April 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Zakic Publishes Book on Ethnic Germans, National Socialism in Yugoslavia during World War II

Dr. Mirna Zakić

Dr. Mirna Zakić

Dr. Mirna Zakić, Assistant Professor of History, recently published Ethnic Germans and National Socialism in Yugoslavia in World War II.

The book offers 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. 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.

She 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.

Commenting on the book, historian Doris L. Bergen said,

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.

For more on Zakić’s publication record, research interests, and teaching, visit her History Department profile.


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