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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Some research has concluded that this village takes its name after the family Kuk, others that it was named after a hill, also called “Kuka” or “Kovka”. In medieval times it was dominated by the Čušperg nobility. At that time the village was at the northern boarder of the former German language island in the Kočevje region. It belonged to a road-side type of settlement. 

The population in this village grew by number constantly until 1900 – a rarity in the Kočevje region. At the dawn of the 20th century there were 128 people living in 19 houses. This time was followed by the years of emigration. Before World War I only 103 people were still living in 23 houses. Between World War I and World War II there were 78 people recorded as living in 22 or 18 houses, as noted by the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Only a few of them declared themselves as Slovenian. In 1890 there were 11 Slovenians, in 1921 there were 22, and 10 years later there were 9. Before World War II the settlement had 24 numbered houses; 3 of them were empty and 6 were wrecked.  

People made their living by farming, sawing wood, and hewing railway sleepers. Half an hour away there was a saw workshop run by Ivan Klun. In the 7 km distant Polom there was a parish, a municipality office, and the nearest school. After the municipality reform in 1933 the village belonged to the 14 km distant Stari Log. 

So, the village remained empty. In the summer of 1942 it was burnt down by Italian military units. At the end of war there were no people left, only 12 demolished houses. In 1955 a third of the settlements in the Kočevje region were abolished, and Kukovo was one of them. The area was merged with the Rapljevo hamlet and the Municipality Dobrepolje in 1999. 

The two brothers Gliebe were born in Kukovo. Franz Gliebe was the mayor of Polom. In the 1930s he was also the mayor of the great municipality of Stari Log. His brother, Josef Gliebe (3. 3. 1873 – 14. 7. 1960), was a priest. After his ordination in 1896, Josef started work as a curate in Fara. Later, for a year and a half he was in Kočevje, and after 1901 he was in Stari Log and Koprivnik. For just a brief time he was also in Kočevska Reka. In 1903 he arrived to Gotenica to work as a priest and remained there for the next 46 years. He did not join his fellow countrymen in their emigration during Der Sturm. For his collaboration with the Liberation Front he was awarded the Golden Sign of Freedom medal. 

After the war he was forced to leave Gotenica, as was everyone else in that village. Secretly, he took the golden chalice and monstrance from the Church of St. Oswald with him – both pieces date back to 1571. After leaving Gotenica Josef Gliebe continued his duty in Dolenja vas. He also died there. He is buried in Prigorica next to Dolenja vas, where a plaque on a church wall was placed in his memory.

The Church of St. Anthony of Padova was built in the first half of the 19th century to replace the smaller one which preceded it. It was thoroughly renewed in 1876 and is a reflection of the high baroque style. However, it still had modest altars dating from the middle of 19th century. 

After the emigration of the Gottschee Germans it was not used for a long time, so its implements were taken out. 

The church was pulled down as one of the last of 95 demolished churches in the Kočevje region. Before that, in 1954 it was nationalised and used as a stable. The roof started to leak and the ceiling began to sink. In February 1969, under the weight of snow, the roof collapsed, so only the trim and belfry remained. The church walls decayed rapidly. In 1980 The Kočevje Farm and Forestry Company handed the remains of the building to a farmer from Struge who completely destroyed the walls, scorching the stones into lime, in March. All the same, in the 1990s, there was still some rubble to be seen, but now, in the new century, there are almost no traces left in the field anymore. 


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