1944 Rukavina’s Order #69

Tito’s General-Mayor Ivan Rukavina’s Order #69
Date: 1st of December 1944
Translated by Rosina T. Schmidt

From the Military Field of Command to all the Command Centers of Control Areas, the Town Military Command Centers, and all MILITARY CELLS

In a number of towns and villages irregular behaviors are being reported about the handling of the Hungarians and (ethnic) Germans, which only cast shame on our military organization and damages the reputation of our people and our country.

In order that future proceedings with the Hungarians and (ethnic) Germans will be equally proper in the entire territory under the military administration, I order the following:

1 / According to the decisions of the second AVNOJ conference all minorities are considered to be equal citizens of Yugoslavia, which therefore relates to the Hungarians, who have all the rights and duties equal with all the citizen of our country. Exempt are only those Hungarians, who as war criminals were directly involved in the crimes of Hungarian fascists towards our population. Such Hungarians are to be handed over to the military courts, which will deal with them on the basis of established laws. Therefore:

a/ All the Hungarians are to be immediately dismissed from all the camps, and only those Hungarians  can be kept back in the camps, who are under investigation by the judicial authorities or have already been punished by the military courts.

b/ All Hungarians as well as other inhabitants are subject to military control. This means that the Hungarians can be accepted in H.O.V.  for now and to be mobilized only on a voluntary basis. When our needs in H.O.V. demand, the Hungarians are also to be mobilized.

V/ If the Hungarian male population from 18 to 30 years does not enter into H.O.V. they will be under the military working units order. These working units are in all respects equal to all cooperative units be it in organization, the discipline, food, lodging, as well as the loyalty to the country, which is expected of them. If necessary, other national minorities can be included.

2/ The proceedings against the (ethnic) Germans, who are in the vast majority, and who were on the side of Zlivkovac’ German fascists, and who sent their children to the German SS units in which they are still fighting today – those proceedings shall be as follows:

a/ Only those (ethnic) Germans can join our N.O.V. who have earned the right through their active antifascist deeds. All other male population of the German ethnicity from 16 to 60 years of age is to be sent to the compulsory labor services. All those ordered for the compulsory labor service will be rounded up and sent to appropriate military barracks or to the concentration camps and formed in the working units and they are to perform work, as the demands arise. In the military barracks and labour concentration camps sharp military discipline is to rule, but in no way are those labour camps allowed to be similar to the fascist camps, which were equal to torture chambers and tombs for the inmates.
b/ All those (ethnic) Germans, who actively participated in the crimes against the peaceful citizen during fascist occupation must be placed in the hands of the courts, who will sentence them with well deserved prison sentences.

v/ In those cases where the military situation demands or the safety of our areas requests, the military administration can by special approval relocate all the (ethnic) German population from certain towns and villages to other more suitable villages, where they will be able to implement better control.

3/ All those prisoners who were sentenced by the military court are to serve their sentence in the camps. The concentration camps will be established for inmates regardless of their nationality. Inmates, who are located in these camps loose their freedom and have to serve their sentence. This means that they are prohibited from any contact with the population at large and that they will perform labour under strict control. These camps must be humanly supervised as per N.O.V. code of ethics.

4/ All the previous orders by the military government in this respect are null and void.

All the military command centers are to forward this most urgent order to all the district stations and that it … (the last part of the sentence was off the page, including the signature)

…..Command District


Sources: book “Partizanska i Komunisticka represija i zlocini u Hrvatskoj 1944 – 1946 DOKUMENTI, Slavonija, Srijem i Baranja”; ISBN 953-6659-29-8;  by Dr. Vladimir Geiger