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Archives in the countries of former Yugoslavia Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Slovenia, today's Yugoslavia
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  #1  
Old 03-09-2001, 11:47 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From 12 O'Clock High!:

Ciglic
ciglic@YUbc.net
Military archive in Belgrade
Fri Mar 9 10:21:33 2001


There were excellent materials concerning not only Luftwaffe operations in South-East Europe, but USAAF, RAF, VVS SSSR etc. at Vojnoistorijski Institut in Belgrade,
Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, Archive building was bombed and destroyed during the war with NATO, and it is estimated that all materials will be closed for at least three to
five years. More worser is that complete Microfilm-data was destroyed
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Old 03-09-2001, 11:59 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From TOCH!:

Richard T. Eger
Re.: Military archive in Belgrade
Fri Mar 9 12:58:41 2001


Dear Ciglic,

Thank you for your information. I have added your response to the LWAG site. Your message makes two very telling points:

First, we have a large dollup of irony here, as our efforts to study the Luftwaffe, which was in itself a force that caused much destruction, have been thwarted by actions
taken in a subsequent war.

Second, and I am presuming that you live in the region, it is this drawing together of historians and enthusiasts from around the world, each with his own knowledge of
local, national, and world records, that will help build the reference that is the LWAG site.

Thank you again for your contribution. I do hope that the remaining records you mentioned will soon be available again for study.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 03-09-2001, 04:52 PM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From TOCH!:

Larry
Hldeziv@aol.com
VII Archives Beograd
Fri Mar 9 17:43:18 2001


It is important that a comment be made here concerning the content of these archives relative to Luftwaffe documentation. Since the late 1970s I have been a frequent user
of the VII archives (for material other than that dealing with the Luftwaffe) and I am intimately familiar with the facility's entire holdings on our chosen subject of interest.
Marshal Tito's Yugoslav Army captured very little in the way of original Luftwaffe documentation and the few dozen pages that were picked up are of little historical interest.
Luftwaffenkommando Südost, Fliegerführer Kroatien and the other theater and regional commands were eminently successful in destroying their files before withdrawing
from Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia between October 1944 and May 1945. Virtually all that the VII archive had or has on the subject consists of a fairly large number of
P/W interrogations (in the Serbo-Croatian language, of course) done during the year immediately following the end of the war. Few if any of these prisoners were air crew
personnel, nearly all of them being from various Luftwaffe Flak, supply and signal units.
If anyone out there disagrees with this or has further information, then I will be the first to listen.
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Old 03-09-2001, 04:53 PM
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From TOCH!:

Richard T. Eger
Re.: VII Archives Beograd
Fri Mar 9 17:50:15 2001


Dear Larry,

Thank you for the additional background. The key here is to try to get to the truth, whatever that happens to be.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 03-09-2001, 04:54 PM
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From TOCH!:

Larry
You are most welcome, Richard.
Fri Mar 9 17:52:27 2001
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Old 06-08-2001, 02:57 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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Boris Ciglic picked up the above conversation again on May 1 on 12 O'Clock High!. The tone was quite negative. Larry deZeng responded equally negatively and I felt that the information provided wasn't sufficiently of value to warrant such flaming on the LWAG site.

Yet, each had something to contribute. I have been in communication with both and will present a more civil dialog from these letters in what follows, as the information is worth the reading. In addition, Larry has provided information from Marko Jeras, a fellow living in Yugoslavia.

I am still awaiting further investigative feedback from Boris.

Much of what follows are responses from Larry to my questioning letters.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 06-08-2001, 03:00 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From Larry deZeng
May 28, 2001 12:18 PM

Concerning Arhiv Vojnoistorijski Institut Beograd, I have a complete
listing of all of the Kutija (box) numbers containing documents of Luftwaffe
origin or pertaining to the Luftwaffe along with a description of their
contents. The listing is comprehensive, dated circa 1988, and supposedly
represents the total holdings on this subject at AVII, according to Pukovnik
Mladenko Colic. A former Yugoslav Army colonel, author of a number of books
about the German and Croatian forces in wartime occupied Yugoslavia, along
with dozens of scholarly articles on that subject that were published in
Vojnoistorijski Glasnik (Military History Journal), Colic worked for a number
of years as an archivist at AVII. If anyone knew the holdings of that
facility, he did. I corresponded with him for more than 5 years, met him
twice, attended a symposium with him in Ljubljana, and over several years
paid him a couple of thousand for research and photocopying services. He
had impeccable credentials and I trust his word.

Over the years several distinguished Yugoslav military historians -
virtually all active or retired Air Force officers - have written
scholarly, multi-part studies and articles on the air war over Yugoslavia.
They all had full access to any and all documentation held in their country's
archives. I have nearly all of these (25+). In each work the authors were
very careful with their footnotes and went to considerable pains to
authenticate and corroborate their sources. All of the authors lamented the
fact that almost no Luftwaffe documents of any significance were to be found
in Yugoslavia's archives and that they were forced to use the well-known
published material (Dierich, Tessin, etc.) along with the U.S. National
Archives microfilms.

What more can I say?

I continue to stand 100% behind my original comments on TOCH! If
Druga Ciglic has information on Luftwaffe-related documents made available by
AVII subsequent to 1988, then I will be his most avid listener. Further, if
he has uncovered a treasure of previously unknown original Luftwaffe
documents at some other archive in Yugoslavia, perhaps Arhiv Hrvatski on the
Sava Cesta in Zagreb, then no one will cheer more loudly than me.
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  #8  
Old 06-08-2001, 03:03 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From Larry deZeng
May 28, 2001 5:27 PM

Re the Luftwaffe material at AVII, I think you need to go back and
re-read my original submission. (I was confused by Larry’s claim of boxes of
Luftwaffe documents, yet paucity of said documents as noted
in his letter of May 28, 2001, 12:18 PM – Richard). There is no conflict in semantics.
There's (or were) 50 to 100 archive boxes of Lw.-related material, but 98.5%
of it consists of typed interrogation reports of Partisan and UDBA
interrogations of Luftwaffe personnel who fell into Tito's hands after the 8
May 45 general surrender. The interrogations are all in Serbo-Croatian and
none of the Luftwaffe personnel interrogated belonged to air units. They
were nearly all from the Flak-, Luftnachrichten-, Nachschubdienste,
Sanitätsdienste, Fliegerbodenorganisation, etc. The remaining 1½% are
miscellaneous equipment receipts and other worthless drek. However, as
Ciglic claims, this is all an academic exercise if the NATO bombs destroyed
the holdings.

The published studies and articles that I referred to are all in
Serbo-Croatian, also. I doubt if they would be of much interest to the LWAG
people, aside from those who are from the former Yugoslavia. Aside from me,
there are very few Luftwaffe researchers from other countries out there who
read that language. Further, if they don't know how to search out the
titles and tables of content of foreign language scholarly journals on the
net, then what's the point?

[This message has been edited by Richard T Eger (edited 07 June 2001).]
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Old 06-08-2001, 03:12 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From Marko Jeras
May 29, 2001 11:48 AM

Thank you for introducing yourself (Larry deZeng) to me. I am (only) 24 and I finished secondary school for aviation technician for instruments and electronics. I spend a lot of my time in visiting the Croatian National Archive, going thru documents. I can tell you that in past 4-5 years all documents on WWII there have been sorted, so now research is much easier. But, unfortunately a large, important, part of Croatian documents from WWII is buried in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in Archive of their Military Institute, in building that received a direct hit of bomb in US attack on Belgrade in 1998/99. Documents are safe underground, but the Institute will be closed for sure for the next two years, at least.

Concerning books on Croatian air-force, apart from Croatian edition of Frka/Novak/Pogacic book, there is one softcover book published by my friend, but it is full of incorrect data, so it is not a credible source of data. But in that book there are photos not published in the book of Frka/Novak/Pogacic so in that way it is interesting. That book is bi-lingual, in Croatian and English. The price of that book for me is some US $12. As for my English edition of the book on 15.(Kroat.)/JG 52, I will send you a signed copy as soon it is published. As for now, I think that publication of my book will be at the beginning of next year. As for the Frka/Novak/Pogacic book, I have spoken with their publisher and I know that work on English edition/addition of English text to Croatian edition is under work. I will inform you when I find out anything for sure.
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Old 06-08-2001, 03:15 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From Larry deZeng
May 30, 2001 7:04 PM

"The Croatian National Archive" referred to in Marko's e-mail is Arhiv
Hrvatski in Zagreb. I mentioned it several times in my other e-mails. It
contains Croatian documents, including those from the NDH period, and not
Luftwaffe documents.

"Pukovnik" is Serbo-Croatian for Colonel. Pukovnik Colic
passed away some years ago so he's not available to answer questions.
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Old 06-08-2001, 03:19 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From Boris Ciglic
May 29, 2001, 7:16 PM

Regarding documentation in Vojnoistorijski Institut, it seems that you (Richard) did not understand me correctly. Thank goodness it was not destroyed completely. Greatest part of microtheque and part of archive about Axis forces in Yugoslavia were destroyed. Other materials remained intact, but out of reach for any research for at least 3 to 5 years. So, I did not want to say that it "possessed the holy grail, but it was destroyed before anyone could see it".

About prof Colic (Actually, a ColoneI. I caused some confusion here by calling Colic a professor, when he was, in fact, a Colonel. My error when I wrote to Boris. – Richard). I can only say that I do not know the man, but what I know is that he could not have full access to all documents. It was simply not possible, and even if VII was open today, still could not be. A few years ago, a distinguished and respected historian, by the way employed in VII, asked for some documents dealing with Italian forces in Yugoslavia, and his request was denied. I had the opportunity to see document about Croatian Air Force, published in book "Zrakoplovstvo NDH", that was given to authors (Danijel Frka, Josip Novak and Sinisa Pogacic) by Mr. deZeng (so was I told) and I can say that it is its first and most modest version. There are three more versions, which are much more detailed and upgraded.

Best proof of what VII possessed are three books written by General Voja Mikic about Luftwaffe, Regia Aeronautica and Croat Air Force operations in Yugoslavia, and that have been published recently. I would especially like to point superbness of book about Regia Aeronautica. Such good studies of this air forces activities in other theatres of war are quite rare, if even exist. Also, together with a friend of mine I am currently finishing a book about Croatian Fighter aces (who became aces as members of Luftwaffe). It will be published in English and will be also based mainly on materials from VII.
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Old 06-08-2001, 03:22 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From Larry deZeng
May 30, 2001 7:43 AM

You (Richard) should not confuse Croatian Air Force (Zracnih Snaga
Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska) with the German Luftwaffe. This disagreement and
discussion is about German Luftwaffe documents in Yugoslav archives, meaning
those of Luftwaffe origin. As Ciglic said, there are lots of documents on
the Croatian Air Force about the Croatian Air Force; not about the Luftwaffe,
except in an indirect sense.

[This message has been edited by Richard T Eger (edited 07 June 2001).]
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Old 06-08-2001, 03:24 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From Larry deZeng
May 30, 2001 8:39 AM

The Croatian documents in Zagreb are fragmented at best. They
contain little or no information on purely Luftwaffe organization, units,
identity of commanders, pilots, etc., classified plans, operations and
results that were exclusively Luftwaffe, etc.

They do report on the results of Allied bombing and strafing in
Croatia, the occasional joint Croatian-Luftwaffe air activity against the
Partisans (which rarely identifies the Luftwaffe units involved) and what
limited other information (nearly all unclassified or of little interest) the
Luftwaffe passed along. All of this has been published, Richard. The
Luftwaffe gave very little information to the Croatian Air Force - which
was tiny, equipped with obsolete aircraft that were mostly of WWI origin or
1920s vintage, and stayed on the ground most of the time - because it was
rife with Partisan sympathizers. In other words, the Luftwaffe did
not trust the Croatian Air Force in Croatia so did not share meaningful
information with it. Do not confuse the Croatian Air Force in Croatia,
which is what the above comments concern, with the Legija Hrvatska
zrakoplovstva (Croatian Air Force Legion) that was attached to Luftwaffe
units and fought in Russia side-by-side with the Luftwaffe. They are two
different animals. It is the latter that Marko is writing a book about.

[This message has been edited by Richard T Eger (edited 08 June 2001).]
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