Ante Tresic-Pavicic.

In darkest Europe. Austria-Hungary's effort to exterminate her Jugoslav subjects. Speeches and questions in the parliaments of Vienna and Budapest and in the Croatian Sabor (Diet) in Zagreb online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryAnte Tresic-PavicicIn darkest Europe. Austria-Hungary's effort to exterminate her Jugoslav subjects. Speeches and questions in the parliaments of Vienna and Budapest and in the Croatian Sabor (Diet) in Zagreb → online text (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Editor: The Croatian University Clubs Assossiation, Zagreb, Croatia. 1931
Adress : M. Lorkovic. Berlin SW 11, Hallesdie Str. 18 I. links.

Druck; W: Reimer Nadif. Ernst Kuhn, Berlin SW 61. Belle-Alliance-Str. 94

M UMVi-gu^^^uxA -:3


Effort to Exterminate
Her Jugoslav Subjects

Speeches and Questions in the Parliaments

of Vienna and Budapest and in the Croatian

Sabor (Diet) in Zagreb (Agram).


Published by the Jugoslav
Committee in London^

** The Southern Slav Programme "

" The Southern Slavs : Land and People "

" A Sketch of Southern Slav History "

" Southern Slav Culture "

** Idea of Southern Slav Unity "

" Political and Social Conditions in Slovene
Lands "

Price Threepence each

(Most of these Pamphlets contain a Map of the Southern
Slav Territories.)

" Austro-Magyar Judicial Crimes. Perse-
cutions of the Jugoslavs. Political
Trials, 1908-1916;'

" The Jugoslavs in Future Europe."

By H. HiNKovic.

" Jugoslav Nationalism."


Price Sixpence each


Austria- Hungary's
Effort to Exterminate
Her Jugoslav Subjects

Speeches and Questions in the Parliaments

of Vienna and Budapest and in the Croatian

Sabor (Diet) in Zagreb (Agram)


s = sh in " ship " c =ts in " cats "

c =: ch in " church " j = y in " your "

c = ditto (softer) z; = j in French "jour"


Austro-Magyab JudiciaI; Cbimes. Persecutions of the
Jugoslavs. Political trials, 1908-1916. With a preface by
William Joynson -Hicks, M.P. London, 1916. pp. 94.


Pierre de Lanux et Milan Toplica. Edition speciale de
" La Revue Hebdomadaire." Paris, 1915. pp. 37.

Le Regime Politique d'Autriche-Hongrie en Bosnie-
Herz^govine et les PROci:s de Haxjtb Trahison. Par
un Groupe d'Hommes Politiques Yougoslaves.

Les Pers^icxjtions des Yougoslaves. Proces politiques
(1908-1916). Avant-propos de Victor Berard. Paris, 1916.
pp. 95.

Ceux dont on ignore le Martyre. Les Jugoslaves et
la guerre. Dr. Victor Kuhne. Geneve, 1917. pp. 295.

In these unassuming little pamphlets are revealed the
monstrous sufferings of a nation, difficult to parallel even
in this general slaughter of mankind. Besides the reports
of trials, they contain, set down without phrases or
exaggerations, statements of bare facts and matter-of-
fact documents which admit of no doubt, as they are
derived either from enemy sources or from the Press of
the subject nationalities, which has to run the gauntlet
of the enemy censorship. These pamphlets clearly show
that their authors did not know all that has happened
over there since the beginning of the war, yet even that
which they have to tell is sufficient to fill the soul of
every decent man or woman with horror. These docu-


ments say with brutal frankness that the House of Habs-
burg and its Germano -Magyar domain, Austria-Hungary,
is not merely making war upon an independent Jugoslav
policy, but waging a war of extermination against the
Jugoslavs themselves, a war which is being conducted
with savage and implacable hatred against all that is

But all that we learn from these documents is utterly
outdone by the horrors of the facts recorded in the speeches
of the Jugoslav national representatives in Vienna, Buda-
pest, and Zagreb. After the Russian Revolution Austria,
too, desired to pose as a constitutional State, and so,
after an interval of three years, Parliament was convoked
in Vienna. The Jugoslav deputies seized upon this
opportunity to expose the sufferings of their peoples.
After this the Jugoslav deputies in Budapest and Zagreb
could also venture to bring up the subject. From these
speeches we see only too plainly that the ferocity of the
Austro-Magyar ruling powers against the Jugoslavs has
gone so far that they no longer trouble or seek to shelter
themselves behind a mask of legal formality, but are
indulging in an orgy in which every bestial insti^tict is
given unbridled licence.

Unfortunately, these speeches have not been published
in full. When the Vienna Parliament opened, a special
Parliamentary censorship was instituted. Besides this,
all parliamentary speeches were subject to the Press
censorship as well, so much so that the Ljubljana paper
Slovenski Narod of June 18th thought fit to say to its
readers : " Let no one imagine that we can learn the truth
about the speeches in Parliament from the newspapers."
The censorship only passed just as much as was considered
necessary to provide the national discomfort and exaspera-
tion with some sort of a safety-valve. But it has certainly


not permitted the Jugoslav Press to report the most brutal
atrocities of the official terrorism, not even in the indirect
form of a parliamentary speech. As for the Vienna Press,
it systematically suppresses these indictments. And so
even to-day we do not know everything. We know a
good deal, however, and a knowledge of these horrors
ought to be brought as soon as possible before the British
public, which possesses so high a sense of justice and

The most powerful indictment of the Austro -Magyar
official policy of extermination against the Jugoslavs has
undoubtedly been put forward by the Croat Deputy from
Dalmatia, Dr. Tresic Pavicic, part of whose speech,
delivered on October 19th in the Vienna Parliament,
forms the second part of this booklet. It is a great pity
that only the first half of the speech is known. The
Croatian paper Novosti published the first instalments of
Dr. Ante Tresic Pavicic 's speech on October 24th and
25th. But already on October 26th the paper announced
that the censorship had forbidden the further publication
of the speech. Reading through what was passed by the
Censor, we can only conjecture what the suppressed part
of the speech must have been.

Dr. Tresic Pavicic has caused a veritable sensation in
the British Press. The revolting acts disclosed in his
speech have been most justly described by the British
Press as " Austrian atrocities " and " Austrian horrors."
Dr. Tresic Pavicic 's speech has been published more or
less in full by the following papers : —

The Times, November 23rd. " Austrian Reign of Terror.'*
Morning Post, November 14th. " Austrian Atrocities.'*
Daily Chronicle, November 23rd. " Austria's War of

The Globe, November 23rd. " Extermination of Jugoslavs.**


Manchester Gtiardian, November 23rd. " Austrian Atroci-

The New Europe, No. 57. '* How Austria-Hungary treats
the Jugoslavs.'*

The Evening News, November 14th. *' War of Exter-
mination against the Serbs."

Daily News, November 14th. " Austrian Crueltj'^ to the

Morning Advertiser, November 23rd. " Austrian Prison

Pall Mall Gazette.

Daily Mirror, and several other papers.

Truly the British Press has in this case been true to
its great traditions and high ethical principles.

But as even a frank policy of persecution did not prove
swift enough in bringing about the desired goal, Austria-
Hungary's official policy has hit upon the plan of starving
out the Jugoslavs. In Bosnia, Hercegovina, Dalmatia,
and Istria the population is already dying of hunger.
As Croatia and Slavonia are in rather a better position
as regards food, the Croatian Sabor decided last summer
that any available surplus should in the first place be
sent to the above-mentioned provinces. According to
authentic information derived through the Jugoslav
colony in Geneva, 200 railw^ay trucks were loaded in
Zagreb last September with foodstuffs for Dalmatia. At
the last moment the consignment was by a Government
order diverted to Vienna. To the vehement protests of
the Dalmatians a highly placed German official in Vienna
brutally replied : " We Germans come first." And in
reply to the resolution of the Croatian Sabor, Croatia
was proclaimed a war zone at the instance of the Military
High Command, all foodstuffs being thereby placed at
the disposal of the military authorities.

The Austro-Magyars hope that, in so far as the Jugo-


slavs are not absolutely annihilated by this persecution,
they will at least be cured for ever of all nationalist
ideals. But the opposite has resulted. True, the Jugo-
slavs suffer as no other nation has done, but the national
conscience and the national solidarity has never been
shaken. This is also borne out by these speeches, which
clearly show that the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes feel
every calamity, no matter which of the Jugoslav lands
is stricken by it, as a common national misfortune, and
that they are unanimous in their desire to free them-
selves from their Germano -Magyar oppressors.

The whole world knows by this time in what savage
and barbarous fashion Austria-Hungary conducted the
war against Serbia and Montenegro. She herself called
this war a " punitive expedition," and disregarded all
international and moral law by doing all in her power
to exterminate the Serbs in those ill-fated lands whose
only crime is that they are free Jugoslav States bordering
upon Austria-Hungary. But the atrocities revealed in
these speeches and the above-mentioned pamphlets do not
refer to Serbia and Montenegro. They represent a second
war, one which Austria-Hungary is waging against her
own subjects, her own Jugoslav citizens, a vxir of extermina-
tion against all Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes whom ill fate
has on former occasions brought into the Austro-Hungarian
Empire and under the Habsburg rule. From the very out-
break of the war, she has looked upon all Jugoslav lands
as enemy territory, and has dealt with them as she later
on dealt with Serbia and Montenegro after she had con-
quered them. And in such of the Jugoslav lands as lie
nearest to the frontier of Serbia and Montenegro her
brutalities and atrocities have been most outrageous of
all. Austria-Hungary hanged and shot her citizens, cast
them into prison, and carried them off as hostages ; she


interned, expropriated, deported, and starved them to
death by the thousand, not only grown men, but women,
children, and old men. She ravaged extensive Jugoslav
regions which were so unfortunate as to be under the
Habsburg sovereigns. Especially in Bosnia and Herce-
govina — which she annexed by fraud — she inaugurated
an official reign of terror, such as these hapless provinces
had not experienced even at the hands of the Turks, nor
during the darkest days of the Turkish domination. By
these abominable acts Austria-Hungary has definitely cut
herself off from the community of civilized States.



One of the sittings of the Vienna Parliament devoted to the
Debate on the Budget in June was employed by the Slovene
Deputy, Dr. Vladimir Ravnihar, to expose the sufferings of
the Jugoslavs. We quote the following passage from his spech
as reported in the Ljubljana paper, Slavenski Narod, of
June 6th.

In this war our Jugoslav nation has received the martyr's
crown at the hands of the German bureaucracy. Hundreds
of our people are interned and imprisoned, our officials
are deported abroad. A hint from the German Volksrat,
the denunciation of a spy, is sufficient — and neither
protest, nor explanation, nor appeal is of any use.
Homes are broken up, husbands are torn from their
wives, mothers from their children ; they are driven off
into captivity, and thousands of people are exposed to
extreme misery and utter ruin ; and to this day thousands
of our wretched countrymen do not even know why they
are being persecuted.

The next speaker after Dr. Ravnihar was Deputy Dr. Matko
Laginja, Croat, from Istria. He, too, on his part, drew atten-
tion to the sufferings of the Jugoslavs in the following words : —

Before touching upon any other subject, it is my sacred
duty to draw attention to the terrible position in which
our people are everywhere suffering beyond all measure ;


Lika, Dalmatia, Istria, and the Kras districts of the littoral
and Carniola are utterly ruined : the population is dying,
and what is left of their cattle is perishing of hunger.
Everybody, both fit and unfit for military service, is
drafted into the army. Numbers of women, old men,
and children have been expelled from their homes ; all
foodstuffs which were in the first place urgently needed
for the population have been requisitioned for other
purposes, as unfortunately we are in the immediate vicinity
of vast bodies of men (the armies on the Italian front)
which likewise must be fed. And thus this terrible war
has brought about a repetition of what has so often
happened before, viz. that the southern regions suffer
immeasurably more than the central, and that the demands
made upon our people are greatly in excess of what is
fair, and, indeed, in excess of what they can bear. For
years and years already a deaf ear has been turned to
all our complaints, suggestions, and appeals. Where our
people is concerned, a soulless official bureaucracy is
permitted to pursue a policy pernicious alike to the people
and the Government, representing conditions in our country
as tolerable and even good, whereas in reality they are
so bad that they could not be worse. {Hrvatska Rijec,
of Zagreb, June 6th.)

Mgr. Dr. Anton Korosec, President of the Jugoslav Club
in the Vienna Parliament, described the persecution of the
Jugoslavs as follows in his speech of June I6th : — •

This war has brought bitter disillusionments to the
Slovene people, the consequences of which may prove
incalculable. From the outset of the war, both the civil
and military authorities have oppressed the Slovene
people in every conceivable way. . . . The chief motive


in this persecution is the hatred for our race which
flourishes even among the ruling powers. The hatred
has assumed the most sinister aspects. ... If our nation
does not attain full satisfaction there will be the risk of
a fatal estrangement between it and the responsible powers.
Our people, which has hitherto been docile as a lamb,
will not suffer itself to be exterminated without resistance.
The authorities have been guilty of innumerable acts of
tyranny against us during the war. Only a few of these
have been made public ; only in a very few cases have
appeals been made, only to be pigeon-holed ; but our
people feels this tyranny in its soul, and will never forget
it. We come upon victims of this tjnranny at every step.
With defiance in their eyes and bitterness in their hearts,
many still carry the sense of the fetid air of their prison
about with them. . . . No sooner had the war broken
out than the systematic persecution of the Slovenes
began. . . . They looked for traitors in our lands, and
for spies whom they needed in order to prove that it
was necessary to proceed in our lands as though they
were enemy country. . . . The gendarmerie and the
police compiled a black list of politically unreliable ele-
ments, so-called. These are persons who have failed to
conceal their national sentiments, and are therefore ob-
noxious to some of the powers that be. . . . Thus the
Deputy Roskar was handed over to the Military Court
in Graz, because the gendarmerie had without any cause
denounced him as a Serbophil. . . . Other deputies have
been accused of conspiracy against the State on the
strength of the most puerile inventions. This persecution
was directed chiefly against notable persons, such as
priests, etc. Hundreds of victims have been haled to
prison, and on their way thither exposed to the insults
and outrages of the infuriated mob ; they were treated


beforehand like convicted traitors. In Maribor and
other towns organizations have actually been founded
for providing false evidence, and the authorities have
not shrunk from making use of them. ... It has been
proved that with few exceptions the political authorities
have not merely observed a passive attitude towards this
revolting business, but have even supported this perse-
cution by their attitude. . . . The outbreak of the war
was the signal for an intolerable Germanization of the
Civil Service and the Railways. Espionage was in full
swing ; every official who thought and felt nationally as
a Slovene might at any moment expect to be denounced
as politically unreliable. The black gang of officialdom
organized a reign of terror, with the help of anonymous
informers, the German Volksrat and the German National
societies. . . . This persecution has driven the Slovenes
to the wrath of despair, but the authorities hermetically
sealed every valve that might have provided an outlet
for this bitterness. Appeals and complaints remained
unheeded, except in so far as they brought down fresh
persecution upon him who dared to complain. All free
utterance of thought was stifled. The Slovene Press has
been muzzled, and the censorship has been revelling in
an orgy of twaddle. . . . These are merely the main
outlines of actual conditions in the south of the Monarchy.
Slovenes of all classes are filled with boundless bitterness
towards the ruling powers and the authors of these hard-
ships ; the exasperation against these wrongs will be
handed down for generations, because in craftiness, in
ruthlessness, and in inhuman cruelty they exceed even
the greatest tyranny ever inflicted upon the Slovene
people. {Slovenski Narod, of Ljubljana, June 20th.)


Dr. KoroSec spoke again in the Viemia Parliament on June
26th, when he exposed the terror endured by the Jugoslavs at
the beginning of the war.

The wounds of our nation are deep and cruel, a sea
of blood and tears has flooded our Jugoslav lands. From
Bosnia and Hercegovina ever more despairing cries for
help reach us, the cries of a ruthlessly persecuted people.
Many regions of our beautiful native lands have been
laid waste, and left almost without human habitations,
and with dread and anxiety we look forward to the future.
Wrong and injustice have accompanied our Croato-
Slovene history down to these latter days. Shivering
with misery, Dalmatia looks to see who will save her
from tyrann}^^, famine, and political persecution. Through-
out rockbound Istria, Famine and her sister — Death — are
reaping a rich harvest owing to the criminal neglect of
the authorities. In Carinthia the abolition of all national
political rights is added to all other sufferings and horrors.
(The Slovenec, of Ljubljana, June 28th.)

An exceptionally strong speech on the Jugoslav persecutions
was made in the Vienna Parliament on June 28th by the Deputy
Dr. OtoJcar Ribar, Slovene, from Trieste. He incidentally
sharply denounced the ferocious tyranny of the Bulgars in the
occupied districts of Serbia. Dr. Ribar said : —

We Jugoslavs were surely a warlike nation until very
recently owing to circumstances and the course of our
history. But we have shed enough blood, enough for
ourselves and for others. ... No one has been hit harder
by the horrors of war than we Jugoslavs. The Polish
and Ukrainian towns still stand, and are more full of
life and activity than before the war. But go to the
Balkans, to Bosnia, Hercegovina, aud Dalmatia, and you


will see how in several once-flourishing districts whole
towns and villages have been laid utterly in ruins. And
this was not done because the exigencies of war demanded
it. Nay, far worse. Our own authorities have wilfully
ravaged our country ; they have raged against everything
bearing the Slav name, and that in such fashion that
Europe has not seen the like since the battle of Kossovo.
Since Kossovo our nation has not seen nor experienced
such a catastrophe. Our unhappy nation is banished ;
from some districts the very children, women, and old
men have been driven off into slavery as in the olden
times the Romans and Greeks used to carry off the popula-
tions of the lands they had conquered. From the neigh-
bourhood of Nis alone the Bulgars have deported 30,000
of our people to the deserts of Asia Minor. It is a war
of annihilation and extermination that is being waged
against us. Therefore we appeal to our Government
and also to the Governments of the Entente, praying
that in the interest of the preservation of the Jugoslav
race they may put an end to this fury and bloodshed.
The Entente Powers say that they are fighting to save
Serbia. Serbia they may perhaps save, but not the
Serbs nor the Jugoslavs, for there will be none left of
them to rejoice in the blessings of peace. {Slovenec and
Slovenski Narod, June 30th.)

The following horrible incidents were disclosed by Dr. Ivan
Benkovid, Slovene, in the Vienna Parliament on JiUy 3rd : —

A year before the world-war a German national deputy
asked in the Styrian Provincial Diet : " Who will guarantee
that in i a serious contingency " (here he was thinking
of the possibility of war) " we shall not find that by cross-
ing the Drave we shall have entered enemy territory ? "


This remark was levelled at the " Jugoslav propaganda."
The words are a clear proof of the spirit of denunciation
which flourishes among our countrymen of the other
nationality, with whom the habit of spying and laying
information has become bred in the bone. The stand-
point indicated in these words is the standpoint of the
ruling powers of that time, to whom the Jugoslav soul
was always a foreign thing. . . . In 1914 they persecuted
everybody who was suspected of national sentiment. To
be a Slovene nationalist was considered tantamount to
being a Serbophil. I have with my own eyes read through
a whole list of intimations in which it was adduced as
a proof of high treason that the person in question was
a rabid nationalist and therefore a Serbophil. . . » The
military prisons were crowded with innocent victims.
The local authorities were powerless. Not a finger did
they raise in protest against these disgraceful proceedings ;
but as for the innocent victims, they were during their
transport exposed to the insults of the street mob, which
beat them and pelted them with stones. At that time
an abyss opened between ourselves and our countrymen
of different race (the Germans). This abyss can no
longer be bridged over. And here I will mention the
words said to me at that terrible time by the late Military
Commandant in Graz. Even if he was imperfectly
acquainted with the contents of the information, or if
he was not certain whether the information was well
founded or not, he expressed himself as follows : " Every
one who takes the part of these people is equally suspect
in my eyes." If these were the views entertained in
Mgh quarters, it was certainly no wonder if the gendarmes
and lesser officials did as they chose, that they ruthlessly
persecuted everything that went by the name of Slovene
or Croat. . . .


Gentlemen, speaking of the psychology of war, I will
mention one out of countless cases. It is significant in
that it shows how little value is set upon human life.
It happened at the beginning of the war, beside the
Danube, on the Serbian frontier. There stood a detach-
ment of gendarmes under the command of a lieutenant,
who had orders to watch the inhabitants in case they
harboured treasonable intentions. One day smoke was seen
to arise from a village on the Danube. The commandant
assumed that it was a signal to the Serbian army. He
gave orders for the whole population of the village to
be assembled in order to discover the culprit. The whole
village assembled — men, women, children, and all. By
order of the lieutenant the parish clerk had to point out,
first those who in his opinion were innocent, then those
who to the best of his knowledge were unreliable, and
finally those who in his opinion were positively suspect.
Hereupon the lieutenant dismissed those whom the clerk
had pointed out as innocent. They were none but children
and old men. The persons whom the clerk had pointed
out as unreliable were sent off to internment camps, and
those who were pointed out as suspect were brought up
before a court-martial. But before this was done, the
lieutenant asked the clerk whom he considered the most
suspect among those suspects. The clerk pointed out
three men. The lieutenant handed them over to a sergeant,

1 3 4

Online LibraryAnte Tresic-PavicicIn darkest Europe. Austria-Hungary's effort to exterminate her Jugoslav subjects. Speeches and questions in the parliaments of Vienna and Budapest and in the Croatian Sabor (Diet) in Zagreb → online text (page 1 of 4)