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

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Jerry2021
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7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"

Post by Jerry2021 » 22 May 2021 20:21

I heard that a lot of members of the SS division 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen" were killed when captured by the Yugoslav partisans. Does anyone have the percentage of members were killed and how many made it to Austria and survived. Was this division particularly hated as it committed a lot of war crimes in Yugoslavia.

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

Post by RichD-M » 23 May 2021 16:31

I have seen postwar trial lists of members of PE who were tried by the Yugoslavian Government, unsure about those members of the division who were executed without trial.

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

Post by ewir54.69 » 24 May 2021 15:06

Hello!
many of Prinz Eugen were walled up alive in caves by the Communists.
greetings

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

Post by Jerry2021 » 30 May 2021 15:43

Is there a percentage on how many made it to the west

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

Post by MarcHS » 01 Jun 2021 13:59


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

Post by FlyingStukas » 02 Jun 2021 01:49

Jerry2021 wrote:
30 May 2021 15:43
Is there a percentage on how many made it to the west
Very hard to tell, Jerry. Many perished in the final months of the war, fighting the Partisans in Bosnia and all the way to Austria. Since Yugoslavia practically ethnically expelled, deported or locked up ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) after the war, it's hard to tell how many members of the division actually made it through this path. It wouldn't be unwise to suggest some even perished during the Bleiburg massacre.

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Filip
Cheers,
Filip

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

Post by Georg_S » 03 Jun 2021 18:10

At DRK Vermisstenbildlisten WB there is a ton of Vermissten soldier of the 7 SS. You can also find a lot of the att the KA - KH and XA-XD (especially jugoslavia 44-45) the collartab with odalrune show Them as members of the 7.SS

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

Post by G. Trifkovic » 05 Jun 2021 20:07

Hi all,

first of all, this being a research forum, I would like to ask ewir54.69 to provide the source for this statement:
Hello!
many of Prinz Eugen were walled up alive in caves by the Communists.
greetings
MarcHS, you wrote:
I don't know if using IHR as a source is better or actually worse than using none at all.

The fact is that is very hard to answer Jerry2021's original question, with percentages and all. Theoretically, veterans' associations would have -perhaps- been able to compile such statistic; to the best of my knowledge, it is not the case with the 7th SS.

The fact is, the question is very hard to answer in general owing to the extreme paucity of available relevant documents.
We do know that the division was ca. 12,000-strong in March 1945 and can assume that it still had ca. 10,000 by the time of the capitulation. Nearly the entire division surrendered to the Yugoslavs; only the pioneer battalion and, probably, some other, smaller groups, made it Austria. We also know that one Yugoslav unit received orders to execute ca. 1,500 members of the division in mid-May, and that it was in all likelihood fulfilled. We also know that in February 1946 there were 354 members of the Prinz Eugen in POW camps; they are listed separately from 6,646 "Volksdeutsche" (not specified who they were, possibly those ethnic Germans who fought on other fronts and were repatriated to Yugoslavia), 335 "SS Troops" and so on. It should be noted these 354 were born in Yugoslavia/held Yugoslav citizenship; "Reichsdeutsche" would have been included in the category "German POWs".

Last - but not the least - Yugoslavs reported having captured "3,139 Romanians" and "4,461 Hungarians", members of the German armed forces. These were most likely ethnic Germans from these countries, the majority of whom would have served in the 7th SS. These categories (citizens of allied countries) were scheduled for repatriation already in 1945-46; how many actually made it back is - again - not known.

I would like to point out that the entire issue of post-war German POWs in Yugoslavia is in dire need of further research. Archives in Belgrade would probably yield some information, as well as the records of Red Cross societies of the countries involved. In the Balkans, the topic can't be used for daily politics, so it is ignored; likewise, the Bundesrepublik seems not to care at all.

Best,

G.

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

Post by Jerry2021 » 06 Jun 2021 09:18

Much thanks, G. Wikipedia states all members of the division captured by the Yugoslavs were killed . Is that true?

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

Post by G. Trifkovic » 06 Jun 2021 10:47

Jerry2021 wrote:
06 Jun 2021 09:18
Much thanks, G. Wikipedia states all members of the division captured by the Yugoslavs were killed . Is that true?
Provide the link, please.

Best,

G.

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

Post by ewir54.69 » 06 Jun 2021 13:54

Hello!
Years ago, I read about it. I don't remember the source.
greetings

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

Post by Jerry2021 » 06 Jun 2021 22:13


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

Post by G. Trifkovic » 07 Jun 2021 20:22

The Wikipedia article states the following:
All personnel of Prinz Eugen taken prisoner by the Yugoslav Army were then killed.[20]

[...]

[20] Mojzes, Paul (2011-10-16). Balkan Genocides: Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing in the Twentieth Century. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-4422-0665-6.
Below a screenshot of the page in question. As is clearly visible, the author chose to include this statement without providing any source for it, which means it has to be taken with a large grain of salt (moreover, author is in the wrong about the ethnic composition of the division). The same goes for the unsubstantiated claims about the manner in which the executions of the PE members took place (nothing personal, ewir54.69., I heard these stories myself).

Personally, I believe that the aforementioned mass execution from mid-May was not the only one, but also that at least some of the non-Yugoslav members of the division (Volksdeutche from Romania/Hungary/etc., but also some Reichsdeustche with no direct ties to the NSDAP and affiliated organizations) survived the capture.

The search must go on.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 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.

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

Post by Ivan Ž. » 07 Jun 2021 23:19

Hello, everyone
ewir54.69 wrote:
24 May 2021 15:06
many of Prinz Eugen were walled up alive in caves by the Communists.
G. Trifkovic wrote:
05 Jun 2021 20:07
this being a research forum, I would like to ask ewir54.69 to provide the source for this statement
ewir54.69 wrote:
06 Jun 2021 13:54
Years ago, I read about it. I don't remember the source.
This information became known to the wider audience through the former division commander Otto Kumm and his book "7. SS-Gebirgs-Division 'Prinz Eugen' im Bild" (pp. 227-228, ed. 2001). However, Kumm never claimed that "many" were killed in such a manner, but some. A big difference. (Never trust your memory - all human memory is unreliable; always know and re-check your sources.) According to Kumm, the info originates from the book "Die deutschen Kriegsgefangenen in Jugoslawien 1941-1949" (by Kurt W. Böhme) - which should be checked for further info and sources.

(Before reading Kumm's "Conclusion", bare in mind that in his works he denied/ignored all war crimes committed by his former division, except for maybe one, partially, and tried to represent his Partisan enemies as the criminals, while being a declared war criminal himself.)

IMG_20210607_234405.jpg
IMG_20210607_234406.jpg

As for Mojzes' statement that all "Prinz Eugen" men were liquidated upon capture, which was used on (for the 100th time: unreliable) Wikipedia - it simply isn't true. Even Kumm didn't claim that. Otherwise, there would be no "Prinz Eugen" personnel to stand trial, for starters (and it's well known that two divisional commanders were tried, plus others). And there are other examples of divisional members not being killed upon capture, or not being sentenced to death on trial etc. (Whether those that weren't executed also survived the captivity is another topic.)

A significant example of a high-ranking member of the division being tried, not sentenced to death and eventually even pardoned was SS-Standartenführer Zimmermann, the pioneer commander (sentenced to 20 years in 1947, released in 1952, died in 1995). But there's also an example of one of his subordinates (Ustuf. Krah) being sentenced to death as a result of mistaken identity. (See Siegrunen No 79, pp. 16-18.)

The "Prinz Eugen" men were indeed deeply hated by the Partisans. And who wouldn't hate such an enemy? Fellow countrymen that hunt you like an animal for two and a half years trying to kill you, and showing little mercy to any "suspect" along their way. But that doesn't justify any execution without trial (nor an unfair trial), for it was never the entire division that committed the war crimes.

Cheers,
Ivan
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