Projekt Izgubljene kočevarske vasi

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  • Project: The Lost Villages of the Gotschee Germans

    The Lost villages of the Gotschee Germans is an interactive multimedia project by Center for mladinsko kulturo Kočevje (Centre for The Culture of Youth in Kočevje). Answerable for a cultural heritage we researched, responsible for a local history we documented what otherwise would be probably gone with the wind. You are looking at the part of project, which handles 12 villages of the Gotschee Germans. It marks them with signs and puts them on a map. The villages are furthermore presented by movies at www.KocevarskeVasi.si.From the middle of the 14th century until 1942, a German- speaking area of approximately 800 sq km in size was part of the Kočevsko region. During the Nazi occupation, Germans living in various European countries were massively migrated back to the German Reich by the Nazi government. After the Italians had occupied the Kočevsko region in 1941, a small German-speaking community of about 12,000 people had to migrate as well. The Gottscheer Germans were appointed the area along the Sava and the Sotla rivers in the Lower Štajersko region, from which the most Slovenians had been exiled. After WW2, the destiny of the Gottscheer Germans was similar to that of  other German-speaking communities in Slovenia. Those who did not leave with the German army at the end of the war and those few who remained in the Kočevsko region were exiled to Austria by the new Yugoslav government. Later, they dispersed and settled in various parts of Austria and Germany; many moved to the Unites States of America. 

    The exile of the Gottscheer Germans, post-war devastation and decay, and well-planned destruction of mostly sacral buildings in the 1950s had a fatal long-term effect on the area. More than one half of 176 villages in the Kočevsko region were destroyed: the area is now covered with woods. Only 28 out of 123 churches have been preserved, and out of approximately 400 chapels and religious signs about 40 can still be found. Many cemeteries were either levelled with the ground or the German tombstones were removed. Apart from the changes in the national structure, the economic and proprietorial situation of the area was profoundly changed. The Karstic soil and the densely wooded area of the Kočevski Rog with its deep abysses witnessed mass killings of several thousands of Slovenian soldiers opposing the National Front, who were returned to Slovenia after they had tried to emigrate. The extensive region was later closed to the public and a number of penal and work camps were set up. Very few remnants are left to this day to witness the 600-year- long presence of the German national community amidst the Slovenian territory. The plaques present the images of the once vibrant villages, countryside and its people, who shaped the Kočevsko region over the centuries. Author: dr. Mitja Ferenc

     

  • O projektu "Izgubljene kočevarske vasi"

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The name of the place is reminiscent of the onetime work of a glazier, and its owner, Prince Karl of Auersperg (from the German Karlshutte, meaning Karl’s Glasshouse). It was built in approximately 1835 in the middle of the woods by the road from Grčarice to Loški Potok. At first it produced glass-plates, and embossed glass in the years that came after. It had the first steam boiler in the whole country of Crain, used as a drive for grindery. Flint-sand was dug up in the neighbourhood of Novi Lazi, and potash was used as a diluter. One can still see remnants of the glazier’s work at the left of road through the woods, approximately 300 m from the crossroad which leads to the Perhjama cottage and the Medvednica cottage.    

The unrewarding business and remote location resulted in the glazier’s work being abandoned in approximately 1851. It was transferred to Kočevje, next to a coalmine. There it operated until 1886, only to be later closed and destroyed. One anecdote remains – once the Prince was eager to praise himself in front of his guests, telling them that they were drinking from the most expensive vessels in the world, and were worth the dear sum of 30,000 florins. Namely, this was the amount in losses, which came about from the glazier’s work in Glažuta. 

The Prince of Auersperg put a steam sawmill next to the former location of the glazier’s workshop in Glažuta in approximately 1868. The spot was well chosen, as there was an abundance of wood nearby and water was obtained from a rain water sump, which was constructed by making a barrier in the valley with a cement wall. The wall cracked during the frosts, so the sump was first improved with pipes to collect rain water, and then with tubes to connect it with a spring which was 1 km away. The Prince’s Forestry Administration did not supervise the glazier’s work by itself. In those times, it was normal to rent out the business. It was only in 1887 that the Prince took the sawmill into his own hands, modernised it, and achieved a yearly capacity of 5000 m3 of sawn wood. It was then driven via Loški Potok and Bloke to the railway station in Rakek, which was 45 km away. After a railway line was built, connecting Kočevje and Ljubljana, the wood was dispatched from the railway station Ribnica, 20 km from Glažuta.

Next to the sawmill, apartment buildings for workers, drivers, and technicians were built, as well as stables for work animals. About 75 people lived here. Foresters followed, and the Prince himself had a temporary lodging here. In February 1937 a school for the children of Slovenian workers was opened in Glažuta.

The Gotschee Germans – 9 people from 3 families or 2 houses – emigrated in 1941, on December 8, as part of Der Sturm Grčarice. In April 1942, Partisans destroyed the machines in the sawmill, because they were being used to steam wood for rifle butt-ends for the Italian Army. The settlement became unpopulated and decayed. Later on, a forestry lodge, two wooden barracks for forest workers, and a stable were restored. After World War II Glažuta went through several administrations: first the that of Podpreska, then Draga, Loški Potok, Sodražica, and Kočevje in 1960. Since 1995 it has been part of the Municipality of Loški Potok. From time to time, there were some people in Glažuta, but since 1991 on nobody has been living in it permanently.

The Chapel of the Heart of Jesus 

A wooden chapel of the Heart of Jesus was put on the slope of a hill, above the crossroad and all the houses, so it would be seen from far away. Perhaps in the manner usual for old chapels and churches, a levelled pedestal was made first, and then a cottage made out of beams was constructed on it. The beams were left to be seen and arranged into eaves above the entrance. The roof was symmetrical and covered with shingles. The whole building was cut short at the back. A little column at the ridge was the sign of its sacral character. The chapel was burnt down during the war, but later it was rebuilt as a holiday cottage. Today it is a faithful copy of the original chapel, reconstructed from old photos and according to memories, so that it could obtain a museum-like quality. 

 

Predstavitev vasi v besedi in sliki

  • All
  • Borovec Pri Kočevki Reki
  • Czmk
  • GLAŽUTA, Karlshütten, Gloschhittn
  • INLAUF, Inlauf, Inlaf
  • Izgubljene Kočevarske Vasi
  • JELENDOL, Hirisgruben
  • KUKOVO, Rapljevo, Kukundorf, Kukndoarf
  • Mitja Ferenc
  • Morobitz
  • Mröbitz
  • Nemška Loka, Unterdeutschau, Agə
  • ONEK, Honegg, Wrneggə
  • RAJHENAV, Reichenau, Reichenagə
  • Rajndol, Reintal, Reintol
  • Tvkocevje
  • VERDRENG Podlesje, Verdreng, Vərdreng