Tito’s Court Documents
from the book
PARTISAN AND COMMUNIST
REPRESSION AND CRIMES IN CROATIA
1944 – 1946
Vladimir Geiger, Phd
CONDENSED ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Discharge Order for the Krndija Camp
May 11, 1946
The Section of People’s Security of the Department of Interior of the County of Slavonski Brod sends to the Department of Interior of the Town of Vinkovci the instruction about discharging from the Krndija camp of certain groups of persons of German ethnicity.
Department of Interior of the County of Brod
Section of People’s Security
Number: Conf. 239/111 – 1/46.
Brod: May 11, 1946
Re: Internment of persons of
German ethnic bakground – liberating from Camps
To the Department of Interior of the Town of VINKOVCI
In keeping with the order of the Ministry of Interior of Croatia Conf. no. 421/46 and with the find of the Commisssion of that Ministry, liberation of interned persons of German ethnic background war carried out in the past several days, namely:
- 1.- Persons who during the occupation weren’t prominent as collaborator with the occupiers and weren’t members of the “Kulturbund” and German organizations.
- 2.- Persons of German ethnic background who are married to persons of recognized ethnic background (mixed marriages).
- 3.- Persons who were in YA or have a close relative in YA.
- 4.- Persons who actively collaborated with PLM.
- 5.- Persons of German ethnic background who are citizens of neutral or allied states.
- 6.- Persons of German ethnic background who refused to declare themselves as Germans during the occupation.
- 7.- Persons of German ethnic background who had been assimilated as Croats, Serbs etc., who were born, as well as their ancestors, in our country and used our language at home and outside as mother tongue, so that in that way they assimilated completely as members of our peoples.
All above-mentioned persons were set free from the camps with the signed document of dismissal in the form of an “Announcement” issued by the Department and signed by the chief of the Department of Interior of the County and by the camp manager. All persons holding such Announcements are obliged to report to the local authorities and to the Department of Interior of the district or the town in whose territory they are.
The Department of Interior will register all such persons in a special ledger so as to have the exact survey of all such (Persons) with exact addresses or residence of these persons.
From the day they were released from the camps all liberated persons are free and equal citizens of our country with all rights and duties which the citizens of FPR of Yugoslavia have. In that respect no difficulties must be made, nor should their stay in the place of their choice be disturbed, but they are to be treated as all other citizens.
The property of the discharged persons remains state property, since the decision of AVNOJ of November 21, 1944 is in force and remains in force. In that respect the Department of Interior will take care that local authorities, such as Local PCs, District (PCs) etc., don’t return the property to persons returning from the camps. That property can’t be returned, so instruct all local authorities as to procedure in that respect. In some Districts it has already happened that some Local PCs have let the persons discharged from the camps into their houses, which had been sealed and earmarked for colonization. Such acts are incorrect and must be stopped. All such persons who moved back into their houses are to be evicted from them, and if it isn’t possible in any other way, then by a Militia intervention. In order nevertheless to put up these persons somewhere, it is the duty of the local authorities to enable them to live in the village to which they come, with their relatives or acquaintances, but only inasmuch that they can find shelter and start working. All discharged persons, as equal citizens, have the right to employment and no difficulties must be made for them in that respect. We don’t care what kind of work these persons will do, but the main thing is that they are employed and that they live by their labour. Thus, the Departments of Interior have to take care that no obstacles are made to these persons when looking for a job or when being employed. The stay in the camp deprived no one of the right to pursue a certain kind of work and craft.
The above instruction is to be studied and implemented and strictly observed. All institutions and offices are to be constantly warned of the right of the person discharged from the camps, should obstacles be raised when they look for a job. It should be taken care that one doesn’t go to the opposite extreme and give jobs primarily to the persons discharged from the camps, but it should be striven to employ them in agricultural work, in factories, etc., at harder manual works which are important for reconstruction at the present.
The local authorities are also to be warned that not only houses and furniture aren’t to be returned, but also land, but the discharged from the camps can work as agricultural laborers on other people’s land, at Area Administarions, etc.
All persons of German ethnicity who had remained in the camps don’t fall into the above-mentioned categories and aren’t eligible for discharge from the camps.*
These are persons of German ethnic background and of German origin who should be repatriated to Germany. Because of that, no further appeals for their release from the camps should be accepted, since they are unnecessary and pointless. The instructions in that sense are to be given to persons seeking to liberete such (persons).
Allotment of labour force from the Krndija camp ceases altogether, and the instructions in that sence are to be given to the interested parties.
The above instruction is being sent to you to be implemented, with the request that you confirm the receipt, as well as eventual cases from the territory which happened (and fall within the range) of this circular letter of concerning restitution of property, or allotment of apartments or employment of the discharged persons.
Death to Fascism – Freedom to the People!
(M.P.) For the Chief:
Uzelac sgd. Zlatko sgd.
Department of nterior of TPC
Number: Conf. 197-1946 – Vinkovci, on May 15, 1946
* After the largest camps for the Volksdeutsche in Croatia were disbanded, the Valpovo Labour Camp and the Krndija Camp during May 1946, the inmates who weren’t set free were transferred to other camps in Slavonia, Baranya, in the Backa and in the Banat. (Pusta Podunavlje in Baranya, Tenja/Tenjska Mitnica near Osijek, Gakovo and Krusevlje in the Backa and Knicanin/Rudolfsgnad in the Banat), or they remained at forced labour at agricultural estates and in various organizations in Slavonia, Syrmia and Baranya. Aftre the camp Pusta Podunavlje was disbanded in August 1946, old and sick inmates were transferred to the Knicanin/Rudolfsgnad camp, and those fit for work in the Tenja/Tenjska Mitnica Labour Camp, which was the largest camp for the Volksdeutsche in Croatia. When the Tenja/Tenjka Mitnica Camp was disbanded in January 1947, the last inmates, couple of hundred of them, were transferred to the Knicanin/Rudolfsgnad camp which existed until March 1948, and many didn’t survive due to sickness, mostly thypus, and hunger.
Df. Verbrecehn and den Deutsche in Yugoslawien 1944-1948, die Stationen eines Voelkermordes, Muenchen 1998, pp. 227-228.
Genocide of the Ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia 1944-1948, Muenchen 2003, p. 126.
Genocide nad nemackom manjinom u Jugoslaviji 1944-1948, Beorgrad 2004, pp. 159-16- ad the literature adduced there.