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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Nemška Loka and neighbouring Gornja (Nemška) Loka got their names after nationality of people, who lived there. In 1574 the settlement named Teutschau had six estates (called huba), divided in 12 halfway farms for 14 landlords. 

During Turkish incursion period the villagers were sending signals about the intrusions to Kočevje and Poljanski grad. They burnt a smaller pile for fire to be seen as far as the eye can reach or they fire with a smaller cannon to warn of a danger. The village was shaped as a roadside settlement. The valley was grassy, with some fruit trees, and mostly beech-rimmed. 

Growing of population by number is recorded mainly during the census in 1869, when there were 122 people living in Nemška Loka. And in 1880 they counted 217 inhabitants – the most in the entire history of village. The two quite different numbers are indicating possibility that during the census some of the people were actually away, peddling. As in other villages in the Kočevje region, before the end of a century and until World War I people emigrated. Then the previous population was lesser for a quater. A decreasing of the number of inhabitants continued between the wars, so in 1931 they counted only 103 people remaining at 29 houses. During the Austrian censuses there were only a handful of people speaking Slovenian. 

The villagers of Nemška Loka made their living mainly by farming, exploiting the woods and peddling. The municipality was small, including just this village and Prerigelj. Located at Nemška Loka were: a municipality seat, a parish and a school, but also a post office and a fire brigade. The centre of the village was marked by a well and two mighty lime trees. Once there was a chapel, too. A school was built in 1860 right bellow the church. Before that, the teaching was at private houses - until 1919 only in German, but later on also in Slovenian. After rearrangement of municipalities in 1933, the village was included in the municipality of Koprivnik (5 km away).

After Kulturbund was made legal again by the Yugoslavian authorities in 1939, on 30th April of the same year it was established also in Nemška Loka. In 1941, between 28th November and 2nd December, due to a call by the German authorities, 105 Germans departed, leaving 35 houses.  During the war the village was burnt down by the Italian Army, so after the war only 11 houses were fit for use and populated with 48 people. 

By building the stables of agricultural cooperative, Nemška Loka should be revived.  In 1953 there were already 77 people in the village – the greatest number after the war. But afterwards the number of people slowly decreased. Approximately ten families held very small private plots and after the stables were abandoned, they started working as foresters or farmers for The Kočevje Farm and Forestry Company. In the middle of 1960s there were ten families: five with Slovenian origin, three families came from Bosnia, one from Croatia, and one family had Romany origin. In 2011 Nemška Loka gathered 31 permanent residents, among them the Hobič family – masters of ample farmyards. 

A house No. 10  (Krasch) is a birthplace of Ernst Eppich (1920 – 2007), for many years the president of Gottscheer Relief Association in New York.

Dominating over the slope above the village, there is a mighty ruin of The Church of The Comforting Virgin Mary. It was built in 1763 with a help by the Prince Auersperg’s family. Then it was the tallest church in the Kočevje region, but in the 20th century this title went to the church in Kočevje. Pilgrims came to Nemška Loka in great number. In 1828 the church got a parish ordination to become the seat of a parish in 1854. There were four altars in the church. The main one had a portrait of The Virgin Mary. After World War II the church still had an active part in the community. It was mined in 1951. In this way one of the belfries was completely demolished and during that time also the equipment vanished. Today sheep take an occasional shelter in the ruins. 

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