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 settlement belongs to a group of places in the Kočevje region which are named after animals (Slo. jelen = Eng. a stag). It is a typical industrial place, built around a steam sawmill which belonged to the Prince of Auersperg. Its beginnings go back to 1894, when machinery from the sawmill in Mokri Potok near Gotenica was moved to a spot behind the district road Grčarice-Rakitnica. And the spot’s name was Jelendol. 

Searching for the most suitable location of a steam sawmill, they found a strong spring called Jama. Its water capacity would be sufficient for the mill. The spring was 13 m deep in the ground, so water was pumped 60 m high into a reservoir next to the sawmill, which was transferred here for economic reasons. Namely, in 1893 the railway line to Kočevje was built, so the sawmill was moved closer to the railway station in Ribnica, just 12 km away from Jelendol. 

In approximately 1894 the workers’ settlement was built, and so were the auxiliary plants: a forge, a locksmith’s workshop, and a waterworks with pumps. Anton Šutej, who got the sawmill on lease, re-formed the plants in the beginning of 20th century. He enlarged the saw workshop with storage for sawn wood and a log stakes, and also added some new buildings for lodging and a canteen. He modernised the equipment to make this sawmill for the most advanced one in the Kočevje region. Here, 10.000 m3 of logs were produced yearly. The sawmill was profitable for its entire existence. 

After World War I the sawmill was taken over by the Prince of Auersperg. In 1922 the sawmill burnt down, but was restored to its former condition. In the 1930s its production was expanded, and 700 wagons of boards were exported to Italy, Spain, and even Africa. After it burnt down again - during World War II - the sawmill was not restored. 

Until 1933 Jelendol belonged to the municipality, parish, and school district of Grčarice. Later it belonged to the 5 km distant municipality of Dolenja vas. Today it belongs to the Municipality of Ribnica. But, during Austrian regime inhabitants of Jelendol were registered together with the people of Grčarske Ravne. They were mostly Slovenians and Croatians, with just few families being of German origin. In 1941, on December 8th, the Gottschee Germans - 15 people from 3 families - emigrated to the territories Posavje and Obsotelje, which were occupied by the Reich’s Germans. At the end of World War II the sawmill area was unpopulated and all of four houses were destroyed. In the 1960s it had two larger buildings, but no permanent residents, as it was a temporary lodging for forestry workers. The houses were removed in the 1980’s.

The remnants of the settlement, mainly the fountains connected by rocks, can still be seen in the woods at the right side of main road which leads to Grčarice. The striking concrete walls, which one can find in the middle of a thicket, although they are grown over by moss and ivy, still remind one of the former lordship human hands had over this spot. 

The World War II fatally marked out this spot, but not only by the destruction of the sawmill. In the area of Jelendol, there is also a war graveyard. One can reach it when driving back in the direction of Ribnica for about a kilometre. A smaller brown sign which says “Jelendol” can be noticed by a tree and – if one looks for crosses painted by the trees – at a distance of some 200 m, one can find himself in front of a monument. It was raised at the point where members of  the Security Information Service liquidated 119 village members of the Home Guard in Jelendol, after they were sentenced to death at a Partisan tribunal in Ribnica. One person rescued himself from the scaffold and described the events even during the war. Members of Home Guard were able to excavate the victims a year later. They were able to identify more than a half of them. Among the bodies there were also 3 women. 90 of them were buried at a graveyard in Hrovača, and the rest were taken by relatives to be buried in family graves.

 

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