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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The Kočevje Registry Book from 1574 notes 8 estates (called huba), divided into 16 halves, occupying 21 landlords. The houses at the lower side were put near the edge of valley, under the slope; the other ones are spread in terraces thitherwards the church. By ground plan the village shows itself as a central type one, embracing a chapel, a well and a larger pond in the middle of broader area. 

The Francis Cadastral Register of 1824 notes 37 houses. The greatest number of people in Rajnold was counted in 1869, when there were 200 in 41 houses. In the next decades the number decreased as the most intense emigration in 19th century went on and only 141 people were registered in the village. Until 1921 the number was higher already - 175 inhabitants - but this was just temporary. In 1931 the village had 35 houses with 136 inhabitants. During the Austrian censuses there weren’t any people speaking Slovenian in the village. During the censuses of the Kingdom of SHS (Yugoslavia) there were 36 Slovenians at first, but later only 17 remained. 

People of Rajndol made living by farming and peddling, with some carrier transport services (offering additional horses) and occasional exploitation of the woods at the side. The travellers and the locals, both stopped at the pub Wolf (Rajndol No. 18) or pub/shop Schemitsch (Rajnd No. 11). A municipality, a parish and a school were in Mozelj. Before World War here were waterworks, getting water from Štavdoh (Šibje) by the wooden pipes leading to the watering place in the village. A trough from 1926 is preserved. From a trough, water ran freely into a hollow depression to be accumulated for further use, and from there pipes were leading under the road into a Carst sinkhole, to conduct away the surplus. 

105 German inhabitants of Rajndol (29 houses) moved to a hinterland of Brežice, Sevnica and Krško – the Reich’s occupied zone - in the autumn of 1941. Only three Slovenian families remained. At the end of World War II the village grew desolate, with all houses demolished. In 1947 the official authorities gave the village into custody of The Kočevje Farm and Forestry Company to be the developing point for farming, fruit growing and beekeeping. But even more important: to put forward a pastureland and stockbreeding programme. There were only 9 inhabitants of the village, living in three houses. Step by step this place became vital, due to the large stables and encouragement of animals breeding. So the village was colonised again. In 1953 there were 50 inhabitants. In the next decades number of population remained steady. Stockbreeding, complemented with small cattle, is still the main activity, but nowadays some people keep horses, too. And the general image of village is completely changed by the architecture of stables. 

In 2013, the 50 people of Rajndol are registered in six husbandries. 

Quite a big chapel of The Guardian Angels was built in the middle of village approx. 1744 and demolished in 1950s. The spot of a chapel is only some ten meters away from the preserved trough, in the direction of northeast. One can recognise a trace of ground plan.  

In the northwest, out of the village and next to a road to Mozelj, there was a subsidiary church of The Holy Trinity. Its construction was mentioned in 1581. In the modern times it was nationalised and in 1953 it was still used – for storing tools and machines. Later, but probably before 1960, it was demolished by the communist authorities, along with many other churches in the Kočevje region. Now there is only a pile of rocks. 

Next to a church is a spot of former graveyard, enclosed by wall in 1887. It was abandoned after the departure of Germans and most of the tombstones were removed. Only some 12 concrete frames could be found here today. A remarkable cross in a concrete keeps standing, erected in 1930. 

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