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.
Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.
By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth. In North America and Europe, almost everyone is under constant scrutiny: people are spied on, observed, their personal information is being continually extracted, and the surveillance cameras are used indiscriminately.
Life is synchronized and managed. There are hardly any surprises.
One can sleep with whomever he or she wishes (as long as it is done within the ‘allowed protocol’). Homosexuality and bisexuality are allowed. But that is about all; that is how far ‘freedom’ usually stretches.
Rebellion is ...
In this exclusive interview, Prof Peter Kuznick speaks of: the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagazaki; US crimes and lies behind the Vietnam war, and what was really behind that inhumane invasion; why the US engaged a Cold War with the Soviet Union, and how that war and the mainstream media influences the world today; the interests behind the assassinations of President Kennedy; US imperialism towards Latin America, during the Cold War and today, under the false premise of War on Terror and War on Drugs.
Edu Montesanti: Professor Peter Kuznick, thank you so very much for granting me this interview. In ...
Last month was the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Serbian village of Kravica committed by Moslem forces from Srebrenica under the command of Naser Orić on Orthodox Christmas day, January 7, 1993. Several dozen villagers were killed in the attack, the remaining Serbian population was forced to flee to safety, and many homes were pillaged, demolished and torched during the several weeks that Kravica was forcibly occupied by neighbours from nearby Srebrenica. Regardless of arcane debates of who started the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on a human level the attack on the village of Kravica and the ...
Ever since the end of World War II, the United States, rightly or wrongly, but most of the time, wrongly, has fancied itself as the «world’s policeman». Even a disastrous and costly military intervention in Southeast Asia did not deter the United States from acting as the chief arbiter of what governments were «in» and which were «out» as evidenced by Central Intelligence Agency interloping in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Angola, Haiti, and Colombia. Two military interventions in Iraq and a U.S.-led military campaign directed against Yugoslavia were not enough to pry the United States from its self-appointed role as the ...
In 2014, after I published my report about Namibia, exposing the German ‘semi-denial’ that it had committed a Holocaust in its former Southwest African colony; a renowned German university sent me a letter. I paraphrase here, but the essence of the letter is kept intact:
“Dear Professor Vltchek, we are impressed by your research and your conclusions, and we would like to translate and publish your groundbreaking analyses in German language. Unfortunately, we cannot afford any payment…”
It was one of the major universities in the country, with tremendous budgets and an international reputation.
I replied, asking why, with all those scholars and ...
Chemical weapons are an invention of the western war machine. Introduced into trench warfare by the French in 1915, over 190,000 tons of chemical weapons were produced during World War 1. There were an estimated 1.3 million casualties caused by chemicals during the war, with 90,000 fatalities.
Often referred to as the “Chemists War,” World War I saw the rise of chemical weapons being used on the battlefield. It all began with the French Army, who used tear gas in the form of small grenades.
These small grenades didn’t hold much gas, and were largely undetected by German forces. The French issued ...
Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States! How unprecedented! How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!
In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.” (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”
But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections ...
Most people have no idea of who is pictured above, but you should. The sight of this man should cause a similar revulsion to that of seeing Mussolini, Mao, Stalin or Hitler, as he committed an African genocide that resulted in the killing of over 10 million people in the Congo.
His name is King Leopold II of Belgium.
Most of the people never learned about him in school, and have also most likely never heard about him in the media either. This is because he’s not included in the popular narrative of oppression (which includes things like U.S. slavery and the ...
Yada…yada…yada. The discussion on the unprovoked and planned aggression by Georgia on South Ossetia is futile and moot because Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced last week that the Russian Government would recognize the independence and freedom of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On August 25, 2008, both houses of the Russian Parliament or Duma voted unanimously to recognize the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On August 26, 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that the government of the Russian Federation officially recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Save your rhetoric. Georgia has lost those areas permanently. Ossetians and ...
The Vlachs in Greece
Many researchers and scholars judge that the largest part of the Balkan Vlachs is concentrated in Greece. The census of 1935 recorded 19,703 Vlachs in Greece, but according to the last census in Greece that allowed people to express their ethnic identity (in 1951), there were 39,855 Vlachs in this state. However, a real number of the Vlachs in Greece today is up to 120,000.
The Vlachs in a post-war Greece are not acknowledged as an ethnic or national group for the very reason that Greece from the mid-1950s does not recognize an existence of any national or ...
The ‘mainstream’ Western media is, almost by definition, the last place to consult for honest reporting of Western crimes. Consider the appalling case of Yemen which is consumed by war and an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.
Since March 2015, a ‘coalition’ of Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, and supported by the US, Britain and France, has been dropping bombs on neighbouring Yemen. The scale of the bombing is indicated in a recent article by Felicity Arbuthnot – in one year, 330,000 homes, 648 mosques, 630 schools and institutes, and 250 health facilities were destroyed or damaged. The stated aim of ...
I don’t want to discuss the musical merits of who should have won the recent Eurovision amateur song contest in Stockholm. It’s brazenly clear that the Ukrainian ethnic Tatar Jamala won in a rigged contest to make a political intervention. As she subsequently openly admitted, it was between the actions of Stalin in World War II against Crimean Tatars and the actions of Moscow in 2014 in Crimea. The song of Jamala was blatantly political and by Eurovision rules ought to be grounds to strip her of the title regardless of her singing talent or lack of same. What is ...
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Accused of Running Human Organ, Drug Trafficking Cartel
In another grim milestone for the United States and NATO, the Council of Europe (COE) released an explosive report last week, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo.”
The report charged that former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) boss and current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, “is the head of a ‘mafia-like’ Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe,” The Guardian disclosed.
According to a draft resolution unanimously approved December 16 in Paris, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights found compelling ...
A news compilation on New Cold War.org on March 8, 2017 reported the controversy that has broken out in Canada surrounding the family history of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Her maternal grandfather edited two pro-German newspapers in Poland and Austria during World War Two. He and his family settled in Canada after the war.
The minister told a March 6 press conference in Ottawa that inquiries into her family history constitute a ‘Russia disinformation’ campaign directed at her and the Canadian government. The minister as well as sympathetic journalists state that the ‘disinformation’ has been aided and abetted by ...
In the thousand year long-history of Serbs, Kosovo and Metohia were for many centuries the state center and chief religious stronghold, the heartland of their culture and springwell of its historical traditions. For a people who lived longer under foreign rule than in their own state, Kosovo and Metohia are the foundations on which national and state identity were preserved in times of tribulation and founded in times of freedom.
The Serbian national ideology which emerged out of Kosovo’s tribulations and Kosovo’s suffering (wherein the 1389 St. Vitus Day Battle in Kosovo Polje occupies the central place), are the pillars of ...
Revelations of fascistic crimes carried out by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) prior to, during and after NATO’s war against the former Yugoslavia should provide a salutary lesson whenever Washington again cites humanitarian concerns to justify its predatory war aims. A new report prepared by Swiss Council of Europe deputy Dick Marty slams Kosovo leader Hachim Thaci for organ trafficking and other abominable crimes, deftly shaded by the U.S. in pursuit of their own self-interests.
A report by the Council of Europe describes Kosovo today as a country subject to “mafia-like structures of organised crime”. It accuses KLA commander and current ...
In an email sent to his business partner and Democratic fundraiser Jeffrey Leeds, former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote of Hillary Clinton, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”
Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s first term was an unmitigated disaster for many nations around the world. Neither the Donald Trump campaign nor the corporate media have adequately described how a number of countries around the world suffered horribly from Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.
Millions of people were adversely harmed by Clinton’s misguided policies and her “play-to-pay” operations involving favors in return for donations ...
Editor's note: Originally posted on 2016-01-11
Serbia entered on December 14th, 2015 a final stage of negotiations with Brussels on the EU's membership. It is known, however, that the EU gave an informal ultimatum to Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s independence for the exchange of becoming a full Member State of the EU. The western (the USA/EU) client Serbia’s Government is currently under the direct pressure from Brussels to recognize an independence of the narco-mafia Kosovo’s quasi state or to give up an idea to join the EU. It is only a question when a western colony of Serbia has to finally ...
Magnum Crimen the book about clericalism in Croatia from the end of 19th century until the end of the Second World War.
The book, whose full title is Magnum crimen – pola vijeka klerikalizma u Hrvatskoj (The Great Crime – a half-century of clericalism in Croatia), was written by a former Catholic priest and professor and historian at Belgrade University, Viktor Novak (1889–1977). The book was first published in Zagreb in 1948.
Immediately after the book was published, the Vatican Curia placed this book on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (English: List of Prohibited Books) and pronounced anathema against the author.
Novak wrote a ...
One of the most steadfast beliefs regarding the United States is that it is a democracy. Whenever this conviction waivers slightly, it is almost always to point out detrimental exceptions to core American values or foundational principles. For instance, aspiring critics frequently bemoan a “loss of democracy” due to the election of clownish autocrats, draconian measures on the part of the state, the revelation of extraordinary malfeasance or corruption, deadly foreign interventions, or other such activities that are considered undemocratic exceptions. The same is true for those whose critical framework consists in always juxtaposing the actions of the U.S. government ...
Diagnosing the West with Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD)
The Untold History of U.S. War Crimes
The Srebrenica Massacre: Some Victims are More Equal than Others
The “World’s Policeman” Retires on Disability
European Holocaust had Roots in Africa, Now Namibia is Suing Germany
These Horrible Chemical Weapons Were Created & Used During the First World War
US Meddling in 1996 Russian Elections in Support of Boris Yeltsin
Europe’s Forgotten ‘Hitler’ Killed over 10 Million Africans
Proxy Wars: Kosovo and South Ossetia
Crimes against Humanity: Britain’s Complicity in Saudi Arabia’s Terror Campaign against Yemen
Jamala ‘Won’ Singing Paean to Tatar SS Nazis
Kosovo: Europe’s “Mafia State”: Hub of the EU-NATO Drug Trail
“What About Crimea?” – Latest Narrative From Canada’s Foreign Minister
Kosovo History – First Part
Washington’s “Humanitarian” War and the KLA’s Crimes
Countries Destroyed by Hillary Clinton
Serbia Under the EU’s Ultimatum on Kosovo’s Independence
A “Magnum Crimen” – The Book
The U.S. is not a Democracy, It Never was