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Review article

On the “Way of the Cross” through Slavonia

Martina Grahek Ravančić

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page 301-316

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May 1945 in the territories of former Yugoslavia did not denote just the end of World War II; it also meant the retreat of a still undetermined number of soldiers and civilians toward the Allied Zone in Carinthia (Koruška). Many of them were taken prisoners in Slovenia (in the area from Slovenj Gradec to Poljana) and a part of the people who managed to break through to the Bleiburg Field was extradited after the negotiations were completed. Refugees who managed to cross the Austrian border and were settled in refugee camps were also handed over to the troops of the Yugoslav Army. Sharing the same fate, they all started a death march or “The Way of the Cross” together, under the vigilant guard of the Partisans. The line of prisoners marched over Slovenia, i.e. the northwestern part of Yugoslavia, the Drava Valley, and Slavonia, all the way to the Romanian border. By the time they reached Slavonia, the columns were considerably reduced, owing partially to liquidations, and partially to the prisoners’ exhaustion. Based on plentiful literature and available documents, the paper analyzes the fates of the prisoners in columns of four-men rows, the events in numerous camps, and liquidations.


Prisoners, columns, camps, the Way of the Cross, Slavonia, 1945

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