Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler arrived in Kraljevo, German-occupied Serbia on Thursday, October 15, 1942 to inspect the 7th Waffen SS Mountain Division “Prinz Eugen”. Himmler spent four days in Serbia, leaving on Sunday, October 18. The first offensive or operation of the Prinz Eugen division, the anti-guerrilla military operation against the Kopaonik region of central Serbia, was to attack the Chetnik guerrillas under Draza Mihailovich in the Kopaonik, Goc and Jastrebac mountains of central Serbia. Prinz Eugen attacked Chetnik troops under Chetnik Major Dragutin Keserovic.
Himmler was photographed arriving in an air field in a German Junkers Ju 52 transport plane. Te arrival was photographed by German war reporter or Kriegsberichter Beinhauer, who shot a series of three. Himmler was coming from a trip to Italy. August Meyszner, the Higher SS and Police Leader (HSSPL) in Serbia, appointed by Himmler in January, 1942, greeted him as he departed from the plane.
Otto Kumm, who commanded Prinz Eugen from January 30, 1944 to January 20, 1945, wrote: “From 15 to 18 October the Reichsfuehrer SS, Himmler, visited the division. He was pleased by the attitude and state of training and, besides stating his recognition, promoted several of its soldiers: Eberhardt, Schmidt, Vollmer, Kaserer and Antelmann to Stubaf, Neumann to Hstuf.” (Kumm, Otto. The History of the 7 SS Mountain Division “Prinz Eugen”. 1995 U.S. printing by J. J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Calgary, Manitoba, Canada edition, page 28.).
Himmler promoted the following officers in the division during his inspection tour:
Chief of Staff of the division, SS-Hauptsturmführer Erich Eberhardt (March 1, 1942 – June, 1943); Quartermaster, SS-Hauptsturmführer Walter Schmidt (March 1, 1942 – July 2, 1943): SS-Sturmbannführer Eggert Neumann, Kdr. SS-Aufkl.Abt. 7: Ostuf. Herbert Vollmer, SS-Pi.Ausb.Btl.1; and, Richard Kaserer, the commander of the 1 battalion, regiment 2.
On his arrival, Himmler was greeted by SS Gruppenfuehrer Artur Phleps, the commander of the Prinz Eugen Waffen SS division. Behind Himmler SS Obergruppenfuehrer Karl Wolff, Himmler’s liaison officer, is seen climbing down the stairs from the plane. Artur Phleps gives a “Heil Hitler!” salute to Himmler as he steps off the plane. With his back to the camera SS Gruppenfuehrer August Meyszner was photographed during the arrival. Meyszner was the head of all the police in Serbia and was put in charge of recruiting volksdeutsche for the Waffen SS. Kraljevo is approximately 31 miles southwest of Kragujevac and 20 miles southeast of Cacak. In 1941, Serbian civilians of the city had been executed en masse as reprisals for resistance.
In October, 1942, the Prinz Eugen SS Division engaged in its first large-scale military operation, against Serbian forces under Draza Mihailovich’s commander Major Dragutin Keserovic in the Kopaonik Mountains in the region of Kriva Reka. On October 5, 1942, Phleps issued his first commitment order for the attack on the Kriva Reka area:
“1. The organization center of the senior rebel commander of middle-Serbia, Major [Dragutin] Keserovic, is located in the Kopaonik Mountains (center of Kriva Reka). Its strength cannot be determined. However, the entire population of this area must be considered rebel sympathizers.
2. SS Division “Prinz Eugen,” in cooperation with elements of the Bulgarian 9th Infantry Division, has to destroy this enemy under my command….
12. …Every man in Division “Prinz Eugen” will fight victoriously wherever the combat takes them. We now lay the groundwork for future operations. The division must fight to destroy our enemy, eliminate his headquarters and maintain the peace. “Forward, Prinz Eugen!”
The Division Commander, Phleps, SS Gruppenfuehrer and Generalleutnant of the Waffen SS.”
According to Otto Kumm in his history of the division, this first military engagement of the Prinz Eugen SS Division against General Draza Mihailovich’s guerilla forces was a failure:
“The operation brought the troops untold difficulties and ended (if one considers the enemy contact) without any success. The Chetniks had their spies in every town and were warned long beforehand. The only success was that the troops (advancing out of various departure positions) were able to conduct the reconnaissance, maintain communications, and cooperate during maneuvers. The operation proved the division’s readiness for commitment.”
During the latter part of October, the Prinz Eugen Division attacked Mihailovich’s guerilla forces in Gorni Milanovac and Cacak.The II Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of Prinz Eugen was transferred to Topola.
Phleps ordered the anti-guerrilla offensive on October 5 in the Kraljevo, Uzice, Ivanjica, Cacak, Raska, Kosovska Mitrovica, and Novi Pazar regions. The Bulgarian 9th Infantry Division participated in the operation. The Prinz Eugen Division had approximately 20,000 troops available for the attack. They attacked the Chetnik Rasina Corps under Dragutin Keserovic, who had approximately 1,500 men under his command.
The offensive was launched on October 12, three days before Himmler’s visit. The area was of vital strategic military value because of the railway and road and communications links to Greece and North Africa, where Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps needed to be supplied. The Trepca mine in northern Kosovo was also vulnerable to attack.
Keserovic had prior information on the offensive and where the German units were positioned. He was able to disperse his troops into small units which were able to escape the intended encirclement. The Prinz Eugen troops attacked from four corners in an attempt to encircle and trap Keserovic’s men. The operation was a failure.
The Axis forces retaliated for the lack of success of the operation by targeting civilians. There are reports that the Waffen SS troops and Bulgarian forces executed Serbian civilians and burned down villages.
In Kriva Reka, 120 Serbian civilians were reported killed. The report claimed that 120 civilians were locked in the Orthodox Church and burned alive. The most recent estimate is at least 46 were killed. Kriva Reka had been Keserovic’s HQ. This atrocity was attributed to members of the Prinz Eugen Waffen SS Division.
In Kopaonik, 300 civilians were reported killed.
In Mount Goc, the report was that 250 Serbian civilians had been shot.
The claim was that the German and Bulgarian forces killed 670 Serbian civilians during the failed offensive.
August Schmidthuber, a commander of the 14th SS Regiment of the Prinz Eugen Waffen SS Division, was tried by the Communist Yugoslav government under Josip Broz Tito in Belgrade in a trial from February 5-16, 1947. At least 50 civilians were allegedly blown up in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kriva Reka by 14th SS Regiment. Schmidthuber repeatedly accused the commander of the 1st Batallion, Richard Kaaserer or Kaserer, as being responsible for this war crime. Kaserer accused Schmidthuber as being the commander responsible.
The Prinz Eugen Waffen SS Division developed a reputation for committing atrocities and was cited at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.
Klaus Schmider, in his account “Auf Umwegen zum Vernichtungskrieg” in: Rolf-Dieter Mueller/ Hans-Erich Volkmann, Die Wehrmacht, Mythos und Realitat, The Wehrmacht: Myth and Reality, Munich, 1999, p. 911, wrote:
”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.”
Like Hitler, Himmler was determined to destroy the guerrilla movement led by Draza Mihailovich. None of the German leaders had any trust or faith in any of the Serbian leaders they installed in Serbia, not even in the State Guard. Jozo Tomasevich from the posthumously published 2002 book Occupation and Collaboration: War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945, noted that both Hitler and Himmler were anti-Serbian: “But both Hitler and Himmler detested all Serbs…this attitude at the highest level influenced all official policy,” He cited a letter from Himmler to Harald Turner, the head of the German military administration in Serbia, dated August 23, 1942:
“In Serbia there should be only the State Guard, which should be supplied with foreign rifles and machine guns that cannot use either German or former Yugoslav ammunition, so that the ammunition can be strictly rationed by us. All other formations, such as the Chetniks and similar ones, should be disarmed, gradually and in a planned fashion.
Never forget that the Serbs remain Serbs, and that the Serbian people are a people who have been in armed resistance for centuries and are trained for it, and that we should do nothing except what is necessary at the moment to maintain our own strength. Anything that would in any way contribute to the strengthening of the Serbian government and thus of the Serbian people must be avoided.” None of the German leaders had any trust or faith in any of the Serbian leaders they installed in Serbia, not even the State Guard.” Tomasevich, Jozo. Occupation and Collaboration: War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945, page 213.
On July 17, 1942, Himmler wrote a letter to the chief of the Gestapo, Geheime Staatspolizei, the Secret State Police, SS Gruppenfuehrer and Generalleutnant der Polizei, Heinrich “Gestapo” Mueller, that Draza Mihailovich and the Chetnik guerrillas were the main targets in the Balkans:
“The basis of every success in Serbia and in the entire southeast of Europe lies in the annihilation of Mihailovich. Concentrate all your forces on locating Mihailovich and his headquarters so that he can be destroyed. Any means may be used to achieve this end. I expect the smoothest cooperation between all agencies concerned, from the Security Police and Security Service to all other branches of the SS and police. The head of the SS and police Meissner [Martin misspelled the name of August Meysner, HSSPL in Serbia] has already received instructions from me in this regard. Please let me know which clues we already have of Mihailovich’s whereabouts. Please inform me weekly about the progress of this action.” (Martin, David. Patriot or Traitor: The Case of General Mihailovich: Proceedings and Report for the Commission of Inquiry of the Committee for a Fair Trial for Draja Mihailovich (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institute on War, Revolution, and Peace Press, 1978), page 46, and T-175-140-2668302.)
The core of the Prinz Eugen Waffen SS Division was made up of Volksdeutsche from the Serbian Banat, ethnic Germans known as Schwabian Germans. The troops in the division targeted Serbian guerillas as shown in a song the members of the division sang, as related by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer of the Prinz Eugen Division Sepp Krombholz:
“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 …”
The first offensive of the Waffen SS division against Draza Mihailovich’s forces in Serbia in 1942 was a total failure. They retaliated against Serbian civilians by executions and massacres.
The offensive against the Chetnik guerrillas by the Prinz Eugen Waffen SS division in 1942 showed that the Chetniks were a viable and effective resistance force. Heinrich Himmler’s commitment to the division demonstrated that the Chetniks were perceived as a major threat and adversary to the Third Reich in the Balkans. The Prinz Eugen division continued to target Chetnik guerrillas when it was redeployed to the so-called Independent State of Croatia, Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska (NDH), later in 1942. The action in Kopaonik also highlighted the fact that the Chetnik guerrillas remained implacable foes and unrelenting opponents of the New Order in Europe.
Originally published on 2015-05-14
Author: Carl K. Savich
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
After the April War of 6−18th, 1941, the Germans, Italians, Bulgarians and Hungarians occupied and divided the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia into several parts. The Germans annexed the North Slovenia and put under their direct occupation the Yugoslav part of Banat and the Central Serbia with Kosovska Mitrovica. The Italians occupied the South Slovenia, established their marionette regime in Montenegro and annexed the Gulf of Boka Kotorska, parts of Konavli and Dalmatia. The Hungarians annexed Prekomurje, Baranja and Bachka. The Bulgarians occupied the East and Central Vardar Macedonia and the South-East Serbia. The Italians established their own marionette ...
Fighting against the U.S. Corrupted Administration: Chronology of Events in the Case of Ronald Thomas WestRepublished by permission by the author.Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
June 10 is a sad date in the history of the UN, the institution originally meant to play the key role in ensuring peace, security, and the primacy of law in the world. The decade since the passing of the June 10, 1999 UN Security Council Resolution 1244 addressing the Kosovo problem – the document totally ignored throughout the period – has shown that the UN is no longer playing the role prescribed to it by the post-World War II system of the international law. The Resolution the tenth anniversary of which nobody seems willing to celebrate in the UN ...
The crumbling “liberal” West is in a desperate hurry in the Balkans. More than a quarter century since the first Western states, pushed by Germany, unilaterally recognized the secession of the former Yugoslav federal republics of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and about 19 years since NATO’s air and land attack against what had remained of the country (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro) resulting in NATO’s occupation and subsequent forced amputation of Serbia’s Kosovo and Metohija province (by way of recognition of its unilaterally declared independence of February 2008 by the main Western powers, some – but not all Muslim ...
Bombardment (or other military invasion) of a country that has not invaded nor threatened to invade the attacking country(s) is “aggression” under international law, and is the chief crime that the Nazis were hanged for at Nuremberg after World War II.
The U.S. and its allies have routinely committed aggression, in places such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. A particular instance of it, to be discussed here, could be especially prosecutable, because the alleged ‘cause’ for the invasion could turn out to have been a provable lie, an intentional fabrication which had been concocted by the perpetrators so as to ...
“What we are really talking about is a humanitarian disaster precipitated by the cold political calculus of an autocratic leader who has pursued a political strategy against his own citizens,” said U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark, supreme allied commander in Europe.Gen. Clark’s target was Slobodan Milosevic. Yet his words might have been used by another American general named Robert E. Lee, about another “autocratic leader” named Abraham Lincoln.The day Clark made his statement bolstering the case for air strikes in Kosovo, the fall issue of Independent Review arrived. In a piece on Lincoln, “micromanager of the war effort,” scholar Thomas DiLorenzo ...
Two decades later Bosnia is still suffering the consequences. ISIS has declared the Balkans the next front for the Islamic Caliphate, and in remote mountain villages, Muslims are already flying the ISIS flag.
Central Bosnia in 2015
Russia Insider (h/t Maksim) The Balkans is the latest arena where the West is trying to circumcise any attempt of Russia to regainits influence. This anti-Serbian resolution and initiative is the part of the broader strategy and the latest Western attempt to demonize Serbs and delegitimize pro-Russian Republic of Srpska (Serbian part of Bosnia) in an effort to forcefully centralize Bosnia and give the driving seat to ...
I travel frequently to the countries which once made up the now defunct Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, satisfying a passion of mine that stems back to my childhood days. For me, the Balkans’ history, its people and its cultures are both enigmatic and magnetic, as they have been, too, for countless others, of many nationalities, over centuries gone by.
Accounting for the enchantment of the Balkans, its captivating allure, is a challenge to put into writing. Because no words can truly embellish what is one of the most absorbing parts of the world. To understand and feel what it is ...
The only discussion of principle emerging from the debates over Kosovar and Crimean independence is that initiated by Woodrow Wilson towards the end of World War One, about whether national minorities have the right to self-determination. Can a smaller group be compelled to be part of a larger state, or should they be permitted to secede? To what extent do minority rights amount to a freedom to determine one’s own sovereignty?
In June 1999 an international military force led by the United States annexed Kosovo, then a province in southern Serbia with a population of perhaps 1.6 million people. Virtually all ...
The United States is killing entire families in Raqqa, Syria, and enabling Saudi Arabia to do the same in Yemen.In June of this year, the U.S. led a campaign to retake the city of Raqqa from ISIS fighters while the Russian and Syrian militaries were also attempting to do the same thing. In the first week of fighting, U.N. war crimes investigators warned that the U.S. had already killed 300 civilians from air strikes alone in that seven day period.Rather than heed that warning, the U.S. has continued the same strategy of pounding Raqqa into the ground despite the likelihood of civilian casualties. Pentagon ...
In the last years of the Cold War (1949−1989), the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the SFRY) was the largest, most developed and ethnoculturally diverse country in the Balkan peninsula (South-East Europe).It was a non-aligned federation comprised of six republics: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. In addition to these six republics, two separate territories of Kosovo-Metochia and Vojvodina held the status of autonomous provinces within the Republic of Serbia. Undoubtedly, ex-Yugoslavia was a mix of ethnic groups and religions, with Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, and Islam being three main religions in the country.[i]Coinciding with the collapse of Communism ...
Here we go again. In yet another Pentagon precision strike, a residential building in Achin district of Nangarhar province was hit as a crowd welcomed home a tribal leader returning from the Hajj.
At least 13 civilians were turned into «collateral damage». The Pentagon of course does not «discuss the details of counter-terror operations», but it’s «currently reviewing all materials related to this strike».
Nothing obviously will come out of it – adding the civilian dead to the non-stop mounting toll of Operation Enduring Freedom (Forever).
Someone that actually is bound to endure his freedom in full splendor is former warlord, head of ...
The full extent of the damage to international peace and security caused by the US-led Syrian strikes will take some time to become clear. But its impact on the very concept of legality in international affairs is already evident.
Simply put, the most powerful county in the world and its chief satellites, the UK and France, have thrown the rule of law into the trash can. The only "law" now is the law of the jungle. There is no going back.
Ironically, the attack itself was claimed by its perpetrators as enforcement of legality, not of its obliteration. For example, NATO Secretary-General ...
Seeing through the Official Lies on Ukraine.
“We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Poland to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – – Polish mobilization.” (Adolph Hitler, 1939)
These are the words of Adolph Hitler just before invading Poland and then the Soviet Union. I have replaced Poland with Russia (see below) to show the analogy of US and Nazi pretexts.
“We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Russia to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – – ...
The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website.
The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website.
The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors.
The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website.
The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet ...
Interview with Čedomir Prlinčević
Formerly the Chief Archivist of Kosovo and President of the Jewish Community of Priština; driven from Kosovo by KLA terrorists in 1999
Interviewer: Jared Israel
Translator: Petar Makara
[Posted 3, December 2000 * New introduction, 4 April 2006]
This is the second Emperor’s Clothes interview with Čedomir Prlinčević (pronounced Ched-o-meer Pra-linch-eh-vich).
Mr. Prlinčević, an historian, was chief archivist in Priština, capital of Kosovo, and head of the Jewish community there until, as he explained in his first Emperor’s Clothes interview, the terrorist KLA drove him and his family and thousands of others from their homes. Heavily armed British NATO forces stood by, ...
The chemical poisoning of civilians in Syria has proved a boon and a blessing for the West’s militarists who energetically seek confrontation with Russia — and with China and any other countries that might pop up on their screens of raging aggression. Nobody doubts for an instant that chemical agents are vile and that anyone using them offensively should be severely punished. But the pseudo-sympathy of those who profess to be shocked — shocked! — by pictures of dead children, supposedly killed by chemical weapons, is obnoxious.
Trump declared “I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big ...
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive US Administrations on behalf of a workable and lasting solution on Cyprus. In 2004, when we warned that the flawed Annan Plan was headed in the wrong direction, ...
During and after the the Kosovo conflict in 1998-1999, the KLA abducted and kidnapped over 2,000 Kosovo civilians, Serbs, Roma, and Albanians that opposed the KLA, who were tortured and murdered. Ten years after the conflict, these 2,000 remain missing. Approximately 1,000 to 1,3000 Kosovo Serbs are missing and presumed dead. How did they die? UNMIK occupation forces have been reluctant to investigate these mass murders of Kosovo civilians. What happened to them? Evidence has emerged that the KLA ran a series of prison camps, in Kosovo and in Albania itself, where they tortured and murdered Kosovo Serbs, Roma, and ...
Remembering a Magnum Crimen in the Independent State of Croatia, 1941−1945
Fighting against the U.S. Corrupted Administration: Chronology of Events in the Case of Ronald Thomas West
The UN Security Council Resolution on Kosovo
NATO’s ‘Unfinished Business’ in the Balkans now Targeting Bosnia’s Serbs
Did U.S. and Allies Commit War Crime by Bombing Syria on April 14th?
Why is Kosovo’s Rebellion Our War?
The Disaster That Bill Clinton Created in Bosnia by Backing Muslims Against the Serbs
The Balkans: Endurance, Endeavour and the Resistance to Foreign Oppression
Kosovo and Crimea: What’s the Difference?
U.S. Airstrikes are Wiping Out Entire Families in Yemen and Syria
The Declining of Yugoslavia (1967‒1981)
Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid
Syrian Strikes are ‘Legal’ – But Only According to the ‘Law of the Jungle’
Ukraine, America’s “Lebensraum”: Is Washington Preparing to Wage War on Russia?
The Biggest Criminals in Global Politics
Why Albanians Fled Kosovo During the 1999 NATO Bombing
Western Hypocrisy About Airstrike Killings
Russian Military Interventions Throughout the World since 1945
A Letter From the Greek American Community on the Cyprus Talks
Disappeared People in Kosovostan