"Prinz Eugen"'s Cruelty 1942-1945

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
User avatar
Posts: 1309
Joined: 15 Sep 2002 18:50
Location: Poland

"Prinz Eugen"'s Cruelty 1942-1945

Post by Minotauros » 11 Jan 2003 12:42

Hi Gentlemen !

I heard that the 7.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs Division "Prinz Eugen" was known for its extreme cruelty during its operations in the Balkans and its struggle against the Communist partisans. I was also told that the division fought bravely against the Red Army and the partisans during the Axis retreat in 1944 and 1945.

Can someone tell me more, please, about the atrocities committed by this unit ? Examples are welcome.

I think that the majority of the soldiers were not

Reichsdeutsche but Balkan Volksdeutsche. Is this true ?

Where did the division surrender and what happened to the survivors ?

Thank you !

User avatar
Posts: 959
Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
Location: United Kingdom

Post by Steve » 11 Jan 2003 16:25

Recruited from Volksdeutsche but with with Reichsdeutsche officers and NCOs (at its formation) it has an unsavoury reputation. In May 43 in the Niksic district of Montenegro during operation Black massacred 121 people mostly women, 29 between the ages of 6 months and 14 years and 30 between 60 years and 90 years. March 28th 44 allegedly massacred 834 civillians and burned 500 houses in Donfer Otok, Cornji, Ruda and Dolac Delji in Dalmatia. Remnants surrendered in Cilli Slovenia to the partizans many personel tried for war crimes in Jugoslavia. Song of the division :-
Prinz Eugen the noble troop
it must scuffle with Serbs,
our trash division
And many Serbian skulls
and many Serbian maids
will I soon see fallen.

Financial supporter
Posts: 4729
Joined: 24 Nov 2002 11:13
Location: Europe

Post by Peter » 12 Jan 2003 09:57

There are proven instances of war crimes by Prinz Eugen but I suspect that it would not take long to discover instances of soldiers of the 7th SS being captured and killed terribly by the partisans.

The Partisan/Anti-Partisan war fought in that theatre was BRUTAL and I guess that it might be a troubled subject to suggest "who started it".


User avatar
Posts: 54
Joined: 21 Dec 2002 22:32
Location: Bangladesh

Post by Maria » 12 Jan 2003 22:06

The 7th SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs Division Prinz Eugen consisted of Volksdeutsche volunteers and conscripts from Rumania, Hungary and Yugoslavia particularly from the Bantat (eastern Serbia/Croatia) and Siebenbürgen (western Rumania - Hungary). Formed as a mountain division, Prinz Eugen was equipped with obsolete and captured equipment such as Czech machine guns and French light tanks. Despite the poor equipment, it was one of the most effective counterinsurgency units the Germans fielded in Yugoslavia during the war, greatly feared by the partisans.

Prinz Eugen fought in all the major antipartisan campaigns (Operations Weiss, Schwartz, etc.) in the Balkans, including disarming Italian Army units in the fall of 1943. The division's reputation is blackened by allegations of war crimes, although it's difficult to find specific examples. However, WWII in Yugoslavia was a war in which neither side gave nor expected quarter - and as much of the conflict combined guerrilla war with civil and tribal warfare, its safe to assume the division committed its share of atrocities.
Brigadeführer Karl Reichsritter von Oberkamp 05/1943 - 01/1944
Brigadeführer Otto Kumm 01/1944 - 01/1945
Brigadeführer August Schmidhuber 01/1945 - 05/1945

SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgsjäger Regiment 13 Arthur Phleps
(honor title awarded 10/43)

SS-Freiwilligen Gebrigsjäger Regiment 14 Skanderbeg
(name title given after incorporation of 21st Division personnel into unit)

SS-Freiwilligen Gebrigs Artillerie Regiment
SS-Sturmgeschütz Abteilung
SS-Panzerjäger Abteilung
SS-Flak Abteilung
SS-Pionier Battalion
SS-Gebirgs Aufklarungs
SS-Field Ertaz Abteilung
SS-Gebirgs-Nachrichten-Abteilung SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Aufklärungs-Abteilung
(later the 105th for the V SS Gerbirgs-Korps


User avatar
Posts: 1309
Joined: 15 Sep 2002 18:50
Location: Poland

Post by Minotauros » 13 Jan 2003 09:20

I heard that the Partisans found very often on the prisoners from "Prinz Eugen" or on the bodies of the soldiers from this division many horrific pictures taken by the SS-men during their anti-partisan and atonement operations.

I also heard that after the division's surrender in the Celje area (Slovenia), the Partisans took revenge with extreme cruelty.

Any comments ? ...

User avatar
Posts: 1309
Joined: 15 Sep 2002 18:50
Location: Poland

Post by Minotauros » 13 Jan 2003 09:22

I heard that the Partisans found very often on the prisoners from "Prinz Eugen" or on the bodies of the soldiers from this division many horrific pictures taken by the SS-men during their anti-partisan and atonement operations.

I also heard that after the division's surrender in the Celje area (Slovenia), the Partisans took revenge with extreme cruelty.

Any comments ? ...

Posts: 18
Joined: 10 Jan 2003 19:12
Location: Opatija, Croatia

Prinz Eugen cruelty.

Post by dinko2 » 15 Jan 2003 18:52

After period of training in Serbia Prinz Eugen come into combat in january 1943 in first large anti partisan operation in Croatia and Bosnia. Major enemy is Operational group of partisan division under the command of Supreme HQ of People liberation army with more than 20.000 armed combatants. After the capitulation of Yugoslavia in 1941 Prinz Eugen is first realy combat division in this teritory. Organized as gebirstjager division with modern equipments and weapons / to Maria: Czech weapons is not obsolete, most of this weapons is modificated for mountain warfare. For second Prinz Eugen members is Yugoslav volksdeutcher who before war serve in Yugoslav army and know to use it. French tanks is ideal for mountain roads with low cabability and oposite side withaout anti tank weapons./ To the end of war prinz Eugen is a German main strike force and fire brigade in Balkan.

Question is it if the Prinz Eugen was cruel. For the sake of thruth combat actiones and treatment against oposite fighters and civil population was not essentially different from treatment of other German and Italian division.

At the end of war German forces tried escape from Jugoslav army which they had fought four years in a cruel and quarterless war. This was a war in which the German had imposed rules of extreme cruelty, seen only on the Eastern front and teritories with anti-nazi guerilla movements. The fate of captured and defeated combatants was always harsch and uncertain.

Most members of Prinz Eugen is volksdeutcher and Yugoslav citizien. The fate of soldiers who fight in occupation army against own citizens and country is similary in all European country after the war. In most country after the first faze of caos and uncontroled revenge only possible punish for this soldiers are long term inprisonments or death.

Prin Eugen surrended in night 10/11.May in Zidani Most area together with rest of 373rd Tigar Infantry(Croat legion) division and 104th Jeger division after heavy combat with Yugoslav army units. In last thre day of combat this group of German division lost more than 2.000 soldiers.

Following numbers is from combat reports of 2nd Yugoslav army:
In Zidani most area surrended: 4.695 German soldiers and NCO and 89 officers, 950 italians, 60 members of Vlasov Army, 6.914 members of Croat army and 315 chetniks with 64 guns, 16 mortars 82mm, 9 mortars 45mm, 15 aa guns, 9 heavy mashine guns, 249 MG.42 mashine guns, 145 other mashine guns, 205 submashine guns, 4480 rifles, 230 pistols, 25 tanks, 2.000 horses, 7 armoured cars, 30 motocikles, 94 personal cars,227 camions and 1.400 horse cars.

User avatar
Schwarz Edelweiss
Posts: 81
Joined: 30 Apr 2011 21:34
Location: Ostfront

Re: "Prinz Eugen"'s Cruelty 1942-1945

Post by Schwarz Edelweiss » 07 Jul 2011 13:35

Talking about the cruelty of the " Prinz Eugen " mountain division during 1942-45 equels the cruelty of the partisans , Serbian chetniks, Croatian Ustashe .The brutality of the war in Bosnia , Croatia , Montenegro and Serbia was on a higher lever than almost any other war theater in the world, i have seen some during the last war so i can only imagine how it was back then !!!
Maybe it has something to do with the hatred between the catholics,orthodox and muslim population which is still present and will be for a long time, who hasn't been there cannot understand what i am talking about !
Southeast Europe or the Balkans as they call it is a very specific story and what dwells in the minds of those people as well !!!
Hoch auf dem Berge

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23712
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Re: "Prinz Eugen"'s Cruelty 1942-1945

Post by David Thompson » 07 Jul 2011 14:09

Schwarz Edelweiss -- Please stay on the topic -- war crimes committed by the SS Division "Prinz Eugen." We already have open threads on crimes of the partisans, so place your comments about them there.

For interested readers -- There is a thoughtful overview of the nature of warfare in the Balkans generally at:

NMT testimony of Dr. Rudolf Ibbeken on Balkan war crimes

Posts: 1647
Joined: 28 Oct 2004 00:03
Location: NJ USA

Re: "Prinz Eugen"'s Cruelty 1942-1945

Post by JamesL » 07 Jul 2011 16:38

what happened to the survivors ?

Well, one of them, a Panzer NCO, (we called him 'the tank commander') moved to New Jersey and opened a very successful German-American restaurant. It was popular with former German soldiers who moved to the USA. It was also very popular with Americans of that generation, many of them GI's.

One day at lunch, in the Von Rundstedt Room, the Panzer NCO told me that 'he never left Germany during the war'. The other former German soldiers at the table chuckled.

Alas, the NCO passed on and the restaurant closed.

User avatar
Posts: 50
Joined: 24 May 2011 00:52

Re: "Prinz Eugen"'s Cruelty 1942-1945

Post by Johaaanan » 25 Dec 2011 01:07

Some interesting opinions here, but still, puting units such as 7th SS Princ Eugen and some of their actions in a same uniformed basket with partisans, cetniks, ustashas... A delusional mixture for my taste.

Some more on Prinz Eugen:


A monument in a Montenegrin village, Doli, Piva region.
520 persons killed on 07 June 1943. 107 children under 14 years old. The rest elderlies and women, most of them tortured.
Comitted by parts of 7th SS Prinz Eugen Division, and parts of 369. Infanterie Division ( Croatian 'Vrazja Dizija' ).


Another Montenegrin village, Velika.
438 ( some claim 600 ) persons killed on 28 July 1944. 60% of victims under the age of 20, the rest elderlies.
Comitted by 14th SS Regiment ( 2nd ) of 7th SS Division Prinz Eugen, and parts of 21st SS Division Skenderbeg with local muslim militias.
( For sources see: Transcripts from trials of Alexander Löhr, August Schmidthuber, Belgrade, 5-16 Feb 1947 ; See also: ''Vjesala za generale, Jovo Popovic, Zagreb 1986 )

October 1942, Kriva Reka, Srbija.
At least 50 civilians blown up in a local church.
Comitted by 14th SS Regiment.
( In the course of his trial ( 5 - 16 Feb 1947, Belgrade ), the then Regiment commander, August Schmidthuber, repeatedly accused the commander of 1st Batallion, Richard Kaaserer, for this one. For his part, Kaaserer blaimed it on Schmidthuber, of course. Neither one denied the existance of the killings, they just couldn't agree if there were women or men only in the church )

March 1944, Sinjska Krajina, Croatia.
Approx. 1500 civillians killed in 3 days.
Comitted mostly by parts of 7th SS Prinz Eugen, and parts of 118th.
( At his trial ( Feb 1947, Belgrade ), the then commander of 118th Jäger-Division , Josef Kübler, confirmed that ''he knew that the SS was to harsh towards civillians in those actions'' )

There was more.
ubi me prejaka reč

User avatar
Posts: 50
Joined: 24 May 2011 00:52

Re: "Prinz Eugen"'s Cruelty 1942-1945

Post by Johaaanan » 29 Dec 2011 20:57

Some more views of 7th SS...

''During its first deployment even the Commanding General in Belgrade noticed Prinz Eugen's striking propensity for violence. On the merest pretext, they resorted to disproportionate reprisals. After a few weeks the General had to request that they avoid in future unnecessary brutality towards unarmed civilian population, such as shooting women and children and burning villages.''

( Klaus Schmider, 'auf Umwegen zum Vernichtungskrieg' in: Rolf- Dieter Mueller/ Hans- Erich Volkmann, ''Die Wehrmacht, Mythos und Realitat'' , Munich 1999, p. 911 )
Last edited by Dieter Zinke on 29 Mar 2012 10:04, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Wehrmacht - not Wermacht !!
ubi me prejaka reč

User avatar
Posts: 33963
Joined: 08 Mar 2002 22:35
Location: Europe

Re: "Prinz Eugen"'s Cruelty 1942-1945

Post by Marcus » 29 Dec 2011 20:59

Thanks for these sourced additions Johaaanan.


Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”