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mark v. wrote:Here's the translation, I didn't change much because the text is brilliant.
For better understanding here's the accompanying map:
This battle was actually one of the rare successful encirclement operations of Yugoslav army, needles to say that the entire region is because of it riddled with mass-graves. Also note, the Yugoslav 4th Army was a regular army formation, there weren't many pure partisan formations left by April 1945 (only in the northernmost part of Yugoslavia - Slovenia).
"End of the 2nd World War in our region, battle for Rijeka [Fiume in Italian], forces of the 4th Yugoslav Army versus the German LXXXXVII. Armee-Korps and remnants of various axis forces. The place is Susak, more precisely its eastern suburb Sv.Ana, that is the hills above it, specifically the hill 206, known as "Brdo Križ" [hill Križ] The date is 20 April 1945. The unit defending this part was cut off from the main force and probably after short deliberation decided to surrender. War was already lost, they wanted to go home and didn't see any motivation to carry on fighting. Their positions were well fortified but the strongest fortifications built during the Italian occupation, were never completed and didn't represent any assurance for a successful defense. Anyway the group is surrendering. Notice the calmness and indifference in most of the pictures. The Yugoslav soldiers do seem to smoke cigarettes more nervously but there isn't any bigger tension present:
After that the picture shows how they lead them along a mountain path towards Sušačka Draga.[...]Again there's no tension present in the picture. There're military barracks down in the valley, the Germans probably think they are being lead there. If they weren't shot till now, maybe they won't be... yeah, right.
There's a bunker a little bellow where this picture was taken. One of uncompleted fortifications, which were built by Italians at the end of 1942[...]
After that the Germans are lead directly down towards the barracks, along the cliff. This again makes sense as this is the fastest though steeper route to the barracks. The next picture was taken a short while ago, the bunker is circled with red (notice how its right part is excellently camouflaged by rocks, while its left part is bare concrete), the white cliff on the other hand is important for the continuation of our story.
And then they said to the Germans to halt, so that they could take pictures of them...pay attention how the group poses to the photograph, how they smile to the camera...
And then the machine gun opens fire...a section is missing here: the Germans are shocked, they didn't expect that, pain is in their faces also surprise and anger...
Anyway on most of the pictures of those sentenced to death by shooting/hanging and so on people have catatonic faces, they are dead even before they die...but these Germans are SMILING. The height of defiance? No, its rather that they didn't know what was waiting for them. The photographer was probably sufficient to distract the attention away from the machine gun, positioned probably near the unfinished observation post. At first I thought the machine gun was in the bunker, but I've checked on the spot, the line of sight doesn't correspond with the place where they were shot...Anyway the next picture shows the Germans who were mostly killed, but you can also see a Yugoslav soldier pushing the two survivors
And then only this remains...
But were are the two men? Not far away...
The pictures are from the exhibition "Positive negative", photos taken during the WW2 in our territory by various sides, just with wrong captions...besides that nowhere does it mention, what is it about [the picture] - the shootings of POWs. And then one thinks, the war is over, why the unnecessary »production of corpses«. But both sides did this, partisans were shooting the prisoners, the Germans shooting hostages...so probably just to fill the death quota."