Drago ŠEGA (1918-2004), Editor; France URŠIČ (1907-1979), Illustrator; Stane MIKUŽ (1913-1982) – Leon DETELA (1902-1982) – Lino LEGIŠA (1908-1980) – Anton OCVIRK (1907-1980), Authors of Articles.
Vestnik jugoslovanske dahavske skupine Freimann-München. Smrt fašizmu – Svoboda Narodu. Št. 2.
[News of the Yugoslav Dachau Group Freimann-Munich. Death to the Fascism – Freedom to the Nation! Nr. 2]
Munich – Freimann: Jugoslovanski narodni odbor [Yugoslav National Committee],
June 4, 1945.
The second issue (of two published) of an extremely rare mimeographed magazine was made by Slovenian prisoners of the WWII prison camp in Munich-Freimann, today the northmost part of Munich, which was a satellite branch of the nearby Dachau concentration camp. The newspaper gives a good insight into living conditions of this today almost unknown prison camp.
The Munich-Freimann branch of the Dachau concentration camp was set in the SS barracks, where prisoners were sent to do the physical work. According to the newspapers, the life at the SS barracks was much more humane than in the main concentration camp, as the living condition were cleaner and there were no diseases.
The story of the prisoners can be reconstructed through the newspaper articles in both issues (the complete set was researched for our December 2019 catalogue). When the American troops marched into the Freimann SS barracks and the branch of the Dachau concentration camp on May 15th 1945, there were 315 prisoners (possibly the author of the second article in the first issue is talking of the complete number of the prisoners and not only about the Yugoslavs).
As the barracks were demolished in bombing, the American soldiers needed two days to settle in and decide what to do with the prisoners. The initial plan was to send the Freimann inmates back to Dachau concentration camp, which was liberated about three weeks prior to that, but the prisoners there were still kept in a strict quarantine. An article in the first issue (not present here) of the magazine reads, that the prisoners “found (ourselves) here in an extremely comfortable
situation comparing to our comrades, who remained in the Dachau mud, diseases and painful situations”.
The prisoners were put in a 13-day quarantine, which lasted between May 15th to May 28th. On the final day the American soldiers brough them, among others, ink for the newspaper and a newspaper Dahavski Poročevalec, which was printed by the Yugoslav prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp.
The Dachau newspaper inspired the Freimann prisoners to create a similar publication, which would, according to their writing, inform the other prisoners about their situation after having no contact with the outside world for 13 days. The newspaper encouraged the prisoners to leave the prison camp in a disciplined way, pack the luggage as practically as possible, sing partisan songs loudly when passing through the liberated cities, and to use dignified language only.
The present, second number of the newspaper discusses subjects such as the Yugoslav national liberation army (with a small mimeographed image of Tito), the role of the cultural workers in the Partisan movement and remember friends, who died in the Dachau concentration camp.
The first part of the title page of this second issue is written in English and is dedicated to the Capitan-Commandant Edward F. Winter of the American Army, who was in charge of recuing the prisoners and treating them with respect and generosity.
The authors of the text and drawings were all esteemed figures from the Slovenian world of culture and education:
– Drago Šega (1918-2004), the editor, was imprisoned during WWII since 1942 in the concentration camps of Dachau, Gonars and Monigo. After the war he became a known writer, editor, literary critic, a cultural attaché in Paris and Trieste and was involved in the film production.
– France Uršič (1907-1979) was the academic artist, who made the illustrations in the newspapers. He was schooled at the Art Academy of Zagreb and joined the Communists already in the 1920s, for which he was imprisoned in 1929. During WWII Uršič joined the partisans. In 1943, he participated in creating of one of the most infamous partisan underground publication V Kristusovemimenu (In the Name of Christ), depicting the members of the Catholic church as collaborators, Fascists and murderers. He was imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp from 1943 on. Uršič successfully continued his artistic career after the war.
– Stane Mikuž (1913-1982) was a prolific art historian, who after the war, among others, wrote on the art made by the prisoners during WWII.
– Leon Detela (1902-1982) was an esteemed botanist. He was sent to the Dachau concentration camp in 1944.
– Lino Legiša (1908-1980) was a literary historian, critic and professor. He was imprisoned in concentration camps in Italy and later in Dachau, from 1942 until the end of the war.
– Anton Ocvirk (1907-1980) was an author, literary historian and later a professor at the University. He was imprisoned in Dachau between 1944 and the liberation.
We could only trace two institutional examples (Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, inv. Nr SI AS 1769/234 and Bavarian State Library (OCLC 1137817681) and could not find any references to the newspapers in the literature.