Projekt Izgubljene kočevarske vasi

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  • Project: The Lost Villages of the Gotschee Germans

    The Lost villages of the Gotschee Germans is an interactive multimedia project by Center for mladinsko kulturo Kočevje (Centre for The Culture of Youth in Kočevje). Answerable for a cultural heritage we researched, responsible for a local history we documented what otherwise would be probably gone with the wind. You are looking at the part of project, which handles 12 villages of the Gotschee Germans. It marks them with signs and puts them on a map. The villages are furthermore presented by movies at the middle of the 14th century until 1942, a German- speaking area of approximately 800 sq km in size was part of the Kočevsko region. During the Nazi occupation, Germans living in various European countries were massively migrated back to the German Reich by the Nazi government. After the Italians had occupied the Kočevsko region in 1941, a small German-speaking community of about 12,000 people had to migrate as well. The Gottscheer Germans were appointed the area along the Sava and the Sotla rivers in the Lower Štajersko region, from which the most Slovenians had been exiled. After WW2, the destiny of the Gottscheer Germans was similar to that of  other German-speaking communities in Slovenia. Those who did not leave with the German army at the end of the war and those few who remained in the Kočevsko region were exiled to Austria by the new Yugoslav government. Later, they dispersed and settled in various parts of Austria and Germany; many moved to the Unites States of America. 

    The exile of the Gottscheer Germans, post-war devastation and decay, and well-planned destruction of mostly sacral buildings in the 1950s had a fatal long-term effect on the area. More than one half of 176 villages in the Kočevsko region were destroyed: the area is now covered with woods. Only 28 out of 123 churches have been preserved, and out of approximately 400 chapels and religious signs about 40 can still be found. Many cemeteries were either levelled with the ground or the German tombstones were removed. Apart from the changes in the national structure, the economic and proprietorial situation of the area was profoundly changed. The Karstic soil and the densely wooded area of the Kočevski Rog with its deep abysses witnessed mass killings of several thousands of Slovenian soldiers opposing the National Front, who were returned to Slovenia after they had tried to emigrate. The extensive region was later closed to the public and a number of penal and work camps were set up. Very few remnants are left to this day to witness the 600-year- long presence of the German national community amidst the Slovenian territory. The plaques present the images of the once vibrant villages, countryside and its people, who shaped the Kočevsko region over the centuries. Author: dr. Mitja Ferenc


  • O projektu "Izgubljene kočevarske vasi"

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This settlement is one of the oldest in the Kočevje region, and was already populated by Slovenians before the arrival of German colonists. The first mention of it in written sources is from 1498 in the Registry Book of Kočevska Reka, which refers to it as Barobetz. At the time there were six estates. In 1574 they were halved and given to 12 landlords (representing 45–50 people in total). The village had its own mayor. In 1824 there were 26 houses and a church. 

Borovec became a roadside village, growing from a hamlet at the crossroads. There were lodgings by the road and behind them there were gardens laid in tracks and with orchards at the ends. Most of the fields were on the west and the south of the village. The farming edifices were located by the orchards. The inhabitants of Borovec made their living by farming, peddling goods, selling wood, and by making hand crafts. The village had two pubs, two shops with assorted goods, a butcher’s shop, a tailor’s shop, a joiner, and a shoemaker. Between the two world wars it developed into a smaller holiday resort for hiking, mainly to Krempa. Due to its situation and fresh air it was called “Kočevje’s Switzerland”.

According to Austrian records, the population was steady and reached its peak in 1900, when there were 135 inhabitants. The lowest total number of people was recorded in 1890 at 115. The population reached its highest number of Slovenians living in Borovec in 1880, which was 27. According to the last census in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1931, Borovec had 35 houses and 127 inhabitants. Until 1933 Borovec was the ruling municipality, but after that it belonged to the municipality of Kočevska Reka (7 km away). There was also a parish and a school in the village. A fire brigade, which also had a house of its own, was established in 1890.

After the emigration of 134 Gottschee Germans from 31 houses (in 1941, on November 25th and 26th), there were 6 Slovenians remaining in two houses. The abandoned village was then burned down by the Italian Army during the great offensive in the summer of 1942. None of the 31 houses survived to see the end of the war. From the beginning of the 1950s until the democratic changes which took place in 1990, this area was part of the reticent zone Kočevska Reka. A farming state estate was located here, and people were brought in to work on it. In 1948 there were 32 people in two houses, and five years later there were 128 people in 13 houses. In 1953 the hamlets Pleš, Ravne, Draga and Inlauf were merged with Borovec, which then received the prolonged name “Borovec pri Kočevski Reki” (which means “Borovec by Kočevska Reka”). In 1971 there were still 79 people living here, but ten years later there were only 41 left. The population grew a bit until 2010, when there was a total of 61 people here. 

Today the village, along with the adjoining hamlets, has 17 numbered houses. Only a few remain from the original settlement. Its first contours have been erased by new buildings, which took shape without a general plan. But, this was once a well thought-out little settlement. There was a graveyard which was destroyed around 1953. The older buildings which are still standing are: the school, the parish buildings, and house no. 5 at the southern edge of village’s core. There was a school built in 1859 and in 1896 two classes were added to it. It served Borovec, Pleš, Ravne, Inlauf and Draga and, until 1923, also Dolnja, Gornja Briga and Prežulja. After World War II the school building was turned into a supporting facility for catering. To the right of the entrance there is a plaque to remind people of the victims from World War II.  

Walter Tschinkel, PhD, was born in Borovec. He was a linguist and explored the relation between the Gottschee and German languages. He is the author of Worterbuch der Gottscheer Mundart – two volumes were published (1973, 1976).

The village parish was established in 1792. The old House of God soon became too small, and a new one was built in the middle of settlement between 1858 and 1863, under the consecration of the old one. In 1943 it was burnt down by the Italians, while it was being used as a temporary Partisan hospital. Its remains were removed in 1952. Today one can not see any traces of the church. There is only a meadow and a field where it once stood. 

The parish residence home stood in the north-east of the village. During the time of Turkish invasions, at latest in the second half of the 16th century, the building located there was arranged to form a strengthened encampment – a smaller stronghold with two cylindrical towers. It was a rare exception in this region for something like this to be located somewhere other than near a church. The encampment was abandoned in the 18th century, when there was no longer any danger of Turkish intrusion.

Predstavitev vasi v besedi in sliki

  • All
  • Borovec Pri Kočevki Reki
  • Czmk
  • GLAŽUTA, Karlshütten, Gloschhittn
  • INLAUF, Inlauf, Inlaf
  • Izgubljene Kočevarske Vasi
  • JELENDOL, Hirisgruben
  • KUKOVO, Rapljevo, Kukundorf, Kukndoarf
  • Mitja Ferenc
  • Morobitz
  • Mröbitz
  • Nemška Loka, Unterdeutschau, Agə
  • ONEK, Honegg, Wrneggə
  • RAJHENAV, Reichenau, Reichenagə
  • Rajndol, Reintal, Reintol
  • Tvkocevje
  • VERDRENG Podlesje, Verdreng, Vərdreng