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This is an in-depth study of the ethnic German minority in the Serbian Banat (Southeast Europe) and its experiences under German occupation in World War II. Mirna Zakić argues that the Banat Germans exercised great agency within the constraints imposed on them by Nazi ideology, with its expectations that ethnic Germans would collaborate with the invading Nazis. The book examines the incentives that the Nazis offered to collaboration and social dynamics within the Banat German community - between their Nazified leadership and the rank and file - as well as the various and ever-more damning forms collaboration took. The Banat Germans provided administrative and economic aid to the Nazi war effort, and took part in Nazi military operations in Yugoslav lands, the Holocaust and Aryanization. They ruled the Banat on the Nazis' behalf between 1941 and 1944, yet their wartime choices led ultimately to their disenfranchisement and persecution following the Nazis' defeat.Read more
- Examines a case study unknown to history scholars in the English-speaking world
- Follows the latest trends in studying Germanization and the Holocaust as interconnected processes
- Explains Nazi policy implementation as both institutional history and history from the bottom up
Reviews & endorsements
'Zakić's well-argued microhistory shows how Banat Germans used Nazism for local purposes, even as it implicated them in Nazi atrocities. It lays bare how Nazi ideology bent to wartime practicalities in this politically-charged region of Europe.' John Eicher, German Historical Institute, Washington DCSee more reviews
'Mirna Zakić's compelling and often surprising account of the ethnic Germans of Yugoslavia proves how much there still is to learn about World War II. Energetically researched and written with verve, this remarkable book reveals the cynical pragmatism and contagious brutality at the heart of Nazi population policies.' Doris L. Bergen, University of Toronto and author of War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust
'By reframing the place of Volksdeutsche in the complex Nazi paradigm of Europe and teasing out how collaborative arrangements evolved over time, Zakić's study successfully counters the antiquated German diasporic narrative that sought to vindicate ethnic Germans … an admirable case study, beautifully researched and filled with rich detail.' Emily Greble, Slavic Review
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- Date Published: March 2017
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107171848
- length: 308 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 157 x 22 mm
- weight: 0.56kg
- contains: 3 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The Banat Germans from settlement to partial Nazification, 1699–1941
2. Ethnic Germans and the invasion of Yugoslavia, 1941
3. Ethnic German administration (1941) and community dynamics
4. Privileges, economy, and relations with other groups
5. Police and anti-partisan activity
6. The Holocaust (1941–2) and Aryanization
7. Ideology and propaganda
8. The Waffen-SS division 'Prinz Eugen' and anti-partisan warfare in Yugoslavia, 1942–4.
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