Njemačka narodna zajednica u nezaviznoj državi Hrvatskoj
- The German National Community in the Independent State of Croatia
20 linear meters
The State Archives in Osijek acquired parts of this collection over longer periods of time. The first part of the collection was acquired in 1952 when the files were transferred to the State Archives from the attic of the regional administrative building (županija). Those parts of the collection, containing “packets” of archival materials, were confiscated on the German-Czech border in 1945.
The German National Community in the Independent State of Croatia [Deutsche Volksgruppe im Unabhängigen Staat Kroatien] was founded in April 1941. Under Branimir Altgayer, it claimed to represent the interests of all ethnic Germans in Croatia. The activities of the German National Community were mainly concentrated in the regions of Syrmia, Baranya, and Slavonia, even though its representatives were also active across the Independent State of Croatia. The archival collection covers various materials related to military, economy (box 22, 48-60), education (box 30-32), health (box 33), culture (box 34-35), social structure (box 61-67), and propaganda history of the German National Community, as well as its international correspondence with the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (VoMi) and other organizations of ethnic Germans in Europe. Researchers of the Holocaust will find the “general files” (boxes 9-21) useful since they contain reports on German colonists in various locations in the Independent State of Croatia. German colonists were mainly recruited through the internal migration of ethnic Germans within WWII Croatia. The collection contains lists of German settlers. The “General files” section also includes lists of “Germans” who had declared themselves as national “Croats,” which was seen as a particular ‘threat’ to the interests of the German National Community. To maintain surveillance over the ethnic Germans, the German National Community also monitored their international mail. The collection also contains files including various discussions and proposals on how to solve the so-called “Jewish question.” In addition, minutes from multiple meetings between the German Embassy in Zagreb and the Ustasha regime about this and other topics are preserved within the collection (box 19). Researchers interested in military history will find box 23-29 useful due to the materials concerning the activities of the German National Community’s paramilitaries as well as the activities of various SS-units. There are also multiple security reports, defense plans, data on human losses, lists of war prisoners, and military actions against partisans documented. Researchers of the Holocaust will find boxes 36-47 useful since they are mainly concerned with propaganda. They contain various photographs of the activities of the German National Community and reports on different events and news focused on the Volksdeutsche in Southeastern Europe. Furthermore, these boxes contain propaganda materials such as newspaper clippings, publications, pamphlets, and booklets. In addition, there are multiple reports on the activities of the Volksdeutsche in Hungary, Serbia, and Banat, which makes the collection particularly interesting for researchers working on the history of the Volksdeutsche, fascism, genocide, and the Holocaust from a comparative, entangled and transnational perspective. Files focusing on the activities of the German National Community’s social institutions and organizations (boxes 61-67) are well preserved and contain documents related to the history of the German-Bulgarian association, the association of German students in Croatia, and information on the activities of the National-Socialist German Party (NSDAP) in Croatia, as well as the German Workers Community (DAF). Most of the remaining material is concerned with various regional political institutions of the German National Group. Boxes 68-100 cover the activities and reports of the German National Group’s regional offices such as the Okrug Sava-Dunav (Vinkovci), Okrug Istočni Stijem (Ruma), Okrug Donja Drava (Osijek), Mjesna organizacija Osijek – Gornji Grad, and Mjesne Organizacije u Bosni (Banja Luka, Jajce, Mostar, Sarajevo, Teslić, Tuzla, Travnik, Zavidovići, Zenica). Boxes 105-118 contain the lists of all the members of the German National Group between 1941 and 1944.
The collection has a finding aid which is available to researchers inside the archival institution. In exceptional cases it can be delivered in a digital format via e-mail upon individual requests. The 24 page-long finding aid contains organizational information on the archival collection without individual document or box descriptions.
Description prepared by Lovro Kralj based on the detailed finding aid in 2021.
EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0