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The collection of scientific papers on forced labour during the Second World War from the project “Producers, Consumers and Consequences of Forced Labour – Serbia 1941-1944”

edited by:Sanela Schmid, Milovan Pisarri

6 Introduction – Sanela Schmid and Milovan Pisarri
12 Milovan Pisarri “I Saw Jews Carrying Dead Bodies On Stretchers”: Forced Labour and The Holocaust in Occupied Serbia
30 Zoran Janjetović Forced Labour in Banat Under Occupation 1941 – 1944
44 Milan Koljanin Camps as a Source of Forced Labour in Serbia 1941 – 1944
54 Photographs 1
62 Sabine Rutar Physical Labour and Survival. Supplying Miners in Yugoslavia
82 Sanela Schmid Serbian Civilian Workers in Nuremberg 1941 – 1945
110 Photographs 2
118 Tomislav Dulić Among the Hyperboreans: Yugoslav Prisoners in Norway 1942 – 1945
140 Thomas Porena The Repatriation Policy for Yugoslav Deportees From Germany in Yugoslav State Entities Between 1944-1947 (with focus on Serbia)
156 Authors

The work of foreigners in German (arms) factories and in agriculture was the main pillar of the national socialist wartime economy. Of the 31 million workers who worked for the German Reich in September 1944, 26% were foreigners. With the reversal of the war in the winter of 1941, when the entire German economy was reorganized, it was necessary to make racist ideas somehow conform to the problem of labour shortages. The newly elected economic representative Fritz Sauckel solved his problem by exploiting labour in the territories occupied by Germany. From the spring of 1942, millions of Soviet citizens were deported to Germany for forced labour adding to those from many European countries that were already in the Reich. The declaration of the total war in February 1943 led to further radicalization in forced labour. Foreign workers who were already in the Reich were banned from returning home because of a lack of available experienced workers, caused by the uncertain military situation. When their contracts expired, the workers were obliged to remain in forced labour, and the recruitment of new workers was increased in occupied territories. In this way the last elements of voluntary work disappeared, if they ever existed. At the same time, in 1943, almost all inmates of concentration camps, about a million, were forced to work in the military industry. Among these people were also Serbs who came in various ways to work in Germany: some were recruited in Serbia, some sent from the Independent State of Croatia, some were prisoners of war or captured “rebels” deported to work in Germany or Norway. But keeping in mind the extent of the threat of forced labour, they represented a very small contingent. When the war ended in 1945, most of them returned to Yugoslavia and did not talk about what they experienced as foreign workers in Germany. On the other hand, Yugoslav society at the time was preoccupied with many other issues so that the fate of forced labourers was not of interest to anyone at that time.