letter to all
groups in Albania regional committees in Albania (dated 9 Sept-
ember 1943)
“The next trick they tried was to have Part-
isans, dressed in German soldiers’ uniforms, “In case of an Allied landing the National Lib-
visit us and denounce the Communists to us, eration Council must be the real power. They
to see if we would agree with them. The must mobilise the whole people round them
Germans sympathisers pulled the same trick and should not allow other forces such as the
on everyone in Arza. The three factions pulled Balli Kombetar, to exert any influence on the
the same trick on everyone in Arza. The men people (...) The National Liberation forces must
who came to the houses were always from begin from now on to assert themselves every-
some other section of the country, and no one where, and, when the landing takes place, they
knew them in Arza. In this way they found out must present themselves to the Allies, through
how everyone felt about each faction.” the National Liberation Councils as the only
Hysolli, p. 58. power of the Albanian people (...) The adminis-
tration of Albania should be entirely in the
? How were the factions trying to discov- hands of the Liberation Councils.”
er who really supported them and who Smiley, p. 89.
did not? What does this extract tell you
about the everyday life of civilians? In your How does this letter advise people to
? behave in the event of an Allied landing
opinion, what would have been the best
way of answering the questions about dif- in Albania? How they should try to avoid
ferent armies/factions? the representation of other political forces?
What was the attitude of the LNC toward
the rival political groups in Albania? Is the
final, or even the main goal of the resis-
tance movements, to come to power?

? Overall questions on subchapter Ib.

Make a table with three columns. Write the occupying armies in the first, the Communist
armies in the second, and in the last column the anti-Communist armies from each source.
Describe the relations between the Communist and anti-Communist armies operating in the
same country. Make a list of the armies that existed in your country. Find out more about their
leaders and aims. How were the Partisan armies organised? What kind of troubles did they
have? Resistance armies didn’t fight only for freedom but for several other aims. What were
these aims?


Ic . R e l a ti o n s w i th th e tw o c o a l i ti o n s a n d w i th th e n e i g h b o u r i n g c o u n tr i e s

I-27 and I-28. been called off and in the evening demonstra-
News report on the military coup and over - tions erupted on Kalemegdan and in Slavija …
throw of the pro-Axis Government of the King - The Greek consulate was swamped by young
dom of Yugoslavia. This took place on 27th people between 17 and 20 years of age who
M a r c h 1 9 4 1 f o l l o w i n g Yu g o s l a v i a ’ s e n t r y i n t o wanted to transfer to Greece and fight there as
volunteers. (…)
the Tripartite Pact
As soon as the people heard the news about
Coming from peripheral streets, processions the turnaround, all of the streets were decorat-
merged with one another, growing into a ed with flags and many also with flowers. By
mighty river. The procession included a mix- six o’clock in the morning (on the 27th of March)
ture of workers, employees, youths, citizens, the streets were filled with people; peasants in
peasants and women. State flags were carried festive clothing who kept arriving from nearby
at the front of the procession. People were villages, workers, intellectuals, students and
demonstrating their mood throughout the dura- citizens, old and young. They all came out to
tion of the procession. They cheered: “Hooray express their joy, they all hugged, cried, sang
for the people’s government!”, “Hooray for the and chanted. The greeting on that day was:
“Long live the King, hooray for Yugoslavia” (…)
people’s army!”, “The Army is with the people!”,
The English, American, Russian and Greek
“We demand democratic people’s rights!”, embassies were practically besieged. Groups
“Amnesty for political convicts!”. of people went from one embassy to the other,
(...) Representatives of youth and workers, as made their way to the yards and danced in
well as Dr. Dragoljub Jovanović 21 spoke in Sla- ‘kolo’, welcomed by deeply moved heads and
vija square. They all voiced their satisfaction at staff of these missions. (…) Processions were
the fact that the former government had been formed with flags, Yugoslav and those of the
overthrown and stressed the Belgraders’ desi- Allies, at the head, going towards the centre of
re to not stop halfway, but to preserve peace the city, cheering for the King, Fatherland and
and the nation’s independence. army, shouting against Hitler and his merce-
naries. (…) At around noon large-scale demo-
(...) Several speeches were delivered in front
nstrations occurred in front of the German Tra-
of the monument to Vuk Karadžić. University ffic Office… A man stood on a window holding
professor Sima Milošević, Ph.D., was among a large portrait of Hitler and then set its corner
the speakers. Yugoslav people, according to on fire. he picture was burned slowly while the
Mr. Milošević, want to preserve the nation’s in- frantic applause of the crowd below roared and
dependence and freedom and to secure de- could be heard even in remote parts of the city.
mocratic rights. Then two men pulled out a German flag with a
Politika, 28 March 1941. swastika and tore it apart with their teeth.”
Tokovi istorije, 1-2/1997, pp. 181-182.
The report by the chief rabbi of Yugoslavia, Dr.
Isak Alkalaj, to the Yugoslav government in ? What was the population’s reaction to
e x i l e o n th e e v e n ts b e tw e e n th e e n d o f M a r c h the signing the Tripartite Pact by the Yu-
and the end of June 1941 goslav government and the military coup that
On that day (26th March) riots broke out simul- followed? Which detail displays an aware-
taneously in all of the secondary schools…. ness among the demonstrators that these
The chant: ‘Better war than pact, better grave events might provoke a German attack on
than slave’ could be heard from all the class- Yugoslavia?
rooms… Classes in all of the schools have

Dr. Dragoljub Jovanović (1895-1977), a university professor, was the leader of the left wing of the Farmers’ Party.
After World War II, Tito’s regime sentenced him to a long imprisonment for his opposition activities.


v8. March 27th 1941. Mass anti-Axis demon - through a war or participation in a big interna-
strations in Belgrade tional alliance they would improve their living
A typical example of the lost faith of the
Bulgarians about their happiness in the inter-
national politics at the time is the following
joke, which was very popular:
“Pizho meets the village teacher and asks him:
‘Teacher, we are going to stay neutral this time,
aren’t we?’
‘No, no’, replies the teacher, who is a special-
ist in the international politics, ‘this time
Bulgaria won’t be Germany’s ally. Now we are
Branko Petranović, Nikola Žutić, 27. mart 1941. going with England.’
‘That’s good! Let England be beaten for once
as well!’
Hitler’s fierce reaction to the Military Katsarov, p.547-548.
coup, organised by the group of Yugoslav
officers as a reaction to the accession of the ? Why did the majority of Bulgarians want
Yugoslav government to the Tripartite treaty on to avoid a new war? Did they expect
March 25th, was an attack on the Yugoslav cap- any benefits for themselves from the subse-
ital on April 6th 1941 and the destruction of the quent world conflict?
first Yugoslav state.

I-30. A famous Bulgarian journalist Danail Kra -

I-29. From the memoirs of Konstantin Katza - p c h e v a b o u t t h e a c c u s a t i o n a g a i n s t Bu l g a r i a o f
rov22, a famous Bulgarian lawyer, on the first not offering resistance to the German army
year of World War II
Why Didn’t They Stop the German Army?
At this phase of “drôle de guerre” the war could
hardly be felt in Bulgaria, at least on the sur- Some countries criticise Bulgaria for allowing
face, both in a political and military sense. The the German army, its ally in the World War, to
interior situation stood on the Czar’s authority, pass through its territories. We must point out
which was lying on the army cleared of officers that these countries are Great Powers. We,
dealing with politics, and on the ministers, who the Bulgarians, have every right to ask them:
were not members of any party. The external Why those, who criticise Bulgaria for letting the
policy of the country was the one of awaiting, German army pass its territories, did not stop
taking a course of ‘passing unnoticed’ (...) this same army in their march last year or the
Bulgaria was neutral. previous one? (...) Why didn’t they come to the
This word had a special fascination for the down part of the Danube to stop the Germans,
Bulgarians. We had waged three wars and suf- but they want the seven million Bulgarian peo-
fered two national catastrophes, which had ple, who were allies of Germany during the
buried the national ideals inspiring our genera- World War and shared its fate, to prevent them
tion. The Bulgarians did not believe that from crossing the big river? . .

Konstantin Katsarov - born in Sofia in 1898, professor at the Law Department of Sofia University (1931-1953),
unjustly convicted in 1953. He was released from prison, because his sentence was later found to be a miscarriage of
justice. Following the overturn of his conviction, he emigrated to Switzerland.


After all, it should not be forgotten that Bulgaria Jesus Christ rose from the dead! From now on
is a victim of the Versailles system that started every Bulgarian citizen will breathe more
for it in Bucharest and ended in Neuilly. Why freely. Be happy!
Krapchev, p. 145-146.
are the seven million nations obliged to stop
the eighty million Germans in their onset to
build a new Europe? Bulgaria and Germany ? What are Krapchev’s reasons for his
happiness at this event? Does his joy
are both victims of the victors in the War two
concern the whole of Yugoslavia, or only a
decades ago and we are waiting for the victo-
part of it? Why? What does this article tell
ry of justice (...) us about the author?
The ‘Zora’ Newspaper, Sofia, 6 March 1941.
Krapchev, p. 210-211.

v9 . R o m a n ia n n e w sp a p e r : kin g M ich a e l,
general Antonescu, Mussolini, Hitler (1941)
? What are the author’s arguments? Are
they convincing? What is Krapchev’s atti-
tude towards Germany and German people?

I - 3 1 . T h e s a m e Bu l g a r i a n j o u r n a l i s t , D a n a i l
Krapchev comments on Germany’s swift victo -
ry over Yugoslavia in April 1941

Ruined is the country, which in 1885 attacked

the Bulgarian Principality because South
Bulgaria had joined the Northern one. Ruined
is the country, which in 1913 perfidiously re-
“Universul”, no. 130, 15 May 1942.
nounced the allied treaty between Bulgaria
and Serbia and caused the War Between the
v1 0 . R o m a n ia n n e w sp a p e r : kin g M ich a e l
Allies (the Second Balkan War). Ruined is the
and generalissimo Stalin (1945)
country, which at the peace negotiations in
Bucharest wanted to have Tsarevo Selo as
well to ‘break our teeth in Sofia’ as the Serbian
representative Spalaikovich had declared.
Ruined is the country, which had given to the
Greeks the motherland of St. Cyril and Metho-
dius. Ruined is the country, which inspired the
murder of the Austrian Crown Prince, thus
touching off the World War. Ruined is the coun-
try, which helped Bulgaria to be thrown off the
Aegean region. We say the country and not
the Serbian people, because the people are
“Universul”, 26 October 1944.
not guilty; it is their governing intelligentsia that
is guilty and who has always hated Bulgaria ...
Not only did this country oppress more than ? Compare this illustration with the previ-
ous one. What is your opinion about the
one million Bulgarians by separating them Romanian army and politicians changing
from us and trying to take their hearts, souls sides? Do you think the new ‘comradeship’
and mother tongue, but it was also undermin- is a sincere one? Explain your answer.
ing Bulgaria from the inside . . .


I-32 and I-33.

Extract from the Mnemonio (18/10/1941) of the
then prime minister Emmanouil Tsouderos - The German army’s invasion of Greece
was launched in April 1941 and both the
formerly a banker known for his liberal views Greek and British forces were rapidly overcome.
and his opposition to the Metaxas regime - in Three days before the fall of Athens on 23 April,
the official Greek government in Cairo, to the General Tsolakoglou, without government auth-
British orisation, negotiated an armistice with the Ger-
mans. The king and his government withdrew to
the Middle East. In Greece a collaborationist go-
“…The return of the King and his Family to our
vernment was established. In March 1944 EAM
country is a matter of honour, as he followed a established the Political Committee of National
correct and brave policy but also because it is Liberation to govern a free Greece, which con-
in the best interests of us and our allies. Any stituted a direct challenge to the government-in-
question of regime, which might arise after the exile. A new prime minister of the government in
exile, George Papandreou, under British aegis,
war would throw Greece into controversy and
set about constructing a government of national
anarchy with no end. If our friends are looking unity. He finally gave five secondary ministries
forward to a post-war Greece capable of con- to EAM in the new government. The Papan-
tinuing her foreign policy and remaining a use- dreou government returned to liberated Athens
ful political influence in the Mediterranean and in October 1944, accompanied by a small Bri-
tish force. Demands for the punishment of col-
the Balkans, they must already prepare the
laborators were not given priority by Papan-
ground which will make it impossible for such dreou. But the main problem was the demobili-
anomalies to happen in Greece”. sation of the guerrilla armies and their replace-
Fleischer, vol. 1, p. 181. ment by a national army. EAM’s nominees re-
signed from the cabinet and some days later, on
the 3 December 1944, EAM organised a mass
? How is Tsouderos trying to persuade his demonstration. The police fired leaving about 15
allies that the return of the King is in their dead. ELAS units attacked police stations and
best interests? What do you think about his there was furious street fighting between ELAS
units and British and government forces in Ath-
arguments? ens. Ultimately the British troops won the upper
hand in the battle.

Message from the British Foreign Office to the

British minister in Cairo 14/8/44
“What would better serve our interests would ? What kind of a hiatus was the British
Foreign Office afraid of? Why?
be for the surrender of the Germans to be
arranged once the British forces are ready to
move to Greece, on condition that they also
I-34. Brigadier Myers, commander of the Bri -
hand over all German weapons and supplies
in such a way as not to fall into the hands of tish Military Mission to Greece, assesses the
EAM, and so that there will be no hiatus from impact of resistance against Nazis on the over -
which EAM might benefit. This would be un- all evolution of the war
doubtedly be better achieved if the material
could be handed over in ports, which we can Soon after its occupation, Greece became of
reach easily. Of course, the Field-Marshal for considerable strategic importance to the ene-
the Middle East is considering various ways my. Not only was the country bled white to pro-
and means and will take into account the vide the maximum local produce, but its ports,
above considerations”. in particular Piraeus, were used both to supply
Iatridis, p. 227. the enemy’s island air bases in the Eastern


Mediterranean and to slip supplies across by v 1 1 . R o m a n i a n n e w s p a p e r p h o to : c o m r a -

sea to North Africa. d e s h i p b e tw e e n th e R o m a n i a n a r m y a n d th e
In the autumn of 1942 just as we broke out of Red Army: officers on front
the El Alamein line, the destruction of the
Gorgopotamos viaduct resulted in the only rail-
way to Athens being cut for six critical weeks23,
during which the enemy was unable to use
Piraeus to reinforce his troops in North Africa
with more than such small reserves as already
happened to be in Southern Greece. The
widespread sabotage of communications in
June and July 1943, temporarily diverted two
German divisions from the main battle-front in
Sicily. It contributed to no small extent towards
the overall cover plan, the success of the land-
ings and the capture of the island. It has been
estimated that between 1941 and 1944 over
twenty-five thousand casualties were inflicted “Universul”, Bucharest, 6 October 1944.
upon the enemy by the andartes*. It is known
that over one hundred and fifty locomotives
were damaged or destroyed. Over a hundred ? In which year might this photograph
bridges were blown up. Over two hundred and have been taken? Explain your answer.
fifty ships of about sixty-eight thousand tons in
all were sunk or damaged by sabotage. During
1943 andarte action necessitated the retention I-35. The treatment of the English prisoners,
of thirteen Italian divisions in Greece. After the Romania (1944)
Italian capitulation, the Germans were forced
to keep six divisions there. Had the enemy “Antonescu informed Chas that, although I had
weakened his army of occupation before civil come here as an enemy, he will protect us
war broke out in the mountains, they would against the Germans. They did not need to
have run serious risk of a nation-wide Greek offer the Germans any pretexts to take us
rising against them. under their protection and this is why, profes-
Myers, pp.280-281. sor Mihai Antonescu… will help us set up our
declarations. We were by no means to admit
that we were sent to sabotage the oil, since
such an act against strategic merchandise
? Why was Greece of strategic impor- would have offered to the Germans a valid
tance to the Germans? What was the
importance of the destruction of the Gorgo- argument to take us over … This is how one of
potamos viaduct? the closest allies of Hitler— a Quisling —
would arrest 3 British parachutists, then offer
them his protection, send his own minister of

The destruction of the Gorgopotamos railway viaduct in November 1942, which carried the Salonica-Athens railway

line, was one of the most spectacular acts of resistance in occupied Europe. It was achieved by guerrillas drawn both
from ELAS and EDES and saboteurs parachuted into Greece by the British Special Operations Executive.
* Partisans.


External Affairs to instruct them how to do at I-36. From the minutes of the talk between J.B.
the interrogation of the Germans. How many of Tito and W. Churchill in Naples, 12 August
those back home — used to judge war in the 1944
most general and less equivocal terms—
would have thought something like this to be (…)MARSHALL TITO said that (…) as far as
possible?” Serbs are concerned, he did not have a quar-
Porter, p. 161. rel with them, but only with Mihailović’s group,
who turned their rifles against Partisans at the
most critical moment.
(…)THE PRIME-MINISTER said that the true solu-
This account was written by Ivor Porter,
tion for Yugoslavia is a democratic system
an English spy sent to Romania with the
which would rely on peasants, while the condi-
mission of contacting Iuliu Maniu24, the leader of
tions on farm households would gradually im-
the democratic opposition. The treatment that
the prisoners were subjected to grasps the An-
MARSHALL TITO said that, as he had already
tonescu government’s attitude, which, in spite of
said several times in public, he does not want
the official declarations of fidelity towards Ger-
to introduce the Communist system in Yugo-
many, looked for the sympathy of the powers
slavia, if for no other reason than because it is
within the United Nations.
expected that most European countries after
the war will live in democratic system from
which Yugoslavia must not differ.
Tito – Churchill: Strogo tajno, p. 277.
? What, in your opinion, is the explanation
for the unusual treatment of the prison-
ers of war? ? Was Tito honest with Churchill?

I-37. Order of the Italian king Victor Emanuel hands of the High Commissioner appointed by
III, dated May 3, 1941 on the annexation of the King’s order, on proposal of the Duce of
province of Ljubljana to Italy Fascism, the Prime Minister, as well as by the
Minister of Interior.
KING’S ORDER DATED MAY 3, Article 4. The High Commissioner will be as-
1941 - XIX, NO 291 sisted by a council consisting of 14 members,
The foundation of the Province of Ljubljana chosen from the productive groups of Slove-
nian population.
Article 5. There will be no compulsory military
(...)Article 2. By an order of the King issued
service for the residents of the Province of
upon the proposal of the Duce of Fascism and
the Minister of Interior, the Province of Lju-
Article 6. The instruction in primary schools will
bljana will - due to the serried Slovenian popu-
be carried out in Slovenian language. In sec-
lation - enjoy an autonomous status, which will
ondary and tertiary level schools there will be
take into account the ethnic characteristics of
an optional instruction of the Italian language.
the population, the geographical situation of
All official decrees will be issued in both lan-
the country and its special local needs.
guages. (...)
Article 3. Administrative power will be in the Ferenc, p. 33.

Iuliu Maniu (1873–1953). Romanian politician. Important leader of the Romanian National movement in Transylvania
in the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. In the inter-war period, Maniu was one of the main political figures, constantly pro-
moting democratic ideas. The leader of the democratic political opposition during the Antonescu government. Convicted
and imprisoned by Communists (1947), Maniu died in Sighet prison.


I-38. An anecdote told by Ivan Venedikov, a

Italian troops occupied the western and f a m o u s Bu l g a r i a n a r c h a e o l o g i s t , a b o u t h i s
southern parts of Slovenia. After a short r e l a ti o n s w i th th e G e r m a n s i n M a c e d o n i a
military administration, the Italian occupiers tra-
nsformed their occupied territories into the so-
called Province of Ljubljana (Provinzia di Ljubli- At that moment Stamen Mihailov brought a Ger-
ana). It was governed by a high commissioner. man soldier, an archaeologist. He was a typical
A few days after the occupation, a Slovenian bo- German, blond, tall, wearing a uniform; he was
dy, called the National Council, was in opera- with his unit in Skopie. He was about 35 and his
tion, but it only lasted for few months and it did-
specialty was the pre-historical period ...
n’t have any real power. Legally, the Province of
Ljubljana was one of the Italian provinces. It The last time I saw him, Lange told me
gained autonomous status which manifested it- a joke about us, the Bulgarians:
self in a different name for the person in charge ‘People say that you are twelve million.’
(‘high commissioner’ as opposed to ‘prefect’ as he said.
called in other parts of Italy), in bilingualism, in ‘No, only six’.
formal co-administration by the advisory com-
mittee for the Province of Ljubljana whose mem- ‘No, twelve. Six of them are with us,
bers were Slovenians and finally by the fact, that and the other six - with the Soviet Union’, he
Slovenian citizens did not have to serve in the told me.
army. After Italian capitulation, the former Italian That made me unhappy, but I did not
occupational territory was taken over by the say anything. Could he be right?
Germans. Venedikov, p. 238-239.

? What is the German’s concealed re-

? Comment on article No. 4. proach? On what grounds is it made?

? Overall questions on subchapter Ic.

What were the factors that influenced the decisions for certain coalitions? Why did the polit-
ical actors change the coalitions? Did the activities of certain actors match the proclamations
they made at the beginning of the war?

Id. Religious organisations

I- 3 9 . D e c l a r a ti o n o f th e a r c h b i s h o p o f Io a n n i n a and peaceful population, but they consider

(Greece) to all Christians in his authority guerrillas as enemies not only of the German
(10/9/43)25 Army but also of the peaceful citizens who will
bear the brunt of the severe punishment, as it
To the Christians of our County will be necessary for severe measures to be
As of the 9th of this month the military adminis- taken indiscriminately against the guilty and
tration of Epirus has been undertaken by the the innocent alike.
German Occupation Authorities. Officials of We take this opportunity to address once
these authorities have declared that the again our Christian people and remind them of
German Army undertakes to protect the lawful how critical these times are, and issue a

See also sources III-6 and III-7.


fatherly admonition and advice to them to ab- sion of any issue which in recent days has held
stain from any unlawful acts and persuade the the entire society of Greece in a state of sur-
more naïve among them to also abstain from mise and emotion, being certain that you will
co-operating with and aiding guerrillas so as to examine them in a spirit of profound good will
prevent a holocaust of innocent people. and even more profound understanding.
We fully realise the anxiety in the souls of The issue in question is that of the expulsion
everyone, but in the name of our Pastoral duty, from Thessaloniki of the community of Jews of
in the name of tender love for our flock, in the Greek nationality who, for a very long time,
name of an entire life spent in protecting and entirely lawfully integrated into the institutions
serving the flock entrusted to us, we call upon of this country, not only never gave occasion
all to put aside any personal interest in favour for complaint on the part of any Greeks, but,
of the general good, in favour of large numbers on the contrary, always set an example of seri-
of innocent people who are exposed to count- ous and co-operative solidarity with them and,
less dangers, and we appeal for prudence, full at moments of crisis, proved themselves to be
realisation of the gravity of the circumstances capable of self-denial and self-sacrifice in their
and patience. country’s cause. (...)
We expect and hope that this ultimate appeal It should be also noted that the Jews in Greece
of ours shall be duly noted and appreciated. have a mentality which differs from that of the
With fervent prayers to God Jews in Germany, and that they do not even
know the language of their co-religionists in
Ioannina, September 10, 1943
Poland, where they are being sent to live.
Spyridon, Archbishop of Ioannina
Having taken all this into consideration, and,
Fleischer, vol. 2, p. 222.
further, bearing in mind that throughout the
entire length of Greek history our relations with
? What is the archbishop of Ioannina sug- the Jewish community have always been har-
gesting to the Christians in his authori-
monious and smooth – from the depths of
ty? What are the motives for this suggesti-
antiquity through the time of Alexander the
on? Is it possible to see from this letter
whether the archbishop approved of the Great and his heirs, down all the eras of toler-
actions of German authorities or not? ant Greek Orthodoxy to the framework of our
recent life as a nation – we believe that in Your
Excellency’s high capacity as regulator of
I-40. Letter by archbishop Damaskinos and affairs in our country during the present war,
other eminent Greeks to Gunther von Alten - you will not hesitate to espouse our present
burg, German ambassador to Greece request and decide that the expulsion of the
Jewish community from Greece shall be sus-
Archbishop Damaskinos pended, at least on temporary basis, until the
and other eminent Greeks to Gunther von question of the Jews in Greece can be studied
Altenburg, Ambassador, in the light of a special and thorough research.
The Reich Plenipotentiary for Greece (...)
Your Excellency,
In the name of those sublime ideas which the
Athens, 24 March 1943 Greek spirit and the high culture of Your home-
land have elevated to the status of watchwords
Your Excellency, of universal prestige and incontrovertible
We, the undersigned, are not seeking in this authority, we beg of you that the suspension of
letter to interfere in any way with matters of the the expulsion of our Jewish fellow-citizens
general tactics of the German Authorities in which we have requested be implemented as
this country or anywhere else, but simply to soon as possible, and we assure you that the
submit certain thoughts to you, on the occa- entire Greek people will be in a position to


appreciate in the due manner the magnificent winner, they became one, as part of the Ro-
historic gesture you will have made. man Empire. Since this happy time, Albanians
Documents on the History of the Greek Jews, p. 264-265. have been free to express without fear their
feelings and aspirations on every subject, that
The Orthodox Church, which remained in they did not dare to, since the times of their
operation in Athens throughout the occu- legendary leader Gjergj Kastriot Scanderbeg.
pation, played an important role in religious and “Hylli i Dritës” (The Star of Light), December 1940, 601.
political affairs during this period and tried to
assist the Jews in fleeing or hiding and thus sur- This excerpt is from an article from the
viving. After the first deportations of Jews had magazine Hylli i Dritës (The Star of Light)
begun, the archbishop Damaskinos organised a which was the public organ of the Catholic reli-
meeting of leading academics, judges and law- gion and one of the most prominent magazines
yers as well as the presidents and secretaries of in Albania.
trade unions and professional associations. Pe-
titions to the quisling government and the
Reich’s plenipotentiary were drafted, signed by I-42 and I-43.
Damaskinos and 21 other public figures, ex-
pressing the horror of the Greek people at the Sarajevo Muslims about the situation in Bosnia
deportations and demanding that these should
and Herzegovina (at that time, part of the Inde -
stop immediately.
pendent State of Croatia)

? How did the authors of this letter write On 12th October 1941 a Resolution was drawn
about the Jewish community in Greece? up by about 100 Muslims from Sarajevo, after
What are they asking Ambassador to do? the proposal of the Main committee of “El Hi-
Did the respectable public figures put them- daja”26, a society of Muslim clergy. The Resolu-
selves in danger by signing this letter (bear tion recognised the harsh conditions of the
in mind German anti-Semitic policy as well Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, criticised
as the brutality of the regime itself)? In your the violence towards Serbs and Jews, rejected
opinion, why did the authors of the letter the responsibility of Muslims for committing cri-
stress that “...the Jews in Greece have a mes and at the same time criticised the Mus-
mentality which differs from that of the Jews lims who have taken part in violence. Signa-
in Germany...”? tories of the Resolution stated their requests
and most important among these were: the
I-41. Catholic church of Albania about the Ita - establishment of “safety of life, honour, proper-
lian invasion of Albania ty and faith for all citizens of the State without
any differences”, and the prevention of future
From the historical day of 7 April 1939, Albania “actions, which are by their nature capable of
have had a lucky fate because of the will of the implicit insurrections and bloodshed among
Great Duce of Fascism, his Excellency Benito the people”.
Redžić, p. 16.
Mussolini, The Saviour of Albania, and accord-
ing the will expressed by the Albanian people Some representatives of Bosniaks-Mus-
through the Constituent Assembly on 12 April lims were appalled by the crimes com-
1939; Albanians and his brother people of Italy mitted by authorities of the ISC towards the Ser-
are united in their fates, predestined since bian and Jewish populations of Bosnia and Her-
ancient times by nature, under the splendid zegovina during 1941. In October 1941, they re-
crown of Savoja and under his Highness Victor leased a resolution in which they expressed
Emanuel III, the great king and three times their attitudes.

EL Hidaja was key Islamic organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Islamic clergy and the creation of the Muslim the land of our forefathers and scatter the
SS-division in 1943 graves27 (…)
Deeply rooted in a past filled with blood, we
The main role in recruiting of men into the SS- defend such a heredity, which also belongs to
division was played by the Islamic muftis and the entire civilised world. We fight for the Holy
imams. Particularly active in this job were Cross and for the Holy Gospel and we pray to
imams Mustafa Malkoc and Halim Malkoc, God and Jesus our Lord”.
who gathered the people in front of the “Universul”, 79/2.03.1942, p. 4.
mosques, made propaganda speeches and
called for recruits to join the 13th SS-division. Press article: The sister-churches. Great per -
Recruited men were transported to Germany, spectives of Orthodoxy, by Mihai Burlacu
and after that to southern France, were they
“As soon as the war stopped back East, the
were exposed to special discipline, military
black veil that separated the two neighbour
training and political education. The main goal
Orthodox sister-churches fell– that is, the one
of this kind of education was the development
between our older sister, the Patriarchy of the
of a fatalistic approach to Islam and the war
Russian-Orthodox church and its younger sis-
goals of Third Reich by the members of this
ter, the Patriarchy of our Romanian-Orthodox
division. The carriers of education of the mili-
church. (…)
tary in 13th SS-division were young muftis, who
And in the words addressed to the county by
were previously educated in a pan-Islamic
His Holiness Nicodim, the Patriarch of the Ro-
manner in a special school, founded in Berlin
manian-Orthodox church, … he brought his
by El Huseini, the great mufti of Jerusalem
Redžić, p. 120.
homage to the Russian-Orthodox Patriarchy,
our older sister: “Recently, His Holiness the
Archbishop Alexei of Leningrad and Novgo-
? Compare these two sources. In what rod,… addressed the Orthodox believers in
ways do the actions of the various Mus-
lim clergy members differ from each other? our beloved country with brotherly words of
Could you find similar examples from your stimulus and of invigorating encouragement
country? for the hopes of our beloved people, and for
the well being of our holy church. These
thoughts of our older sister in Jesus Christ
I-44 and I-45. offered us great joy. Our live wish is to see,
renewed and strengthened, together with our
T h e sp e e ch m a d e b y h i s h o l i n e ss N i co d i m , p a - older sister in God, the holy Orthodox church
triarch of Romania, at the Law Faculty in Bu - of the Union of Soviet and Socialist Republics;
charest in 1942 in the spirit of Christian and brotherly love, the
closest connection”. (…)
“There is only one thing left that we should But there are great and new perspectives
think of. Our enemies are also the enemies of opening in the future for Orthodoxy. A new ecu-
the Cross, hostile to a civilisation founded with menical synod was awaited with grand prepa-
indescribable toil and sacrifice, on the Holy rations by the theologians and the clergy of all
Gospel and on the science in its service. The Orthodox churches in the Balkans. But there
Bolsheviks utter blasphemies against God and couldn’t be any ecumenical synod, without the
fight to annihilate the Cross and everything participation of the older sister, the Russian-
that was built under its power, they rummage Orthodox Patriarchy. Moreover, serious stud-

This assertion refers to the occupation of Bessarabia and Bukovina by the Soviet Union in the summer of 1940.


ies and researches have been set up by our “Your holiness, Germans are here and are
theologians regarding the Anglican Church, looking for you”. He was upset and very excit-
compared to the other Orthodox sister-church- ed. Seeing him in such a bad mood, I told him:
es. But they could not reach a final conclusion, “Please, be calm and do not despair. Nothing
without the ecumenical understanding of all will happen to you… Germans are looking for
Orthodox churches. It is hence explainable me.” As soon as I finished the sentence, four
also from our religious point of view why the Germans in military uniforms barged into my
Anglican Church saluted by a warm prayer and room without knocking. They wore initials SD
a pious homage the moment of reuniting like on their sleeves and lapels, indicating political
brothers of the two Christian-Orthodox people. police or GESTAPO …
(…) The colonel said the following: “You are
“Universul”, 291/28.10.1944.
indicted, as the main war criminal, for
Yugoslavia’s entry into the war against the Axis
powers. According to this, I have the order of
? In what ways do these two texts differ?
What can you infer from these two sta- the supreme commander of military and civil
tements of patriarch Nicodim in relation to force, Führer Adolf Hitler, to interrogate you
external pressures? In your opinion, did the about your criminal activities and then forward
attitude towards the Bolsheviks change? If the case to a higher military court which shall
yes, what might be the reason(s) for that pronounce a fair sentence stipulated by the
change?28 Explain your answer. military law… you have… entered pure poli-
tics, in order to act among your people from
that area and to instigate among them your
idea and encourage them to be solid in their
I-46. Arrest of patriarch Gavrilo by German revolt against the Axis powers. Particularly
Gestapo in the Ostrog monastery, 23 April since the signing of the Pact on 25 March, by
1941 which Yugoslavia joined the Tripartite Pact with
its free will … Everything you did fell on fertile
After the capitulation of the Yugoslav army on soil among the members of your congregation,
16 April I remained in Ostrog. My intention was you imbued them with revolt and prepared a
to return to the Patriarchate in Belgrade as military coup … you yourself pushed Yugo-
soon as possible. However, that was not an slavia to war and toppled the legitimate Royal
easy task. Roads were damaged, there was Regency and its government … As soon as
no petrol nor was there any possibility to pro- war broke out in 1939, you started to increas-
cure it from any side. The occupier additional- ingly frequently visit Serbian people and in
ly destroyed almost all roads, which were oth- your speeches instigated belligerent mood
erwise in poor condition, with his armoured among them … that every form of resistance
vehicles and tanks. I waited for a suitable against Axis powers, as the enemies of the
moment for my return. Slightly before 6 a.m. Yugoslav state, should be provided.”
on 23 April, Milutin29 knocked on my door… As Memoari patrijarha srpskog Gavrila (Memoirs of the Serbian
soon as… he entered my room, he told me: Patriarch Gavrilo), p. 291, 299, 300.

One of the reasons might be a change of attitude towards the Russian Church by the Bolshevik regime between the
times of the two extracts. After being persecuted in the 30s and early 40s, in 1943 the Russian Church became legal
again. This change in Stalin’s policy might have given hope to the Romanian Church as well that, it could be possible to
live with the Bolsheviks. See more in: Pospiclovsky: “The Russian Church under the Soviet Regime”, vol. I.
Patriarch’s steady companion (translator’s note).


ted serious crimes in our country in those 20

The patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox years of their rule. But I still find it my bishop’s
Church, Gavrilo (Dožić, patriarch from duty to raise my voice and say that this is not
1938 to 1950), was interned at the beginning of allowed by the Catholic morality; so I’m asking
war in the Ostrog monastery in Montenegro as you to undertake the most urgent measures on
an opponent of the Axis powers’ policy and to
the whole territory of the ISC, so that not one
Yugoslavia approaching the Axis powers. After
suffering continuous harassment, he was later single Serb is killed unless his guilt is proved in
transferred to Sarajevo and then to a Gestapo the sense that he deserves death. Otherwise
prison in Belgrade. German occupation authori- we can’t count on the blessing from heaven
ties then interned him in the Rakovica monaste- without which we are all doomed. I hope you
ry near Belgrade and subsequently in the Voj- won’t reproach my open words.”
lovica monastery. He stayed there under guards Krišto, p. 134-135.
and in complete isolation until September 1944,
when he was transferred, together with bishop One section of the high status Catholic
Nikolaj Velimirović, to the Dachau concentration clergy in Croatia, among whom the Zag-
camp, where they spent several months. Al- reb archbishop, Alojsije Stepinac had a promi-
though an opponent of the new Communist re- nent position, supported the establishment of
gime, he returned to the country in 1946, trying the ISC in the beginning. However, soon after
to help in the recovery of war devastated count- the establishment of ISC, archbishop Stepinac
ry and reestablishment of almost destroyed chu- wrote letters to the Ustasha officials on several
rch organisation in certain regions (particularly occasions in which he officially protested again-
territories that were parts of the Independent st crimes committed by the Ustasha regime and
State of Croatia). later on he openly criticised them in his ser-
mons. Similar changes of mood and even atti-
tude towards the Ustasha regime were charac-
? How did the patriarch react when he teristic of not only Stepinac and the majority of
was told that the Germans were looking the Catholic clergy but also of the major part of
for him? What he was accused of? Comp- the population in Croatia at that time. However,
are patriarch Gavrilo’s faith with archbishop in spite of denouncing some aspects of the
Stepinac’s (next two sources). Ustasha regime, Stepinac, being a radical anti-
Communist, did not keep himself at a distance
from the ISC as he considered Partisans (to be
I-47 and I-48. more precise: Communists) to be the main ene-
my. After the war he was sentenced as a col-
Stepinac’s letter to Paveli cć´ , dated May 14, laborator to 16 years of prison and forced labour
1941 by the Communist authorities. During his prison
sentence the Holy See honoured him with the
“Poglavnik (the Leader)! title of cardinal, to which Yugoslavia reacted by
breaking off diplomatic relations. In 1960 Ste-
I’ve just got the news that in Glina the
pinac died during his banishment. Pope John
Ustashas shot 260 Serbs without any investi- Paul II beatified him in 1998.30
gation or court. I know that the Serbs commit-

In Communist Yugoslavia, the historiographic presentation of Stepinac, based on the court ruling for collaboration,
was exclusively negative, and no open public debate concerning the matter was allowed. With the fall of the Communism,
the dominating historiographic presentation of Stepinac has changed so completely, that now he is generally portrayed in
a positive light, as a just man and a martyr and as a victim of historic circumstances (this presentation prevails in the his-
tory textbooks). Between those two extremes there are a number of historians who take into account his merits (saving
of the Jews, protests sent to the authorities) but also his failures (the fact that he never completely distanced himself from
ISC). In his book Croatian history, a respectable Croatian historian Ivo Goldstein states, among other things, that
Stepinac’s fault “ those complex war events could only be a moral and a political one and he was never to be crimi-
nally prosecuted.” (Ivo Goldstein, Hrvatska povijest, Zagreb 2003, p. 309)


necessary food should be allowed (...)

? What does Stepinac protest against? In Poglavnik (the Leader), I am convinced that
what way does he address Pavelić? this time as well, you’ll have sympathy for the
Analyse the language being used and com- above stated things. I know very well how the
pare it with the style of the following letter. Serbs and the Jews often treated the Croats,
but right here we’ve got a chance to show our
culture and human feelings.”
Stepinac’s letter to Paveli cć´ , dated July 21, Krišto, p. 279-280.

“I am informed from many sides that occasion- ? Why did Stepinac protest against the
ally the Serbs and the Jews are inhumanly and inhuman and cruel treatment of “the
cruelly treated while being deported into as- Serbs and the Jews while being deported
sembly camp and even in those camps them- into assembly camps” and not against the
selves; moreover, that children, the old and the deportation itself? Does this reflect his real
sick are not excepted from such treatment. I attitude towards that problem or it is only
know that among those who are being deport- the matter of tactics – is it because nobody
ed there are lately even Catholic converts. could say to Pavelić directly that even the
Let me generally point out this: the measures existence of such camps was a crime?
which are being taken in that direction, could Comment on the last sentence: is the
be taken in a more human and considerate deportation of the members of the minority
way in order to have full effect, to regard upon ethnic groups into camps really a chance to
a man as a man and God’s image, and espe- demonstrate the culture of a nation?
cially to show human and Christian considera-
tion towards weak old men and women, small I-49. Father Zlatko Sviri cć´ 31 about the conver -
and innocent children and the sick. Gentle rays sion of the Orthodox Serbs to Catholicism
of humanity and Christ’s love get into the cells
of even the worst criminals! The authorities “On a nice day in June about thirty elderly
and especially the officials who carry out men, all Orthodox Christians, appeared in front
deportation as well as the authorities in of the parish office... (...)
assembly and labour camps should be drawn They were gloomy, depressed, full of fear,
attention to those points so that they really worry and uncertainty, which impressed me
become prominent. deeply and unpleasantly.
I take the liberty to mention some particular ‘What is it, my brothers, my good men, what
things in order to ease the actions: a) transport good brings you here in such a great number?’
to camps should be performed in the way to I asked loudly in order to anticipate their bad
enable people to pack the most necessary and gloomy mood and, on the other hand, to
things and make arrangements connected make it easy to myself.
with their family and job; b) people should not ‘Nothing good, Father Zlate.’ they all shouted
be transported in crowded sealed wagons, as one ‘Look! We’re asked to change our reli-
especially if they travel a long way; c) the gion by force in our old age. Who has heard of
internees should be given enough food; d) the such a thing nowadays in the twentieth centu-
sick should be given medical care; e) corre- ry?’ They were saying this with deep sighs and
spondence with the family and receiving of tears which were running down their cheeks.

Roman Catholic priest.


I can see that they are pressed by great mis- I would get them for all of them tomorrow. I
ery and terrible destiny. It occurred to me that entered the house and started immediately fill-
probably not one of them had had anything to ing in the forms. The first one for Lazar.”
eat or drink that morning so I invited them to sit
Cvitković, p. 113-114.
down in the deep shade and I told the boy to
bring a snack, some brandy and wine. At the
same time I was intensively thinking – these
people must get help. I’ll falsify the baptism One way in which the Ustasha authori-
certificates. I somehow felt relief at that ties sought to “solve” the Serbian issue
moment. I regained my peace and self-confi- was by converting them to Catholicism32. Al-
dence. (...) though Pavelić’s Independent State of Croatia
didn’t formally support conversion, in real terms
After refreshing them with some food and
it certainly did, as conversion was a common
drink, and when their tension had relaxed quite practice in the parishes. Archbishop Stepinac, in
a bit, I turned directly to Lazar and spoke so his statements, distanced himself from the for-
that everybody could hear me: ced conversions and even protested against the
‘Tell me, Lazar, were you born as a Serb of practice, but a number of historians still think
Orthodox Christianity?’ that it is questionable whether he had made
‘Yes, I was, Father Zlatko (...)’ every possible effort to prevent it. The conver-
‘Do you live in that manner, Lazar?’ sions were carried out with the prevailing expla-
‘Yes, I do, as God is my witness, Father nation that it was the way to save the Orthodox
Zlatko.’ Serbs from the Ustasha terror. However, al-
‘Well, then you’ll die as such, Lazar. You won’t though by doing so, the members of the reli-
change your religion as long as I live here, nei- gious minorities might have saved their lives,
most of them did not gladly accept such “gen-
ther will any of you!’
erosity”. As shown in this excerpt, some priests
in the parishes opposed to the policy of convert-
Men raised their heads. They all gazed at me. ing to Catholicism.
But doubt and even fear appeared at once.
They started asking me questions. What sho-
uld they do now? Understandably, they were
frightened. I explained my decision to them. In ? What do you think about Father Zlatko’s
action? Why did he decide to help those
my parish office there were unfortunately only people?
a few baptism certificate forms. I told them that

? Overall questions on subchapter Id.

Describe the attitudes of the religious leaders towards the occupying forces, Partisan army
and anti-Communist army. What similarities and differences in the statements of the leaders of
different religious organisations could you find? Are priests allowed or even obliged to choose
side during the war?

The other two ways were deportation and extermination.

CHAPTER II: Life in time of war

This chapter very clearly illustrates the universality of human suffering during WWII. Famine, pover-
ty and uncertainty were a part of everyday life for most civilians in this area; the differences were
often merely semantics. Nevertheless, it is hard to say whether life was more difficult in a town or
a village.
In our attempts to show the everyday life of the members of the resistance movement we tried,
among other things, to highlight the changing status of women throughout this time. Their equality
with men within the resistance movement was gladly accepted, although time would show that the
real change was considerably less embracing than it was emphasised for propaganda purposes:
after the war things went back to the well known patriarchal routine and our discourse about equal-
ity of sexes is therefore mostly declarative.
Towards the end of the chapter some sources are introduced that deal with quite obvious
changes in culture and education and which make the picture of the power elite of that time more
complete in a curious way.

IIa. Poverty, insecurity

II-1 and II-2.

Br e a d r a t i o n i n g i n R o m a n i a d u r i n g t h e w a r Br e a d r a t i o n i n g i n R o m a n i a d u r i n g t h e w a r
(1942) (1944)

In view of the rationing of wheat consumption, By the Prefecture’s ordinance of the Braþov
the Sub-Secretariat of State for Provisioning district, no. 26/1944, bread consumption for
the Army and the Civil Population informs the the entire territory of the district and the city
public that starting with a date that is to be Braþov is fixed as follows:
announced later on, the bread will be distribut- days when black bread is to be consumed:
ed in the Capital city only on the ground of Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays;
ration cards and only for 5 days a week. For days when white bread is to be consumed:
the other 2 days, the public will have to eat Sundays
maize porridge and that is why they have to days when corn flour is to be consumed:
provision themselves on time with the neces- Wednesday
sary corn flour that are to be found in every days when potatoes are to be consumed:
baker’s shop or in every shop where bread is Mondays and Fridays.
distributed. The population must conform to the things said
“Universul”, 5/.01.1942, p. 1. above. All infringements will be punished
according to legal provisions.
National Archives - Brasov County Division, fond of the Mayoralty of
commune Bod, file 74/1944, page 83.


? What are the differences between the ? Describe the peasant’s feelings. Would
two periods reflected in texts? What are you feel the same if you were in his
the possible explanations for these chan- place?
ges, if any? This example is from Romania:
Do you know of a similar example from your
country? II-4. Ivan D. Stanchov, Bulgarian diplomat, a -
bout his family’s life during the war

v12. Bread rationing in Istanbul My family spent three interesting and active
months fighting the bed bugs and trying to sur-
vive on mushrooms, blueberries and young
nettle and dock soup. The coupon system was
merciless; not only was it impossible to find
meat, but also nobody had the right to kill an
animal. You could imagine the joy when the
pastor’s calf had broken a leg at had to be
killed. My people managed to buy a round and
ate just a little of it every time, so that it could
last longer. Although, for unexplainable rea-
sons the salt had disappeared from the market
completely, in Sofia as well as in the villages,
Cumhuriyet Ansiklopedisi vol 2 (1941-1960). they succeeded in keeping the meat edible for
Bread began to be rationed in Istanbul
a whole week: they put it on cement floor and
from 14 January 1942. In May for those covered it with a wet piece of cloth, whose
individuals over seven years old the daily ration ends were soaked into a wash basin filled with
per person was 150 g. cold water. Thus, they could have permanent
evaporation in the hot July days.
Stanchov, p. 145.

? How do you explain the fact that the

bread was rationed in Turkey although it
didn’t take part in WWII?
? What conditions does a still supreme
Bulgarian state employee’s family live
in? Given that these were the conditions of
the elite, can you imagine living conditions
II-3. A Greek peasant’s description of the Ita - of the “ordinary people”?
lian occupiers

“[the Italians and their Vlach collaborators] II-5. From confidential report No. 162 of the
kept going up and down , the bastards, up and Am e r i c a n c o n s u l g e n e r a l i n I s t a n b u l Sa m u e l
down, eating our hens, drinking our wine, pick- Honaker to the State Secretary of the USA
ing eggs and having a grand time! And they C o r d e l H u l l o n t h e p u b l i c f e e l i n g s i n Bu l g a r i a i n
made us take them everywhere on our mules. September 1942
All this infuriated us. And we kept saying,
‘Won’t anyone come forward so that we can Istanbul, 4 November 1942.
start a new Kolokotronis [a fighter of the Greek Everybody started to feel the scarcity of food,
Revolution] squad – a revolution?’” clothes and burning wood and coal. The
Van Bouschoten, p. 80.
coupon portions system supplied a little food


for almost everybody, but actually it was not v14. Queue for meat in Zagreb
enough for anyone. People were standing in
long queues in front of the food shops.
Bulgarians were still united in their wish of
keeping the “new territories” at all costs. Still
there were some critical voices about the fact
that the real Bulgaria, i.e. without the occupied
territories, will now have to take care of the
means of livelihood of the population of these
new territories as well, especially in Thracia
and some parts of Macedonia. The Bulgarian
government also supplied the Bulgarian vil-
lages within the boundaries of Greece in the
regions northwest of Thessalonica with flour. It
was rumoured that more than 300,000 people
in those regions had declared themselves Vojinović, Nije sramota biti Hrvat ali je peh.
Bulgarians only to get flour. This, of course,
was just propaganda. Nobody should expect
? What can you conclude about life in the
Bulgaria to give up any of the occupied territo- war in Ljubljana and Zagreb? Is there a
ries unless it is made to. similar photograph from your country? Lack
Bulgaria - the Unmanageable Ally of the Third Reich, p. 90-91. of everything, particularly food, and the dis-
tribution of necessities through coupons
? Why did Greek people declare them- and bonds were trivialities during the war.
selves Bulgarians? Do you think that it
was easy for them to do something like that,
taking into consideration the recent history II-6. We demand shame ribbons for black mark-
of that region? eters (an extract from a Serbian newspaper)33

“We present here, openly and without consid-

v13. Lines behind a shop in Ljubljana dur ing eration, all cases of illicit trade and black-mar-
the war ket robbing, asking everyone to help us and
the government in that campaign for social sal-
vation. Let every conscientious citizen report
to us every such case -which we will publish,
to give a stamp of shame to every such crimi-
nal whatever the position he may occupy. We
also invite everyone to send us proposals on
measures that could be used efficiently in
combating this sore spot of our society.
Today we bring a proposal of our reader in
connection with the publishing of lists of pun-
ished offenders in daily newspapers. This
reader thinks that this is not enough, but that
there should remain a visible trace of these

“Srpski narod”: Belgrade daily, official newspaper of General Milan Nedić’s collaborationist “National Salvation


crimes. And since we cannot brand them with II-7. Hardships of survival… The urban popula -
red-hot iron with the sign of shame, he propos- tion had to sell virtually everything that had a
es that all punished illicit traders should wear a buyer in order to get some food
shame ribbon with an inscription: “people’s
glutton” or “black marketeer” or else “specula- They sold everything from their homes that a
tor with people’s poverty”. peasant was willing to take in exchange for
Srpski narod, on its side, thinks that this pro- some food. First went gold and jewellery, then
posal is quite reasonable and asks the things from the household: furniture, linen,
National Salvation Government to accept it clothing. People in cities were left naked and
and carry it in practice, because it gave its barefoot, without anything. And peasants like
word and obligation to safeguard and save the peasants. Different armies take from them, the
people from all troubles and misfortunes, from occupier takes from them, so that whatever he
Communist bandits in the woods as well as managed to save from them and to pinch and
from bandits from the Terazije. scrape he tried to sell as good as possible.(…)
“Srpski narod”, 3 June 1942. Our peasants were also merciless with misfor-
tunate hungry people because of long-stand-
ing antagonism between gentlemen and peas-
? Comment upon the demand for shame ants. The city always took from him, gave
ribbons for black marketers. Do you ap- nothing in return. He thought that his day had
prove of this proposal? Can you find the come, so he would collect for everything.
same (or, at least, a similar) attitude in your Nikolić, p. 113.
? How do you assess the behaviour of the
peasants towards the city inhabitants?
v15. Turkish cartoon Do you know of any similar material in liter-
ature or films? Does the author, in your opin-
ion, have any prejudices about peasants?

II-8. Insecurity of civilian life during war in


“This man says the Germans came yesterday.

They took blankets, food, five chickens, and
two goats. After chasing the people out of their
houses on the pretext of a search, they set fire
to the houses from the inside. Many of the vil-
lagers ran off to hide,” he said, “because they
were afraid some might be taken as captives.
Gary questioned the villagers through the
interpreters. “Did the Germans have any rea-
Karikatur, 24 September 1942. son that you know of for reprisals? Have you
seen much of the Germans or their activity
Translation: Fat auntie faces the profi-
teer. Her husband says: Never mind dar-
before this?” One distraught villager talked on
ling! His boobs are not God given like yours! and on until Steffa patted his arm gently and
stopped his flow of words. “He says he doesn’t


know why they raided his village, but even if

they took everything, why did they have to The difficult situation of providing ade-
burn the houses? Now they have no place to quate nourishment for the population in
live, and winter is here.” Serbia, particularly in large cities, was prevalent
Mangerich, p. 136. throughout the war years. Due to the fighting
between occupation forces and rebels, new bor-
This paragraph is a snapshot of life dur- ders, severed communications and the prohibi-
ing war in Albania, revealing the insecuri- tion of free movement of population and goods,
ties and the precariousness of survival. It is an cities were separated from their agricultural hin-
eyewitness account written by American nurses terland. Staple food products (bread, meat, fat)
who accidentally landed in Albania during the were strictly rationed and sold against ration
war, in November of 1943 and reached the Al- coupons and consumer cards in very limited
lied lines after a two-month journey. quantities. However, it was possible to buy es-
sential products on the “black market”, at much
higher prices than usual. In order to help urban
populations live through the shortages, the use
? Would you say that life during the war of all available areas for growing vegetables
was more difficult in the country than in was encouraged.
the cities? Explain your position. What do
you think the feelings of ‘ordinary people’
were in this kind of situation –fear, anger or
something else...?
? Is there a similar example from your
II-9. Citizens of Belgrade grow vegetables (text
p u b l i s h e d i n Be l g r a d e n e w s p a p e r s i n Se p t -
ember 1942)
v16. Famine victims in Greece during the
Corn and vegetables among palaces. tragic winter of 1941/1942
Citizens of Belgrade-farmers are rather satis-
fied with the yield from their gardens.
“Urban farmers”, those who turned barren
yards, unused building sites and children’s
playgrounds into gardens are already harvest-
ing the fruits of their labour. And while others
are queuing in marketplaces, new gardeners
proudly show off among fresh greenery, nibble
on tomatoes all day long and putter in the new
beds. Through pleasant effort they have
shown what can be done with a little good will
and patience.
The Belgrade Municipality has recently dis-
patched special commissions in the field to
Athens, National History Museum (Istoria, vol.16, p.59).
collect information on what has been sown in
the gardens. Experts also give practical advice
that will be useful for the next season, com- The almost complete lack of food, espe-
bined with rich experience acquired in the work cially in Athens and other major cities,
so far. An appeal has been issued that each meant that the vast majority of the population
cropper should separate and collect vegetable was dramatically underfed and there were many
seed for the new sowing in their gardens. deaths from hunger every day.
“Novo vreme”, 25 September 1942.


II-10 and II-11. Twenty thousand nine hundred and fifteen liras
Faik Okte about the Turkish Capital Tax and 30 kurus.
Yani36 how much did you give?
“At Izmen’s suggestion the taxpayers were 29 thousand seven hundred and fifteen liras
classified into two separate lists, the M list for and 40 kurus
Muslims, and the G list for non-Muslim minori- Good money… good money
ties (Gayrimuslim). Later, two other categories Ahmet Bey37 how much did you give?
were added, E for foreigners (ecnebi) and D Fifty liras and 10 kurus.
for Donme, members of the Sabbatayan sect Salamon opens his hands to the sky and
of Jewish converts to Islam. […] says,
The taxes had to be paid in cash within a fort- Oh Great Atatürk how well you have said “How
night. Another fifteen days were allowed, but happy is the man who says he is a Turk.”
with the penalty of increasing the original Aktar, p.185.
amount by 1 and 2 per cent respectively. In
the event that the tax was still unpaid at the Although Turkey was neutral, it still suf-
end of thirty days, the entire property of the fered problems similar to those in the
taxpayer and his next of kin was to be confis- countries who were at war. The Turkish govern-
cated and he himself sent to a forced labour ment faced severe financial problems caused by
depressed economic conditions, wild inflation,
camp. No appeal against the assessments
shortages of food and other necessities. Start-
was provided for. The property of those who ing in the late months of 1942, therefore, the
could not pay was to be sold at public auction.” government undertook a series of drastic tax in-
Okte, p. 19, 25.
creases. The most disastrous of these, the Var-
lýk Vergisi or Wealth Tax taxed the capital of tho-
T h e fo l l o w i n g s to r y s p r e a d a m o n g th e p e o p l e se who had property and were thought to be
during the revenue of wealth tax. It is very in - making large profits as a result of the war emer-
te r e s ti n g a s i t r e v e a l s th e ‘ m i n o r i ty o p p o s i ti o n ’ gency. It was administered in such a way to bear
characteristics of this tax most heavily on the easily accessible wealth of
urban merchants, many of whom were no Mus-
“After the Wealth Tax lists have been issued lims, who seemed to be the only ones in the
Solomon goes to the café and starts to ask: country who had ready cash available to con-
Mishon34 how much did you give? tribute to the national emergency.
Faik Okte, the man actually responsible for ad-
10 thousand five hundred and fifty liras and 20
ministering the tax, wrote a book about it in 1949
kurus. entitled: “The Tragedy of the Turkish Capital
Good money… good money… Tax”.
Kirkor35 how much did you pay

? Overall questions on subchapter IIa.

What were the living conditions like in countries at war? What were the people’s reactions to
these conditions? Did everyone suffer the consequences of war equally? If not, who suffered

Typical Jewish name in Turkey.
Typical Armenian name in Turkey.
Typical Greek Name in Turkey.
Typical Turkish name.


IIb. Civilians
II-12. A threat by the German authorities to
Serbian peasant is “misguided” by false
promises of German enemies (a Com-
munist, a British and a Jew) who incite him to
To the Belgrade population attack a German soldier from the back. The huge
There are increasingly frequent complaints by German soldier is driving away intruders with his
the German armed force that the civilian pop- appearance and forgiving the “misguided” Ser-
ulation is not demonstrating due attention and bian peasant; taking him into his protection.
respect in relation to German officers and sol-
diers. It is particularly evident that a large part
of the population in pedestrian traffic do not II-13. With the advent of the war, civil industry
show any intention to move aside and instead was militarised and work was to be undertak -
often very arrogantly block the way. en under specific, restrictive conditions. Work
The Kreiskommandantur warns the population in time of war in Romania:
that such behaviour will be treated with all
severity in the future. Law-decree on the regime of work during war
Belgrade, May 1941. (October 2, 1941)
Kreiskommandantur Art. 2. All vacations, provided for in the art. 49
Božović, p. 129.
and 89 of the law on work contracts from April,
5 1929, with all ulterior modifications are sus-
? What made the German Authorities in pended (…)
Belgrade angry? Comment on their Art. 4. Duration of work will be, in industrial
threat. enterprises in which it is worked continuously
(with three successive teams) 8 hours a day,
or 56 hours a week; in all other industrial enter-
v17. German propaganda poster-strip prises, the normal work duration will be 10
hours a day or 60 hours a week.
Military commandants with militarised enter-
prises, military guides and directors of military
enterprises, in accordance with work inspec-
tors, and in what it regards the non-militarised
enterprises, work inspectors may allow for 3
months at the most the authorisation of over-
taking the above mentioned duration of the
working day up to a maximum of 12 hours a
day or 72 hours a week. Also, they may allow
work to be done on Sundays and on legal hol-
idays, if the necessities of production claimed
for this thing. [,..]
Art. 31. The following are considered to be
sabotage crimes and will be punished with 5 to
20 years in prison:
a) Any stop – individual or collective – of the
work, without the prior agreement of the mili-
tary commandant of the militarised enterprise
Nikolić, p.2. [...] or of the director of the military army estab-


lishment, and in what it regards the other enter- nifest their discontent publicly, some of them
prises, without the prior consent of the work fearing the trouble they might expose to, and
inspector, [...] the other understanding the present hardship
b) The destruction, deterioration, subtraction, of the state.
falsification, defective fabrication or deliberate They comment on these things between them,
errors, manipulations or handling which are on the difficult situation they live in and hope
fraudulent or without quality, of the machines, for the Government soon to take measures to
installations, work instruments, materials, mer- repair this situation.
chandise and products, totally or partially, QUAESTOR,
either by the employees, or the directors. I. Ciurea
Murgescu (coord.), p. 343. Marturii documentare, In “Revista Arhivelor”, 2/1969, p. 20–21.

? How did these measures seem to affect
the workers’ everyday life during the ? What is the position of public employ-
ees with regard to their everyday life? Is
war? Do these provisions allow for any de-
their discontent publicly expressed? Why?
viation from the decree? For example, is it
Why are the authorities interested in the
possible for a person who makes a mistake
public functionaries’ state of mind?
at work to end up being indicted for sabo-
v 1 8 . C i v i l i a n d e f e n c e r e h e a r s a l s i n Ba y e z i d
square in Istanbul
II-14. The Secret Service reports to the leader
of the State of Romania on the population’s
state of mind and discontent with the living
conditions during war. The state of mind in the
month of May 1943, in a report by the Secret


(…) Functionaries and their families are poorly
dressed, they have to go out and to work in
used clothes that sometimes do not fit any-
more, or are unbecoming to their position as
public functionaries.
Also, many of them live in houses (or furnished
rooms), in unsanitary conditions, that reduces
their power of work and endangers their health.
Their moral state is also very low also because
of things getting more and more expensive,
and they are worried, not knowing how to
secure the things necessary for them and their
families for the future.
The same state of mind is shared by the work-
ers in factories and by the functionaries and
workers with C.F.R.38
Neither the functionaries, nor the workers ma- Cumhuriyet Ansiklopedisi , vol. 2 (1941-1960).

Abbreviation for Romanian Railways.


II-15. Military deputy of the Independent State Macedonia...

of Croatia in Sofia reports39 on the situation in Lieutenant colonel,
Va r d a r M a c e d o n i a u n d e r t h e Bu l g a r i a n r u l e Adam Petrović, military deputy in Sofia
Dokumenti za borbata na makedonskiot narod za samostojnost
i nacionalna država, II, p. 308-9.
A few days ago a friend of mine came to Sofia
from Skopje, where he was the authorised
manager of the electric plant. His name is ? In your opinion, is this source reliable?
Albert Shritoff. I asked him about the situation Explain your position.
in Skopje and Bulgarian Macedonia in general,
and in a free conversation, among other
things, he told me this: II-16. The 1941 situation according to the Re -
‘The interior situation in the part of Macedonia gional Committee of the Yugoslav Communist
given to Bulgaria is quite unclear. The pro- Party for Macedonia
claimed Macedonians show certain dissatis-
faction with the new Bulgarian regime. Also “Large areas of Macedonia already have Bulg-
from the part of the Bulgarians – inhabitants of arian administration, there are already ap-
Macedonia some 30% are not enthusiastic pointed police officers, gendarmes, village ma-
about the Bulgarian rule, because they do not yors, secretaries, counters, notaries, tax clerks
have the same rights as the Bulgarians in and one should say that all of them are from
Bulgaria proper. Especially strong disappoint- Bulgaria. Macedonians are not offered clerk
ment can be seen among the young intelli- offices. They do not even have the right to be
gentsia that was studying in Belgrade and held village mayors. Rightfully every honest Mace-
some state-paid offices in the old Yugoslavia. donian will ask himself: ’What kind of freedom
There is no trust in them and these people are is this when the Shumadians (Serbians) have
out of job. There are also people who were been replaced by Bulgarians, while the Mace-
given some office by the Bulgarian state, but donians are being held in isolation?’ In the best
later were fired and are also unemployed. cases the Macedonian intelligentsia is being
The Arnauts40 are also very dissatisfied with the offered posts in the villages in Bulgaria, but
new master and long for Yugoslavia. On the never in Macedonia. The arguments used are
other hand, the Arnauts under Italian occupa- the same ones as those given by the Serbians
tion are content because the Italians gave before – ‘you do not know the official language
them the authority. of the state!’”
Terzioski, 309.
The Turks (Moslems) have similar attitude like
the one during Yugoslavia, but now they are
displaying Anglophile emotions. ? How (if at all) did the situation, with
regard to administration jobs in Mace-
The Serbian and Jewish merchants are com-
donia, change during 1941? What kind of
pelled to sell out their properties by a three
explanation did the authorities give for this?
month deadline and liquidate their stores, and
then probably the Serbs from Bulgarian
Macedonia will be removed from there.
II-17. Emil Sattolo about his love for a girl from
Towards us, the Croats, the Macedonians
th e n e i g h b o u r h o o d
show especially cordial attitudes.
(...) According to everything, it seems that in
A girl with fair hair was passing in front of the
Bulgarian Macedonia there is a strong stream
house where we lived (in Nova Gradiška
for liberation and creation of an autonomous
It’s a report to the Ministry of the Croatian defence (domobranstvo) dated 21st October 1941.
Albanians (translator’s note).


where he went to school). She was in grade 8. her. I didn’t want any idea. (...) I wanted to talk
We were always trying to watch her pass, about feelings and she was only interested in
especially me. We used to meet her in the politics.
park, too. I was pleased by only looking at her. We agreed to meet again. I thought she was
One evening in December she approached me interested in me nevertheless. As there were
and said: - Colleague, if you’re going home I’d couple of days to our next meeting, I was
like to walk with you. I was amazed with joy. preparing myself how to divert Nevenka from
(...) We talked about everything but mostly politics. I would try to explain her the political
about the horrors of war. When we reached situation, I thought. I would tell her of my inten-
her house, (...) Nevenka (that was her name) tion to have a family with many children. I
promptly said: - Come to my place about six thought that she, being a woman, would like to
tomorrow, but now I have to go. She held out hear that.” (It didn’t work out.)
her hand. I took it with delight. I felt softness, Sattolo, p. 93-94.
tenderness as well as coldness of her hand
and a pleasant feeling ran all over my body. During the war Emil Sattolo was a sec-
ondary school pupil. He lived in the villa-
I could hardly wait till the next evening. I
ge of Puska and attended school in Nova Gra-
arrived. I knocked at the door and she opened diška (Croatia). Sattolo approved of the found-
immediately. ation of ISC and the Ustasha movement, al-
- Hello, colleague, how are you? though he would criticise its criminal aspects. At
- Good evening, Nevenka. Didn’t I arrive too any rate, he was an opponent of the Partisans
early? and Communists. In his memoirs, among other
From the hall I entered the room shyly and a things, he writes about his love for a girl from the
bit clumsily. There was a table by the window. neighbourhood.
She offered me to sit down. I sat. Then she
offered me some liqueur. Our glasses tinkled
and we toasted. Here’s to you, colleague ! (...) ? Compare courting in war-time and to-
I was seeking for the purpose of her invitation. day. Why was there a misunderstanding
We talked a little about school, teachers and between the girl and the boy? Are the boy’s
war. (...) goals and ideas close to yours? What about
- You know, colleague, the progressive idea is the girl’s ones? Which ideology did she sup-
winning and before long it will be here. port, and on whose side in the war was
- What do you mean? she? What did she imply by using the term
- Well, the Russians are our progressive idea. “progressive idea”? Why were the Russians
Now it became quite clear that she wanted to considered the representatives of the “pro-
include me into progressives, and I wanted gressive idea”?

IIc. Soldiers’ lives

II-18. Odysseas Elytis, Nobel Prize winner for Because the roar ahead, like a storm beyond
Literature (1979), describes a regular Greek the mountains, kept growing, so that in the end
s o l d i e r ’ s e x p e r i e n c e a t t h e Al b a n i a n f r o n t we could clearly read the slow and heavy can-
non, the dry and quick machine guns. Also,
That we were very near the place where you because more and more we started coming
don’t find weekdays or holidays, sick people or across the slow procession of the wounded,
healthy people, poor or rich, we now knew. heading out the other way. And the medics,


with the read cross on their arm bands, would II-19. Ivan Šibl, a participant of the Partisan
set their stretchers down and spit on their movement in Croatia from the very beginning,
hands, eyes wild for a cigarette. And when d e scr i b e d h i s e xp e r i e n c e i n h i s w a r m e m o i r s .
they’d hear where we were going, they’d The following text is a description of Šibl’s first
shake their heads and start their tales of blood days after going “into the woods” (a popular
and terror. But the only thing we listened to expression for joining the Partisans)
were those other voices rising in the darkness,
still scalding from the fire and brimstone of the “Partially, I am already a Partisan. It’s true that
depths. “Oi, oi, mana mou,” “oi, oi, mana mou.” I don’t have a gun but I have scabies and my
And sometimes, less often, the sound of stifled whole body is covered by some yellow, stink-
breathing, like a snore, and those who knew ing grease. (...) Besides, in my underwear a
said that was the rattle of death. louse can be found at times (...) – the most
Sometimes they dragged prisoners along with devoted domestic animal to all soldiers of the
them whom they had captured a few hours world. (...) Fleas and bedbugs are not worth
before in surprise raids by our patrols. Their mentioning. In fact, those are quite polite
breath stank of wine and their pockets were full insects which indulge themselves on your
of canned goods or chocolates. But we had body during the night and do not slide into your
nothing, the bridges cut off behind us and our underwear and clothes.”
few mules helpless in the snow and the slip- Šibl 2, p. 13.
pery muck.
Elytis, p.21.
? In what manner does Šibl describe the
discomforts of Partisan life?
v 1 9 . L i th o g r a p h y r e p r e s e n ti n g a n a n c i e n t
Greek fighter from the battle of Marathon, a
fighter from the Greek War of Independence in II-20. In their war memoirs, Partisan veterans
1 8 2 1 a n d a n ‘ e v z o n e ’ ( m o d e r n G r e e k fi g h te r ) o fte n p a i d s p e c i a l a tte n ti o n to th e h i g h l e v e l s o f
female participation in Partisan troops. In his
memoirs under the subtitle “Women- warriors”
Šibl writes

“There are many women Partisans in the

troops of our brigade. They are mostly country
girl from Slavonia, Kozara, all very young.
They walk in the line, fight on the battlefield,
attack enemies’ fortified bases; they cope with
all the difficulties of Partisan life together with
other warriors.
Sisters Milija and Danica Zlokapa are
machine-gunners. They arrived only recently
but they are already experienced fighters. A
brave man needs only one baptism of fire.
Milija is sixteen and Danica is eighteen. (...)
They carry the machine-gun and an ammuni-
tion rucksack in turns and they don’t let any-
IEEE, To epos tou ’40. Laiki Eikonografia, 167.
body help them. (...)


During the attack at Sirac, one of the bravest they would say ‘Yet I am something myself,
girl in our brigade and the whole Slavonia, there is something I can do’; they started think-
Persa Bosanac, got killed. (...) She was a thin ing that they might be worth something more
and slim eighteen years old girl. People used to than just cooking, washing and taking orders.
say: ‘Persa don’t know how to fear.’... In the bat- It was the first great awakening of rural wo-
tle at Javorica, during the March offensive, after men, and it made a great impression on them.”
attacking the whole day, she was one of the first - peasant woman: “We liked it and it attracted
to get into enemies’ position, she fought with us, that’s why we went [to the meetings]. We
the Germans hand-to-hand until they were just wanted to come out a little from that inces-
destroyed. (...) She was shot near the school in sant ordering around. For that’s how men were
Sirac, in one of numerous attacks to that forti- in those times – like a dictactorhip [sic], as they
fied object. Persa had to fall down. She say…”
exposed herself a lot, she didn’t know for fear! - peasant woman: “We just wanted some free-
(...) At Javorica, Katica Hacman, a girl from dom as women, the right to speak up, not to be
Bilogora, was attacking at Persa side. They the subjects of men… working and getting
were best friends and always stuck one to beaten. We wanted some freedom for our-
another. In the last assault, an enemy’s gun selves. Here we went out to the mountains,
burst shot Katica and she was deadly wounded. carried ammunition on our backs, built pillbox-
(...) es for machine guns, worked day and night –
In war and in rough conditions people might we even became liaisons, although we were
easily become rude and heartless. Will those women. And all we wanted was some good to
girl-warriors turn into mannish women? Maybe come to us. Some freedom, not slavery, how
these war horrors in which they are forced to do you say it - to be able to open our mouths.”
participate, will deprive them of those wonder- Van Bouschoten, p. 101-102.
ful qualities that make woman a woman, and of
those attributes that we want to feel with the What motives did the women have to
women we love.” join the resistance movement? What
Šibl 2, p. 308-311. is your opinion of their motives?

? Why do you think it was important to the

Partisans to point out the active role of II-22. This song was composed during WWII,
women? Why wasn’t the same thing so im- b y a n u n k n o w n a u th o r , a n d i t’ s c o n s i d e r e d to
portant to the Ustashas? Were women- b e a M a c e d o n i a n n a ti o n a l s o n g
Partisans really equal to men, in your opin-
ion? (Šibl stated only a couple of distin- YOUNG WOMAN PARTISAN
guished examples.) Explain the meaning of
Šibl’s final statement about women in war. I’m very pleased and glad
How did he look upon the role of a woman? To become a young Partisan,
To become a young Partisan
On the mountain Pelister
II-21. Women in the villages of Grevena (Gree -
c e ) d e m a n d m o r e r e s p e c t a n d m o r e p a r ti c i p a - Goodbye and forgive me, my country,
tion in public affairs after taking part in the re - I’m going into a battle, battle, battle,
sistance movement (...)

- school teacher: “You saw women without We gave our oath there
their own identity, like puppets of men, and To fight with the fascists


To get our freedom, v21. Partisan newspapers: Pocket newspa -

For our Macedonia pers of the liaison troop, Zadar (Croatia), 1944
Goodbye and forgive me.
The Women of Macedonia in
the National Liberation War, p. 56.

? Explain the reasons for creating songs

of this kind. Are there any elements of
propaganda in them?

v20. The heroines of 1940

Croatian Museum of History

? What does this cartoon show? How did

the Partisans look upon their status in
relation to other anti-fascistic forces (repre-
sented by the flags)? What do you think, did
Great Britain, USA and the Soviet Union
look upon the Partisans as their equal part-

II-23. Partisan indefatigability during continu -

IEEE, To epos tou ’40. Laiki Eikonografia, p. 55. ous fights against the Germans and their colla -
borators in Yugoslavia
This lithography presents the women of
Epirus carrying boxes of ammunition on
Testimony by Živko Rodic
their backs in the mountain of Pindos, which is I have watched enemy tanks which do not
on the Greek-Albanian border during the Greek- want to shoot at our fighters, but to run over
Italian war in 1940-41. them. There is a plain, so it is easier for the
tanks to manoeuvre and harder for our fighters


to withdraw. One of our fighters had run in front Trichkov (at the time I was already
of the tank and taken shelter around haystack, Commander of the Tran guerrilla detachment),
and after that tank drove over him and swearing and threatening to fight the English.
haystack. When he heard what all was about, Vlado
After the action the whole brigade carried Trichkov, who was a very learned and well-
wounded men on stretchers. We have usually informed man, laughed understandingly and
attacked the enemy at night, and at daylight explained everything to them. He said that
the enemy attacked us. The fatigue was so each soldier in the English army had obligato-
hard and we thought it is better to be killed ry received such protective means since World
because we have run out of strength. It is not War I as they receive clothes, shoes, etc., and
the matter of food, because there was food, it that we had received with the first sending per-
is not the matter of courage, because there sonal medical packages, condoms and playing
was no fear, but the fatigue was harder than cards. He added that we had distributed the
anything else. At that time, commander of our medical packages and we had left aside what
unit, Petar Marin, beautiful guy, brave and we thought unnecessary and that was all. He
courageous, was killed solely because of managed to calm them down, but still, Barko
fatigue. He simply fell asleep while standing went to the English mission, threw the little
and so he was shot. packets at them and said sarcastically:
Albahari et al. (ed.), p. 171 and 218. ‘Thanks, but we don’t need these! We
are soldiers!’
? Try to put yourself into the position of Znepolski, p. 112-113.
these Partisans. Can you imagine your-
self falling asleep while standing? ? What were relations between Bulgarian
and Serbian guerrillas like? How do
both of them react to the odd English sup-
II-24. Dencho Znepolski, a famous Bulgarian plies? Comment on Barko’s reaction.
g u e r r i l l a c o m m a n d e r , a b o u t th e r e l a ti o n s b e t -
w e e n m e n a n d w o m e n i n th e g r o u p , a n d a b o u t
u n u s u a l s u p p l i e s th a t th e y r e c e i v e d fr o m th e II-25. Officer Victor Budescu, participant in the
English events, about the battles at Don’s Bend – Sta -
Both we, in the Tran guerrilla detachment, and
the Serbians were very strict about morality. On the morning of December 11, the Russians
Intimate relations were not allowed, and we started the counter-offensive on the entire
had made a cult of the young women in the front. Days and nights followed when the sol-
unit and we guarded them from any violation. diers could not receive any water or bread,
But the Serbians were even greater noncon- because of the terrible enemy cannons and
formists within the revolutionary situation, in throwers. Entire days with their hands clen-
which they were. It just could not be different!.. ched on their guns, spreading death in the
It was much later, when the English, according rows of the enemy, who covered the field in
to the decisions of Conference in Teheran of front of their position with piles of dead bodies.
the Three Great, started dropping arms and There were ten days and as many nights of
ammunition for the Tran guerrillas and all kinds permanent tension and rabid fights and it
of supplies for their own military missions, that seemed that the signs of victory would start
they had dropped some playing cards and showing, lifting all worries off the comman-
condoms as well. The Serbians also got such dants’ and soldiers’ heads, who watched at
a delivery. At first their outrage was indescrib- their posts in order to stop the unleashed fury
able and soon they came to me and Vlado of the Russian flood.


But it wasn’t like that. With new and fresh fall of Odessa, in our regiment that was made
forces, brought from behind the front, the up at the beginning of 1800 people, receiving
Russians restarted the attack with even later on 1200 recruits, 92 were still valid. This
greater fury. Because of great losses, our front was what Odessa being overtaken by
did not resist anymore. We left the position Antonescu meant. This is what I also say on
conquered with so many sacrifices and from TV, every time I have the opportunity of saying
that moment on the disaster of out retreat in it, because the fight there was completely
Don’s steppe began. But the word steppe says absurd — the Germans had told us: “Surround
too little to the one that has never been Odessa”, for the Russian army not to be able
through it in the middle of the winter and in to get out of there, but they did not insist. The
conditions of war. Romanian General Staff and Antonescu want-
First, there is the frost, a biting frost, associat- ed to take over Odessa (it seems that it wasn’t
ed with the winds that blow here so fiercely. really Antonescu who had this idea, but how-
Over this wasteland there was often a dense ever, he accepted it) for us to show them who
and heavy mist, which seemed to have come we are, how great we are, but we did not have
to forever sink the land in an abyss. And, on the means to take over a big city. One can
top of that, this complete, absolute silence, defeat it right to the bitter end … When we took
enhanced by everything around freezing still, over Odessa — it was because the Russians
transform the steppe into an environment withdrew.
opposite to life, hostile and inhuman”. One fine morning, although there were thou-
“Magazin istoric”, October 2002, p. 93. sands of people dying every day in its sur-
roundings, they got in it without any resistance
The battles at Don’s Bend – Stalingrad because there wasn’t anybody left in the city
were some of the most terrible for Roma-
— all those who were defending Odessa had
nian soldiers in World War II, having to confront
both the enemy, and the extreme climatic condi-
already re-embarked. It was one of the first
tions. errors that Antonescu committed, but we, the
youngsters mostly … I will tell you honestly —
when we left to the war, we left enthusiastical-
ly, with the thought to erase the shame of the
? What is the attitude of the soldiers on
the front line towards the war? Are they last year, when we gave up Bessarabia and
thinking of the glory and heroism? Are they Bucovina, and then Transylvania and then the
happy about fighting? Quadrilater without a gunshot”.
Neagu Djuvara, Despre cucerirea Odessei
(On the conquest of Odessa).
II-26. Neagu Djuvara, a historian and presti -
g i o u s d i p l o m a t, r e m e m b e r s ( i n J u n e 2 0 0 2 ) th e
p e r i o d o f p a r ti c i p a ti n g i n th e fi g h ti n g o n th e ? Is this text a reflection of heroism? What
eastern front was the cost of the Romanian army’s
ambition to conquer Odessa? Is there any
“When I came back from the front, after about shift of perspective in narrator’s attitude
ten days spent in a recovery station, it hap- (between the period during the war and
pened for Odessa to fall, hence I got out of the today)? Compare the perspective of the
worst moment; it was there where they were young man, whose heart was filled with
terribly butchered. A former colleague of mine heroism, as opposed to the perspective of a
from Military school, who was the colonel’s more mature person, analysing the relative
adjutant, told me that he had seen how, on the political gains but also the human losses.
colonel’s nominal lists, a few days before the


v22. Those who sang to the war for short time. After that, the sorrow emerged.
There was to be no more action, and no more
fighting and the soldiers were getting sick
because of that. Actually, it seemed to us that
the greatest happiness in the world was to be
with fighters and to go into battle, but now we
are in liberated Šibenik42, where the peaceful
life is present and we are just not used to it, in
other words we have forgotten that way of life.
Zgonjanin et al. (ed.), p. 399.

? Why does this soldier say that “the sor-

row has emerged”? Do you think that all
of the soldiers felt the same? Do you know
what PTSS (post traumatic stress syndrome)
is? Would you agree that this source also re-
veals elements of fanaticism, which is a com-
mon result of war? Explain your position.

Epopeja e Luftës Antifashiste Nacionalçlirimtare e Popullit

Shqiptar, 1939-1944.
v23. The Yugoslav M acedonian m ilitar y
This painting by Andon Lakuriqi shows
u n i ts ’ c o l l a g e o f n e w s p a p e r s fr o m 1 9 4 4
the different age groups that participated
in the Partisan units in the war.

? Compare this visual with text III-2.

II-27. Difficulties faced by combatants when

adapting to civilian life

Testimony by Dragomir Radišić: To all intents

and purposes, the 1st battalion of 11th brigade
ended his war by Zidani Most41. There we stop-
ped and then returned to Brestanica. It was
12th of May 1945. We were detained for a few
days, and after that we moved to Sveta Ned- II-28. Zdravko Lazari cć´ ’s terrible mistake
jelja near Zagreb, where we stayed from 15th to
17th of May 1945 and celebrated the day of “I moved to Osijek and there I saw when the
eventual liberation of our country. The war was town had been taken by Partisans at the begin-
over. There was a real mood of peace, but just ning of April in 1945. Not long after that I was

In Slovenia.
In Croatia, on the Adriatic Sea.


called in front of recruiting commission and

enlisted. A friend of mine, Ivan Kosovel, got so Partisan troops were formed exclusively
of volunteers. It was only near the end of
frightened in front of the commission that he
the war that the Partisan army started to recruit.
subconsciously raised his hand and greeted A lot of young men were forced to join the
them with ‘Spremni’ (the Ustasha greeting). Partisans. One of them was Zdravko Lazarić.
Because of that he was found ‘mentally inca-
pable’ and some days later he was put in cus-
tody in Brod where he stayed 6-7 months. In
spite of that, next year he was admitted to the ? Why did Lazarić’s friend make such a
terrible mistake? How did he (even sub-
officer-training school in Osijek and promoted
consciously) experience the change of the
to the rank of reserve-lieutenant.”
Prcela-Živić, p. 329.
authorities? How do people generally react
to (violent) changes of authority?

IId. Culture and education

II-29. Bitola District School Inspectorate’s rec - tions any knowledge about the past of the
ommendations to the teachers Bulgarian people in Macedonia was lost, while
on the other hand great accomplishments we-
“1) The existing national Bulgarian feeling re done by the free part of the Bulgarian peo-
amongst the pupils and the whole population ple within the Bulgarian state proper;
to become recognisable, or the generations to 5) During the teaching attention is to be paid to
be incorporated into the national and state the counter-reaction opposed to the national
unity through emphasis upon the past and the upbringing, related to some criminal phenome-
culture of the Bulgarian people; na from the camp of the enemies of Bulgaria.
2) To the population, and especially to the The development of the military situation on
pupils, it is to be explained that their Bulgarian the front is to be explained and also a faith in
national feeling and the awareness about the successful end of the war to be nurtured.”
Terzioski, p. 78.
belonging to the Bulgarian nationhood and
state have not been consolidated due to the In the same way that Yugoslav Macedo-
long slavery. To be pointed out to them that the nia was divided by the Bulgarian authori-
nationality and the state are inseparable and ties into two administrative units named after the
that the sacrifices should be made for the state two main towns – Skopje and Bitola, so the edu-
just like before they were made for the cation system comprised Bitola and Skopje edu-
Bulgarian nationhood; cational districts. This source shows us what the
Bitola District School Inspectorate previews as
3) It is to be explained to them that in Macedo-
the special aims to be fulfilled, in a form of rec-
nia all cultural means for unity of the Bulgarian ommendations given to the teachers there (this,
people have been destroyed in the past. The of course, was not very different from the other
Bulgarian book, the school, the church, asso- educational district).
ciations, monuments, popular celebrations,
especially the Bulgarian folk song, the tradi-
tions, myths were persecuted by the Turkish ? What kind of recommendations were
given to the teachers in Yugoslav Mace-
authorities, as a result of which came about a
donia? Do you know what happened to Ot-
loss of the Bulgarian feeling amongst a part of
toman Macedonia after Balkan Wars and
the population in Macedonia;
4) To emphasise that as a result of such condi-


v24. “The Partisan School” 7) to work on the unification of all classes

into one national and economic whole;
8) to develop love for everything that is
Bulgarian: the Bulgarian national history, Bul-
garian national heritage, preservation of the
folk customs and the national essence etc.”
Terzioski, p. 198-9.

After the annexation of the territory of

Yugoslav Macedonia to Bulgaria, the
Directorate for National Propaganda organised
a network of so called ‘Cultural Committees’ in
all of the bigger towns. These bodies were sup-
posed to serve as a step towards the formation
of ‘people’s universities’, i.e. evening courses
for spreading literacy, reading rooms and so on.
Very soon these committees, under the name
‘Cultural Clubs’, became a regular element of
the administrative units on all levels - towns,
municipalities, larger districts etc. The central
Epopeja e Luftës Antifashiste Nacionalçlirimtare
e Popullit Shqiptar, 1939-1944.
cultural club – “Kliment Ohridski” - was estab-
lished in Skopje. This is how its statute defines
This painting by S. Capo is titled The the role of the Cultural Clubs in Macedonia.
Partisan School. It is interesting as it
illustrates the educational role of the Partisan
war. Those who knew how to read and write
used to teach to the others who did not. II-31. The Antonescu Government, after de -
c l a r i n g i ts i n te n ti o n to c r e a te a n e w e d u c a ti o n
system for the Romanian people, took the lead
II-30. The statute of the central cultural club in i n p r o m o ti n g p a tr i o ti c s c h o o l p o l i ti c s , i n w h i c h
Macedonia – “Kliment Ohridski” the cult of the heroes plays an important role

“1) to unite all forces interested in the con- The cult of the heroes in school
solidation of Bulgarianhood amongst the Ma- For school to be, by live models, a house of
cedonian population; national education for the children and the
2) to create within the people a thorough youth, every school is to be provided with pho-
awareness and recognition of the Bulgarian tos of hero teachers, which are to carry expla-
state, the emperor and the fatherland; nations of both their war deeds and of what
3) to work on the task of unification of all they accomplished for the school. Also in
Bulgarians in order to create a Greater Bulga- schools, for praising and illustrating the faith
ria in its ethnic, historical and organic borders; and their sacrifice for the motherland of the vil-
4) to work on formation of a perfect identi- lagers fallen on the battlefield, pictures of them
ty of the Bulgarian in Macedonia and to edu- will be collected and each of these photos will
cate the youth in healthy national spirit; (...) carry explanations on what acts of courage
6) to take care for swift incorporation of they have shown on the battlefield.
Macedonia into Bulgaria in any sense of the In this way, by placing the heroes of our Peo-
word, with positive feelings and gradually; ple in schools and by honouring them, the first


book of national history for pupils will be estab- Her mother asked her neighbour, who was
lished. Their deeds will permanently watch going to pass by the street where the doctor
over the children’s consciousness and will lived, to stop and tell him to come. […]
have one of the strongest influences on their The mother is restless; with every step she
moral and national formation… hears on the pavement she runs to the window.
Each kindergarten and elementary school will When is that doctor going to come?
choose one hour every week for this cult. At last he came, examined the child and said:
The program of the heroes’ cult class will be — You must take great care of the child,
made up of commemorating the fighters in the madam. Do you have any other children? They
village, by using the following means: must be kept apart, because this illness is con-
The images of local heroes … tagious. Get this medicine as soon as you can,
Descriptions made by the village’s heroes who within a quarter of an hour.
returned home … As soon as the doctor was gone she grabbed
Maps regarding the war against bolshevism her shawl and her purse and ran to the phar-
(executed by children)…. macy.
The Heroes’ Alley: planting, on one side of the […]
school garden, of trees carrying the heroes’ — Tassia Ioannidou, the pharmacist calls out.
names. These trees will form the grove or the The preparation is ready, it’s 55 drachmas.
alley of local heroes and will be maintained by The mother opens her purse. She only has 35
groups of children. drachmas. What can she do? She approaches
Each school will be provided with a crucifix in the counter. May I give you now all the money
the memory of the village’s heroes. I have with me and take the drug? I’ll send you
Visitation and attending of the heroes’ cemetery”. the rest in the afternoon.
“Universul”, 44/15.02.1942. — No way, lady, shouts the pharmacist. Are
you playing dumb? Go get the money and then
you’ll have the drug.
? What are the aims of education in The mother is embarrassed, she starts to cry.
school, as outlined in this excerpt, ac- I’ll be late. My child needs to take this drug.
cording to Antonescu’s perspective? What Her life is in danger.
is the aim of the cult of the heroes? Are But the pharmacist won’t listen, and the people
there any models for pupils other than their around her stare at her suspiciously.
teachers? What is your position on a “Cult Then a worker stands up from the bench.
of Heroes” in school and a “Cult of Heroes” Poorly dressed, with a tired face.
in general? Does their fight reflect your own — What is it, lady? Don’t go on like that. We
beliefs today? Are there similar projects in are only human. Here, take the money you
schools these days? need!
The mother bends down to kiss the worker’s
hand. But he hastens to return modestly to his
II-32. Extract from a schoolbook for elementary seat.
education published by the National Liberation Ta aetopoula, 97-98, anatyposi ASKI.
Front (led by Communists) in the liberated
parts of Greece

Who is ‘thy neighbour’?

? How is the worker presented in this
source? What is the point of such a pre-
Kiki woke up today with a high fever. She was sentation?
suffocating all night. Her throat is sore.


v25. Ilia Beshkov: Without living space, 1942

Ilia Beshkov (1901-1958) is one of the ? What kind of message is he trying to

most famous Bulgarian artists, caricatur- send through this caricature?
ists and painters.

II-33. From confidential report No. 162 of the public opinion and, from there on, the feelings
Am e r i c a n c o n s u l g e n e r a l i n I s t a n b u l Sa m u e l among the people, is the National-Socialistic
Honaker to the State Secretary of the USA propaganda carried out in schools. It is mainly
C o r d e l H u l l a b o u t p r o p a g a n d a i n Bu l g a r i a n put into effect through teaching Bulgarian
schools Geography, History and Literature. Each Bul-
garian writer and teacher is a propagandist of
Istanbul, 4 November 1942 the Bulgarian nationalistic position. All Bul-
Another especially strong factor forming the garian young people who have finished their


secondary school education at the age of 14,

or high school at the age of 19, know the ? Do you think that there were many
Balkan map by heart and are quite well readers interested in this article at the
informed of the Bulgarian claims on different time? Explain your position.
Balkan territories. They are also aware of the
grounds of these claims. On the walls of every
school there are maps of Bulgaria from differ- v27. A scene from Dragoljub Aleksi cć´ ’s
ent periods of its history and they are firmly movie Innocence without protection
engraved in every child’s memory. Thus, the
territorial claims have been turned into a part
of the national interests. They do not express
the position and the opinion of the dynasty and
the government alone, but also those of the
whole population. In this way, school education
in nationalism in its various forms has attained
an enormous propagandistic significance.
Bulgaria - the Unmanageable Ally of the Third Reich, p. 91.

? Why was it so important to carry out

programmes of propaganda in schools?
In your opinion does anything similar still Jugoslovenska Kinoteka, Belgrade [Yugoslav Film Library].
exist in history, geography and literature
textbooks today? Explain your position. The movie was made illegally in Bel-
grade during the occupation. Aleksić, a
circus artist, had no experience of film-making
v 2 6 . R o m a n i a n n e w s p a p e r p h o to : a r ti c l e and the same goes for most of his associates.
Yet, the movie was approved by the censors
a b o u t w o m e n ’ s fa s h i o n ( 1 9 4 2 )
and as the only Serbian movie in the repertoire
of domestic cinemas, which were only showing
German and movies from other Axis countries,
was a great success with the audiences.

II- 3 4 . R o m a n i a n l a w - d e c r e e fo r th e r e g u l a ti o n
of the education of Jews (October 11, 1940)

Art. 1. Jews are free to organise, in the frame-

work of private education, their own elemen-
tary and secondary schools.
Art 2. Jewish schools provided in the prece-
dent article may function only with Jewish staff
and may only be attended by Jewish pupils.
Art. 3, Those born of parents who are both Je-
wish or those whose father is Jewish, no mat-
ter or their religion, cannot function as teach-
“Universul”, no. 30, 1 February 1942. ers or administrative bodies and are not admit-


ted as pupils or students in Romanian elemen-

tary, secondary or upper state or private ? Comment on the title of the first text
translated and printed for the high
schools and neither in the schools of the other
schools in Albania. What kind of a doctrine
Christian ethnic units. Exceptionally and from
had taken a central place in Albania’s edu-
case to case, the Ministry of National Educa-
cation system?
tion, Cults and Arts may authorise those born
out of christianised Jewish father and Christian
mother of other ethnic origins to function or v28. Announcements of cinema performan -
work in private and professional Christian scho- ces in Belgrade movie theatres in mid-Sep -
ols, if they were baptised to Christian faith up to tember 1942
the age of 2.
Natural children will have the juridical condition
of their mother. [...]
Art. 5 The Ministry of National Education, Cults
and Arts will dismiss and remove all those who
fit the provisions of art. 3 of the present law-
Evreii din România între anii 1940-1944.
vol. I: Legislat,ie antievreiasc a , p. 70–71.

? In what ways were the Jewish pupils

discriminated against? Are similar atti-
tudes towards Jews or any other ethnic/reli-
gious group still present nowadays?

II-35. Changes to the school curricula in Alba-

n i a d u r i n g th e Ita l i a n o c c u p a ti o n

The Ministry of Education has begun to apply

its wide editorial program for the publication of
the high school texts. As it is known, there
were hardly any texts for the high schools and
a system of taking notes was used. That is why
the Ministry of Education has addressed this “Novo vreme” [“New Time”], Belgrade, 16th September 1942.
issue and it can be said, that by the beginning
of the next academic year there will be a num- The titles indicate that these are Ger-
ber of texts ready for use. There are currently man, Italian and Hungarian movies. At
a number of writers and translators working on the beginning of the occupation of Serbia in April
this. The first text has recently been published: 1941 all cinemas and film distribution enterprises
were placed under strict “commissary admin-
“The Doctrine of Fascism” by Benito Mussolini, istration” and censorship was introduced, while
with an introduction for the schools by cinemas owned by the Jews were confiscated.
Salvatore Valittuti, translated by Prof. Kole German propaganda and domestic, collabora-
Shiroka. tionist film news were a compulsory part of the
The Publications of the Ministry of Education, “Tomori”, program.
6 August 1940, 2.


v 2 9 . C h i l d r e n e n te r i n g th e p r i m a r y s c h o o l II-36. Life in the youth camping centre Italo

‘Hasan Prishtina’ Balbo43, one of the many centres organised by
the fascists in Albania

These visitors go to see the lucky youth who

has the high privilege to experience for the first
time here this fascist hospitality in the enter-
taining sunny gardens, where every day they
get a good physical and moral education and
learn to love fascism and the Duce.
Throughout the day on the hill, in the fresh air
and sun, as well as doing exercises, baths,
games, dancing and other entertaining and
sportive activities, they learn to know the
Empire in which Albania has the luck to be part
of and its Sovereign, the life of the Empire’s
This picture is significant because of the Founder and the heroic acts of Italo-Balbo,
changes made in schools after the Italian whose name the centre bears.
occupation. The picture displays the children en- “Tomori”, 11 August 1940, 2.
tering the primary school ‘Hasan Prishtina’. It
can easily be detected that the uniforms that the
children wear are those worn by the fascist
Italian youth. This was one of the ways used to ? What, in your opinion, was the main
aim of such camping centres? For what
spread the fascist influence in Albanian schools
purposes was entertainment actually used?
during the occupation.

v 3 0 . N D H ( I n d e p e n d e n t St a t e o f C r o a t i a ) n a t i o n a l f o o t b a l l t e a m

? Why are footballer’s hands up?

What does that gesture symbol-
ise today? Should sportsmen, in
your opinion, represent their coun-
try if they don’t agree with the ac-
tions of the state government?
Vojinović, Nije sramota biti Hrvat ali je peh.

An Italian volunteer who had fought in Albania in 1913 during the Balkan Wars.


v31. Romanian newspaper report about a

fo o tb a l l m a tc h b e tw e e n R o m a n i a a n d C r o a ti a
in 1942

“Universul”, no. 281, 14 October 1942.

well as all cultural institutions that depend on

? What is your opinion on sports events this department that, according to the disposi-
during the war? Compare this visual to tions of art. 16 from the Armistice Convention,
the visual 30. it is forbidden to print, import, distribute or dis-
play maps with Romania’s frontiers of before
28 June 1940, which show Northern Bucovina
II-37. The Ministry of National Education of and Bessarabia as being part of the country.
R o m a n i a fo r b i d s m a p s th a t m a y r e m i n d p e o p l e Also, it is forbidden to use educational materi-
of the Soviet invasion in 1940 al in schools of any kind if this material was not
approved and does not agree with the indica-
The application in schools tions given by the control commissions institut-
of the armistice convention ed by the Ministry, which analyses the educa-
The Ministry of National Education informs all tional material and does not approve but to
schools of any kind all around the country, as those materials which, by their content, do not


contain passages that might trouble the friend- rebuke from Poglavnik’s personal office,
ly relations between Romania and the United together with Poglavnik’s warning that the stat-
Nations. Distributing books from school and ed offender would be punished. (...) I was
university libraries that might contain passages expecting to say ‘Hello’ very soon in the camp
that offend against the provisions of the to the certain person (who used the word
armistice convention and that might trouble the ‘pogreb’). But as the certain person was Pave-
armistice relations established with the United lić’s personal stenographer or ‘fastwriter’, he
Nations is also forbidden. was pardoned and we were deprived of the
“Universul”, 318/26th of November 1944. sensation.”
Jakovljević, p. 205-206.

? Does the new regime bring democracy

and freedom to Romania as the Royal Using repressive measures, the Ustasha
Proclamation promised? Provide argume- government took measures to “purify”
nts to support your answer. In your opinion, the Croatian language of foreign, primarily Serb-
who are the promoters of these interdic- ian influences. Bearing in mind the similarity of
tions? Why do they hold these attitudes? the two languages, the Ustashas tried (artificial-
ly) to create a Croatian language that would be
quite different from the pre-war language.
II-38. Ilija Jakovljevi cć´ , a prisoner in the Usta -
sha camp in Stara Gradiška (Croatia), about
Paveli cć´ ’s language purism
? Describe and explain Jakovljević’s atti-
tude towards Pavelić. What picture of
“In the main Ustasha party paper ‘Croatian Pavelić do you get from Jakovljević’s inter-
People’ somebody carelessly used the word pretation – specifically in connection with the
‘pogreb’ (a Serbian expression for funeral). anecdote about Serbian “pogreb”? Should
Poglavik (Pavelić’s title) was shocked, his the state leader be preoccupied with ques-
‘court’ was shocked, his personal office was tions of language? Compare the picture of
horrified. Everybody was alerted. Who is the Pavelić that you got from this source with the
criminal? On its front page the ‘Croatian peo- text I-2.
ple’ twice successively published a sharp

? Overall questions on subchapter IId.

In this subchapter there are many examples of propaganda in education during WWII. Make
a list of the different aims of the propaganda in different countries and try to find similarities
between them. Did propaganda disappear from educational systems after WWII? If your answer
is negative, find some examples. Is there an example from your country?


CHAPTER III: War horrors

The terrible brutality of WWII was caused by a complex mix of many factors, circumstances, atti-
tudes and motivating ideas. Due to this complexity and range, only a few can be mentioned and
examined in detail: the plight of the civilian victims following the event of the line between a front-
line and its rear being wiped out; Germany’s plans for creating more living space, which was a rea-
son implicated in the cleansing of the occupied territories; cruelty as an essential part of fulfilling the
German ideology, based on racism and anti-Semitism; keeping the occupied territories under con-
trol through the merciless and brutal punishment of the innocent civilian population; and finally, the
role of the Nazi/fascist occupation in bringing the smouldering ethnic tensions to the surface. This
final point was a factor in the causes of the civil wars in some of the SEE countries – all sides hav-
ing been stirred up by the occupying forces which led to unimaginably cruel conflicts.
It was WWII that “enriched” our vocabulary with two more words: genocide and Holocaust. And
although, according to the Nazi ideas of pure race, the Untermenschen label applied not only to
Jews but also to Gypsies, Poles, Ukrainians, Russians..., the Final solution is nevertheless, a case
in itself due to its horrible systematic completeness. It is for this reason that it is treated separately
in this chapter, as an entity in itself, with its own distinct nature, momentum and aims, quite apart
from the goals and dynamics of the war, but within the context of it. Unfortunately, in South-East
Europe the Final solution was carried out with such brutal efficiency that the number of Jews fell
from approximately 900,000 to under 50,000.
Some of the stated horrors are noted in the sources that follow – ranging from those on the bat-
tlefields to those carried out against civilians in German and Italian reprisal operations, in concen-
tration camps, in dungeons, in Partisan revenge operations after the war, etc.

IIIa. The frontline

III-1. Military law practiced by the Albanian Pa - felt rather melancholy, for the shooting of pris-
rtisans oners was repugnant to me. Refusal to take pri-
soners in action was a different matter – the Ita-
“Only on one occasion were some Italians pri- lians had once threatened to shoot ten Alban-
soners taken; this unusual event was announ- ian hostages for every Italian prisoner taken,
ced with great pride by the Shtab, and I was which in itself was not encouragement for mer-
invited to go to see them by myself. I went to a cy. In guerrilla warfare, a prisoner is a hand-
house in Vithkuq where I found four Italian offi- icap, for he has to be fed and guarded against
cers and four other ranks. They seemed resig- escape; therefore the obvious policy was to not
ned to their fate, for there was little doubt that take them. Guerrillas normally expected to be
they would be shot – at any rate the officers. shot on spot or executed, possibly after torture,
They appeared to be remarkably calm and re- so the system of taking no prisoners became
fused to give any information other than their an established feature in guerrilla warfare.”
names and addresses of their families in Italy; I Smiley, p. 66.


v32. Partisan 4th division in the mountains of

? Comment on the behaviour of the Ita- Montenegro, 1944
lian officers: could it be called heroic, al-
though they were the aggressors in the
war? Why didn’t the Albanian guerrillas take
prisoners? How did Italian policy influence
such behaviour?

III-2. Treatment of prisoners by the Albanian


“The most notable event, however, which

marked the army’s sojourn in the village, was
the capture of two Partisans, the first prisoners
of the campaign. They were both quite small Dedijer, Dnevnik.
boys, twelve and ten years old, and had fallen
out during the retreat from Shupal, exhausted v 3 3 . R o m a n i a n s o l d i e r s o n c a m e l s i n th e
by hunger and lack of sleep. By the time we Caucaz battles
saw them they had both eaten and rested and,
though still rather sheepish, were quite ready
to make friends. Their talk was full of Com-
munist jargon; and they told us that it was
nearly a year since they had run away from
their homes, near Valona, to join the Partisans.
Both claimed to have seen action against the
Ballists and the Germans.”
Amery, p. 222-23.

? Comment the age of the captured

Partisans. What is your opinion on child-
soldiers? What is your opinion of an army
that recruits and uses them? Do child–sol- «Universul», no 272, 5 October 1942.
diers exist anywhere nowadays? Compare
this text to visual 22.
Compare the attitude towards the prisoners
with the attitude in previous source. Is it ? Taking into account that the great major-
ity of Romanian soldiers were peasants,
possible to form a general conclusion based comment shortly about the possible reac-
only on these two short excerpts? Explain tions of soldiers to the camels - quite an
your position. exotic way of travelling for the Romanian
Army. Can war be considered as a way of
gaining new experiences - not necessarily
only bad ones?


IIIb. Brutalities

III-3. Announcements addressed to the Greeks the guerrillas who murdered our troops.
by German army commanders in Greece It is up to you to prevent the guerrillas from
(1943) attacking German troops.
It is your duty to report immediately the pres-
“ANNOUNCEMENT ence of guerrillas to the nearest German army
Any person caught destroying or otherwise station.
damaging telephone wires shall be shot. This In this way the German army can protect your
penalty shall be imposed on women and life, your family and your property.
minors as well. The German army is not in Greece as an
If the perpetrator is not caught, five persons enemy of the Greek population. Our only ene-
from the adjacent villages shall be arrested mies are the guerrillas, who disturb the peace
and shot. The communities to which these per- and order of the country. (…)
sons belong shall be punished by property From now on you must cultivate good relations
penalties. with the German army for the restoration of law
The enforcement of this order starts from the and order, and especially for the protection of
date of its publication. your own personal interests.
Kerkyra, October 23, 1943 THE GERMAN COMMAND”
The Commander of the Isle of Kerkyra” Fleischer, vol. 2, p. 223.

? Were the inhabitants of the destroyed
Any strike shall be considered as a hostile act villages really capable of preventing the
against the Occupation Authorities, even if no guerrillas from attacking German troops?
military interests are directly compromised. Was the German army’s objective in Gree-
The same is true of instigation to strike and ce really the protection of the lives and pro-
attempts to strike. perty of the local population, as they claim-
I shall use every means available to me to ed in this announcement? What do you
severely prevent any such attempts. think about the imposition of the death pe-
In future grave violations shall be punishable nalty on women and children for these kinds
by death. The death penalty shall be imposed of acts?
especially to instigators and leaders. Other
participants in strikes shall be punished with
long terms in prison and in hard labour camps III-5. Hitler’s order (dated September 1941) in
Athens, 10.9.43 c o n n e c ti o n w i th th e a r m y ’ s b e h a v i o u r i n th e
The Military Commander of Greece” occupied territories in South-East Europe
Fleischer, vol. 2, p. 169.

“In order to cut off plotting at the roots, on the

III-4. German pamphlet (Oct. ’43) after the first first occasion and without hesitation, the most
wave of mass retaliations in Greece severed measures must be undertaken so that
the authority of the occupational force should
ANNOUNCEMENT be imposed and any further spreading of the
PEOPLE OF EPIRUS! idea prevented. By doing this you must keep in
The German army was forced to destroy your mind that in those countries a human life is of
villages because you provided assistance to no value and frightening impact can be ach-


ieved only by unusual strictness. As a reprisal III-6. German atrocities during the occupation
for one German soldier life there must pro- of Albania (July 1943)
portionally be death penalties for 50 to 100
Communists. The way of executions must cre- “On my way back I saw smoke from other
ate a frightening impact.” burning villages, and I assumed they had been
Krizman, p. 520. set on fire by the Italians as reprisals; I was
wrong, for I came across Safet Butka and his
Balli Kombetar çeta, who told me that it was
? As it was a legislative order, the German village of Barmash I saw burning, and that it
army didn’t consider these executions was set on fire by the Germans. He said they
to be crimes. Do you agree with this atti- had burnt women and children alive in their
tude? Can rules and laws always correctly homes and shot them when they tried to
define what is a crime and what isn’t? escape; he added that a German division had
just arrived at Korçë from Florina. This was our
first news of Germans in Albania.”
Smiley, p. 52.
v34. Reprisals by the German army in
Greece: photograph of mass executions in German soldiers’ attitudes towards Italian sol -
Agrinio 1943 diers after they capitulated (October 1943)

“There I had a further delay, for the villages

insisted on showing me the graves of sixty-five
Italian officers whom the Germans had forced
them to bury. They saw them killed by Ger-
mans, who, they said, tied the Italians’ hands,
lined them up, shot them down with machine-
guns, and finished off the wounded with bayo-
nets. They were clearly frightened of the Ger-
mans after what they had seen, and seemed
relieved to see me go.”
Smiley, p. 93.

? What was the aim of such brutal beha-

viour by the German army? When might
the second event have taken place? Is
there a similar case of atrocities carried out
by Germans in your country?

Fleischer, vol. 1, p. 347.


III-7. Don Pietro Brignoli44: Holy mass for my such emotion, that even less sensitive soldiers
shot people (fragment from a diary) were struck by that. From time to time some-
one scolded this miserable group and threat-
25. August. Desperate women. One of them is ened that all of the men would be shot if the
asking for justice. women did not stop pleading. For a moment,
In the village, we just came in, we imprisoned all became silent, then we heard restrained
all the men, as elsewhere. At the beginning of sobbing and at in the end they cried even more
the operations people didn’t get anxious when desperately than they did before…”
we imprisoned adult men, because they knew Repe, Naša doba, 1996, p. 201.
nothing about what to expect. As news about
what was going on spread around,45 some kind
of desperation wave rose. The same was in ? The author of this diary not only wit-
this “liberated” village. nessed the event he is describing, but
Because they took the men and guarded them participated in it. Are there any signs of com-
in the meadow, the women gathered not far passion in his words?
away, they pleaded for the men and cried with

v35. Photographs of burnt or destroyed vil -

lages (reprisals)

Fleischer, vol. 2, p. 497.

Don Pietro Brignoli was a curate in the occupying Italian army in Slovenia and Croatia. During the war he wrote a diary
which was published in the sixties. He was loyal to Italy, but he also described and condemned the cruel treatment the civil-
ian populations of Slovenia and Croatia by the Italian soldiers. During the Italian offensive in the summer and autumn of
1942: burning of villages, shooting hostages, deportations to concentration camps, robbery… Brignoli for all the horrors he
saw, blamed the war itself and he was somehow searching for the answer to his distress in war as the universal culprit.
Shooting of hostages or sending people to the concentration camps.


III-8. Fragment from the interview with Cveto prisoner was shot only because he picked up
Kobal46 a green apple from the ground...
Speaking from my experience, I would like to say
“After a few days they crowded us together for to the younger generations how necessary it is
transport. About 1000 people were transported to fight against any violence. No violence, even
in one single train. The drive took two days. On with the best of intentions, can be justified…”
the way some people already died in our wa-
gon. There was terrible heat, unbearable con- Repe, interview with Cveto Kobal (video).

ditions. The wagons were cattle trucks, without

any possibility to use a toilet. Then we carried ? What does Cveto Kobal, survivor of the
the dead bodies from the railway station to the Mauthausen concentration camp, think
top of the hill, where the concentration camp about violence? Do you share his opinion?
was. Just before we came to Mauthausen, one

v36. Front page of the pamphlet on Maut-

hausen This pamphlet was written by Cveto Ko-
bal in June 1944, and it is the earliest
known published text about one of the most hor-
rible concentration camps.

III-9. A Letter to Hitler47

Paraćin, 25 March 1941
To Adolf Hitler
The thread of justice is torn. Arrogance and vi-
olence prevail. The big ones oppress the small
ones and in their arrogance ignore God; they
have no soul.
Bloodthirsty Hitler is hurrying to make every
single field on the globe planted with misery
and grief. Our Fatherland is not spared either.
We offer you our honest hand, but you want
our heart. In your desire to conquer and op-
press you trample on everything that has been
most sacred to us through all periods of slav-
ery and through centuries – you trample on our
freedom and honour, you trample on our pride.
To you, Hitler, Cain’s son, we, children of great
fathers and grandfathers, shout –enough! If
you do not listen you will be confronted with

Cveto Kobal was born on 15.12.1921. He became a member of resistance movement in Slovenia in 1941. In
January 1941 he was arrested and sent to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, and afterwards to Mauthausen. In the
spring of 1944 he escaped from the working camp in Linz (Austria) and joined Partisans in Slovenia. In June 1944 an ille-
gal Partisan printing works published his pamphlet on Mauthausen which is the earliest known published text about one
of the most horrible concentration camps (see the illustration).
On the document there is a note in Serbian language: “The person died in prison camp on 14 January 1942.” On
the day that this letter was written Yugoslavia joined the Axis alliance. Two days later, the Yugoslav government was over-


our strong muscles. We will spill your blood else it is necessary to deal with ultimate ruth-
and with dragon’s legs stand on your neck so lessness at least in one particular place, so
that you will never stand up. Remember that that other parts of Serbia would be intimidated
perhaps God has designated us to retaliate for by this example. (...) Women and children act
all your wrongdoings. Remember. as liaison and also take care of supplies.
(signed) Svetolik Dr. Dragac evac Therefore, punishment must be experienced

District Chief (retired) by the whole population, not only by men…”

General Böhme himself, as soon as he arrived
Chief Security Administration to Serbia, issued an order that “tough mea-
of the Reich Berlin, 16 May 1942 sures must be a threatening example of which
all Serbia will hear in a short time”.
Security Police and Security Service (SD) Such policy relied on orders on suppression of
Einsatzkommando in Belgrade resistance movement in occupied countries,
Subject: District Chief (retired) Svetolik which came from the “highest place”, from the
Dragac evac, Paraćin, Yugoslavia Hitler’s main headquarters. They were issued,

The Führer’s Office, NSDAP is sending the at Hitler’s order, by field marshal Keitel, on 16
enclosed letter of the above mentioned District September 1941. In one place it is empha-
Chief (ret.) with a translation. The letter con- sised: “To suppress the movement in its very
tains the most brutal insults and accusations germ, the most drastic measures are to be
against the Führer. I ask you to undertake nec- applied… In connection with this it should be
essary measures against the author of the let- reminded that human life often has no value in
ter and report in case of his successful arrest. these countries and the intimidating effect can
At the order of: be achieved only with exceptional strictness”.
(signed) Bastz Božović, p. 23.

Istorijski Arhiv grada Beograda

(Belgrade Historical Municipal Archive), BDS, d-77. The text outlines the armed uprising that
broke out in Serbia in the summer of
1941. The support of the population for the rebel
forces combined with the losses sustained by
? Try to understand the motives for writ- the occupation forces triggered a brutal system-
ing such a letter. In your opinion, was
atic wave of reprisals that spread all over Serbia
Svetolik Dragac evac aware of the possible

in the fall of the same year. In September 1941,

danger when writing this letter? If yes, why the head of the German occupation administra-
did he write it in spite of all that? tion, general Turner, proposed measures to
counter the uprising to General Böhme (com-
manding general in Serbia).
III-10. German measures to counter the upris -
ing in Serbia
III-11. Massacre of civilian hostages in Kragu -
“…Since failure caused considerable damage jevac48
to the reputation of the armed force … I think
that due to the reasons of prestige if nothing On 20 October, about 7 a.m. German units

thrown in the coup d’etat and on the 6th of April the German invasion began. Therefore, we could presume that the per-
son who wrote this letter could not have been fully aware of the danger he was courting.
The October liquidations in Kragujevac, Kraljevo and other cities throughout Serbia, executed by the Wehrmacht,
with thousands killed, is a tragic piece of evidence of the true, bare essence of the occupation system. From the begin-
ning of August 1941 to the middle of February 1942, 7,776 were killed and executed in fights, while 20,149 persons were
executed by firing squads, in a reprisal.


under the command of major Koenig encircled “They (Germans) claimed in the flyers that
the city. they killed 2,300 Serbs. This is equally incor-
“Then the circle was tightened, and the rect, because only in Kragujevac, not counting
German soldiers collected all men without dis- the number of the people killed in surrounding
tinction… People were taken from the streets, villages, they killed 7,100-7,300 Serbs.”49
from houses, stores, bars, church and all other Božović, Poruke streljanog grada, p. 50.
establishments. They took judges, scribes and
clients from the court; professors, teachers The massacre of civilian hostages in
and students from schools … even the sick Kragujevac followed (according to the
from some homes have not been spared. “prescription for Serbia”, ordering that 100
Thus they collected an enormous number of hostages would be taken for every member of
citizens, about 8-9,000 men, who were de- the occupation authorities who had been killed
tained in cannon sheds…” since the start of the occupation, and 50 for
every member who had been wounded) after
Shooting started in the morning of 21st October:
the attack of Partisan units near the town of
“They killed hostages in the following way:
Gornji Milanovac in mid-October, in which 10
they took people by groups… and thus, under German soldiers were wounded and 26 killed.
strong guard took them to the places of execu- Domestic collaborating units (the “Serbian
tion, located near the Sušica Creek, Šumarice Volunteer Corps”) provided assistance in the
and cannon sheds. The place of execution arrest and detention of hostages.
extended for tens of kilometres. There they This is an excerpt from the testimony of Danilo
killed them with machine guns, automatic rifle Mihailović, a high-ranking police officer of the
and rifle volleys … In the meantime, all the oth- domestic collaboration administration, who visit-
ers who waited their turn to go to the place of ed Kragujevac a few days after the massacre.
execution listened to the rattling of machine-
guns, automatic rifles and to the burst of shots
fired from rifles, while those who were on their ? Was the German army respecting the
military law? Do you know of a similar
way toward the place of execution had the
case from your country?
opportunity to see all this moments before they
will be killed themselves.”

III-12. A Partisan report on the Italian-Che - caps in order to make the Partisans seem
tniks’ actions in the area of Lika in the summer responsible for those crimes. In September,
and autumn 1942 1942, together with the Italians, they operated
in the village Ponikve and its surroundings,
“The Chetniks robbed and killed Croats wher- where they robbed and burnt down 96 Serbian
ever they could, especially the followers of houses. (...) Chetniks often made excuses for
NOB50. So they killed Ivan Sebelj from Gli- their crimes saying that the Italian force
bodol, father of nine children, Mijo Mesic from ordered them to do that and expressing their
Lipac, Mijo Fertic and his wife, engineer Saric regrets for burning Serbian houses, but they
from Plasko, engineer Denisov from Dreznik. explained that in return, they burnt more
During most of the killings and robberies they Croatian houses.”
camouflaged themselves wearing Partisan Jelić-Butić, p. 161.

This number has been considered official for a long time. Serbian historian Venceslav Glišić in the early 1970s, and
later some other authors, have shown that number of victims is overestimated, but still higher than 2,300.
Narodno oslobodilac ka borba (National Liberation Fight – the Partisan name for the anti-fascist resistance movement).


v37. Photograph from Belgrade’s main city

The Chetnik’s end goal was the forma- square, 17 August 1941
tion of Great Serbia which would extend
to include the territories of Croatia and Bosnia
and Herzegovina. To achieve this, they thought
that the desired territories had to be “cleansed”
of non-Serbian populations. The Chetnik actions
were often coordinated with the actions of the
Italian occupation army which controlled the
western part of the ISC51.

? How did the Chetniks justify their

crimes? What criteria did the Chetniks
have in choosing their victims? Why and in
which cases did they burn the houses of
their compatriots? Istorijski Arhiv Beograda, Zbirka fotografija
[Historical Archive of Belgrade, Collection of Photographs].

III-13. Horrors in the Ustasha prisons in Sara - Everyday scenes under occupation with
jevo. In this case the victim is a young Croatian an illusion of “normality” (people strolling
Communist-girl. in summer clothes, a poster inviting the public to
horse races at the city’s race track, and the slo-
Testimony by Štefica Belak-Pavic ić
gan of the German organisation for mass vaca-
The worst thing for me was to endure being tioning ‘Kraft durch Freude’ /Strength through
Joy) side by side with the brutality of occupation
beaten under icy cold showers in December, in
with hanged bodies of hostages in the main city
the basement of Ustashas’ supervisory depart-
square of Terazije, 17 August 1941.
ment, where the agents beat me in shifts. I
remember how the steam was emitted from
my naked body, and how the cold water from
III- 1 4 . R o m a n i a n p o l i c e a u th o r i ti e s r e p o r t o n
showers held my body and kept it from falling.
the state of the Gypsies deported to Trans -
After that, they struck me with their boots,
nightsticks and whips, my body was coloured
with bloody black-and-blue marks. We lay tied
on the concrete floor in our cells. After a span- Gendarmes Inspectorate Odessa Bulletin
king like that we talked nonsense because of on the state of mind in the Gendarmerie
the high body temperature. They applied span- – for the month September 1943
king with nightsticks to the soles of our feet.
Most of us have endured tortures like that. The Gypsies are placed in the territory of the
Some have withstood this, some have not. districts Berezovca and Oceacov, a total of
Albahari, p. 431. 2,441 Gypsies. The same tendency to elude
agricultural works is ascertained for the Gypsi-
? Štefica Belak-Pavic ić survived a horri- es this month as well.

ble torture. You don’t need to answer They are deeply discontented with being
any questions, just try to imagine what kind moved to Transnistria. All of them try, by using
of consequences such a torture had on any means, to return to the country. Compact
each individual who survived. Gypsy groups were caught trying to return to

Nezavisna Država Hrvatska (Independent State of Croatia).


the country by means of false documents and III-15. Ilija Jakovljevi cć´ describes life in concen -
authorisation. They need to be intensively and tration camp Stara Gradiška
permanently supervised by the gendarmes, for
them not to escape the colonies on the Bug. “Under the cell there is a cellar which is, in
They lack clothing and they are terrorised by spring, full of water coming from the Sava river
the winter to come, them being almost naked. through the canal, mixed up with faecal mate-
Due to this state of facts, in winter they will die rials. The canal is namely connected to the
of cold and malnutrition, as they died last win- Sava. Before the Sava starts rising, the canal
ter – and this is how next spring the problem of opening must be shut so that water doesn’t get
the Gypsies in Transnistria will disappear, in. (...) After taking over the prison, the
once they have disappeared. Ustashas, not knowing that, left the opening
open in the spring so the Sava got into the
Minoritati etnoculturale. Marturii documentare. Tiganii din
Romania (1919–1944), doc. 339. canal and filled the cellar up to its water level.
(...) To quench their thirst, those distracted
people52 lowered their shoes into the cellar win-
dow and through it into the cellar. (...) So they
? What are the main causes of death supplied themselves with water. (...) Shoes
among the deported Gypsies? Did the
were also pulled through the chimney tube in
authorities seem to take any measures in
order to reach some dirty liquid. A prisoner
order to protect the deported people? How
whose duty was to clean the hall in front of that
had the authorities planned to solve “the
cell every day, told me:
Gypsy” problem”?
- Of all works I did in the camp, that one, un-
der such circumstances, was the most terrible.
I would bring a can of water and splash it in the
hall. You could see fingers under the door of
v38. Poster with the names of dead hosta -
the damned cell. Someone was soaking his
g e s i n t h e G e r m a n o c c u p i e d z o n e i n Sl o v e n i a
hands. Here and there you could see a spoon.
A poor bastard was reaching for some dirty
water. Some of them lay beyond their shoes
and others lay down themselves to lick that dir-
ty liquid. The doorstep was low, so when I spla-
shed, a little water got into the cell. While so-
me threw themselves to catch each drop, oth-
ers shouted: ‘Don’t splash, don’t splash! Stop
for once, we can’t listen to water pouring!”
Jakovljević, p. 164-165.

Ilija Jakovljević, a pre-war politician and

a member of the Croatian peasant party
was imprisoned in the camp in Stara Gradiška.
It was one of the camps that the Ustashas
founded, following the examples of their fascist
mentors, for the members of the minorities dis-
liked by them (Romanies, Serbs, Jews) and for
their political opponents regardless their nation-

prisoners tortured by thirst


III-16. A letter to the family from the concentra - III-17. An Ustasha soldier describes his acts of
tion camp ‘Stara Gradiška’ brutality

“The other day he was shedding tears in my “He (Eminence) wasted his days in the shop –
(Dika’s) room. Do you know that he declared a he was, as he says, the chief clerk of a big firm
kind of love to me? I told him to put it aside for – and spent his nights in night clubs and inns;
now. I don’t care for it in here. He must first and he could barely wait for the day to devote
earn my respect, correct what he did wrong, himself to his new life vocation. (...) Eminence
help people. He promises he’ll be good. He is is more than a politician. He is a born coordi-
persuading me that he won’t leave me even at nator in all fields. It is especially hard for him
the most critical moment. While he is here, that he can’t be active militarily although his
nobody will torture me. If my execution warrant
strategic talent is unusual. He would quickly
arrives, he personally will come to me and do
clean the country of all its enemies. Just think,
it. He will put a bullet into the back of my head.
how successfully he completed the task he
He says it doesn’t hurt but he wouldn’t like to
was charged with in Bosnia! When the
try it at himself. That is the kind of conversation
we are holding. Through him I already made Hungarians, after the downfall, chased away
some other connections. I have become a for- the volunteers (from the Yugoslav army), they
tune-teller. I am telling them (the Ustashas) hurried back to their Bosnian homeland, the
fortune from cards; it’s marvellous how I land of old times but nevertheless the land of
guess. (...) There is no other way; you are go- their birth. Those people had to be registered.
ing out to freedom and I’m not allowed even How did you do that?
into the enclosure. Have a good trip, three Easily. I asked them to come and they accept-
times. Have you remembered everything you ed the invitation. They were told that in a short
have to say to my folks? Don’t forget to give a time they would go to a village where their sa-
kiss from mummy to the little girl.” fety would be granted. I took it upon myself to
Jakovljević, p. 304. feed them well after the registration. Then they
were sent away in covered goods wagons.
This letter was secretly handed to Jakov-
ljević by his fellow-sufferer in the camp – Where to?
a woman named Dika, a member of the Partisan To a smaller station. You have no idea that for
resistance movement. Jakovljević was expect- all that operation you need only a couple of
ed to be released soon. In the annex of the let- boys. Revolution was going on, fugitives have
ter, Dika describes her unusual relationship with lost their wits. Liquidation was done by Gyps-
one of the prisoners in the camp who Jakov-
ies. After that, we got rid of that scum, too. I’m
ljević knows under the pseudonym Eminence.
Because he was one of Ustashas, Eminence sorry that besides those Gypsies I had to kill
had better treatment in the camp than the other several of our men who took part in that busi-
prisoners (Communists, Jews, Romas, Serbs). ness. They did it on their own initiative and the
Ustasha authorities can’t take responsibility for
their capriciousness. It’s a waste but our moth-
? In the first fragment there is a descrip- er country asks her best sons to sacrifice. We
tion of how the Ustashas tortured pris- were covered – the guilty persons were pun-
oners with thirst. Is it possible to find any ished. The score was one against hundred.
understandable reason for such torture? Is (...) Instead of hate and sensitivity, he liked
it connected to the side they fought for in
pointing out some other, higher motives for his
the war or with their character, temper, etc.?
actions. He was looking for them, and probably
What do you think about Eminence’s beha-
viour? What is his (Eminence’s) attitude to- found them, in the cleansing of the Croatian
wards prisoners, their killing and their stay country from Serbs and the Croatian economy
in camp in general? from Jews.”
Jakovljević, p. 54, 57.


and carrying those notorious Cossack whips

The Ustasha authorities in the ISC car- with steel endings, ‘nagajkas’, by which you
ried out the repression of certain ethnic can rip man’s face with one blow. They used
minorities: Romanies, Jews and Serbs. Mem- them freely...”
bers of those ethnic minorities were deprived of Bleiburg, p. 141-142.
their property, sent to camps and killed. The
same treatment was extended to the Croats
who didn’t agree with the Ustasha regime. The Yugoslav Partisans considered them-
policy towards the Jews was no different from selves to be warriors who respected the
the one carried out in Nazi Germany. The Jews laws of war and had an aversion to crime, and
were deprived of all civil rights and marriages presented themselves in this light. They claimed
between the Jews and the persons of “Aryan” that, in this way, they were different from the
origin were forbidden by the “Statutory order criminal fascist armies. Nevertheless they had
concerning protection of Aryan blood and hon- no hesitation about the death penalty for the pri-
our of Croatian people”. soners as well as for civilians who were identi-
This is one of numerous conversations that the fied as (or even only suspected of being) collab-
above mentioned Ilija Jakovljević had with (also orators with the occupation forces or Ustasha
already mentioned) one of the prisoners, the authorities.
Ustasha called Eminence at the camp Stara In May 1945, the Partisans were repelling differ-
Gradiška. ent fascist armies from the territory of Yugo-
slavia towards the north-west. The Ustashas,
together with a numbers of civilians from Croatia
were moving towards the present Slovenia-Au-
stria border in order to turn themselves in to the
? Did Eminence think that he had com- British army (rather than to the Partisans). How-
mitted a crime? How does he justify his
actions and how does he motivate himself ever, their surrender was not accepted by the
British so they had to turn themselves in to the
to kill people? How does he justify the killing
Partisans. Many of the prisoners of war were
of his own men? killed and tortured by the soldiers of the victori-
ous army. This started in the small town of Blei-
burg (Austria) and continued later on when pris-
oners were forced to march to the south, deep-
III-18. Partisan crimes in Bleiburg. Colin er into the territory of Yugoslavia (this march is
Gunner, lieutenant of the Royal Irish Infantry known as “The Way of the Cross”).
witnesses the prisoners passing by as he

“...the Ustashas whom Tito’s troops were lead-

ing to death. Ustashas were actually Yugo- ? What caused the mass reprisals at the
slavs who fought at the German side from the end of the war? Compare it with similar
beginning. Now, after Tito’s Communist victory, manifestations of ‘triumphant fury’ at other
they had to be slaughtered, literally slaugh- war scenes (Hiroshima, Dresden, Sudeten
tered. The line seemed to be endless and it Germans, French collaborators etc.) Can
was led across the Drava bridge to the Yugo- vengeful behaviour at the end of the war be
slav side. Men, women, children and babies in justified by the struggle for the right cause
arms, all starving, they were moving on pur- during the war?
sued by Tito’s people who were riding ponies


III-19. Tito about Partisan crimes in May, 194553

? Is “the hand of revenge” necessarily
“Concerning these traitors who found them- “the hand of justice”; is it equal as it is
selves inbound our country, in each nation in suggested in the source? Explain the state-
particular – that’s the matter for history. The ment: what is a crime to one person is jus-
hand of justice, our people’s hand of revenge tice to another.
has caught most of them, and only a small
number managed to run away under their pro-
tector’s wings, outside our country.”
Bleiburg, p. 41.

v39. Victims, Vladimir Filakovac, oil on can -

vas, Zagreb 1943

? Describe the picture. What kind of load

is there on the wagon? What do you
think about using the horrors of war as the
subject of a work of art? What do you think
the artist’s attitude towards the horrors he
painted was?

Croatian Museum of History

IIIc. The Holocaust

III-20. From the Bulgarian Law for the Protec - tions of individuals of Jewish origin only.
tion of the Nation e) to marry or live in concubinage with individ-
24 December 1940 uals of Bulgarian origin; marriages of individu-
als of Jewish origin and Bulgarians, contracted
Article 21. Individuals of Jewish origin are not after this Law has come into force, are consid-
allowed: ered void;
a) to become Bulgarian citizens. Women of Article 23. (...) It is not allowed for individuals
Jewish origin get the citizenship of their hus- of Jewish origin to settle in Sofia in the future.
bands; Article 24. Individuals of Jewish origin are not
b) to vote or to be elected, either in public elec- allowed to own or rent real estates, neither
tions or in elections of any non-profit unions, personally nor through proxies, and in villages,
except in the cases when the election con- except the resorts, they are not allowed to own
cerns organisations of individuals of Jewish any buildings at all.
origin only. Article 26. The Council of Ministers has the
c) to occupy a post in any state, municipal or right, following a report of the Minister of
other public authorities - except in organisa- Trade, Industry and Labour, to restrict, fully or

Crimes comitted at the end of the war were a taboo subject in post-war Yugoslavia for many years.


partially, the personal or capital participation of the state is powerful and armed with many law-
individuals of Jewish origin in some branches ful means of subduing every criminal element,
of trade, industry and crafts. regardless of its origin. It is therefore unneces-
Within one month after this Law has come into sary to resort to new and exceptionally cruel
force, all individuals of Jewish origin are obli- measures which could lead to a future accusa-
ged to declare all their properties and posses- tion of Bulgarian participation in mass murder.
sions. These accusations will be borne by the current
The Survival. A Compilation of Documents
Bulgarian government, but such accusations
1940-1944”, p. 157-161. will be a legacy left to the people of Bulgaria
now and in the future. The results of such poli-
cies are easy to predict and they should there-
? Is there a similar document from your fore not be permitted. It will be impossible for
country of this time? Was anti-Semitic us to share whatever responsibility for this. (...)
policy in SE European countries forced ex-
The Survival. A Compilation of Documents 1940-1944,
clusively by the influence of Germans? Did p. 216-218.
the German allies have a choice? The name
of this law needs to be analysed as well: did This is a protest statement (dated 26th
the Bulgarian (or any other) nation really December 1943) from the vice-chairman
have a need to protect itself against Jews? of the 25th session of the Bulgarian National As-
sembly, D. Peshev, and 42 other deputies to the
prime minister, against the deportation of Jews
beyond the Bulgarian borders. They insisted
III-21. Bulgarian deputies protest against the that new anti-Jewish measures should be based
deportation of Jews on real political interests and on the ethnic views
of the Bulgarian people. They pose the question
(...) There are rumours that the Bulgarian gov- of whether the government would take the enor-
mous, historical responsibility of deporting inno-
ernment intends to extradite these people from
cent subjects, in order to serve a foreign power.
our country. These rumours must be ill-found-
ed and malicious, as these people are Bulga-
rian citizens and extradition would have nega-
tive implications not only in stigmatising the
national character of Bulgaria but will also ha- ? Comment on the following sentence: “A
small nation does not have the liberty of
ve an effect on future international relation-
ignoring moral considerations.” Does it
mean that ‘great’ nations have such liberty?
A small nation does not have the liberty of
What were the concerns of the authors of
ignoring moral considerations. A strong moral
this protest statement about the future?
character is our greatest weapon against futu-
re injustices. It is of great significance for us,
because you, Dear Prime Minister, certainly
will recall that not long ago we too suffered the III-22. Order issued by the Military Command,
heavy moral and political consequences of so- Belgrade
me morally aberrant legislation formulated by
irresponsible individuals. 25 April 1941
What kind of Bulgarian government do we wish ORDER
to burden with such a responsibility for the fu- 1) All Jews residing in Belgrade may buy food-
ture? stuffs and other goods on squares and market-
The Jews in Bulgaria are few; the strength of places every day after 10:30 a.m. only. Sellers


must not sell to them before that hour. iation against the Jewish population in Iaþi.
2) On public fountains and other places where The disorder that happened a few days ago in
people wait in queues, Jews may stand in the Iaþi put the army and the authorities in an
queue only after other Aryan citizens have extremely unfavourable light.
taken care of their needs. On occasion of the eviction of Bessarabia, it
3) All merchants are prohibited from selling was a real shame for the army to have to
foodstuffs and other goods to the Jews at high- accept being insulted and attacked by Jews
er prices and generally illegally. and Communists, without reacting. The shame
4) Jews who fail to abide by the above order is even greater when soldiers, isolated on their
shall be punished by up to 30 days in prison or own initiative and for a long time rob, maltreat
fined with up to 10,000 dinars. According to the or attack the Jewish population and kill ran-
estimate, they may also be sent to concentra- domly, as it happened in Iaþi.
tion camps. The Jewish people have extorted from, impov-
The same punishment shall apply to the mer- erished, speculated on and stopped the devel-
chants mentioned in article 3) of the present opment of the Romanian people for several
Order. centuries. The need to set us free us from this
5) Police in Belgrade i.e. its precincts shall be plague over the Romanians is indisputable,
in charge of pronouncing punishments pur- but only the government has the right to take
suant to this order. the necessary measures. These measures are
This order shall come into force immediately. in the course of execution and they will be con-
Ordered on 25th April 1941 in Belgrade. tinued after the norms I will decide on.
Colonel and commander It is not possible for every citizen or every sol-
von Kaisenberg dier to assume the role of solving the Jewish
Božović, Beograd pod komesarskom upravom 1941, p. 54 problem by thefts and massacres.
By such procedures, we show the works that
we are an undisciplined and uncivilised people
? Why weren’t Jews allowed to buy food- and we cast a very unpleasant light over the
stuffs before 10.30 a.m.? What was the state’s authority and prestige.
punishment for disobedience of this order? I hereby completely stop any action started on
individual initiative and make the military and
III-23. Ion Antonescu condemns the pogrom in civil authorities responsible for strictly execut-
Iaþi54 ing this order. Those who infringe or have
infringed the order mentioned above will be
sued and will receive the most severe sanc-
1941, July 4
tions provided by law.
Order 255 of general Ion Antonescu, leader of
the state, to the military and gendarmerie units General Ion Antonescu
in the country, with respect to the bloody retal- Evreii din România între anii 1940-1944, vol. II, doc. 98.

On June 30, 1941, the Romanian Government announced that 500 “Jewish-Communists” were executed at Iaþi,
because they opened fire against the Romanian and German troops. In fact, in June 28–29, it seemed that shots were
fired against troops. There were no casualties, but the rumours were that the Jewish-Communists intended to attack the
armies on the front-line from behind. Thousands of Jews were arrested, some were killed. The commander of the 14th
Romanian Division disposed of the arrested Jews by deporting them. According to the official data, from the total of the
4,430 people deported in two trains, about half of them survived.


What is the official position of Ion Translation: A shipload of Jews called in

Antonescu on the pogrom in Iassy? at the Izmir port. The Jew: We are mon-
eyless! We are hungry! Please allow us to dis-
Does a condemnation of the disorder in
embark for five minutes so that we can return to
Iassy reveal a pro-Jewish attitude? Who is the ship as rich men!
declared responsible for solving the Jewish
problem in Romania? Although Antonescu
accuses the Jewish minority of taking
? What was the purpose of this cartoon?
actions against the Romanian army, he What kind of a stereotype does it advo-
declares himself to be against embarking cate?
on a “Final solution” to the Jewish problem.
Would you agree that it was merely a reac-
tion against individual actions, of theft and v41. Turkish cartoon
crime? What may be the results of such an
attitude from the leader of the state? What
is your opinion on collective blame?

v40. Turkish cartoon

Bali, Cumhuriyet’in Yurttaþlar?.

The octopus that engulfs the world repre-

sents the Jews (published by the Anti
Zionist Society of Turkey): “The danger that sur-
rounds the world – world Jewry – Zionism.
There is no calm on Earth as long as this pest
Akbaba, 24 August 1939.


III-24. Concentration camp of Sajmište, him, caressed them, took them in his arms and
Belgrade gave them candies. The children liked him and
whenever he came, they would rush toward
From the statement of Hedviga Schönfein, pri- him to get candies. No one in the camp suspe-
soner of the Judenlager Zemlin (Sajmište) pri- cted that people were taken to their deaths. It
son camp was strongly believed that it was transfer into a
Immediately upon our arrival at the camp, the work camp.
Zlocini fašistickih okupatora i njihovih
í í

Germans told us that the camp would gradual- pomagaca protiv Jevreja u Jugoslaviji, p. 33, 34.

ly be evacuated, because they intended to im-

prison Communists on the Fair, but they did
not want to tell us where they were going to ta- There were about 17,800 Jews in the oc-
cupied territory of Serbia. Some 14,000
ke us (…) For the first transfers they invited on
were killed. Some 6,320 Serbian Jews perished
volunteers and the first to be invited was the in the camp of Sajmište, in Belgrade. A special
group with which I came – Jews from Kosmet. gas van facility was brought from Germany to
(…) the camp of Sajmište for the occasion. Apart
Those who were designated for transport were from the Sajmište camp, most male Serbian
ordered – more precisely, kindly advised – to Jews met their end, together with Serbs and
take their most valuable possessions with Gypsies, in the massive hostage shooting of
1941 and in the first half of 1942. This criminal
them, and to pack all the rest carefully and put action was organised and performed systema-
their accurate address on the package. (…) tically by the German military (mostly the Weh-
Thus, these transfers departed almost every rmach-German regular Army).
day. On Sundays and holidays there were
usually no transfers / removals, but there were
some days when the car used to make two ? Comment on the behaviour of the driver
of the grey car. Did he know what was
rounds. The driver of the grey car often enter-
happening there?
ed the camp alone, gathered children around

v 4 2 . U n k n o w n g i r l , w a i t i n g f o r d e p o r t a t i o n , n e a r C e l j e i n Sl o v e n i a


III-25. Sufferings of a young Jewish girl from quote only a part of that horrible atmosphere.
Sarajevo So, that was the fascism with all of his cruelty
and mercilessness.
Testimony by Hiba Zildžić-C ehajić Albahari et al. (ed.), p. 495-496.
The horrible events, which have come with the
emergence of war, have definitely shaped the
physiognomy of thousands young people of ? Evaluate Regina’s behaviour. What
Sarajevo, among others this was the case am- would you do if you were in her place?
ong the female youth. I was 16 and attended Was the decision she made an easy one?
the 6th grade of high school. First of all the What is this source telling you about the per-
schools in the city were disbanded and the severance of the human spirit while being
army moved into the school buildings. Lots of surrounded by a very repressive regime?
Jews lived in my neighbourhood. I had one
very close (Jewish) friend, Regina Finci. Her
mother ran a small tobacco shop on Bashchar-
shia’s corner. I have visited them and watched III-26. The anti-Jewish measures in Greece
how they live in fear every day, with every mur-
mur, with every step, in the expectation of be- Notes on the Present Situation of Greek Jewry
ing deported into concentration camp. Their By A.L. Molho
things were already packed. One day they we-
re taken to a concentration camp, but Regina Cairo, October 12, 1943
succeeded in escaping and took shelter in our The anti-Jewish measures and the Quisling
house. Unfortunately, in spite of our induce- Governments
ments to hide her further, she did not have the
strength to live without her family. So, she left (...)The fact remains that up to the month of
to the concentration camp again to share her February of this year the Jews of Greece have
destiny with her family. This persecution of enjoyed, both de jure and de facto, the same
Jewish people and the atmosphere of horror in status as any other Greek citizens. The mea-
their families, which I have directly experien- sures which have been adopted from the
ced, have stayed as one of strongest feelings above date on against the Jews of Salonika
that I carry from that time. Rumours about con- and entire Macedonia originated exclusively
centration camps in Gradishka and Jasenovac from the German occupation authorities. They
and about deportations and the torture of acted, according to their own admission, in
Communists and patriots have penetrated the conformity with very precise orders received
town. There was news about the monstrous by them from high quarters. The Greek
slaughters of Serbian inhabitants in the vil- Authorities have obstinately refused to identify
lages, about the throwing of corpses in holes themselves with these measures. The Ortho-
and abysses, about the burning of villages, dox Church raised its voice against them. (Me-
and later about the Chetnik’s slaughters of the morandum of the Archbishop-Primate of
Muslims around Drina, about rivers of blood, Athens to the German authorities.) The lead-
about refugees without any property in a direc- ers of the political world as well as the profes-
tionless run for their lives. The refugees from sional and popular organisations, have out-
Focha, Rogatica, Vishegrad have begun to right identified themselves with this protest.
arrive in town. The Muslim families have taken The pressure of Greek public opinion has been
in almost insane children without parents. I so mighty that the Quisling Prime Minister, Mr


Ioannis Rallis, has been obliged to declare that sent themselves at Platia Eleftherias in the
he was going to intervene on behalf of the morning of Saturday, July 12, under threat of
Jewish element. It is not known whether he severe penalties in case of non-compliance.
has kept his promise. In any case, it hasn’t ma- This was the first official manifestation of anti-
nifested itself officially. Semitic policy in Thessaloniki since the begin-
ning of the Occupation. […] This congregation
Documents on the History of the Greek Jews, p. 280.
was marked by several instances of abuse
against Jews by German officers and soldiers.
When measures against the Jews were Some of them who were late in coming were
introduced in Greece, a diverse range of brutally beaten with hands, feet and whips.
organisations and institutions, including the One group of German mariners showed
Church, the Athens Police and the Communists, excessive cruelty in such actions. Members of
were both supportive and effective. EAM, the the German military police (F.G.) set their bull-
most powerful of all Greek resistance organisa- dogs against some Israelites who dared to
tions, was the most effective in assisting the smoke or cover their heads from the hot July
Jews in hiding or fleeing and thus surviving. It sun. Others who got tired after waiting for sev-
foiled Nazi designs by destroying the records of
eral hours and sat on the ground were beaten
the Jewish community in Athens and also
helped the rabbi to escape to EAM territory. The
by Gestapo men until they bled. Other
EAM underground press published regular Israelites were made to perform arduous phys-
appeals to the population to assist their Jewish ical exercises, for many hours and threatened
compatriots while the organisation facilitated the with beating if they stopped. Finally, other
passage of Greek Jews to the Middle East as groups of Germans forced Israelites to perform
well as recruiting volunteers into its ranks. The humiliating acts (somersaults) under the gaze
Orthodox Church also helped the Jews by trying of a curious Christian audience. The whole
to stop the deportations. The archbishop show was recorded in photographs taken by
Damaskinos met with the plenipotentiary for the Germans and reporters, which were published
Reich in Greece and lodged a strong complaint
in the Greek press the very next day together
about the measures being taken against the
Jews in Thessaloniki (see doc. I-40).
with typically anti-Israelite descriptions.[…]
Over time there were more instances of arbi-
trary actions against Israelites, such as the
forced expulsion of fifteen shopkeepers (gre-
engrocers, grocers, butchers, etc.) from the
? How did the Greek authorities react to central market of Vas. Irakliou St. and their re-
the measures, which were adopted
against the Jews of Thessaloniki? placement with Christian greengrocers who
were removed from other parts of the town.
This method, which benefited the Christian
III-27. Extract from the memoirs of a Greek shopkeepers, whetted the appetite of other
Jew of Salonique (1941-43) competitors of the Israelites and there was
regular German intervention to expel Israelite
“In the early days of July, 1942 the newspa- shopkeepers from central locations and bring
pers of Thessaloniki published an official an- in Christian businessmen who were either
nouncement by the German Military Command friendly to the Germans or had lavishly bribed
of Thessaloniki & Aegean, in which all male certain well-known intermediaries.”
Israelites aged 18-45 were summoned to pre- Giakoel, p. 57-58, 98-99.


v44. Concentration camp Uštica, 1942

If we analyse the factors that influenced
the number of Jews that survived in the
various Jewish communities in Greece we
should take into account the distance from the
nearest regions under the control of the Resi-
stance and the presence of an effective anti-fas-
cist movement, the degree of assimilation in and
acceptance by society and the capacity and will-
ingness of the local authorities. Most of the
Jews that survived were hellenophones that
lived in the same neighbourhoods as the Greek
Orthodox population. Their degree of assimila-
tion not only made them more difficult to locate,
but also influenced the desire of the rest of the
population to help them. That most of the Greek
Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis dur-
ing WWII came from Thessaloniki, was due not
only to the fact that it was by far the biggest Mataušić, Jasenovac 1941-1945.
Jewish community in Greece (about 50,000 of
the 73,000 Jews of Greece lived in Thessa- A group of women and children in front of
loniki), but can also be attributed to the fact that the House of lamentation (Kuća leleka).
the Jews of Thessaloniki spoke Spanish “Sep-
haradite” (Ladino) and mainly lived in neigh-
bourhoods separate from the Greek Orthodox ? Describe the photo. What feelings are
population. The Jewish population of the city shown on the faces of the prisoners?
was deported mainly to Auschwitz. Only 17% of Explain the name The House of lamentation.
the Jews living in Greece before the war survi-
ved the Nazis.
III-28. Rozalija Kremer’s letter to Paveli cć´ ’s
office, October 20, 1941
What is your opinion of the behaviour of
? the Christian greengrocers who took “I am the mother of a 17 year old girl Bela,
over ex Jewish owned shops? called Beluska. My daughter was arrested July
1, 1941, without any reason, i.e. with other ar-
rests of Jews from Kustosija where we have a
v43. Belgrade concentration camp at Ban - small grocery store. My daughter stayed a few
jica days at the police in Petrinjska street where I
was bringing here food.
One day when I brought food there, they told
me that they couldn’t take it as she wasn’t at
their police any more. Since that moment I
haven’t been able to find out where she is, she
disappeared without trace.
As much as I know she is not in any of camps,
at least I couldn’t find out otherwise, so I am
beginning to have doubts whether she is still
It should be pointed out that my daughter was
Zlocini fašistickih okupatora, p. 211.
í í

never engaged in politics, she has been living


with me in Kustosija since her childhood and v45. The front page of a catalogue of the
she has been helping me in the store. My a n ti - J e w i s h e x h i b i ti o n i n Z a g r e b , 1 9 4 2
daughter was young and very good girl so
everybody in Kustosija loved her because she
was kind to people, always smiling and ready
to help.
I am asking you to inform me what happened to
my daughter, if she is alive and if in a camp, to
tell me which one so that I could send her warm
clothes because she can’t spend the winter in
that light dress she had on when she left.
I must also tell you that my husband had a
stroke and besides Beluska we have two quite
small children who give me a lot of work and
worry, so it’s impossible to manage all the work
by myself and my elder daughter was my only
Goldstein, p. 365-366.

When this letter was written Bela had already

been killed.

? How does Mrs Rozalija explain her Translation: Exhibition about the evolu-
demand? Why doesn’t she say directly tion of Judaism and its destructive work
that a great injustice was done; i.e., a in Croatia before April, 10, 1941. Solution of the
crime? Do you think that in some cases the Jewish question in NDH (ISC).
victims themselves may have started to
accept such a criminal reality as something ? Describe the illustration and its meaning.
normal? The same question stands for Was such an anti-Jewish exhibition held
those who committed crimes as well as for in your country? Can you imagine what it
the silent majority. might have looked like?

CHAPTER IV: Human solidarity

This chapter aims to insert a glimpse of optimism into the gloomy matters of war and demonstrate
that even the most tragic episodes in the history of mankind were not deprived of some humanity,
that in the most chaotic war circumstances there were people ready to help, sometimes taking risks
and putting their own safety and lives in danger.
Furthermore, this chapter contains several sources which deal with unusual, unexpected
behaviour during everyday life in war time. These sources illustrate situations which were not unam-
biguous from a moral point of view: they were not always clear, and it is precisely because of this,
that they give us the opportunity for analysis and discussion (for example: IV-1 and IV-2). A useful
approach to this is to encourage the method of identifying with the people involved, e.g. if the stu-
dents play the roles of the real people in the actual situations and try to predict their behaviour and
understand their feelings in the situation described.

IV-1. Partisan-Ustasha conversation ‘Are you hurt?’ asks the Ustasha with con-
‘Why are you wasting my ammunition, No, I’m not’, replies Svrabo.
you son of an Ustasha bitch!’ ‘Why are you shooting at him, mother-
Namely, he regards Ustasha ammunition as fucker, can’t you see that I’m talking to the
already his and he regrets each bullet wasted. man’, yells the Ustasha at the one who inter-
‘Come and get it, don’t be afraid, you rupted their conversation. (...)
mother-fucker!’, replies the Ustasha. ‘If I caught him, I would let him go, I swear!’
But it’s only an introduction into further sub- declares Svrabo generously. But in that state-
stantial conversation which has a mainly “polit- ment of his there was not a grain of truth. Pigs
ical” character. (...) The Ustasha doesn’t might fly before Svrabo would let an Ustasha
believe that Partisans exist, he thinks we’re all go.”
Chetniks. Chetniks and outlaws, they are all Šibl 2, p. 203-204.
the same, they all fight against the Croats to
the benefit of Serbs and Jews. He (the In quite a number of passages Ivan Šibl
describes abrupt and unplanned expres-
Ustasha) asked Svrabo to curse the king Petar
sion of respect among members of the warring
and queen Marija in order to prove that he armies fighting in Croatia. Violent fights took
wasn’t a Chetnik. Svrabo filled his wish with place in Slavonia at the beginnings of 1943. At
greatest delight, but he immediately asked the their bases near Voćin, the enemies (in this
Ustasha to curse Pavelić. (...) And just at the instance, the Partisans and the Ustashas) were
moment when the Ustasha remained speech- about 60 metres away by air, so that soldiers of
less as he neither wanted nor could curse the two armies could communicate with no
Pavelić, and when he started speaking again, problems. Šibl’s Partisan comrade, Milan
some provoker fired from the machine-gun. He Svrabić-Svrabo, often talked to one of the
didn’t hit him but he interrupted his words and Ustashas. This is one of their conversations,
started by a shot heard from the Ustasha side.
Svrabo withdrew himself into shelter.


? In your opinion, were such conversa- ? This poster is trying to promote help for
tions, common on other battlefields, orphans. What events were the main
and in other wars, or was this just a freak cause of the existence of orphans? Did the
occurrence of bored soldiers having fun? politicians take any measures to address
Do you approve of such conversations? the causes?
What do you think about the sympathy that
arose between the two soldiers? Are they
sincere? How far does that sympathy go? IV-2. Celebrating a name-day in the concen -
Do you think that those two soldiers would tration camp
actually be prepared to do something in
order to save the other’s life? Is Šibl right “A couple of days before it, The Boss (of the
when, in his final commentary, he claims camp) incidentally told the cooks: ‘We will just
that something like this is impossible? see what he will prepare for his name-day.’ It
was up to me to turn out to be a ‘man’ or an
‘old dodderer’. (...)
v46. Romanian newspaper poster: Help or - I cleaned up my cell, cleared up the table,
phans tidied up the space by the window, put some
box cardboard and wood splinters into the
stove and borrowed some glasses from the
kitchen – if I only put Pavelićs picture on, the
cell would become the room where distin-
guished person could be received. (...) I agree
with Gaon that he would come after the special
guests left so that we could talk freely over
drink. Those bastards would never sit at the
table with him as he is a Jew. (...)
About ten o’clock the door opened and four of
them entered with the ensign at the head.
- Spremni! (Readily! – Ustasha salutation)
My congratulations, doctor!
- Thank you my dear Ante, my loving per-
son, I am as glad as if Sultan himself came!
(....) It’s nice of you to come! It would be a
poor name-day celebration without such great
men! (...)
I poured wine into glasses, we toasted, all in a
strict Croatian manner. God help us that we
meet in Zagreb next year, that we get drunk as
lords and then drive from one inn to another.
- Doctor, you like spending nights out and
drinking, don’t’ you?
- And who doesn’t? The worst man is one
who is stingy with money. So far as there is
money, spend it, enjoy yourself, fool around!
«Universul», no. 249, 12 September 1943. My lord, I’ll never forget that you came. We
must meet again next year and if possible not


in this house. We’ll hire a Gipsy, he will sing

and play – you always drink better when ? Do you find the behaviour of the ‘prison
there’s music and singing. staff’ unusual and unexpected? Did
- Where are Gipsies, you devil? There are they, in your opinion, behave in the same
no more Gipsies – said The Boss smiling. way with other prisoners? Why did Jakov-
- What? You haven’t killed off the musicia- ljević have some privileges in the camp?
ns, too, have you? I can’t agree to that. Irre- What do you think about the ‘casual conver-
placeable people should be saved – who will sation’ held between the prisoner and his
replace a Gipsy musician?” guests? The points of view which were nor-
So the conversation turned to topic of mal to the Ustashas, horrified Jakovljević –
genocide. but he couldn’t show it. What do you think
“- Why did Gipsies bother you?– (asked about his behaviour? What would you have
Jakovljević his guests) – they really are no po- done in his place?
- Why should we need Gipsies? –
(answered one of the guests) – They neither IV-3. Memoir of the intellectuals addressed to
work nor serve army. If you really want to I. Antonescu (April 1944)
know, I would rather keep alive a Vlach (a
Serbian, in this case). At least he ploughs and At this moment, when a terrible disaster threat-
works in the field... If we decline them in num- ens our people, we, the members of the Ro-
ber, they won’t be of any danger.” manian Academy and the professors at the
Then Jakovljević, as a man of literature, recit- Universities Bucharest, Iaþi and Cluj, witness-
ed poetry to his guests. At the same time noise es of the people’s exodus and of the devasta-
could be heard from the cellar: Ustashas were tion of Romanian villages and cities, transfor-
torturing one of the prisoners. med into battlefields, after a long considera-
“I had to control myself, not to choke. While tion, have decided to address you through this
I was repeating the poet’s sighs for freedom, I appeal.
was deprived of it, and in the name of that In the present circumstances, our silence
same freedom, another crime was committed would be crime. We have the duty to speak our
at that very moment. (...) I had to pretend, to honest thoughts in front of the leader of the
make myself look stupid as if I didn’t know what state: we must put an end at once to our war
with Russia, Great Britain and the United
was going on in the room down bellow.
Jakovljević, p. 173-179.
States …

The aforementioned Ilija Jakovljević, a Mr. Marshall.

prisoner in Stara Gradiška, had a special The bombing of the Capital, the destruction of
status in the camp. As the pre-war Croatian other cities, the warnings received from
patriot who had “stepped out of line a bit” but no- London, Washington and Moscow, Moldavia’s
netheless might join the Ustashas in the future, transformation into a battle scene are all signs
he enjoyed privileges from his prison guards. for an imminent disaster. The Romanian peo-
Despite this, he could, nevertheless have fallen
ple, exhausted of a war too long for its capac-
out of favour at anytime and would have been
executed on the spot – as many others were. ities, cannot fight any longer. Get down to the
For this reason, he had to maintain a simulated streets and ask the passers-by, go to villages
friendship with the guards and the camp admin- and cities, listen to the voice of the people.
istration. On this occasion he found himself in Everywhere you will see the despair in the
the position that he had to invite the entire camp people’s eyes and the same answer: NO.
administration into his cell – to celebrate his What should we fight for? The vital interests of
the State and of our people require the imme-


diate ending of the war, no matter how hard […] The possibility of these Greek citizens,
this thing might be. The sacrifice Romania who have lived on Greek land from time imme-
should make will be much smaller and less morial, being removed from their country and
painful than the war’s continuation. resettled in unknown regions fills both the Gre-
Scurtu et al., p. 439–440. ek government and every Greek heart with
The Israelites of old Greece (i.e. of Greece as
The prevalent toleration politics of the po-
it was before the Balkan wars) are fully inte-
litical opposition motivated numerous po-
litical, cultural and other personalities to address
grated, linguistically and historically, with the
protests to the leader of the state, by means of local population and have produced poets who
which they manifested their discontent with the stand out for their Greek spirit.
politics lead by the government. These actions As lawful citizens they have always fought for
were, in general, not followed by repression. Greece in all cases, and many of them distin-
guished themselves in the battlefields.
Their diligence, ability and sense of duty have
? What is the social status of the authors helped them to excel as civil servants, particu-
of this memoir? What is the position of larly as judges and military men. They have
these authors on the main political prob- always handled successfully the difficult affairs
lems in Romania in 1944? Is this position of the state and fought dutifully to promote the
solely that of the authors’? Did the authors interests of the country.
take any risks by writing this letter? The Greek Church has always offered its pro-
tection to the Israelite community in Greece
and inspired the Greek people with a spirit of
tolerance and magnanimity in matters of faith.
IV-4. Extract from a letter by the president of The Israelite community of old Greece consti-
the Greek ministers (7/10/43) to the German tutes a negligible minority with no political or
authorities cultural power whatsoever.
[…] The enforcement of such measures
“THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CABINET against Greek Israelites in old Greece would
Ref. no. E 312 1/10 CONFIDENTIAL hurt the sentiments of a people whose soul
has absorbed the great traditions of the Greek
To H.E. the Reich’s representative in Greece spirit…”
Dr. G.A. Altenburg Enepekidis, p. 50-51.
Athens, October 7, 1943.
Your Excellency,
The police commander for the SS in Greece
has issued an order for all Greek citizens of the ? How did the president of Greek minis-
Israelitic persuasion to present themselves for ters explain his demand? Why didn’t he
registration. The news of this order gives to me say directly that the holocaust was great
the impression that the measures taken by the injustice and crime? Did he take any risks
Military Command in Thessaloniki against by writing this letter? What would you have
Jews are to be repeated here against Greek done in the president’s position?
citizens of Jewish descent.


IV-5. G. Enescu55 trying to protect the Gypsies

? Is there a similar document from your
November 7, 1942 country? If you were one of the Bulga-
NOTE rian barbers of that time, would you have
I was informed that, on behalf of the Gypsy signed their memorandum?
musicians, George Enescu himself intervened
with Marshall Antonescu, saying that he would
also go if he would take his musicians to the
IV-7. Turkish help and support to Greece
Minoritati etnoculturale. Marturii documentare. Tiganii din
Romania (1919–1944), doc. 281. Thanks from Greece
I will mention below the translations of letters
of thanks which I received, due to my efforts
? In your opinion, why did Enescu inter- and attempts of the commission organised un-
vene in favour of Gypsies? Can you
guess his reasons for doing so? der my presidency in our Ministry to send food
support to the people of Greece and the Aege-
an Islands who have been forced into situation
IV-6. Memorandum of a group of Bulgarian of hunger under occupation during the Second
barbers and hairdressers to the Ministers con - World War:
cerning the Bill for the Protection of the Nation
Letter from President of Municipality of Athens:
11 November 1940. “I kindly request your acceptance of this album
Dear Sirs, of Athens city. I present it as a little gift for your
Today, when we are living through these wor- various services given in the terrible times of
rying days which demand the union of the the history of Greece and to the people of Gre-
whole Bulgarian nation, some decisions ece”.
against the Jews are taken, which are not only
against the will of the Bulgarian people, but are Letter from Governor of Chios:
also pernicious to them. This is the decision for “I have been informed with happiness from Mr.
passing the Bill for the Protection of the Nation. Courvoisier, a Representative of the Red Cros-
We do not know if you will listen to our just s and a good friend of our country, about all of
voice, which originates in the class that had the details of your help to send flour to the Red
given the most assets and victims for the wel- Cross of Chios.
fare of our people. Today, together with our fel- As Governor of this region, please let me ex-
low-citizen Jews we are working and if the time press my excitement and thanks due to your
comes - we are going to die together at the kind help for the suffering people of this small
front lines, as did our and their fathers. We Chios Island.
cannot see anything wrong in them, but you Also, I kindly request that you will accept the
want to tear them from our body by depriving thanks of all Greece and the Government of
them of all their rights. If the aim is to perse- Greece for sending support from neighbouring
cute the Jewish profiteers, you should perse- coasts to our own coasts.
cute ours as well. We become worked up when we see Lion (Ar-
The Struggle of the Bulgarian People, p. 49. slan) the boat with the Turkish National Flag
coming into our harbour.

George Enescu (1881-1955) was the greatest Romanian musician and one of the most prodigiously gifted musi-
cians of the twentieth century: a great violinist and composer, a distinguished conductor, an accomplished pianist, able
cellist and a famous violin teacher.


During their historical life, both of our nations groaning people. Sorrow and anger drove
have lived together for years. We have everything else from my mind. (...)
retained a close friendship and we honour me- When the Gestapo officer in charge of the train
mories of your nation from this cooperation. station heard that I was there, he came to me
Because the Turkish Nation, in the war and and in a very cross manner asked me what I
peace times, in every meeting with us, has was looking for. With as much courtesy as I
always kept us as its brother, friend and have could force myself to summon, I told him that
course loved relative. Within this cruel and ter- these people were Turkish citizens, that their
rible deprivation period being passed through, arrest had been a mistake, and that it should
with that you give us your hand; you confirm be remedied at once by their release. The
our opinion about noble Turkish Nation. Gestapo officer said that he was carrying out
I kindly request your acceptance of this little his orders, and that these people were not
Chios gift, which I present to you through the Turks but were just Jews. Seeing that I would
agency of Mr. Courvoisier”. get nowhere by making threats which could
Erkin, p. 130-31. not be carried out if they were not fulfilled, I
returned to Sidi Iscan and said, ‘Come on, lets
Erkin was a member of the Turkish Forei- board the train ourselves’, and pushing aside
gn Ministry during WWII. In this first hand
the German soldier who tried to block my way,
account he outlines the Turkish help and support
that was given to various parts of Greece, includ-
I boarded one of the wagons with Sidi Iscan
ing its Aegean Islands who were suffering from beside me. This time it was the turn of the
food shortage. These are some letters of thanks Gestapo officer to cry and even plead. I could-
and gratitude from the Greek authorities. n’t listen to anything he said, and amidst the
crying glances of the Gestapo officer, the train
began to move. Since it was a long time ago, I
? What do you know about the history of cannot remember too well, but I remember that
Greek-Turkish relations? Do these the train came to a stop when we came either
sources confirm the stereotype about to Arles or Nimes. A number of German offi-
hatred between the two nations? cers climbed onto the car and immediately
came to my side. I received them very coldly
and did not even greet them. They told me that
IV-8. Testimony of retired ambassador Necdet there had been a mistake, the train had left
Kent regarding his rescue of Jewish Turks in after I had boarded, the persons responsible
Marseilles, France would be punished, as soon as I left the train I
could return to Marseilles on a car that would
One evening, a Turkish Jew from Izmir named be assigned to me. I told them that it was not
Sidi Iscan, who worked at the Consulate as a a mistake, that more than eighty Turkish citi-
clerk and translator, came to my house in a zens had been loaded onto this cattle wagon
state of considerable excitement. He told me because they were Jews, that as a citizen of a
that the Germans had gathered up about nation as well as the representative of a gov-
eighty Jews and had taken them to the railroad ernment which felt that religious beliefs should
station with the intention of loading them onto not be the reason for such treatment, there
cattle wagons for shipment to Germany. (...) I could be no question of my leaving them
immediately tried to calm him and then took alone, and that was why I was there. The offi-
the fastest vehicle available to the Saint cers said they would correct whatever mis-
Charles railroad station in Marseilles. The takes had been made and asked if all those in
scene there was unbelievable. I came to cattle the wagon were Turkish citizens. All the people
wagons, which were filled with sobbing and around me, women, men, and children, stood


petrified while they watched this game being or a lover. But what was she waiting for there
played for their lives. Most likely because of at the corner? Perhaps she was also hungry
my refusal to compromise, as well as an order and she wanted a piece of bread, too?
received by the Nazi officers, we all descend- Suddenly, as if she had decided not to pay
ed from the train together. (...) I will never for- attention to any obstacles, the woman started
get what followed. The people who had been for the fence. Several boys from our company
saved threw their arms around our necks and were standing in the yard near the metal fence.
shook our hands, with expressions of gratitude The woman went near them and I could hear
in their eyes. (...) her timid words:
Shaw, p. 342-344. ‘Kirie (Sir), bread...’
She was almost ready to start crying and our
? Comment on the ambassador’s han- boys realised that. One of them reached into
dling of the situation. Did he put his life his bag and gave her a loaf of soldier’s bread.
in danger while trying to save these people? This loaf was probably meant to be sold at the
What would you have done if you were in black market, where one could get everything
his place? for bread: from the devalued Greek drachmas
to rings and bracelets.
The woman was already leaving, when a com-
IV-9. From a diary of a Bulgarian soldier in
manding voice made her stop:
West Thrace, a Greek region under Bulgarian
‘Achtung! Halt!’
occupation Dobri56 and Elena Djurov, p.159-160.

23 May 1941. We went to Ksanty (Xanthi) to

take part in the parade.
? Can you anticipate how this event ended?
The situation here was the same as in
Gyumyurdjina (Komotini). Wherever there is a IV-10. Stoyan Petrov-Chomakov, Bulgarian
soldiers’ camp there are always children, old minister plenipotentiary in Bucharest, tells a
men and women coming with their plates in fu n n y a n d to u c h i n g s to r y a b o u t th e r e l a ti o n s
hand. Our food is neither much, nor various, b e tw e e n R o m a n i a n s o l d i e r s , R u s s i a n p r i s o n -
but we can always give something away from ers of war and the Bulgarian community in Ro -
the beans or the soldiers’ soup to feed the hun- mania during World War II
gry people.
At noon many children gathered around the Several months after Romania had entered
warehouse. Today’s lunch was special, there the war, the number of people presenting at
was a second helping for the hungry ones, and the divine service at the church suddenly
many soldiers gave their food to the children. increased one Sunday, when a group of Rus-
I went upstairs to the second floor of the ware- sian prisoners-of-war came guarded by a Ro-
house and opened the window. My eyes stop- manian soldier. He was, as he should be, car-
ped on a young woman, maybe a girl, dressed rying a gun with the bayonet stuck into it. […]
all in black. She was standing at the nearby He had propped up his gun to a tree, and, as it
corner looking at the children, who were walk- was common for all soldiers, was trying to
ing carefully, so that not to splash the soup draw the attention of a housemaid, who was
they were carrying in their dishes. obviously taking quite a long time on a nearby
I could easily guess why this woman was balcony to beat out the dust of a carpet. Per-
dressed all in black. Surely, someone dear had haps he was pleased with the way his advan-
died in the war, a father, a brother, a husband ces were going and assessed the chances for

Djurov, Dobri (1916-2002) - commander of a guerrilla brigade, army general, minister of defence.


a final success as quite good, because instead Germans had issued an order to the effect that
of gathering the prisoners under his guard and any Jews caught in hiding would be executed
taking them back to their camp, he let them while those who sheltered them would be sent
mix with the congregation and talk to them. to concentration camps.
Soon it became clear that there were good Then one of us said that it was not proper to
common feelings and, as a result, the people keep staying at that house and endanger the
started raising money for the prisoners-of-war life and peace of aged people, even women.
and they also gave them a considerable The answer was: “No, you must stay. Why
amount of cigarettes. Obviously, the meeting would our lives be more valuable than yours,
was successful for all the participants, includ- my son?’”
ing the soldier and the girl, because the follow- Mazower, p. 287-288.
ing Sunday twice as many prisoners came to
church. The same soldier led them, but this ? Is there a similar example from your
time he had put a new uniform and was country? What would you do in such a
smoothly shaved. The girl had also put on a situation?
new blouse and was carefully brushing some
clothes on the same balcony. Once again
money was raised for the poor prisoners-of- v47. Jewish Turks standing in front of the
war before they were taken away by their Turkish consulate-general in Paris in 1943 to
guard, who nearly forgot his gun, because he get passports and visas to enable them to re -
was busy sending farewell kisses to the blush- turn to Turkey
ing girl. […]
Finally, it became clear that our visitors would
soon start coming in platoons, companies, or
even battalions. The Board of the churchwar-
dens unfortunately had to ask the Romanian
authorities to restrict the number of the new
churchgoers to no more than twenty, and only
half of them could be smokers.
Petrov-Chomakov, p. 346-347.

? Why doesn’t the war change ordinary

human feelings? Does nationality play
any role in this event?

IV-11. A Greek Jew describes the help provid -

ed to him and his family by Orthodox Greeks
during the German occupation

“Despite the threat of imprisonment, many

non-Jews hid their Jewish friends in their
apartments or helped them to flee. Alfred
Cohen, an Athenian lawyer, records the spon-
taneous support from friends and neighbours:
‘I shall never forget the terror we felt one night,
while I had hidden my large family at one of
those houses, when it was announced that the The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic.


IV-12. Romanian official’s humane treatment wards us. We were accommodated in houses,
of Jews were given food, women washed and repaired
our laundry, and when after some days we re-
“I am first sergeant Prisa caru Gheorghe, chief ceived the order to leave Bogdana, the sorrow

of the Ba cani section which also includes the was general. The people walked us till B a cani,


region you are in at present, and on behalf of the destination village, and carried our luggage
this section I tell you - welcome! I know the tur- with their wagons without wanting to receive
moil tormenting your souls and the pain in your any payment for these services”.
hearts, when thinking that you are apart, in Istoria României în texte, p. 339–340.
these times of war, from those you love, I know
all your suffering. And I advise you not to be This excerpt shows that the Jews’ depor-
discouraged, because actually, no matter how tation, in the context of the anti-Semitic
we pray, we all share the same God and nobo- policies put in place by the Antonescu govern-
ment57 did not necessarily result in the dissipa-
dy asked us if we wanted to be born Roma- tion of human feelings in some officials, cadres
nians, Jews, Turks or Bulgarians. We are all of the army or of the Gendarmerie. There are
human beings and I want you to be sure of the numerous examples of officials who demon-
fact that these times will pass and the mad- strated humane behaviour towards those affect-
ness that is now in the people’s minds will also ed by the policies of the Romanian state. A
group of Jews was gathered in the courtyard of
pass as well. You will all return to your homes the police station and taken away from Huþi.
and families and will think of these days as After three days of walking they arrived in the
unpleasant things to remember. I will take district of Tutova (June 20th-21st 1941) where
measures for you to be accommodated by the they were presented to the Chief of the
people in the village, because you couldn’t Gendarmes Section who addressed them with
possibly sleep on the ground and I will also this speech.
take measures for the time you will stay in my
section’s territory to be able to keep a connec-
? Did Gheorghe Pris acaru take any risks
tion with those back home. [...]” when helping the deported Jews?
After this unexpected speech, he listened What could have happened to him if his
carefully to all our discontent and, encouraged superiors had found out what he did? How
by such behaviour, I told him directly all my dis- would you have behaved in his place? Do
content, among other things, I told him about you think he could have done more?
the inhuman behaviour of the police in Huþi,
which, for justifying God only knows what kind
of activities, qualified 12 of us as being “Com- IV-13. Bulgarian diplomat, Ivan D. Stanchov,
munist suspects” and given the habits of that tells of how a German officer saved him from
time, one would know what those were to be the Gestapo in Bulgaria
expecting. He promised me that after staying
2-3 weeks in his section, this categorisation At dawn an unexpected visitor awakened me:
would disappear. a burly landing-troops German officer. He
It is to be understood that this wonderful saluted and said that ‘Herr major’ had sent him
behaviour immediately produced its expected to me with the following information: ‘You must
effect, and both the authorities, and the inhab- leave Sofia immediately. The Brown ones -
itants of Bogdana acted as real brothers to- that were how the people of Gestapo were
The Antonescu government deported the Jews, mostly from Bessarabia and Bukovina, over the Nister (outside of
inter-war Romanian territory), where it organised several deportation camps. In September 1942, the government start-
ed bringing the deported Jewish population back, and in the following period of time, it tried to support their emigration to
Palestine. General Antonescu considered that the Jewish population had to be eliminated from Romanian territory, but
this didn’t necessarily include the physical extermination; therefore, emigration was considered to be a proper solution.


called because of their brown uniforms - are on

their way to arrest you.’ I asked him why his This illegal medical service inside the Lib-
‘major’, who, I knew, was the resident of the eration Front - probably the most huma-
military intelligence in Bulgaria, was so worried nitarian mission during the war - was very well
organised, despite extremely hard conditions. In
about me.
January 1945 it had 281 secret hospitals and 6
‘Weil Sie doch ein Offizier und ein Herr sind!’ legal (another 62 under construction) hospitals,
(Because you are an officer and a gentleman!) with 2,260 beds all together. During the war
- Answered the man, saluted sprightly and dis- 11,321 wounded and ill people were under the
appeared. medical care of thirty doctors, 652 nurses and
I caught the first train to Varna, and while trav- other members of staff; 19 doctors lost their
elling I was thinking about the chance we had lives.
that there was such hostility between the
Wermacht and the Nazis... Later the doorman
told me that an hour after I had left, ‘a group of IV-14. Alfonz Baron, a commissioner for the
Germans’ had come to look for me. candy and chocolate factory ‘Union’, to the
Stanchov, p. 172.
U s ta s h a p o l i c e h e a d q u a r te r s , J u l y 9 , 1 9 4 1
? Is it necessary and correct to always
equate “German” with “enemy”? Why “Draga Gerber from 7/III Ivkanceva street, a
did some Germans operate against other Jew, was taken away today. The stated Draga
Germans? What argument did the German Gerber is cashier in this firm. She was given
officer have for helping Ivan D. Stanchov? notice and one of this days she was supposed
to hand over the cash-office to the clerk who is
about to come back to work from her leave,
v48. Secret Partisan hospital ‘Franja’, near and then she would have to leave the firm. As
Cerkno in Slovenia Draga Gerber was taken away from her flat
after our working hours, she didn’t have time to
hand in the keys of the cash-office, neither she
could settle accounts. There’s a risk that the
keys might get lost and we’ll be in trouble if we
can’t open our cash-desk tomorrow when peo-
ple come. Therefore we’re asking you to
enable Draga Gerber to hand in the keys of the
cash-desk to our firm as soon as possible.”
Goldstein, p. 370.

? What did Baron want to achieve by

writing and sending this letter? Did Ba-
ron, in your opinion, really want the prison-
er to be released for the stated reason?
Was it maybe a trick (or just an attempt)
with regard to the fact that the ISC authori-
ties would not even consider any other rea-
sons? Why does Baron write about the pris-
oner whom he wants to be released (at
least temporarily) with contempt?


v49. Letter from an anonymous Belgrader

This is the letter to the German military
to the German military commander in Serbia
commander in Serbia, general Heinrich
Dankelmann, on the occasion of the hanging of
hostages on the Terazije, central Belgrade
square, on 17 August 1941, with a warning that
he and his assistants would eventually meet the
same fate.

? Would you say that this letter is an act

of heroism? Explain your position.

Istorijski Arhiv Beograda, Uprava Grada Beograda [Historical

Archive of Belgrade, Belgrade City Administration], SP III-48,
k 157/15, 25th September 1941.

? Overall questions on chapter IV

Is, in your opinion, humanism and solidarity some kind of a privilege of isolated generous
and brave individuals or everyone is capable of it? Is it possible that the same person could act
like a war criminal in one situation and as a generous humanitarian in another? Explain your
position. Bearing in mind that people often have a need to be seen as better persons than they
actually are, how reliable are some of the sources (memoirs)?

CHAPTER V: Consequences

WWII, as the largest conflict in the history of mankind, left behind numerous deep and indelible
imprints. The goal of this chapter is to bring some of the consequences of war closer through the
following sources – starting from the number of wounded and killed, through forced migrations of
population during and after the war, to the signs of political changes in the majority of countries in
this area.
Due to the restrictions of space, some war consequences are only marginally noted or even not
mentioned at all. This is the case with regard to: the changes in the ethnic structure of the popula-
tion, war destruction and post-war rebuilding, collaborators’ punishments after the war, political
changes after the war and the case of the civil war in Greece.

Va. War losses, war victims

V-1. Enver Hoxha at the peace conference in v50. 17 November 1944
Paris about the casualties and material dam -
age in Albania

“The sacrifices of our people were very great.

Out of a population of one million, 28,000
were killed. 12,600 wounded, 10,000 were
made political prisoners in Italy and Germany,
and 35,000 made to do forced labour; of the
2,500 towns and villages of Albania, 850 were
ruined or razed to the ground; all the commu-
nications, all the ports, miners and electric
power installations were destroyed, our agri-
culture and livestock were plundered, and our
entire national economy was wrecked. On the
other side, the enemy suffered these losses:
53,639 Italians and Germans were killed,
wounded or taken prisoner, about 100 tanks
and armoured cars knocked out, 1,334 artil-
lery pieces and mortars, 1,934 trucks and
2,855 machine-guns captured or destroyed
not to mention the rifles, munitions, and stores Epopeja e Luftës Antifashiste Nacionalçlirimtare e Popullit
destroyed or captured.” Shqiptar, 1939-1944.
O’Donnel, p.13.
This painting by Bukurosh Sejdini commem-
? Is this source completely reliable? orates and shows aspects from the libera-
Explain your position. tion of the Albanian capital, Tirana, by the Partisans.


1 . T h e n u m b e r o f p e o p l e k i l l e d i n Yu g o s l a v i a , a r r a n g e d b y n a t i o n a l i t y

Nationality Kocović (1985) Žerjavić (1989)


Serbs 487.000 530.000

Montenegrins 50.000 20.000
Croats 207.000 192.000
Muslims 86.000 103.000
Slovenians 32.000 42.000
Macedonians 7.000 6.000
Others 145.000 134.000
Total 1,014.000 1,027.000
Žerjavić, p. 14, 57.

The first estimate of the number of the vic- number is entitled victims, which has been taken
tims of WWII in Yugoslavia is the one which to mean killed in war.
appeared in the report of the Reparations board of The table is based on the more recent estimates
the Yugoslav government. The author of this esti- of Bogoljub Koc ović and Vladimir Žerjavić (one

mate, a maths student (!) Vladeta Vucković was Serbian and one Croatian author). The accuracy

given a time limit of two weeks for the execution of these figures is still being examined. For exam-
and completion of such a difficult task, together ple, the Slovenian Institute for Contemporary Hi-
with the instruction that “the number must be out- story is in the middle of a research project which
standing and scientifically – statistically founded”. already shows that the estimate with regard to
His estimate of the demographic loss (which Slovenian victims is too low. The authors (T. To-
included those killed in the war, the decline of the minšek, M. Šorn and D. Dubaja) have already id-
birth-rate caused by war and emigration) was 1,7 entified names of 87,000 victims and their resear-
million, but in his final review of the script that ch is to be finished in 2006.

2. Greece’s losses during WWII

Losses Pre-war figures % Lost

Human Losses
Deaths (1940-1944) 475,000 7,335,000 6.5
Material Losses
Labour animals 855,000 2,005,000 42.6
Sheep, pigs, poultry 12,305,000 24,840,000 49.5
Forests 5,000 km2 19,180 km2 25.0
Vehicles (passenger, trucks, buses) 11,300 17,200 65.7
Road bridges (over 6m long) 90.0
Railway rolling stock (engines, carriages, etc.) 6,080 6,502 93.5
Railway bridges (over 10m long) 96 96 100.0
Buildings 401,000 1,730,000 23.2
Merchant ships (until April 1945) 434 583 74.5

“Aé èõóßáé ôçò ÅëëÜäïò óôï Äåýôåñï Ðáãêüóìéï Ðüëåìï”,

Ministry of Reconstruction, Athens 1946 (Istoria, vol.16, p. 63).


3. Greek merchant shipping losses during WWII*

Greek fleet Greek vessels Persentage

on 1/9/1939 lost by 2/9/1945 Loss
Gross Gross
Tonnage Tonnage
Cargo Vessels 500 1,766,352
Passenger Vessels 55 49,995
Ocean Cruiser 1 16,690
Various 21 3,997
Total 577 1,837.034 432 1,346,520 74.8% 73.3%
Sail & Petrol Driven Vessels 713 55,057 551 52,634 77.3% 95.4%
Overall Total 1,290 1,892,091 983 1,399,1545

At the beginning of the war, the Greek merchant navy lost the highest percentage of its
merchant fleet was the ninth largest in gross tonnage of any major flag: Great Britain
the world, so its full involvement on the Allied followed with 54% of gross tonnage lost during
side from the beginning of the war (even before the conflict.
28/x/1940) was an important factor. The Greek

Vb. Migration during and after the war

V-2. Fragment from the report by a federal offi - reliable barrier against the ever tumultuous
cial of the ministry of the interior of Germany to Balkans, the local population has to be freed of
the head of the civil administration of Lower every substance which either racially or beha-
Styria dated May 30, 1941 about the mass viourally sabotages Germanisation. The task
evictions of the Slovenians58 of the Styrian Patriotic Association can only
succeed if the ground is accordingly cleansed.
The most difficult problem to be solved within Therefore a deportation (removal) of the popu-
Lower Styria is to cleanse the lower Styrian lation is planned, which will be carried out in
national body from the foreign Slav element, four stages and in a way which has proved
which cannot be submitted to the Germanising successful in similar activities in other
process. If the re-Germanisation of Lower regained territories of the Reich (especially in
Styria is to succeed at all, and this south-east- the east).
ern end of the German Reich is to become a The historical suppositions for such measures

* Data compiled by Christos E. Ntounias.

Germany, between both world wars, considered Slovenian territory to be German and after occupation they wanted
to formally annex it to Germany as the south border of the Reich. This should have been done in six months (up to the
end of 1941). Slovenians should have been deported or Germanised and the country inhabited by Germans.


are more than evident. A clear view of the actu- 3. For the purpose of replacing Slovenian pop-
al need for this action has to leave aside the all ulation with the Italian, the following has to be
too human emotions also characteristic of the determined:
German nature, especially when considering a. Where Slovenian population should be mo-
the merciless destructive confrontations the ved;
German nationality was exposed to here in the b. Where suitable Italian population should
Lower Styria by those who now have to leave. be found in which case it has to be consid-
The deportations to Serbia and partially to ered, that the people from the northern and
Croatia will be carried out in trains containing the central areas are the most appropriate
about 1000 persons. The time of its beginning ones to be settled in Slovenian territories;
and its duration (for the time being one or two c. If the area along the border is to be com-
trains daily are planned) have not been deter- pletely Italianised, its width is to be deter-
mined yet. mined (20 to 30 km);
Ferenc, p. 43. d. If the entire Slovenian population is to be
moved, the process should be started in the
areas along the border, where Slovenians
? What is the aim of the planned deporta- live under Italy.
tion (removal) of the population? What It is my opinion that a complete or even a par-
were the consequences of this plan? tial relocation of the Slovenian population
would hardly be possible during the war.
Ferenc, p. 73-74.

V-3. Report by the high commissioner for the

p r o v i n c e o f L j u b l j a n a , Au g u s t 2 4 , 1 9 4 2 o n a
programme of activities in the region
While the Italian’s “soft” occupational pol-
icy was unsuccessful, the military and ci-
Regarding the confidential document No vil authorities, following the instructions of
1362/2, dated August 16, I allow myself to give Mussolini, took the same measures as the Ger-
an outline of the programmes of activities I in- mans in their occupational zone: i.e. the shoot-
ing of hostages and mass executions of captu-
tend to carry out in this province. (...)
red Partisans, illegal activists of the Liberation
1, The problem of the Slovenian population Front, inhabitants of places suspected of alle-
could be solved in three ways: giance to the liberation movement but also com-
a. By its destruction; pletely innocent people. (In the total period of
b. By deportations; the Italian occupation of the Ljubljana Province
c. By removal of opposition elements, which the Italian armed forces shot at least 416 indi-
could be reached by carrying out a hard, yet vidual persons and 238 groups with 1,153 per-
fair policy of bringing together, with the pur- sons, a total therefore of 1,569 persons, not tak-
pose of laying the foundations for a useful ing into account those convicted by the military
and fair cooperation. This would give us a court in Ljubljana, and mass deportation). The
final goal was to “cleanse” the Slovenian nation-
possibility for assimilation, which could be
al territory and prepare it for Italian settlement
achieved only with time. Thus we have to de- after the war.
cide which way we want to choose.
2. For mass deportations of the population we
would have to follow a programme prepared in
advance, which would have to be carried out ? What are the similarities and differen-
ces between the German and the Ita-
within the entire province. It would be better to lian plan (compare this source with the pre-
set up work camps instead of internment vious one)?
camps in which people do nothing but idle.


v51. Refugees from Bosnia in Serbia, 1941

Romania’s occupation by the Red Army
led to the start of persecution of the Ger-
man minority in Romania. Many ethnic Germans
were deported to the USSR. This document is
order No. 32.475-S from the general director of
the Police, containing specifications regarding
the internment of the ethnic Germans (January
3, 1945).

? Did the Soviet occupation bring liberty

and democracy to Romania? Do you
find it normal to deport people purely on the
Milošević, Izbeglice i preseljenici, p. 246. grounds of their ethnic profile? Were all of
those who were deported guilty? Was any-
body interested in identifying the guilty peo-
More than 400,000 Serbian refugees from
all of the Yugoslav territories found shelter
ple, who should have been punished, from
within the territories of occupied Serbia. the others? Do you know any other exam-
ples of ‘collective guilt’ from the history of
the 20th century?
V-4. Persecution of the German minority in Ro -
mania after the war
V-5. Personal minute of the British prime min -
1 All men between 17-45 years are liable to be ister, Winston Churchill, addressed to the Brit-
interned. ish minister of external affairs, regarding the
2 Also, all women between 18-30 years. deportation of Romanian citizens of German
3 There is no exception from the categories e th n i c o r i g i n to R u s s i a ( J a n u a r y 1 9 , 1 9 4 5 )
mentioned above to be admitted, except for
the women with infants of less than one year Personal minute of the Prime-minister
and for those who suffer from an infirmity, 10, Downing Street,
which deprives them of the capacity to work Whitehall
(…) 19. L 1945
6 All those liable to be interned are to be deliv- Series No. M. 91/5
ered to the respective Gendarmes Legion, that
It seems to me that we take a very active posi-
will lead them to the gathering places estab-
tion against the deportation of Austrians,
lished priory by the police and local gen-
Saxonians and other Germans or quasi-
darmerie authorities; it is to be noted that these
German elements from Romania to Russia on
gathering places are to be necessarily located
working purposes. Taking into consideration
next to a railway station,
everything Russia suffered, and the premedi-
7 The food for those liable to be interned is to
tated attacks of Romania against it, and the
be provided by them until the gathering places;
vast armies that Russia uses on the front at
from this point on, food will be served to them
present, and the terrible conditions of the peo-
by the Romanian authorities (gendarmes and
ple in many parts of Europe, I don’t understand
police) for 2-6 days, time in which they are to
why it is said that Russians are making a mis-
be provided with at least one warm meal daily
Deportarea etnicilor germani din România take when requesting for 100 or 150 thousand
în Uniunea Sovietic a (1945), p. 38–39. people of this kind to work in their under-


ground. Also, we must remember that we

promised to leave Romania’s destiny mostly in ? Characterise from a moral point of view
the hands of the Russians. I cannot consider it the attitude of Winston Churchill. Does
to be wrong for the Russians to take over this attitude respect the Human Rights,
Romanians of any origins they desire, for them which were promoted by United Nations?
to work in Russian mines, considering every-
thing that has happened.
Deportarea etnicilor germani din România
în Uniunea Sovietica (1945), p. 31.

v52. Return of the Slovene Home Guard
( d o m o b r a n ci ) i n Ju n e 1 9 4 5

The Slovene Home Guard was estab- the British returned them. Between 7,000 and
lished in September 1943 in Ljubljana, to 11,000 were murdered at several locations in
fight against the Liberation front. It was organ- Slovenia. These massacres were kept secret
ised by Germans, and its members were mostly from the public in Slovenia until 1975. In the
Catholics and anti-Communists. The Germans, 1980s the subject of mass killings, the responsi-
who did not trust the Home Guard, demanded bility for them, and their painful consequences
that they confirm their loyalty with a public oath- for the Slovene nation came to be discussed
taking ceremony on Hitler’s birthday (April 20, openly by intellectuals. After first democratic
1944). At the end of the war members of the elections in 1990 a reconciliation ceremony was
Home Guard together with the German army held in Koc evski Rog, which is where the largest

retreated to Austria where the British disarmed mass graves are.

them as German collaborators. In June 1945,


Vc. Changes in political systems

V-6. W. Churchill’s offer for a “Percentage” V-7. One step towards the Communist mono -
agreement59 p o l y o n t h e a u t h o r i t i e s i n Bo s n i a a n d H e r z e g o -
vina after the war
Romania Russia 90%
Others 10% Proposal of decision about instituting the con-
Greece Great Britain 90% stitution of State Anti-fascist Council of
Others 10% National Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Yugoslavia 50/50 as the highest legislative and executive nation-
Hungary 50/50 al representative organisation of Federal
Bulgaria Russia 75% 90% Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Others 25% 10% 1st of July 1944
Paragraph 1
Bulgaria - the Unacknowledged
Enemy of the Third Reich, p. 96. Based on the freely expressed will60 of nations
in Bosnia and Herzegovina and according to
the decisions made in the second session of
v53. The people of Athens cheer the arrival Antifascist council of national liberation of
of the British army after liberation Yugoslavia in Jajce on 29th and 30th of
November 1943, the State Anti-Fascist Council
of National Liberation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina constitutes itself into the supreme
organ of state authority in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, as an equal federal unit in the
Democratic Federal Yugoslavia.
Zgonjanin et al. (ed.), p. 399.

During 1944 Partisan-Communist troops

consolidated their authority over the
whole of Yugoslavia, including Bosnia and Her-
zegovina. In the decisions made by the State
Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, we can see how they
worked systematically to achieve a Communist
monopoly on the authorities after war.

? Comment on the fact that the source

Istoria, vol.16, p.101.
mentions ‘freely expressed will of the
The British and American flags can be nations’ although there were no elections in
seen next to Greek ones, together with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is there a similar
the symbols of EAM and the Communist Party example from your country?

Presented to Stalin on 9 October 1944.
There were no democratic elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time.


V-8. In May, 1945, Josip Horvat, a journalist 14 – Due to hot weather I slept badly. I saw
a n d a h i s to r i a n , w i tn e s s e d th e d e p a r tu r e o f th e mum and went for a walk. I was asked to come
Ustashas and the arrival of the Partisans in Za - to HIBZ (Croatian Publishing Bibliographic
greb Institute) to fill in some personal data. The
atmosphere there was depressing. Some
“8 – I walked through Tuškanac. On the teacher was appointed a political officer at
way I was cheerful as a child – you weren’t HIBZ and he hasn’t the slightest idea of what it
allowed to pass this way for four years and a is about. I went home with Fricika; at home
month. That little thing made me feel that free- there was some panic as a couple of uni-
dom has come, we’re entering a new life. Such formed people took away Cigo; but the inci-
a strange feeling around the heart, man’s brain dent ended happily, Cigo was released after
can’t grasp that fear is gone. (...) half an hour. Only his precious tool-kit was
9 – Arriving army is still passing through lost.”
the town, torn up, but excellently armed, real Josip Horvat, Preživjeti u Zagrebu, p. 229-231.
fighters. (...) A propos torn up and dirty fight-
ers: what a lie all those paintings of war ? What do you think about the actions of
scenes are– in them warriors are always the new, Partisan government as
clean, natty, well combed and shaved – it’s not described above? In your opinion, was
even idealising or stylisation any more – poor Horvat’s diary submitted to self-censorship?
stupidity. (...)

v54 and v55. The meeting at Ban Jela cicć´ square in Zagreb,

Partisans entering Zagreb on May 8, 1945 in May 1945, after the Partisans took over the

Gallery of the State Archives, Zagreb

? Why was the main town square crowd-

Museum of the City of Zagreb ed with people a couple of days after
the Partisans entered Zagreb? What were
? Describe the photograph: Is it obvious the possible motives of their arrival at the
that the photo shows a historical event? meeting organised by the new authorities?
Why is Zagreb’s main square empty?


V-9. Fragment from the report of a Bulgarian V-10 and V-11.

Workers’ Party (Communist) session, where Excerpt from the report by the minister of jus -
the judgements on the members of the former ti c e a b o u t th e n u m b e r o f p e o p l e s e n te n c e d b y
regime are disputed the People’s court in Bulgaria

20 January 1945 From a Report of Dr Mincho Neichev - Minister

Agenda: Exchanging ideas and opinions about of Justice to The National Committee of the
the judgments in the two trials. (...) Fatherland Front:
Minister Mincho Neichev: The comrades, “(...) From 23 December 1944 to 31 March
who are people’s prosecutors, are acting in 1945 the People’s Court tried 145 cases with
completely the wrong way. They are looking for 10, 907 accused. They were sentenced as fol-
the gravest crime and then they continue grad- lows: 2, 680 - sentenced to death; 1,921 - life
ing the other crimes downwards. They want sentence; 19 - 20 years imprisonment; 962 -
capital punishment only for the guiltiest ones, 15 years; 727 - 10 years; the rest 3,241 - less
and for the rest (who are not so guilty compa- than 10 years. The property of almost all con-
victs was confiscated.”
red to the previous) they want lighter senten- Manov, p. 21.
ces. They are not looking for evidence enough
to prove that there is a serious crime that must British memorandum concerning the trials and
be given the capital punishment, but for others, carrying out of the sentences against the so-
who have committed graver crimes. c a l l e d w a r c r i m i n a l s i n th e l i b e r a te d a n d s a te l -
Georgi Chankov: The line of action of our lite countries
prosecutors is not one of people, who care for
striking this camarilla, but as people staying British Embassy in Washington, 31 March 1945
apart from the whole struggle of the Bulgarians 2. Although the individuals, executed
and are now only measuring the guilt. Our pro- as a result of the recent trials in Bulgaria, are
secutors are not acting as people, who are lo- ranked among the “war criminals”, it is obvious
oking even for the slightest evidence, which from the indictment and from all the circum-
will prove that these criminals are guilty . . . stances around the trials, that these trials are
Traicho Kostov: In no way can we agree actually political in character. A special ex post
with the line of action with our comrade prose- facto law was passed for this purpose and they
cutors. I propose: for the regents - death pena- take the opportunity to get rid of many politi-
lty for the three of them... For the counsellors - cians hostile to those in power at the moment.
Sevov and the other four -capital sentences ... 3. Such a purge, although partially car-
For the first cabinet of Filov - it is clear -death. ried out, would easily cause vacuum the coun-
(...) try’s political life, thus enabling a certain one-
For the second cabinet of Filov: the same. (...) party government to take over the power and
to establish dictatorship.
After Chrestomathy Of Bulgarian History Bulgaria - the Unacknowledged Enemy
of the Third Reich, p. 222-223.
1944-1948, p. 484-485.

? When you know that the number of

people convicted to death at the Nure-
? How are the sentences decided on – by mberg’s trials was dozens, and those in Ja-
actual guilt or on other criteria? Are po- pan were even less, how can you explain
litical leaders supposed to make these deci- the large number executed by the People’s
sions, or should it be done by the relevant court in Bulgaria? How did the British Em-
judicial institutions? bassy in Washington comment on these tri-


v56. A warm reception for the Macedonian army entered Bulgaria, after having declared
m i l i ta r y , p o l i ti c a l a n d s ta te l e a d e r s i n l i b e r a te d war on us. No bullet was shot against Stalin’s
Skopje - the capital of Yugoslav Macedonia Red Army in Bulgaria. On the contrary, it was
(November 13, 1944) welcomed as our liberator... The guerrillas ‘tri-
umphantly’ started to come out of the forests,
going to towns and villages, waving scarlet ban-
ners and chanting slogans. DEATH TO FAS-
commonly used and heard word those days
was DEATH!
(...) There was no uprising, because the
Fatherland Front government had taken power
without any bloodshed. But it was they, the new
people in power, who started shedding blood.
On the first day of their rule. All of this happened
with the silent approval of the ‘bratushki - broth-
V-12. A fragment describing the Red Army ers’ (the Russians).
i n v a s i o n o f Bu l g a r i a a n d t h e s e i z u r e o f p o w e r Manov, p. 11-12.
by the Fatherland Front
? How does the author regard the change
For four and a half decades the date 9 Sept- of regime? What is the role of the Red
ember 1944 was celebrated and worshipped Army in this event, on the one side, and that
as a ‘people’s anti-Fascist uprising’, and a of the Partisans and the Fatherland Front on
‘Socialist revolution’. In fact, it was a coup d’e- the other? How do the victors present it?
tat with the help of another country, whose

v 5 7 . Be l g r a d e r s w e l c o m i n g t h e Bu l g a r i a n

“Long live the brotherly Bulgarian army”

– this is how the Belgraders welcomed
their neighbours. Bulgaria took part in World
War II on the side of the anti Hitler coalition
between September 1944 and May 1945. The
Bulgarian army, together with Yugoslav guerril-
las and parts of the 3rd Ukrainian front fought on
Yugoslav, Hungarian and Austrian territory.

? Overall questions on subchapter Vc.

What were the changes in the political system of your country after WWII? Did any other
major political changes occur in the decades that followed and for what reason? Compare your
country with neighbouring countries.

CHAPTER VI: The memory of the war

This chapter offers us a somewhat different view of the war events, and it is from a perspective with
a certain detachment. This is a result of the time lapse and consequent disconnection that ensues
when memoirs, reminiscences and interviews are documented at a much later time than the events
themselves took place. After some time the participants of war events may regard their experiences
in a different light, or view them from a different angle. It is interesting to watch the direction of the
narrator’s changing perspective and try to find out the reasons for that change may be (reshaping
the history and their personal role in it on purpose, the changes caused by the narrator’s changing
of the political attitude or his view over life, fading memory, the influence of others etc.).
The other kind of detachment found in the following sources is that of the documentary presen-
tation, e.g. of the real, actual events. This detachment is most clearly seen in the literary works.
Among them we can find a broad spectrum of diversity, from those noticeably ideologically coloured
and unconvincing, lifeless, black and white stories, to those in which realistic presentation and high
artistic value complement each other and form a well rounded, complete account. Some examples
from this spectrum can be found in the following paragraphs.

VI-1. Interview with Jože Požar (born in 1932 took care of the home and the family. Later, my
in Slovenia), WW II orphan sisters Milka and Marija and brother Martin
were provided for by my aunt Alojzija Gruden
“I remember the war as a nightmare, which from Ljubljana and our neighbours took care of
was, unfortunately, true. But all of my memo- me. I stayed with them till 1945, when my
ries were clouded by the fact, that one day mother returned from the concentration
Italian soldiers took away my father Jože and camp…. Life went on. We all managed
shot him as a hostage in Podpec, together with some–how, but it would certainly have been

five other villagers of Brest. better if we had had my father, when we need-
My memories of youth are painful. During that ed him the most… I t is still distressing for me
time, life was very hard. Me, my sisters Milka whenever I stand in front of my father’s grave
and Marija, my brother Marin, my father Jože in Tomišelj and think about his death at a time
and my mother Ivanka all lived on a small farm. when we needed him so much.
We made a living by farming. Despite the fact Brest, April 2003
that my father was a cartwright, he couldn’t “Ilegalc ki Borec”, Ljubljana 2003.

find proper job. Our life was similar to that of

the other families in village Brest and in the
neighbourhood. ? How would you describe Jože Požar’s
Everything changed, or perhaps I should say, memories? Think about the huge num-
broke down, when they took and shot my ber of casualties of WWII and try to imagine
father. It got even worse, when in 1944 mother how many stories similar to his, there may
was sent to a German concentration camp. I be ...
was twelve years old at the time, and at first I


VI-2. An extract from the semi-biographical no - created during the guerrilla battles, but it
vel by Fikret Demirag became convenient for some people to manip-
ulate the facts and make them match their own
“The date was 28 April 1941. It would seem ambitions...
that we were taken prisoner within about a So far, so good, but when we were put into jail
month of landing in Greece and within eleven in 1951-1954 many people went down with a
months of having joinded up. It was difficult to ‘weakening memory’ epidemic and they start-
believe that more than half of us had never ed to misrepresent the historical truth and to
fired a shot during our entire military career. produce invented evidence, so that their past
This was largely due to the fact that most matched their present situation in the Party
Cypriots served in reserve positions. and state hierarchy. As if it was obligatory to
When we got near the road we noticed a short declare that they had been great commanders
German soldier. He was the first German sol- during the armed struggle against Fascism, to
dier I had ever seen and he looked tired and make their biographies sound more presti-
fed up. There was nothing in the outlook of this gious! Some of them actually had enough rev-
Nazi soldier that made him special or superior! olutionary experience and did not need to
The only thing that distinguished him was the exaggerate their lives prior to 9 September,
machine gun which he held and which was’s only human!
pointing in the direction of thousands of prison- Znepolski, p. 316.
ers of war who were descending from the
“Report” no. 46, p.14. ? Who are the people that rewrite histo-
ry? For what purpose do they do this?
At the time of the war, Cyprus was a
British Crown Colony. Many Greek and
Turkish Cypriots joined the “Cyprus regiments”
and fought against Nazi Germany. Many of them v58. A fresco-composition by Borko Lazeski
were taken prisoner and spent time in German
prisoner of war camps.

? What was Bilal Denizal feeling frustrat-

ed about? How does he describe the
German soldier? He was surprised that a
German soldier didn’t appear “special or
superior”. Why did he expect him to look
like that?

VI-3. Bulgarian Partisans’ commander Dencho

Znepolski, about how the history of the resis -
tance in the years after World War II was re - This fresco-composition is a representa-
written tion of the National Liberation and Anti-
Fascist Struggle of the Macedonian people dur-
I am deeply convinced that history cannot be ing the Second World War (1941-1945).
written on orders several decades later. It was


v59. A scene from the movie The Užice Re - about a twelfth of the total Russian cavalry that
public fought on this front, since there were three
cavalry divisions.
Mr. chronicler let me tell you what the situation
was at that time: The Romanian divisions 5, 6,
13, 15 and part of the 14th Division were com-
pletely surrounded. The 11th German Corps
and the 1st Romanian Cavalry Division —
forced to pass on the Eastern side of the Don,
and the 48th German Armour Corps, were con-
fronted with the impossibility of working, a fact
which caused general Heim — called “little
Rommel” — to take command. The enemy
arrived at the Cir in the East of Oblivskaia,
intercepting the railway that provisioned the
troops in Stalingrad. As you may well see, Mr.
chronicler, a disaster... I’ve seen, Mr. chroni-
cler that you only copy the lying German com-
muniqués, to which you add some empty
words, to fill the two columns of the paper;
things, which you are being paid for. Now I
realise that there were never so many untruths
written as in the official war communiqués...”
Sanatescu, p. 87–88.

Jugoslovenska Kinoteka, Belgrade [Yugoslav Film Library].

This film was made by the Belgrade pro-

ducer Žika Mitrović, 1974. The Užice ? Comment on the differences between
Republic is a paradigm for the last phase of the the perspective of the soldiers and that
polished and romanticised interpretations of the conveyed by the press. Why did the press
«partisan films». distort reality? Was this distortion justified?

VI-4. General Ctin Sanatescu about the con - v60. Ðo or d-e Andrejevi cć´ -Kun (1904-1964),

trast between the “public” information and the Shooting, 1943

reality on the front line (fragment from his diary)

“15 December 1942. Today it is the turn of the

newspapers from the 23rd and 24th of
November [1942] to be read. The chronicler of
“Universul” says: “In the sector of the inferior
Don, the Romanian and German troops, which
have been engaged for several days in terrible
defensive fights, rejected the repeated enemy
attacks and crushed a cavalry regiment that
managed to get through to their positions, but
that could not avoid being surrounded”. There Jugoslovenska grafika 1900-1950. Katalog izložbe, Beograd,
decembar 1977-februar 1978 [Yugoslav Graphic 1900-1950.
cannot be anything more laconic. If a cavalry Exposition Catalogue, December 1977-February 1978]
regiment was indeed destroyed, this means Beograd , 1977, Catalog. Nr. 12.


VI-5. Andjelka Marti cć´ , in her short story Mee -

ting, describes a boy searching for his Partisan Partisan literature for children was a sep-
father arate literary genre in the post-war
Communist Yugoslavia. One of the most out-
standing representatives was Andjelka Martić.
“Turning his back on the charred remnants of
his house, he quickly walked towards the
woods in which distant shooting was fading ? Do you think that events like this actu-
away. The burnt village stayed in the valley. ally happened? (A child looses his par-
The boy didn’t even turn around to look at it ents – he joins the Partisans and becomes
once His loved ones remained there, so he a fighter.) Should children be allowed to
would never see them again and he would become soldiers in extreme situations? (It’s
never hear their words again. not essential whether it is desirable, but if it
The forest was all around him rustling its can be allowed – are the actions of the
leaves and he could hear the birds’ timidly twit- Partisan commanding officer who allowed
tering, and that twitter mingled strangely with these things understandable?) Is Andjelka
the distant sounds shooting. That shooting Martić’s story idealised? Explain your posi-
was his aim. That was where the Partisans we- tion. Compare this excerpt with text III-2
re fighting and his father was with them, the and to visual 22.
only person he now had left in the world. Will
he find him? He had to, he had to find him. And VI-6. The fugitive – a song written by Iakovos
then he could stay with him, and his father Kambanellis
would give him a gun and he would be able to
avenge his village in the valley and the burnt
house in the fruitful orchard. (...) from the Mauthausen of Iakovos Kambanellis
The fighting calmed down. He heard some
Yannos Ber from up north
voices murmuring. The Partisans could not
Cannot stand fences
have been far away. The boy felt his excited
He takes heart, he takes flight
heart beat while looking forward to meeting his
And runs to the villages down the plain.
He met the Partisans and... Give me some bread, lady
“A moment later he was standing with his head And clothes to change
down over a dead Partisan who had just been I have a long way to go
brought from the battle. Large tears were run- To fly over lakes.
ning down his face and his skinny shoulders
were shaking in a frantic cry. Fellow Partisans Everywhere he goes or stops
were silently standing around. Nobody was He brings ear and terror
comforting him, nobody spoke consoling wo- And a voice, a secret voice,
rds. What use would they have been anyway? “Hide, hide from the fugitive”.
His pain could not have been diminished!
All at once he resolutely shook his head, wiped I am no killer, Christians,
off tears with his grimy hands and then bent Nor beast to eat you
down to his father. He pulled the gun out of his I fled from prison
father’s dead hand with his own tiny hands, put To go to my home.
it on his shoulder and directed himself, step-
ping heavily, towards the company which his Oh, what deadly desolation
father had led, up to, a minute ago. Nobody In Bertolt Brecht’s old country
had strength to stop him.” Yannos is handed to the SS
Martić, p. 118-120 And taken for execution.


pooping off. No one’s been hit, but, as our ally

Mauthausen is a song cycle composed remarks, we have ‘lost surprise’.
by Mikis Theodorakis, internationally re- There was no longer peace in the valley. For
cognised as a musical genius and as Greece’s the next quarter of an hour occasional shots
greatest living composer, based on lyrics written
came, at random it seemed, some from the
by Iakovos Kambanellis. It was composed in
1965 and recorded in 1966. Iakovos Kamba-
parapet of the block-house, some from the sur-
nellis born in 1922 is considered to be one of the rounding cover; then sharp at ten, just as on
fathers of postwar Greek drama. He and a friend General Spitz’s elaborate watch the minute
of his were caught and sent to Mauthausen hand touched its zenith, there came screaming
where he spent two and a half years. According out of the blue sky the two aeroplanes (British
to Kambanellis, Jannos Ber was a Pole who, air support). They swooped down one behind
after capture, was publicly executed. the other. The first fired simultaneously two
rockets which just missed their target and
exploded in the woods beyond, where part of
? How did the fugitive feel? Why did the attacking force was now grouped. The sec-
everyone refuse to help him?
ond shot straighter. Both his rockets landed
square on the masonry, raising a cloud of fly-
ing rubble. Then the machines climbed and cir-
VI-7. Evelyn Waugh describes a Partisan as - cled. Guy, remembering the dive-bombers in
sault (from the last part of his war trilogy Sword Crete relentlessly tracking and pounding the
of Honour) troops on the ground, waited for their return.
Instead they dwindled from sight and hearing.
“The convoy set out through a terrain of rustic The airman who had been sent to observe
enchantment, as though through a water- them, stood near. ‘Lovely job’, he said, ‘right on
colour painting of the last century. Strings of time, right on target.’
brilliant peppers hung from the eaves of cot- ‘Is that all?’ asked Guy
tages. The women at work in the fields some- ‘That’s all. Now the soldiers (the
times waved a greeting, sometimes hid their Partisans) can do some work.’”
faces. There was no visible difference between But the Partisans didn’t do anything.
‘liberated’ territory and that groaning under for- “‘It appears’, the interpreter explained
eign oppression. (...) to General Spitz, ‘that the attack must be post-
In less than an hour they were in sight of the poned. A German armoured column has been
block-house. A place had been chosen 500 warned and is on its way here.’
yards from it. Well screened by foliage, where ‘What do your men do about that?’
‘Before a German armoured column
the observers could await events in comfort
they disperse. That is the secret of our great
and safety. (...)
and many victories.’”
At half past nine rifle-fire broke out below Waugh, p. 288-291.
them. The Partisan general looked vexed. (...)
A Partisan runner was sent down to enquire.
Before he returned the firing ceased. When he Evelyn Waugh, author, participated in the
reported, the interpreter said to General Spitz, war in the territory of Croatia (Topusko,
‘It is nothing, it was a mistake.’ Vis – as a member of the British military mission
‘It’s lost us surprise.’ to the Partisans). The mission’s task was to
De Souza, who had heard and understood the observe the situation and to inform the Allies
runner’s report, said to Guy (Waugh’s alter who was actualy fighting the Germans in
Yugoslavia (Partisans or Chetniks).
ego): ‘That was the second brigade turning up.
The first thought they were enemy and started


Ôé Ýêáíåò óôïí ðüëåìï ÈáíÜóç; (What

? Into which genre, besides warlike, did you do during the war Thanassis?), 1971
could we categorise Waugh’s descrip-
tion (humour, farce, action, action come-
dy...)? What kind of relationship between
the writer and the Partisans can be detect-
ed in the text? Is this fragment completely
made up or is it based on true events?
Compare it with the text II-23.

v61 and v62. Two posters from Greek films


Ðñïäïóßá (Treachery), 1964

Soldatos, vol. 1, p. 147.

Soldatos, vol. 2, p. 4.

VI-8. An extract from the first novel of Dobrica such a time. They leaned against each other,
C´ osi cć´ , Far Away is the Sun
Ć and some of them at once began to nod, with-
out waiting to hear the agenda.
“All the circumstances combined to make the Paul began to speak:
meeting exceptional. Time stood still at mid- “Comrades, there is only one item on
night. The blizzard howled, as though death the agenda: what is to be done in this situa-
itself had met its death. The company was sur- tion? We in the Staff are not in agreement. We
rounded, the men were hungry and exhausted each have our own opinion, and it seems as
and their broken sleep was shot through with though no one is prepared to change his mind.
cold and fear. The Commissar woke them up This is how things are...”
and summoned them to the Staff’s hut. It was While Paul spoke, Vuksan was think-
full of smoke. The Party members crowded ing: “How can they disagree when they are
against each other, shaking with cold and mur- leaders, and old Communists? It means that
muring sleepy protests about a meeting at one of them is an opportunist... But who could


it be?... Of course Prof is right: here on he says. ‘All right’ says I, ‘I don’t mind waiting
Jastrebac61 we are the masters; why should we till St George’s Day’. ‘But here I am again
run away from our base... But Gvozden is a knee-deep in snow on Jastrebac, like a polar
fool. His typical petty-bourgeois mentality. As bear”. (p. 42)
soon as a man has private property, you can’t (...) “Vuk coughed and frowned, and
rely on him in a revolution. Let him eat and then announced in a trembling voice:
sleep and wait the Germans to go. What is the ‘’The military tribunal has sentenced
matter with him? He was a loyal man... Comrade Gvozden to death...’’
Strange! (...) Why on earth does he want us to There was a groan from the column,
go the Morava62 and Kopaonik,63 when you and some of the men gave a deep sigh. Vuk
can’t move there for Chetniks?64 The people stopped as though waiting for someone to say
have been misled and are against us... This is something, then continued:
running away from battle...” ‘’...because-er-at the hardest point of
(...) While Paul was speaking, Gvozden our struggle he tried to cause a revolt in the
and some others too kept interrupting, so that company, and in this way-er-war guilty of trea-
Paul had to reprove them sharply several son. Yes, he became a traitor!... That is our
times. decision...unanimously!’’ (...) Only Gvozden
“...This isn’t like what a Party meeting gave an even more violent start on hearing
should be! This is a quarrel. They should all be these words, turned his head and looked at
punished and we should choose another Vuk-dumbfounded (...) Enough!... Don’t dis-
chief... The company will be ruined too. What’s grace me any further!’’ Gvozden’s voice
the matter with them? They’re in a panic. This squeaked like broken sabre. He took two steps
isn’t a Glee Club!” forward, straightened himself, raised his head
(...) “Paul is absolutely right! You angrily and defiantly, cast a glance over the
should stop all this silly talk about ‘’terrain’’. column; and said quietly in a strained, quiver-
Wherever the Germans are in occupation- ing voice:
that’s our ‘’terrain’’. (...) If we abandon Jast- ‘’There’s no time for discussion about
rebac, we shall completely lose political control justice. You have to hurry. You mustn’t lose ti-
me because of me’’...’’...Well Comrades, if the-
of this area. The people will be disappointed in
re is anybody who hasn’t got a good coat he
us. Draža’s65 men will take over, and that’ll be
can take my sheepskin jacket’’. He unbuttoned
the end of all of us...” (p. 24, 25)
it with a wide movement and threw it down in
(...) “When I joined the Partisans’’ con-
front of the column”. (p.144)
tinued George, ‘’that toothless Vuksan said to Ćosić, p. 24, 25, 42, 144.
me: ‘The Russians are going to drop para-
troopers; we’re expecting them every night. The first novel of Dobrica Ćosić (1921–),
The war will be over in a month. ‘For several author and politician, Far Away is the
nights we were ready to light fires when Soviet Sun, published in 1954, represented a novelty in
literature on “national liberation war and revolu-
planes appeared. The summer passed, the tion” at the time of its appearance. Its heroes,
hoar frost came, then the black frost, then members of a Partisan unit, which tries to break
snow up to our waists, but there was Hitler out of the enemy’s encirclement, are not “heroes
sniffing round Moscow.’ And what’s the situa- without fault and fear”, but people with their sus-
tion now?’ says I. ‘It’ll all be over in the spring’ picions, fears, and even ideological doubts.

Mountain in central Serbia.
River in central Serbia.
Mountain in southern Serbia.
Coloquial name for the members of collaborationist Royalist and Nationalist Movement ‘Yugoslav army in
Fatherland’ main domestic political and military enemy of the Communist lead Partisan movement.
General Dragoljub-Draža Mihailović, leader of the ‘’Chetnik’’ movement.


? How did the author describe relations ? Do these two paintings look realistic to
between the Partisans of this compa- you? Explain your position.
ny? Do you think this is a realistic descrip-
tion? Explain your position. VI-9. The following text from the book Delirul
b y M a r i n Pr e d a ( p u b l i s h e d i n 1 9 7 5 ) d e s c r i b e s
an event from a soldier’s perspective. One
v63. Painting by Fatos Haxhiu which shows may notice here the realism of the account, in
an episode from the battlefield during WWII which idealism confronts the tragic reality of

At 4 o’clock the company started its attack

accompanied by its commandant. Stefan
joined him. He was panting. „Oh, God”, he
thought all of the sudden, “now I might die” and
this thought was so new and fresh that it
astonished and frightened him. How’s that,
dying, not being anymore? And unawares he
saw, without understanding, how in front of
him, here and there, soldiers fell, some cut off
and some throwing themselves on the ground
and in vain looking for a shelter in the flat
space of the plain. Instinctively, he also threw
himself on the ground and it was only then
when he realised that from in front of him there
came a shattering and uninterrupted fire. The
captain had also stretched himself some steps
away from him. The shooting stopped.
Epopeja e Luftës Antifashiste Nacionalçlirimtare e Popullit “Charge!”, ?tefan heard him screaming, “Jump
Shqiptar, 1939-1944.
v64. Painting by Guri Madhi showing a Par - And he himself jumped and started running.
tisan attack on a German military unit The company, scattered in shooters restarted
the attack, but all at once, the machine-guns of
the enemy started hammering violently all over
again so the soldiers threw themselves on the
ground once again.
“Jump ahead!” the captain shouted, after the
fire stopped.
But the order was not followed anymore.
Foaming with rage, the captain started cursing
wildly and threatening. In vain…. The captain
roared again:
“Company, jump ahead!”
And he raised and started running by himself,
for the soldiers to follow him. They followed
Epopeja e Luftës Antifashiste Nacionalçlirimtare e Popullit
him, but came, once again, upon the machine-
Shqiptar, 1939-1944 guns of the enemy and the captain received a


pack of bullets in his stomach. On the ground,

soldiers heard his death rattle and him swear- The strip emerged as an adaptation of
ing at the stretcher-bearers who wouldn‘t the movies, which were very popular in
come to lift him up. Slowly, like worms, the sol- the 1980s, and used black-humour to depict the
diers started to retreat, crawling and leaving war experiences of a group of small-fry thieves.
Struggling to survive, they become “specific”
behind on the plain half of them, dead or
participants of the resistance movement against
injured. The stretcher-bearers were on duty, their will. This satirical-humorous approach to
but they were not able to carry the injured the “Partisan western” genre, created by
behind the front line because there were too Yugoslav cinematography as one of its central
many of them. motives during four decades, was a novelty. It
Preda, p. 394.
may be considered a part of the general attempt
to subject to “reconsideration” an ideologically
? Does this account present a heroic and politically “polished” official history of World
image of the war? Why didn’t the sol- War II, along with its artistic interpretation, which
diers obey the order? Does this make them became worn out through long use.
traitors? Is one always capable of control-
ling one’s behaviour in such a situation?
Comment on how the author’s perspective VI-10. Extracts from the novel Tobacco by
seems to be similar to the one of the com- Dimitar Dimov
batant. Use the testimonies of Neagu Dju-
vara and Victor Budescu as references. Varvara did not look that bad – at least not as
bad as it could be expected in the austere cir-
cumstances, which made taking care even of
v65. A sheet from the comic strip Balkan the elementary needs of one’s appearance
Express, by Branislav Kerac and Branko Pla- impossible. But personally she considered it to
vši cć´ , based on Gordan Mihi cć´ ’s script be bad. ‘I must look like a witch’, she thought
bitterly remembering that she had lost her
comb at the time of the latest battle…
Yes, you’re losing patience, you’re completely
exhausted by the incessant swing between life
and death. This sort of life has exhausted you,
it has turned you into a bad-tempered and
withered woman just as the victory is drawing
closer now, when you want to be fresh and
attractive, when you have began to yearn for
some love. You have sacrificed everything for
the party, but you have missed the joy of life.
Partisan life places an incredible strain on a
person and demands the superhuman denial
of the individuals from their own selves. You
still manage it, but only with your mind now.
This is the source of your conflict, your ner-
vousness, your incapability to accept the great
dualism in things and people, which drives
their development...
(...) ‘What are you going to do when we take
“Stripoteka”. ‘Whatever the party orders me to.’


I myself will dress up... The first thing I’m going and fainted, because their carpets were trod-
to do is wash and dress up… And then I won’t den by muddy militia boots, or their spacious
look like a hag! (...) Communists must love life homes were being filled by the homeless.
(...) You can love life when you’re pleasant for They could not realise, that this was the impla-
the people, neat and clean... cable way of life, that the latter consisted of
(...) Now she (Irina) wanted to seclude herself reciprocally dependent events and that the
into the stillness and the pines of Chamkoriya, parasitic existence of the ones inevitably
under the sky of cold stars and to wait listless- evoked the angry revolt of the others...
ly for everything that was still going to happen. Dimov, pp. 564-569, 628, 667.
Because, no matter what happened, she was
invulnerable. The physical ruin of the old world Dimitar Dimov (1909-1966) – famous
did not concern her, and the new one did not Bulgarian writer and playwright, a veteri-
frighten her. She had investments abroad, narian by education, with over 40 research pa-
which nobody could touch, and tonight she pers. His most famous novel is Tobacco, written
was convinced that the Communists didn’t in 1951. By demand of the leaders of the
Bulgarian Communist Party, the novel was revi-
take revenge on women. Still she was aware sed and more characters of people from the
that there was something else she could not resistance movement were added. In spite of
escape, something more horrifying than the the extra-literary interference, Tobacco became
taking of her wealth or the revenge of the hun- a favourite book for generations of Bulgarians.
gry. And this was her inner ruin. These were The above excerpts show the psychological atti-
tudes of two radically different women – the
the ashes from everything she had experi-
Partisan Varvara and an upper class woman,
enced until then, and from that night’s horror, Irina – at the end of the Second World War.
which had suddenly turned into sombre apa-
(...) This was the simple truth! (...) The realis-
tic, calm and powerful mind of Irina was not ? What do the two women imagine the
imminent changes in their lives will be
afraid to accept it, so it immediately became like? What do they expect the results to be?
reconciled with no rage or panic. Meanwhile How are the two women alike?
hundreds of spoiled women childishly wept

VI-11. Turkish Cypriot Kemal Recep Susuzlu Force personnel. We had good relations with
about his prisoner of war days, spent with the them, despite the fact that barbed wire sepa-
Greek Cypriot leader Glafkos Clerides66 rated us. Air Force pilot Glafkos Clerides was
among them. He was sending messages that
When we arrived in February 1942, the back of he wanted to cross over to our side and was
our shirts and the knees of our trousers were asking for some of our clothes to stop him be-
stamped with a red triangle. This was a mea- ing identified. He cut through the barbed wire
sure designed to make identification easy of and crossed over to our side. He started to set
any prisoners who might escape from the up an organisation as soon as he arrived, so
camp. The Red Cross was distributing cards so that it could address the specific problems of
that we could inform others that we were still Cypriots. Elections were held and he was ele-
alive. Who could believe such a thing? cted chairman. Glafkos Clerides was responsi-
The camp was divided into squares by barbed ble for all Cypriots and I was responsible for all
wire. The building opposite us housed Air the sick”
Ulus Irkad, pp.15-16.
They were both sent from the Salonica POW camp to the stalag (a German prison camp for non-commissioned offi-
cers and lower ranks). Susuzlu describes his experience in Stalag in the Yeni Democrat newspaper in 1993.


v66. Scene from the Albanian movie When

a day dawned

This picture is taken from a scene of a

movie When a day dawned on the sub-
ject of WWII (produced in 1971, Tirane). It dis-
plays an encounter between Partisans and Ger-
man soldiers. It is interesting to note that in
almost all movies about WWII, the German tro-
ops outnumber the Partisans but at the end it is
the Partisans who win the battles. This picture
represents this idea perfectly.

? Compare this visual with text VI-7.

Hoxha, p.160-1.

? Overall questions on chapter VI

Do an interview with a grandmother/grandfather – write down her/his memories of the war.
Analyse the pictures: What do they show? Interpret the pictures and write a short essay.
Did any author describe a happy moment in his life during the war?

National holidays related to WWII

Country Date Holiday Description
Albania November 29th Liberation Day Liberation from
the Germans in 1944
Bosnia and Herzegovina November 25th National Day First session of
ZAVNOBIH (Partisan
Parliament, 1943)
Bulgaria - - -
Croatia June 22nd Antifascist Beginning of the
Struggle Day uprising (1941)
Greek Cypriot community October 28th Ochi Day (“No” Day) Greece’s refusal of
Italy’s ultimatum (1940)
FYR Macedonia October 11th Uprising day Beginning of
the uprising (1941)
Greece October 28th Ochi Day (“No” Day) Greece’s refusal of
Italy’s ultimatum (1940)
Romania - - -
Slovenia April 27th Resistance Day Formation of the
Liberation Front (1941)
Serbia and Montenegro - - -
Turkey - - -

MAP 2: Southeast Europe after World War II


Ayhan Aktar, Varlýk Vergisi ve Türkleþtirme Broza Tita I-II [New Enclosures for the Biography
Politikalarý [Capital Levy and Politics of of Josip Broz Tito I-II], Rijeka-Zagreb 1981.
Turkification], Istanbul 2000.
Deportarea etnicilor germani din România în
Ta aetopoula. Anagnostiko tritis kai tetartis Uniunea Sovietic a (1945), [The Deportation of

taxis [The small eagles. Reading-book for the Romanian German Ethnics into Soviet Union
third and forth class], 1944, Ed. ‘Eleftheris (1945)], ed. Hannelore Baier, Braþov 1994.
Elladas’, reprinted.
Dimitar Dimov, Ò þ ò þ í [Tobacco], Sofia 2000.
Nisim Albahari et al. (ed.), Sarajevo u revoluciji
[Sarajevo in revolution], Sarajevo 1979. Dobri and Elena Djurov, Ì ó ð ã à ø . Ì å ì î à ð è
[Mourgash. Memoirs], Sofia 1983.
Julian Amery, Sons of the Eagle:
A Study in Guerrilla War, London 1984. Dokumenti za borbata na makedonskiot
narod za samostojnost i nacionalna država,
Bashkimi [“The Unity”], June 1944. tom vtori, [Documents on struggle of the
Macedonian people for independence and
Bleiburg, a group of authors, editor Marko national state, II] Skopje 1981.
Grc ić, Zagreb 1990.

Dragojlo Dudić, Dnevnik 1941 [Diary 1941],

Branislav Božović, Beograd pod
Belgrade 1957.
komesarskom upravom 1941
[Belgrade under the Council of Commissars’
Administration 1941], Belgrade 1998. Polychronis K. Enepekidis, To Olokaftoma ton
Evraion tis Ellados 1941-1944 [The Holocaust of
Branislav Božović, Poruke streljanog grada the Jews of Greece 1941-1944], Athens 1996.
[Messages of the Shot City], Belgrade 1961.
Feridun Cemal Erkin, Dýþiþlerinde 34 yýl
Don Pietro Brignoli, Sveta maša za moje ustrel- Anýlar-Yorumlar [34 years in Foreign Affairs
jene [Holy mass for my shot people], Gorica 1995. Memoirs-Comments], Ankara 1980.

Áúëãàðèÿ – ñâîåíðàâíèÿò ñúþçíèê íà Evreii din România între anii 1940-1944, vol. I:
Òðåòèÿ ðàéõ [Bulgaria - the Unmanageable Ally of Legislat, ie antievreiasc a [Romanian Jews between

the Third Reich], Sofia 1992. 1940–1944, 1st vol.: Anti-Semite Legislation], ed.
Lya Benjamin, Bucureþti 1993.
Õðèñòîìàòèÿ ïî Èñòîðèÿ íà Áúëãàðèÿ
[Chrestomathy of Bulgarian History 1944-1948], Evreii din România între anii 1940-1944, vol. II
Sofia 1992. Romanian Jews between 1940–1944, 2nd vol], ed.
Lya Benjamin, Bucureþti, Edit. Hasefer, 1996, doc.
Nicholas J. Costa, Shattered Illusions, Albania, 44.; doc. 98.
Greece and Yugoslavia, New York 1998.
Tone Ferenc, Okupacijski sistemi na
Ivan Cvitković, Ko je bio Alojzije Stepinac [Who Slovenskem [Occupational Systems on Slovenian
was Alojzije Stepinac], Sarajevo 1986. Territory], Ljubljana 1997.

Hagen Fleischer, Stemma kai svastika. I Ellada


Dobrica Cosić, Daleko je sunce [Far Away is

the Sun], Belgrade 1963. tis Katochis kai tis Antistasis 1941-1944, vol. 2
[Crown and swastika. Greece of Occupation and
Vladimir Dedijer, Novi prilozi za biografiju Josipa Resistance 1941-1944, 2 vol.], Athens 1995.


Giomtov Giakoel, Apomnimonevmata 1941- Fikreta Jelić-Butić, Cetnici u Hrvatskoj 1941-


1943 [Memoirs 1941-1943], Thessaloniki 1993. 1945 [Chetnicks in Croatia 1941-1945], Zagreb
Ivo Goldstein, Holokaust u Zagrebu [Holocaust
in Zagreb], Zagreb 2001. Konstantin Katsarov, 60 ãîäèíè æèâÿíà
èñòîðèÿ [60 Years of Lived History], Sofia 1993.
Hitlers Weisungen für die Kriegsfürung 1939-
1945 (ed. W. Hubatsch). Danail Krapchev, Èçáðàíè ñòàòèè
[Selected Articles], Sofia 1992.
Josip Horvat, Preživjeti u Zagrebu. Dnevnik
1943-1945 [Survive in Zagreb. Diary 1943-1945], Jure Krišto, Sukob simbola, politika, vjere
Zagreb 1989. i ideologije u Nezavisnoj Državi Hrvatskoj
[Conflict of symbols, politics, religion and
Josip Horvat, Hrvatski mikrokozam izmed-u dva ideologies in Independent State of Croatia],
rata (1919-1941) [Croatian Microcosm between Zagreb 2001.
the Two Wars (1919-1941)]; u Rad Jugoslavenske
akademije znanosti i umjetnosti [in Work of the Bogdan Krizman, Pavelić i ustaše
Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Science], Zagreb [Pavelić and the Ustashas], Zagreb 1978.
Fitzroy MacLean, Rat na Balkanu
Hylli i Dritës [“The Star of Light”], The Oriental [Balkan War], Zagreb 1964.
Catholic Mission in Lushnje, December 1940, 601.
“Magazin istoric” [“Historical Magazine”],
Demir D. Hysolli, Life of Death for Freedom, Bucharest, October 2002.
USA 1995.
Agnes Jensen Mangerich, Albanian Escape:
John Iatridis (ed.), I Ellada sti dekaetia The true story of U.S. army nurses behind enemy
1940-1950. Ena ethnos se krisi [Greece during lines. The University Press of Kentucky 1999.
the decade 1940-1950. A nation in crisis],
Athens 1984. Georgi Manov, ×åðíàòà ñêàëà
[The Black Rock], Sofia 1997.
“Ilegalcki Borec” [Underground fighter],

Ljubljana 2003. And-elka Martić, Vuk na Voćinskoj cesti

[Wolf on the Voćin road], Zagreb 1971.
Istoria tou Ellinikou Ethnous [History
of the Greek Nation], vol. 16, Athens, Mark Mazower, Stin Ellada tou Hitler.
Ekdotiki Athinon, 2000. I empeiria tis Katochis [In Hitler’s Greece.
The experience of Occupation], Athens 1995.
Izvori za Osloboditelnata vojna i Revolucija vo
Makedonija, 1941-1945 [Sources for the liberation Memoari patrijarha srpskog Gavrila [Memoirs
war and revolution in Macedonia, 1941-1945], of the Serbian Patriarch Gavrilo], Beograd 1990.
Volume I, book 3, Skopje 1970.
Minoritati etnoculturale. Marturii documentare.
Ulus Irkad, Cypriots Together in the Second Tiganii din Romania (1919–1944) [Ethno–cultural
World War, translated by Metin Kemal, “The Minorities: The Romanian Romas (1919–1944).
Friends of Cyprus Report”, issue No. 46, autumn Documentary testimonies], ed. L. Nastasa, A. Varga,
2003. C. A. Andreescu, Cluj Napoca 2001, doc. 339.

Ilija Jakovljević, Konclogor na Savi Bogdan Murgescu et al., Istoria României în

[Concentration Camp on the Sava river], texte [The History of Romania in Text Sources],
Zagreb 1999. Bucureþti 2001.


E.C.W. Myers, Greek Entanglement, London Milan Ristović (Ed.), Report of the chef rabbi
1985 (first published: 1955). of Yugoslavia, Dr. Isak Alkalaj, on the events
in Yugoslavia between end March and end
National Archives Braþov, Town Hall of June 1941: “Naši doživljaji i utisci o poslednjim
the commune Bod, file 76/1944, f. 83. dogad-ajima u Jugoslaviji” [Our experiences and
impressions of the recent events in Yugoslavia],
Kosta Nikolić, Strah i nada u Srbiji 1941-1944: “Tokovi istorije”, 1-2/1997, pp. 181-182.
Svakodnevni život pod okupacijom
[Fear and Hope in Serbia, 1941-1944: Constantin S a na tescu, Jurnal [Diary],

Everyday Life under Occupation], Belgrade 2002. Bucureþti 1993.

“Novo vreme” [New time], 25 September 1942. Emil Sattolo, Tragom istine [Tracing the Truth],
Nova Gradiška 2002.
James O’Donnel, A coming of age:
Albania under Enver Hoxha, New York 1999. Ioan Scurtu et al., Istora României între
1918–1944 (culegere) [The History of Romania
Faik Okte, The tragedy of the Turkish between 1918–1944 (text collection)], Bucureþti
Capital Tax, Croom Helm Limited 1987. 1982.

Branko Petranović, Momcilo Zecević,

í í

Stanford J. Shaw, Turkey and the Holocaust,

Jugoslavija 1918-1988, tematska zbirka London 1993.
dokumenta [Yugoslavia 1918-1988,
thematic collection of sources], Belgrade 1988. David Smiley, Albanian Assignment, London
1984 .
Stoyan Petrov-Chomakov,
Äóõúò íà äèïëîìàöèÿòà “Srpski narod” [Serbian people], 3rd June 1942.
[The Spirit Of Diplomacy], Sofia 2002.
Ivan Stanchov, Äèïëîìàò è ãðàäèíàð
“Politika”, 28 March 1941. [A Diplomat And a Gardener], Sofia 2000.

Ivor Porter, Operat,iunea Autonomus Ivan Šibl, Sjećanja 1-3 [Memories 1-3],
[Autonomus Operation], Bucureþti 1991. Zagreb 1986.

John Ivan Prcela, Dražen Živić, Hrvatski Rastislav Terzioski, Denacionalizatorskata

holokaust [Croatian Holocaust], Zagreb 2001. dejnost na bugarskite kulturno-prosvetni institucii
vo Makedonija [The Denationalising activity
Marin Preda, Delirul [The Wildness], of the Bulgarian cultural-educational institutions
Craiova 1975. in Macedonia], Skopje 1974, after: Historical
Archive of KPJ, volume VII, Beograd 1951.
Enver Redžić, Muslimansko autonomaštvo i 13.
SS divizija [Muslim Autonomy Movement and 13th Áîðáàòà íà áúëãàðñêèÿ íàðîä â çàùèòà è çà
SS division], Sarajevo 1987. ñïàñÿâàíå íà áúëãàðñêèòå åâðåè ïî âðåìå íà
Âòîðàòà ñâåòîâíà âîéíà [The Struggle of the
Božo Repe, Sodobna zgodovina. Bulgarian People for the Defence and Saving
Zgodovina za 4. letnik gimnazij of the Jews in Bulgaria during the Second World
[Contemporary History. History for the 4th War], Sofia 1978.
Grade of Grammar School], Ljubljana 2002.
Îöåëÿâàíåòî. Ñáîðíèê äîêóìåíòè
Božo Repe, interview with Cveto Kobal 1940-1944 [The Survival. A Compilation
(video), Memorial Center Mauthausen. of Documents 1940-1944], Sofia 1995.

Božo Repe, Naša doba [Our time], Ljubljana 1996. Tito – Churchill: Strogo tajno [Tito – Churchill:


Strictly Confidential], edited by B. Biber, Zagreb, pomagac a protiv Jevreja u Jugoslaviji [Crimes of

Ljubljana 1981. Fascist Occupiers and their Accomplices Against

the Jews in Yugoslavia], Belgrade 1952.
“Tomori”, 6 August 1940, 2; 11 August 1940, 2.
Dencho Znepolski, Ï î ñ ì ú ð ò í à è ç ï î â å ä
Stajko Trifonov, Áúëãàðñêèÿò íàöèîíàëåí [A Posthumous Confession], Sofia 1998.
â ú ï ð î ñ 1919-1944 Â: Íîâè ñòóäèè ïî úëãàðñêà
èñòîðèÿ 1918-1948 [Bulgarian National Problem Ženite od Makedonija vo Narodnooslobiditelna-
(1919-1944), in New Essays on the Bulgarian ta vojna [The Women of Macedonia in the
History 1918-1948], Sofia 1992. National Liberation War], Skopje 1976.

“Universul”, 79/2 03. 1942, p.4; 5/01. 1942, Vladimir Žerjavić, Opsesije i megalomanije oko
p. 1; 291/28. 10. 1944; 44/15. 02. 1942; 318/26. Jasenovca i Bleiburga [Obsession and megaloma-
11. 1944. nia about Jasenovac and Bleiburg], Zagreb 1992.

Riki Van Bouschoten, Anapoda chronia.

Syllogiki mnimi kai istoria sto Ziaka Grevenon
(1900-1950) [Difficult years. Collective memory References for visuals
and history in Ziaka Grevenon (1900-1950)],
Athens 1997. “Akbaba”, 24 August 1939.

Ivan Venedikov, Ïî äåëàòà èì ùå ãè ïîçíàåòå Archives of the City of Belgrade

[You Will Recognise Them By Their Deeds], Sofia
1993. Beograd, Narodna biblioteka Srbije, Zbirka
plakata (Belgrade, National Library of Serbia,
Aleksandar Vojinović, Ante Pavelić, Zagreb Collection of Posters).
Rýfat Bali, Musa’nýn Evlatlarý,
Evelyn Waugh, The End of the Battle (the Cumhuriyet’in Yurttaþlarý [ Children of Moise,
“Sword of Honour” trilogy), Boston/New Citizens of Republic], Istanbul 2003.
York/London 2000.
Croatian Museum of History
Ahmed Emin Yalman, Yakýn Tarihte
Gördüklerim ve Geçirdiklerim vol 3 (1922-1944) Cumhuriyet Ansiklopedisi [Encylopedia of
[Things Seen and Lived in the Near Past (1922- the republic] vol. 2 (1941-1960), Istanbul 2002.
1944)] Istanbul 1970.
Vladimir Dedijer, Dnevnik, 1941-1942
Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o NOR naroda [Diary, 1941-1944], 2nd edition, Belgrade 1951.
Jugoslavije, tom XIV, knjiga 1. Dokumenti
c etnickog pokreta Draže Mihailovića 1941-1942 Epopeja e Luftës Antifashiste Nacionalçlirimtare
í í

[Collection of Documents and Facts about the e Popullit Shqiptar, 1939-1944. [The Epopee
Struggle of the Yugoslav National Liberation of the Albania’s People Antifascist National
Movement. Documents of the Draža Mihailović’s Liberation War, 1939-1944], Tiranë 1980.
Chetnik Movement, book no. 1] Beograd 1981,
doc. nr. 34. Hagen Fleischer, Stemma kai svastika. I Ellada
tis Katochis kai tis Antistasis 1941-1944, vol. 2
Žarko Zgonjanin, et al. (ed.), Kozara u [Crown and swastika. Greece of Occupation and
Narodnooslobodilackom ratu. Zapisi i sjećanja. Resistance 1941-1944, 2 vol.], Athens 1995.

Knjiga šesta. [Kozara in National Liberation War.

Texts and memories. Book VI], Beograd 1978. Gallery of the State Archives, Zagreb

Zlocini fašistickih okupatora i njihovih Abaz Hoxha, Filmi Artistik Shqiptar 1957-1984
í í


[The Albanian Artistic Film, 1957-1984] Tiranë, 1987.

Istoriki kai Ethnologiki Etaireia tis Ellados Branko Petranović, Nikola Žutić (ur.),
(IEEE), To epos tou ’40. Laiki eikonographia 27. mart 1941. Tematska zbirka dokumenata
[The epic of the ‘40’s. Popular iconography], [ March 27th 1941.Thematic Collection
Athens 1987. of Documents], Beograd 1990.

Istorijski Arhiv Beograda, Zbirka fotografija Giannis Soldatos, Istoria tou Ellinikou
[Historical Archive of Belgrade, Collection of Kinimatografou [History of Greek cinema],
Photographs]. vol. 1-2, Athens, 1999.
Istorijski Arhiv Beograda, Uprava Grada
Beograda [Historical Archive of Belgrade, The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the
Belgrade City Administration], SP III-48, Turkish Republic, London, New York 1993.
k 157/15, 25th September 1941.
“Universul”, Bucharest, no. 30, 1 February
Jugoslovenska grafika 1900-1950. 1942; 15 May 1942; no. 272, 5 October 1942;
Katalog izložbe, Beograd, decembar 1977 no. 281, 14 October 1942; no. 249, 12 September
-februar 1978 [Yugoslav Graphic 1900-1950. 1943; 6 October 1944; 26 October1944.
Exposition Catalogue, December 1977
-February 1978] Beograd , 1977. Aleksandar Vojinović , Nije sramota biti Hrvat
ali je peh [Being a Croat is not a shame but bad
Jugoslovenska Kinoteka, Belgrade luck], Zagreb 1999.
[Yugoslav Film Library].
War Museum of Athens, British Collection.
“Karikatur”, 24 of September 1942.
Zlocini fašistickih okupatora i njihovih
í í

Jure Krišto, Sukob simbola, politika, vjere i pomagaca protiv Jevreja u Jugoslaviji

ideologije u Nezavisnoj Državi Hrvatskoj [Conflict [Crimes of Fascist Occupants and their
of symbols, politics, religion and ideologies in collaborators against Jews in Yugoslavia],
Independent State of Croatia], Zagreb 2001. Belgrade 1952.

Nataša Mataušić , Jasenovac 1941-1945,

Zagreb 2003.
References for maps
Slobodan D. Milošević, Izbeglice i preseljenici
na teritoriji okupirane Jugoslavije 1941-1945
Map 1: World War II, 1939-1942 – Map 50
[Refugees and Resetlers on the Territory of
Occupied Yugoslavia 1941-1945], Belgrade.
(p.178) in : Paul Robert Magocsi,
Historical Atlas of Central Europe
Museum of the City of Zagreb (University of Washington Press, 1993, 2002).

National History Museum of Athens Map 2: Southeast Europe after World War II
– Map 52 (p.186) in : Paul Robert Magocsi,
National Library of Serbia, Belgrade op.cit.
Kosta Nikolić, Nemacki ratni plakat u Srbiji

1941-1944 [German War Poster in Serbia 1941-

1944], Beograd 2001.

“Novo vreme” [“New Time”], Belgrade, 16th

September 1942.


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