June 24, 2014 at 11:46 am

Zakić Publishes Article on ‘The Price of Belonging to the Volk: Volksdeutsche’

Dr. Mirna Zakić, Assistant Professor of History, published an article on “The Price of Belonging to the Volk: Volksdeutsche, Land Redistribution and Aryanization in the Serbian Banat, 1941–4” on April 2014 in the Journal of Contemporary History.

Dr. Mirna Zakic

Dr. Mirna Zakic

Abstract: Between 1941 and 1944, the Serbian Banat was occupied by Reich German forces but administered by its Volksdeutsche (ethnic German) minority. The Banat Volksdeutsche existed in a precarious balance between the Third Reich’s racial policy and their new position as masters of their home region, with the power to rule as well as abuse other Banat ethnic groups. The precariousness of their position was especially apparent with relation to the material perks and privileges they received at the Third Reich’s behest, specifically easy access to Aryanized property and to land expropriated from the Banat Serbs. Not only did these privileges help turn other Banat ethnicities against the Volksdeutsche, they also drew the Volksdeutsche ever deeper into complicity with the Third Reich. The Banat Volksdeutsche paid dearly for material privileges and a modicum of power, as they came to owe the Third Reich loyalty, food deliveries, administrative and security service and, finally, armed service in the Waffen-SS.

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