Carmen Albert

Ocupaţia sârbă din Banat în memorialistica bănăţeană / Serbian Occupation in Banat Memories (1918–1919)

Jan. 1, 2011

memoir documents
Serbian army
1918 year



Great events often cause brutal confrontation within history and biography that always create tension – at least in modern history – a memorialistic wave. As such, the quantity of Banat library memoirs about World War I and pro-union action in the province is not surprising. These include numerous passages concerning the entry and presence of Serb forces in the Banat. This occurred in the eastern and central part of Banat, an area with an absolute majority of Romanian inhabitants. The references are more valuable the less they are about these events in our historiography. In this study, things are searching in one hand. However this stage is essential knowledge that will be much improved when linked with memorialistic Serbian and Swabian sources. Almost all the Romanian memorialistic text mentions the fall of 1918 and the behaviour of the Serbs during the withdrawal. Fortunately, in the ’30s of the last century, Professor Ilieşiu from Timişoara, produced a questionnaire containing some questions about this episode. This questionnaire was distributed to all villages of Banat, large and small. The answers – with few exceptions – highlight a negative image, the brutal behaviour of the troops, a chain of abuse and the suspicion that the Romanian troops were not going –despite their temporary mandate-to leave the province. The picture of the Serbian army is that of an oriental horde, no supply lines and generally no modern military mores. It unscrupulously consumes the resources of the local people. The soldiers are primitive and unruly drunks-. The only sympathetic figures are the Romanian soldiers from Timoc, who attempt to defend the people. They notify communities about the reprisals against them, and do translation service for Romanians. Their solidarity remains to be studied in its own right The arrival of Serbs with the mission to maintain order, found the Banat pacified. The Romanian National Council and National Guards pacified the region and began introducing Romanian government. Much more than that, under the armistice agreement in Belgrade in November 1918, the Serbian military presence does not remove but maintains the old Hungarian administration system, seen here as representing the foreign and Hungarian. their return was seen as a restoration. The Serbs gave signs that they wished to maintain the occupation until annexation of the entire Banat in Serbia. Toward this end they stopped the delegation to Alba-Iulia. All this led to the beginning of resistance. In some parts-Naidăş for example- detachments moved to armed struggle. In other regions, Romanians returning from the front, engaged in open battle and defeated the Serb units. Volunteers from the Old Kingdom -were sent on special missions in the Banat to report to Romanian Headquarters on the situation and to prepare the people for possible resistance. It was not necessary. b e Serbs finally withdrew but not before looting everything from the industrial products to herds of cattle. But military conflict was avoided. Eventually a border was established between Serbia and Romania that would be the most stable of all that were fixed in the peace treaties of Versailles, a sign that balance and intelligence had prevailed.