7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Jerry2021 » 08 Jun 2021 09:19

Much thanks everyone for answering my question.

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by G. Trifkovic » 12 Jun 2021 15:21

@Jerry2021:

You're welcome!

@ Ivan:

Well-spotted, komšo; thanks!

G.

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 12 Jun 2021 16:16

Ivan Ž. wrote:
07 Jun 2021 23:19
Hello, everyone

for it was never the entire division that committed the war crimes.

Cheers,
Ivan
Would there be a way to determine which parts of the division commited atrocities and which did not? I would be very interested in the differences between the subunits.

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by G. Trifkovic » 12 Jun 2021 18:15

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
12 Jun 2021 16:16
Ivan Ž. wrote:
07 Jun 2021 23:19
Hello, everyone

for it was never the entire division that committed the war crimes.

Cheers,
Ivan
Would there be a way to determine which parts of the division commited atrocities and which did not? I would be very interested in the differences between the subunits.
Theoretically, the best bet would be to analyze the findings of the Yugoslav National Commission for Determining the Crimes of Occupier(s)' and his Helpers and cross-check them with minutes of war crimes tribunals, statements of captured members of the division, and wartime reports from both sides (e.g. if a XY regiment reported 100 enemy killed and only two rifles captured, that's a good clue). Naturally, it would be a major project requiring a lot of time and resources.

G.

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by G. Trifkovic » 12 Jun 2021 18:26

Sid Guttridge wrote:
07 Jun 2021 20:40
Hi Guys,

The actual number of deaths in Yugoslavia is debatable. Immediately after the war Tito's government claimed 1,700,000 had died. They never lowered this because compensation from Germany was pro rata.

However, fifty years later, after the break up of Yugoslavia, Serb and Croat historians did separate studies and arrived at similar totals of a few tens of thousands over the million mark for total Yugoslav dead. However, they couldn't as closely agree as to which communities they mostly came from.

I suspect it would be difficult to extract the specific figures for the Prinz Eugen Division from the prevailing confusion.

Cheers,

Sid.
Hi,

can you please provide more info on who these historians were and what precisely they could not agree on.

Cheers,

G.

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Ivan Ž. » 13 Jun 2021 13:30

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
12 Jun 2021 16:16
Would there be a way to determine which parts of the division commited atrocities and which did not? I would be very interested in the differences between the subunits.
Hello, Pascal

As G. (hello, G.!) wrote, establishing that would indeed be a major project requiring a lot of time and resources. But I do think it is doable, to a large extent, and the Archives of Yugoslavia (Arhiv Jugoslavije) would be the best place to start.

For those unfamiliar with the "Prinz Eugen" order of battle, see, for example, the Axis History page about the division.

The primary fighting force of the division were the Jäger (infantrymen), that is, the two Jäger regiments (initially numbered 1 and 2, later renumbered 13 and 14). And if you take a look at the (Yugoslavia-related) German war criminal list compiled by M. Zečević and J. Popović in Dokumenti iz istorije Jugoslavije (Archives of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, 2000, vol. IV, pp. 477-772, 787-918), you'll see that the majority of the listed "Prinz Eugen" members did belong to those divisional subunits. Again, the majority, not all; also listed are the divisional artillery commander(s), armoured company commander, (at least) three veterinarians, and members of some other subunits (the subunits weren't identified for all of the listed persons, unfortunately, and there are a lot of typos in the names). So, as always, each case should be examined individually.

Here's another interesting example from the trials: SS-Rttf. Anton Eichinger of the divisional staff company was accused of participating in the shooting of 72 persons (33 men, 19 women and 20 children), looting and torching houses. He fully confessed the charges and was sentenced to death in Sep. 1949; but since the sentence wasn't carried out within a year, it was commuted to 20 years imprisonment in May 1951. More on him in Đ. Lopičić (ed.), Nemački ratni zločini 1941-1945, Museum of Genocide Victims, Belgrade, 2009, pp. 280-283 (see also SACP, Anton Ajhinger). No info on whether he survived / returned from the captivity.

Also covered in the book edited by Lopičić is the commander of the "Prinz Eugen" military police unit (Feldgendarmerietrupp), SS-Ostuf. Gustav Hüfing, accused of personally shooting 66 persons, ordering the shooting of 2 persons, executing the order of shooting 478 persons, participating in the shooting of 5804 persons, looting, torching etc. (see pp. 294-298), who partially confessed the crimes, got the death penalty, which was also later commuted to 20 years imprisonment (see also SACP, Gustav Hifing). Apparently, he did return from the captivity (see this forum post).

An example of the reverse case, of a 20 years imprisonment sentence later changed to a death penalty, was SS-Ostuf. Erich Lipczinski of the 2nd Jäger Regiment, who was accused of participating in the murder of civilians and the wounded, looting and torching, all of which he denied (see SACP, Erih Lipcinski, and Lopičić, 2009, pp. 256-264).

Another interesting and unusual example is Jakob Hubert, a member of the "Prinz Eugen" Division who fled to the Partisans along with a captured female Partisan who was to be shot (whom he later married). After the war he became a (Yugoslav) policeman. In 1951, despite his Partisan service (and marriage), he was sentenced to death for the crimes committed while on the German side (arrests, abuse and torture, several of which resulted in death, and fighting against the Partisan movement). See SACP, Jakob Hubert (click the pdf file for more info).

Cheers,
Ivan

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Jun 2021 12:45

G. Trifkovic,

I have checked my notes from about 1996 and have the following:

"THE COST TO YUGOSLAVIA.

In May, 1945, Tito announced Yugoslav war losses as 1,700,000. At that early stage no proper statistical analysis could have been done and this total can have been no more than a very general estimate. As the number of casualties was directly related to the amount of reparations Yugoslavia could expect from Germany, Austria and Italy, there was no incentive to revise this total downwards in later years and, although never justified in detail, it was generally accepted by default. However, since Tito's death, several better sourced calculations have been made, the two most detailed of which, (one Serb, one Croat) estimate total deaths at 1,027,000 and 1,014,000.
"

Unfortunately my notes do not include the sources. I was working in the British Library at the time, so I presume the sources were in its book stock. However, as I do not read Serbo-Croat I also presume they were secondary, English-language, sources.

I am sorry I cannot be more specific.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. I have just Googled "1,027,000 1,014,000" and the names Bogoljub Kočović and Vladimir Žerjavić came up. I presume that they were my original sources.

P.P.S. A breakdown by Yugoslav nationality of both their statistics can be found on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_ ... javi%C4%87

Regarding this thread, they estimate local ethnic German fatalities at 26,000 and 28,000 respectively. The Prinz Eugen Division at full strength was apparently about 21,000 men.

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by FlyingStukas » 16 Jun 2021 01:44

Sid Guttridge wrote:
14 Jun 2021 12:45
G. Trifkovic,

I have checked my notes from about 1996 and have the following:

"THE COST TO YUGOSLAVIA.

In May, 1945, Tito announced Yugoslav war losses as 1,700,000. At that early stage no proper statistical analysis could have been done and this total can have been no more than a very general estimate. As the number of casualties was directly related to the amount of reparations Yugoslavia could expect from Germany, Austria and Italy, there was no incentive to revise this total downwards in later years and, although never justified in detail, it was generally accepted by default. However, since Tito's death, several better sourced calculations have been made, the two most detailed of which, (one Serb, one Croat) estimate total deaths at 1,027,000 and 1,014,000.
"

Unfortunately my notes do not include the sources. I was working in the British Library at the time, so I presume the sources were in its book stock. However, as I do not read Serbo-Croat I also presume they were secondary, English-language, sources.

I am sorry I cannot be more specific.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. I have just Googled "1,027,000 1,014,000" and the names Bogoljub Kočović and Vladimir Žerjavić came up. I presume that they were my original sources.

P.P.S. A breakdown by Yugoslav nationality of both their statistics can be found on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_ ... javi%C4%87

Regarding this thread, they estimate local ethnic German fatalities at 26,000 and 28,000 respectively. The Prinz Eugen Division at full strength was apparently about 21,000 men.
Regarding this thread, they estimate local ethnic German fatalities at 26,000 and 28,000 respectively.
Dear Sid,
By this, do we consider all Volksdeutsche of Yugoslavia (meaning those who served not only in Prinz Eugen, but also the Handschar Division, NDH-German formations, local police etc.) or ?
Cheers,
Filip

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Jun 2021 06:23

Hi flyingstukas,

The losses I refer to are for the German community in Yugoslavia, including women, elderly and children, as a whole.

The Prinz Eugen contained only younger man.

I don't know what proportion of total Yugoslav German losses were from the division and what were civilians.

It should be remembered that the Prinz Eugen Division had suffered considerable casualties before it fell into Partisan hands at the end of the war.

It should also be noted that a lot of the Prinz Eugen manpower were Germans from Romania and Hungary and their deaths wouldn't be reflected in Yugoslav demographic losses.

The situation seems pretty obscure.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Ivan Ž. » 16 Jun 2021 09:56

Sid Guttridge wrote:
16 Jun 2021 06:23
The Prinz Eugen contained only younger man.
Since the beginning (March 1942), the division consisted of men aged 17-50 (see for example Kumm, Vorwärts, Prinz Eugen!, 2007, p. 38, or Zečević & Popović, Dokumenti iz istorije Jugoslavije, 2000, vol. IV, p. 230). So: all able-bodied men, young and old.

Important note: they were only partially volunteers; most were actually conscripts, making the word "volunteer" (Freiwilligen) in the divisional designation false (however, in the Waffen-SS, the word "Freiwilligen" was merely a code for non-Reich-German units - and as of mid-1944, for ethnic German and Germanic units, while non-Germanic units got the designation "Waffen... der SS").

An example of a young and an elderly member:
KB_Kampe_047.jpg
Source: http://www.kriegsberichter-archive.com/ ... ategory/46 (reminder: Kampe = Kemps)

Cheers,
Ivan
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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by FlyingStukas » 16 Jun 2021 13:01

Ivan Ž. wrote:
16 Jun 2021 09:56
Sid Guttridge wrote:
16 Jun 2021 06:23
The Prinz Eugen contained only younger man.
Since the beginning (March 1942), the division consisted of men aged 17-50 (see for example Kumm, Vorwärts, Prinz Eugen!, 2007, p. 38, or Zečević & Popović, Dokumenti iz istorije Jugoslavije, 2000, vol. IV, p. 230). So: all able-bodied men, young and old.

Important note: they were only partially volunteers; most were actually conscripts, making the word "volunteer" (Freiwilligen) in the divisional designation false (however, in the Waffen-SS, the word "Freiwilligen" was merely a code for non-Reich-German units - and as of mid-1944, for ethnic German and Germanic units, while non-Germanic units got the designation "Waffen... der SS").

An example of a young and an elderly member:
KB_Kampe_047.jpg
Source: http://www.kriegsberichter-archive.com/ ... ategory/46 (reminder: Kampe = Kemps)

Cheers,
Ivan
Hello Ivan and good input,

I have heard that the photo in question is actually of a son and a father both serving in the Division. I can't confirm it nor deny it, but it definitely does seem like a possibility and I'm sure examples like that were widespread.

Cheers,
Filip
Cheers,
Filip

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Ivan Ž. » 16 Jun 2021 13:30

Hello, Filip

It's only someone's assumption - not that it isn't possible (it's the first thing that came to my mind, too). But without an original caption (which isn't yet known), we can't know what was their relationship. They could have been unrelated, picked out by the PK photographer merely because of their visible age difference, demonstrating the age variety in the unit; or: the youngest and the oldest member in the unit (company, battalion, regiment...); or something that had nothing to do with age. Who knows - with enough imagination, the possibilities can be endless ;)

Cheers,
Ivan

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Jun 2021 21:30

Hi Guys,

Please note that I posted "younger men", as opposed to the "women, elderly and children" mentioned in the previous sentence. I did not say "young" men.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Ivan Ž. » 16 Jun 2021 22:19

It's clear, Sid, and it's incorrect, as was already explained.

Cheers,
Ivan

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Re: 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by FlyingStukas » 17 Jun 2021 03:10

Ivan Ž. wrote:
16 Jun 2021 13:30
Hello, Filip

It's only someone's assumption - not that it isn't possible (it's the first thing that came to my mind, too). But without an original caption (which isn't yet known), we can't know what was their relationship. They could have been unrelated, picked out by the PK photographer merely because of their visible age difference, demonstrating the age variety in the unit; or: the youngest and the oldest member in the unit (company, battalion, regiment...); or something that had nothing to do with age. Who knows - with enough imagination, the possibilities can be endless ;)

Cheers,
Ivan
You are definitely right, Ivan. Photographers often pictured the "youngest and eldest" or "tallest and shortest" members of a unit, even prior to WW2. It seems like a standing and fun military tradition. A good photo nonetheless.

Cheers,
Filip
Cheers,
Filip

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