Stjepan (Esteban) Hefer, odvjetnik, političar, veliki župan župe Baranjske

  • Stjepan (Esteban) Hefer lawyer, politician, head of the ISC Baranya County
Language of Description
1924 - 1945
Level of Description
  • Croatian
  • German
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

2,25 Linear Meters


The archival collection was found in the attic of Stjepan Hefer, where it was taken from by Kamilo Firinger, the head of the Croatian State Archives in Osijek, in 1956.

Scope and Content

The collection holds material relevant to the life and work of Stjepan Hefer, a lawyer and politician who was the head of Baranya County during the Independent State of Croatia. After the war, Hefer emigrated to Argentina to escape execution/trial in socialist Yugoslavia. In Argentina, he ran the Croatian Liberation Movement until his death. During the Second World War, Stjepan Hefer was the leader of the Velika Župa Baranja, one of the highest regional authorities in the northeast of the Independent State of Croatia. Considering that the collection of the Velika Župa Baranja is very fragmented and contains scarce materials, Hefer’s collection offers an invaluable insight into the inner workings of the Ustasha regime in the region. In addition, Hefer preserved many of the documents from the Velika Župa Baranja and kept them in his private archive, which is now part of this collection. The first section of the collection (box 1) has many private files of Stjepan Hefer, such as education and health records, documents about his property, personal letters written to or received by friends and family. The collection (box 2-9) also contains detailed information on Hefer’s activities as a lawyer and various legal cases he worked on in the interwar period. Some of these cases are interesting for researchers because they include political trials concerning the communists and Croatian nationalists. Boxes 10-14 are concerned with the political activities of Stjepan Hefer as a representative of the Croatian Peasant Party during the interwar period. Researchers of the Holocaust, fascism, genocide, military, and WWII history will be mainly interested in boxes 14-17, which are concerned with Hefer’s activities as the Veliki Župan with his seat in the city of Osijek. This part of the collection is relevant for regional and local history as well. It contains official files of Velika Župa related to economy, health, social, interethnic, and various political issues. Box 17 includes a folder titled “Domestic and International politics,” which is of great significance for Holocaust researchers. The file contains documents related to anti-Jewish policies in Osijek and its surroundings. For example, it includes petitions from victims’ families petitioning the Ustasha authorities for their release from the concentration camps. The file also contains cases of resistance to antisemitic policies, such as the petition of “Aryan” wives married to Jews and women of Osijek who harshly criticized the policies of the Ustasha regime. Hefer’s collection is relevant for researchers interested in the comparative, entangled, and transnational history of fascism, genocide, and Holocaust studies since it contains rich material on inter-ethnic cooperation, as well as conflicts in the region of Slavonia during the Second World War. Particularly interesting files are concerned with the interaction between the Arrow Cross, Volksdeutsche, and the Ustasha movement.

System of Arrangement

9 Books, 19 Boxes

Finding Aids

  • The collection has a finding aid which is available to the researchers inside the archival institution, in exceptional cases it can be delivered in a digital form via e-mail upon individual requests. The 20 page-long finding aid contains detailed descriptions of the contents of archival boxes.

Existence and Location of Originals

  • Osijek State Archive.

Archivist Note

Description prepared by Lovro Kralj based on survey work in the collection in 2021.

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0