Romani Studies

“Good soldiers and even heroes”; or From the history of the Roma in Croatia and Slavonia during the First World War

Romani Studies (2020), 30, (1), 1–14.


Details

There are few known historical sources to show what position minority and sociopolitically marginalized groups such as the Roma population held in Croatian territory during the First World War. Due to the above, but also due to a lack of scientific and public interest, this subject has been neglected in the Croatian historiography. This work is based on the analysis of archival sources and other relevant secondary literature with the goal of researching the relationship between the state (especially army) and local authorities’ position towards the Roma in Croatian territory in the period from 1914 to 1918. Research on the position of the Roma in Croatian and Slavonian territory during the First World War has shown that their social status generally worsened during this period. Roma fit for military service were mobilized into the Austro-Hungarian army, and a number of these sought to desert. At the same time, Croatian state and local authorities placed the Roma in a category of particularly suspicious persons, thus seeking to carefully monitor their wanderings. A certain fear of the nomadic Roma as “permanent foreigners” and those who continuously resist the pressure of sedentarization and social integration motivated these authorities to enact general provisions to regulate the rights and responsibilities of the Roma during the war. In this context and under the influence of similar regulation enacted in Hungary, the Croatian government council enacted a provision on the sedentarization of the nomadic Roma in August 1916 which, among other things, included measures that forcibly tied them to a place of residence and controlled their wanderings and employment.

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Primary sources: newspapers

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Hrvatski List. 1916a. Englezi cijene cigane kao branitelje otadžbine. 8 July 1916: 2. Google Scholar

Hrvatski List. 1916b. Ciganin – harambaša. 12 August 1916: 2. Google Scholar

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Hrvatsko pravo. 1916a. Cigani ugrožuju imetak. 29 April 1916: 2. Google Scholar

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Ilustrovani list. 1916. Cigani u našoj vojsci. 26 February 1916: 197. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1914a. Zakleti novci. 10 July 1914: 4. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1914b. Ciganin provalnik. 4 December 1914: 2. Google Scholar

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Jutarnji list. 1915a. Protiv cigana koritara. 7 February 1915: 5. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1915b. Samoubojstva ciganina – vojnika. 30 April 1915: 3. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1915c. Ciganska kradja konja. 29 July 1915: 3. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1915d. Tati peradi na poslu. 28 October 1915: 5. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1915e. Cigani ubili starca. 8 September 1915: 7. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1915f. Protiv cigana koritara. 7 February 1915: 5. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1915g. Cigani sa krivotvorenim petkrunašem. 16 July 1915: 5. Google Scholar

Jutarnji list. 1915i. Pisar ciganin, prevejena varalica. 5 November 1915: 7. Google Scholar

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Svjetlost. 1912. Koloniziranje cigana. 3 November 1912: 2. Google Scholar

Secondary literature

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Zimmermann, Michael. 2001. The Wehrmacht and the National Socialist persecution of the Gypsies. Romani Studies 11 (2): 111–35. Google Scholar

Bársony, János. 2013a. Pharrajimos u Trećem Reichu – kronološki pregled. In: Bársony, János, and Daróczi, Ágnes, eds. Pharrajimos: sudbina Roma u doba Holokausta. Zagreb: Art tresor naklada. 25–8. Google Scholar

Bársony, János. 2013b. Povijest Roma u 20. Stoljeću i u doba Pharrajimosa. In: Bársony, János, and Daróczi, Ágnes, eds. Pharrajimos: sudbina Roma u doba Holokausta. Zagreb: Art tresor naklada. 33–58. Google Scholar

Crowe, David M. 1996. A history of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. Google Scholar

Đurić, Rajko. 2007. Povijest Roma prije i poslije Auschwitza. Zagreb: Prosvjeta. Google Scholar

Hrvatska enciklopedija. Ban. https://www.enciklopedija.hr, s.v. “Ban,” accessed 30 April 2020. Google Scholar

Kenrick, Donald. 2007. Historical dictionary of the Gypsies (Romanies). Lanham, Toronto, Plymouth: Scarecrow Press. Google Scholar

Maštrović, Ljubomir. 1929. Kako bi cigani postali radiše? Dom, 8 May 1929: 5. Google Scholar

Šarenac, Danilo. (forthcoming). The view of disaster and victory from Bellow. Serbian Roma Soldiers 1912–1918. Social Inclusion. Google Scholar

Taylor, Becky. 2014. Another darkness, another dawn: A history of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. London: Reaktion Books. Google Scholar

Vojak, Danijel. 2004a. Romsko stanovništvo u popisima stanovništva u Hrvatskoj i Slavoniji u razdoblju 1850–1910. Časopis za suvremenu povijest 36 (2): 701–28. Google Scholar

Vojak, Danijel. 2004b. Odnos između seoskog i romskog stanovništva na području Hrvatske i Slavonije, 1900–1910. Sociologija sela 42 (165–6/3–4): 363–83. Google Scholar

Vojak, Danijel. 2005. Zakonsko reguliranje položaja romskog stanovništva na području banske Hrvatske 1873–1918. Radovi Zavoda za hrvatsku povijest 37: 145–62. Google Scholar

Zimmermann, Michael. 2001. The Wehrmacht and the National Socialist persecution of the Gypsies. Romani Studies 11 (2): 111–35. Google Scholar

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Author details

VOJAK, DANIJEL